Qualifying for a Temporary Resident Permit – News

Dear Mr Brown:

I recently applied for a visitor’s visa to see my sick mother who lives in Toronto. However, my application was rejected due to my financial status and lack of ties to Jamaica. She is too sick to travel to Jamaica. Is there any way I can see her?

— JB

Dear JB:

I am not sure of the exact nature of your finances or ties to Canada or Jamaica. However, people who do not meet the requirements of Canadian Immigration law are normally refused temporary or permanent resident visas abroad, denied entry at a port of entry, or refused processing within Canada.

Unless your application for a temporary resident visa (visitor’s visa) is approved, you would not be able to visit Canada. However, in some exceptional cases in which one is deemed inadmissible, there may be compelling reasons for the High Commission of Canada to issue a temporary resident permit (TRP).

Temporary Resident Permit

A TRP is a highly discretionary document that allows an inadmissible person to enter or remain in Canada — justified by exceptional circumstances. This allows Canada to respond to social, humanitarian and economic commitment in response to exceptional circumstances. For example, a foreign national who may wish to come to Canada for pre-arranged medical treatment, but is inadmissible on health grounds. Considerations may be given as to whether the treatment is unavailable in the home country, the cost of the treatment and how the medical costs will be covered.

Another example may entail a foreign national who wishes to come to Canada as a visitor, but is inadmissible on the ground of criminality.

A TRP can still be granted if the offence was minor, ie, there is no involvement of drugs, physical violence or damage to property; there are no more than two convictions; there is no pattern of criminal behaviour; the individual has completed all sentences; and there is a high probability that the individual will successfully settle in Canada without committing further offences.

The following factors are considered for granting a TRP:

* The factors which make the person’s presence in Canada necessary (eg, family ties, job

qualifications, economic contribution, temporary attendance at an event);

* The intention of the legislation (e.g. protecting public health or the health care system or the security of Canada or Canadians).

* The type/class of application and pertinent family composition, both in the home country and in Canada;

* Whether medical treatment is reasonably available in Canada or elsewhere, and the anticipated effectiveness of treatment, for medical cases;

* The tangible or intangible benefits which may accrue to the person concerned and to others; and

* The bona fides of the sponsor, host, or employer.

The need to enter or remain in Canada must be compelling and sufficient to overcome the risk. The risk to Canadians or Canadian society is minimal and the need for the presence in Canada outweighs the risk.

Permanent Residence

The TRP carries privileges greater than those accorded to visitors, students, and workers with temporary resident status. It allows application inland for a work or study permit, and may give access to health or other social services. Moreover, after a certain period of time, a TRP holder may apply for Canadian permanent residence.

A TRP holder may be eligible for permanent resident if they remain continuously in Canada on a permit for at least three years and do not become inadmissible on other grounds. Permit holders must be cautious about a break in continuity, which affects eligibility for permanent residence. The break occurs when permit holder, without authorisation for re-entry, leaves Canada or when they neglect their responsibility to seek an extension of their status before the expiry of their permit. As such, permit holder should not leave Canada unless their TRP specifically authorises re-entry and apply for an extension of their status at least 30 days before the permit expires.

There is no discretion involved in granting permanent residence to persons who meet the requirements of the permit holder class. Individuals who remain continuously in Canada on a permit for the specified time and do not become inadmissible on other grounds will be granted permanent residence. There may be different qualifying periods depending on the ground of inadmissibility.

People who are inadmissible for reasons involving security, human or international rights violations, serious criminality, or organised crime are not entitled to apply for permanent residence under the permit holders class.

Period of validity

A permit may be issued for up to three years and may be extended or cancelled by a visa officer. If the period of validity elapses, the person must apply for a new permit, which marks a break in continuity. The permit is no longer valid if the permit holder leaves Canada, unless re-entry has specifically been authorised. A TRP may also be cancelled at any time.

For further information, visit jamaica2canada.com.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel, education agent and managing director of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to jamaica2canada@gmail.com

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