Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek



By Atty. Henry Moyal

Q. I’m a Canadian Permanent Residence since 2015. I lived in Canada for a while and then returned to the Philippines to marry my boyfriend.

In fact, I have not lived in Canada for the last 4 years and returned to Canada last month. I want to file the sponsorship application for my husband as soon as possible because it is hard to be separated.

I don’t know if now is the right time to sponsor or should I wait?


A. Consider yourself lucky that you did not face any immigration issues upon entering Canada last month. I assume you entered with a valid PR Card which allowed you to board a plane. However, from the information provided you seem to have been in breach of the residency requirement. As a PR you are required to live in Canada for 730 days in the last 5 years. By being abroad for 4 years you were in violation of the rule and if caught you would be facing a hearing to determine whether you should remain a PR. That did not occur and you are lucky – despite still being in breach. Therefore, it is not a good idea to file for the sponsorship now. If you do, it is very likely that the visa officer processing the sponsorship will detect from the application that you were indeed not in Canada for the last 4 years and which may trigger an investigation. Delay the sponsorship until you meet the statutory time.



Q. I am married to a Canadian Citizen who lives in Barrie, Ontario. I want to visit him but I am not vaccinated and I do not plan to be. Am I permitted to come to Canada?


A. Yes, you are exempt from any travel restrictions and can visit him as long as you have the proper visa. Under current laws, if you are not double vaccinated you will need to quarantine.


Q. I am from Vietnam and I am living with a Filipina girl in Toronto who is on a student visa. We have a child together. Her study permit is about to expire and she does not want to renew it.

We want to marry but I was married before in Vietnam and I was told that we cannot marry because Canada does not recognize the Vietnamese divorce. Can I just get married as a single person and marry in Toronto.  I do not intend on marrying in Vietnam again.


A. No, you cannot declare that you are single because you are not. Marriage or marital status follows you wherever you are – it is not by country. In other words, if you are married or divorced in a country then you remain with that status regardless of where you live. You are technically divorced abroad. Ontario needs to know that that divorce is valid and equal to Canadian law. Once Ontario “approves” the foreign divorce, you will be able to remarry in Canada. It is not a complicated matter and you will need a lawyer in Ontario to provide an opinion. Processing time is about 2 weeks.



Q. I  completed a program of study in Canada and obtained a post graduate work permit. That PGWP is about to expire and I did not know that I was able to extend it for 18 months due to Covid. Can I still do it?


A. Unfortunately no. The deadline for that special 18 month PGWP extension under Covid is over. You can only extend the PGWP now by getting an LMIA or via a bridge work permit by virtue of a PR 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