Federal Appeal

Immigration and Citizenship



Capacity in one of Canada’s official languages was relevant factor in promoting successful integration

Plaintiffs applied for permanent resident status pursuant to ss. 12(2) of Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Despite meeting all other requirements, plaintiffs were refused because they failed to meet language requirement by failing International English Testing System (IELTS). Plaintiffs brought action against Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for damages on basis of breach of statute, public misfeasance, bad faith, abuse of process and breach of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Defendants successfully brought motion for summary judgment to dismiss action. Plaintiffs appealed. Appeal dismissed. Capacity in one of Canada’s official languages was undoubtedly relevant factor in promoting successfully integration. IRPA gives Minister authority to issue instructions regarding conditions that must be met before processing applications. There was nothing in s. 87.2(4) of IRPA regulations that creates right to conduct substitute evaluation but rather provision was permissive one. It was not inconsistent with flexibility granted to immigration officers under s. 87.2(4) of IRPA regulations to require that department weed out applications from those who failed to meet minimum language proficiency criteria before they were processed thereby rendering their applications ineligible for substitute evaluation.

Cabral v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) (2018), 2018 CarswellNat 30, 2018 FCA 4, Wyman W. Webb J.A., D.G. Near J.A., and Mary J.L. Gleason J.A. (F.C.A.); affirmed (2016), 2016 CarswellNat 10966, 2016 CarswellNat 5902, 2016 FC 1040, 2016 CF 1040, Russel W. Zinn J. (F.C.).

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