QUESTION from Quora: Why does Canada allow so few parents of immigrants to immigrate to the country? Is parental sponsorship a strain on the system?
Until 2016, only 5000 permanent resident applications for parents and grandparents were accepted each year. The recent increase to 10,000 applications in 2016 is a welcome development.
If the policy remains unchanged, another batch of 10,000 applications will be accepted in January of 2018.
In my opinion, it only makes sense to set reasonable targets based on readily available manpower and resources.
Eventually, most citizens and permanent residents who are interested in sponsoring their parents or grandparents will have the opportunity to put in applications for them.
Some have expressed concerns that sponsoring parents and grandparents to live in Canada may cause a strain on public funds and on the Canadian healthcare system. These concerns are understandable but may be unfounded.
Firstly, parents and grandparents are not automatically accepted for permanent residency in Canada.
To sponsor a parent or a grandparent to live in Canada, a sponsor must be an income earner and a tax payer.
The sponsor in Canada (child or grandchild) must also meet certain income requirements.
The sponsor’s income is evaluated to be sure that the sponsor has enough income for their own immediate family and for the relative(s) that they are sponsoring.
Thereafter, the sponsor must also sign a sponsorship undertaking to show their commitment to provide financial support for their parent or grandparent. This undertaking is for 20 years and starts to count on the day that the parents or grandparents start to live in Canada.
This is to ensure that the sponsored parents/ grandparents do not access social assistance in Canada. If they do, the sponsor will have to reimburse the government.
This support includes provision of accommodation, food, household supplies, fuel, clothing and the like.
The sponsor must also provide financial support for supplementary healthcare i.e dental and eye-care insurance which are typically covered by employee benefit plans.
Furthermore, parents and grandparents are screened for admissibility (health and criminality)
Where a parent or grandparent has a serious illness that will cause a strain (excessive demand) on the Canadian healthcare system, their application is usually refused.
Regarding healthcare spending in Canada, since healthcare in Canada is a universal healthcare system which is delivered through a publicly funded health care system ; there is a projected amount earmarked yearly per capita or per person by the government..
In 2016, this amount was about $6,299 per person. This is the anticipated healthcare spending allocated to each Canadian or permanent resident regardless of income or tax bracket.
Note that some citizens or permanent residents may not set foot in a hospital or clinic for an entire year because they are healthy OR may visit the doctor once or twice during a particular year. The amount allocated to them remains unspent or is only minimally reduced.
On the flip side, some make frequent visits to the doctor due to poor health. This means that the $6,299 allocated to the healthy guy will most likely offset the excess spending that the other guy with the poor health incurs.
This healthcare spending per capita or per person is funded mostly through income taxes, Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance.
Most immigrants who qualify to sponsor their parents to Canada are taxpayers who are often highly skilled. Their taxes help to offset lower taxes paid by low income earners or the unemployed in Canada.
If immigrants’ income taxes help to offset imbalances in income and add to the healthcare funding for fellow Canadians, it is not unreasonable to permit immigrants to sponsor their parents to Canada as permanent residents.
I am certain that some government policies are made with humanitarian goals in mind. The opportunity for immigrants to sponsor their parents and grandparents is certainly in that category.
For enquiries, information and help with immigration to Canada, please contact the author 'Dayo Adejobi-Adesola at:
Telephone: +1 (403) 9192393
© Addy Visas and Immigration
Update: Bill C-6, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act has been adopted by the Senate of Canada ****Update: Bill C-6 received Royal Assent on June 19, 2017 and has now become an Act of Parliament****
***********LATEST UPDATE : BILL C-6 HAS BECOME AN ACT OF PARLIAMENT AFTER RECEIVING ROYAL ASSENT ON JUNE 19, 2017****************
On Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017, the Senate of Canada adopted Bill C-6. The bill passed Senate with 45 senators voting in favour, 29 against and no abstentions.
Bill C-6 is currently back in the House of Commons for a review of the amendments made by the Senate. It will become law once it receives Royal Assent by the Governor General of Canada or his designate.
If you are a permanent resident of Canada, a dual citizen or a prospective immigrant, you should be excited about the passage of this bill.
When it becomes law, it means that Canada will not be saddled with two tiers of citizens. In addition, the repeal of the “intent to reside” provision will preserve the mobility rights of dual citizens.
Other provisions in the bill include:
CONTROVERSIAL ASPECTS OF BILL C-6
Since the adoption of the bill by the Senate, by far the most controversial provision in the bill is the removal of grounds for revocation of citizenship relating to treason and terrorism.
Critics of Bill C-6 contend that this provision is too lax, will result in the proliferation of terrorists and will undermine Canadian values. They argue that dual citizens who commit an act of treason or terrorism should be stripped of their citizenship and deported from Canada.
On the other hand, proponents of the bill contend that a dual citizen who commits an act of treason or terrorism in Canada should face the full brunt of the law here in Canada.
They argue that if a Canadian citizen commits a serious crime on Canadian soil, the Canadian criminal justice system is effective enough to punish such an offender in Canada.
According to Professor Craig Forcese, a Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa who is an expert in National Security Law, - “stripping dual citizens of their citizenship and deporting them for terrorist acts is poor national security policy.”
According to Professor Forcese, there is no empirical basis to conclude that dual nationals pose more of a serious security risk than single national or Canadian born citizens. In addition, singling out dual citizens for deportation will more than likely fail the constitutionality test if challenged in a court of law.
Moreover, by virtue of the manner in which terrorism offences are designed in Canada’s Criminal Code, the laws in the code would most likely be applied to plotters – once the line is crossed and a plotter becomes a killer, they are charged with murder under the Canadian Criminal Code.
This means that a person who is convicted for conspiring to commit a terror act may end up losing his citizenship status and be deported from Canada, while a killer convicted for murder (by an act of terror) stays in Canada and goes to jail for murder.
Professor Forcese also points out that if truly dangerous people are deported, the net effect may be to actually speed foreign fighters on their way.
Another "controversial" provision in Bill C-6 is the requirement to demonstrate knowledge of Canada and one of its official languages. When Bill C-6 becomes law, the requirement to demonstrate knowledge of Canada and one of its official languages will be limited to persons between the ages of 18 and 54 as opposed to the current requirement of 14 and 64.
Critics of Bill C-6 also contend that this provision undermines Canadian values and makes Canadian citizenship too easy to obtain.
In my view, this assertion may not be entirely accurate. Firstly, regarding the age requirement, it is important to note that most applicants who arrive in Canada during their late fifties and sixties are admitted to Canada in the family sponsorship category.
They are mostly parents of adult Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Many of them are in Canada on the invitation of their adult children who have signed an undertaking to take care of them. They are not interested in entering the work force or the labour market.
They can also learn Canadian values and history at a pace that is suitable to their ages and language abilities.through the various settlement organizations.
Moreover, since knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages is not a requirement for parental sponsorship, many of these parents and grandparents may not even be literate. It is a bit ambitious to expect them to write a language or knowledge of Canada test three or four years after landing in Canada.
Regarding the 14 to 17 year olds, we must remember that these are minors under the law. In the eyes of the law, they are “legally disabled’. They lack the capacity to enter into a legally binding contract. They also lack the capacity to sue or be sued in a court of law. They must be represented by a legal guardian in order to maintain a legal action.
This analogy is important to show that a minor should not be held to the same standards as an adult. A 14 year old should not be made to complete the same knowledge or language test as an adult. Reverting to the previous minimum age requirement of 18 makes perfect sense in the case of these young ones.
As noted earlier, Bill C-6 is back in the House of Commons for review. While we wait with bated breath for the return of the Bill to the Senate and the eventual receipt of Royal Assent, it is apparent that this bill will continue to generate heated discussions in the days and months ahead.
This is the beauty of living in a civil and democratic society. Laws may be challenged in court, new bills may be sponsored and civil discussions may be utilized to clarify differing views.
Despite the heated debates and public outrage by critics, supporters of Bill C-6 are convinced that this bill will greatly improve the citizenship application process, preserve the integrity of the process and remove barriers to citizenship.
Overall, the adoption of Bill C-6 by the Senate of Canada should be applauded. By adopting this bill, those who voted in support of the bill elected to protect and uphold the rights and freedoms of all Canadian citizens.
For help with residency obligation appeals and citizenship applications, you may contact the author ('Dayo Adejobi-Adesola) at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 (403) 9192393
© Addy Visas and Immigration Consulting
In this post, we will be looking at Bill C-6 – a bill that is currently in its 3rd reading before the Senate of Canada. I have been following the movement of this Bill since it was introduced in the House of Commons – all the way up to its 3rd reading in the Senate of Canada as of April 13, 2017.
You may be wondering why this bill is worthy of note. Here is why:
It is a bill that touches on the rights and freedoms of citizenship applicants once they have fulfilled their residency obligations in Canada and are looking to become Canadian citizens. In fact, it also touches on their rights and freedoms after attaining Canadian citizenship.
However, a meaningful discussion of Bill C-6 is not possible without discussing its precursor, Bill C-24.
Bill C-24 is the brainchild of the conservative government of Mr. Stephen Harper. It was introduced by the then Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Mr. Chris Alexander and became law on the 19th of June,2014.
Immigration experts contend that this bill is not only controversial but also discriminatory. They also contend that it has the potential to create two classes of citizens in Canada.
Some of the provisions of Bill C-24 include:
Critics of Bill C-24 also contend that this bill unfairly targets naturalized and dual citizens and makes Canadian citizenship more exclusionary, exclusive and easy to lose.
Bill C-6: What to Expect
Fast forward to 2015, with the swearing in of a new Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau –a new (Liberal) Immigration Minister (Hon. John McCallum) took over the reins of Canada’s immigration department.
On February 25, 2016, Hon. John McCallum, the then Minister of Immigration and Citizenship introduced Bill C-6 in the House of Commons. The bill is currently in its third reading before the Senate.
Bill C-6 aims to amend the Citizenship Act and parts of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Specifically, it aims to do the following:
Bill C-6 will remove the grounds for revocation of Canadian citizenship that relate to citizenship
The argument here is that a Canadian-born citizen who commits an act of terrorism or treason does not have his citizenship revoked but Bill C-24 provides that dual or naturalized citizens should be stripped of their citizenship and deported if found guilty of committing an act of terrorism or high treason.
Critics of Bill C-24 argue that Canada should be able to deal with naturalized Canadians who commit an act of treason or terrorism right here in Canada.
Such offenders should be made to face the full brunt of the law in Canada through Canada's criminal justice system. There is no point revoking their citizenship and sending them back to their countries of origin. If we have different consequences for Canadian citizens who commit the same crimes, it gives the impression that there are two classes of citizens.
Note that Bill C-6 supports the current provision in Bill C-24 which provides for revocation of citizenship where a citizenship applicant obtained citizenship by fraud or misrepresentation.
Bill C-6 will also remove the requirement that adult applicants must declare on their citizenship applications that they intend to continue to reside in Canada if granted citizenship
The requirement in Bill C-24 to declare the intention to continue to reside in Canada after the grant of citizenship clearly infringes Section 6 (1) of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms which states that:
“Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada”.
The question here is - If Canadian-born citizens have their mobility rights intact and can live anywhere in the world, why should naturalized citizens be deprived of the same right?
Since section 6 of the constitution does not discriminate between naturalized and Canadian-born citizens, it follows that all Canadians should have the right to enter, remain in or leave Canada as guaranteed by Section 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
It is also possible that if this issue is not nipped in the bud and addressed right away, there is every possibility that naturalized citizens may one day be stripped of their citizenship if they choose to live or work outside Canada.
Bill C-6 aims to reduce the number of days during which a person must have been physically present in Canada before applying for citizenship and provide that, in the calculation of the length of physical presence, the number of days during which the person was physically present in Canada before becoming a permanent resident may be taken into account
Here, the intent is to revert to the previous provision regarding physical presence before the date of application for citizenship. The proposed amendment is to reduce physical presence in Canada to 3 out of 5 years preceding the date of application for citizenship.
This amendment will also allow individuals who were in Canada on temporary visas such as work and student permits to claim credit for time spent in Canada when they apply for citizenship..
Bill C-6 aims to limit the requirement to demonstrate knowledge of Canada and of one of its official languages to applicants between the ages of 18 and 54
Currently, Canadian citizenship applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 must demonstrate knowledge of Canada and one of its official languages to qualify for citizenship.
Here, Bill C-6 aims to revert to the previous 18 to 54 age requirement for applicants. Reverting to the previous age requirement would remove potential barriers to citizenship.
Bill C-6 will authorize the Minister to seize any document that he or she has reasonable grounds to believe was fraudulently or improperly obtained or used or could be fraudulently or improperly used
This provision will protect the integrity of the citizenship application process by granting the Minister of Immigration (through the citizenship officers) powers to seize fraudulent documents submitted as part of the application process. This will prevent further use of such documents in the process and also assist citizenship officers in their investigation.
Bill C-6 will require the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship to inform a person whose citizenship is about to be revoked of his or her right to have the case referred to the Federal Court without leave. The bill would also enable the appellant to have full disclosure of documents that were used to reach the original decision and to provide more evidence that may not have been available.
If passed, this provision is also geared at further protecting the integrity of the citizenship process by giving a person whose citizenship is about to be revoked (for fraud and misrepresentation) the opportunity to be heard at the Federal Court.
In summary, the passage of Bill C-6 into law will definitely ensure equality before the law as enshrined in section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. S.15 of the Charter provides that:
“Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination and in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”
Equality under the law means that the substantive provisions of the law should be applied equally and fairly to everyone so that everyone experiences the same results under the law.
The onerous nature of Bill C-24 does not protect the equality rights of citizenship applicants. Instead, it has unwittingly created two classes of citizenship, namely: first-class citizenship through birthright and second-class revocable citizenship for naturalized or dual citizens.
Proponents of Bill C-6 are praying fervently for the passage of this bill. If passed, it would greatly improve the citizenship application process, remove barriers to citizenship and ensure that Canada does not have two classes of citizens.
For help with residency application appeals, citizenship applications and appeals, please contact 'Dayo at email@example.com or call +1 (403) 9192393
Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them below.
© Addy Visas & Immigration Consulting
Welcome to my blog! This is my first post on this blog, but this piece is not new. I am re-publishing/recycling this article from an old blog of mine, with a few edits here and there - just in time to support the Fraud Awareness Month in Canada (observed annually in March)
Please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section and also feel free to share on Social Media. If you prefer to read in a language other than English, please click on the Translation widget to choose your preferred language.
Ghosts: Who are they?
Performing your due diligence before retaining an immigration representative has never been more crucial. Each year, thousands are bilked out of hundreds of millions of dollars by fake immigration agents who continue to thrive in a multi-million dollar immigration fraud industry.
A good number of immigration professionals will attest to the number of phone calls and e-mails that they receive from victims of immigration fraud.
Unfortunately, victims of such immigration scams reach out only after the fact – after thousands of dollars have been remitted to unlicensed immigration agents or ghosts.
Who are these ghosts? They are individuals who work under the table and hold themselves out as immigration professionals or agents. They offer immigration representation and advice for a fee. Truth is, they are also scoring big and smiling to the banks everyday at the expense of innocent and desperate victims.
Such unauthorized providers of immigration services come in different shapes and forms. Some prospective applicants receive "help" from their own friends who live here in Canada - for a token fee. These friends claim to know how to navigate the maze of Canadian immigration law simply because they are already in Canada. Very often, they bungle their friends' application and thereafter begin to run helter skelter looking to remedy their shoddy attempt.
Guess where they run to: To the same licensed and trained professionals that you could have retained in the first place.
Similarly, some unauthorized providers of immigration services claim to be "agents' of immigration lawyers and consultants and offer immigration advice for a fee.
It is important to stress here that Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act does not even permit "agents" at visa application centres (VACs) or airline travel agents to offer immigration advice or to hold themselves out as immigration professionals.
Another type of "ghost" to be wary of is that individual who is also a visa applicant who has retained an immigration representative. He tries to glean steps and procedures from his own retained lawyer or consultant to assist you for a token fee. He assures you that he has got your back -"No big deal about the process".
This is similar to a friend advising you not to seek medical advice from a medical doctor for a serious medical issue. He vouches that he can provide a diagnosis and prescribe required medications. He claims the expertise and the know-how simply because his doctor recently treated him for a similar ailment. He counsels you to avoid seeking the assistance of a medical professional in order to save a buck or two. Recipe for disaster!
Immigration Fraud, the Law and Penalties
Note that unauthorized provision of immigration services is expressly prohibited by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) - the statute which governs Canadian immigration law.
S. 91(1) of IRPA provides as follows:
"Subject to this section, no person shall knowingly, directly or indirectly, represent or advise a person for consideration — or offer to do so — in connection with the submission of an expression of interest under subsection 10.1(3) or a proceeding or application under this Act"
Note that only the following professionals may advise or represent you for a fee in your visa application or immigration matter:
1. Citizenship and Immigration Consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC)
2. Lawyers who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society
3. Notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Quebec
This means that if you pay a fee for immigration services to anyone other than members in good standing of the above-mentioned regulatory bodies or law societies, you are a party to immigration fraud and also stand the risk of jeopardizing your visa or immigration application.
S.91 (9) of IRPA also prescribes penalties as follows:
(9) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable
Why engage the services of an authorized immigration professional to represent your interest?
If you are approached by marketers of immigration services to Canada, a good place to start is to ask if they are licensed to provide immigration services. Ask for their professional license number. Do not hesitate to ask if they are a lawyer, immigration consultant, a notary (Quebec) or a paralegal
If they claim to be agents representing a lawyer or an immigration consultant, ask for the name, license number, contact details and professional organization that the lawyer or immigration consultant belongs to in Canada.
Make sure that you do an online search and call/contact the said lawyer or immigration consultant. Ask directly if they have an agent and mention the name of any agent who claims to represent them.
If you observe any evasiveness or dillydallying - RUN!
Furthermore, do not hesitate to ask for a retainer agreement or an engagement contract. A retainer agreement outlines the duties and obligations of both the client and the representative. It also makes provision for refunds and dispute resolution in case of a dispute.
If you are dealing with a provider of immigration services and you are not required to sign a retainer agreement to seal the client-representative relationship - RUN!
If an immigration service provider feels no qualms about lying on an application, counsels you to lie or suggests that you can submit false documentation to the IRCC- RUN!
Let's face it, immigration to Canada or anywhere else for that matter is not cheap. If I am paying thousands of dollars of my hard-earned money to anyone in exchange for a service - lawyer or no- I would perform my due diligence and dig some more into who they are before I remit any monies to them.
For your Own Protection
Another good reason to perform your due diligence when it comes to immigration professionals is - when you expend some time and energy to find an authorized immigration representative, it is for your own protection.
If you are treated unfairly by an immigration lawyer or an immigration consultant, you will have recourse to a higher authority such as the law societies or the ICCRC. You may even be able to obtain a refund of fees paid in some instances.
For most prospective immigrants, immigration is a life-changing move, a project that many will be funding with all their life-savings. It only makes sense to perform your due diligence and not be a gullible victim in the hands of fraudsters or "friends" who want to make a quick buck off you.
If this is coming too late and you have already been scammed - it is highly unfortunate. If it is not possible to recoup your funds, you may report your matter to the nearest Canadian embassy or high commission in your country of residence. This will at least put them on notice that there is a "ghost" in town.
You may also report to the CBSA - Canada Border Services Agency Border Watch Line toll-free in Canada at 1-888-502-9060. This line is open 24 hours and all calls to it are confidential. They will give directions on how best to handle your situation.
If the fraud occurred outside Canada, they may advise that you contact law enforcement in your country of residence. If you were duped by a person in Canada, they may advise you to contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
In summary, please make it a habit to always perform your due diligence. Ask questions, dig deep, go online and do some research. Google is a great resource.....when in doubt google it!
I don't know if this is just me or if everyone else does this. When I meet someone for the first time, and I want to learn more about them - I search for them on Google. My friends and most people around me know that I "google" everything, Google hasn't failed me yet.....well maybe a couple of times but in most cases, I usually find who or what I am searching for.
Even when a prospective client contacts me, I "google" them right away. In most cases, it helps with client verification and verification of certain facts and claims.
These days, most people leave an online footprint. Therefore, it is absolutely worth your while to look up information about immigration lawyers or immigration consultants. If they are reputable or licensed, of a surety, you will find their online footprint somehow and somewhere.
Furthermore, the world is now a global village and nowadays, most people have access to the world wide web. Surely, in this era of abundant resources and technology, ignorance should not be a choice.
Folks, before you dip your hands into your pockets to remit funds to any immigration professional or representative, please make sure that your immigration representative is not only authorized to practice in Canada, but be sure to also confirm that they are in good standing with a regulatory body here in Canada.
Finally. after reading this, I hope you will be able to perform the duck test on your own using all of the above-mentioned parameters.
Remember - "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is probably a duck."
Questions? Comments? Please feel free to leave them below.
©Addy Visas & Immigration Consulting