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Federal Court Rules Against Would-be Immigrants

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In an official ruling released today, the Federal Court of Canada has refused to hear the lawsuit against the elimination of backlogged Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) applications. However, Mr. Justice Rennie, who issued the ruling, has left the door open for a possible appeal.

The Decision

On March 29th, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that all applications made to the FSWP before February 28th, 2008 would be eliminated without review. Many applicants wished to challenge this decision, and several hundred added their names to a possible class action lawsuit.

The lawyers representing the applicants argued, among other points, that the decision to eliminate the backlog was in violation of two laws: the Canadian Bill of Rights and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Justice Rennie expressed sympathy for the plight of would-be applicants. In his official decision, he stated that “applicants have waited in the queue for many years only to find the entrance door closed. They see the termination of their hope for a new life in Canada to be an unfair, arbitrary and unnecessary measure.”

Despite his sympathy, his ultimate conclusion was that CIC’s actions were in fact within the bounds of both the Bill of Rights and the Charter. As applications were ‘terminated by operation of law’, the court would not proceed further in challenging the government.

What This Means for Applicants

At present, it appears that the Federal Government intends to continue with its plan to eliminate pre-February 28th, 2008 files. As part of this process, government processing fees will be returned to applicants.

Attorney David Cohen was among the lawyers representing applicants in this legal proceeding. “I am, of course, extremely disappointed in the outcome to date,” he said. “I still feel strongly that the government’s decision to terminate the applications of individuals who waited patiently and played by all the rules is both unethical and immoral. Unfortunately, the Federal Court determined that it was not illegal.”

Applicants whose files are scheduled to be eliminated are not precluded from reapplying for Canadian immigration, if eligible. A revised FSWP will be opening its doors to applicants on May 4th, 2013. In total, there are over 60 programs that can lead to Canadian Permanent Residency.

Room for Appeal

Appealing the judge’s decision remains an option. Stay tuned to CIC News to learn more about any potential appeal, as well as further developments on this subject.

To read the ruling in its entirety, please visit the homepage of the Federal Court of Canada.

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35 thoughts on “Federal Court Rules Against Would-be Immigrants

  1. Muhammad Rafaqat Ali

    My family and I submitted application in Feb, 2007. It was promised that through Simplified Application Procedure, the outcome will be avaialble in maximum 36-42 months all my hopes were dashed once i came to know that such unjustified, and poor decision is taken by the Canadian Government. I still had hope against hope that Canadian courts will provide relief to those who has waited for so long, and those still desirous of migrating may spend more resources in challenging the government decision. that hope has died again too. What an unjust system! However, there is a law of nature and this karma will not be good for their system. They have played with the lives of people in the third world country, and the canadians should be highly ashamed of what their governments and courts have done to the people.

  2. Nabih malik

    I submitted my application in September, 2006. It was promised that through Simplified Application Procedure, the outcome will be avaialble in maximum 36-42 months. The letter I received instructed me to upgrade my skills so as to enable me successfully settle in canada in future. During these years, I have improved my language proficiency, obtained a Masters degree all in the hope that soon I will be going to this new country and make a success out of it. meanwhile I let go many immigration opportunities since i had firm belief in canadian justice system. My points were more than enough and I could not think of any reason that my application will be rejected or put in hiatus. I did my Masters degree in USA during the wait period and that should have solidified my case better. i did not stay in USA because it was 2009, the worst recessionary period in USA, and I counted that in next 10 months I will have canadian immigration so i don’t need to subject myself to an highly volatile siyuation in USA. However, all my hopes were dashed once i came to know that such unjustified, and poor decision is taken by the Canadian Government. I still had hope against hope that Canadian courts will provide relief to those who has waited for so long, and those still desirous of migrating may spend more resources in challenging the government decision. that hope has died again too. What an unjust system! However, there is a law of nature and this karma will not be good for their system. They have played with the lives of people in the third world country, and the canadians should be highly ashamed of what their governments and courts have done to the people.

  3. Brian

    The Federal court of Canada with its top judges appointed by the party in power proved itself not being independent. It act and works as government department and judges are simply puppets of the government. Expect nothing better from this system. It is not different from corrupted third-world type ‘justice’ system. So somehow the applicants should be glad not to face the racism, discrimination and red-neck like this character Susan Stwart in Canada. Those who blame immigrants for their job exported to Asia!!!!!

  4. Hamid Ullah Khan

    Dear Friends,
    Please let me inform that is the appeal has been filed by some one in the federal court of appeal of canada against the decision of the court (Justice Rennie infact injustive Rennie) ?

  5. shahid iqbal

    it is hardly to believe that federal cout of canada can ignore this type of injustice to thousands of people across the board. federal court ignored the golden principal of law that if the a law strikes with the fundamental rights of people, the courts declare it null and void. the only thing whicfh court is to determine whther it is not the violtion of the basic right or not. can it be justified to take applications from the people and use their money and after that say sorry honey we are unable to handle the the bundle of applications. Mr. kenny is not even showing courage to returm money with interest.

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