Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I am a Canadian permanent resident for nearly a year now. I applied as an independant immigrant as single. Before I arrived I married my wife. I was going to inform the immigration officer at the embassy but changed my mind because my wife did not want to immigrate so soon. I now want to bring her to Canada but I heard that it could cause a problem for my status. Is this true?

A. Yes, it is. Technically, you have misrepresented yourself and you landed in Canada as a single person when you were really married. The fact that your wife did not want to come to Canada is fine. She did not have to.Immigration does not necessarily care if she arrives or not but she must be declared. She would have to pass a medical and criminal check before you would obtain your visa.

If you sponsor her now, you will likely be refused at the end (although CPC Mississauga may approve the sponsorship) . Under current laws an undeclared family member cannot be sponsored and is not considered a member of the family class. Your case is not uncommon and sponsorships of this type (and for undeclared children) are being appealed to the Federal Court. There is no definite decision now on how Canada Immigration will resolve these cases.

Finally, there is always the issue that you misrepresented yourself at the border. Therefore, it is possible that a report will be issued against you that may lead to deportation proceedings.

Q. I am a live in caregiver in Canada . However, my employer expects too much of me and often thinks that overtime is all part and package of my job.I work nearly 60 hours per work and at the end of the week I am completely exhausted. I do not want to complain because I’m afraid that he will fire me. Will I have to return to the Philippines if that happens?

A. If you are in Canada on a valid employment authorization then you do not have to return home if you leave your employer. If that happens, you must find new employment and apply to Canada Immigration for a new work permit. Regarding your work schedule, I suggest that you speak to your employer and make him aware that you are aware of your rights. You should also call the Ministry of Labour to get specifics on vacation pay and wages worked for overtime. As far as I know, you deserve to be paid for overtime for any hours worked over 44 hours per week.

You should also be aware that your complaints are not uncommon and unfortunately many caregivers are subjected to the same work load and abuse.Many are also afraid to complain. Hopefully, by being armed with some information and knowledge of your rights your employer will respect your job and ease your work schedule. Good luck.

Q. Do you know if there is any update on the law that allows Canadian Citizens to sponsor any one relative regardless of the relation?

A. As was mentioned in a previous article, a prior Minister of Immigration first thought of introducing a law that permitted a “one time ” chance for Canadian Citizens to sponsor any one relative abroad. Her announcement sparked alot of interest and excitement because it meant that brothers and sisters could be sponsored. Unfortunately, the proposed change in the law was cancelled and there has been no news on ever reviving it.

However, that does not mean that brothers and sisters cannot immigrate to Canada. It only means that they need to qualify on their own as skilled workers (for example if they are educated and skilled).

Q. I am a visitor in Canada and I recently received a notice from the local Canada Immigration Centre that my visitor visa extension request was denied. They told me to leave immediately. What does immediately mean? I need to buy a ticket and settle some affairs here. What will happen if I do not leave soon?

A. It appears that the Canada Immigration Centre has determined that your purpose for entry into Canada as a visitor has been satisfied. In my experience, the letter you received is a form letter which may or may not be relevant to your situation. It no doubt quotes that you are no longer a bona fide visitor and that you must leave Canada immediately by giving the included blue voluntary departure notice to the Immigration Authorities upon your departure.

Although there is no specific date mentioned and there is no specific time frame defined under the word “immediately ” my experience with speaking to immigration officers is that you should leave Canada within 30 days. If you do not, enforcement action may be commenced against you.

It you are interested in immigrating to Canada I suggest that you look into other options that may be available to you to become a permanent resident of Canada.

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