The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding Post-Graduation Work Permits.  The Post-Graduate Work Permit is a phenomenal program which allows graduates of Canadian post-secondary students to work in Canada on open work permits.  It is not clear, however, whether people who complete a program, and then go into another program that they don’t complete, are eligible. 

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 18, 2013

Dear Madam I Sir,

I have a question about post-graduate work permits and Operational Bulletin 194. http://www. cic. qc. ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/20 1 0/ob 194A. asp

OB 194 is clear that when an individual completes a credential, and then earns another credential immediately after completing the first, then the individual can combine the duration of the two programs when calculating the length of validity his/her post-graduate work permit

My question pertains to the opposite scenario. Where an individual completes a credential, and then immediately starts a different program but does not complete it, then is that individual able to get a PGWP for his first program even though it has been more than 90 days?

For example, if someone completes a B Eng and instead of getting a PGWP enrolls in a M Eng program, but part way through the M Eng. program decides that they do not want to complete it, then can that person get a PGWP valid for three years because they completed the bachelors and has always been in Canada on study permits?

 » Read more about: Question & Answer – Post Grad Work Permit Continuity (IR-07)  »

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On September 20, 2013, Justice Edward Morgan of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the “ONSC“) released his decision in McAteer et al v. Attorney General of Canada, 2013 ONSC 5895 (“McAteer“).  McAteer involved a constitutional challenge to the citizenship oath requirement on the grounds that the requirement violates the constitutional protections of freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and equality that are  found in The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter“).  Ultimately, while the ONSC determined that the citizenship oath requirement does indeed violate s. 2(b) of the Charter‘s right to freedom of expression, the ONSC ultimately found that the breach was justified under the reasonable limits test under s. 1.  The ONSC also held that the citizenship oath requirement does not breach either s. 2(a) or 15 of the Charter, which protect freedom of religion and equality.

In reaching its decision, the ONSC interpreted the citizenship oath’s references to the queen in a very different way than I think most people do.  It is this interpretation that is going to be the subject of this blog post, as I think the McAteer decision can provide some meaning and significance to potential oath takers.  (For those interested in reading a summary of how Justice Morgan analysed the Charter challenges, including his application of the Oakes test, I suggest you read this wonderfuly concise 12 paragraph summary.)

The Citizenship Oath

Section 3(1)(c) of the Citizenship Act, RSC 195, c C-29 (the “Citizenship Act“), provides that:

Subject to this Act, a person is a citizen if the person has been granted or acquired citizenship pursuant to section 5 or 11 and,

 » Read more about: Ontario Superior Court upholds Constitutionality of Citizenship Oath Requirement  »

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The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding open bridging work permits.  One of the best things that Jason Kenney did as immigration minister was to allow individuals to apply for open work permits if their permanent residence applications had reached certain stages in processing.  (A detailed blog post of mine on Bridging Open Work Permits can be found here.)  As with any new program, questions emerged regarding specific requirements of the Bridging Open Work Permit, including whether spouses can apply.  This is actually the second Q&A on open bridging work permits which I have reproduced.  The first can be found here

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 14, 2013

Hello,

Could you tell me if Open Bridging Work Permits also apply to spouses of work permit holders?

Thank you.

Answer – May 22, 2013

NO, the Bridging Work Permit is only available to the Principal Applicant.

However, if certain conditions are met by the principal applicant, they will impact the eligibility for the spouse for an
open work permit.

In all cases the Principal Applicants work permit must be valid for longer than 6 months.

For spouses of Federal Skilled Workers, the principal applicant must be performing work which is at a level that falls within National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Levels 0, A or B.

For spouses of Provincial Nominee applicants,

 » Read more about: Question & Answer – Open Bridging Work Permits and Spouses (IR-06)  »

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A sad day today.

Annemarie Desloges, a 29-year old Citizenship and Immigration Canada employee, was among the at least 59 people killed in the terrorist attack which took place in Kenya over the weekend.

Ms. Desloges served at Canada’s High Commission in Kenya as a liaison officer with the Canada Border Services Agency.

Her husband, Robert Munk, was injured in the attack but has since been released from hospital.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development has issued the following press release:

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney today issued the following statement:

“It is with heartfelt sadness that we learned of the death in the service of our country, one of our own, Annemarie Desloges, a distinguished public servant with Citizenship and Immigration Canada who served at Canada’s High Commission in Kenya.

“We send our thoughts and prayers and those of all Canadians to Ms. Desloges’ family, friends and colleagues during this most difficult time.

“Canada condemns this senseless act of violence in the strongest of terms, and we call on Kenyan authorities to bring the perpetrators of this terrorist attack to justice.

“Canadian public servants around the world selflessly serve our country proudly. Like Annemarie, they do so because they believe in the cause of humanity. They believe that their work will better the lives of many at home and around the world. They believe in the values that Canada represents.

“We have no doubt that Annemarie touched the lives of many, and it is for that, that she will always be remembered.”

A biographical note on Annemarie Desloges follows. 

 » Read more about: Annemarie Desloges, Thank you for serving our country, Rest in Peace  »

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The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding the immigration consequences of foreign expungements for individuals who otherwise may be inadmissible to Canada.  

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The adaptation of the question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 7, 2013

Greetings,

My name is __________ and I am a Canadian Immigration Lawyer based in ______.

When Burke Thornton was the Program Manager in Buffalo he had confirmed with headquarters that the state of California expungment (under s. 1203.4) is equivalent to a full expungement in Canada. Could you kindly confirm that California’s expungement procedure (1203.4) which allows you to state to any private individual/institution that you were never convicted of an offence for which you received an expungement is equivalent to a Canadian pardon?

Thank you very much.

Answer – May 27, 2013

Good day and thank you for your question.

CIC assesses inadmissibility on a case by case basis.

In cases of a foreign expungement, a criminal equivalency is usually done to establish whether the foreign country’s legal system is based on similar foundations and values as Canada’s and to look at the circumstances under which the expungement was granted and if it can be accepted as mitigating circumstances in Canada.

An expungement in the State of California is not automatically an equivalent to a record suspension (formerly called “pardon”) in Canada. Getting a foreign pardon or expungement, is not an automatic equivalency to Canada’s system nor is it a “green light”

 » Read more about: Question & Answer – Expungements and Inadmissibility (IR-05)  »

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The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding Education Points under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, as well as a question about On Campus Work Permits.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 06, 2013

Dear Sir / Madam,

I have two questions:

1. For submissions under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, do applicants need to submit proof of completion of secondary school if their highest level of education is a bachelor’s degree (or higher)?  In other words, is documentation required for all secondary and post-secondary students, or just for the highest level of education claimed?

2. Is there a maximum number of hours that a student with a valid study permit can work ON campus?  I understand that Off-campus work permit holders can only work 20 hours and I was wondering if the same restriction applies to On-campus work.

Best regards,

Answer – May 27, 2013

1) As noted in the Federal Skilled Worker Program application guide, in order to meet the minimum education requirement, all applicants must submit proof of:

  • a completed Canadian secondary or post-secondary credential, or
  • a completed foreign educational credential and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report issued by an organization designated by CIC if their educational credential was obtained outside Canada.  The ECA report must confirm the equivalency of the completed foreign educational credential to a completed Canadian secondary or post-secondary educational credential.

An applicant submitting proof of a Canadian post-secondary educational credential (or an equivalent foreign educational credential) does not need to also submit proof of completion of a secondary educational credential.

 » Read more about: Questions & Answers – FSWP Education Points and On-Campus Work Permits (IR-04)  »

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Once a decision has been rendered in relation to an application for a humanitarian and compassionate exemption, is the ability of the decision-maker to reopen or reconsider the application on the basis of further evidence provided by an applicant limited by the doctrine of functus officio?

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As the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (“PAFSO”) strike enters its fifth month, the Public Service Labour Relations Board (“PSLRB”) has ruled that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) is bargaining with PAFSO in bad faith.  The PSLRB decision can be found here.

CIC has filed a judicial review application of the PSLRB decision.

There appears to be no end in sight to the PAFSO strike.  However, by now most individuals who frequently interact with CIC have likely realized that many applications are continuing to be processed, and that there are certain steps that can be taken to minimize the impact of the PAFSO job action.  Indeed, as the University of Toronto’s Varsity Newspaper reported:

For students, the PAFSO strike practically seems to have caused, at most, a limited problem. Visas, while sometimes delayed, are not being withheld with any significant regularity, and in fact seem to be getting processed more efficiently than ever.

 » Read more about: PSLRB Rules CIC Bargaining with PAFSO in Bad Faith  »

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The following are two e-mail exchanges between immigration representative and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) regarding arranged employment.  The Federal Skilled Worker Program allows certain individuals employed in Canada without a Labour Market Opinion to qualify for Arranged Employment.  As well, Arranged Employment can result in betwee.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 28, 2013

Hello,

Could you please confirm if the intra-company work permit holders in Canada can be considered to have arranged employment under the new rules (as of May 4th 2013) and could submit a FSW application based on the fact they hold ICT work permit and have an indeterminate job offer from the same employer.

Answer – May 28, 2013

Intra-company transferees in Canada who hold a valid work permit which is exempt from the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) requirement under R204(a), are working for an employer specified on the work permit and have a qualifying offer of arranged employment from the same employer are eligible to apply under the arranged employment stream under the Federal Skilled Worker Program under the new rules which came into effect on May 4, 2013 [R82(2)(b)].

All other intra-company transferees who hold a valid work permit which is LMO-exempt under R205 would also be eligible to apply provided they had a qualifying offer of arranged employment from their prospective employer, and that employer had obtained a positive LMO [R82(2)(d)].

The second questions are:

Candidate on an open work permit for a Canadian employer in a NOC 0,

 » Read more about: Questions & Answers – Arranged Employment  »

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The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding the Canadian Experience Class.  The Canadian Experience Class allows individuals with one-year skilled work experience in Canada to apply to immigrate.  As with any program, questions emerged regarding specific requirements, including whether work in Canada for a foreign employer count towards the one-year requirement.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 28, 2013

Dear Sir / Madam,

I was wondering if you might be able to provide some guidance regarding a CEC application.  I have a client (foreign worker) who has a valid work permit (initially under C10 and then with supporting LMO) where the employer is a foreign company but does not have any operations in Canada.  The foreign employer is hoping to open up an office in ____ but in the meantime, has the foreign worker attending various client business meetings pitching for potential engagements of the foreign company and providing some consulting services.  The foreign worker is working full time hours in Canada and holds a functional manager position (NOC 0) and would (in my opinion) otherwise qualify for CEC but it is not clear whether his Canadian work experience over the past year would qualify as he has been working for a foreign company. 

I cannot find anything in the guide, operational manual, website or checklist that would exclude him, however, the situation did strike me as unusual and I wanted to confirm this issue before preparing the CEC application. 

 » Read more about: Questions & Answers – Canadian Experience Class  »

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