Immigration Applications can Succeed or Fail on Legal Technicalities

By Michael Niren December 8, 2008 1 min. read

US And Canada Immigration Applications can be affected by small mistakes

There are cases when the law works in your favor and cases when it does not.

In our immigration law practice, we see many immigration applications get approved or get refued based on legal technicalities. In some cases, there are immigration applications that are very strong but because of some unanticipated issue, the case is rejected. It usually does not go the other way – where the application is approved – unless an immigration lawyer is involved to “point out” where the Visa Officer may have made an error assessing the application.

Specific cases of Immigration Applications being denied because of mistakes

In one case, reported by the National Post on November 27, 2008 , a man’s Spousal Sponsorship Application was allowed to proceed even though the man was convicted of killing sister-in-law in India 11 years ago by dousing her in kerosene and setting her on fire.

According to the Federal Court of Canada, this man will be allowed to sponsor his new wife for Canada Immigration. The Federal Court’s ruling was based on a legal technicality that regulations preventing a person from sponsoring an immigrant  for criminality are based on convictions against blood relatives. This means that because this man killed his sister-in-law and not a blood relative or a”family member”, he is allowed to sponsor his new wife.

Whether or not you agree with the Federal Court’s decision, the point here is that it clearly shows that legal technicalities can make all the difference in successful immigration applications. If that man was convicted of say, killing his parents or siblings, then he would be prevented from sponsoring his new wife. But as the current law would have it, offences against in-laws are not counted.

Most would consider a sister-in-law a “family member”. However, this is not the case when it comes to the immigration legal defintion in this context. Sounds strange and contrary to common sense? Often the law is such and immigration lawyers, for better or worse, take advantage of this fact on behalf of their clients.

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