De Facto Family Members

31st Aug 2010 Comments Off on De Facto Family Members

Many people are often try to sponsor an adult sibling only to learn that adult siblings (and adult children) are not eligible to be sponsored under the family class. However, in certain cases, such individuals may be eligible for humanitarian & compassionate grounds as de facto family members.

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Applying for Citizenship with a Criminal Stay of Proceedings

30th Aug 2010 Comments Off on Applying for Citizenship with a Criminal Stay of Proceedings

A person who is subject to a stay of proceedings will generally be unsuccessful in applying for Canadian citizenship.

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Residence Under the Canada-Russia Tax Treaty

27th Aug 2010 Comments Off on Residence Under the Canada-Russia Tax Treaty

We often have clients approach us asking how they can immigrate to Canada without become tax residents. There are a variety of ways to do this, and the recent Tax Court of Canada decision in Denisov v. The Queen highlights one issue that those interested in not being tax-resident need to be prepared to address.

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Canada Begins Sharing Biometric Data

26th Aug 2010 Comments Off on Canada Begins Sharing Biometric Data

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has released Operational Bulletin 226, which discusses the sharing of biometric information further to the Five Country Conference (FCC) High Value Data Sharing Protocol. The FCC (Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand) meets annually at the Deputy Minister level to discuss ways to improve immigration. In 2007, Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia (New Zealand was not yet a member) to committed to work towards the systemic exchange of biometric data for immigration purposes.

Biometric sharing has now commenced.

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Alberta Suspends US Visa Holder and Family Stream Categories

24th Aug 2010 Comments Off on Alberta Suspends US Visa Holder and Family Stream Categories

Effective August 23, 2010, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program is no longer accepting applications under either the AINP U.S. Visa Holder Category or the Family Stream. Any applications that were postmarked before August 23rd will continue to be accepted.

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Medical Examinations for Live-in Caregivers vs. Applicants in the Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs Classes

23rd Aug 2010 Comments Off on Medical Examinations for Live-in Caregivers vs. Applicants in the Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs Classes

On August 20th, Citizenship and Immigration Canada released Operational Bulletin 232 – Live-in Caregiver Program: Revised in Canada Medical Examination Procedures.

The revised instructions apply only to the live-in caregiver. Medical examinations for family members remain unchanged. It also does not affect the initial overseas examination to qualify for a work permit as a live-in caregiver.

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Changes To Temporary Foreign Worker Program

18th Aug 2010 Comments Off on Changes To Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Last updated on July 21st, 2018

On April 1, 2011, new regulatory changes came into effect that will significantly impact temporary foreign workers and the companies that want to hire them.  If you are an employer who currently employs or is interested in employing temporary foreign workers then you need to be aware of these changes.

The changes include:

  • Assessing the genuineness of a Temporary Foreign Worker;
  • Live-in-Caregiver Changes;
  • The Employer Blacklist;
  • Time limits for temporary foreign workers; and
  • Labour Market Opinion Changes.

Establishing a set of factors to guide the assessment of the genuineness of an employer’s offer of employment to a temporary foreign worker.

The changes introduce a new s. 200(5) of the Regulations, which reads:

Genuineness of job offer

(5) A determination of whether an offer of employment is genuine shall be based on the following factors:

(a) whether the offer is made by an employer, other than an employer of a live-in caregiver, that is actively engaged in the business in respect of which the offer is made;

(b) whether the offer is consistent with the reasonable employment needs of the employer;

(c) whether the terms of the offer are terms that the employer is reasonably able to fulfill; and

(d) the past compliance of the employer, or any person who recruited the foreign national for the employer, with the federal or provincial laws that regulate employment, or the recruiting of employees, in the province in which it is intended that the foreign national work.

Establishing certain employer-related requirements for live-in caregivers.

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Visa Office Referrals and Joint Assistance Sponsorships for Refugees

18th Aug 2010 Comments Off on Visa Office Referrals and Joint Assistance Sponsorships for Refugees

Last updated on July 21st, 2018

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has released Operational Bulletin 228 – Visa Office Referred and Joint Assistant Sponsorships (JAS) for Refugees – New Templates and Instructions. This bulletin is somewhat timely given the recent media furor regarding Canada’s “failed” refugee system. It highlights that there are alternatives to becoming a refugee in Canada beyond showing up and declaring an intention to seek asylum.  Indeed, the number of refugees who arrive in Canada through specific programs exceeds those who declare that they are refugees from within Canada.

In 2009, 7,202 people became refugees by declaring upon arrival in Canada that they were asylum seekers. 7,425 arrived as government-assisted refugees. 5,036 people arrive as privately sponsored refugees.

The Operational Bulletin highlights two programs designed to combined private sponsorship with government assistance. They are the Visa Office Referrals program and the Joint Assistance Sponsorship program.

Visa Office Referrals (VOR)

In the VOR program, visa offices identify refugees from their inventory for private sponsorship. Such a case is initiated either by the visa office or by the sponsoring group. According to the Bulletin, the program ensures that selected refugees who are ready to travel can proceed to Canada as quickly. The most appropriate cases for such referral are small families or single adults without special needs.

Joint Assistance Sponsorships (JAS)

The JAS program enables sponsoring groups to partner with Citizenship and Immigration Canada in the resettlement of refugees who, because of special needs or circumstances, are expected to require an extended resettlement period and support over and above that which is provided either through government assistance or regular private sponsorship alone.

Private sponsors provide resettled refugees with orientation, significant settlement assistance, and emotional support to supplement the financial assistance and immediate and essential services available through the government’s Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP).

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Canada’s Ageing Demographics Compared to Other Western Nations

17th Aug 2010 Comments Off on Canada’s Ageing Demographics Compared to Other Western Nations

Last updated on July 21st, 2018

In today’s Daily Reckoning, Dan Denning analyzes the age demographics of numerous Western countries to determine the attractiveness of government treasuries. He summarizes the relationship between aging countries and government finances as follows:

Through either low immigration or low birth rates, or a combination of both, aging countries face some grim demographic math. Pension (private and public) pensions are likely to increase even as the tax base shrinks. Taxes go up on younger people. But government borrowing probably increases too, unless benefits get cut. If the borrowing is not from domestic savings (where it would then NOT go to private enterprise) it must be done on global markets at whatever the market price for money is.

Mr. Denning presents numerous US Census Bureau charts showing population tendencies for certain Western countries (and Iran).

I have reproduced some of these to analyze how Canada compares to other Western countries.



The charts show that the anglophone nations tend to not have as noticeable an aging pattern as other developed nations (in this case Italy and Japan).  This suggests that our pension “crisis” will not be nearly as severe as what will be experienced in other Western nations. These nations have traditionally not been as receptive to immigration as have the anglophone nations, and as such their ability to adopt policies to mitigate the effects of an aging population will likely be limited.

Amongst anglophone nations, however, Canada’s low fertility rate – currently 1.6 – results in their being fewer children than in the United States (with a fertility rate of 2.1), Australia (1.8), and the United Kingdom (1.9).

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Singh v. Canada: The Charter Applies to Refugee Claimants

17th Aug 2010 Comments Off on Singh v. Canada: The Charter Applies to Refugee Claimants

Singh v. Minister of Employment and Immigration was a 1985 Supreme Court of Canada decision that is to this day arguably the most significant decision that Canada’s Supreme Court has made in the area of Canadian immigration and refugee law.

The Facts

The Appellants were a mixture of Sikh and Guyanese individuals who sought refugee status in Canada during the late 1970s and early 1980s. At the time, the Immigration and Refugee Board did not yet exist.  Rather, asylum claimants submitted refugee claims directly to Canada’s immigration department, who would determine whether someone was a refugee based on advice received from the Refugee Status Advisory Committee.  If the claimant was unsuccessful, they could appeal to the Immigration Appeal Board.  Both the initial claim and the appeal were based on written submissions, and at the initial petition for asylum a claimant would also be questioned under oath by an immigration officer.  Applicants were not allowed to make oral appeals.  Nor could they respond to arguments made against them by the Refugee Status Advisory Committee.

The Appellants in Singh argued that the lack of a hearing violated Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

The Supreme Court’s Decision

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision was a split one, although all six justices determined that the previous approach which denied an oral hearing could not stand.  Three of the justices based their decision on the Charter.  Three based it on Canada’s Bill of Rights. 

The key and lasting holdings of the Supreme Court of Canada were  that while non-citizens do not have a right to enter or remain in Canada, a refugee who does not have a safe haven elsewhere is entitled to rely on Canada’s willingness to live up to the obligations it has undertaken as a signatory to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and that the principles of fundamental justice demand,

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