Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I came to Canada as a construction worker and I have a valid work permit which will be expiring at the end of the year. In fact, my work experience in related to mostly engineering but I explained to the visa officer in Manila that I was willing to work in the construction field for my Canadian employer as I am a suitable and over-qualifed candidate.

The problem is that when I arrived in Canada the construction job that was promised to me at over $20 per hour did not materialize. Not only did it not materialize but I have been informed that the Canadian employer never really existed and was formed only to obtain work permits for people. I was promised to a good paying job and I am embarrassed to go back home as I am ashamed that I failed in Canada. I had to borrow money to pay the recruitment company to bring me here but I feel I am now stuck as I do not have a job and I cannot remit money back to my family. My work permit is expiring and I do not know what to do to extend my status.

A. In my opinion, you have several issues to tackle. Your comments regarding the fact that the Canadian employer is not being genuine is alarming and becoming a little too familiar nowadays. I have been advised that there was several investigations under way by several agencies including HRSDC which may or may not involve your case. In any event, you should research this further. Secondly, you are in Canada on a work permit with no employer. You must find a new employer in order to obtain a new work permit. Finally, obtain some help regarding remaining in Canada in the long term. You may be able to qualify as an independent immigrant.

Q. I obtained my immigrant visa three months ago and I entered Canada as an immigrant last week. I paid the full landing fee earlier this year. How do I obtain my refund?

A. Those who have obtained their visas prior to the change in law on reduction of the landing fee and who landed in Canada after May 3, 2006 are entitled to a refund. If you did not obtain the refund from the embassy nor at the airport you must write to Canada Immigration in Ottawa to obtain the refund and complete the appropriate form.

Q. I am a new graduate in accounting. I am single and have three sisters who are Canadian citizens. I want to apply as an immigrant. How do I go about that?

A. You must have a minimum of one year of full time work experience. That is the threshold to at least get yourself inside the door. While I do not have much information to assess your case, you need at least 1 year of work to even start. So without that you are not qualified as a skilled worker.

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