Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I am a Canadian Citizen and married to a woman in the Philippines. We have two children together. I tried to sponsor my wife but the embassy has refused her case on the basis that she was not free to marry at the time we married. As well, they are saying that I did not declare her upon landing. They are permitting my children to come but how can they come without the mother? What can be done to have my wife enter Canada?

A. It seems that the marriage between you two is not valid in law as your wife was still married to someone else. It is advisable to appeal the decision if you can tackle the validity of the marriage. Another strategy may be to look and see whether a “common law partner” application may work for you. Despite the above, it also seems that you misrepresented yourself upon landing if you did not declare the wife. However, this is an interesting scenario. If your wife was still married to someone else at the time of your marriage, how can Canada Immigration accuse you of misrepresentation since your marriage was not legal. She was not your wife, right? You can probably dodge the bullet on the misrepresentation issue. However, to rectify the first issue look at the common law scenario or dissolve the marriage and then marry again.

Q. I entered Canada on the live in caregiver program in 2007. In early 2008, I got a call from my brother in the Philippines informing me that our mother was ill. I had to leave Canada immediately. Before I left Canada my work permit was about to expire and I did not have enough time to send an extension. While in the Philippines, I visited the Canadian Embassy for a re-entry visa and work permit. I was granted a visa to re-enter and a work permit to work as a babysitter. Is this going to be a problem when I apply for permanent residence next year?

A. Yes, it could be an issue. A babysitter is not a live in caregiver. I would have to see the work permit issued but if the embassy issued a work permit that is outside of the live in caregiver program then you have a problem. According to the immigration manual, work permits must be renewed at the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville.

Q. I am the owner of a bakery in Canada. I work long hours and it would be great to have a trusted relative come over to Canada to help me and to manage the store while I am on vacation and on weekends. My relative lives in California and has no status in USA. He is educated and has work experience but is afraid to do anything because he is afraid of being deported.

A. It seems possible that he can immigrate to Canada with an approved job offer from you. It is common for cash type businesses to want trusted relatives to manage their stores and an approved offer from you will expedite the application. With his background he should definitely explore the possibility to apply for residence. A case of this type can take only one year to process.

Q. I am a Canadian Citizen. I want to sponsor my husband. He is from the Middle East and has been in Canada for over nine years. He claimed refugee status years ago and was denied. He moved to Toronto from Montreal and I suspect that immigration does not know where he is. We married in early 2007 and I do not want him to leave. If I sponsor him from inside of Canada will he be able to remain throughout the duration?

A. From the limited details, I think your first plan of attack is to find out what his immigration status is in Canada. If he has been in Canada for nine years and is a failed refugee claimant, it is likely that immigration has been looking for him and has sent him interview notices. If so, and if enforcement proceedings have begun then it is likely that he is not even eligible to file the application from inside of Canada. Before you spend time and money on filing the application inside, find out if he is eligible. If not, then your only option will be to send the application outside of Canada (which is a much faster application).

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions to Attorney Moyal by fax, phone or email