By Jandy Sales
Foto – Terry Ferreira, Immigration Consultant
DISCOVER Magazine spoke with Immigration Consultant, Terry Ferreira, to answer the most common and intriguing questions regarding immigration. He is Canadian with a specialized B.A. in Political Sciences who witnessed the struggles of his parents to legalize their residency here.
DISCOVER – Considering that Trudeau’s government has made significant changes in the Canadian immigration policy since he took office, could you tell us the main change that the Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&C), Refugee and Sponsorship Immigration programs have been subjected to so far?
Terry Ferreira – Prime Minister Trudeau has focused on the refugee program, probably due to Syria’s refugee crisis. First, all the sponsorship applications are based on paper processes, which makes the sponsorship process very slow. Since 2016, the immigration offices have been trying to process sponsorships within 12 months. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released on November 1, 2017, details on its 2018 multi-year Immigration Levels Plan. The target for H&C is to welcome 3,500 people in 2018, 4,250 in 2019, and 4,500 in 2020.
DISCOVER – Why do people still express unfamiliarity with the Canadian immigration process, which may result in rejection of their application?
Terry Ferreira – I would say the inability to read and follow instructions is the main misunderstanding. Before you apply, you need to make sure that you are eligible to apply. Secondly, I would say some people are willing to manipulate the facts to meet the requirements of immigration or visa programs.
DISCOVER – What makes a person eligible to apply on the Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&C) grounds?
Terry Ferreira – IRCC usually looks at these factors: how settled the person is in Canada, general family ties to Canada, the best interests of any children involved, and what could happen to the applicant if they are not granted the request. The other H&C rules are: you may only ask for H&C if you are applying for permanent resident status in Canada, or for a permanent resident visa abroad; you cannot have more than one H&C grounds application at the same time. Also, IRCC will not assess risk factors such as persecution, risk to life or cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. You cannot apply for H&C grounds if you have a pending refugee claim, or if you have received a negative decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) within the last 12 months.
DISCOVER – Brazil is a country with a history of violence, but it seems that Brazilian people do not meet the requirements to apply to become a refugee.
Terry Ferreira – Convention refugees are outside their home country or the country they normally live in. They are not able to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution necessarily based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation. I have never seen any Brazilian completing these requirements.
For more information contact www.terryferreira.ca.