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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The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding Bridging Open 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 there are exceptions to the 4 month time-frame.

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 27, 2013

Dear Sir / Madam,

I would like to enquire about the time of an application for an open Bridging Work Permit.  In Operational Bulletin 485, dated December 15, 2012, it is noted that the processing office will confirm upon receipt of an application that:

  • The PR applications under one of the classes (CEC, PNP, FSWP) has been found eligible;
  • the applicant is currently in Canada; and
  • it is confirmed that the applicant currently holds a valid WP that will expire within the next 4 months and there are no other issues of concern.

For an applicant who has been found eligible for Permanent Residence as FSWP, whose Work Permit does not expire until ___ but has recently been laid off, is there an exception to the 4 month timeframe which would allow them to file an Open Bridging Work Permit application now in 2013,

 » Read more about: Question & Answer – Open Bridging Work Permits (IR-01)  »

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The following are some excerpts from the July 2010 RIMbits.  RIMbits are messages sent from National Headquarters to missions overseas.  The July 2010 RIMbits on admissibility consisted of eight questions and answers or bulletins.  I have reproduced three of them for free below.

Please note that the questions and answers below should not be viewed as legal advice.  Rather, they are simply reproductions of how CIC senior management answered specific questions from visa offices in July 2010.

Canadian citizen Visiting Forces Act applicant

Q. We ask for your opinion on the process for a Canadian dual citizen and his family who wish to enter Canada under the Act on Visiting Forces at the request of the ________ government. The applicant and spouse currently have official _____  passports. The sons, also dual citizens, have an ordinary ____ passports stating “son of government agent.” With what documentation should the applicant and his sons travel? Obtaining proof of Canadian citizenship for the children could take 14-16 months.

Also, the spouse has no status in Canada. The Foreign Worker Guide indicates that dependents of people who are in Canada under the Visiting Forces Act qualify for an open work permit. As the spouse of a Canadian citizen, is the wife still eligible for a work permit or study permit?

A. The Canadian citizens (principal applicant and sons) could arrive in Canada with their Official passports ______ with no permits or visas; however, the Port of Entry will have to investigate again their status as Canadian citizens. Therefore, I suggest that the applicant and his children be issued Facilitation visas so that CBSA POE will have the full story at their fingertips. The visa-exempt spouse, as accompanying dependent under the Visiting Forces Act,

 » Read more about: RIMBits Revealed (July 2010)  »

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The following are some excerpts from the June 2010 RIMbits.  RIMbits are messages sent from National Headquarters to missions overseas.  The June 2010 RIMbits on admissibility consisted of six questions and answers.  I have reproduced two of them for free below.

Please note that the questions and answers below should not be viewed as legal advice.  Rather, they are simply reproductions of how CIC senior management answered specific questions from visa offices in May 2010.

Appeals Allowed and Resumption of Examination

Q. Our FC1 case went to appeal at the IAD and was allowed. The decision states that the Panel is disgusted with the behaviour of the appellant and the applicant and that their behaviour cries out for further investigation, but it is not within the mandate of this panel to carry out such an exercise.

In light of this written comment in the decision, we would like to know if we can re examine and refuse the application as a marriage of convenience. We originally refused under A40(1)(a).

A. When the application for admission of a member of the family class is refused, the sponsor may appeal to the IAD on either legal or humanitarian grounds. Since the refusal may occur at several different stages, the allowance of the appeal results in resumption of the examination by the visa officer, not outright approval of the application. The important limitation is that the visa officer cannot reconsider matters upon which the board has decided. The difficulty in some instances, however, is figuring out exactly what the board decided. So, for example, in the case of King v. Canada (1996 115 FTR 306), the dispute was over whether or not a visa officer could refuse an applicant following a ruling that an initial refusal for medical reasons was procedurally flawed.

 » Read more about: RIMbits Revealed (June 2010)  »

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The following are some excerpts from the May 2010 RIMbits.  RIMbits are messages sent from National Headquarters to missions overseas.  The May 2010 RIMbits on admissibility consisted of seven questions and answers.  I have reproduced three of them for free below.

Please note that the questions and answers below should not be viewed as legal advice.  Rather, they are simply reproductions of how CIC senior management answered specific questions from visa offices in May 2010.

Seized Travel Document

Q) We were notified by the authorities that a permanent resident travelling on a Canadian travel document has been charged with: (1) ______ (2) _____ and (3) _____. According to local authorities, the permanent resident has been released on bail with the condition that she surrender her travel document and that “Stop Orders” are placed with the Immigration exit controls at airports.  We have been formally requested not to issue a new travel document to this permanent resident “until the matters have been disposed.”  

As the charged person is not a Canadian, the Consular Section has referred this case to us.  Although she has not done so at this point, it is possible that in the near future, this permanent resident may request from the visa office a Permanent Resident Travel Document or other documents to facilitate her return to Canada.  Would you have any advice on what we may and may not consider if the permanent resident applies for a PRTD before the judicial proceedings have come to a conclusion? 

(A) The permanent resident’s Canadian travel document has been seized by local authorities in connection with a legal matter.  It is not lost or stolen, and she will get it back when the legal process is completed.  

 » Read more about: RIMbits Revealed (May 2010)  »

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One of the more common questions that I am asked is when people who have been told  by the Government of Canada to leave Canada need to submit an Application for Authorization to Return to Canada (“ARC”) before they return.

I have obtained a copy of internal Citizenship and Immigration Canada material which addresses some of these questions, and which I have adapted and produced below.  Please note that the material below has been adapted from a document dated 2009-10.  It is from an official work by the Government of Canada which was obtained through Access to Information and Privacy Act Request.  I have reviewed it and believe that it is correct and current. However, the scenarios below should only be used for informational purposes.  It is NOT legal advice. As well, the reproduction of the training materials has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Scenario 1

Tiger Johnson, a citizen of the USA,was issued a Departure Order on August 4, 2008.  When he left Canada, he did not confirm his departure with the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”).   In 2012, he shows up at the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles and tells an officer that he now wants to confirm his departure from Canada since he forgot to do it when he left in 2008.

Can the Officer now enforce the removal order?

No. Regulation 240(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provides that Mr. Johnson must apply for a visa or for an authorization to return to Canada in order for an officer outside Canada to enforce a removal order.

Scenario 1(b)

A week later,

 » Read more about: Enforcing Removal Orders and Authorization to Return to Canada: Scenarios, Questions, and Answers  »

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Not all Citizenship and Immigration Canada Operational Bulletins are public.  Our firm has a small collection of internal bulletins.  I have published one below which provided guidance to officers on how to cancel visas.  The bulletin appears to have been motivated by the Arab Spring.

 » Read more about: Operational Bulletin 315 (Internal) – Cancellation of Visas in Crisis Situations  »

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I will be presenting in Vancouver tonight at the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants annual general meeting  on the recently changed Federal Skilled Worker Class and the Canadian Experience Class.  This follows up on a presentation I made on the same topic at the Canadian Bar Association annual immigration conference in Montreal.

As part of my presentation, I have made available the following ATIP result publicly available.  This ATIP contains training manuals and internal procedures used at Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia.  It can be viewed by clicking the link below.

ATIP CIO TRAINING MANUALS – https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.stevenmeurrens.com/docs/compressed.PDF

I have also reposted the following copies of ATIP results which I made available for the Canadian Bar Association conference in Montreal.

ATIP 1 – https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.stevenmeurrens.com/docs/ATIP1.PDF

Contains:

  • An e-mail discussion on substituted evaluation;
  • Several e-mail discussions regarding issues with the PhD program;
  • Processing delays with the CEC;
  • Issues with the 2D barcode and GCMS;
  • Addressing problems with Indian Birth Certificates;
  • and more.

ATIP 2 – https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.stevenmeurrens.com/docs/ATIP2.PDF

Contains:

  • An e-mail discussion on working overtime to process capped applications;
  • Clarifying the use of Academic IELTS;
  • E-mails on processing reconsideration requests; and
  • Several OBs (most already public, and some not).

ATIP 3 – https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.stevenmeurrens.com/docs/ATIP3.PDF

Contains:

  • GCMS Shortcuts and Tips;
  • Case Studies on Removal Orders and ARC;
  • Cheat Sheet on Calculating the Start of the 5 Year Period for Rehab;
  • Training guides for misrepresentation;
  • Assessing medical specializations and professional degrees;

 » Read more about: ATIP Results for CAPIC Presentation  »

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Section 133(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the “Regulations”) provides that:

A sponsor who is a Canadian citizen and does not reside in Canada may sponsor a foreign national who makes [an application to sponsor a member of the Family Class] and is the sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child who has no dependent children, if the sponsor will reside in Canada when the foreign national becomes a permanent resident.

(Emphasis Added)

I have dealt with this issue on numerous occasions, and, depending on the visa post, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“) may scrutinize in some detail the sponsor’s intention to actually reside in Canada with their spouse, or to simply get the principal applicant permanent resident status without actually immigrating to Canada.

The Embassy of Canada in the United Arab Emirates asks applicants to complete a Residency Questionnaire for their sponsors if they reside outside of Canada, and I have reproduced the questions below.  These questions can serve as a useful guide to anyone submitting a family class application where s. 133(2) of the Regulations applies.

  1. Is your sponsor currently a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident? 
  2. Is your sponsor currently in Canada?
    1. If yes, then how long has the sponsor been physically residing in Canada?
    2. If yes, then when did you last see your sponsor?
    3. If no, then how long has the sponsor been living outside of Canada?
  3. If your sponsor is not living in Canada, then please explain why and when he/she intends to return to reside in Canada once your visa is issued.  Please provide as many details as possible.
  4. What preparations have you and/or your sponsor made for your move to Canada?  

 » Read more about: Spousal Sponsorships where the Sponsor Does not Live in Canada  »

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When the Canada Border Services Agency began dramatically increasing enforcement operations, many wondered where the Department was going to detain individuals. The provinces, especially Ontario, has indicated for many years that they do not want to be in the “detention business.”  The internal document below shows that at one point the Department went so far as to approach the Department of National Defence to host some immigration detainees, particularly in the case of mass arrivals and security certificate cases.  Ultimately, as the document below also indicates, the Department of National Defence was not interested.

Neither the provinces nor DND appear to be interested in using their facilities to detain “illegal immigrants.”  Given this, I am always surprised when a few CBSA officers (certainly not all, or even most) decide to detain people as a matter of course, only to have them be released only a few days later by the Immigration Division.

Please note that the document below was obtained through an Access to Information and Privacy Act Request, and to my knowledge is not otherwise publicly available.  The reproduction of this document has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

 » Read more about: The Cost of Detaining “Illegal Immigrants”  »

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