My father, who is Pakistani, worked in the US for a few years. He then moved to Canada and has been there for a long time. He has been a Canadian citizen for a few years now.

Why can't he take us with him there? Granted there is a problem that my father entered Canada with a marital status of SINGLE. He got a lawyer to help him with the legal matters, but the lawyer said there is only 1% chance of this going his way.

What are the laws related to this matter? Can't he at least take my mother with him?

He has been living there, alone, for so long and is only able to come visit us for 3 weeks every year.


After asking my father for more details, he told me what actually happened. When he applied for citizenship, he was still single. But the process took a long time and in that time he married my mother while the citizenship application was still in process. So what can he do now to bring us there?

  • 2
    Don't know about Canada but in many countries, it makes a lot of difference if you are a minor/dependent or not. How old are you? There are a few exceptions and nuances but as far as the law is concerned, being a citizen does come with rights for yourself, typically not for your (extended) family beyond your partner and minor children (and sometimes, sadly, not even that, at least not without some significant restrictions or complex bureaucratic requirements)
    – Gala
    Oct 20 '14 at 10:53
  • If your father was already married when he entered Canada, but wrote "single" on the immigration forms, that's a problem, since authorities generally don't like if people make mistakes (intentional or not) on immigration forms.
    – Jonas
    Oct 20 '14 at 11:40
  • @Gala I updated my question
    – majidarif
    Oct 20 '14 at 13:42
  • @Jonas my father wasn't married when applying. But while the application was still on process, he married my mother. So what can he do now?
    – majidarif
    Oct 20 '14 at 13:42
  • 3
    I really hate to suggest this, but could he have another family in Canada? I don't know about Canada immigration, but in the US, children can 'age out' of a family sponsorship. That is, he should have started something before now.
    – mkennedy
    Oct 21 '14 at 20:59

Basically in order for your father to bring your mother or you to Canada he will need to go through the procedure of Family Based Sponsorship. The procedure is well documented and well known.

The procedure for your family immigration would be for him to sponsor his wife and his child(ren) to come to Canada to live with him. It may also be possible for him to sponsor his child(ren) and then they will sponsor the mother to come over but this is a lengthy process and will likely raise questions of how in a muslim country a person had children out of wedlock.

So I would suggest seeking advise from an immigration lawyer or possibly several to make a determination of whether or not this type of immigration is even possible.

P.S. One would need to research very carefully whether or not the Canadian citizenship can be revoked on the grounds of immigration fraud if this ever comes to light.

  • No, this happened over 20 years ago. I was still not born by then.
    – majidarif
    Oct 21 '14 at 2:41
  • My father already have the lawyer for years now but nothing is really moving forward.
    – majidarif
    Oct 21 '14 at 2:41
  • @majidarif May be it's time to get a different one? Also the question of why did he wait for 20+ years to bring his wife (for which he could have amended the petition probably) and his kids over to Canada.
    – Karlson
    Oct 21 '14 at 14:45

From what it sounds like in the comments, your father has been a citizen of Canada for nearly 20 years and that you are the biological child of him and his wife. The only potentially difficult issue is that your father was single when he applied for citizenship but got married during the process. There is no way that an immigration lawyer would not be able to follow up the process to a conclusion, not necessarily a positive one, within a few years. It seems likely that the reason he has not brought you over is that he does not want to bring you over. This doesn't mean anything about his love for you and your mother, but could be he doesn't want to cut his ties with his home country. You need to get more facts about what he and his lawyer have tried.

  • Yes, he is my biological father. Might be, I'll need to get more information from my father.
    – majidarif
    Oct 21 '14 at 13:28
  • Yes, its been a few years since he got the lawyer, but there is no improvement. And I believe he didn't continue as there was just too costly and the lawyer said only 1% chance. And it has taken 2-3 years.
    – majidarif
    Oct 21 '14 at 13:30
  • @StrongBad You seem to be jumping to conclusions based on very little evidence.
    – Gala
    Oct 22 '14 at 5:09
  • It occurs to me that there might be financial reasons he can't sponsor and he doesn't want to admit them. Oct 2 '20 at 3:25

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