Couple requesting visa

Better to apply together

Couple requesting visa

By Guidy Mamann: This week a reader asked about a young couple that is immigrating to Canada. The plan is for the husband to immigrate here first and get settled. Then the wife would follow a year later.

They are wondering why the visa post is insisting on the wife filling out an application form at the same time as her husband when she is not planning to move here for at least another year.

This innocuous question raises an extremely important aspect of our immigration laws.

All intending immigrants to Canada must show that they qualify for selection under the category under which they are applying and must prove that they are not criminally or medically “inadmissible” to Canada.

Additionally, the principal applicant must show that his family members (i.e. spouse/partner and children) are also not inadmissible. This rule is designed to prevent the immigration of an otherwise desirable immigrant whose dependent might constitute a threat to us or to our universal health care system.

Accordingly, the wife must fill out an application form now in order to answer questions about her medical or criminal history. She must also undergo a medical examination prior to the finalization of her husband’s application whether or not she is coming to Canada now, later, or at all. If she is determined to be inadmissible to Canada, his application will also be refused.

This rule is designed to avoid two problems.

First, it would avoid the husband landing and getting settled here only later to find out that his wife can’t join him.

Secondly, it prevents the husband from becoming a permanent resident of Canada while married to an inadmissible person and acquiring the right to sponsor her and acquiring the right to appeal any refusal of such an application to the Immigration and Refugee Board.

The failure to disclose a family member is a material misrepresentation that could lead to the refusal of an application or to the deportation of the applicant after landing. A family member who is not examined will no longer be considered a member of the family class and cannot later be sponsored as such (unless it was specifically determined by an officer that they did not need to be examined).

Intending immigrants who have children in the care of their former spouse or partner must also have such children examined even if the kids are not coming to Canada. Such applicants are often met with great resistance by their former spouses who fail to understand why their child must undergo Canadian medical exams when they have no intention of letting that child immigrate here.

In this case, the wife will have to fill out forms and undergo medicals now to establish that her husband and his family members are not inadmissible. When the wife applies on her own, she will have to do it again to prove that she remains qualified to immigrate.

My advice would be for them to apply together. Once they are landed here she can return to her country temporarily while her husband gets well settled here.

Guidy Mamann practices law in Toronto at Mamann & Associates and is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as an immigration specialist. Reach him confidentially at 416-862-0000.

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