IMMIGRANTS - Application for immigrant visa - Humanitarian and compassionate considerations - Best interest of child

Law360 Canada (March 8, 2023, 6:55 AM EST) -- Application by Jimmy Pierre for judicial review of the Decision of Senior Immigration Officer (Officer) to refuse his application for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (H&C). The Applicant was a Haitian national who first entered Canada with a temporary resident visa. His Canadian citizen spouse subsequently submitted a spousal sponsorship application to sponsor him but was ultimately withdrawn following couple’s separation. The Applicant had two Canadian born children. The breakdown of the marital relationship led to struggles over access and decision-making responsibility with respect to the children. The Applicant applied for permanent residence on H&C grounds based on his establishment in Canada, the best interests of his two children (BIOC), and hardship in Haiti. The Applicant provided lengthy submissions and evidence to demonstrate his ongoing relationship with his children, despite difficulties associated with marital breakdown. The Officer sent the Applicant a procedural fairness letter (PFL) requesting updated information on custody agreements, visitation agreements and any other information. The Applicant provided a letter from his family lawyer attaching the most recent Superior Court endorsement. The lawyer explained the Applicant’s ability to exercise parenting time through Access for Parents and Children in Ontario was hampered by cessation of their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Applicant argued the Officer failed to adhere to the principle of the BIOC in finding the applicant provided an incomplete and unclear demonstration of the children’s current situation to conduct a meaningful assessment of their best interests. The Applicant submitted the Officer ignored the bulk of the evidentiary record and exclusively relied on evidence submitted in response to the PFL. The Applicant submitted this was a selective review of the evidence, which resulted in an incomplete BIOC assessment....
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