Want to immigrate to Canada? Don’t do this!

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A Government of Canada news release disclosed that citizen of Senegal was recently found guilty of misrepresentation under subsection 127(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA”) and was fined $2,000.00.

 

Misrepresentation can arise when a person directly or indirectly misrepresents or withholds material facts relating to a relevant matter that induces or could induce an error in the administration of IRPA.

 

As a friendly reminder to all people seeking to immigrate to Canada, immigration-related misrepresentation is an issue that is taken very seriously by the Canadian government.  People who have advised potential immigrants to misrepresent may also face penalties under IRPA.  Aside from the mark that misrepresentation can leave on a person’s Canadian immigration record, penalties for misrepresentation include but are not limited to:

 

  • fines of up to $100,000.00 or imprisonment of up to 5-years, or both; or
  • a 5-year ban from entering Canada.

 

Whenever corresponding with the Canadian government, answer questions and requests for information directly and accurately in order to avoid possible misrepresentation.  At Lowe & Company, we can help to answer questions that you may have about misrepresentation and any other questions you may have. Should you wish to schedule a consultation, please contact us at info@canadavisalaw.com or call us at 604-875-9338 .


Why do I need a Lawyer?

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I am frequently asked this question by potential clients.

In fact, the CIC website states that you don’t need to hire an immigration representative, and that you can get all the forms and information that you need for free on their website. “If you follow the instructions in the application guide, you should be able to fill out the forms and submit them on your own”, so goes CIC on their website.

Well, Ms. Ni Mingjue found out the tough way why hiring an immigration lawyer to handle her application would have saved her a lot of time, money, and problems.

Ms. Ni graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in June 2012. Between June and August 2012, she encountered numerous problems and difficulties making an online application for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), including making the fee payment.

She called the CIC Call Centre, and was advised to mail in her fee receipt. Unfortunately, CIC rejected her application in September 2012 as it does not recognise an online filing followed by mailing the fee receipt.

On the advice of the CIC Call Centre again, Ms. Ni applied to restore her status and for the PGWP in October 2012. It wasn’t until May 2013 when she received a letter from CIC dated 24 April 2013 refusing her application because she had failed to apply for the PGWP within 90 days of graduation.

On the application for Judicial Review (this time with the assistance of a lawyer) which was only heard on 21 July 2014, the Federal Court quashed the immigration officer’s decision and referred it back for re-determination.

What would have been a fairly simple procedure to extend her status in Canada on graduation in June 2012 on a PGWP turned out to be a long drawn process with the Federal Court making its decision only in July 2014.

This is a good example of why you need to hire an immigration lawyer in the first place.


Last Chance for Dependent Children Over 18 Years of Age – Deadline of August 1, 2014

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What does it mean to be a “Dependent Child” under Canada’s immigration laws?  On August 1, 2014, the definition of Dependent Child will be changing significantly and this will likely affect many potential applicants seeking permanent residence in Canada.

Currently, a biological or adopted child is considered a Dependent Child if he or she meets the following criteria at the time that the parents’ permanent residence application is submitted:

  1. is less than 22 years old and unmarried and not in a common law relationship; or
  1. has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before the age of 22 or since becoming a spouse or common-law partner and has been a student
    • continuously enrolled in and attending a post-secondary institution that is accredited by the relevant government authority, and
    • actively pursuing a course of academic, professional or vocational training on a full-time basis, or
  1. is 22 years of age or older and has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before the age of 22 and is unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition.

Section 2 of the Immigration & Refugee Protection Regulations (“IRPR“).

 

On August 1, 2014, a biological or adopted child will only be considered a Dependent Child if, at the time that the parents’ permanent residence application is submitted, he or she:

  1. is less than 19 years old and is unmarried and not in a common law relationship; or
  1. is 19 years of age or older and has dependent substantially on the financial support of the parent since before the age of 19 and is unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition.

Canada Gazette, Vol. 148, No. 13 – June 18, 2014

In addition to the lowering of the maximum age for Dependent Child status, a key change is the removal of the exemption for older children who have been studying full time at a post-secondary institution.  This marks yet another significant change in a slew of changes to Canada’s laws affecting foreign nationals in Canada this year.

Transitional provisions will be included with the changes to the regulations.  Generally speaking, a person 19 years old or older may be considered a Dependent Child according to the current definition if:

  1. his or her parent submits a complete permanent residence application before August 1, 2014; or
  1. for provincial nominee (PNP) applicants, his or her parent submits a complete PNP application before August 1, 2014 and a nomination certificate is eventually issued.

Ultimately, this change highlights the need for permanent residence applicants to submit their applications before August 1, 2014 if they want to be able to include their children who are 19 years of age or older as Dependent Children.