Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Atty. Henry Moyal


Q. Are Canadian Citizens treated the same way as Permanent Residents in the eyes of Canada Immigration?

A. When an old friend commented to me the other day that permanent residents have the same rights and privileges as Canadian Citizens, it occurred to me that most regular Canadians have little knowledge of the difference between a permanent resident and a Canadian Citizen. For the most part, I agree that most rights are the same . As well, most people are aware that permanent residents cannot vote in a federal election and that permanent residents must renew their PR Cards. However, I found it quite surprising that many were not aware that committing a crime as a permanent resident has a dramatic impact on one’s status vs. a Canadian Citizen.

If a Canadian Citizen commits a crime, the judicial system takes over and the criminal courts adjudicates the offence which may or may not involve a jail sentence. No immigration issues play a part and the Canadian Citizen will serve his crime in Canada. However, if a permanent resident of Canada commits a crime that is punishable by a jail term of ten years or more then they are under Canada Immigration’s radar. In other words, a permanent resident (regardless of how old they are and regardless of whether they have been permanent residents for 1 year or 30 years) is likely to be scheduled for an immigration interview by CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) once the criminal sentence is over.

The purpose of the interview will be to determine the circumstances of the offence and to determine if the person should proceed to an inadmissibility hearing. The admissibility hearing is the first step towards deportation and removal from Canada. In many situations, it is possible to appeal the removal but requires professional assistance to file appeal on time.

It should be noted that having a spouse or children or a house in Canada is irrelevant to Canada Immigration when deciding if a permanent resident should be removed. Those factors may be presented at the appeal stage only. Therefore, it is crucial to note that permanent residents are at risk when they commit a crime. If such a situation concerns you it is crucial to obtain immediate professional help in order to avoid a deportation.

Q. I know of a person who entered Canada on the back of a truck via USA. They are using someone else’s SIN number and using a fake name. They are married to a Canadian Citizen and they want to become legal. How does one resolve this?

A. This must be handled carefully. The fact that your friend is married to a Canadian can give rise to a sponsorship but you have not mentioned if the marriage was under the real name or the fake name. If your friend married using the fake name (likely because all his documents and identity have been with this name) then the application is more cumbersome on several levels. Firstly, would he want his permanent residence to be under his fake name? Does he want to continue living this lie and continue his life using someone else’s identity? What happens when he obtains fingerprints for a police clearance and his prints are under the real name? Is he also going to procure a fake birth certificate? It seems to me that the best approach is to stop lying and to obtain professional help on how to file a properapplication to immigration. In my opinion, it serves no purpose to continue to lie and using someone else’s identity if the end result is to become legal.

Q. I understand that Canada Immigration has put a hold on parental sponsorships. I also am aware that in exchange eligible parents can now obtain super visas. However, I read from a previous article that you wrote that there are quite a few requirements to obtain the super visa. My question therefore is: Is my mother obligated to apply for the super visa or can she just apply for a regular visa?

A. The officer’s review of a visitor visa application is the exact same when it comes to determining if the applicant is a bona fide visitor. That has not changed regardless of whether a parent is applying for a super visa or not. However, your mother can indeed only apply for a regular visa and if granted will only be issued for six months. In my experience the embassy will require your mother to complete a form saying she is not applying for the super visa and the application will proceed on that basis. Of course, if a super visa is selected the applicants must undergo medical exams and proof of health insurance in Canada is required.

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