Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I entered Canada two years ago under the live in caregiver program. I have not yet filed for permanent residency as I am short the required 24 months of employment. I am wondering if I still need to continue with being a caregiver or not because I am married to a Canadian Citizen. He says that he will sponsor me for immigration if I want him to. I am thinking it will be faster if I just left my employer and file a spousal sponsorship. If I do that which one will be faster? Can I work during the processing? What is best?

A. You have not specified how short you are from the 24 requisite months under the live in caregiver program. Even if you are close to that, the faster route would of course be a spousal sponsorship because time frames have increased lately for permanent residence for caregivers. However, timing should not be your first priority. You should be very careful before you opt to take yourself out of the live in caregiver program. By that, I mean you must remain as a worker and hold a valid work permit in order to qualify under the program. If you do not renew your status or let it lapse, you will be in danger of being sent home if the spousal sponsorship is delayed or refused or withdrawn – and I have seen all three happen.

Q. I’m a permanent resident of Canada and I want to sponsor my husband in the Philippines. He tried to obtain a visitor visa but was refused. I am pregnant and I have no job. My husband sends me financial support. Can I go to the Philippines and file the sponsorship there and just wait with him until visa is issued? I read on the internet that I cannot file the application in Canada because I don’t have sufficient income. What is the best way out?

A. You cannot sponsor your husband and remain in the Philippines because you are a permanent resident of Canada. You must reside in Canada to be eligible as a sponsor. As well, the sponsorship application is not filed in the Philippines – it is filed in Canada. Therefore, you have no choice but to remain in Canada and be separated from your spouse for the duration of the application or wait until you become a Canadian Citizen. Canadian Citizens have the luxury of being able to live abroad and file for the sponsorship of their spouse on the condition they return to Canada when visa is issued. Regarding your income, I am not sure what you have read on the internet but be very careful of your source as many site or discussion groups provide misleading/inaccurate information.

Q. I’m a nurse and I have applied for immigrant status in Canada. My husband is in the Philippines and he just sent his NBI police clearance to the embassy. The embassy has asked for more information because the certificate stated he has a “derogatory remark”. I asked my husband about it and he told me that the offence was minor. What do we need to do? My immigration status is about to expire. Can I get my permanent residency first and then resolve this later? How can I get my visa first since this matter is delaying the case a long time.

A. You cannot obtain your visa first. It is a family application. If he is refused for a criminal matter – then no one in the family gets a visa. You should have a long talk with him to find out what happened. It may have been minor in the Philippines but the act may be equivalent to a criminal offence in Canada which can render him (and you) inadmissible to Canada. Depending on the length of time that has passed it may also be possible to obtain a rehabilitation certificate to overcome the inadmissibility. My suggestion is to obtain all the criminal court records and then see a professional immigration lawyer for advice. In my experience, criminal offences abroad can get tricky as they require an equivalency test before implementation of the immigration regulations.

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