FAQ

Frequently Asked Canadian Immigration Questions

This page provides general answers to some commonly-asked questions about Canadian immigration. It is not legal advice about your particular case. Contact us for a consultation about your options and let us help you.

What are my options for immigrating to Canada?

There are currently more than 70 programs available for individuals who want to immigrate to Canada. For that reason, everyone’s path for immigrating to Canada will be unique.

For example, there are many different categories for professionals and workers under which you might qualify for permanent residence in Canada, including the Federal and Quebec Skilled Worker programs, the Provincial Nominee Programs, the Canadian Experience Class, the Quebec Experience Class, and the Federal Self-Employed program. Canada also offers a number of Family Class Sponsorship programs, whereby Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor family members for Canadian immigration.

The process for individuals, other than those in the family class, starts with the Express Entry (EE) system. The EE process involves two stages. First, individuals will submit an online profile outlining details of their skills, work experience, language ability, education and other details that will help in assessing eligibility. Those individuals who meet the criteria for one of the federal immigration programs are then entered into a pool with other eligible candidates. Second, candidates in the pool are ranked against one another using a point-based system. Points are awarded based on the information provided in the candidate’s online profile. Those candidates with the highest scores will be issued an “invitation to apply” (ITA). Upon receiving an ITA, a candidate will have 90 days to file their application for permanent residence in Canada.

All candidates in the EE pool will be given (or assigned) points (maximum of 1200) that take into consideration the following factors:

• Skills and work experience (up to 500 points)
• Spouse or common-law partner factors (such as their language skills and education -up to 40 additional points but still a maximum of only 500 points)
• Skills transferability (including education and work experience that, when combined, improve your chances of being employed and earning a higher wage – up to 100 points)
• Additional 600 points for those with a nomination from a province or territory
• Additional 50 points for arranged employment (or 200 points for certain managerial jobs)

We can help you decide what options are best for you. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact our Canadian Immigration Lawyers for a consultation by emailing us or by calling 416-847-3347.

What is the Federal Skilled Worker path to immigrating to Canada?

Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) are selected as permanent residents based on their ability to become economically established in Canada. FSW applications are processed through the Express Entry (EE) immigration selection system. The first step in the process is to complete the online EE profile and meet the criteria to enter the pool of candidates.

To qualify for the FSW program, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

• have at least one year of qualifying skilled work experience in the last 10 years
• have valid third-party language test results (that show you meet the minimum language threshold)
• have a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree or an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report showing your foreign education is equal to a Canadian one

If you meet all the conditions set out in the minimum requirements, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will then assess your application and assign points based on the following selection factors:

• your skills in English and/or French (Canada’s two official languages),
• your education,
• your work experience,
• your age,
• whether you have a valid job offer, and
• your adaptability (how well you are likely to settle here)

You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada, unless you are currently able to legally work in Canada, and have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. The amount of funds that you need to demonstrate depends on the size of your family. For example, a family of 4 would need to provide proof that they will be bringing $22,603 (Canadian) with them when they settle in Canada. The settlement funds cannot be borrowed from a third party.

A factor to consider if you are married or live with a common-law partner: does that person also meet the above conditions? You can decide which one of you will apply under Express Entry as a principal applicant. Look at each selection factor and see which one of you is most likely to meet the eligibility requirements and earn the most points. That person should apply as the principal applicant.

We can help you decide what path is best for you. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact our Immigration Lawyers for Canada for a consultation by emailing us or by calling 416-847-3347.

I am a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, can I bring my spouse, common law, conjugal partner or dependent child to Canada to live with me permanently?

As with most legal questions, the answer is “it depends”. Canada’s Family Class sponsorship programs are some of the most generous family reunification programs in the developed world because the Canadian government is committed to keeping families together whenever possible. There are a number of relationships that qualify for Family Class sponsorship, including spouses and common-law partners, dependent children, as well as, parents and grandparents. Both the sponsor (Canadian citizen or permanent resident) and the sponsored person (family member) must meet certain requirements to qualify.

Requirements to be a sponsor

Sponsors must be 18 years of age or older and not be in prison. Sponsors must also have no outstanding sponsorship undertakings, immigration or court ordered debts or an undeclared bankruptcy. Sponsoring a member of the family class requires sponsors to promise to support their family member(s) financially for a specific period of time.

Sponsoring your spouse, common law or conjugal partner

You can sponsor a person as your spouse if your marriage is a legally valid civil marriage. Opposite and same-sex marriages will be recognized for Canadian immigration purposes, where the marriage: (1) was legally performed in Canada, or (2) if performed outside of Canada, the marriage is legally recognized in the country where it took place, as well as, in Canada. Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) no longer recognizes marriages performed outside of Canada by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other forms of marriage where one or both persons were not physically present at the ceremony. Where the sponsorship application is filed from within Canada, the foreign national spouse can apply for a work permit at the same time the spousal application is filed.

You can sponsor a person as your common-law partner (same or opposite sex) as long as you have been living or have lived with your partner for at least 12 consecutive months in a marriage-like relationship.

You can sponsor a person as your conjugal partner if you and your partner have been in a relationship for at least one year; your partner is living outside of Canada and could not live with you as a couple because of reasons beyond their control (e.g. immigration barrier, religious reasons or sexual orientation). You must also be able to show there is a significant degree of attachment between the two of you, implying not just a physical relationship but a mutually interdependent relationship.

Sponsoring your dependent child

You can sponsor a child who depends on their parent (i.e. the principal applicant and/or the sponsor) for financial or other support. A son or daughter is a dependent of their parent when the child is:
• under 22 years old and does not have a spouse or partner; or
• 22 years old and over and has depended substantially on the parent’s financial support since before the age of 19 because of a physical or mental condition

Required Documentation

The documentation requirements for sponsoring a spouse, same-sex spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child all differ. It is therefore important to make sure that all documentation submitted is per the requirements of your specific case.

We can help you navigate the maze of forms and requirements. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact our Canadian Immigration Lawyers for a consultation by emailing us or by calling 416-847-3347.

I am a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, can I bring my parent(s) and/or grandparent(s) to Canada to live with me permanently?

In 2017 and 2018, the parent and grandparent category application process was a lottery system where sponsors “express interest” in sponsoring their parent or grandparent by completing an online form. The form asks for personal information, such as name, address, date of birth, and financial information pertaining to their eligibility to sponsor. In 2019, the process returns to the first come, first serve model. Starting at the beginning of the year, interested sponsors need to complete the online form before having the opportunity to submit an application.

You might be able to sponsor your parent and/or grandparent if you and they meet certain requirements.

To qualify as a sponsor, the Canadian citizen or permanent resident must:

• be 18 years of age or older
• not be in prison
• not have outstanding sponsorship undertakings, immigration or court ordered debts or an undeclared bankruptcy

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident may not qualify as a sponsor if they have received government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability. Sponsoring a member of the family class requires that sponsors promise to support their family member(s) financially for a specific period of time. As such, the sponsor must also meet certain income requirements in the case of parent and grandparent sponsorships. If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after IRCC has approved you as a sponsor.

Your parent and/or grandparent must also meet certain requirements. They will be required to provide the results of a medical examination, criminal and background checks.

We can help you navigate the maze of forms and requirements. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact our Canada Immigration Lawyers for a consultation by emailing us or by calling 416-847-3347.

What is the Provincial Nominee Program and how can I take advantage of it to obtain Canadian permanent residence?

Simply put, a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is an economic immigration program that allows participating provinces and territories to nominate candidates for immigration to Canada.

These programs were established by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in an effort to allow provinces and territories the ability to nominate, for permanent residence, those individuals who have the skills, education and experience to contribute to the economic growth of that province or territory, and most importantly, those individuals who wish to settle in that region.

The following provinces and territories participate in PNPs:

Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Saskatchewan
Yukon

There are two different processes for applying to PNPs: a paper-based process and an electronic process. Each province and territory has its own PNP streams and eligibility criteria. It is important to understand these criteria and the specific requirements of the province or territory you wish to live in before choosing an application process.

Paper-Based Process

Each province or territory has its own streams and criteria that can change without notice. You should visit the website of the province or territory that interests you to find out the requirements to get a nomination certificate. You will submit a paper application to that province or territory indicating which of their PNP streams you want to be considered for. The province or territory will review your application. If you meet their criteria, they will issue you a nomination certificate. You must submit a copy of the nomination certificate when you apply to IRCC for permanent residence.

From within Express Entry pool

Provinces and territories use their portal to search for candidates who are already in the Express Entry pool. Each province and territory can search the Express Entry pool using a combination of searchable fields, such as language levels, education, work experience, provincial or territory certificate of qualification, etc. If a province or territory is interested in a candidate, that person will receive a system-generated message in their online account that advises them that the province or territory would like to consider them for nomination. Candidates must visit the IRCC website to find contact information for the province or territory.

Express Entry candidates who have a validated nomination from a province or territory receive an additional 600 CRS points, and are normally issued an invitation to apply (ITA) at the next eligible round of invitations, subject to that provincial or territory’s overall nomination space and IRCC’s ministerial instructions for each particular round of invitations.

We can help you navigate the maze of programs and requirements. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact our Canadian Immigration Lawyers for a consultation by emailing us or by calling 416-847-3347.

I am currently studying in Canada. What are my options for staying in Canada after my studies?

There are several options available to international students who wish to stay in Canada upon completing their studies.

Post-Graduate Work Permit

Upon completing studies from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution, international students may apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) allowing them to work in Canada. This permit will allow them to work for any Canadian employer in any industry, for up to three years after graduation, depending on the length of their program of study. It is an open work permit and does not require a job offer at the time of application.

An individual who has studied full-time at a qualifying institution for at least eight months may apply for a PGWP. Those who have completed a study program that is shorter than eight months in duration, are not eligible for a PGWP.

Applicants must hold a valid study visa when applying for a PGWP and must do so within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (e.g. an official letter or transcript) from the educational institution indicating that they have met the requirements for completing their program of study. The 90 days are calculated from the day final marks are released or the day they receive written confirmation, whichever comes first.

PGWP holders are free to leave and return to Canada and work at any time as long the PGWP is valid. Additionally, graduates may submit an application for permanent residence while applying for a PGWP.

A PGWP cannot be renewed. When a PGWP is due to expire, the holder must apply for a different permit or visa if they wish to continue to stay and/or work in Canada.

Employer-Specific Work Permit

Employer-specific work permits require the holder of the permit to only work for the employer listed on the permit. Holders of employer-specific work permits must also comply with the conditions outlined on the permit, which includes how long they can work and the location where they can work, where applicable.

Applying for an employer-specific work permit must be supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada; or proof that an employer has submitted an offer of employment through the Employer Porter and paid the necessary employer compliance fee.

Because an employer-specific work permit applies to a specific employer, in the event the holder wishes to change employers they will have to apply for a new work permit. Only those individuals on an open work permit may change employers without reapplying.

Express Entry

Express Entry is an electronic process involving the federal and provincial governments; and Canadian employers. It is used to manage applications for the following immigration programs:

• the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
• the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
• the Canadian Experience Class

Provinces and Territories can also recruit candidates from the Express Entry system through their Provincial Nominee Programs.

The Express Entry process involves two stages. First, individuals will submit an online profile outlining details of their skills, work experience, language ability, education and other details that will help in assessing eligibility. Those individuals who meet the criteria for one of the federal immigration programs are then entered into a pool with other eligible candidates. Second, candidates in the pool are ranked against one another using a point-based system. Points are awarded based on the information provided in the candidate’s online profile. Those candidates with the highest scores will be issued an “invitation to apply” (ITA). Upon receiving an ITA, a candidate will have 90 days to file their application for permanent residence in Canada.
Sponsorship

If an international student is married or in a common-law relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, there is an option of being sponsored to stay in Canada as a permanent resident under the Family Class sponsorship program.

We can help you decide what options are best for you. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact our Immigration Lawyers in Canada for a consultation by emailing us or by calling 416-847-3347.

I am currently working in Canada on a temporary work permit. What are my options for staying permanently?

There are a few options available to you:

Express Entry

Express Entry is an electronic process involving the federal and provincial governments; and Canadian employers. It is used to manage applications for the following immigration programs:

• the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
• the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
• the Canadian Experience Class

Provinces and Territories can also recruit candidates from the Express Entry system through their Provincial Nominee Programs.

The Express Entry process involves two stages. First, individuals will submit an online profile outlining details of their skills, work experience, language ability, education and other details that will help in assessing eligibility. Those individuals who meet the criteria for one of the federal immigration programs are then entered into a pool with other eligible candidates. Second, candidates in the pool are ranked against one another using a point-based system. Points are awarded based on the information provided in the candidate’s online profile. Those candidates with the highest scores will be issued an “invitation to apply” (ITA). Upon receiving an ITA, a candidate will have 60 days to file their application for permanent residence in Canada.

It is important to keep your Express Entry profile up-to-date with language test results, changes in your level of education and any other material changes. If a candidate does not receive an ITA within 12 months of submitting an Express Entry profile, they may submit a new profile.

Express Entry ensures that the candidates who are most likely to succeed economically – not simply those first in line – are able to immigrate to Canada.

Sponsorship

If you are married or in a common-law relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, there is an option of being sponsored to stay in Canada as a permanent resident under the Family Class sponsorship program.

We can help you decide what options are best for you. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact our Canadian Immigration Lawyers for a consultation by emailing us or by calling 416-847-3347.

I am an international student studying in Canada on a study permit and would like to return home to visit my family or go on a vacation in another country. Do I need a visitor visa in order to be able to re-enter Canada when I return?

Your visa requirements are largely dependent on your country of citizenship. Canada makes a distinction between non-visa exempt countries, those countries which require a visa to enter Canada, and visa-exempt countries which do not require a visa to fly or transit through Canada.
Non-Visa Exempt Countries

If you are an international student from a non-visa exempt country, in addition to having a valid study permit, you will require a visa to re-enter Canada. You must re-apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) if your visa has expired or if your visa was only valid for a single entry to Canada.
Visa-Exempt Countries

For those students from visa exempt countries, a visa is not required to return Canada to resume studies. A valid passport, a valid study permit and an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is sufficient.

Visa-exempt foreign nationals need an eTA to fly or transit through Canada. As of August 1, 2015, those individuals issued a study permit were also issued an eTA which is electronically linked to your passport. An eTA is valid for a period of five years from the date of issuance, or until the date your passport expires; whichever occurs first. If you wish to exit and re-enter Canada by air, you will need to ensure that your eTA is still valid.

In the event your study permit or eTA has expired, it is imperative you apply for and receive a new one before choosing to leave Canada. Applying for an eTA is a simple and inexpensive process which can be completed online. Most applicants will receive their authorization within a few minutes of submitting the necessary form.

We can assist you with submitting a TRV or eTA application. Contact our Immigration Lawyers in Canada for a consultation by emailing us or by calling 416-847-3347.

I want to claim Refugee Protection in Canada. Where do I begin?

There are two ways an individual can apply for refugee protection in Canada:

At a Port of Entry

An individual may apply for refugee protection status at any port of entry in Canada. This includes any land borders, seaports or airports. You will tell an officer that you want to make a refugee claim. They will then decide whether the claim is eligible for referral to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) – Refugee Protection Division (RPD). If your claim is found to be eligible, you will have 15 days to complete and submit the application package to the IRB. The officer will also give you the date and time on which a member of the RPD will hear your claim.

At an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Office

If you choose to make your claim at a designated IRCC office, it is important that all the forms found in the application package are complete and ready for submission. An officer will review your claim and if it is found to be eligible, you will be given a date and time on which a member of the RPD will hear your claim. You will not receive an appointment for an interview with an officer until you can demonstrate that all of your forms are complete.
Completing the application

When making a claim for refugee protection, you must provide as much details as possible concerning your background, family, and circumstances or reason for making a claim for refugee protection. Failure to provide a detailed description of your experiences regarding each country you have a fear in could result in refusal of your claim. For example, if you are a citizen of more than one country, you must have a well-founded fear of persecution in both countries in order for your claim for refugee protection to be accepted. If you only have a well-founded fear in one country, it is quite possible that your claim will be refused because you can live safely in the other country where you hold citizenship. Also, if you leave out important details (i.e. dates, incidents, events etc.) from your application but then provide this information at the hearing, this could also result in the refusal of your claim.

What is the IRB?

All claims for refugee protection are heard before the IRB, specifically the RPD. The IRB is an independent administrative tribunal that makes decisions on immigration and refugee matters. A member of the RPD will hear your claim, assess the evidence provided and decide whether to accept or reject your claim for refugee protection. Factors the member will consider include:

• Are you outside your home country or the country where they normally live?
• Are you unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution?
• Is your fear based on one or more of the following grounds: race, religion, political opinion, nationality or membership of a particular social group (for example, women or people of a particular sexual orientation)?
• Would your removal to your home country, or country where you live would subject you personally to a danger of torture, a risk to their life, or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

There is no requirement for you to have suffered actual persecution, ill treatment or punishment. The RPD member will consider whether there is a serious likelihood or possibility of persecution or ill treatment. However, your claim will not be accepted if your fear is one of generalized violence faced by everyone in the country, if it is based on a need for medical treatment, or if you can obtain protection from the authorities in any part of your country.

We can assist you with your refugee claim application and represent you at the hearing. Contact our Canada Immigration Lawyers for a consultation by emailing us or by calling 416-847-3347.

I am an American citizen and would like to move to Canada. Can I just “move” to Canada?

American citizens do not require a visa to visit Canada for personal or business reasons. As a visitor, unless otherwise indicated by a Canadian immigration officer at a Canadian port of entry, you may remain in Canada for up to six months. However, to gain entry the immigration officer must be satisfied that you are a bona fide visitor, which means that you intend to leave Canada at the end of your visit. As a visitor you may not centralize your mode of living in Canada, and as a general rule you may not work in Canada without first securing a work permit. You may study in Canada without a study permit only if the course of study is six months or less in duration.

Work

In order to reside in Canada on a longer term or permanent basis you need to ensure that you have the proper authorization to do so. For example, there are provisions under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that allow intra-company transferees from the US to work in Canada. Transferees must have at least one year of full-time work experience with the foreign enterprise and be coming to Canada to perform comparable work for the Canadian affiliate. Work in Canada must fall under one of three categories:

• Executive – an employee who primarily directs the management of the enterprise or a major component thereof.
• Senior Managerial – an employee who manages all or part of the enterprise and supervises/controls the work of other managers or professional employees.
• Specialized Knowledge – an employee who can demonstrate specialized knowledge of the enterprise’s product or service or an advanced level of expertise in the enterprise’s processes and procedures.

In order for the foreign worker to receive a work permit, the Canadian business will have to demonstrate a qualifying relationship with its foreign counterpart, as well as a qualifying relationship with its employee.

Study

Another way to reside in Canada beyond the six months provided by a visitor visa is to study at a Canadian post-secondary institution. To do so, you must first obtain a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution. This letter must be included with your study permit application. You must also demonstrate you have enough money to cover the first year of tuition, as well as living expenses and return transportation to the US. Please keep in mind that if you have any criminal convictions our outstanding criminal charges your study permit application might be refused. After completion of your program of study, you might be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit or for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class.

Work after completion of study program

Upon completing studies from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution, you may apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) that would allow you to work in Canada for any Canadian employer in any industry, for up to three years after graduation, depending on the length of their program of study. It is an open work permit and does not require a job offer at the time of application.

This is an option if you have studied full-time at a qualifying institution for at least eight months. If your study program is shorter than eight months you cannot apply for a PGWP.

You need to apply for a PGWP within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (e.g. an official letter or transcript) from the educational institution indicating that you met the requirements for completing your program of study. The 90 days are calculated from the day final marks are released or the day they receive written confirmation, whichever comes first. Also, your study permit must still be valid at the time you apply for the PGWP.

Permanent residence

You can apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system. EE is used to manage applications for the following immigration programs:

• the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
• the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
• the Canadian Experience Class

Provinces and Territories can also recruit candidates from the Express Entry system through their Provincial Nominee Programs.

The Express Entry process involves two stages. First, individuals will submit an online profile outlining details of their skills, work experience, language ability, education and other details that will help in assessing eligibility. Those individuals who meet the criteria for one of the federal immigration programs are then entered into a pool with other eligible candidates. Second, candidates in the pool are ranked against one another using a point-based system. Points are awarded based on the information provided in the candidate’s online profile. Those candidates with the highest scores will be issued an “invitation to apply” (ITA). Upon receiving an ITA, a candidate will have 60 days to file their application for permanent residence in Canada.
Sponsorship

If you are married or in a common-law relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, there is an option of being sponsored to stay in Canada as a permanent resident under the Family Class sponsorship program.

We can help you decide what options are best for you. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact our Canada Immigration Lawyers for a consultation by emailing us or by calling 416-847-3347.

How to Immigrate to Canada from Serbia

There are currently more than 70 programs available for individuals who want to immigrate to Canada from Serbia. For that reason, everyone’s path for immigrating to Canada will be unique.

There are many categories for professionals and workers under which you might qualify for permanent residence in Canada, including the Federal and Quebec Skilled Worker programs, the Provincial Nominee Programs, the Canadian Experience Class, the Quebec Experience Class, and the Federal Self-Employed program. Canada also offers a number of Family Class Sponsorship programs, whereby Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor family members for Canadian immigration.

The specific process to immigrate from Serbia differs depending on which route you choose. The process for individuals, other than those in the family class, starts with the Express Entry (EE) system. The EE process involves two stages. First, individuals will submit an online profile outlining details of their skills, work experience, language ability, education and other details that will help in assessing eligibility. Those individuals who meet the criteria for one of the federal immigration programs are then entered into a pool with other eligible candidates. Second, candidates in the pool are ranked against one another using a point-based system. Points are awarded based on the information provided in the candidate’s online profile. Those candidates with the highest scores will be issued an “invitation to apply” (ITA). Upon receiving an ITA, a candidate will have 90 days to file their application for permanent residence in Canada.

There are a number of relationships that qualify for Family Class sponsorship, including spouses and common-law partners, dependent children, as well as, parents and grandparents. Both the sponsor (Canadian citizen or permanent resident) and the sponsored person (family member) must meet certain requirements to qualify. The documentation requirements for sponsoring a spouse, same-sex spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child all differ. It is therefore important to make sure that all documentation submitted is per the requirements of your specific case.

Each of the above mentioned programs have their own criteria and require a variety of documentation. However, there are specific documents required of all individuals wishing to immigrate to Canada from Serbia.

All Serbian citizens require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter or transit through Canada. The TRV application can only be submitted online or via the Visa Applicant Center (VAC) located in Belgrade, Serbia. In addition to the application forms and required fees, you will also need to submit identification photos, proof of financial support, a photocopy of your return ticket and any other documents required by the visa office.

Police certificates are required of all individuals applying to enter Canada from Serbia. The required document is called a Certificate of No Conviction (Uverenje o nekaznjavanju). If you are a citizen of Serbia living in Serbia, you should apply at your local municipal police station of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Ministarstvo Unutrasnjih Poslova, Policijska Uprava). If you are living outside of Serbia, you can apply at the nearest Serbian embassy or consulate.

Individuals applying to immigrate to Canada from Serbia are not required to undergo a medical examination in order to be granted entry to Canada.

We can help you decide what options are best for you. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact us for a consultation by emailing us at info@rulaw.ca or by calling 416-847-3347.

What is a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment?

If you are facing removal from Canada, you may be eligible for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA). A PRRA is the final risk assessment given to an individual before being removed from Canada. A PRRA is an opportunity to seek protection by describing the dangers or risks you believe you would face if you were to be removed from Canada.

Eligibility

Generally, you may not apply for a PRRA unless the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has notified you that you may do so, and has provided you with a Notification Regarding a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA Notification).

Individuals, other than those listed below, may apply for a PRRA if they are subject to a removal order that is in force and have been issued a PRRA Notification from the CBSA.

You may not apply for a PRRA if you:

• Made a refugee claim that was determined to be ineligible for referral to the Immigration Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) because you came to Canada from a safe third country;
• Were found to be a convention refugee in another country, to which you may return;
• Are a protected person (you already have refugee protection in Canada);
• Are subject to extradition

For those individuals who have made a refugee claim or previously submitted a PRRA application that was rejected, abandoned or withdrawn, you cannot apply for a PRRA unless at least 12 months have passed. If you come from a “designated country” you may not reapply for at least 36 months. This is known as the PRRA Bar.

Application

The application form, Application for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (IMM 5508), must be completed and submitted to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada PRRA Unit, CIC Backlog Reduction Office at the address listed in your Notification. All family members in Canada who are also applying for a PRRA must complete their own application form.

In addition to submitting the application form, you may also make written submissions and provide documentary evidence to support your case.

Written submissions allow you to describe your situation and tell your story. It is through these submissions that you can explain why and how you think you would be in danger or subject to a risk of persecution if you were to be removed from Canada to your country of nationality of former residence.
If you made a refugee claim or previously submitted a PRRA application that was rejected, abandoned or withdrawn you may only provide new evidence to support your case. That is, new evidence that arose after the rejection, or that was not normally accessible, or that you could not reasonably have been expected in the circumstances to have presented at the time of rejection.

Process

Once a PRRA Notification has been issued, you will have 15 days to apply, plus an additional 15 days to provide written submissions in support of your application.. Notification is normally done in person, by a CBSA removals officer, who will provide a PRRA application kit. In the event an individual is notified by mail, an additional 7 days are provided to submit the application. All deadlines and addresses to which everything must be sent is specified in the PRRA Notification package.

A PRRA application is normally only assessed based on the application, written submissions and supporting evidence (if any). However, you may be called for a hearing to answer questions about certain aspects of your application. Where a hearing is required, you will receive written notice indicating the time, date and location of the hearing as well as the matters that need to be discussed.

When a person is issued a PRRA Notification, the removal order against them becomes subject to a regulatory stay of removal; the removal order is suspended. The suspension remains in effect until:

• You notify IRCC that you do not intend to apply for a PRRA;
• You miss the application deadline, or
• You apply and your application is rejected (or you withdraw or abandon your application)

Outcome

If your application is approved, you will be able to stay in Canada. Most persons whose PRRA application is accepted become “protected persons” who may apply to become a permanent resident. You will be notified if you may apply to become a permanent resident.

If the officer’s assessment is that you would not be in danger or face a risk of persecution upon returning to your home country, your application will be rejected and you must leave Canada. Rejected applicants may apply to the Federal Court of Canada for a review of the PRRA officer’s decision

We can assist you with submitting a PRRA application. Send us an email at info@rulaw.ca or give us a call at 416-847-3347.

I have received a Removal Order. What does this mean?

If you have received a removal order, you cannot legally remain in Canada and must leave the country immediately. It is important to understand that when a removal order has been issued, it is a question of “when” to remove an individual; the decision to remove that person has already been made.

Types of Removal Orders

There are three types of removal orders. The form number on the removal order itself will indicate what type of order you have received and the related requirements.

The three types of removal orders are:

a) Departure Order (form number IMM 5238)

If you have received a departure order, you must leave Canada within 30 days after the order was issued and confirm your departure with the CBSA at your port of exit. If you leave Canada and follow these requirements, you may return in the future provided you meet the entry requirements at that time. If you leave the country without confirming your departure with the CBSA, or leave more than 30 days after the departure order was issued, the departure order automatically becomes a deportation order.

b) Exclusion Order (form number IMM 1214B)

An exclusion order requires an individual to leave Canada and confirm their departure with the CBSA. If you have been issued an exclusion order, you cannot return to Canada for 1 year. If you do wish to return to Canada before the 12 months have passed, you must apply for an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC). If the exclusion order was issued for misrepresentation, you cannot return to Canada for a period of 5 years. Additionally, if your removal was paid for by Canada, you must repay that cost.

c) Deportation Order (form number IMM 5238B)

If you have received a deportation order, you must leave Canada and confirm your departure with the CBSA. If you fail to confirm your departure with the CBSA, the CBSA will arrange for your removal from Canada. A deportation order will permanently bar you from returning to Canada and you may only do so after obtaining an ARC.

Regardless of the type of removal order, an individual must leave Canada immediately upon receiving such an order. Additionally, if you fail to appear for a removal interview or a scheduled removal date, the CBSA will issue a Canada-wide warrant for your arrest.
Appealing a Removal Order

You may have the option to appeal a removal order to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).

An eligible individual must file an appeal of the removal order with the IRB within 30 days of receiving the order. The IAD member will consider the appeal and make a decision weather to allow it, set it aside or issue a stay of the removal order.

If the appeal is allowed, the removal order is set aside and the person may remain in Canada. If the appeal is dismissed, the removal order will be upheld and the CBSA could remove the individual from Canada. When the IAD issues a stay, the removal order is suspended with conditions and the individual may remain in Canada temporarily. During this process, the IAD member will review the stay and reconsider the appeal at a later date.

We can help you decide what options are best for you. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact us for a consultation by emailing us at info@rulaw.ca or by calling 416-847-3347.

I have been deported. Can I come back to Canada?

When an individual has been the subject of a Deportation Order, and was ultimately deported from Canada, to return legally they will need to apply for an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC).

It is important to understand why you were initially issued the deportation order, as well as your current circumstances. If the circumstances that led to the deportation order being issued have not changed, it is less likely that you will be authorized to return to Canada. If you were deported due to criminal inadmissibility, you will need to apply for criminal rehabilitation before applying for an ARC.
Application

If you are applying for a visa to visit, study, work or immigrate to Canada, it is not necessary to submit an ARC application separate from your visa application. If your visa is approved, you will be asked to submit the required fee for the ARC as it would have been dealt with in the context of your visa application.

If you are applying for a visa or permit to come to Canada you must include all the required documents with your application, including:

• a Temporary Resident Visa application form, fully completed online and validated to create the barcode page.
• two passport size photographs taken within the last six months.
• a copy of your passport.
• a written letter (in English or French) explaining, in detail, the reasons you feel you should be allowed to return to Canada. The letter must be written in block letters in black ink or typed.
• the processing fee ($400 CAD).

If you are from a visa-exempt country, where you do not require a visa to enter Canada, and require an ARC to re-enter Canada, you may submit an ARC application on its own. You must submit these documents by mail to the visa office responsible for your region.

If your original removal order became a deportation order (from a departure order) because you did not leave Canada in the allotted time, you must explain the reasons and circumstances for not leaving Canada within 30 days of issue of the removal order.

Additionally, if the Government of Canada paid for your removal from Canada, it is mandatory that you reply any costs before an ARC may be issued. If this is the case, you will be notified of the amount to be repaid when your application is being processed.

We can assist you with submitting an ARC. Send us an email at info@rulaw.ca or give us a call at 416-847-3347.

What is a H&C Application?

More formerly known as an Application for Permanent Residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Considerations, a H&C application is an application for permanent residence being made from inside Canada based solely on H&C grounds.

H&C grounds or considerations provide the flexibility to grant permanent residence status or a permanent resident visa to a foreign national who would not normally be eligible to apply to become a permanent resident. Essentially, the H&C application asks Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to allow you to apply for permanent residence in Canada for humanitarian and compassionate reasons.

Applications to become a permanent resident based on H&C grounds are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Applicants may make submissions on any facts affecting their personal circumstances that they believe are relevant to their request for H&C consideration. Factors that are looked at include:

• how settled the person is in Canada,
• general family ties to Canada,
• the best interests of any children involved, and
• what could happen to the applicant if the request is not granted.

Not everyone is eligible to have H&C considerations heard in their application for permanent residence. An individual may be excluded for a variety reasons including human rights violations, reasons of security and organized criminality.

H&C considerations may be requested in applications from within Canada or from outside the country. Those individuals applying to remain in Canada as a permanent residence on H&C grounds are provided a detailed application kit with specific application forms, document checklists and instructions. In these cases, a request for H&C considerations must accompany an application for permanent residence in Canada. If you are applying from outside of Canada, you must use the application forms for one of the three immigration classes (family, economic or refugee) and provide additional written information in support of your request for H&C consideration.

Refugee Claimants

There are specific restrictions on when an individual claiming refugee protection in Canada may have access to H&C considerations. A refugee claimant is not able to rely on H&C considerations while their refugee claim is still being processed.

If you have received a negative decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), or your claim has been withdrawn or abandoned, you are barred from requesting H&C considerations until 12 months have passed. However, there are exceptions to this rule when your removal from Canada would either

• Result in a risk to life caused by the inability of their home country to provide adequate health or medical care, or
• Have an adverse effect on the best interest of a child directly affected by the removal. The child must be under 18 years of age

The 12-month bar takes effect on the day the negative decision is made by the IRB and is in effect until the one year anniversary of the decision. The same calculation of time is used for withdrawals and abandoned claims.

We can help you determine when best to submit an H&C application. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact us for a consultation by emailing us at info@rulaw.ca or by calling 416-847-3347.

My refugee claim has been rejected by the Refugee Protections Division (RPD), what are my options?

All claims for refugee protection are heard before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), specifically the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). The IRB is an independent administrative tribunal that makes decisions on immigration and refugee matters. A member of the RPD will hear your claim, assess the evidence provided and decide whether to accept or reject your claim for refugee protection. Refugee claimants may have the option to appeal a negative decision to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) or the Federal Court.

If your claim is rejected, the RPD will send you a written Notice of Decision and an explanation of the reasons why the claim was rejected. On this notice, the RAD will tell you whether you can appeal the decision to the RAD or file an application for leave and for judicial review with the Federal Court.

Refugee Appeal Division (RAD)

The RAD is separate and independent from the RPD. It hears and ultimately decides appeals of decisions made by the RPD. When you appeal to the RAD you must show that the RPD made a mistake in its decision. These mistakes can be about the law, the facts, or a mix of law and fact. The RAD has authority to decide whether to:

• confirm the decision of the RPD;
• set aside the decision, and substitute it with its own decision; or
• refer the matter back to the RPD for re-determination.

The appeal process before the RAD is primarily paper based. The RAD will make its decision based on the written submissions and evidence provided by you and the Minister (if the Minister intervenes). You do have the option do submit new evidence to the RAD, which the RAD may or may not accept. If the new evidence is accepted, the RAD will consider it in its review of your appeal. The RAD has the authority to order an oral hearing if it feels it is necessary.

Not everyone is eligible to appeal to the RAD. You cannot appeal to the RAD if:

• your claim for refugee protection with withdrawn or abandoned;
• the RPD concluded that your claim had no credible basis or is manifestly unfounded;
• your claim was sent to the RPD as an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement;
• the Minister applied to stop, or cease, your claim for refugee protection and the RPD decision allows that application;
• the Minister applied to cancel, or vacate, the RPD decision to allow your claim for refugee protection, and the RPD decision allows that application;

If you wish to file an appeal with the RAD, it is imperative that you act quickly. You will have 15 days from the date you received written reasons for the RPD’s decision to complete and file a Notice of Appeal with the RAD. You must then complete an Appellant’s Record; this is the evidence and submissions you want the RAD to consider in reviewing your appeal.

In the event your appeal is dismissed by the RAD, you may still have the option of appealing to the Federal Court of Canada.

Federal Court

The first step in appealing to the Federal Court is to file an Application for Leave and for Judicial Review (“leave application”) with the Court. The leave application must be filed and served within 15 days after the day you were notified of the decision from either the RPD or RAD.

The second step is to serve and file your application record. An application record will include your leave application, the written reasons for the decision you are appealing, legal arguments and any supporting evidence. It is important to note that the Court is usually not able to consider new evidence; it is limited to the record that was presented to the RPD and/or RAD. The application record must be served and filed within 30 days of filing your leave application.

The Court must decide whether to grant leave, or permission, to pursue the application. The leave application will be considered by a Judge, without a need for you to have to come to Court in person. If leave is granted, the case will proceed to an oral hearing in Court. If leave is not granted, then the leave application (and application for judicial review) is dismissed. There is not right of appeal available once the Court decides not to grant leave.

We can help you decide what options are best for you. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact us for a consultation by emailing us at info@rulaw.ca or by calling 416-847-3347.

Do I need to hire a lawyer for my immigration matters?

Simply put, no you do not need to hire a lawyer to be successful in your immigration matter. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not require you to consult a lawyer or have a lawyer represent you in any immigration and citizenship matter, or in a claim for refugee protection.

However, given that there are currently more than 70 federal and provincial immigration programs available for individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada, the skills and expertise of an immigration lawyer may be invaluable.

Whether you want to study, work, visit, or permanently relocate to Canada, there may be a variety of different avenues available to you. A lawyer will assess your circumstances, identify any issues, and provide the best solution or option for your specific needs. A lawyer who focuses exclusively or primarily in immigration law will be able to explain and provide advice on your immigration or citizenship options, and help you decide what immigration program is the best for you.

Retaining a licensed lawyer in Canada:

Licensed immigration lawyers in Canada have a thorough understanding of the policies, process and laws involving Canadian immigration. These lawyers are familiar with all details of the immigration process including where to file what documents and how to respond to requests from government agencies.

Immigration laws are constantly changing and, as a result, the criteria, process, and documentation required of any one of the immigration programs can be very hard to follow. When these changes do occur, it is imperative that your lawyer update you of any changes to the laws and procedures effecting your application as soon as this information is available. A lawyer who specializes in immigration law will be able to relay this information in an in-depth and efficient manner.

Licensed Canadian lawyers and/or registered Canadian immigration consultants can communicate with Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Courts on your behalf. A lawyer or consultant outside of Canada would not be able to do this.

Licenced lawyers across Canada are regulated by the Law Society in the province in which they practice. In Ontario, lawyers are governed and regulated by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO). The LSO ensures that both lawyers and paralegals are licenced, meet the required standard of learning, competence and professional conduct and more importantly are qualified to help you through the legal process. By choosing to retain a licenced lawyer who is in good standing with their Law Society, clients are afforded protection against unethical and incompetent practitioners.

We can help you navigate the maze of forms and requirements. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact us for a consultation by emailing us at info@rulaw.ca or by calling 416-847-3347.

What is a Post-Graduate Work Permit?

Upon completing studies at a public Canadian post-secondary institution, international students may apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) allowing them to work in Canada. This permit will allow them to work for any Canadian employer in any industry, for up to three years after graduation, depending on the length of their program of study. It is an open work permit and does not require a job offer at the time of application.

Eligibility:

An individual who has continuously studied full-time at a designated public learning institution (DLI) for at least eight months may apply for a PGWP. Those who have completed a study program that is shorter than eight months in duration, are not eligible for a PGWP.

Duration:

A PGWP is issued for the length of the study program, and can range in duration from eight months to three years. A PGWP cannot be valid longer than the length of your study program in Canada. It is the length of the study program itself that is taken into consideration, not how long it takes an individual to complete the program. For example, if you complete an eight month certificate program in six months, the duration of your PGWP will be for eight months, or if you graduate from a four-year degree program, your PGWP will be for three years, as that is the maximum duration possible for a PGWP.

Applicants must hold a valid study visa when applying for a PGWP and must do so within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (e.g. an official letter or transcript) from the educational institution indicating that they have met the requirements for completing their program of study. The 90 days are calculated from the day final marks are released or the day they receive written confirmation, whichever comes first.

A PGWP cannot be renewed. When a PGWP is due to expire, the holder must apply for a different permit or visa if they wish to continue to stay and/or work in Canada. Graduates may submit an application for permanent residence while applying for a PGWP. Additionally, skilled Canadian work experience gained through the PGWP program helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Express Entry program.

PGWP holders are free to leave and return to Canada and work at any time as long the PGWP is valid.

We can assist you with submitting a PGWP application. Send us an email at info@rulaw.ca or give us a call at 416-847-3347.

What is a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa?

The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is a long term multi-entry visa that provides for re-entries for a period up to 10 years.

Typically, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or visitor visa is issued for up to six months from when an applicant first enters Canada. If the applicant wishes to stay longer, they must apply for an extension and pay a new fee. Even those individuals travelling on a 10-year multiple entry visa may only stay in Canada for up to six months per entry. The Super Visa allows eligible parents and grandparents to stay in Canada for up to two years per visit without applying for an extension or renewing their status.

It is important to note that dependents are not eligible for the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa; it is only available to parents or grandparents together with their spouses or common-law partners.

Requirements:

To apply for a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, the applicant must:

• be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada,
• be allowed to enter Canada an meet certain other conditions.

Applicants must have valid Canadian medical insurance coverage for at least one year and have an immigration medical exam. In addition, applicants must prove that their child or grandchild meets a minimum income threshold. For a family of 4, the minimum necessary income is $45,712 CAD. A letter of financial support from that child or grandchild must also be provided.

It is important that those individuals applying for a super visa are real visitors who intend to leave Canada by choice at the end of their visit. Immigration officers will consider a variety of factors in determining an applicant’s eligibility for the super visa including:

• the applicant’s ties to their home country,
• the economic and political stability of the applicant’s home country,
• the applicant’s family and finances,
• the purpose of the visit,
• and the invitation from a Canadian host.

We can assist you with submitting a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa application. Send us an email at info@rulaw.ca or give us a call at 416-847-3347.

What are the requirements to become a Canadian citizen?

As of June 19, 2017, minors can qualify on for citizenship their own without the need to have a Canadian parent. Also on this date, the following provisions were repealed:

• Requirement to intend to live in Canada once granted citizenship
• Citizenship revocation provisions only applying to dual citizens

On October 11, 2017, other changes came into effect regarding Canada’s citizenship application process. The first two changes involved the physical presence requirement. You can now apply for citizenship once you have been physically present in Canada for three years (1095 days) out of the past five. Moreover, every day that you were present in Canada before becoming a permanent resident, within 5 years of applying for citizenship, counts as a half day (up to 365 days) towards physical presence requirements.

The third change is time required for applicants to file income taxes before applying for citizenship is reduced to 3 out of 5 years.

The fourth change is that only applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 are required to demonstrate adequate knowledge of Canada by taking the citizenship test, and knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages by taking a language test.

These changes not only make it easier for an individual to obtain Canadian citizenship, but they also make it more difficult for citizenship to be stripped away. As of June 19, 2017, citizenship may no longer be taken away from a dual citizen who has committed an act against the national security of Canada. The purpose of this amendment is to honour equality among Canadians as promised in the 2015 election campaign and required by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We can help you determine when best to apply for citizenship. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact us for a consultation by emailing us at info@rulaw.ca or by calling 416-847-3347.

What are the requirements to apply for a work permit in Canada?

There is no one specific set of requirements for those seeking to apply for a work permit for Canada. The eligibility requirements differ depending on the type of work you intend to do and whether you apply from inside or outside Canada. However, there are a few general requirements that are applicable to all work permit applicants. An applicant must:

• prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires,
• show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home,
• obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (a police clearance certificate may be required),
• not be a danger to Canada’s security,
• be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed,
• not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions,
• not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages, and
• give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

Anyone can apply for a work permit from outside Canada. If you need a visa to enter Canada or if you need to have a medical exam before entering Canada, then it is mandatory to apply to a visa office outside Canada.

You may only apply for a work permit from inside Canada if you:

• are currently in Canada and have a valid study or work permit, or your spouse or parents have a study or work permit,
• have a temporary resident permit that is valid for six months or more,
• have applied or been included in an application for permanent residence from inside Canada,
• have graduated from a program at a designated learning institution,
• have asked for refugee status in Canada and are waiting for a decision,
• have been recognized as a convention refugee or protected person,
• have had your refugee claim rejected but you cannot be removed from Canada for reasons beyond your control, or
• are allowed to work in Canada without a work permit but you need a work permit to work in a different job.

It is important to note that a work permit is not a visa. It does not give you the right to board your flight to Canada. Along with your permit, you may need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to Canada.

In most instances, a foreign worker will require a job offer from a Canadian employer to obtain a work permit. A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker. In these instances, a foreign worker will need a job offer letter, an employment contract, a copy of the LMIA and the LMIA number to apply for a work permit.

There are two types of work permits: open work permits and employer-specific work permits. An open work permit will allow you to work for any Canadian employer in any industry except for those who are listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with conditions, or who offer escort or erotic services. An open work permit is not linked to a specific employer, location or position. You may be eligible for an open work permit if you fall into one of the following situations:

• a permanent residence applicant who has applied to an office in Canada,
• dependent family members of some permanent residence applicants,
• spouses and common-law partners of some workers and international students,
• refugees, refugee claimants, protected persons and their family members,
• some temporary resident permit holders, or
• some young workers participating in special programs

In each of these situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible for an open work permit.

An employer-specific work permit requires the holder of the permit to only work for the employer listed on the permit. Holders of employer-specific work permits must also comply with the conditions outlined on the permit, which includes how long they can work and the location where they can work, where applicable.

We can help you decide which work permit best suits your circumstances. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact us for a consultation by emailing us at info@rulaw.ca or by calling 416-847-3347.

I have lost my status, what can I do?

Losing status as a worker, student or visitor in Canada may occur for a variety of reasons. For example:

• you may have remained in Canada longer than the period authorized for your stay,
• you changed employers, location of employment of the type of work before obtaining a new work permit, or
• you changed details relating to your studies before applying to change the conditions on your study permit; such as the educational institution, location, times or period of studied or even the type of studies before applying to change these conditions on your study permit.

If you fall out-of-status as a worker, student, or visitor in Canada, you may be able to apply to reinstate or restore your status.

To be eligible to apply for restoration of status, an applicant must:

• apply within 90 days of having lost their status; and
• meet the initial requirements of their stay; and
• have not failed to comply with any other condition or their permit; and
• meet the requirements of the class under which they are currently applying to be restored as a temporary resident.

An individual is given 90 days from the date their status expired, or they lost status, to submit a restoration application and the corresponding fee. Those individuals who been refused an extension to their temporary resident status, and were in status until the refusal, have 90 days from the date of the refusal notice to apply for restoration. If 90 days have passed since losing status, you are not eligible to apply for restoration.

Those applicants who have lost their status, and who do not have implied status, may not continue to work or study while awaiting restoration. You may wish to complete an application or restoration of status and an application for a new study or work permit at the same time. This will require you to submit each application in addition to the corresponding fees; the restoration fee plus the permit fee.

We can help you with your restoration application. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact us for a consultation by emailing us at info@rulaw.ca or by calling 416-847-3347.

Can I Include My Adult Children on My Permanent Resident Application?

On October 24, 2017, Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) increased the age of dependent children from “under 19” to “under 22.” This means principal applicants may include their children aged 21 and under, who are not married or in a common-law relationship, on their immigration application. Children above the age of 22 can also be considered dependent children if they have depended substantially on the financial support of their parents since before the age of 22 and are unable to support themselves financially due to a physical or mental condition. The definition of “dependent child” applies to all immigration programs, including permanent resident and refugee applications.

This recent regulation change represents a return to the pre-August 2014 definition of a dependent child. IRCC has confirmed that the age limit change will not be applied retroactively to applications submitted on or after August 1, 2014, and before October 24, 2017. It explained its decision, stating that ‘applying the change to in-process applications would require a pause in finalizing many permanent residence applications and would impact processing times in many programs.’

This change in regulations is in line with IRCC’s commitment to family reunification. In today’s economy, children remain a dependent of their parents for a longer period of time and the increase in dependents’ age will keep families together and facilitate their integration into Canadian society. This, in turn will lead to immigrant and refugee families becoming economically established at a faster rate by having their support system with them and alleviating concerns that would have risen out of being separated from their family members. Another goal the government hopes to achieve by enhancing the age limit is to address humanitarian and safety concerns by enabling more family members to be included on a refugee application.

We can help you navigate the maze of forms and requirements. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact us for a consultation by emailing us at info@rulaw.ca or by calling 416-847-3347.

What is an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and do I need one?

The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a program that came into effect in November 2016, and allows the Canadian government to pre-screen individuals who would not normally be vetted prior to entering Canada because they are not required to go through the visa process. If you are from one of the visa-exempt countries and are travelling to Canada by air, you now need to apply for and obtain an eTA before travelling to Canada. An eTA is not required when entering Canada by land or sea.

United States citizens are exempt from this requirement, but U.S. permanent residents need an eTA in addition to their American Green Card when travelling to Canada. Canadian permanent residents do not require an eTA, but they must travel with their permanent resident card or permanent resident travel document. It is important to note that if you are a dual citizen, you must now use your Canadian passport to travel to Canada. As a Canadian citizen you are ineligible to apply for an eTA and the online system will not allow you to obtain one; nonetheless, you will be flagged as a person who needs to obtain an eTA if you try to travel to Canada with your foreign passport. Therefore, you must travel with your valid Canadian Passport when entering Canada to avoid any issues.

You can apply for an eTA online on the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. It costs $7 CAD and is valid for 5 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. You will receive an email from IRCC within a few minutes of your online application. However, if your application is one of the few cases that take longer to process, you can expect an email from the IRCC within 72 hours of applying that tells you the next step in your application and whether you need to provide the IRCC with more details. Once your application is approved, the eTA will be electronically linked to your passport, so make sure to travel with the passport with which you applied for an eTA.

We can answer any questions you have about the eTA. Contact us for a consultation by emailing us at info@rulaw.ca or by calling 416-847-3347.

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