The National Post reported on October 3 that a court in Québec fined the Ozcelik family a total of $120,000 for misrepresenting that they were residing in Montréal to a Canadian Border Guard.
The article states that the family are Turkish nationals with permanent residency in Canada. When asked by the border guard where they lived they stated that Montreal was their home. The Ozcelik family also now risks losing their Canadian permanent resident status.
Permanent residents have an obligation to reside in Canada 40% of the time over a five-year period.
It is important for Canadian permanent residents to know their residency obligations. There are exemptions to this such as accompanying a Canadian spouse or working full-time for a Canadian company abroad.
This case marks another example of the increased enforcement action of the Canadian Border Services Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Recently Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced that they were starting the process to strip over 3000 Canadian citizens of their citizenship due to misrepresentation.
More now than ever it is important that permanent residents understand their residency obligations and know their rights and obligations when being interviewed on their return to Canada.