Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with Attorney David Cohen

CIC News
Published: March 2, 2016

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 am a Canadian citizen and I submitted an application to sponsor my parents under the family sponsorship (Parent and Grandparent) program in January, 2014. My wife is a permanent resident of Canada. My question is that if I move to USA for a new job, does this affect the application of my parents sponsorship? Can they still land in Canada as permanent residents and I will be there to receive them, even though I live in USA for work?

In order for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor his or her parents under the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP), he or she must:

  • be 18 years of age or older;
  • be a Canadian citizen, Registered Indian or permanent resident;
  • be sponsoring a member of the family Class;
  • live in Canada;
  • sign an undertaking promising to provide for the basic requirements of the person being sponsored;
  • sign an agreement with the person being sponsored that confirms that each party understands their mutual obligations and responsibilities;
  • prove sufficient income to provide the basic requirements for the family members in Canada as well as the persons included in the sponsorship undertaking.

Further, the sponsor must also remain eligible as a sponsor until a final decision is made on the application. Therefore, if a sponsor changes the country in which he or she is ordinarily residing from Canada to any other country (including the United States), the application may be refused.

2. I want to ask if it allowed or possible to apply for a PNP in more than one province. For example, if I apply to Alberta, can I also apply to B.C.?

While each Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) may have slightly different requirements, one thing that is typically required across the board is the submission of a settlement plan. This plan requires the applicant to provide detailed information about his or her personal goals upon landing in the given province. A settlement plan requires an applicant, either implicitly or explicitly (depending on the province in question), to commit to an intention to reside in that province.

There are, however, historical precedents whereby candidates may make simultaneous applications to more than one Canadian immigration program. For example, according to the governments of Quebec and Canada, individuals can submit an Express Entry profile and submit an application under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), provided that one or the other is withdrawn when either a Quebec Selection Certificate/certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ) or Invitation to Apply (ITA) is issued (though it should be noted that the QSWP is not a PNP). Candidates for immigration to Canada weighing up their options may be in a position to pursue more than one PNP. Nevertheless, there are a number of variables that may have an effect on such a decision, such as whether the particular PNP stream(s) operates on an Expression of Interest or first-come, first-served basis, whether the PNP stream(s) in question is an enhanced or base PNP stream, and how far into the process an individual may go before the applicant must choose which PNP is ultimately the best one for his or her objectives.

3. My wife has applied to study a course in international business management at St.Clair College, beginning September, 2016, and I wish to accompany her and support her stay, both emotionally as well as financially. Is it possible to come to Canada with her?

Under Canadian immigration regulations, foreign spouses and common-law partners of temporary foreign workers and foreign students, who themselves want to work in Canada, may be able to obtain an open work permit.

The spouse or common-law partner of an international student in Canada may apply for a work permit if:

  • The international student is studying at:
    • a public post-secondary institution, such as a college or university or collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) in Quebec,
    • a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as a public institution, and receives at least 50 percent of its financing for its overall operations from government grants (currently, only private college-level educational institutions in Quebec qualify), or
    • a Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees; and
  • The international student has a valid study permit.

For spouses and common-law partners, open work permits are generally issued with a validity date that coincides with the period of time that their spouse is permitted to work or study in Canada, as the case may be.

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