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IMMIGRANTS - Application for immigrant visa - Documentation and corroborative evidence - Units of assessment/Point system - Language

Wednesday, February 07, 2018 @ 8:45 AM  

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Appeal by Cabral and others from the summary judgment granted to the Crown in the appellants’ proposed class proceeding challenging the denial of each appellant’s application for permanent residence as part of the Federal Skilled Trades Class. The appellants claimed that their applications for permanent residence were denied because they failed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. They claimed that the IELTS was culturally biased toward British English, unfairly required a high proficiency in English and was administered in a manner favouring those from English-speaking countries, discriminating against the appellants and others from non-English speaking countries. The appellants also claimed that substitute evaluations of their abilities to become economically established were not conducted based on Ministerial Instructions that violated the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. They alleged breaches of their rights and claimed they suffered damages as a result. Examining the Crown’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the claim, the Court considered records of the appellants’ permanent residence applications and found that nine applications were deficient in ways other than the failure to pass the IELTS. The Court dismissed the other claims because the appellants failed to prove that the IELTS was culturally-biased. The Court also noted that the Minister had discretion to select immigrants as a part of an economic class, such that the Ministerial Instructions did not contravene the Regulations.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The records of the appellants’ permanent residence applications were properly admitted as business records. The Minister had broad authority to determine the minimum language standards necessary for immigrants to successfully integrate into Canadian society. The instructions issued, which rendered applicants who failed to meet minimum language criteria ineligible to request a substitute evaluation, were consistent with the goal of fostering rapid integration of immigrants.

Cabral v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [2018] F.C.J. No. 21, Federal Court of Appeal, W.W. Webb, D.G. Near and M.J.L. Gleason JJ.A., January 11, 2018. Digest No. TLD-Feb52018006