The end of conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses
The CCR welcomes the end of conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses and partners, which took effect 18 April. The repeal of this measure comes as a relief to sponsored spouses in vulnerable situations, and to the advocates who support them.
Under the conditional permanent residence rules, the permanent residence of some sponsored spouses was conditional on their remaining in the conjugal relationship and living with their sponsor, for a period of two years. If they did not fulfill these conditions, their permanent residence could be revoked, and they could be deported. An exception to the condition was possible in cases of abuse or neglect. However, due to isolation, lack of information, fear, or lack of an advocate for support, many victims of abuse were unable to access the exception, and remained in abusive relationships for fear of losing their permanent resident status.
For CCR's release on the repeal, as well as background information and the impacts of conditional permanent residence, see: ccrweb.ca/en/conditional-permanent-residence.
What about forgotten refugees in Canada: legacy claimants?
The CCR and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) are calling on the federal government to introduce measures for 5,600 “legacy” claimants, people who have been waiting years for a refugee hearing. Their claims have been treated as lowest priority for scheduling since 2012, when changes were made to the refugee determination system. Only 678 legacy claims were finalized in 2016: at that rate, it will take over 8 years to hear all the “legacy” claimants.
These delays have had profound impacts on these refugee claimants. For example:
- A woman has been anxiously waiting for her refugee hearing for over 5 years so that she can reunite with her young daughter who is still in her country of origin. The daughter, now 11 years old, has been living with her grandmother, but the grandmother's health has now deteriorated so that she can no longer care for her granddaughter.
The CCR urges the federal government to introduce special measures to allow these claimants to apply for permanent residence.
For more information, see: ccrweb.ca/en/legacy-claimants
Thousands of families excluded from increase to age of dependants
The CCR is deeply disappointed at the government’s decision to exclude all families with applications in process from the upcoming change in the age of dependants rule, due to take effect in October 2017. The result is to deny reunification for thousands of families with young adult children.
We are particularly concerned about refugee families where young adult children are left either in the home country at risk of persecution, or in a precarious situation in a third country. As a result of the rule excluding current applications, families are going to face difficult decisions:
- Some families will consider withdrawing current applications so that they can apply again after the rule change. For example, a woman recently recognized as a refugee in Canada who has a 19 year old outside Canada may need to withdraw the application and re-apply after 24 October. This will cost her hundreds of dollars, be wasteful to immigration processing, will delay reunification for the whole family and slow down her integration into Canada.
- Many families will delay applying to benefit from the change. For example, private sponsors of refugees will want to wait until after 24 October if they are planning to sponsor a family with young adult children. This will mean the family will spend longer in a vulnerable situation waiting for a permanent home.
Read the CCR media release at: ccrweb.ca/en/thousands-families-excluded-benefit-increased-age-dependent-children
Practical information on current rules regarding the “age of dependants”: http://ccrweb.ca/en/age-dependants
New refugee board guidelines on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression (SOGIE) welcomed