Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I am a Canadian born Citizen and have hired a Filipino caregiver recently. Actually, I have not officially hired her yet but her case is in process. I am told that it would take at least eight months to obtain her work permit from Manila and I cannot wait that long. I cannot find anyone to replace her and my kids like her. Am I putting myself in any sort of risk? I do not think I am violating any law since the application is in process.

A. Your letter does not provide information as to why the work permit application is not being processed in the USA. The Canadian Consulates in USA are processing applications faster than Manila so most caregivers in Canada go that route. I do not know whether your caregiver has a USA visa so perhaps that is the concern.

In any event, your biggest concern should be the fact that your caregiver is in violation of the terms of her visit in Canada by working illegally. She is at risk of being deported and of not being able to obtain a work permit. Similarly, you as the employer are in violation of the immigration law stating that ” every person commits an offence who employs a foreign national in a capacity in which the foreign national is not authorized to be employed”

Therefore , technically you can be charged with violation the Immigration Act (IRPA). The fact that the case is merely in process is irrelevant.

Q. I am a live in caregiver in New Jersey and want to become an immigrant in USA or Canada. Which one is easier ?

A. As far as I know, there is no live in caregiver program in the USA that leads to immigration status. I am a Canadian lawyer (not a USA lawyer) and I can tell you that under Canadian law if you work and are issued a work permit in Canada for 2 years within the first three years of arrival then you are eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

I believe there is an au pair program in the USA but there is no special and distinct program that leads to a greencard. I suspect that is the reason why Filipinas are attracted so much to Canada.

Q. I applied as a refugee in Canada three years ago. I was denied two months ago. What can I do and what is your opinion on humanitarian and compassionate appeals ?

A. Applying for permanent residence in Canada under humanitarian and compassionate grounds is not an ” appeal” . It is a last ditch effort to stay in Canada. While I do not know the specifics of your case, I cannot say if you will pass or not. However, I can tell you with the chances of success on H&C is very very low. I do not think you should count on H&C and should explore other possibilities.

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