SINGH v. CANADA (CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION), 2017 8294 (CA IRB)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada should apply a flexible approach and its operational manual should not be treated as law, as it is a guideline.

The appeal is made to the Immigration Appeal Division (“IAD”) by Naib Singh (“the appellant”) for the refusal of permanent resident visa application made by his son, Navjot Singh (“the applicant”), from India. The appellant has applied for sponsorship of his son, where the visa office had information that the institution, from where the applicant was reportedly in full time attendance has completed post-secondary education, is not accredited. When the applicant’s authorized representative was intimated of this they requested that the application be changed to one pursuant to Section 117(1)(h) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. However, the visa office reviewing these situations refused the application under both categories. The appeal in front of IAD is to consider the issues as whether the institution attended by the applicant was “accredited” as required by the Regulations or not? The second is whether the appellant qualifies for sponsorship pursuant to paragraph 117(1)(h) of the Regulations as perhaps beyond the issue of accreditation there are other aspects of the applicant’s enrollment and attendance at a post-secondary institution, which should be heard orally if the institution is accredited.

On the issue of accreditation the IAD observed that the Guru Kripa Para Medical Institute, which is affiliated with Para Medical Council (Punjab), is in question as applicant’s transcripts were issued by PMC, diploma was also issued by PMC. The visa office received information in November, 2015 that PMC was not accredited. That information was conveyed to the appellant who then requested that the application be considered under paragraph 117(1)(h) of the Regulations. Further, the visa officer noted that the applicant could not list courses that he had taken at PMC, and the educational documents misspelled a course name. On these issues, the division stated that Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (“CIC”) Operational Manual is not law, rather it is a guideline. The IAD held that PMC is not a post-secondary institution that is accredited by a relevant government authority. The Punjab High Court’s findings in Para Medical Council (Punjab) v State of Punjab, Civil Writ Petition No. 1312 was also taken into account to shatter any argument that PMC should be considered a recognized post-secondary institution in some informal sense.

On the next issue of sponsorship, the IAD observed that the visa officer refused the application because the appellant’s parents are still alive. The appellant has not established that his parents are not family members whose application to enter and remain in Canada as a permanent resident, therefore, the applicant cannot be sponsored pursuant to paragraph 117(1)(h) of the Regulations. However, in the case of insufficient income to sponsor, the appellant could appeal to the IAD for special relief. The applicant’s attendance at the PMC does not meet the criteria for “dependent child” in section 2 of the Regulations. Lastly, the issue of attendance as well as the enrollment is automatically refused as the institution is not accredited by any relevant government authority.