Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with David Cohen

CIC News
Published: December 27, 2011

Every month, Attorney David Cohen will answer a few general Canadian immigration questions submitted by our readers. Here are this month’s questions and answers:

Is a birth certificate mandatory for immigration?

While a birth certificate is a preferred method of identification, there are other optional methods depending on your home country if it is not possible to get a birth certificate.

Documentation proving birth must be consistent with what is issued in your country. For example, a secondary leaving certificate, or a national identification card, sometimes in conjunction with a sworn affidavit of your place and time of birth, can be acceptable.

All valid documentation must contain your name, your date of birth, and at least one of your parent’s names.

Can someone be refused permanent residence in Canada if he/she has a medical condition such as atherosclerosis or diabetes?

Canada has a set of medical inadmissibility rules that determine who can be refused for immigration purposes. These medical inadmissibility rules describe circumstances, whether putting a burden on our health and/or social services or posing a danger to the Canadian population, that a visa officer uses to determine whether someone is ineligible to immigrate to Canada.

Relevant to your question is the rule called Excessive Demand Cost Threshold. Canada does not let people into Canada for immigration purposes whose health and/or social services costs it estimates will surpass this threshold.

So for example, someone with diabetes may or may not be deemed medically inadmissible depending on whether their treatment requirements are estimated to surpass the Excessive Demand Cost Threshold.

Does Canada offer an immigration category for resettling in Canada from another country at retirement?

Canada does not have a specific immigration category for retirees. However, a possible option is to come to Canada under one of its investor programs. Each of these has a set of requirements, for example, to be of a certain net worth, have had particular managerial experience, and to invest a specified amount of money in Canada.

At this time, while the Federal Investor Program is closed (it may reopen midway through 2012), the Quebec Investor Program is open so is a possible option for you to come to Canada.

I work as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Alberta. I am on a work permit which is valid until the 20th of June 2012. The work permit was issued based on a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). Now I would like to apply for permanent residence (PR) under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) category. I would like to know whether there is any chance for my application to be accepted because my work permit is valid only for 6 more months?

You can apply for the FSW program as a Licensed Practical Nurse (NOC 3233) as it is one of the 29 qualifying occupations without the need of a job offer. However, since you are already working in Canada, you should consider getting a job offer in order to gain additional points for Arranged Employment, with the added benefit that your application will be fast tracked. However, in both these cases, the application process for PR will take more than six months.

One option open to you, then, is to renew your work permit which is commonly done as applicants wait until their PR application is processed. LMO-based work permits can be renewed for up to four years. Because your work permit is LMO-based, your employer will have to reapply for the LMO, and you will have to go through the same steps of the temporary work permit application process as you did originally to receive the permit.

Having stated all of the above, your most practical path to Canadian permanent residency may be through the Alberta Provincial Nomination Program. Assuming that your employer is willing to offer you a permanent job offer of indeterminate length you will probably qualify for an Alberta Nomination Certificate. As long as you are healthy and are not inadmissible for criminal or security reasons you can expect to receive a Canadian Permanent Resident Visa.

Will it be a problem for me to immigrate to Canada if I have worked at one of the Iranian nuclear sites?

Anyone immigrating to Canada is subject to criminal/security and medical inadmissibility.

Criminal/security inadmissibility is relevant to your question since working in sensitive areas may trigger additional scrutiny by Canada’s intelligence agency, possibly in cooperation with international intelligence agencies.

Medical inadmissibility is also relevant to your question since working at a nuclear site will likely mean you will have to be tested for your exposure to radiation. The results could cause you to be inadmissible because you will put excessive demands on Canada’s health services.

I was single when I applied for Canadian immigration. A few months before getting the immigration visa and departing to Canada, I got married. I never declared this as I was informed by a few people that this wouldn’t be an issue and I could easily apply for my wife after entry. What would be the situation now if I try to apply for her immigration?

I am sorry to have to tell you that you have been misinformed. As I stated in last month’s CIC News Questions and Answers article, it is the responsibility of the applicant to inform the visa office whenever they have a change of family composition. This obligation extends right up until the time that you enter Canada as a permanent resident.

If you now attempt to sponsor your wife to immigrate to Canada, an investigation may be triggered to find out when you were married, and you may be accused of misrepresentation. This can result in the loss of your permanent residence status and possibly being barred from entering Canada for two years.

If you would like your general immigration question to be featured in our newsletter, please email your question to QNA@CICNEWS.COM

If you would like to be assessed for Canadian immigration, please complete CanadaVisa’s free Canadian immigration assessment form.

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