A Toronto senior, who had been facing deportation after more than 20 years in Canada, can stay in the country he now calls home.
“After feeling ill for several days and spending sleepless nights, he was finally able to relax. He thanks everyone who helped and supported his case,” said Ariel Hollander of Lewis and Associates refugee and immigration law office.
Samuel Nyaga came to Canada from Kenya in 2000, as a refugee during the height of democracy movements and the push for a multi-party system in the East African country. The 75-year-old told Global News last month he left due to fears of political prosecution after an attempt on his life.
For 17 years, the federal government issued work permits to the senior, but applications and appeals to remain in Canada on humanitarian grounds were turned down. He was ordered to leave the country by Jan. 4, 2022, after spending more than two decades here, living in Toronto and volunteering with at-risk youth.
“A day before the Federal Court hearing, Mr. Nyaga was notified that Nyaga’s humanitarian and compassionate application for permanent residence had been approved in principle by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC),” Hollander said.
“Effectively, it means he won’t be removed and he will be able to apply for a PR (permanent residency).”
In December, Global News obtained a five-page decision, dated Nov. 30, 2021, regarding why the Canadian Border Service Agency had ordered to leave Canada by last Tuesday. An inland security officer wrote that Nyaga wouldn’t get a deferral of the separation as the officer stated the senior knew of the impending removal since 2010.
“While I acknowledge that it may take some time for him to reintegrate back to Kenyan society, it has to be understood that this is an unfortunate yet inherent result of the removal process and it does not constitute unusual or disproportionate hardship upon him,” a security officer wrote.
Hollander says Samuel’s story was unique as most applicants are forced to leave the country while waiting on a decision from the IRCC.
“No one can doubt that he is well established in Canada and within his community. It also shows that when Immigration wants to they can review and approve an application within a short period of time.”
“He thanks everyone who helped and supported his case,” Hollander said.
Nyaga has 30 days to complete the required paperwork to apply for permanent residency even though it is approved in “principle.”The senior would like to continue supporting elders within his community and if possible, return to work as a security guard.