Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I need some assistance regarding my status in Canada and my work permit papers. I arrived in Canada directly from Israel to work as a live in caregiver. As soon as I arrived, my employer changed his mind and released me. It then took me over one year to find a new employer. I have been with my second employer for nearly two years and I want to apply for permanent residence. According to my calculation, I am short about one month. The main reason was because it took so long to get approval from Human Resources and then a further delay in obtaining the actual work permit. Can I calculate the time from the time we received the HRDC validation? If not, is it worth it to apply for permanent residence? If no, what do I do?

A. Unfortunately, you cannot count days of work if you did not hold a valid work authorization for that specific employer. Yes, it does take time to get HRDC validation (about 2 -3 weeks) and then another delay (4 -6 weeks) to get the actual work permit but unfortunately Canada Immigration will not give you credit for time worked outside the periods authorized on a work permit. I believe this is a fault in the LIC program and hopefully will be rectified soon.

For now, we are stuck with the rules in place. As such, immigration officers have a statutory obligation to play by the rules and to calculate 24 months to be eligible under the live in caregiver class. If you are short one month (and you are sure of that) then it is a waste of time (and money) to apply under the live in caregiver class. You will no doubt we refused as the officers have no discretion. You will need to review your personal circumstances to determine what your next best strategy will be. A few options are to be sponsored by another, or to apply for permanent residence under a different category or you can even apply to re-enter the live in caregiver program. To do so, you will need to obtain a brand new visa from a Canadian Consulate or Embassy outside of Canada and then re-enter and start the program all over again. A word of caution….it is not easy to obtain.

Q. I arrived in Canada as a live in caregiver and worked for the same employer for nearly four years. I applied for permanent residence after the second year and I was approved in principle and then I obtained an open work permit. I never received my permanent residence because my husband was sick and I was refused for his medical inadmissibility. He has recently passed away and I have no reason to return home. I was to stay in Canada but I am afraid that immigration will deport me. My work permit is to expire soon and I have a feeling it will not be extended. I do not want to be illegal. What are my options?

A. From the limited information provided, it appears your case is not as complicated as you may think. It sounds like you already have a work permit and it sounds like you clearly qualified for the live in caregiver class (your husband’s illness notwithstanding) before. Therefore, it would be a good idea to explore filing a new application under the live in caregiver class. There is no rule stating you cannot apply again. It seems, albeit sadly, that you have satisfied the grounds of refusal the first time and now you can re-apply and be granted permanent residence. In the interim, obtain a new HRDC validation and obtain a new work.

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 fax, phone or email