Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I am a visitor in Canada since December 2005. My visa is multiple entry. I have been offered a position to work in a dental office but the employer will not let me start work until I can provide him with a social insurance number. Can I change my visa to a work visa?

How is it done?

A. The fact that a person has a social insurance number is irrelevant to immigration. I have heard stories where people just walked into an HRSDC office and obtained temporary SIN numbers as visitors. Whether it is true or not, is not important. The fact is that a person is only authorized to work with a work permit. Work permits are only issued by Canada Immigration.

It is indeed possible to change your visa from visitor to worker but a new work permit can only be issued outside of the country.

The process to issue a work permit can be done quickly but one must be aware that the employer must first obtain a validation from the local HRSDC office. That is not so easy to do.

Finally, there are other job offers that may lead to permanent residence but do not require you to exit the country to obtain a work validation. It is best to discuss your case and obtain an assessment from a qualified professional.

Q. I entered Canada as a single mother but in reality I was married? I do not know where my husband is and we have not spoken for years. After arriving in Canada I filed all my tax documents and immigration documents as “ never married”. I have now received a letter from immigration that they searched the NSO records and discovered that a marriage is registered in my name. They are giving me 30 days to provide an explanation. What do I say?

A. You have not mentioned if you have applied for permanent residence yet. As well, you have not indicated if you provided any information in the past on your husband or whether you lied throughout your entire stay in Canada. In general, the facts of your case are of a serious nature as you have misrepresented yourself. I cannot tell you what to say as I do not have much information on the circumstances of your case. There may be ways to convince the officer of why you withheld information and for that you need to obtain professional advice.

Q. My sister applied for permanent residence in Kuwait about 2 years ago. Her contract is expiring and she now wishes to return to the Philippines. What will happen when it is time to go for interview? Will she have to travel to Riyadh? What if she cannot go back there? What will happen to the case? Can the file be transferred to Manila?

A. This is very good question and one that is arising often as time frames to process cases are taking longer and longer. I would first find out if your sister can return back to Kuwait if there is an interview. Remember , there may not be one. If there is an interview and she cannot return, ask the embassy to schedule the interview in London. If she cannot obtain a UK visa then request a file transfer to Manila. A file transfer is the last resort because file transfers are only granted in exceptional circumstances.

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