Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I heard that dentists are now in demand in Canada and qualified dentists can apply under the new rules. I heard that there is a quota on applicants. Is that true? How does a person know if they are within the quota or not? Will Canada Immigration return the application if a person is outside the quota or will they hold onto it until the next quota period?

A. On June 26, 2010, Canada Immigration announced a quota on Federal Skilled Workers. One thousand applicants under each occupation will only be permitted to apply and only 20,000 in total will be approved. The first year period will run from June 2010 – June 2011. Statistics and procedure have not been released but it is safe to assume that once the quota is met, then any surplus applications will be returned to applicants unprocessed.

Q. I was in Canada for several years as a visitor. I tried to extend my status but it eventually expired. I met my current wife who was a permanent resident of Canada at the time and we eventually married. She sponsored me and I became a permanent resident in April 2009. Last week, I obtained my divorce. I have a girlfriend who lives in New York. Can I marry her and then sponsor her to Canada? Or do I need to wait a certain time before a sponsor someone?

A. The restriction on sponsoring actually falls on the sponsor. In other words, your ex-spouse sponsored you for permanent residence. She undertook to abide by the sponsorship for three years commencing from the date you landed. Divorce does not eliminate the undertaking. Therefore, your ex-spouse cannot sponsor any other spouse until three years have passed from the time you became a permanent resident. You, however, do not have any restrictions. You, as the applicant, can sponsor a spouse as long as you are eligible. That’s the good news. The bad news that I see in this case is that you may have obtained your divorce too early. You have not stated on what grounds you filed for a divorce. Most people file on the grounds of separation of more than one year. For the purposes of this article, I will assume that you filed on the basis that you and your ex-spouse were separated for a period of one year. If that is the case, then how did you become an immigrant in April 2009? In other words, if you separated before April 2009 (you must have if you just got the divorce), then how did you obtain permanent residence in April 2009. If you were indeed separated, then that should have been disclosed to immigration and if you were separated it is likely that the sponsorship would not have been approved. I think you are in difficult position that requires professional advice.

Q.I came to Canada as a live in caregiver from Saudi Arabia. The agency told me that I would have an employer upon arrival and I paid $2000US of the $4000US contract price. When I arrived, there was no employer and I was released upon arrival. My agency took me to her home and promised to find me another employer. After three months of not working I left the agency’s house and found my own employer. I have a new work permit. The agency keeps on calling me now and texting me saying that I owe them the $2000US balance. They have threatened to take me to court. Do I have to pay?

A. In my opinion, let them take you to court and let their dirty laundry be heard by the courts and anyone else who wants to listen. This is a scam. Change your phone number so they stop calling you but I personally do not see how they have the nerve to ask you for more money when the entire application was a scam from the beginning. I am not saying the visa was a scam. I am saying that this is an old trick by agencies to get someone in Canada to complete the paperwork to want to hire you when in fact they have no intention of wanting to hire you. The goal is to get you into Canada. Once in Canada they release you and try to find you an employer in Canada. And I bet there were many caregivers in the agency’s home. Do you not find that unusual? Go to the library or internet if you have time to read an interesting article on “ghost employers” that appeared in the Toronto Star a few months.

Q. I just arrived in Canada last month. I was given six months to stay. I have been looking for a job but I am aware that I cannot work without a work permit. My cousin’s employer is willing to hire me as a live in caregiver but I do not have much training in that field. Can I obtain the training in Canada? If yes, can I convert my visitor visa to a work permit?

A. You cannot obtain the training in Canada unless you obtain a study permit. The study permit must be issued from outside the country (ie. USA or Philippines). If you do not have a USA visa, then you will need to obtain one if they schedule an interview. Do not make the mistake (as some do) of obtaining the training or paying a school in Canada for a PSW course without the study permit. You may indeed get a certificate but that training will not be credited to you once you file for a work permit under the live in caregiver program. If you have the requisite six month training before arriving to Canada you may be eligible to obtain a work permit under the live in caregiver program once the employer’s job offer is approved. Once approved, you can change your status from visitor to worker. However, it must be remembered that initial work permits can only be issued from outside the country. You cannot obtain your first work permit from inside Canada, despite the fact that you are physically in Canada as a visitor.

Q. I obtained permanent residence a few months ago and landed in Canada with my family. All my family members received their PR card except for me. I could not wait any longer as I had to return to the Philippines to complete some work. I left Canada but yesterday my wife received a letter from the local immigration office stating that I had to go there in person to take new photos. How can I get into Canada if I do not have the PR card?

A. While I understand that you were in a hurry to leave, I always advise clients not to leave Canada after landing until you have that PR card in your hand. The reason for me insisting, is exactly due to what has happened to you. It is rare but there was a problem with your photos and now you need to take new ones. That can only be done inside Canada. So how do you get back? You need to go to the nearest Canadian Embassy and apply for a one time travel document to return to Canada.

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