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Q. I’m a U.S. Citizen and I have married a Canadian lady in Los Angeles.

I want to live in Canada and start the immigration processing but I am afraid that I will be denied.

I was charged with a serious criminal offence fours years ago.

I am embarrassed about it but I did my time and completed my sentence.

Will I still be able to immigrate?

A. There are several factors that one must look at when it comes to criminal offences.

They are: the Canadian equivalent of the foreign offence, whether the offence led to a conviction and the passage of time to render a person inadmissible or rehabilitated.

In general, Canada will not allow a person to enter its country if a person has not been rehabilitated and/or found inadmissible.

This was the case of singer Chris Brown who was denied entry to Canada and was forced to cancel two concerts in Toronto at the last minute.

There is little doubt that his past assault charges were the reason for his denial and the special temporary resident permit was not issued on time.

In your particular case, you have not mentioned the specific crime but if it was serious I will assume it was punishable in Canada for a term of at least 10 years.

Your actual sentence is not relevant. It is the Canadian equivalent that matters.

Similarly, there is a difference between a conviction and if an act occurred that if a crime in Canada.

If a person committed an act (although not convicted) that if it occurred in Canada, would be a criminal offence — that person could also be rendered inadmissible.

A person is not likely not to be rehabilitated if only a few years have passed.

In some cases, a passage of 10 years renders a person automatically rehabilitated and no special permission is required.

Given the above, it would seem that if you file a spousal application at this time you will face hurdles in order to be successful.

If refused, you have a right to appeal.

If you have sufficient humanitarian and compassionate grounds you may be able to win an appeal.

Q. I became a permanent resident in 2005.

I never applied for Canadian Citizen.

I was charged with a narcotics offence and assault last year.

I finished my sentence of two months in jail and I thought my life was getting back on track until Canada Borders Agency sent me a letter requesting an interview for removal proceedings.

What do I do?

A. Firstly, the CBSA letter is not an invitation but mandatory.

You must attend.

Second, there are several steps to removing someone and you can appeal.

Therefore, it is unlikely you will be removed on the day of that interview.

They probably want to gather more information about you to determine if they should proceed to the next step.

Be sure to bring with you evidence of all ties to Canada (marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, job letter, car, bank account) to convince them that your life is stable and your place is Canada.

If they wish to proceed you will need to face a judge for an admissibility hearing.

That is appealable.

If you get to that stage, it’s serious and you should seek a professional lawyer’s help.

Q. I want to hire my niece in the Philippines as a caregiver.

I live in a small town in Ontario and have two baby girls.

I understand that the caregiver program allows workers to live out but I doubt my niece will want to live alone.

Can I just hire her as a live-in caregiver?

A. No.

All LMIA applications sent by employers after Nov. 30, 2014 fall under the new rules.

You cannot force your niece to be live-in.

If she does come to Canada and lives with you, you cannot reduce her pay for room and board.

Under new rules, she must apply for a regular low skill work permit.

It should be noted that applicants who do come to work as caregivers under the new rules must be aware of what lies ahead.

In particular, such applicants will only be able to become permanent residents.

This is especially good news for foreign students or those already in Canada who have work experience and were unsuccessful in filing an application under the old Canada Experience Class.

Under the old CEC class, no job offer was required and only 12 months of work was required.

Now, under express entry these new applicants would never be able to pass the express entry system as mathematically they would never score over 600 unless a rare job offer was issued.

With the numbers falling, these applicants will certainly be more qualified and selected as they deserve to be.

Q. I’m writing to you from Singapore.

I have never been to Canada.

I have never been married but I was in a relationship with a Canadian born businessman who was in Singapore.

We have a baby together.

He no longer lives in Singapore and I have lost touch with him.

Am I entitled to enter Canada because of the child?

Can my child obtain a Canadian passport?

What can I do for the future of my child?

A. If the father of your baby was a Canadian Citizen at the time of the baby’s birth then your child is a Canadian Citizen — which is the case.

However, this does not give you any rights.

You cannot immigrate to Canada just because you have a Canadian baby.

You can apply for the child’s Canadian passport as long as you have proof of the father’s Canadian status.

You can file this application at the Canadian High Commission but expect processing times to be at least a year or more.

Q. I was successful in obtaining my immigrant visa recently as I am an accountant.

I have not yet entered Canada.

I just learned that I am pregnant.

I do not know if I will have the child in Canada or not.

How does it affect my immigrant visa?

A. While it might seem like a minor issue — your situation can be complicated and quite dangerous if you do not comply with the laws carefully.

I say dangerous as it may result in revocation of your permanent residence.

You must decide if you will give birth before entering Canada or if you will enter Canada as an immigrant and then give birth in Canada.

The difference is crucial.

Once you determine that seek professional assistance on how to add child.

***

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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