Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I’m a visitor in Canada. My visitor visa expires in two months and I am trying to figure out a way to stay longer other than applying for a regular extension. My husband is living illegally in the USA and I am also thinking of joining him there yet I do not have a USA visa. My classmate lives in Scarborough and is willing to sponsor me as a caregiver but I do not have any education after high school. People have told me to apply for a student visa or for a refugee status? I am confused as to what to do. What can you suggest?

A. Sometimes you need to face reality and be smart about what your chances are. I think your case is a very difficult one and will likely be refused no matter what you file. I suggest not to waste time and money on applications that will result in zero. You do not qualify for the skilled worker category because of your lack of post secondary education. Similarly, you need to have at least 72 units of post secondary education to qualify under the live in caregiver program. You may have an employer but that will lead to nothing. Do not be fooled by false promises from consultants and agencies. Likewise, filing for a student visa will mean that you will pay lots of money for a program that you will probably not be able to attend because student visas can only be issued in the Philippines. If your spouse is illegal in USA, it is likely that USA immigration authorities will deny you a visa on that basis. It may not be what you want to hear but applying for a visitor extension is the only choice and/or return home to upgrade your education.

Q. I came to Canada about ten years ago as an independent immigrant. I included my wife and three children. We all obtained visas to come to Canada. My eldest daughter however had some medical issues and could not travel. She was 17 then and is now 27 years old. She never validated her visa. We still have it. Can I reactive the visa somehow? Can I appeal the application under humanitarian and compassionate grounds?

A. Your daughter never became an immigrant. That being said, there is no humanitarian and compassionate ground to argue here. If she landed (even for one day only), then it can be argued that her absence was outside her control. However, the visa has expired and there is no appeal process for such a case. Writing letters to the local MP or to the Canadian Embassy will not help as no error was committed. The only solution would be to re-apply for her again either through a sponsorship or as an independent immigrant.

Q. I’ve applied to sponsor my parents to Canada. The application has taken about three years and along the way my parents have naturally gotten older and aged. The embassy has sent us a letter stating that they believe my father has a medical condition that will be an excessive demand on health services. They are giving us sixty days to provide more information. What kind of information do they want to see?

A. You have not indicated what type of medical condition it is. It is obviously a medical condition that is not a danger to the Canadian public (ie. TB) but is a condition that is so severe that it will cause your father to be excessive on health services. An excessive demand is a demand for which the anticipated costs exceed the average Canadian per capita health and social services costs, which is currently set at $5143 per year. You therefore need to obtain details on the condition and the amount he exceeds. Recent case law and court cases have now indicated that an officer now must look at the sponsor’s ability and intent to pay for such services. Therefore, if you can show that you have the financial means to pay for these excessive costs, you may be able to avert a refusal. In a worse case scenario, don’t forget that if you are refused then you have the right to an automatic appeal. At that appeal you can argue humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

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 phone 416 733 3193 or email