2015-01-16 | 2015 FC 67 | IMM-4516-13
Ijaz v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)
In the context of education received in a foreign country, there is ambiguity in the IRP regulations concerning whether educational qualification points should be awarded based on equivalent years of education or equivalent completed degrees.
Ijaz applied for judicial review of a CIC officer’s rejection of her application for permanent residency as a Federal Skilled Worker.
Ijaz argued that she was erroneously awarded 5 educational qualification points when she was actually entitled to 19 points. If Ijaz had been awarded 19 points, her application would have succeeded.
Ijaz submitted evidence that she had completed secondary school, a two-year science degree and a two-year accounting degree in Pakistan. Upon evaluation, it was determined that Ijaz’s educational experience constituted the equivalent of a Canadian high school diploma, two years of Canadian undergraduate schooling and two years of Canadian professional schooling.
Ijaz argued that she should have been awarded points for her four years of post-secondary schooling while CIC argued that educational qualification points are only provided for foreign educational experience that constitutes the equivalent of a completed degree in Canada. Thus, given that Ijaz had not been assessed as having completed the equivalent of a Canadian bachelor or professional degree, she only received points for her equivalent high school diploma.
The Federal Court applied the standard of reasonableness to the case as the matter involved a CIC officer interpreting a statute with which he had substantial experience. The Court then opined that both Ijaz and the CIC’s arguments were reasonable interpretations of the IRP Regulations. The Court thus deferred to the CIC’s rejection of the application and submitted a certified question on the legislative ambiguity.
The application for judicial review was dismissed. The certified question has not yet been answered.