Canada: Legal Immigration Services



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What’s your goal in Canada?

Coming to study or work? Be a temporary resident. Want to live here? Let’s apply for permanent residency. Determined this country holds your future? Become a citizen. Has your status expired, but you want to remain? Aim for a stay of deportation. Have a criminal record? Let’s see how we can overcome your past, together.

No matter which it is, I know you have a lot on your plate now. Tell you what. Go ahead and design your Canadian life. Let me take care of the legal part. I’ll fight to make your plans work out – as smoothly and safely as possible.

Learn more about your options below.

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“Coming for a limited time and specific purpose?”

Are you planning to stay in Canada for a limited amount of time, for a specific purpose? Don’t get caught with the wrong permit for what you want to do! Temporary residency clears you for the following pursuits:

  • Study
  • Work
  • Visit or transit

Let’s examine them in turn.

A. Study

Canada’s many top-notch universities and colleges are ready and willing to provide you with quality education. The first step is to identify what you want to focus on.

Do you want your studies to be an entry point to Canada so you can stay here permanently? Then you must ensure the program will qualify you for permanent residency.

Another important consideration is funds. In order to start down this route, have at least 20,000 CAD on hand: that’ll prove you have enough money to pay for school and live in Canada without employment for six (6) months.

You can get a work permit upon arrival, but you have to assume it will take a while to find a job. You will need to set yourself up for success right upon arrival.

Obtaining a study permit in Quebec is a two-step process. Once you have your letter of acceptance, you will apply to the Quebec government for a certificate of acceptance. After you receive this, you can apply for your study permit with your embassy of nationality.

Always keep this extra step in mind before you apply. You will need to factor in the Quebec government’s processing times! Add an extra four (4) weeks to your application period. Start early so you can make it for the beginning of your studies, e.g. in September.

“You can apply for your visa once you have a letter of acceptance. Start early!”

Remember, you can apply for your visa as soon as you have a letter of acceptance. Do not put off getting your visa just because you don’t start school for another few months.

B. Work

Receiving permission to work in Canada is a tough challenge you’ll need to tackle before coming to the country.

Unless you fall within certain exceptions to the law, you must already have an employer willing to hire you, and, more importantly: to pay the application fees and wait a minimum of four (4) months before your work start date.*

Do you qualify for exceptions?

If you are going to be working in Quebec, check the MIDI web site to see if your employment is a “fast-track” position. If it is, great! Your employer won’t have to fulfill the posting requirements.

Our first step now is to apply for an LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment) and a Quebec certificate of acceptance. Once we have these, we’ll apply for the work permit with your embassy. It’s a complex procedure: we’ll be coordinating with three government agencies when dealing with work permits.

Too many people underestimate the challenge this involves and, as a result, don’t achieve their goals of working in Canada.

“Can you risk flunking your application? Be safe: enlist professional legal representation.”

I will partner with you or your future employer so you’ll have professional representation in this type of application.

*This does not apply to agricultural workers.

C. Visit Canada, or Transit

Canada requires that citizens of many countries obtain a visa to visit Canada. The government wants to know that:

  1. You have sufficient funds to be in Canada without resorting to working illegally
  2. That you will return home at the end of your stay.

To ensure your visitor visa is approved, the onus is on you to prove these facts with documentation. Applications like this are assessed quickly and therefore, you need to assume the immigration agent will not take the time to contact you if they have questions. Your best option is to be be proactive: answer the questions they might have before they occur to them.

Every embassy’s requirements are different, and some people will have to provide biometric information and/or police clearance certificates.

You will have to show 3-4 months’ worth of bank statements to show your proof of funds. Furthermore, I highly recommend that you provide a copy of a return plane ticket with your application. It is better to take the time to put together a great application than to have a refusal in your permanent immigration record.

“Get a supervisa: visit for a total of 10 years, up to 2 years at a time.”

If you are a parent of a grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, look into getting a supervisa. A supervisa allows you to visit Canada for a period of ten (10) years on the same visa, for up to two years at a time.

Want to avoid the visitor visa paperwork every time you visit your children or grandchildren? This is your solution.



“A permanent resident has all citizen rights except the right to vote.”

A permanent resident has all the rights of a citizen in Canada except for the right to vote. You can live where you want, go to school, work and access social services, such as Canada’s health care system. Obtaining permanent residency is not an easy road, but in the end, becoming a part of Canadian society makes it all worth it!

There are several ways to go about it, and you can find the ideal one to match your personal situation.

A. Family Sponsorship

Congratulations on your marriage!

Now, it is time to bring your spouse over to Canada. Sponsorship is the easiest and most certain way to obtain permanent residency. Your spouse can be inside or outside Canada when you apply, though the process is slightly different for each.

Congratulations on the birth of your child!

They’re not Canadian or a Canadian permanent resident? You can apply to sponsor them as well, as long as they fit the definition of dependent child.

You would like to sponsor your parents?

I will be honest: there are very limited spots per year and the wait period can be up to ten (10) years depending on which embassy you are applying through, but it’s still worth looking into, and I will be happy to do it. However, I would recommend that you also explore the supervisa program as a possible alternative, given the acceptance rates and requirements.

Unfortunately, there are also cases where you cannot sponsor.

You would like to sponsor someone who is not your spouse, child or parent? An uncle or sister? I am sorry to say that family sponsorship does not necessarily allow for this. You can ask for special dispensation from the government to apply for this kind of sponsorship, but it is not going to be easy. That’s not to say there is no hope, but you need to take on a realistic attitude: there will be no guarantee of success, the way that we have for spouses and children.

We can talk more about how these work in a consultation.

B. Quebec-Specific Economic Immigration Programs

The province of Quebec has its own immigration system that is separate from the rest of Canada. Canada’s system uses Express Entry. You may qualify for the Quebec program whereas you did not for Express Entry!

“Quebec has its own immigration system, which differs from the rest of Canada.”

The program is two-fold: there is the fast track system and the point-based evaluation.

The fast-track applies to you if you have graduated from a qualifying educational program or if you have worked in a qualifying occupation for a year and still have a valid work permit.

The second program is based on your history: your work experience, your education, your background, etc, and you are awarded a number of points based on this experience. If you have enough points, you can qualify to apply for immigration.

The downside of the points system is, the wait period is very long.

Either way: have yourself evaluated today. Let’s not wait.

C. Canada-Wide Economic Immigration (Express Entry)

The rest of Canada functions under the Express Entry program, which has replaced the Federal Skilled Workers, Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience program.

It functions almost like a dating site: you input your profile, and if you are selected, you are invited to apply for permanent residency. It is modelled on the New Zealand immigration system and it was started in January 2015.

“Canada’s Express Entry program was started as recently as January 2015.”

If you don’t get selected with a year, you have to reset your profile.

Keep in mind: A great way to augment your score is to get a qualifying job offer. I recommend keeping your eyes open for those opportunities.



“You’re ready to become a citizen! Or so you thought. Turns out you overlooked something.”

You’ve been a permanent resident for at least four (4) years now, and you are ready to make the next jump, to become a Canadian citizen. You have carefully tabulated all your days in and out of the country, and have passed your language test.

But what’s this in the mail? The residency questionnaire! How are you expected to fill this out in 30 days! What do you mean, I have to meet with a citizenship judge!?

If any of the above sentences confuse you, you should truly consult an attorney before filing your citizenship paperwork.

“Play it safe. Consult an attorney before filing your citizenship paperwork.”

Citizenship applications, while relatively straightforward, still hold certain pitfalls and surprises that you need to be prepared for. The stakes are high and the consequences of making simple mistakes can be dire.

Get properly informed before you proceed any further, and see a lawyer.



“That’s it: your status has expired. You want to stay, but you’re out of ideas how to make it happen.”

You are out of status and you do not know what to do. Border Services has contacted you and asked you to come in and you are panicking.

The first step is to calm down. The second is to call me.

In these situations, you must act quickly. Get representation as soon as possible, so that you can formulate a plan of action to stop the worst case scenario – deportation.

Depending on your circumstances, you might not be able to avert departure. But even then, it will still benefit you to have a lawyer on your side that can help delay leaving, and to smoothen the transition to your home country.

“Deportation is not the end. Let’s prepare for your return.”

Having someone by your side will allow you to form a plan of return and to take steps while you are still in Canada to facilitate your return. There is often an obvious way to turn your situation around, so that the next time you enter Canada, it is as a permanent resident.

In the best case scenario, you have not yet been contacted by Border Services. If you are out of status and under removal order, and need to stay in Canada or to return to Canada upon voluntary departure, contact me immediately. The timing of your actions can dictate success or failure at this stage, I cannot stress this enough.

There are ways to remedy your status situation, but you have to act, because you are currently in the country illegally and if you are caught and the wheels of the machine start turning, it will be too late.



“The smallest criminal offences on your record can cause you problems when trying to enter the country.”

There are many ways that criminality and immigration intersect.

Perhaps you have a DUI and you need to attend a conference in Canada. Perhaps your spouse, your sponsor, has a criminal charge against them and they are being prevented from visiting you. Perhaps you were stopped at the Canadian border and were surprised about that, because you have come over many times before and the charge is very old, a youthful indiscretion.

Maybe it’s something a lot more serious as well.

“There are ways to deal with these problems as they arise.”

Either way, between applications for a temporary resident permits, rehabilitation applications, record suspension applications and humanitarian and compassionate dispensation applications, there are ways to deal with these problems as they arise.

I am not here to judge you, I am here to help you achieve your goals and together, we will figure out what is the best solution for you.

Contact me to find out which solution is right for you.



“Immigration can take up a lot of your HR staff’s time.”

Business immigration is not easy and can take up a lot of your HR personel’s precious time and energy.

There are many ever-changing regulations, and obligations to fulfil. Whether you need a group of international workers to come to Canada for a training session or contract, an executive from your international branch offices to transfer in, or you want to keep that great employee who is on an IEC visa with the company, I can help.

Together, we can…

  • Apply for Labor Market Opinions, CAQs and the necessary work permits;
  • See if industry-specific or treaty-specific exemptions apply to the case in question;
  • Create an intra-company calendar to ensure that you never experience work flow disruption due to visas issuances;
  • Assist your employees and their families in becoming permanent residents or citizens;
  • Deal with potential inadmissibility issues, such as criminal records;
  • Trouble-shoot border crossings;
  • Ensure that your follow-up obligations under issued Labor Market Opinions are met.
“Let’s see what your business needs.”

I have many competitive options available ranging from hourly billing to lump-sum retainers, depending on your work volume and needs.

Let’s set up a meeting and see what’s the best option for your business.