Canada

FAQs in Immigrating to Canada - Part I

Our lawyers at Long Mangalji LLP are often approached and asked about the process of immigrating to Canada. Below, we've collected some of the most frequently asked general questions regarding the Economic Class programs for your perusal.

  1. What are the best ways for me to immigrate to Canada based on my skills and experience?

Canada has a robust immigration system tailored to experienced skilled workers. The two most common techniques for immigrating are using Express Entry (EE) and the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). Express Entry is a points-based assessment that allocates a score based on your background; evaluating factors include work experience (from both inside and outside of Canada), education, age, and proficiency in the official languages, among other factors. Requirements for PNPs differ across the various provinces but generally require intent to reside in the province along with ties to the province. There are a myriad of streams in the provincial programs. Before starting an application, it's beneficial to contact a professional who is able to evaluate your background and advise you of your options. 

2. Will my family be able to come with me?

Yes! When applying for permanent residence in Canada, your spouse and dependent children under the age of 22 will be able to accompany you in your immigration application and move to Canada with you. 

3. Will a job offer mean that I can immigrate?

There are many streams that are available only to those with a high-skilled job offer in Canada. However, they generally require more than just a written offer of employment letter. For example, some provincial streams for individuals with a job offer require that you have the employer's support in your application and require the employer to not only meet certain criteria but also provide you with specific documents to support your application. In Express Entry, meeting the definition of "Arranged Employment" requires either that the employer obtains a Labour Market Impact Assessment or that you have a particular employer-specific work permit for an employer that you've worked with for over a year.

4. If I go to school in Canada, will I be able to immigrate?

Many international students study in Canada with the hopes of eventually applying for permanent residence. Studying in Canada is a great first step. Once you've completed your program, you may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit, which will allow you to work in Canada and subsequently qualify to apply for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class program. You will receive additional points in Express Entry for having completed post-secondary education in Canada. 

There are a few other programs that can be used by individuals who may not qualify under the above-mentioned options. Stay tuned for Part Two where we will review FAQs pertaining to alternative programs for permanent residence.

If you would like to learn more about applying for permanent residence or what program would best fit your background, contact us at (416) 548-9101, or at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com.

Weed the North 2 - Update on the DUI Immigration Policy

As cannabis becomes legalized in Canada, the new Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws will mean much harsher immigration penalties for permanent residents and foreign nationals (see here for our previous newsletter explaining some of these changes).

We have received an update from the Minister regarding how the new laws will be applied to people who had received DUIs before the new DUI laws come into effect on December 18, 2018.  We've put together a video here to explain some of these changes. 

If you would like to learn more about how these changes may affect you please feel free to contact us at (416) 548-9089, or at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com.

Major Changes Announced to Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program

On August 20, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced major changes to the parent and grandparent sponsorship program which will take effect in 2019.

Some of the most relevant details include: 

  • The 2019 cap has been increased to 20 000 applicants from 17 000 applicants in 2018.
  • There is a new process for 2019. At the beginning of the year, sponsors will submit an Interest to Sponsor form. Instead of a random lottery, IRCC will invite sponsors to submit an application to sponsor their parents and grandparents based on the order in which they receive their Interest to Sponsor forms.
  • This process will continue until they reach the cap. Once invited, sponsors will have 60 days to submit a full application. 

If you would like to learn more about how these changes may affect you, please contact us at (416) 548-9101, or at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com

Weed the North

The Canadian Parliament has recently passed legislation legalizing some possession of cannabis (marijuana) and also to increase the punishment for driving under the influence. These laws will come into effect on October 17, 2018 and will have harsh penalties for permanent residents and foreign nationals who have DUI or possession of "illicit" cannabis.

We have put together a video here to explain some of these changes. Click here

Some of the most relevant changes include: 

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Penalties for DUI offences have increased from 5 to 10 years, making it a "serious criminality" offence. This change will have the following consequences for immigrants:

Permanent Residents

  • If convicted outside of Canada, they would lose their status and have no right of appeal. 
  • If convicted inside Canada, and a sentence of six months or more is imposed, they would lose their status and have no right of appeal. 
  • If convicted inside Canada, and a sentence of less than six months is imposed, they would lose their status, but be allowed to appeal to Immigration Appeal Division.  

Foreign Nationals

  • If convicted inside Canada, any DUI conviction will render them inadmissible and they would likely have to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit or a permanent Record Suspension to allow them to remain in Canada. 
  • If convicted outside of Canada, they will not be eligible for deemed rehabilitation and will have to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit to enter Canada on a temporary basis or make a permanent Rehabilitation application

Possession of Illicit Cannabis

Although possession and production of cannabis under 30g for personal use will now be legal, certain types of cannabis products will remain prohibited. These are outlined in the act as 'illicit cannabis,' and include cannabis that is obtained from a vendor that is not authorized under a Provincial Act.  For example, buying cannabis from a private dealer in Ontario would be a criminal act as only the government of Ontario is able to distribute cannabis in Ontario. It is also very possible that possession of cannabis outside of Canada can be interpreted as possessing illicit cannabis.

For Permanent Residents

  • If convicted inside Canada, and a sentence of six months or more is imposed, they will lose their status, with no right of appeal.

Foreign Nationals

  • If convicted inside Canada a conviction will render the person inadmissible.  The person would likely have to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit or Record Suspension.
  • If convicted outside of Canada (or even if it is determined that they committed the offence outside of Canada), they will need to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit, Rehabilitation, or in certain cases be eligible for Deemed Rehabilitation.

If you would like to learn more about how these changes may affect you please feel free to contact us at (416) 548-9089, or at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com.

Updates for 2018 Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Program

The Parent and Grandparents sponsorship program re-opened for online expressions of interest from January 2 to February 1, 2018. On March 19, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) emailed out invitations to potential sponsors who were randomly selected to submit their sponsorship application.

Potential sponsors will have 60 days from the date of their invitation to submit a complete application.

Some key points to note:

  • Individuals who submitted the online form are urged to check their email inbox and junk mail, or to look up their unique confirmation number using IRCC's list of selected numbers here.  
  • Invitations are not transferrable; you cannot use an invitation to sponsor another parent/grandparent who was not listed in the initial online form.
  • It is vital to ensure that you provide proof of meeting eligibility criteria and that your application is submitted without any mistakes to avoid refused/rejected applications and thereby having to start again and re-enter the pool of interested sponsors.

Interested individuals who did not receive an invitation letter should continue to monitor their email for news on further draws. If IRCC does not receive 10,000 complete applications, additional potential sponsors will be invited to apply later in the year.

To speak with one of our lawyers to discuss your case, contact us at (416) 548-9101 or by email at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com.