Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I came to Canada about 5 months ago to work as a nurse and my work permit is valid for another 18 months. The problem is that my current work permit is “ employer specific”. My understanding is that I can only work for that employer. I am not happy with my current position and I have been offered a position at another nursing home. How do I obtain a new work permit. Do I need to exit Canada for that?

A. Applying for the new work permit is the relatively easy part and can be done from inside of Canada. The processing fee is $150 and takes about one month to receive. The more difficult task at times is to obtain the job validation. In order to apply for the switch in employers you must first have a confirmed validation from the second employer. The second employer must be able to show that they attempted to recruit local Canadians and were unsuccessful. This can entail advertisements and interviews. Once the positive labour market opinion is obtained you are eligible to apply for a new work permit.

Q. I arrived in Canada about one month ago. It is my first time in Canada. I really like it here and I have even resigned my job as a professor in the university in the Philippines. I have an elderly sister in Canada but besides that no other family. I want to work and do whatever it takes to stay. I went to a consultant and she said that applying for humanitarian and compassionate application is best. We just filed it this week. I am looking for a second opinion. Was that a good idea?

A. With the limited information you provided, I think it was a very bad idea. If you just arrived in Canada one month ago it would be very hard to show that there are compassionate reasons already to permit you to stay. As well, if you are a professor and you have a relative in Canada, it seems that you have a strong case as an independent immigrant. The rate of success for H&C is quite low and in my opinion almost impossible for people in your circumstances. I would explore other avenues before it is too late.

Q. I applied to sponsor my mother and her application is almost complete. The immigration office is now asking for $975 as the landing fee. Should I pay it? I thought the landing fee was being eliminated? If I pay it can I get it back if the laws change?

A. Yes, it was announced that the landing fee would be cancelled but there are no details yet on how and when it will be implemented or retroactivity.

Q. My wife and I are greencard holders in the USA. We were sponsored by our daughter who has been a USA citizen for two decades now. The problem is that our two other daughters are left in the Philippines and we all want to be together. My two children left behind are married and they could not be attached to our USA petition. I was told we could not sponsor our children and further that if my USA citizen daughter sponsored her siblings it would take about nine years. We do not want to wait that long. Can they immigrate to Canada where we can be closer to each other?

A. Actually, I heard that is takes about ten to twelve years for a USA citizen to sponsor a sibling ( I am not a USA attorney but I believe it is fourth preference). So, if you have information that is takes nine years, that is not bad considering US immigration. However, I must agree with you that it is still far too long a process. My suggestion is to have them apply for immigration to Canada if they are educated and have work experience. On average the case will take a few years and they will become immigrants of Canada. Once they are immigrants they can enter the USA easily and eventually become Citizens of Canada.

Q. If I have overstayed my visitor status in the USA can I apply for immigration status to Canada?

A. Yes. I need to know more about your background but in general, if you have no status in the USA, that does not bar you from applying for immigration to Canada. However, depending on your situation you may not be able to file the case inside the USA.

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