Officer’s analysis of best interests was unreasonable because it was unrealistic

Federal court | Immigration and Citizenship | Admission | Application for temporary resident or immigrant visa

Husband and wife applicants were citizens of Albania, and two daughters were citizens of United States. Senior immigration officer denied applicants’ application for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Applicants applied for judicial review. Application granted. Issue was not degree to which applicants had become established, but whether degree of establishment they achieved was such that if required to leave Canada they would experience unusual, undeserved or disproportionate hardship other than hardship normally associated with departure. When officer said that established was what would be expected she meant that applicants’ circumstances were ordinary and there was nothing that would meet hardship test, and that aspect of decision was reasonable. However, officer’s analysis of best interests of minor daughter was unreasonable because it was unrealistic. Officer had no basis for speculation that daughter spoke Albanian, and it was unreasonable to find daughter to be resilient and able to cope with move from Canada to Albania based on prior move from Michigan to Ontario, as moves were not comparable. It was not reasonable for officer to conclude that Canadian teenagers would take time necessary to maintain friendships with daughter when they were not likely to see her again. It was unreasonable for officer to conclude that best interests of daughter were only impacted in negative manner if her well-being would be in jeopardy in Albania or if she faced impossible feat adapting to life in Albania. Humanitarian and compassionate application was to be reconsidered by another officer.

Shtjefhilaj v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 987, 2017 FC 340, Sandra J. Simpson J. (F.C.).

 


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