One of the main requirements for a permanent residency application is the obligation to declare all family members such as spouses, common-law partners, dependent children (children under the age of 21) and dependent children of dependent children on the application, even if they are not accompanying the individual to Canada. The rationale behind this regulation is that declaration of all family members allows government officials to have all the necessary information they need to make a final decision on a permanent residence application and provide confirmation that these family members are not a risk to residents and citizens of Canada thus not making the principal applicant ineligible.
Failure to comply with this requirement leads to the permanent resident being subject to a lifetime bar in which the permanent resident is forbidden from ever sponsoring an undeclared family member. If you are a permanent resident that is currently facing this situation, you may be exempt from this obligation!
Due to extreme concerns regarding the lifetime bar, the Government of Canada announced a public policy on September 9, 2019 that featured a pilot project of initially two years permitting certain foreign nationals to be sponsored under the Family Class or the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class despite their sponsor failing to declare them on their initial permanent residence application. As a result of significant challenges brought upon by the unprecedented global pandemic known as Covid-19, the government of Canada has decided to extend the policy for an additional two years.
How can an individual facing these circumstances determine whether they are eligible for this public policy?
A Government of Canada official will exempt an undeclared family member if they meet the following eligibility requirements:
- The foreign national has applied as a spouse or common-law partner in the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada class or as a spouse, common-law partner, a conjugal partner (an individual dating a permanent resident or canadian citizen exclusively for at least a year), or dependent child in the Family Class.
- The foreign national has a sponsor who applied for and achieved permanent resident status through the following circumstances:
- As a convention refugee;
- As a protected person;
- As a sponsored spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent child as a member of the Family class;
- As a sponsored spouse or common-law partner as a member of the Spouse or Common-Law partner in Canada class;
- The foreign national would not have made their sponsor ineligible for their initial permanent residence application if they were declared and examined at the time their sponsor immigrated to Canada.
Foreign nationals that meet these specific requirements can make an application for sponsorship to Canada through this exemption and are not subject to any additional fees beyond the standard applicable processing fees for a sponsorship application.
What are the requirements if the sponsor lives in Quebec?
In the event a foreign national is eligible for this exemption and the sponsor resides in Quebec, this exemption still applies, however, the sponsor must fulfill his obligations by giving a sponsorship undertaking to the Government of Quebec.
What if an individual made an application under this public policy during the original two year time frame?
All existing applications with this public policy exemption submitted prior to September 9, 2021 will be processed and receive a final decision by the expiry date of this public policy.
The expiration date of this public policy is set for September 9, 2023.
Do not miss out on your opportunity to finally be reunited with your loved ones! Book a consultation with a licensed immigration professional at E.Baka Immigration today to start the process!