2. Eliminate income requirement for Family Reunification

Nov 2013
Whereas:
  1. Family  reunification is a central objective of the immigration programs of Canada and Quebec;
  2. Canada has signed and ratified international conventions which affirm the principle of family unity and that the family is entitled to protection by society and the state;
  3. These positions are affirmed in CCR’s Family reunification Resolution of June 1997, Increased commitment to family reunification Resolution of November 2011 and several other CCR resolutions;
  4. Proof of minimum income requirement is already exempted for certain family members such as spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR call on the governments of Canada and Quebec to abolish the minimum income requirement for all classes of family class sponsorship.

3. Death of the sponsor

Nov 2013
Whereas:
  1. CIC stops processing a permanent resident application upon the death of the applicant, and stops processing a sponsorship application upon the death of the sponsor;
  2. Stopping the process affects family members who are included as dependants in the application;
  3. Canada has an obligation to consider the best interests of affected children and act in accordance with humanitarian and compassionate principles.
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR call on CIC, in the case of the death of the sponsor or principal applicant, to ensure that:

  1. The permanent residence application is processed to completion taking into account the best interests of the child and other humanitarian and compassionate considerations.
  2. If the persons concerned are in Canada this processing be completed prior to potential removal.

2. Age of Dependency

Jun 2013
Whereas:

The Government of Canada is proposing to reduce the maximum age of dependants in the Immigration and Refuge Protection Regulations from under 22 years of age to under 19 years of age;

Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR advocate that the criteria of dependency for children remain as they currently appear in the regulations (age under 22 years, full-time students and children with a disability).

4. Caregivers, Live-in Status and Family Reunification

Nov 2011
Whereas:
  1. The live-in caregiver program currently requires workers to live in the employer’s home;
  2. Living in the employer’s home creates a greater possibility for sexual and labour exploitation;
  3. The program does not allow family members to accompany the worker until they fulfill their required hours, thereby leading to family separation for a minimum period of 2 years;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR request that:

  1. The "live-in” requirement be removed from the conditions of the program;
  2. Caregivers’ families be allowed to accompany them or join them in Canada at any point during their participation in the program.

2. Increased commitment to family reunification

Nov 2011
Whereas:
  1. Family  reunification is a central objective of Canada's immigration programs
  2. The CCR has called on the government to eliminate barriers to family reunification;
  3. Extended families including parents and grandparents are important to social and economic wellbeing of families, including those of refugees and immigrants;
  4. The sponsorship of parents and grandparents have had a lower overall priority in family reunification applications for the last few years;
  5. The moratorium on these applications will close the door to some of these family members;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR call on the government of Canada, through CIC, to demonstrate its commitment to family reunification by:

A) rebalancing immigration levels so that families make up at least 40% of the total;

B) expanding the definition of families to reflect the realities of diverse cultural communities;

C) removing barriers to reunification by allocating the resources needed to process applications in a timely manner.

3. Visitor Visas for Parents and Grandparents

Nov 2011
Whereas:
  1. The government is introducing multiple entry visas of up to 10 years to allow parents and grandparents to visit family here as a way to address long family separations caused by processing delays;
  2. The visitors are required to purchase medical insurance in order to qualify for the visa;
  3. Canada imposes visa requirements only on some countries, mostly in the global south and those with a majority racialized population;
  4. Racialized Canadians are over-represented among those who would be most affected;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR demand that the government of Canada remove proof of purchase of medical insurance on the multiple ten year visas for parents and grandparents.

1. Conditional Permanent Residence

May 2011
Whereas:
  1. The government of Canada is proposing to introduce a specified period of conditional permanent residence for some sponsored spouses and partners;
  2. Making permanent residence for the sponsored partner conditional puts all the power into the hands of sponsor, who may use the precarity of the partner’s status as a tool for manipulation;
  3. The proposed conditional permanent residency would represent a major step backwards in Canadian immigration policy, increase inequalities in relationships between spouses, and put women in particular at heightened risk of violence and exploitation;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR oppose conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses and partners.

11. Appeal to IAD of protected persons in concurrent processes

May 2009
Whereas:
  1. Family Class applicants can appeal a negative visa officer’s decision to the Immigration Appeal Division, including on humanitarian and compassionate grounds;
  2. Dependants of protected persons being processed concurrently can only appeal a visa officer’s decision by way of judicial review in the Federal Court;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR recommend an amendment to the Act and Regulations to permit protected persons to appeal decisions on family reunification to the Immigration Appeal Division of the IRB on all issues of fact and law, and on all the circumstances of the case including humanitarian and compassionate considerations.

Working Group:

12. Concurrent processing of family members of persons accepted on H&C grounds

May 2009
Whereas:
  1. Concurrent processing of family members of persons accepted on H&C grounds in Canada was abolished in 2004;
  2. This has resulted in a significant delay in family reunification for persons accepted on H&C grounds;
  3. Many of these people have compelling humanitarian and compassionate considerations and/or were wrongly refused refugee status;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR recommend an amendment of the Regulations to restore provision for concurrent processing of family members of persons accepted on H&C grounds.

Working Group:

4. Priority processing for H&C applications involving best interests of the child

Nov 2008
Whereas:
  1. Canada is signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  2. Timely family reunification and a full and timely assessment of a child’s best interest are fundamental elements of Canada’s obligations under the said Convention;
  3. In February 2005, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration implemented a program to reduce the processing times of sponsorships of spouses living abroad and to prevent, where possible, the separation of spouses in Canada;
  4. A child’s interests and rights are of equal or greater concern;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR advocate in favour of a policy providing that:

  1. A humanitarian and compassionate application involving the best interests of any child facing removal, or whose parents face removal, receive a full and proper assessment prior to potential removal from Canada;
  2. Applications for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, made either inland or abroad, that invoke the best interests of a child living abroad be processed in priority; an accelerated priority should be given to those applications which invoke risk concerns to the child living abroad.
Working Group:

6. Paternal consent for children

May 2008
Whereas:
  1. Women who have been accepted as refugees or permanent residents in Canada and who are seeking family reunification with their children overseas are required to produce a signed consent form from the father, or a custody order if the parents have separated;
  2. This creates an unfair burden on women in some cases, especially in cases of domestic violence;
  3. Such demands are leading to delays which, in some cases, compromise the best interests of children affected;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR request that the Canadian Government find alternative solutions, which correct gender imbalance and respect the best interests of the child, in such cases.

Working Group:

2. Sibling sponsorship of parents/grandparents and other members of the Family Class

May 2007
Whereas:
  1. IRPA and the Québec immigration regulations currently prohibit siblings from combining their income in order to sponsor their parents or grandparents and other members of the Family Class;
  2. This arbitrarily keeps families apart;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR request a change in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as well as the Québec Regulation respecting the Selection of Foreign Nationals to allow the combining of siblings’ income to meet the qualifying income level to sponsor parents or grandparents and other members of the Family Class.

14. Legal guardianship

May 2007
Whereas:

Some countries do not allow for adoption and thus persons from those countries are excluded from emigrating with or sponsoring their “de facto” family members.

Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR advocate for the promulgation of IRPA regulations on legal guardianship.

Working Group:

11. Immigration levels

Jun 2005
Whereas:
  1. Current limits on the numbers of immigrants and refugees who can come to Canada each year and the unequal division of these numbers between economic and humanitarian classes of immigrants have resulted in long waiting periods for the re-unification of families and the admission of sponsored refugees;
  2. The limits on and division of immigrant and refugee numbers appear to be arbitrary and to have been set without public consultation;
  3. It is widely recognized that family reunification is taking too long and the delays in the processing are causing great hardship;
  4. The group with the most pressing need for family re-unification is refugees;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call upon the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to:

  1. Commit to an increase in immigration levels.
  2. Commit to a full and transparent review of immigration levels which review will have a meaningful consultation with NGO stakeholders at all stages of review. Among the topics which should be examined in the review are the benefits of increasing the number of immigrants and refugees admitted to Canada each year; and whether the division of admissions between economic and humanitarian classes is fair or necessary.
  3. Pending the review of immigration levels, increase the number of persons admitted to Canada each year by a sufficient number to allow for overseas family members included in inland applicants to be admitted immediately for processing in Canada.
Working Group:

12. Excluded family members

Jun 2005
Whereas:
  1. IRPA Regulation 117(9)(d) provides for a lifetime exclusion from sponsoring a family member, with no discretion to consider an explanation, however compelling, or to impose a lesser period of exclusion;
  2. Ina significant number of cases, there has been no intention to misrepresent and, in other cases, there are mitigating circumstances that may constitute justification;
  3. The application of this article is having an extremely detrimental impact on many innocent children, in violation of Canada’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child to take into account the “best interests of the child” concerned in any decision of a public body;
  4. IRPA provides for a general inadmissibility of two years in cases of misrepresentation and officers have considerable discretion as to whether even that inadmissibility should be imposed;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call for IRPA Reg. 117(9)(d) to be rescinded. Officers should be required to consider all the facts of the case, including intention and any mitigating circumstances, in deciding whether to impose an exclusion, which should in no case exceed the two years provided for generally under IRPA.

Working Group:

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