Category Archives: Uncategorized



Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal



Q.        My wife is a Canadian citizen. We lived together in the Philippines for a few years and then she decided to return to Ottawa to be closer with her parents. She brought our daughter with her.

A few months after she arrived in Canada I applied for a visitor visa and I am now in Canada as a visitor. My wife has filed an inland spousal sponsorship and I obtained an open work permit until 2020.

The problem is that my wife is making my life miserable and threatening me each day that she will withdraw the sponsorship. She also repeatedly mentions that the only reason I will be an immigrant is via her sponsorship. Last week, she left the house and we are no longer living together. She has not cancelled the sponsorship but should I do so on my own? I have a Ph.D education and reputable work experience. Should I apply on my own or wait it out?



A.    There are many legal issues here. Firstly, if you are no longer living together that is a problem because the inland sponsorship rules require that you cohabit together. You have an open work permit until 2020 and unless they remove you that is still valid which is good for you. In other words, the work permit will remain valid (unless it is taken away or expires) until 2020 regardless of what happens with your marriage or spousal sponsorship. Moreover, your wife is the sponsor and she has the right to cancel it if she wants. However, abuse may be a ground for withdrawal on your part. I am not sure that threats would constitute that. From the information provided, I think it is best for you to get a direct answer from your wife if she will cancel the sponsorship or not. If you are confident in your credentials, it sounds like you are a good candidate to apply under express entry. If so, you can withdraw the sponsorship on your own.



Q.        I am a student in Toronto and married to a dual USA-Canadian man. We want to file a spousal sponsorship and we have heard a lot regarding an “inside vs. outside” application. What is the difference? Which is better? I do not want to stop going to school?


A.        The distinction between “inside” vs. “outside” has nothing to do with your studies. You can certainly continue to study as long as you have a valid study permit which I assume you do. The distinction between the two refers to the place of processing. Who will process the case? Is it an immigration office in Canada or outside Canada? If there is an interview, will the interview be in Canada or outside Canada? That is the main difference.

In other words, an application that is filed outside Canada will usually be processed in USA (if you are a student in Toronto) and if you need to attend an interview it will be in Los Angeles.

Filing an application outside Canada requires you to first send the application to Nova Scotia and does not permit you to apply for a work permit. As well, if refused you have an automatic right of appeal.

If you file the application inside Canada, then the interview, if any, will be in Toronto. Filing inside of Canada will also permit you to apply immediately for an open work permit but if refused, you do not have an automatic right to an appeal.

In many cases though, the processing times are much faster when filing outside Canada but it varies from case to case.


Q.        I entered Canada as a visitor last month to visit my mother but they did not stamp my passport? How do they know when I arrived ? and how do I apply for an extension? How long am I able to stay?


A.        This is becoming a popular question and quite problematic for those seeking to prove legal status and/or to apply for an extension. It is my understanding that many officers now at many Canadian airports will not stamp your passport. Entry is recorded in their system electronically. While it is convenient for them, it is a nightmare for visitors. Many do not know that there period of entry is limited to only 6 months. As well, if you require an extension you now must prove it some other way and include it with your extension 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 email or call 416 733 3193







Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal



As most of us are heading into the holiday season and bidding farewell to the 2018 year, Canada Immigration has been busy revamping some of its programs in anticipation of allowing approximately 350,000 new immigrants in the coming years. The 2018 year is reportedly on track to reach 310,000 new immigrants.


The following are key changes that are expected in the upcoming year:




All new immigrants and non-immigrants will soon be required to be fingerprinted. In 2019, all fifty-seven ports of entry will be equipped for biometrics. Biometric information will be valid for ten years.

Applicants in Canada will only be able to undergo biometrics at some Service Canada locations starting in the spring of 2019.






As in past years, the parent/grandparent sponsorship program will open in early January 2019 with a target of 20,000 qualified applicants. The lottery system has ended and it is expected to be a first in first out acceptance system.

Applicants will be required to complete an expression of interest application form and sponsors will be required to insert the exact income earned in the last years together with family size. If income is not met then application will show a warning of possible ineligibility. This is a good change compared to past years where any sponsor, regardless income, applied causing delay to those who were truly qualified.


Applying more than once is not recommended, as multiple applications will only accept the last one sent and discard earlier ones.






Spouse’s or common law partners in status in Canada who have an inland sponsorship ongoing have been able to obtain an open work permit for the last several years. Average processing times to obtain these work permits was an average of 129 days in 2018.  However, the expiry of the program is slated for January 31, 2019. It is not yet known if it will be extended.





There is currently no federal investor or entrepreneur program. The new year we will likely see Canada Immigration reveal a Canadian Business Experience Class or a stream allowing post graduate work permit holders to buy a Canadian business and be self-employed on their way to be immigrants.




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 email or call 416 733 3193






Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal


Q. I became a landed immigrant in 2014 and left Canada shortly thereafter. I returned to visit my parents in Ottawa a few times but I am very short on the required 730 days to renew my PR card.

I am currently in Canada and I’m afraid that I will be caught by immigration and given a removal order. If I go to OHIP or apply for a driver’s licence office or file taxes will they tell immigration?


A.    I doubt it. I have never seen it and many other government agencies do not even know or care about the 730 day rule. Remember, you are a PR and no one has taken it away from you.

You seem to be in breach of the residency requirement but that does not mean that you are under a removal order. To have a removal order you need to be issued one after some sort of investigation (which has not happened).



Q. I was a permanent resident of Canada in 2011 but could not meet the 2 out of 5 year residency requirement. I am in Canada now and have appealed the decision of the Immigration Appeal Division to take strip me of my permanent residence status. I was told that the appeal will take a year or two which is fine for me. Does the time I spend in Canada after filing the appeal count towards the 730 days?


A. No, not exactly. You appealed the decision which means the 5 year period clock goes back to the day of the refusal. If the appeal takes 4 years to be heard for example, you do not get credit for being in Canada for four years towards residency at the appeal hearing. However, the judge has the authority to look at humanitarian and compassionate grounds at the appeal. So any strong ties you maintain in Canada may help your cause.






The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has reached its 2018 nomination allocation, a total of 6,600 nominations for successful applicants across all streams.

New applications, and applications which have already been submitted to the OINP, will continue to be accepted and considered under the OINP’s 2019 nomination allocation, with the exception of the Masters Graduate stream.



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 email or call 416 733 3193





Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal


Q. I became a permanent resident of Canada over 20 years ago by being adopted by a Canadian family. I now want to apply for Canadian Citizenship. I read some material online and I am confused as to whether I should be applying as an adopted person born abroad or based on my 3 years of residence in Canada?


A. You seem to have the luxury of two options. In other words, you are eligible to apply for Canadian Citizenship in one of two ways, each has its pros and cons.



Option A – Apply based on the fact that you were were adopted as a minor and you were adopted by a parent who was a Canadian Citizen at time of your adoption:


          Involves a two step application process

          Canadian parent must be involved

          Cannot pass on your citizenship to next generation if you in turn have a child who is born abroad

          No language test required

          No past tax filing required

          Number of days in Canada not relevant




Option B- Apply for Citizenship based on living in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years:


          1 step application process

          Canadian parent not involved

          You can pass on your citizenship to next generation if you have a child that is born abroad

          Language test required or proof of schooling in English language

          Must have filed taxes for 3 out of the last 5 years

          Must have been in Canada for at least 1095 days in the last 5 years




Q. I obtained permanent residence in Canada in 2015 as a single person. After landing I returned to the Philippines to marry my girlfriend. She has a young child from the estranged father and I want to now return to Canada with the whole family to sponsor them. How is this done?



A.      Your question is interesting because it raises a variety of immigration issues and deals with several laws. It is best to navigate each issue separately:


Sponsorship of Spouse

You are a permanent resident of Canada. Not a Canadian Citizen. Under immigration law, you must be “residing” in Canada from the time you file sponsorship until end of application. The courts have defined “residing” in Canada as your place where you live on a regular basis ( have a job, assets etc…). In other words, leaving Canada for a few weeks vacation is usually not a problem. However, in your case, it seems your permanent home lately has been in the Philippines. You therefore cannot file the sponsorship until you are in Canada.

Residency Obligation

All permanent residents must meet the residency requirement which is physically living in Canada for 730 (non-continuous) days in the last 5 years. If you landed in 2015 then I assume your PR card expires in 2020. As such, you must live or must have lived in Canada for 730 days to renew your PR card and to meet the residency rule. Did you? From your question above, if you left Canada after landing in 2015 then it is possible you are in breach of the rule which may surface upon filing the sponsorship. This can lead to a problem depending of your actual days physically in Canada. As well, you have not mentioned whether you will be returning to Canada even without your family. That may be a good strategy to salvage the case.

Visitor Visa vs. Immigrant Visa

Many people think they can simply obtain a visitor visa for their spouse and then they can sponsor the spouse inside Canada. While it is true, the difficulty in that strategy is to first obtain the visitor visa. A visa officer is likely to refuse a visitor visa application for a person who is married to a Canadian PR/Citizen because the likelihood of returning home is virtually zero. In other words, a visitor visa is a “temporary visa” where the applicant will visit Canada and return to the Philippines. Since the Canadian PR will likely sponsor the applicant for a “permanent” visa, the odds of receiving an approved visitor visa is low.

Child From Previous Relationship

You must obtain consent from the father of the child to have the child immigrate to Canada. If the child is under 18 years of age, the laws of Canada in accordance with the Hague Convention require a signed notarized consent from the non-accompanying parent allowing the child to leave the Philippines. If you cannot locate the father and/or if the father refuses to give consent you will have a problem. Obtain legal advice for alternative strategies.


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 email or call 416 733 3193




Immigration Newsweek March 30 2016


By Atty. Henry Moyal


Q. I’m a live in caregiver but did not complete my 24 months of work experience within the four years of my arrival. I therefore never applied for permanent residence and my work permit has expired.

I do not want to return to the Philippines as my new employer really needs me. How do I get my status back? Can I apply to stay in Canada on humanitarian reasons?


A.Yes, applying under compassionate grounds is an option but perhaps you should investigate whether you can apply under the new caregiver rules. Upon review, it appears that a person does not need to hold a valid work permit to qualify. That is not to say that those with no status will automatically be approved (since it is a violation of the rules to remain in Canada illegally) but there is no statutory requirement to apply for a work permit under this new class. In my opinion, it perhaps opens the door for people who lost their status and do not currently hold a valid work permit. It should be noted that the live in caregiver class does indeed have a statutory requirement to hold a valid work permit at all times. Second, if you worked for 24 months by now, it may be something you should research in lieu of the humanitarian application. As well, you do not need to be in Canada to apply or qualify. As long as you have met all the criteria, you can wait outside of Canada. To qualify, you must:



  1. Have qualifying work experience on a full time basis (at least 30 hours per week) at the time application is received.
  2. Provide proof of your work experience. You do not have to be employed at the time you submit your application. Work experience does not need to be continuous but the work must have been authorized and work outside Canada does not count.

      3. Must have a good level of proficiency in English in these four areas:

  • listening,
  • speaking,
  • reading, and
  • writing.
     4. Must have a completed Canadian one-year post-secondary educational credential
OR a completed foreign educational credential AND a satisfactory Educational Credential Assessment with minimum equivalency
Q.I graduated from George Brown College and obtained a post grad work permit for 3 years. My work permit will expire July 2016 and I want to apply for express entry. Will I be able to obtain my immigrant visa before my work permit expires? If not, how could I renew the work permit?
A. If you have been following the recent trend in express entry draws, you will have seen that the last three draws included applicants with scores in the 400’s. This translates into applicants who were successful in qualifying without job offers. Assuming you do not have a job offer you will likely score in this range. As well, the federal minister has recently stated that he is going to correct this injustice to those who graduated from a Canadian program. Up to now no additional points are given to international graduates. However, it seems that will change and hopefully before your work permit expires. If you do get selected under express entry by mid 2016, you must obtain a labour marker impact assessment (LMIA) to get it renewed. An approved LMIA will be worth 600 points and will most likely get you over the hurdle into the next draw.
Q. I’m a Canadian Citizen since 1980. I often travel to the Philippines for business. Last year I met a woman in Manila and she just gave birth to our child. I do not wish to sponsor her but I want to bring the child to Canada. Can I? Do I need to sponsor the child? How do I file the application since I spend most of my retired years abroad?
A. First things first. The child does not need to be “sponsored”. The child was born to a Canadian father and therefore the child is a Canadian Citizen. It is irrelevant if you want to sponsor the mother of the child. You now need to initiate the process for proof of citizenship of the child. If you are in Canada, then this can be done via the Sydney, NS processing centre. If abroad, you can contact the local Canadian Embassy but in my experience that process will extend processing times an additional six months at least.



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 email  or call toll free 1 888 8472 078






Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal


All Immigration applicants must be admissible to Canada on health grounds. To be admissible and healthy an applicant must not have a condition that is a danger or risk to others ( ie Tubercolosis) and must not have a condition that is an excessive demand on health or social services. A visa officer will refuse an application, after you undergo a medical exam, if they reasonably believe that your health condition might cause an excessive demand on health or social services in accordance with section 38(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.


What is an Excessive Demand?


An excessive demand on health or social services can mean two things. It can mean that the need for health services to treat your health condition would negatively affect medical service wait times in Canada. It can also mean that the services to treat and manage your health condition would likely cost more than 3 times the Canadian average for health and social services(per person.

Recent changes to the cost threshold were announced that has been a welcome to many.


What is the Cost Threshold?


The cost threshold is the average dollar amount that federal, provincial and territorial governments spend in a year on health and social services for Canadians and permanent residents.


In 2017, the excessive demand cost threshold was $33,275 over 5 years (or $6,655 per year).

In April of 2018, the Government of Canada made changes to the excessive demand policy and to the cost threshold.

For 2018, the new cost threshold is $99,060 over 5 years (or $19,812 per year) which is equal to 3 times the Canadian average for health and social services.

How does the Cost Threshold Work?

The following are the main steps:

  1. You will be asked to undergo a medical examination.
  2. The medical officer will review the results of your medical examination and provide an assessment to the officer who is processing your application. If you have a medical condition, the medical officer will calculate the cost of health and social services needed to treat and manage your condition and will compare those costs to the cost threshold.
  3. The officer who is processing your application will consider the information provided by the medical officer and decide if your health condition might cause an excessive demand on health or social services. The officer will consider if the costs to treat and manage your condition are more than the cost threshold. The officer will find you inadmissible on health grounds (excessive demand) if your costs are more than the cost threshold.

Before refusing application the officer will give you a chance to respond and provide additional information to satisfy that you are admissible ( called procedural fairness letter).

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 email or call 416 733 3193







Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal



The Federal government is getting rid of the unpopular lottery system for those who wish to sponsor their parents and grandparents. In addition, Canada is increasing the number of sponsorship applications it will accept next year in 2019.


It started with a 5000 cap in 2014 and then it was raised to 10,000. Now, starting in the year 2019, Canada Immigration will accept 20,000 sponsorship applications next year, up from the current cap of 17,000 introduced last month.


The sponsorship applications will also be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis the way it was done for decades before the lottery system was implemented years ago. Under the lottery system, sponsors were randomly selected to submit their applications. It drew criticism when it was introduced because many felt it was too random, unfair and unpredictable.


In 2019,  sponsors will indicate their willingness to sponsor a parent or grandparent by filling out an “interest to sponsor” form online. Instead of randomly selecting people from this list for sponsorship, applications will instead be invited based on the order in which the forms are received until the 20,000 cap is reached.

The announcement was welcomed by all after the federal government announced that the new process will help families “live, work, play and thrive together.”

“We recognize that families just want to be together and that children benefit from continued support from their elders and loved ones,” . “Our government recognizes the important role parents and grandparents play in our society and I’m so very glad that we’re able to reunite even more families under this program.”

In more good news, the backlog of applications left by the Harper government has been reduced where processing times for sponsorship applications is now about one year. It was not long ago where such applications were taking an average of 60 months. The extensive delays caused stress to many sponsors as parents and grandparents were getting older and where many died during processing.

Statistically, in 2011, the backlog peaked at 167,000 applications and, as of June 2018 the inventory of applications is approximately sitting at 26, 000.

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 email or call 416 733 3193




Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal


Q. I came to Canada as a permanent resident in 2017. I was a dependant of my mother’s application for permanent residence under the skilled worker application.

Just before coming to Canada I met my girlfriend and she became pregnant. I returned to the Philippines this year and married her. I was only given two weeks vacation from my job in Canada so the marriage was rushed. In fact, there was no time to obtain a marriage licence and therefore the Reverend issued a marriage licence under Article 34 of the Family Code of the Philippines.


I am now back in Canada and my consultant told me to simply attach a letter of explanation to my sponsorship application to explain that I was in a hurry and had no time to get a license.


The marriage certificate is issued with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and I have the official original copy.


Is this a problem?



A. Absolutely yes. There are two big problems. One is that the immigration consultant has no idea what they are talking and is not licensed to practice immigration law. Stay away and only hire a professional lawyer who (a) not only has immigration experience but (b) a lawyer with knowledge of Filipino laws. I find it disturbing that this person would suggest that a “letter of explanation” will make it all go away.

That is not going to help you and may actually result in your deportation.


The second big problem is that your “official” marriage certificate under Article 34 is likely null and void. By law, a marriage celebrated without a valid marriage license is null and void, unless the contracting parties are exempt from this requisite (Articles 4 and 35(3), Family Code of the Philippines).

One of the exceptions mentioned ( in other words a marriage license is not required) is if the parties cohabited for 5 years or more as “husband and wife” before the marriage. This is clearly provided by Article 34 of the Family Code of the Philippines which states:


“Art. 34. No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other. The contracting parties shall state the foregoing facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The solemnizing officer shall also state under oath that he ascertained the qualifications of the contracting parties and found no legal impediment to the marriage.”


You mentioned that you married this year. So if you marriage was based on the fact that you lived together from 2013 to 2018, then that means that you lived together as common law partners before your landing of 2017.


Again, this raises two more big problems:


  • 1) It is not true. You have stated that you only met in 2017 so it is not possible that you lived together from 2013 onwards.

Since you did not actually cohabit with your spouse prior to your marriage, you were not exempt from obtaining the required marriage license. Therefore, the said marriage is null and void in the absence of a valid marriage license.

  • 2) Second, if you were in a common law relationship before landing you were required to disclose it to Canada Immigration. You likely declared “single” on your mother’s application as a dependent child. But according to your marriage certificate you were in a common law relationship. Such a lie may lead to misrepresentation and deportation.

In my experience, the above analysis will be uncovered by Canada Immigration so best to not file any sponsorship at this time and obtain professional assistance to resolve the issue.


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 email or call 416 733 3193










The answer is not always clear. In general, the rule is that if you volunteer at a job that a Canadian person would normally be paid ( regardless of whether you’re actually paid or not) is considered to be work (and unauthorized for a visitor).
As an example, handing out pamphlets as a church should be fine but consulting for free at a company or the zoo would not be permitted.

Henry Moyal, Immigration Lawyer
Moyal Immigration Lawyers
416 733 3193





Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal



There is a misconception that the caregiver program is no longer active. There are many people who think that caregivers are no longer able to come to Canada to work ( and then apply for permanent residence after two years of working).

This is simply false. While it is true that the old live-in caregiver program no longer exists, an applicant can still come to Canada as an in-home (live out) caregiver and then apply for permanent residence under the caring for children pathway or high medical needs pathway. It is basically the same result but with a few procedural changes. Let’s not forget that in the 1990’s the program was called the Foreign Domestic Program (FDM). Decades later the FDM was morphed into the live in caregiver program or LICP. In November 2014, the federal minister cancelled the LCIP and announced that all applicants must obtain an LMIA (labour market impact assessment) like all other occupations and then obtain permanent residence after working in Canada for 24 months. An applicant could obtain permanent residence if they cared for children ( children pathway) or taking care of elderly ( high medical needs pathway). As well, the requirement that workers be “live in” was cancelled.


As such, the first step is to obtain an LMIA from Service Canada. The following are the ten key steps to success:



1 . Government Processing fee of $1000.

Exemption: Families or individuals seeking to hire a foreign caregiver to provide home care for individuals requiring assistance with medical needs are exempt from paying the Labour Market Impact Assessment application processing fee. Families or individuals with a gross annual income of $150,000 or less, seeking to hire a foreign caregiver to provide childcare in their home to a child under 13 years of age, also qualify for the processing fee exemption.

Employers must pay $1,000 for each position requested to cover the cost of processing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application.

2. Language restriction

English and French are the only languages that can be identified as a job requirement both in LMIA applications and in job advertisements by employers, unless they can demonstrate that another language is essential for the job.

3. Canada Revenue Agency business number

Individuals hiring a foreign caregiver are considered employers and must obtain a business number (BN) from the Canada Revenue Agency

4. Proof of individual requiring care

Employers must provide proof that they or a dependant is in need of care.

5. Financial ability

To hire a foreign in-home caregiver, employers must demonstrate their financial ability to pay the caregiver’s wages. Employers must submit a copy of their Notice of Assessment from the CRA with their LMIA application.

6. Transportation

Employers of in-home caregivers must always pay for the transportation costs (for example, plane, train, boat, car, bus) of the caregiver to the work location in Canada. These costs must be paid up-front to ensure that they are not part of any negotiations related to the employment contract. This process helps protect temporary foreign workers, who may be tempted to accept alternative travel arrangements in return for a job offer.

7. Housing

Employers cannot require a caregiver to live in their home. However, if an employer and foreign caregiver decide that a live-in arrangement is the most suitable, for the needs of the person requiring care or to assist the TFW, then no amount can charged to the worker for room and board.

8. Employment contract

All employers of in-home caregivers must prepare and sign an employment contract.


9. Advertising and Efforts of Recruitment


Employers must conduct at least three different recruitment activities. One must be the Government of Canada’s Job Bank. The other two must be other methods that are consistent with the occupation being offered and targets a different underrepresented group.

10. Wages:


Employers applying for an LMIA must pay the worker at a minimum, the posted prevailing wage (median hourly wage) for the occupation and work location where the worker will be employed. For example, in the city of Toronto the wage for a nanny is $14 per hour.




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 email or call 416 733 3193





Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal



There is a good chance that you or a friend have invited a relative sometime in the past to come to visit you in Canada.

There is even a higher chance that the visitor application was not approved according to a recent report.


According to a recent report and based on Canada Immigration data, the refusal rate of visitor visas (or TRV or Temporary Resident Visa) reached 26% in 2017 which was an increase from 18% in 2012.


According to statistics between 2012 and 2017, the number of TRV applications processed each year by IRCC increased from 1.3 million to 2.3 million, the Globe and Mail stated. During this same period, the number of refusals soared to more than 600,000 in 2017. Of this last number, 494,133 were non-student TRV applications, which were refused at a rate of 26 per cent in 2017. In 2012, the refusal rate for non-student TRVs was 18 per cent, the Globe and Mail says.

Data for the first three months of 2018 saw the refusal rate surpass 2017, rising to 30 per cent for non-student visas.

Refusal rates were highest for applicants from Africa and Middle East, with 75 per cent of applications from Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan being rejected in the last two years.

However, in our experience nationals from the Philippines were approved in most cases and it really depends on one’s application. The problem with statistical data is that applicants are fearful to apply thinking a visa officer has a predetermined notion to refuse. This is absolutely deceiving because the fact of the matter is that applicants who qualify will be approved.

The following basic requirements must be met in order to be permitted to travel to Canada:

·         have a valid passport;

·         be in good health;

·         have no criminal record;

·         strong ties to home country —such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will take you back to your home country;

·         letter of invitation from someone in Canada

·         have enough money for your stay.

All decisions are made by visa officers and no one can guarantee or promise a visa will be issued. However, fulfilling the above criteria will certainly keep you in the 74% approval category.

It should also be noted that the above stats do not include student visa applications. A student visa applicant must comply with a different set of criteria and must first be accepted to a Canadian educational institution.

A student applicant must also pay foreign student fees and be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to pay for books, residence and living expenses. According to the published report of July 8, 2018 the refusal rate for student visa applications was higher —  26 % in 2012 to 33 % in 2017.


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 email or call 416 733 3193







Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal



October 17, 2018 will be a monumental day in Canada as Canada will officially legalize marijuana.


While many may be celebrating this auspicious day in history it is important to consider the implication the Cannabis Act will have under Canada Immigration law.

The passage of the Cannabis Act under Bill C-45 and anyone who violates the law will be of serious consequence to permanent residents and foreign nationals.


At present the framework under the immigration law under IRPA differentiates between “regular” criminality and “serious” criminality.


Inadmissibility for regular Criminality is under section 36(2) and covers those who are convicted in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament by way of indictment or two offences under any Act of Parliament not arising out of a single occurrence.


Section 36(1) deal with inadmissibility for serious Criminality and covers those  convicted in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years, or of an offence under an Act of Parliament for which a term of imprisonment of more than six months has been imposed.


The new provisions under the proposed Cannabis Act substantially alter the regulatory landscape surrounding marijuana. Under the current  law – called Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, cannabis is a Schedule II substance. Possession, production and distribution in any form are prohibited without authorization.


Moreover, under the current CDSA, unauthorized possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis for personal use is an offence that can only be proceeded with summarily (not by way of indictment). A single conviction for simple possession of less than 30 grams would therefore not render a foreign national inadmissible as s.36(2) of IRPA requires two summary convictions to trigger inadmissibility.


The new Cannabis Act, will authorize the possession and production of cannabis for personal use. However the new law includes a category of “illicit cannabis” which is prohibited to possess in any quantity. The new law states:


s.8(1)  Unless authorized under this Act, it is prohibited

  • (a) for an individual who is 18 years of age or older to possess, in a public place, […] more than 30 g of dried cannabis;
  • (b) for an individual who is 18 years of age or older to possess any cannabis that they know is illicit cannabis; […]

(2) […] person that contravenes subsection (1)

  • (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable […] to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years less a day,



s.51 In addition to the procedures set out in the Criminal Code, proceedings [for listed offences] may be commenced by a peace officer

  • (a) completing a ticket that consists of a summons portion and an information portion;
  1. 52 Payment of the amount set out in the ticket […] constitutes a plea of guilty to the offence described in the ticket and, following the payment,
  • (a) a conviction is to be entered in the judicial record of the accused;
  • (b) the judicial record of the accused in relation to the offence must be kept separate and apart from other judicial records and it must not be used for any purpose that would identify the accused as a person dealt with under this Act; and



Illicit cannabis means cannabis that is or was sold, produced or distributed by a person prohibited from doing so under this Act or any provincial Act or that was imported by a person prohibited from doing so under this Act.


The implication for certain types of cannabis products is that personal possession will remain illegal but will carry a greater penalty under s.8 of the Cannabis Act. This is significant for immigration purposes because the prohibition in s.8 is a hybrid offence (meaning it can be proceeded with either summarily or by indictment). Therefore, a single conviction for simple possession of “illicit cannabis” under the Cannabis Act will therefore render a foreign national inadmissible. Therefore, while it seems like Canada is being liberal and legalizing pot for personal use, it in effect has increased the immigration consequences for those convicted.



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 email or call 416 733 3193

New Change in Criminal Code for Impaired Driving Wreaks Havoc for Immigrants – June 21 2018

The sentence for impaired driving under the Criminal Code has been increased from 5 years to ten years as C-46 received Royal Assent this week.  The effective date is in 6 months.  Consequently, an impaired driving conviction will be Serious Criminality under IRPA Immigration law.  This will trigger major consequences for PRs and Foreign Nationals regarding inadmissibility in addition to the fact that  it will eliminate deemed rehabilitation for impaired.

Henry Moyal, Immigration Lawyer

416 733 3193





Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal



In June 2002, the Canadian government started issuing permanent resident cards (PR card) to new immigrants. Before then, landed immigrants were issued IMM1000 documents which were long pieces of paper that had no photo or bar codes. The law remains the same today – in particular, newly landed immigrants ( regardless of what program the applicant obtained PR) are issued PR cards that are valid for 5 years.


Under statutory rules, an applicant must by physically in Canada for at least 730 days out of the last five years in order to have the PR card renewed. The 730 days do not need to be continuous and there is no restriction on when the 730 are accumulated. Many have the mistaken belief that they must remain in Canada for six months immediately upon being immigrant. That is false. Others believe that they can renew their PR card without stepping foot in Canada. That too is false.


The truth is that a person must have resided in Canada for at least 2 years to have their PR card renewed. While there are some exceptions ( ie. accompanying a Canadian spouse or working abroad for a Canadian company) the rule is quite strict.


The question therefore is : what if an applicant did not comply with the 730 rule and card has expired?


If so, the waters get muddled and it can get complicated. The specific and best approach depends on each fact pattern. For starters, it is important to remember that a person cannot board a plane with an expired PR card. If a person is outside of Canada with an expired PR card they must either apply for a TD or try to land via a land border. In most cases, an applicant will not be able to board a flight and therefore will remain stuck abroad with an expired card. The best option therefore is to apply for a TD and then if refused to appeal the final determination. At appeal applicants are able to argue humanitarian and compassionate grounds to explain why there were absent from Canada for so long. A review of the case law however suggests that most judges will only approve such appeals in exceptional circumstances.


*As this discussion involves permanent residents it is important to mention a crucial proposed law that affects immigrants who are convicted of impaired driving –  Bill C-46, the Impaired Driving Act, which is before the House of Commons.

Currently, someone convicted of impaired driving could receive a maximum penalty of not more than five years in jail, but the offence would still be considered “ordinary criminality” under immigration law. An immigrant’s permanent residence status is not affected unless a sentence of six months or more is imposed. However, under Bill c-46, the increased maximum penalty to 10 years would automatically classify impaired driving as “serious criminality.” As a result, even if a first offender, who is not a Canadian citizen, is convicted and is only ordered to pay a fine, they would still lose their immigration status and be banned from Canada. This would affect foreign students, workers, visitors and permanent residents.




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 email or call 416 733 3193




Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal



It’s becoming a broken record. It’s becoming so common that it is baffling why Filipino workers continue to fall prey to local recruiters and pay thousands of dollars for empty jobs.

It was not so long ago that the media and this writer wrote about the infamous $2 million scam run by Imelda Saluma and Go West International recruitment company.  Imelda “Mel” Fronda Saluma, 46, was arrested in Toronto, for numerous charges of fraud that police say netted more than $2.3 million dollars. One victim alone has gone on record claiming she gave Saluma $24,500. Fuelled by greed, police allege that Saluma scammed over 600 people by forging documents and making fake job offers so people would apply for visas to Canada. To no surprise, the applicants never received their visas. According to Detective Mendoza, “he didn’t know of anyone who was successfully issued a visa using the documents”.


Just when you thought people would be more cautious, again this week, another million dollar scam no doubt was revealed to have occurred by recruitment agency Liwayway “Lily” Miranda and her company A&L Hammer Workforce Management Inc. in the Toronto Star.


In the current case, Lily Miranda recruited Filipino workers to work at mushroom farms and in particular at Sharon Mushroom farm in Ontario. All workers were promised LMIA ( the labour marker opinion approval from Service Canada) but in fact no LMIA were received and no work permits were issued. There is currently litigation in court. The workers also paid lots of money for these promises but after working illegally for the farm they ended up with no LMIA, no work permit and no status.


From the reports in the media Sharon Mushroom and Lily Miranda are denying culpability and washing their hands of any wrongdoing. Oh really? Such a notion is laughable and hopefully the presiding judge sees it the same way.


Question 1: How on earth could Sharon Mushroom deny any wrong doing if it is clearly documented that the workers worked at the farm with only visitor visas. The farm cannot pass the buck to the agency. If a person is working at a company, the company is ultimately responsible for seeing that the worker has proper work authorization to work. To hire an illegal worker is  against the law. Reports indicate that the workers worked from April 2016 to January 2017 with no work permit. Wow! And for 8 months no one at the farm or management ever demanded to see a proper work permit? Seems fishy to me.


Question 2: Why would a visitor to Canada  pay any money to an agency who does not produce an LMIA? I can sincerely understand that there are many who are in Canada that want to work or those who were fired and looking for another employer but to pay the agency first is a mistake as there is no guarantee that an LMIA would even be processed.


As stated above, it is baffling that this continues to happen time and time again. While it is understandable that people want to work and make money it is imperative to keep the following in mind:



1.      It is illegal for an agency to collect payment for searching for a job. Do not pay any agency a penny. If a company or farm is desperate for workers to fill job shortages they can pay the agency themselves to search for suitable workers.

2.      If the agency makes an excuse that a payment is for processing of the government fee, then pay the government fee directly to immigration and only after you have verified that the LMIA is ready to be submitted.

3.      Do not start working until you have a work permit. Similarly, do not pay any fees until you see an approved LMIA.

4.      Although it is not recommended (and illegal), if you do work as a visitor on a promise that an LMIA “ is in process”, then:

-get a copy of the submitted LMIA and call Service Canada to verify

-if 3 months have passed with no result then become suspicious that something has gone wrong or refused. In the current case, workers were at the farm for 8 months. That is a red flag as no LMIA takes so long to process.

-make sure to get a copy of all advertisements presented in support of the LMIA, a copy of the LMIA application and proof that it was submitted……if any of these three are not provided you should be suspicious

       5. If you feel that you have been scammed or a victim of human trafficking contact an immigration lawyer immediately.





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 email  or call 416 733 3193







Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal



Q.        I’m a Canadian Citizen who is seeking to hire a lady from the Philippines to care for my children. The LMIA in Canada has already been approved. The caregiver that I want to hire in the Philippines is working with an agency there and they sent me the paperwork to take to the Philippine Labour Office in Toronto (POLO) for verification. I took the paperwork to POLO but the POEA has rejected the paperwork. The agency has said that a foreign placement company must be involved. I am confused to why I need to hire an agency when I have the LMIA and I also don’t understand why the paperwork is being rejected.?



A.      It has never been a problem to have the POLO and POEA coordinate their requirements to facilitate workers going overseas for work. It has always been a simple and routine transition to get POLO to   authenticate the documents for POEA approval. It seems that nowadays, everyone is confused. I did some research and it seems the root of the confusion is due to the new POEA Memorandum Circular No. 05 Series 2018 that was released on March 22, 2018. Pursuant to Republic Act No. 8042 in conjunction with the new circular, there are new requirements that must be adhered to regarding verification by POLO. The following are the instructions as per section A:


The following documents shall be submitted to the Philippine Overseas Labour Office by the employer for authentication by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate:




1.      A copy of the formal arrangement between the individual direct employer and the designated Philippine recruitment agency on the hiring of a household service worker


2.      Employer profile with the complete address and contact information, proof of capacity to employ and pay wages, number of persons in the household


3.      Certification from their local police that the employer or any of the immediate family members has no criminal record and has not been implicated in any case of abuse


4.      Employment contract emphasizing the superior terms and conditions of employment


5.      Visa or work permit or similar document such as labor market impact assessment from Service Canada


6.      Contingency plan by the employer (Middle East countries)


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 email or call 416 733 3193







Immigration Newsweek



By: Atty. Henry Moyal



For four decades, applicants around the globe have been refused visas to Canada due to their medical condition. Whether it was due to a child with developmental delay or a parent with a disability – the applicant and all their family members were denied.


That was the law – until now. Starting June 1, 2018, Canada Immigration will relax the restrictions on immigrant applicants with disabilities and chronic health problems that have prevented many from immigrating previously on the grounds of medical inadmissibility.


The current law assesses a certain amount that is said to be the average annual health cost for a Canadian. It other words, how much does it cost the government to care for health for the average Canadian?  The number is $6655. Therefore, anyone seeking to immigrate to Canada that has a medical condition that is more than $6655 is refused as the applicant has exceeded the amount or is what is called “excessive medical demand” refusal.


The new laws will raise the cost threshold for medical inadmissibility to three times that level, or $19,965, and remove references to special education, social and vocational services and personal support services needed by applicants.

Despite the good intentions, many say that the new laws fall short of what is expected of Canada in today’s time. Many are wondering why the government did not simply repeal the entire excessive demand clause. After all, having a disability can happen to anyone through no fault and by simply raising the bar to 3 times the threshold is disappointing because it still views  people with disabilities as liabilities. It is noteworthy to mention that a full repeal was recommended by a parliamentary immigration committee in a study released in December.

Statistically, about 1,000 permanent and temporary applicants are found to be medically inadmissible every year on the ground of excessive demand on health care and social services. This represents only 0.2 per cent of all applicants who undergo medical screening.

Nevertheless, for the time being it is good news and a stark contrast to immigration’s attitude held for 40 years. It seems the future will see a full repeal but for now it is better than nothing most agree.

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 email or call 416 733 3193



Immigration Newsweek

By: Atty. Henry Moyal

Q. I have lived in Canada for over two years and became an immigrant of Canada in 2000. I never had the need to travel and I kept by old record of landing.
My Filipino passport has expired and I do not know where it is. I finally decided to apply for Canadian Citizenship and it is taking a long time. My mother just had a stroke and I need to travel immediately.
Is there any way to speed up a Canadian Citizenship application for urgent cases?

A. Yes, but Canada Immigration has strict guidelines on when they will expedite an application. Citizenship applications are expedited if documents support the need for urgency in the following situations.
• a request is received from the office of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
• the applicants need to travel because of a death or serious illness in the family and cannot obtain a passport in their present nationality (which includes the Canadian passport)
• a subsection 5(1) grant applicant has 1095 or more days of physical presence in Canada and faces loss of employment or of employment opportunity because they are not a Canadian citizen
• the applicants are Canadian citizens and face loss of employment or of employment opportunity because they are not in possession of a document establishing Canadian citizenship
• an application is delayed due to an administrative error
• an applicant for grant of citizenship has a successful appeal to the Federal Court
• the applicant is in any situation in which not expediting the citizenship application harms them (for instance, need to renounce foreign citizenship by a certain date)
• the applicant needs a citizenship certificate to access certain benefits such as a pension, a social insurance number or health care
Remember that you must provide documents to prove the specific scenario to support an urgent case request.

Q. I understand that obtaining an educational assessment (ECA) of foreign education is required when immigrating to Canada. I just received by report back from WES ( World Education Service) which says that my school is a Non-Recognized Institution. What does that mean? And is it acceptable?

A. In order to be eligible for points, a foreign education credential must have a positive assessment from a designated organization – the company you chose was WES. The ECA report must indicate the equivalency of the foreign credential to a Canadian credential and must indicate the institution where the candidate obtained the credential is recognized by the authority of the home country.

Each organization may have a different way of reporting their educational credential assessment.

According to WES, post-secondary education is regulated by national legislation in most countries and has defined guidelines that should be in place in order to bestow official degree granting authority on institutions. For all such institutions, WES ECA reports will indicate the status as recognized if the documents assessed are issued by an institution that has power to award academic credentials.

An institution that is not recognized by the appropriate educational authorities in the home country as a degree granting institution is considered not recognized by WES. Study completed at such institutions is assessed by WES and the ECA report will indicate the status of the foreign institution as not recognized.

Institutions that are not licensed or registered as teaching institutions in the home country do not have the right to operate or issue degrees. Therefore, if WES indicates that the organization is ‘not recognized’ then Canada Immigration will not assign any points for the credential.

Q. I’m completing an application for permanent residence under express entry and the instructions require a copy of my passport and all stamps. I just renewed my passport and I have travelled to many countries on business in the last ten years. Do I need to provide all these stamps?
A. Canada Immigration has admitted that the instructions for this particular item was confusing and in error. Bottom line : You do not need to include stamped pages of the passport.

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 email or call 416 733 3193


Immigration Newsweek

By: Atty. Henry Moyal

Q. I came to Canada as a single mother as a caregiver. It took almost 5 years to obtain permanent residence. Before being an immigrant I returned to the Philippines to marry my daughter’s father and returned to Canada just in time for my landing interview. I tried to sponsor my husband recently but it was refused as they told me that I did not declare my spouse. But no one at the airport or at landing interview asked me about my marital status. What am I supposed to do now? Is my child suppose to grow up without a father? How do I get around this?

A. This is a complex and problematic issue because you did not inform immigration about your marriage before being an immigrant and your spouse did not undergo routine medical/criminal checks. The onus is upon you to tell immigration of changes in status…..they do not need to ask. Yes, it would be nice if they did but again, it is an applicant’s responsibility. The result, unfortunately, is that you misrepresented yourself and “lied” at landing by being an immigrant as a single person when in fact you were married. The problem is now twofold:

1) Under regulation R117(9)(d) your spouse is not a family class member and cannot be sponsored (because you did not declare him), and
2) You misrepresented yourself and it is possible that enforcement branch may come after you to start deportation proceedings and take away your PR card.

It sounds drastic but it could happen. The good news is that you have a child (which I assume is a Canadian Citizen) and it is unlikely you will be removed. It is also a good idea to look into any applicable humanitarian and compassionate grounds to overcome your predicament. Some recent cases have approved such cases on those grounds.

Q. Under the new caregiver program I read that in order to become an immigrant an applicant must have completed a one year post secondary diploma in Canada or equivalent abroad. I only completed high school in the Philippines and one year of college. Is it worth applying for permanent residence? Can I obtain the extra year in Canada while I’m in Canada after working 24 months?

A. You are correct in that under the new pathway for PR as a caregiver you must have proficiency in English and at least a one year post secondary credential. If you only completed high school in the Philippines then you will be refused. Do not apply under you qualify. I suggest you look into obtaining a study permit after working in Canada for 24 months, then complete a one year program in Canada at a school and then apply for permanent residence.

Q. I entered Canada as a student from the Philippines. I was married in Manila but recently obtained a divorce in Ontario. I am now marrying my Canadian boyfriend but my passport still has my old married name. Can I apply for the sponsorship using my birth name?

A. When you apply you need to use the name as per your passport. As you know the country of the Philippines does recognize divorce and will not accept the Ontario divorce. In my experience, the Philippine consulate will not change your passport to your birth name so you need to apply first and then change name later.

• Note: Canada Immigration has changed the sponsorship forms again and will no longer accept old forms after March 15, 2018. Applications received after March 15, 2018 will be returned unprocessed if the old versions of the forms are used.

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 email or call 416 733 3193



Immigration Newsweek

By: Atty. Henry Moyal

A subtle tsunami in immigration law occurred this week. Its announcement sent ripple effects worldwide and every nanny agency from Hong Kong to Dubai were trying to piece together what immigration’s announcement meant to current workers under the caregiver program and to those who are planning to arrive.

On November 29, 2014, Canada Immigration restricted permanent residence applications through the Live-in Caregiver Program to workers whose initial entry to Canada was supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment received by Service Canada on or before November 30, 2014. At the same time, Canada Immigration introduced two new pathways to permanent residence: the Caring for Children Pathway and the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway.
The introduction of these 2 new pathways was intended for only 5 years which means it will cease effect at the end of November 2019.

Further, the announcement in the official government web site last week clearly indicated that caregivers will no longer be able to apply for permanent residence after November 2019. If so, what about caregivers who arrived in Canada a month or two ago? They will never mathematically be able to accumulate 24 months of work to qualify? Or what about workers who will arrive to Canada as caregivers soon? Do these workers know that they will not be able to ever qualify for permanent residence?
Canada is the only country in the world that has this special program that permits caregivers to automatically become immigrants after two years of Canadian work. Has Canada been too generous all these years?

The reality is however that the new pathway program resulted in very few applications since 2014 ( under 2000). In contrast the live in caregiver program had over 10,000 from 2006-2014.

While the trend of immigration seems to suggest that this program will end, it would be beneficial to all if immigration was honest and transparent to let everyone exactly what lies ahead for caregivers.

A few days after the announcement, Canada Immigration amended its notice to the following:

We are reviewing the Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilot programs to determine how caregivers will apply for permanent residence after the pilots expire on November 29, 2019. We will announce the details well before the pilots expire.

These 5-year pilot programs are scheduled to expire on November 29, 2019. To be eligible to apply for them, you will need to have two years of full-time work experience as a caregiver and submit your application before that date.

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 email or call 416 733 3193