immigration lawyer

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

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.

Case Study: Airline agents who go rogue: What to do if it happens to you

Air Canada Agent who takes on the role of a CBSA officer

We have been representing a family whose troubling case has been featured in the media. This family has been torn apart because in transit to Canada, an Air Canada agent thought that it would be a good idea to "red flag" the family and convince CBSA to cancel their visas.

Here is the story on

City TV

Although this situation is very rare, it could happen to anyone who is travelling to Canada as a foreign national. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some steps that you can take to protect yourself and your family:

1. Ask to speak with the agent's supervisor or manager. Air Canada agents are not authorized to assess your entry into Canada. If you already have your visa, ETA or other required authorizations issued by the government of Canada they cannot deny you entry to Canada. Their managers should know this and stop this kind of behaviour.

2. Ask and write down the names of the agents and any immigration officials that they claim to have spoken to. It will become very important in the future if you need to investigate into the situation.

3. Speak to an immigration lawyer while you are there to have them speak with the officers to resolve the situation.

4. Document everything. Write down what was said or better yet, videotape it.

For more information on how to deal with a situation that you or someone you know have encountered at the border, contact us at (416) 548-9101 or at  inquiries@lmlawgroup.com .