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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. If parents or grandparents are in Canada on a Super Visa, can they work for an employer in Canada?

A Super Visa does not grant its bearer the right to work in Canada. It is not a work permit, and parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Canada on a Super Visa should not engage in any work in Canada unless authorized to do so.

The Super Visa allows its bearer multiple entries to Canada for a period up to 10 years. The key difference between a Super Visa and a visitor visa is that the Super Visa allows an individual to stay for up to two years on initial entry into Canada, while a 10-year multiple entry visitor visa would only have a status period for each entry of six months only.

2. Is it true that dual citizens of Canada now need to travel on a Canadian passport if travelling to Canada by air?

Until November 10, 2016, individuals who hold Canadian citizenship as well as citizenship of another country could enter Canada with a passport from the country of their non-Canadian citizenship. As of November 10, however, Canadian citizens require a Canadian passport in order to board their flight to travel to Canada. There is an exception for American-Canadian citizens, who may enter Canada with an American passport.

In some cases, special authorization may be given for Canadian citizens to travel to Canada by air on a non-Canadian passport.

Until January 31, 2017, Canadian citizens without a Canadian passport can apply for a special authorization to travel to Canada by air if they:

  • have a flight to Canada that leaves in less than 10 days, and
  • have a valid passport from a visa-exempt country.

And one of the following:

  • have previously received a certificate of Canadian citizenship, or
  • held a Canadian passport in the past, or
  • were granted Canadian citizenship after having been a permanent resident of Canada.

The individual’s information will be verified to confirm that he or she is indeed a Canadian citizen. This authorization will be valid for only four days from the date of travel selected on the form. If it is not used within this time, the individual will need to apply for a new authorization.

The government of Canada states that, for individuals who are not eligible for the special authorization, ‘there are no quick fixes to help you get on a flight.’ The government encourages affected persons to Contact the nearest government of Canada office abroad to find out what their options are. Only under strict conditions and on a case-by-case basis will temporary passports or emergency travel documents be issued.

 3. Can we expect more Invitations to Apply to be issued under the Express Entry system in 2017 than in previous years?

Although it is not possible to know for certain what the future may bring to Canadian immigration programs and systems, the short answer to your question is yes — we can expect more Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to be issued this year, compared with previous years.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) representatives have made numerous mentions of the department’s objective to increase the number of ITAs issued. However, the clearest evidence comes with IRCC’s 2017 Immigration Levels Plan, which was released just over two months ago.

Of all the targets that were announced in the 2017 plan, arguably the most significant is the increased role that Express Entry is expected to play.

Up to 75,300 new immigrants will land in Canada through one of the federal economic immigration programs in 2017, an increase of around 23 percent on last year, when the target was 59,000. This includes applicants who applied prior to the launch of Express Entry and whose applications remain in the inventory of applications that have not yet been processed to completion. Moreover, the inventory of applications submitted before 2015 was larger at that time. Consequently, the number of people to be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through Express Entry in 2017 is expected to go up considerably.

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