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:I understand that when my immigration application is accepted for review, I will receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt from the government. Will this be received by mail or email? What if I have changed my address?
Acknowledgement of Receipts (AOR) are being issued by mail and email, depending on the office and the type of application. At the present time, it is difficult to know in advance how an AOR will issued. It is, therefore, important to ensure that you inform the Visa Office of any address changes. Alternatively, you may retain an Attorney as your representative, in which case all communication will be sent to your Attorney’s address.
I do not think I will be able to obtain police clearances from my country of residence. Is there any way I can explain this to the visa officer reviewing my file?
It is possible to submit a Declaration to the Visa Office explaining why you are unable to obtain a required document, like a police clearance. It is important to keep in mind that it is the Visa Officer’s discretion whether to accept or reject any such explanation for a missing police report. Since police reports are essential for a Visa Officer to determine whether an applicant is inadmissible to Canada, it would be highly advisable to make all out efforts to provide the Visa Office with all required police reports.
For spousal sponsorship, how does the government know if you have been in a ‘legitimate relationship’ with your partner?
The Visa Officer makes a decision about the legitimacy of a spousal relationship based on the documents submitted with the application. Where the Visa Office has concerns that are not addressed by the application and available documents, they have the right to ask for more documentation or call the applicants to an interview.
How can I know for sure whether or not my summary (misdemeanor) offense makes me inadmissible to Canada?
Foreign offences must be equated to the Canadian Criminal Code and other federal statutes to determine whether the offense makes a person inadmissible or not. Even if it is equivalent under Canadian law, you may be deemed rehabilitated or have the opportunity to submit a rehabilitation application. It is highly recommended that you obtain advice from an Attorney that is knowledgeable about criminal inadmissibility to evaluate such a matter.
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