immigration

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.

Immigration Landmines for Students

While studying in Canada is an excellent path to permanent residence, there are many landmines an international student will want to avoid along the way.

Here are some pieces of advice we have for students:

  • Post-graduation work permits (PGWP): Each international student is only allowed ONE post-graduation work permit, so use it wisely! There are no renewals and no second permits, even if you return to study in another full-time program.

  • Ineligible post-secondary institutions: Not all post-secondary schools or programs qualify under the post-graduation work permit program. It's important to make sure that both your school and program qualify before investing the time and money into studying.

  • Working illegally: While your study permit allows you to work in Canada, there are limitations and restrictions that you need to be familiar with. Any period of unauthorized work (even if it happens by accident) can cause serious problems for your future immigration applications - make sure you know your conditions of work before taking on any new job.

  • Dropping out (and losing status): Thinking of taking a break from school? Your status in Canada will expire 90 days from the date on which you stop studying - even if the expiry date on your study permit comes later. If you are planning to leave your academic program, you may need to first apply for a work permit or visitor record to avoid being without status in Canada.

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