by Attorney Henry Moyal
Q. My name is Corazon. I applied to obtain a visa to visit Canada three times and I was refused each time. I then met someone who was able to obtain a fake passport in someone else’s name (Sharon) but with a real Canadian visa in it. I entered Canada as “Sharon” in 2008 and have lived in secret the last six years. In 2010 I met a Canadian man and we married. We have three children together. I have been afraid to do anything up to now because I basically do not exist in Canada. I no longer have Sharon’s passport and I am not able to tell anyone my real story. What can I do?
A. There are some key issues here. I understand that you are somewhat of a ghost in Canada. I also understand that you feel stuck but I hope, for your sake, that you did not make matters worse after arriving in Canada. Let me elaborate. Ok, I see that you entered Canada using a fraudulent passport under the name of Sharon. So what did you do after that? Did you try to extend your visa or apply as a refugee or work with Sharon’s passport? Further, you said you married a Canadian man. I assume you have a marriage certificate. Under what name is the marriage certificate?
My point is that if you continued your lies after arrival then you are likely to face bigger hurdles. However, if you did nothing to make things worse (and I mean you did NOT use the fake passport in any way after entry to obtain any sort of benefit) then you should be fine by filing a sponsorship. Under immigration law there is a provision allowing a spouse to file an application even they entered with a fake passport as long as they did not use that passport later on. Similarly, if your marriage certificate is “Sharon” then that is a big problem because Sharon does not exist. If you used your real name then you did not procure a fake marriage certificate and I do not see much of a problem especially since you have three young children. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a serious and complex scenario but it can work out for you.
Q. I applied for permanent residence in Canada two years under the caregiver program. My spouse who lives in Saudi Arabia has not been diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. It is very controlled but the immigration department is saying that he is likely to have medical problems in the future that will be a burden on Canada’s health services. They want to refuse his application. What other way can I bring him to Canada? Can I sponsor him after I become an immigrant?
A. Let’s clear up one important thing. His application is your application. This is basically one family application. If he is refused for medical reasons then the entire application fails. No one gets a visa. That being the case, if he is really medical inadmissible then applying under another category is a waste of time as all visa categories require a medical exam. The only way you can sever him from your application is via death or divorce. Therefore, my suggestion is to fight this before they refuse the application. You have stated that his medical condition is stable and that there are foreseeing the future. Well, the medical findings of his condition must be reasonable and must be likely. It cannot be a fishing expedition. Therefore, you should obtain medical reports from your doctor to support your claims. Finally, it seems that the immigration department is saying that your husband’s condition will likely exceed the health costs of average per capita – which is about $6000. Therefore, you should provide evidence to prove that his medical treatment, if allowed into Canada, will not exceed that amount and will not be a burden on health services.
Q. I’ve been a permanent resident of Canada for the last decade. I have a good job and pay my taxes. I never applied for Canadian Citizenship. I was charged with assault and some other offence last years. I did plea guilty and I never went to jail. I received a letter from Canada Immigration to attend an interview. I do not understand what Canada Immigration has to do with my criminal offences? As well, my trial is over and it was so long ago. Please explain.
A. Since you are a permanent resident and not a Canadian Citizen, the immigration department has the right to deport you if you have been convicted of a crime that is punishable by at least ten years. It does not mean that you will be deported but the interview is the first step towards that. It can be a lengthy and complex process so it is best to hire a lawyer. For the benefit of readers, this is one key element between permanent residence and citizenship. Clients often ask what the difference is between the two. There are three main differences:
- Permanent Residents cannot vote in a federal election (Canadian Citizens can).
- Permanent Residents must maintain residence in Canada for 2 out of 5 years (Canadian Citizens have no restriction)
- Permanent Residents can be deported if convicted of criminal offences (Canadian Citizens cannot be deported)
Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email email@example.com or call toll free 1-888-847-2078.