CIC vows ‘to help’ Ottawa RedBlacks quarterback Henry Burris to remain in Canada
Henry Burris’ citizenship snafu has already caught the attention of the feds prompting an Easter Sunday statement.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada responded Sunday — in a statement to the Sun — saying they will work to keep the Ottawa RedBlacks star quarterback in Ottawa.
“We will work with the Ottawa RedBlacks and Mr. Burris to ensure he can remain in Canada.” said Kevin Menard, spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
“Mr. Burris has shown a great commitment to Canada over many years, and his community work through his foundation is an example for Canadian youth and all Canadians.”
On Friday, Burris told the Sun he’s frustrated with the CIC in his attempt to secure permanent resident status or full-blown citizenship.
Burris said the main stumbling block is that his job as a CFL quarterback is considered “part-time work”.
But there may be hope for Burris, according to immigration lawyer Julie Taub.
In March, the CIC lowered the amount of points required for their new express entry application for permanent resident status.
Originally in January, they were looking for applicants with around 1,200 points but have since cut the number to below 600.
And because of that drop, she thinks Burris may finally get the status he’s been searching for.
“The initial cut-off was very high. If he’s working six months of the year, that’s more than sufficient to get permanent resident status,” said Taub, a former member of the Immigration and Refugee board of Canada.
“I don’t think he’d have trouble at this point.”
She said having two Canadian born children also helps his cause.
“But nothing is guaranteed in immigration,” she added.
Burris said he has spent more $7,000 hiring an immigration lawyer and has been trying to get permanent resident status for almost three years.
But Taub said he shouldn’t be having such a hard time.
“He only needs to be working a total of two out of five years or 730 days.”
She said it works out to be an average of five months a year and doesn’t need to be two years in a row.
She said the requirements to qualify for permanent residency (formerly known as landed immigrant status) are:
-Proof of education and work experience
-A work permit for Canada
-A Labour Market Impact Assessment (which he qualifies for)
-A standard English test (which he said he took)
Taub said the RedBlacks can also help Burris out.
“His employer could apply for that application to support his immigration.”
It didn’t take long for RedBlacks fans to get behind Burris as the #HelpHenry hashtag has started to pick up traction.
Here are some of the tweets Burris retweeted on his official account over the last two days:
“Send your thoughts to @calxandr immigration minister about the plight of @HenryBurris and use the hashtag #helphenry to MAKE THIS RIGHT NOW”- @thecapitalvoice
“If you don’t personify all the good things that we pride as Canadians, not sure who does?” – @ed_goffin
“@HenryBurris Got your back man #helphenry” – @tapdiesel613
“…the right thing to do is for the Dept of Citizenship & Immigration to review the policies impeding Mr. Burris. #HelpHenry #CdnPoli #roft” – @OutlawTory
“Hey Buddy… Very disappointed to hear about this citizenship stuff. Keep ur head and do what you do! I hope you get it soon.” – @_MattCarey