Can a non-accompanying family member make me inadmissible?

When you immigrate to Canada, you and your accompanying members must be admissible. What about non-accompanying family members? Can an inadmissible non-accompanying family member make you inadmissible? Of course, this short article explores the answers.

In this article:

Who is inadmissible to Canada?

Before discussing non-accompanying family members, let’s focus on inadmissibility. To enter Canada, you must be admissible. Similarly, when you are inside Canada, you must remain admissible. However, Canadian citizens are immune to the rules of inadmissibility. Consequently, inadmissibility affects permanent residents and foreign nationals only. Nonetheless, this article focuses on foreign nationals because we explore the time you intend to immigrate to Canada or stay in Canada temporarily.

Inadmissibility could be due to several reasons. Some reasons include terrorism, espionage, human rights violations, criminality, health issues and misrepresentation. Of course, you could learn more about these reasons by reading the following article:

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Who is a non-accompanying family member?

When you are immigrating to Canada, some family members may decide not to accompany you. Of course, by “family members,” we refer to your spouse or common-law partner and your dependent children or grandchildren. The most common group of non-accompanying members are dependent children. Unfortunately, custody battles could be the main reason for a child not to accompany you to Canada. While your spouse may refuse to immigrate with you to Canada, the officer may question the motives. No doubt, one of the pillars of marriage or common-law relationship is cohabitation. Of course, sometimes the marriage is falling apart, and non-accompanying makes sense.

In a temporary stay scenario, not accompanying the applicant is quite common. Of course, I’m referring to visiting, making business trips, studying or working in Canada.

Can a non-accompanying family member make me inadmissible?

Under section 42 of the Immigration Act (IRPA), you become inadmissible because of an accompanying inadmissible family member.  However, when it comes to non-accompanying family members, the law redirects us to the Immigration Regulations (IRPR). Under section 23 of IRPR, the following non-accompanying family members make you inadmissible:

  • Spouse, unless the marriage has fallen apart
  • Common-law partner
  • A dependent child, unless you and your spouse have lost the custody of that child.
  • Your grandchild, unless you and all of your accompanying family members have lost the custody of that grandchild
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Are there exemptions to inadmissibility because of a family member?

Whether accompanying or non-accompanying, a family member may not make you inadmissible if both of these conditions apply to you.

  1. You are a temporary resident or a temporary resident applicant; and
  2. The inadmissibility of the family members is not because of any of the following issues:
    • Security
    • Human or international rights violations
    • Organized criminality

Of course, inadmissibility issues are complex. Therefore, consult with a professional to avoid future refusals or complications.

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches the official immigration consulting courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al who holds a Masters degree from Yorkville University is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented hundreds of applicants from more than 30 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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