Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I am interested in applying for permanent residence as a skilled worker. I’m a dentist. The problem is that my work visa in Canada is expiring soon and it is unlikely to be renewed. I do not want to stay illegally. My documents are almost ready to be filed but I am lacking a few requirements such as police clearances and some reference letters. I want to send the case now but I want to be assured that it will be processed as quickly as possible. How long does it usually take?

A. In our experience, it is best to spend more time preparing a thorough application and sending it complete vs. sending it deficient of documents. It will pay off in the long run. In our experience, we always ask applicants to provide the full set of documents in order to leave no room for doubt by the officer. The results have only been positive and permanent residence is often obtained in about six months. Remember, vague documents or documents that do not prove the case will only lead to further investigation and delay. So spend more time now instead of having officer review file unnecessarily.

Q. I have sponsored by mother to Canada in 2009. The application is still in process. My mother is a widow and alone in the Philippines. We cannot wait another two years for her to come. Why does it take so long to have an elderly parent immigrate? What can be done?

A. Your frustration is very common. It is certainly taking several years to process parental sponsorships. The immigration department is only working on late 2007 applications at the moment. It is taking so long because the department has determined that such cases are the lowest priority (spouses and dependant children are first priority). The good news however, is that a new policy was recently announced (Operational Bulletin 306) stating that embassies worldwide are encouraged to issue long term multiple entry visitor visas to parents who already filed a permanent resident application. Of course, the applicants still must be admissible to Canada and prove they will be a bona fide temporary resident.

Q. I entered Canada in 2008 as a live in caregiver. I was released upon arrival and did not work for the employer who sponsored me. However, I worked at a bakery during that time and paid my own taxes. The employer (who released me as a caregiver) says they will issue me a T4 to match my tax contributions. Can I use that period of time toward my 24 months of employment?

A. Believe it or not (and to my surprise) your question is very common. I am equally surprised that applicants ask such things when it is obvious that relying on fake employment is a misrepresentation. So the answer is clearly no. You cannot use that period of employment regardless of whether you have a T4 in your hand. You may want to obtain professional help before filing your permanent resident application. Remember, information you give to a lawyer is confidential and is protected under solicitor client-privilege.

Q. I’m a Canadian Citizen and I have lived in New York for the last fifteen years with no status. I have not filed an income tax return for over a decade. I have married a Filipino man in the USA who also has no status. How can I bring him to Canada for a visit? Can I sponsor him while we are in Canada? If not, how can he return with me to Canada?

A. You are a Canadian Citizen , so you will have no problem entering Canada. Your spouse requires a visa to enter Canada and since he is illegal in USA, it is almost impossible for any US Consulate to issue him a visitor visa. So it is unlikely that you will be able to sponsor him inside Canada. The best approach is to file the sponsorship while abroad. You do not need to enter Canada now. You can enter with him once he obtains permanent residence.

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