Immigration law is a complex area of law. It determines what types of immigrants and visitors will be admitted to Canada and the conditions under which they can enter or be removed from Canada. It also governs the right of an immigrant (permanent resident) to appeal certain decisions made by immigration authorities.
Family class is one of several categories of immigrants. Canadian citizens and permanent residents have the right to sponsor their loved ones from overseas under the family class immigration. Historically, family class immigrants comprised a significant portion of the overall immigration population in Canada. The 1978 Immigration Act made "family reunification" one of the core objectives of the legislation. From that time on until about 20 years ago, the majority of the immigrants who came to Canada every year entered as family class immigrants. Since the early 1990's however, the percentage of family class immigrants has steadily been on the decline. In 2011, family class immigrants made up just about 21% of all immigration to Canada. This section of the website sets out the current law regarding family class sponsorship.
Immigration law also gives certain rights to permanent residents to appeal certain immigration decisions. For instance, permanent residents have the right to appeal the refusal of sponsorship applications and issuance of removal orders against them for reasons such as criminality or not meeting their residency obligations. Appeals are decided by either the Immigration Division (ID) or the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). This section of the website provides basic information about the appeal process.
Finally, this section of the website also explains what permanent residents should do to retain their permanent status until they can apply for citizenship. The three main reasons a person loses his or her permanent resident status is by being convicted of criminal offences(s), by not living in Canada long enough after becoming a permanent resident and by misrepresenting information to Canada Immigration. It is important for permanent residents to understand these requirements and find out what they could do if Canada Immigration seeks to remove them from Canada.