In 1999, a mother and her two young daughters fled Albania to escape the threat that an escalating and increasingly violent blood feud involving their immediate family posed to their lives. She was soon followed by her husband to the United States, where their three youngest children were born. The family sought refuge there but were not successful. As news from Albania informed them of yet another emerging blood feud, the family, fearing for their lives and safety if returned to Albania, decided to seek protection in Canada.
They arrived in Canada in 2012 seeking asylum but were once again unsuccessful. The family’s former counsel filed an application for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) considerations but this application was rejected. In addition, the family’s Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) application ended in another negative decision, and subsequently to a direction to report by CBSA. Facing removal to Albania and anxious for their safety and livelihood, the family sought the assistance of a Canadian immigration lawyer at Gerami Law.
The family’s counsel, Ms. Gerami, filed for and obtained leave to judicially review the findings for both the H&C and the PRRA applications, arguing that the decision reached in respect to both of these applications was unreasonable, incorrect and procedurally unfair. Ms. Gerami also successfully argued that the family’s removal to Albania should be stayed until the judicial review has been heard and decided, as the removal from Canada before then would result in irreparable harm to her clients. The Department of Justice consented to this motion, without prejudice to the main applications, and Federal Court ordered a stay of the family’s removal last week.
The Federal Court has now granted hearings in both of the family’s H&C and PRRA judicial review applications and they are scheduled to be heard by the Court in September of this year.