Visa Points System

For relatives resident in Canada

Visa Points System

By Guidy Mamann: This week a reader asked the following: "We have a pending immigrant application to Canada and we wanted to obtain points for having a relative in Canada."

To prove that my husband’s aunt is residing in Canada, the visa post has asked us for the following:

Pay slips issued to your relative by a Canadian employer in Canada, Canadian income tax documents (recent notice of assessment) credit card and bank statements from the past six months showing transactions that occurred in Canada. Utility bills and property ownership documents will not be accepted as conclusive evidence of your relatives living in Canada.

My aunt-in-law and her family just recently landed in Canada and do not have tax assessments or pay slips.

Her husband has a credit card statement for the past 2 months. Although she is a cardholder on the account her name doesn’t appear on the statement. She has a bank statement but no transactions on it. Can we still get points for them?

Answer: You may be in a delicate situation, but not for the reasons that you think.

First, the basics. A person who is applying for permanent residence to Canada under our skilled worker category needs to score at least 67 points in addition to meeting all of the other requirements of our immigration laws. Although you cannot be sponsored by your husband’s aunt, you are entitled to an award of 5 points simply for being related to her provided that she is living in Canada. She will not be in any way responsible for you financially, or otherwise, after you arrive in Canada.

To claim these points you must simply prove that she is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, that you or your husband are related to her, and that she resides in Canada. The burden of proving these facts rests squarely on your shoulders. Our laws do not specify what documents must be shown to prove these facts. Accordingly, you can use any documents that are available to you in the circumstances of the case. The officer must act reasonably when considering them and cannot reject your application simply because you can’t comply with his/her request. A copy of your aunt’s PR card will show her landing date and so the officer can’t expect you to provide proof of residence before this. I would suggest that you do include documents such as a deed, lease agreement, utility bills etc. to prove her residence even though these documents, in and of themselves, are not considered conclusive proof of residence. I would also include a sworn declaration of your aunt and her husband and perhaps of a neighbour, clergyman, landlord, or other responsible person who can attest in writing to the fact that she is living here. Hopefully, the officer acting reasonably will consider these to be sufficient in the circumstances.

However, there may be a more serious problem.

You can only claim points for those facts which existed at the time that your application was filed and which continue to exist at the time that your visa is issued. If your aunt was not a permanent resident or was not living in Canada on the date you filed your application you will not be entitled to any relative points. Similarly, if she leaves Canada before your application is decided, you will not be entitled to these points.

Since your aunt only recently arrived, I am worried that if you applied before she arrived here you may not be able to claim the five points that you might need to achieve a passing score.

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 or at .

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