Canada Immigration Caselaw Canada v Vijayan, CITIZENSHIP — Qualifications — Residence, Joy Stephen, Polinsys

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Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vijayan

CITIZENSHIP — Qualifications — Residence

Respondent had shortfall in his physical presence in Canada, but failed to declare 12 trips in citizenship application — Respondent’s absences from Canada could not be verified because of missing passport stamps — Respondent renewed his passport years before it would have expired — There were entries of “Visa in other passport” in respondent’s passport that suggested he had fourth passport that was not submitted in his application — Respondent waited nearly two years before seeking permanent residence in Canada for his child born in United States — Little documentation was provided about respondent’s activities for specified period — Respondent’s credit card statements showed transactions in United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) during time that respondent claimed to be in Canada — Respondent was granted citizenship — Applicant filed application for judicial review late, but well in advance of deadline respondent erroneously believed to be in force — Application granted — Citizenship Judge’s finding that respondent met physical presence threshold was premised on unexplained reduction of declared absences; attribution of internally inconsistent duration to undeclared absences; and possible unstated counting of presences which pre-dated relevant period — Mathematical error alone would not necessarily render decision unreasonable, in present case it informed citizenship judge’s approach in conducting cursory analysis citizenship judge incorrectly assumed that respondent met physical presence test as alternative basis for his decision — Citizenship judge omitted undeclared absences altogether in Approval Synopsis and Notice to Minister — There was no corroborating evidence as to duration of respondent’s undeclared absences and it was not open to citizenship judge to draw arbitrary assumptions from respondent’s testimony to relieve him of his burden to substantiate his application for citizenship — Citizenship judge erred by failing to explain and justify decision in light of possible misrepresentations and did not reasonably assess respondent’s credibility — Citizenship judge did not offer transparent reasons for trusting respondent — Citizenship judge erred by assigning speculative duration to respondent’s undeclared absences without expressly considering whether his failure to declare 12 trips affected his overall credibility — Citizenship judge dismissed citizenship officer’s concerns with credit card activity in UAE currency — Citizenship judge did not ground his conclusion that respondent has centralized his existence in Canada on transparent and intelligible reasons

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