A foster parent heard about the centre and called to request support for two youth she was caring for. The brothers, aged 13 and 15 were in foster care in Ontario and had been living in Canada without immigration status for over 10 years. We learned that the oldest child was turning 16 and wanted to apply for a job but had no documentation to apply for a Social Insurance Number. He shared that he was afraid he would be deported from Canada and returned to a country he did not know.
We learned that their mother was born in Canada, which meant they were eligible to apply for citizenship and were not required to first apply for permanent residency. We supported them to obtain identity documents to prove they were born to a Canadian citizen and we acquired their mother’s birth certificate and their birth certificates. Sometimes this can be very challenging if families are not willing to share documents or documents have expired. In this instance, their child welfare worker and CWICE team were able to gather the necessary documents, and apply for citizenship certificates.
Thanks to strong relationships with several immigration and community partners, developed over years of working with families facing immigration and status issues, the citizenship certificate was received within a few weeks of submission. The foster mother told us that the eldest was now making plans for his future, he is considering applying for post-secondary education, looking for employment, and most importantly he was no longer living in fear that he may be deported to a country he doesn’t know or remember.