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Q. I applied for permanent residence a few years ago.

I heard from others that it can take years to process so I just waited patiently.

I never received any letters until last week.

The letter which I received by mail says that my application has been refused because I failed to provide additional documents that were requested via e-mail in early 2016.

I never received any such e-mail and now my work permit is expiring.

I have been refused for something I did not know about.

How is this fair and how can I fight it?

A. I agree it is not fair.

However, most of the time immigration will now correspond via e-mail to save costs.

As well, it is more efficient.

The downside is that applicants who never receive the e-mail are prejudiced or perhaps it never gets transmitted.

This can trigger disastrous results because your work permit has expired and you are out of status.

There are several ways to tackle and appeal this refusal but it will also depend on when you fell out of status and how long ago the mystery e-mail was sent.

Obtain professional assistance from an immigration lawyer.

Q. I’m a live-in caregiver in Canada.

I arrived three years ago and recently completed my required work in order to apply for permanent residence.

I was married in 2004 to a man for a short period of time.

Shortly after our marriage, I went to work in Saudi.

I have lost contact with him and do not know his address.

When I applied for my work permit I stated I was single since I have never really felt married.

I do not know what to now say to immigration when I apply for permanent residence.

A friend of mine has told me to write down the whole story and explain it to Canada Immigration and perhaps they will forgive me.

A. They may forgive you but that does not necessarily mean you will be successful in obtaining permanent residence.

They may have compassion for the innocent lie made when you applied for your work permit but Canada Immigration is not likely going to exclude a family member because you say that you can’t find your husband.

The fact is that your spouse is still your husband.

You are not divorced or annulled and therefore you are still legally married.

If you are married you must declare your spouse on the application.

Once he is declared he must complete his own application and undergo a medical exam.

This is the law regardless of whether he is accompanying or non-accompanying.

You have stated that you cannot find him, so the question is how can he complete applications?

The answer is that you need to strategize now because simply writing a letter to immigration explaining the circumstances will likely not be fruitful.

If there has been marriage breakdown then you should consider obtaining a divorce.

A divorce will exclude the spouse from the application.

If you do not know his address then you can bring a motion for substituted service to satisfy the court.

Remember, your spouse does not have to agree to the divorce — he only needs to be notified.

Q. I have been working in Canada as a medical lab technician for over one year.

I do not have any relatives in Canada and my English level is moderate.

I want to apply for immigration to Canada but my occupation is not on the demand list.

I am also concerned that I will not have sufficient points to pass because my English level is not fluent.

My employer has told me that he cannot extend my work permit indefinitely and that he prefers that I be a permanent resident.

I do not know which approach to take.

Should I marry a Canadian?

Is that faster?

A. I am not sure if you are asking about marrying a Canadian because you are genuinely in a relationship or because you think that it is the easier way to become an immigrant.

If you are not in a genuine relationship then do not marry and do not submit a sponsorship application.

If you are in a serious relationship, then yes, a family class application will be faster.

Nevertheless, you do not seem to be aware that your occupation is not required to be in demand in order to apply for immigration.

There are no more “demand lists.”

Q. I applied to sponsor my wife and the application was refused.

I appealed and won.

The file is being processed again but I just found out that my dependent daughter had a baby out of wedlock.

Can I bring my grandchild to Canada with my daughter?

A. If your daughter is single and has a child you can add the grandchild to the application.

However, since your child has a child income requirements for the family size must be assessed.

When a person sponsor’s a spouse or child — no income level is required.

In your case, you must meet the financial criteria or else you might be refused — and facing another appeal.

***

Atty. 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 him by e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call toll-free: 1-888-847-2078.

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