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January 21, 2024

Yadwinder Singh v. M.C.I. 2010 FC 757

Mr. Singh had applied for Canadian permanent residence and had been waiting several years for Immigration Canada to make a decision on his application.  During that time, Mr. Singh was criminally charged in the United States and was extradited there to be tried.  He was eventually convicted and was serving time in prison there.

He retained Eastman Law Office to have Immigration Canada grant him permanent residence even though his conviction and being in prison in the United States.  Immigration Canada refused to do so.

Eastman Law Office therefore filed an Application for Leave and Judicial Review in the Federal Court seeking a mandamus order compelling Immigration Canada to complete the processing of his permanent resident application within 90 days of the court order and grant him his permanent residency.

To succeed, Eastman Law Office had to come up with a creative and unique legal argument given that Mr. Singh was, at the time, in prison in another country.

Eastman Law Office’s legal arguments before the Federal Court were that Mr. Singh had met all the requirements for permanent residence prior to his conviction and imprisonment and but for an error made by Immigration Canada, he would have and should have been granted permanent residency prior to his conviction.  Essentially, Eastman Law Office was asking the court to turn back time and see Mr. Singh and his permanent resident application before his conviction. The court agreed and ruled in Mr. Singh’s favour.

The Federal Court ordered that Immigration complete processing Mr. Singh’s permanent resident application in accordance with Canada’s immigration law as it stood prior to his U.S. conviction, and that processing had to be completed within 90 days of the court’s order.  And in an extremely rare move, the court also ordered both Immigration Canada and Canada Border Services Agency to pay Mr. Singh a lump sum of $2,000 in costs.

Immigration Canada did finish processing Mr. Singh’s permanent residence application within the 90 days and approved it.

So, in the end Eastman Law Office did the seemingly impossible and got Mr. Singh his Canadian permanent residence while he was in prison in the United States.


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