American wins appeal after denial of Permanent Residence on Humanitarian grounds

Permanent Residence on Humanitarian grounds

A very high-profile soldier from the United States who was initially denied permanent residence in Canada has won his appeal against the decision, forcing officials to reconsider.

Jeremy Hinzman, the first United States Iraq War resister to seek refugee status in Canada, was told by the Federal Court of Appeal that the Canadian immigration official did not properly take his situation into consideration and acted in a “significantly flawed” and “unreasonable” manner.

Officials have been instructed to look at Hinzman’s application again, which requests being allowed to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Hinzman’s situation is not unique, with hundreds of other American soldiers doing the same. The National Post also published a story a few days ago about another soldier, a patriotic, American citizen who had completed his term in the war who deserted because of his strong feelings that the war was illegal. In the United States, imprisonment often awaits war deserters.

These people are treated like any other refugees in Canada and have the option to request a hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board. A new Bill created by Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy last year would allow objectors to war to seek refugee status in Canada legally, although it has not been determined if this would only apply to Americans or not. Critics worry that the bill would make Canada a haven for deserters of all kinds, from those with criminal backgrounds and from any country.

Meanwhile, soldiers being stop-lossed (extending a military person’s term of service against their will or involuntarily) will also be considered on a case-by-case basis like any other refugee appeal.

The soldier in the National Post story, Phil McDowell, wants the public to know that the concern with many of these soldiers is not all wars, but the war in Iraq. He is now one of 60,000 refugees in Canada waiting to appear before the Immigration and Refugee Board.

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Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: appeal after denial APPEAL TO IMMIGRATION DENIAL denial of permanent resident card Immigration and Refugee Board Jeremy Hinzman Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy Permanent Residence on Humanitarian grounds permanent resident appeal permanent resident canada humanitarian appeal Phil McDowel

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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