Immigration Law: BC Immigration Lawyers

Immigration Law

Immigration Law: Visiting CanadaStudy Permits | Work Permits | Business ImmigrantsFamily SponsorshipInadmissibilityCanada Express EntryAppeals | Permanent Residence | Obtaining Canadian Citizenship

Whether you’re applying to simply visit Canada, to live here for work or studies, or wanting to immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident, it is good to have an immigration lawyer on your side to help you navigate the complexities of Immigration Law. At Acumen Law Corporation, we have the knowledge and commitment to make the process easier with the aim of increasing your chances at a successful application.

Call 250-384-0100 now for a free consultation.

Not sure if we can help? Try filling out our Immigration Assessment Form!

We are prepared to:

  • Perfect your application package – Applications, with few exceptions, are usually prepared by you, but perfected by our office to ensure that immigration authorities have everything they need to review your package properly and in a timely fashion!
  • Liaise with Immigration officials – We will liaise with any immigration officials on your behalf in a timely fashion
  • Keep tabs on your application – We can get updates for you, and even get you ready for an interview if necessary!
  • Deliver your documents – When the visa is ready to be issued, we make sure you receive it, and will explain any information relevant to your arrival in Canada.

Remember that one little mistake can determine the rest of your life. So talk to us, and let us make your immigration package as perfect as it can be. Relieve yourself of the headache and stress of not only obtaining the correct forms, but also avoiding mistakes.

We will tell you what you need. You can fill out what you know for certain, and we can perfect it. In addition, we will prepare a letter of submission to complete your package, and tell Immigration Officials why you should succeed in your application.

 

Visiting Canada

Visiting Canada

Before you stress, see if you actually need a visa to travel to Canada by checking this website:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp

Once you select the country you are coming to Canada from, the site will tell you whether you require a visa. Please note: You always need a valid passport to enter Canada.

Depending on where you are travelling from, you may need to also obtain a Electronic Travel Authorization form, also referred to as ETA. It only applies to certain countries and if you are flying in.

If you are a parent and grandparent you may want to apply for the Super Visa! Whether you require a visa to travel to Canada or not, you can stay up to two years on a Super Visa.

Once you have determined whether you require a visa or not, give us a call. We will provide you with a list of all documents you require to have in order and submit to Immigration Canada. We will also ensure that your application is done properly, and attach a submission as to why your application should succeed.

The required documents depend on which country you are coming from. It may involve proof that you’re in good health, that you completed your studies, where you traveled to and from in the past 10 years, and other related information.

For the Super Visa, Immigration officials always require more information. A minimum income and insurance coverage are two examples.

You will also need to submit a photo. The photo you provide with your application has to be in accordance with the guidelines.

Keep in mind, there are a large number of guidelines that must be followed to ensure the best chances of success for your application. One little mistake may change your life, for the worst.

We are a call away, 250-384-0100.

 

Study Permits

Student Visa

The educational institutions in Canada have great reputation worldwide. Each year more than 100,000 people come to study in Canada. Many more come to study English or French. Under the new rules, the Canadian Government is trying to retain that all that brain power by developing programs that help students become permanent residents in this great county of ours.

If you want to study in Canada you will need a Temporary Resident Visa, which we refer to as TRV in our practice. We can help. Usually, before getting your TRV, you will need to:

  • have funds available to visit Canada;
  • ID, usually in the form of a passport;
  • invitation from the person inviting you to visit;
  • proof that you’re staying in Canada temporarily, for instance, through your travel itinerary.

At Acumen Law Corporation, we can help you prepare your application and obtain a student Visa. Study permits are currently limited to those students studying at a Designated Learning Institution.

Anyone who has a study permit in Canada will also have to prove they are enrolled in a qualified program, and may have to prove to government that you are making steady progress towards the completion of your studies.

Having said that, study permits offer a lot of flexibility. You are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week, even off-campus, during your regular academic session. And if there’s a scheduled break, such as for summer holidays, you are permitted to work full-time without obtaining a work permit.

A study permit is not required if the course or program you are taking is six months or less, but you may still be required to have a valid visitors’ visa.

We will perfect your application and submit the package for you to receive your student permit and come study in Canada! Once successful, your student permit is issued by the Canadian Government.

If you want to study here, you will have to fill out the required form, and satisfy the Government that:

  • you will leave Canada at the end of your studies;
  • have your letter of acceptance from the educational institution;
  • prove that you have money for the schooling and the living expenses for you and your family members (if they are coming with you);
  • have no criminal record;
  • not be a risk to the security of Canada; and
  • be in good health.

And, remember, that Immigration officials can request more documentation at any point in time. We can be the ones speaking with them, and addressing their concerns.

Canada has one of the highest standards of education in the world. If you want to ensure your best chances of success when applying to study in Canada, call us at 250-384-0100. Consult with us BEFORE you submit your application.

 

Work Permits

work permit

Close to a quarter of a million foreign skilled workers come to work in Canada. It can be you!

In order to qualify, you must have:

  • an offer of employment; and
  • be granted the temporary foreign worker permit.

The usual 4 steps involved in getting your temporary work visa:

  • employer applies for a labour market impact assessment (sometimes required);
  • employer extends the offer to work to foreign workers;
  • you apply for the work permit with the help of our firm;

AND

  • your work permit is issued!

Remember that, a small mistake, in each step of the way can cause you to stay behind and not be part of the many thousands of people who come to work year after year in Canada.

Call us, we will ensure you have the best package possible BEFORE you submit it to Immigration Canada.

Also, it’s important to note that your temporary visitor visa will not allow you to work in Canada.

The employer has to send the a copy of the Labour Market Impact Assessment and the offer of employment to you. The formal employment contract (or ‘job letter’) must include: job title, description, start and end dates, requirements of the job, salary, and full contact information for the employer.

There are a few more steps involved in obtaining the work visa, and we will explain those to you.

 

Business Immigrants

Immigrant investors

Investors:
In simple terms what this means is: You are worth several million Canadian dollars, and you are prepared to part with a large percentage of that in order to obtain Permanent Residency. So, are you prepared to give money to the Canadian Government for a few years? Usually, those funds would be returned to you by the Government in approximately 5 years without interest, of course. You should, however, get your permanent residency status in less than 5 year.

Entrepreneurs:
This works if you own a small to medium sized business in your home country.
Meaning, you don’t need to have millions and millions but, you still need to be in a very good financial position.
Usually $800,000.00 Canadian Dollars will suffice.
In this program, you either buy an established business, or you provide a business idea for Canada that will create jobs and promote the economy.

Self Employed:
If you are currently providing your home country with culture. What does this mean?
Are you an actor, a dancer, a producer in your home country?
You don’t need to create a business. You are it. It is your talent that drives your work and contributions.
Are you an athlete? That counts too!
Or, do you want to be a farmer? Are you buying a farm in Canada or part of a farm?

These areas are complex: the definitions, the regulations, the requirements, the invasion into your financial life, are just a few hurdles. The different Provinces have different programs too. The application fees by the Government are much higher than other Immigrant categories, and so are the legal fees.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to communicate with us. That is what we are here for. 250-384-0100.

 

Family Sponsorship

family sponsorship

We can determine if you can sponsor your relative, or be sponsored by a relative living in Canada. When you want to unite with a loved one who lives outside the country, it is up to you to sign an undertaking promising financial support for the person you are sponsoring. You may end up being responsible for the finances of this person for three to 10 years.

To sponsor someone, you need to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident living in Canada. You may not sponsor someone if you are on social assistance, though there is an exception for those who are on disability assistance. You must also prove you have enough income to cover the finances of those you are sponsoring, and any of their dependants.

Once you have completed your application, there may be additional steps and documents you must complete. One of these steps includes a mandatory medical examination for your family members. Once everything is set up, you will be able to check on the application process through Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s online portal.

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada seeking to sponsor a close family member but had the application refused, you may be able to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

 

Inadmissibility

Inadmissibility

There are many reasons you may be denied a visa to enter Canada. The government assesses potential visitors to Canada for many things. Some of these seem obvious, for example your visa application may be rejected for reason of criminal inadmissibility. Other reasons are less obvious. For example, you may be denied a visa because of financial reasons – if the government believes you would be unable to support yourself or your family in Canada.

Criminal inadmissibility is different from other denied visas due to an element of crime. An assessment of your admissibility may depend on whether the crime you’ve been convicted of outside the country has a Canadian equivalent. If the offence you have been convicted of outside the country does not have a Canadian equivalent, you may have a good chance of overcoming criminal inadmissibility.

If you are found to be inadmissible anyway, you may be asked to appear at an immigration inadmissibility hearing. It may be helpful if you have a lawyer who can represent you at the hearing. There are ways to overcome criminal inadmissibility, including through Temporary Resident Permits, Rehabilitation and Record Suspensions.

 

Canada Express Entry

Canada Express Entry

Helping you achieve your immigration goals through the Express Entry system. The Express Entry system is how the Canadian government assesses the highest quality candidates for immigration to the country.

Skilled workers are people like you who can become permanent residents. They are selected on the basis of their ability to work and establish themselves financially in Canada. If you are interested in coming or remaining in Canada as a skilled worker there are a few things you should be aware of:

Do you have a year of continuous full time (or equivalent) work experience in what we call ‘a skilled occupation’ as listed in the National Occupation Classification?

Is your English or French knowledge equivalent to our Canadian Language Benchmark 7? You will need to write a little test for this.

Some of the factors the government will assess includes your skills, education, ability to speak one of Canada’s official tongues, work experience, whether you have a valid job offer, among other factors.

Anyone can submit their name and details into a “pool” of candidates, and most applications will be processed in six months or less. If you are successful, the Canadian government will send you an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

 

All applications are submitted through express entry program, meaning you have to submit an online profile in order to enter the pool of persons applying. Immigration Canada issues draws (you win!) on a regular basis and send invitations to apply (ITA) to you when you have a high score on the comprehensive ranking system. If you have a job offer, the better your chances of being invited.

It is, as you suspected, more complicated than this, so I invite your questions: 250-384-0100

 

Appeals

Immigration appeals

We are prepared to take your appeal in the following instances: Removal Orders, Sponsorship Refusals, Medical Refusals, Criminality, Inadequate financial arrangements for settlement, Failure by entrepreneurs to meet terms and conditions, Failure by a Permanent Resident to meet the residency obligations set out in section 28(2) IRPA).

 

Permanent Residence

Permanent Residence

A permanent resident is simply someone who has immigrated to Canada. If you are approved for immigration, whether it’s through the spousal sponsorship or as an immigrant investor, you will be issued a permanent resident visa.

What this means is that you are allowed to live in Canada and will have some of the rights of Canadian citizens, but not all. You may obtain benefits such as health care coverage, can work live and study in Canada, and may eventually apply for Canadian citizenship. However, you will not be able to vote or run for political office, and may be restricted in the types of jobs you can apply for.

However, it is possible to lose your permanent resident status. This can happen if you fail to meet residency obligations, which includes requirements that over every five-year period, you must spend two years in living in Canada.

In some cases, a removal order may be made against you and cause you lose your permanent residency status. In other cases, an adjudicator may determine you are no longer a permanent resident after an inquiry or appeal. Consider contacting an immigration lawyer to learn more about what you can do if you lose your permanent residency status in Canada.

 

Obtaining Canadian Citizenship

Canadian citizenship

In Spanish

The laws and regulations governing Immigration and Citizenship in Canada are not straightforward. Without a lawyer’s assistance, it is very easy to miss required elements in your application and deadlines. This short list attempts to clarify the process to obtain Canadian Citizenship. It is not exhaustive, and simply serves to demystify the process because getting your Canadian Citizenship will offer you peace of mind as well as more privileges

To start, you must already be a permanent resident of Canada.

What this means is that you must have been present in Canada for 3 out of 5 years, prior to applying for Citizenship. If you are under investigation by Canadian authorities, or serving a sentence, or under an order to be removed from this country, you cannot apply.

If you want to be a Canadian Citizen and one or both of your parents were born in Canada, you could have been naturalized if you are born after April 17, 2009. This means that you already are a Canadian Citizen. If it’s a minor who wants to apply, either one of the parents must be Canadian, or one of the parents must be applying for Canadian Citizenship at the same time.

If you were a permanent resident for 3 out of 5 years, whether you have filed your income taxes for those years is an extremely important consideration before applying. Failing to do so could negatively impact your chances of success.

You must speak one of the official languages, English or French.

There will be a citizenship test that you are required to take in one of these two languages, but do not stress too much. Chances are that, if you have trouble reading and writing in English, for instance, you will get an oral test. To prepare for your test: Read or listen to Discover Canada, brush up on your knowledge of Canadian Rights and Freedoms, understand Canadian politics, and improve your language skills.

For the test itself, you must take all the original documents you had copied to submit with your application. There are 3 different types of application forms: one for adults, one for minors, and another for members of the Canadian Armed Forces. With your application form ready, you will have to submit copies of all required documents, and the government filing fees.

Your test will either be oral or written, you will receive your test results immediately after the test. Assuming you passed your test, your Citizenship ceremony will happen within 6 months of the test date.

The Oath Ceremony is the last part! Bring your original immigration documents, permanent resident card, or record of landing if you became a permanent resident before June 28, 2002. And, now, enjoy all the rights and benefits, and duties and responsibilities that comes with being a Canadian!

Acumen Law is here to turn those dreams into a reality. Call 250-384-0100 for more information.

 


Elizabete Costa
Victoria lawyer Elizabete Costa is a former Crown prosecutor with 16 years of experience. She now practises immigration law and criminal law. You can reach her at elizabete@acumenlaw.ca or 250-384-0100.
Agnes Tong
Richmond lawyer Agnes Tong has a track record of successfully putting forward her clients’ cases before various decision makers. She practises both criminal law and immigration law. Reach her at agnes@acumenlaw.ca or 604-370-3050.