Federal Court

Immigration and Citizenship


Application for temporary resident or immigrant visa

Officer required to identify and define child’s best interests in context of permanent residence application

Applicants were family who were citizens of Czech Republic of Roma ethnicity, and they made failed refugee claims but were provided with three-year temporary residence permits. Applicant daughter entered into common-law relationship and had child. Applicants applied for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, which officer refused. Officer found that it was in child’s best interests to reside in Canada with his father, and could visit mother or maintain contact through electronic means. Applicants applied for judicial review. Application granted. Standard of review was reasonableness. While best interests of child evidence was limited, officer’s analysis failed to fully consider limited evidence. Within framework of evidence provided, officer was required to identify and define child’s best interests and examine those interests with great deal of attention, which did not occur here. Officer failed to address evidence that mother was child’s primary caregiver and failed to address father’s full-time employment and impact that might have on his ability to take care of child on full-time basis. Analysis failed to address impact on four-year-old child of his extended family being removed. Analysis minimized child’s best interests by starting from position that mother would be removed, and presumption of removal was exacerbated by failure to fully address evidence that was relevant to child’s interests. Officer’s best interests of children analysis was unreasonable, and matter was to be re-determined by different officer.

Ondras v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 7907, 2017 CarswellNat 859, 2017 FC 303, 2017 CF 303, Patrick Gleeson J. (F.C.).

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