Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I live in New Jersey. I want my brother to be closer to me and I am interested in having him immigrate to Canada. He is married. Both he and his wife are nurses in Kuwait. We have several close friends in Ontario but no relatives. Since I do not live in Canada I am afraid I will not be eligible to sponsor him. Without a sponsor or a relative does he stand a chance?

A. Yes, he does. Actually, he stands a very good chance. Even if you resided in Canada you would not be able to sponsor him. Canadian immigration laws does not permit siblings from sponsoring one another but have more relaxed laws on allowing skilled workers to obtain permanent residence in Canada on their own merit.

Education and work experience are key factors in applying. Having a relative is not required. From the limited information provided, it appears that your brother and wife (who are educated and working as nurses) have a solid case.

Q. I am engaged to a Canadian woman. We want to marry but there are two problems. Firstly, I do not have any legal status in Canada. Secondly, I was married before in the Philippines. There is no divorce in the Philippines and an annulment will take too long. I do not know what to do. Can I just say that I am single and marry my fiancée and then apply for Canada Immigration?

A. I will deal with the second question first. I do not advise you to lie on your marriage licence application. While it may result in a marriage that marriage is void ab anitio (from the start) since you did not have legal capacity to marry. Therefore it is invalid and is of no use to you. As well, upon applying for immigration the Canadian government will surely check with the NSO and discover the first marriage. After that your case will fall apart and be refused. So why go down that route.

You should consider obtaining a divorce. After that marry your fiancée and commence a sponsorship application. It may take a while but it is your only choice. If you have no status you need to implement the correct strategy.

Q. I already submitted my application for Canadian permanent residence at the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo over 3 years ago. I recently married but did not inform the consulate. My husband is in the Philippines and it is unlikely he will be able to attend the interview in USA. What should I do? Should I transfer the file to Manila?

A. My first question is why your case is taking so long. The Canadian Consulates in USA are quite efficient and it is rare for a case so take so long from the USA. Secondly, you must inform them of your marriage immediately because that will have an impact on the case. Finally, transfer of files are not permitted anymore. You did not mention if you have a scheduled interview date or just speculating. Your case involves several strategic issues and therefore your best option is to contact a qualified Canadian Immigration Attorney to take over your file.

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