Immigration Canada - PanCanadian Immigration Law Group

Citizenship Qualification for a Seafearer

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Abiodun, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Abiodun

    Abiodun New Member

    Dear Forum members,
    I was just wondering if any member of the forum has an idea as to how the Citizen and Immigration Canada office will treat the citizenship qualification criteria and application of a permanent resident who works as a seafearer. I am a permanent resident of Canada since July, 2011 when I landed with my wife under the FSWP. We returned back to Africa after 2 weeks of picking up landing documents and returned finally in March 2012. Incidentally, I maintained my employment with the UK company I work for as a Senior Geophysicist on their seismic vessel which operates on waters of the world. My wife permanently lives in Canada while I keep going to work on waters of the world on a 5 weeks on and off basis. By this implication, while my wife will be qualified for citizenship application by March 2015, I will only be managing to close in on 500 days of physically being in Canada during the same period. My concern is what will happen to my residency status if I'm not able to make the mandatory 2 years before my 5 years PR expires. Please be aware that I remit my taxes on all earnings from this job to CRA and even just mortgaged a home for my family. Canada is the only place I know as home and the only country I resides since my landing apart from traveling to any part of the world where my vessel has operations. I have Bahamas Seamans book which shows records of my on and off period on each vessel I work on. I recently just picked up the Seafearer discharge book for Canadian few months ago to corroborate my entry and exit records. I also don't pay tax any where else apart from Canada except when my vessel operates on some waters of countries that charges taxes on their waters (e.g. Norway, UK, Denmark). Will I qualify for direct Citizenship application under some exceptions based in strong ties with Canada or perhaps an extension of my PR status. I keep records of my travel tickets, entry and exit stamps on my passport as well as records via both seaman's booklets. For all the times whereby I spent more than 5weeks on the job or trainings are paid for by the company and full tax is paid on all my earnings.

    Kindly advice on what can potentially become of my fate and that of my family at the end of these times.

    Does anyone know of any Lawyer who can help to submit the family citizenship application based on this situation?

    Thank you for your advice.
  2. Panusa

    Panusa Administrator Staff Member

    That's a tough one to answer. We have court cases that say the physical requirements for citizenship are strict (that you have to be here or you don't qualify), and some cases say that short absences are ok. They only way to really find out is to apply with the explanation you have here. My guess is that you are not likely to succeed however given the length of time out of the country.

    With PR, as your company is UK one, you'll have to meet the 2 year physical presence in Canada. Otherwise, you will have to make an application under humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
  3. As a permanent resident, the general rule to apply for Canadian citizenship is to have 1,095 days . To say that the law on physical presence is currently in a state of confusion would be an understatement. There are several cases in the Federal Court that all say different things. However, citizenship judges will generally look at your ties to Canada if you have less than 1,095 days. So let’s look at the factors the citizenship judge will consider, so you can draft your submission accordingly. Note that generally, only temporary and relatively short absences will be considered as exceptions – lengthy absences and living away from Canada will not fall within the factors below.
    Physical presence in Canada in the previous 4 years.

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