Canadian Immigration Lawyer Will Tao wonders why they are a requirement.
In Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC’s) latest document checklist for parent and grandparent sponsorship, one item is quite peculiar and different from the rest: that of the CV/Resume. The request for a parent and grandparent, many of whom are elderly, to provide their employment and volunteer positions since the age of 18.
One’s eligibility for sponsorship (or to be sponsored) under Canada’s family class does not depend on an individual’s work history or volunteer history, in so far as it does not create misrepresentations or other admissibilities that may affect the second stage background check process.
It is also to be noted that employment history is canvassed by the personal history sections of the IMM 5669E – Schedule A, a mandatory form that asks for a 10-year personal history.
This requirement for a CV capturing for many, possibly 50 + years of activities, is from our perspective both unnecessary and burdensome on applicants seeking only to reunite, not to demonstrate any specific eligibility of their past work or volunteer experiences.
More than that though, it is also troubling that IRCC would request from a group of applicants who by virtue of their likely age of sponsorship, and positioning as parents and grandparents (likely being brought in by Canadian sponsors to enjoy their retirement or later years of their life in Canada) to what amounts to a memory test.
As a middle-aged busy working individual, I don’t a single person who remembers everything they volunteered for. Personally, my list of volunteer efforts (if I add every single talk I did, or hour spent volunteering as a mentor for Indigenous youth or giving out sandwiches in the Downtown Eastside) would total hundreds. I don’t even remember half the organizations I went out to (I think I did a day at a Gurdwara once – serving seva).
Why are we asking this from our parents and grandparents? Many of whom are, as my colleague Candy Hui mentioned, are of retirement age.
While it will be difficult to argue materiality of a missed volunteer opportunity, it is both another example of the barriers placed on parents and grandparents, and family sponsorship, that go far beyond – even the requested documents for economic immigration, where such things would be material (at least for the past 10 years). It also opens up inquiries into misrepresentation.
What if an officer is rewarded for digging up online data on an applicant, by putting their name through a Google search, checking their Linkedin, or viewing their accidentally shared public photos? What if these photos show the applicant handing out sandwiches or at a political event doing name registration?
Also – who is being looked into for misrepresentation? We know that the visa offices with the most tools, be it Artificial Intelligence, Chinook, Risk Indicators, internal foreign government registries, or that would take time to call a potential past employer or spend time finding reason to refuse – are located in visa offices in the Global South (Asia, Africa, and the Middle East).
See below chart, where we extracted based on CDO data, 2020 and 2019 misrepresentation cases by country of citizenship.
If I were IRCC, I would think seriously about communicating to applicants about the nature of the requirement for CV. If it is indeed being used as a fishing expedition for misrepresentation, warn applicants to check the consistency of their personal history and the CV/Resume requirement. More importantly, if every one-day job and volunteer role is being required from folks, at least clarify why this information is being requested, how it is material, and what the leeway is for age/memory-related mistake.
Parents and grandparents of Canadians should not be scrutinized to a pat down, before they touch down and live here as permanent residents, and future citizens, of this country.