People from around the world are coming to Canada for a multitude of reasons and there are a multitude of applications for each person to consider. Our experience in the immigration field can help you to make the important decisions respecting the application that is most suitable for you. We will start with a simple telephone or Skype consultation to assess your interests and your qualifications. It may be that you have a particular application you feel would be best. In some cases, we have the ability to point you towards a faster process with a better chance of success.*
Commonly known as a Visitor Visa, the TRV is the essential visa required for people that want to visit Canada. Some TRV applications can be quite simple and we encourage you to use the tools provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to assist yourself with making these applications. However, for many individuals, this simple application process can bog down with requirements that are not necessarily published in the CIC Application Guides. We are here to help you put the best possible application package together with the hope that you or your relative can successfully be approved to visit Canada.
Common to all applications for temporary status including TRV’s, Work Permits and Study Permits, is the fact that the application form itself appears to be quite simple. This can be misleading. It’s our experience that most applications are refused not due to issues with the application form but rather the lack of satisfactory supporting documentation. We will work with you to put together the best application possible given your particular situation.
We often receive calls from potential clients that wish to apply for a work permit and come to look for work in Canada. We truly wish it was so simple. However, these permits are employer driven, meaning the employer must first have approval to hire a foreign worker and provide an offer of employment to the worker. We can help with both these steps, first by helping employers to obtain the necessary approvals in the form of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and second, by helping the recruited employee with applying for the work permit.
It is our experience that for many individuals, the best way to obtain the long term goal of Canadian Citizenship is to start by entering Canada as a student. Once a student completes the education qualifications for qualifying certificates, diplomas or degrees, a Work Permit can be obtained and within a short period, the former student will qualify for Permanent Residency. Not only is this a relatively stable process, it helps to assure that an individual new to Canada develops the tools to find success in Canada.
The Canadian Experience Class is a relatively new application program to promote Permanent Residency in Canada based on an applicants prior experience in Canada. This application category targets specific foreign workers and qualifying foreign students that have completed the prescribed requirements in Canada to qualify. The CEC has proved highly popular and now forms a large portion of the applications for Permanent Residency received each year.
Applicants with a high level of education and significant work experience may qualify under this category. The selection criteria uses a point system requiring a minimum of 67 points granted to the applicant based on Education, Language Proficiency, Work Experience, Age, Arranged Employment and Adaptability to Canada.
The Business Class in the past has involved self-employed applicants, entrepreneurs and investors. Our focus has been assisting entrepreneurs and investors. At this time the Federal Business Class is undergoing significant changes. We look forward to the finalization of the revised categories to further assist entrepreneurs and investors with planning for successful ventures in Canada. Currently, we assess each applicant and advise based on a multitude of options that may include applying under one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) or entry as a foreign worker.
From Spouses to Parents and Grandparents, it has been our pleasure to help many families to reunite in Canada. Although there are recent changes to spousal and family sponsorships, the basic category remains the same. Spouses can be sponsored, both in Canada and outside Canada. Parents and Grandparents can be sponsored but only a specified number of applications will be processed each year. Children under the age of 18 are eligible for sponsorship but children over 18 can no longer be included as dependents on their parent’s application.
Most provinces now have a nominee program under which the province can provide a nomination certificate to candidates that qualify the province’s selection criteria. Each PNP program sets its own selection criteria and quotas. The first step in the PNP process is to select a province and apply based on its criteria. If you meet the criteria and can show a genuine intention to reside in that province, you may be granted a nomination certificate. Once you have the nomination certificate a separate application is made to CIC for permanent residence. CIC will then assess your application based on their criteria which will include, amongst other things, security and health clearances.
Often people arrive at the Canadian border anticipating a short visit for business or pleasure only to find themselves standing inside the Port of Entry office receiving a document from a CBSA officer denying entry due to an embarrassing incident from the past. It could be a past conviction for impaired driving, a conviction for possession of marijuana as a teen or other even more serious past convictions. These situations cause extreme embarrassment and hardship as family holidays are cancelled on the spot or, even worse, an employer or business associate has to be informed of your inability to enter Canada and possibly that you failed to disclose a criminal record.
Unfortunately there are instances when a decision by Citizenship and Immigration Canada or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has a negative effect for an applicant, a temporary resident or a permanent resident. Our services involve extensive experience in litigating these decisions. Mr. Klassen appears regularly before the Immigration and Refugee Board for detention and admissibility hearings, Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) hearings and the Federal Court of Canada on Immigration Appeals.
If a permanent resident or foreign national is detained by CBSA the individual must be brought before the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board for a detention review within 48 hours (the 48 hour review) or as soon as possible thereafter. If not released at that hearing, a second hearing will be set for 7 days later. If release is not granted at the 7 day hearing a further hearing will be set for 30 days later and every 30 days thereafter until the individual is either released or removed from Canada.
In Vancouver the Legal Services Society provides a duty counsel lawyer to represent detained individuals at their 48 hour review. The lawyers that provide duty counsel services are qualified, competent and knowledgeable fee for service (also known as private bar) immigration lawyers that offer their services on the legal aid tariff to assist detained people in need. These lawyers are well versed in preparing and presenting suitable alternatives to detention and securing release for individuals when release is possible. The first consideration for affordable and effective representation at a 48 hour detention review should be duty counsel. However, release is not always possible at the 48 hour stage or without extensive in-depth preparation. In those cases, hiring a private bar lawyer is essential to securing the best chance of release. Since his articling year in 2002, Mr. Klassen has regularly assisted detained clients as duty counsel and on a fee-for-service basis. Although he has often secured release in otherwise hopeless cases, he will also be up front when release is unlikely or cost-prohibitive.
Admissibility is the main basis for hearings leading to the removal of an individual from Canada. Your admissibility is affected by your health and your behaviour. Significant physical and mental health issues can be considered a burden on the health care system in Canada and lead to removal. However, in some circumstances by properly preparing for an admissibility hearing and providing the necessary evidence and documentation, such factors can be overcome.
Behaviour based admissibility hearings encompass a wide range of issues including overstaying your time in Canada, working or studying without the proper authorization, making a misrepresentation to CIC or CBSA, criminal convictions in or outside of Canada, criminal behaviour not necessarily leading to a conviction, involvement in transnational crime, organized crime, people smuggling, human rights abuses and membership in a group that is known to have committed war crimes or human rights abuses. Any of these issues, if discovered by CIC or CBSA after your admission to Canada, may lead to an allegation that you are inadmissible to Canada and an admissibility hearing before the Immigration Division. If the allegation is proven, you will be faced with a Removal Order excluding you from Canada for a period of one or two years or a Deportation Order permanently baring your return to Canada.
Qualifying Permanent Residents that are found to be inadmissible and persons who have received a negative sponsorship decision may apply to the IAD for an appeal of the decision. The IAD may first consider your appeal for suitability to resolution through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or for a full hearing. Mr. Klassen has regularly acted as counsel for individuals facing both of these proceedings. The key to success is full and proper preparation for the hearing. This involves gathering and presenting supporting documentation, preparing witnesses for answering questions in the ADR session or for testifying at the hearing and presenting oral arguments on the criteria considered relevant to the issues by the IAD. In many cases, with proper preparation, Mr. Klassen has entered into discussions with CBSA prior to the IAD hearing and secured a consent agreement to stay the removal of a Permanent Resident saving the individual and his or her family members the stress and pain of testifying. Of course, this is not always the case. When hearings proceed, Mr. Klassen is able to assist individuals in presenting their story to the decision maker in the best light possible.
The last step in immigration litigation is the Federal Court. Decisions made by Visa officers, CBSA officers, the Immigration Division and the Immigration Appeal Division may all be appealed to the Federal Court. These appeals are done on a “leave” basis, meaning that the appeal must be filed, followed by the submission of affidavits and legal arguments on paper. A judge of the Federal Court will then determine whether a hearing should be “granted leave” for a full hearing of the oral arguments. Generally speaking, these hearings will only involve your lawyer and the lawyer representing the government. If your appeal is successful, the previous decision will be quashed and the file will be sent back for a new hearing or decision.
In most cases the fact that an appeal is made to the Federal Court does not prevent the CBSA from removing a person from Canada. In order to prevent the removal from taking place as scheduled before the appeal is heard the Federal Court must grant a “Stay” of the removal. A Stay is an order of the Federal Court preventing the CBSA from proceeding with its plans until the Court makes a final determination. A Stay application can not be made until a removal date is known but if left until the last minute your case may be prejudiced. To obtain a Stay of Removal you must meet all the technical requirements of the law which include proving that your case involves a serious issue, that you would suffer irreparable harm and that the balance of convenience is in your favour.
* It is important to understand that the final decision is made by the Government of Canada. No lawyer, immigration consultant or official can guarantee success.
Our immigration consultation fee is $200.00 for the first hour.