Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Atty. Henry Moyal


Q. I recently applied to become a Citizen of Canada. I have a multiple entry visa to the USA and I have travelled by car to the USA several times in the last four years. I cannot remember all the dates of travel and therefore I guessed the days of absence on my Citizenship application. I did not lie. I simply did not remember. I now have received a letter requesting that I provide a Traveller History Report. What is that and how do I get it?

A. In order to become a Citizen of Canada an applicant must have physically resided in Canada for 1095 days in the preceding four years before submission of application. All days outside of Canada must be recorded on the application. It is not a good idea to guess because Canada Immigration always has a way to prove if you are lying or not. More and more nowadays, Canada Immigration is requesting back up information from Citizenship applicants to support the fact they resided in Canada. Examples of proving you are residing in Canada is a T4 or income that shows you earn sufficient income. Another common tactic is to demand that applicants obtain a Traveller History. This report shows the entries and exits of applicants who have entered/departed Canada. It also can include land border crossing to/from the USA. To obtain the report send a request with a copy of your PR card and passport to: CBSA, 410 Laurier Ave. West, 11 th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L8.

Q. I want to sponsor my spouse who has been in Canada as a student for the last five years. She is now studying a Master program in university and her student visa will expire soon. The problem is that I was charged with assaulting her early in our relationship and I read that I am not eligible to sponsor her if I was charged. Does this mean I cannot ever sponsor my wife?

A. It does not mean that. However, you are not eligible to be a sponsor. For example, applicants who in jail or are bankrupt are not eligible to be sponsors. Similarly, sponsors who have been convicted of a crime cannot sponsor unless five years have passed from the end of the sentence. To calculate sentence, periods of probation are included.

Q. I applied to sponsor my parents. I was single at the time. I still have not heard from the immigration department on whether it’s been approved. Last week I got married. Do I need to inform them? Does it matter? My wife is not working and I am afraid that the added family member will mean I need to earn more income. What do I do?

A. Yes, you need to inform Canada Immigration. You have a change in family composition and therefore your family has just increased by one. As you know, you need to earn sufficient income in accordance with your family size to be eligible to sponsor your parents. The bigger the family the more income you need. The good news is that a new law was just announced stating that if a person who has filed an application gets married, they are able to add their spouse as a co-signer during the processing. The co-signer’s income can then be combined with yours. Before the law, CanadaImmigration was of the view that a sponsor must add the spouse as a family member but that the spouse’s income could not be added. The recent Federal Case of Dokaj v. Canada has now led immigration to reinterpret its policy. Under current laws, if you add the spouse as a family member it would be unfair to disallow the income. Therefore, now a new spouse is added as co-signer and co-signer’s income is added to the sponsor’s.

Q. I was informed by CIC that I need to submit proof of my language ability in English. I am applying for permanent residence under the Canada Experience Class. I graduated from a US university and I was born in England. Isn’t that enough? As well, I have an old IELTS test score in the Academic version. Is that sufficient?

A. Graduating from a USA university is not sufficient. Believe it or not, being born in USA is also not sufficient. ALL applicants must provide proof of English proficiency. Second, the Academic version of the IELTS is not accepted by CIC. IELTS results are valid for two years.

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 email or call 416 733 3193