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Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with Attorney David Cohen

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Every month, Attorney David Cohen will answer a few general Canadian immigration questions submitted by our readers. These questions cover immigration programs, eligibility, processing, language requirements, investing in Canada, landing, admissibility, studying in Canada, working in Canada, and much more.

Here are this month’s questions and answers.

1. I have friends who were granted permanent resident visas. When they applied for the said visas, they were common-law partners, as they cohabited without the benefit of marriage. Can they possibly enter into a contract of marriage in the Philippine before going to Canada? Will it affect their present visa?

Any change in civil status should be reported immediately to Canadian immigration authorities, even when such a change may cause a delay in the processing of the visa application.

Changes in civil status that occur after a visa is issued but before the applicant has landed in Canada must also be reported to Canadian immigration authorities.

2. I am a 35 year-old postgraduate with 11 years of work experience. I am acting as an accompanying spouse in the Express Entry system. The Principal Applicant (PA), my wife, is a 34 year-old postgraduate. Her Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is 371 and mine is 390. She was made PA because I thought the prospects of her getting a job was better with job NOC code 2231(electrical and electronics engineering). I am a construction engineer. Now I observe that the number of jobs listed under my occupation is double that of hers. Is it possible that I create a fresh profile with me as the PA, while also keeping her profile in the pool?

Yes, this is possible. Some couples may see the value of having two profiles in the pool, with both partners listed as the Principal Applicant on separate profiles. You should ensure that the information provided in both profiles is consistent, as discrepancies may be seen as misrepresentation.

3. I’m planning to start my immigration application to Canada next month. I have worked in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 2003 to 2005 but the company that I worked for can’t provide a work certificate. I am currently working for a different company since 2006 that is willing to provide a work certificate. The question now is can I still submit my application without the work certificate from 2003-2005?

Whenever a candidate cannot provide an item listed under the required documents on the application checklist, he or she must explain why, as well as demonstrate that efforts were made to acquire the document(s) in question. Moreover, alternative documentation should be provided.

In situations where obtaining a required work document proves to be difficult or impossible, alternative documentation may include items such as pay slips, an original job offer, proof of the company folding since 2005 (if that is the case), letters from former colleagues and/or a supervisor, and taxation records. This list is just suggested items, and not exhaustive.

Also bear in mind that if documents on the required checklist are not provided and alternative documentation is provided in its place, the decision to allow the alternative documentation in lieu of the required documentation rests at the discretion of the Visa Officer overlooking the file.

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