Canadian Immigration Regulation Preventing Family Reunification

A Canadian immigration regulation put in place by the federal government is preventing Canadian families from bringing their adopted children to Canada.

The bureaucratic regulation is affecting families in the process of adopting a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the exit procedures for Congolese citizens are in conflict with Canada’s visa-issuing procedures.

Adopted children require a visa in order to travel to Canada and join their families, but the Canadian government is unwilling to grant them visas until they have received a letter from the Congolese government authorizing their departure from the country. The inverse is true of the Democratic Republic Congo, where the government will not issue citizens an exit authorization letter without the citizen already being in possession of a visa for another country.

At this time, it does not appear that either the Canadian government, with their stated commitment to family reunification as an essential pillar of Canadian immigration, is willing to compromise with the Congolese government. The result is a stalemate in issuing travelling documents that is leaving Canadian families and their adoptive children in a precarious and painful situation.

There are approximately 30 Canadian families who are caught in this bureaucratic stranglehold, unable to bring their adoptive children to join them in Canada. In many of these cases, the adoptions have already been finalized, making the Canadian parents the legal guardian of their adoptive child whom they are unable to bring back to Canada.

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, an NDP Member of Parliament for the Montreal riding of Pierrefonds-Dollard and the NDP’s federal immigration critic, has become a key advocate for the families affected by this regulation. Blanchette-Lamothe is calling on Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander to work with the Congolese government grant visas to the children in question and unite them with their adoptive parents in Canada.

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.

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