In recent months, a group of individuals primarily from Hong Kong have been in the news as a result of their attempt to sue to Canadian government.
The group of more than 1,460 individuals tried to sue the Canadian government in a class action lawsuit after their backlogged applications to the now-cancelled Immigrant Investor Program were returned to them without review.
The Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) stopped taking new applications in 2012, but was not officially cancelled until February of 2014, eliminating approximately 65,000 pending applications without review. While it was operational, the IIP conferred permanent residency upon foreign nationals who had a net worth of $1,600,000 and who made a 5 year interest free loan of $800,000 to the federal government. The program was heavily criticized because it allowed wealthy businessmen to buy Canadian citizenship despite having no connection to Canada, and in many cases, no intention to reside permanently in Canada.
The members of the class action lawsuit, who were hoping that the case would either compel Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to process their applications or grant them compensation, received a disappointing verdict last week.
In the last week of June, a federal court judge dismissed the class action suit, finding no wrongdoing on behalf of the government in throwing out the unprocessed applications. The judge decided that applicants do not have a legitimate expectation of being granted a visa or permanent residency. The ruling stated that “there is no absolute right to the issuance of a visa following the mere fact of having made an application.”
This ruling could set a precedent for future legal challenges individuals may make against the federal government after an unsuccessful immigration application.
FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.