Immigration experts say that as long as proper immigration procedures are followed, couples applying for permanent residency shouldn’t have to choose between migrating to Canada on their own or staying in their home country with their newborn .
Under current policy, once a woman gives birth to a child, the couple must report that to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It is the same for any important change in family status. Recent months have seen a number of stories about immigrant parents being separated from an infant due to Canadian immigration policies.
Immigration professionals confirm the problem is very common.
Samah and Ahmed Aboushady are permanent residents who live in Ontario with their two daughters and have been fighting with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to bring their baby boy into the country from Cairo. Samah gave birth to Adam in the U.K., after the couple officially became permanent residents. However, when CIC rejected a visitor’s visa for Adam, the parents had to either continue living outside of Canada and forfeit their permanent residency or leave Adam behind until the paperwork could be sorted out. This forced them to leave Adam in Cairo with his grandparents for most of the past year.
Similarly, in late 2014 an Indian couple with permanent resident status moved to Canada, leaving their three-year-old son behind. They thought they could sponsor him after their arrival. However, Bhavna Bajaj, the mother, says the couple was told they had broken the law by not revealing they had a child in India. Their application to sponsor their child on compassionate grounds was therefore rejected.
Strict disclosure rules require a birth or any change in family structure, additional work experience or education, or a change in a person’s medical condition must be disclosed to the relevant overseas embassy and CIC if the individual’s case is in process.
Many applicants choose to wait to disclose all their dependants until after they’ve received permanent residency and have arrived in Canada. The Canadian government, however, views this as misrepresentation, regardless of whether the applicant concealed information intentionally or accidentally. Applicants found guilty of misrepresentation under section 40 of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act can be banned from Canada for five years.