A Happily Ever After Spousal Sponsorship Story

June 2015

Shawna and Pierre came to see me in late March, 2014.  Like almost all my spousal sponsorship clients, they had met over the internet.  In 2010, after a year of online correspondence, they had met in person.  Their relationship developed with visits back and forth to each other’s countries, and in July, 2013 they had married. 

Express Entry and International Students Is there a Disadvantage?

May 2015

Last month I sent a young woman back to Japan.  She’d come to Canada as an international student first to finish high school, then to attend Sheridan College in their Animation Program.  Her employer consulted me after their Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), because her position was denied.  They had been paying her the median wage for Ontario, as opposed to Ottawa, which was slightly higher.  Meanwhile, they had no idea there were median wages specific to Ottawa.  They offered her a raise and resubmitted the LMIA application.

But it was too late.

If only it had been an April Fools’ Joke

Thousands of Temporary Foreign Workers Lose their Status in Canada

April 2015

April 1st of each year marks the tradition of playing pranks on one’s friends and family.   Whether it’s toothpaste instead of icing in the kids’ cookies, toilet paper stuffed in shoes to make them seem too small, or the mysterious disappearance of all the staples from the office staplers, these pranks will leave you both annoyed and amused at the same time.

This year, it seemed like the Canadian government was attempting to be the prankster; unfortunately, it wasn’t a joke.

Adventures in Express Entry Land

January 2015

11:59 am January 1, 2015.  Cup of tea by my side.  Two client files on my desk.  Waiting for Express Entry to open at noon…

All the sensible lawyers had closed their offices for the week, and here I was, waiting for the minute the program opened so I could get Express Entry profiles created for my clients.

Express Entry – What we Know, and Don’t Know, So Far

December 2014

Since the Express Entry program was first announced last April, I’ve been checking the CIC website regularly for news on what the program would look like.  I’ve been following the tweets.  I’ve been reading the Canadian Bar Association listserv posts.  I listened to the webcast where the Express Entry Ambassador told lawyers what was coming.  Last month, I attended the Immigration Law Summit conference in Toronto where the Ambassador gave another presentation.  Over the past week, I read the Ministerial Instructions, digested the Comprehension Ranking System and went over the Express Entry Questions and Answers.    

I have Express Entry Exhaustion.

5 Complaints About Canada’s Immigration Application Process

November 2014

 

I have many complaints about Canada's immigration system.

Some are fundamental, such as how family reunification no longer seems important to our governing politicians.  As an adoptive parent and former foster parent, I know how long periods of separation can affect attachments between parents and children.  For example, lost years of attachment can affect children's abilities to make friends, their schooling, and of course, their abilities to rebuild relationships with their parents from whom they were separated for so long.

Other complaints are about minor issues, annoyances really. Although annoying enough to drive people to my office because they've thrown up their hands in frustration trying to figure out how to fill out immigration forms and determine what documents they need to submit.  How many other prospective applicants to Canada give up entirely, just because the application process is so cumbersome?

I've selected five complaints which fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Overcoming criminal inadmissiblity

October 2014

Last month, we pretended that Canadian superstar Justin Bieber was an American, and considered whether his US and Canadian criminal issues would make him criminally inadmissible to Canada. They would.  We also discussed how in August, Justin Bieber bribed a border agent to get members of his band into Canada, even though they had criminal convictions in the US.