Unraveling the Blue Scarf that is Canadian Immigration: A Lesson in Patience*

December 2015

A friend of mine recently picked up knitting. She had tried to make a scarf many years ago, but had forgotten how to knit and her previous project was a mess. This time, before she even started knitting, she had to spend hours unraveling her previous project. She had hoped to make a new scarf for her husband by Christmas, but realized that this may not be realistic.

I can’t help but think that our new government is dealing with its own messy scarf situation. In the last eight years, the Conservative government made serious efforts to overhaul the Canadian immigration and refugee law system. Many argued that these changes have resulted in inefficient, too strict, and often unfair processes. In other words, our system needs some serious unraveling, and fast.

A Second Chance for a Refugee Claimant

November 2015

The first file I opened in 2015 was for a man from a central African country. He had come to Canada after witnessing the murder of a member of his religious community by a man who worked in the office of the country’s President.  He reported the shooting to the police, and named the shooter. 

How will your vote affect immigration law in Canada?

October 2015

On October 19, 2015, Canadian citizens residing in Canada have the right to vote in the federal election.  Immigration and refugee law has become a major issue in the campaign. The number of refugee that Canada will accept, especially from Syria, is a story that has captivated journalists.  The issue of whether the niqab can be worn during citizenship ceremonies has been another controversial subject.  But that is not all.  How many parents and grandparents we allow to be sponsored, and the length of time it takes to process family class applications is another hot topic.  Finally, the issue of whether or not non-resident Canadian citizens can vote in the election has also been in the news.

Never before have immigration issues taken up so much of the election. This means how you vote will affect immigration law in Canada in the months and years to come.

Changes to Canada’s Immigration System Affecting Live-in Caregivers

September 2015


Recently I was invited to speak at the Migrant Workers’ Forum, hosted by the Migrant Ministry of Assumption Church in Ottawa. I had been asked to speak about changes to Canada’s immigration system affecting live-in caregivers. A copy of my PowerPoint presentation can be found here. The audience was primarily female, almost all of whom had come as live-in caregivers from Philippines.

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.