The family of 83-year-old Surjit Bhandal is getting a second chance to have the Indian national stay in Canada based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Bhandal has been asked to submit a new application for permanent resident status. An earlier application was denied, a decision Bhandal’s family protested on the basis that they would support her, so allowing the elderly woman to stay in Canada would not be a burden to the taxpayer.
The federal court asked the Department of Justice to review the case, which led to the request for a new application.
MP Randall Garrison has also appealed to the government to let Bhandal stay.
He said Monday that he’s optimistic the request for Bhandal to reapply for permanent residency status will have a positive outcome.
“No family should have to go through this much stress, this much expense … just to stay together in Canada,” Garrison said. “There’s no burden to the taxpayer at all.”
The family will resubmit the application and Garrison expects the government to take several months to make a decision.
More than 5,000 letters of support were filed in support of Bhandal.
Bhandal raised her nephews as her own children because their mother had severe disabilities, said Garrison. She has lived with her nephew’s family in Langford since 2008.
Because Bhandal is not the nephews’ natural mother, they can’t sponsor her for permanent residence status.
“Ms. Bhandal has nowhere else to go,” said Garrison. “She has no home and no family left in India to care for her.”
The case is about more than just the Bhandal family, said Garrison.
“It is about making sure the Conservative government acknowledges all the diverse families that exist in Canada and about making sure that all Canadian families get fair treatments under the Immigration Act.”
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