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Category Archives: Program

February 1, 2023

What is my criminal record?

For immigration purposes, your criminal record is a list of all your contact(s) with the criminal justice system. This means even if you are not convicted, it was expunged, or if it took place outside of Canada, it is still relevant to immigration.

Did you know that your criminal record may prevent you from entering the United States (US)? At Quadro Law we know that crossing the border can be stressful, but it does not have to be.

Now at this point, you may be wondering:

  • What is a criminal record?
  • Should I be concerned?
  • How far back does it go?
  • What about summary, expunged, or cannabis offences?

Let’s take a look at each of these below.

What is my criminal record?

For immigration purposes, your criminal record is a list of all your contact(s) with the criminal justice system. This means even if you are not convicted, it was expunged, or if it took place outside of Canada, it is still relevant to immigration.

What can the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officers access?

CBP has had access to both the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) and the Canadian Police information Centre (CPIC) since 2010. APIS contains most information found on your passport, and CPIC is the criminal database maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Keep this in mind when crossing a Port of Entry (POE).

Will any crime make me inadmissible?

No, not all crimes are equally weighted under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for immigration purposes. Instead, under the INA the principal concern is Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMTs) and any controlled substance violations (see INA Sect. 212(a)(2)). And while there are many CIMTs, each generally involves either an element of fraud, violence, or property damage.

For example, here are some CIMTs:

  • Crimes Involving Fraud/Dishonesty
    • Bribery, Counterfeiting, Embezzlement, Forgery, Fraud, Gross Indecency, Perjury, and Tax Evasion.
  • Crimes Involving Violence/Criminal Activity
    • Arson, Assault with Intent to Kill/Rape/Robber, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Blackmail, Burglary, Extortion, Kidnapping, Manslaughter, Mayhem, Murder, Prostitution, Rape, and Robbery.
  • Crimes Involving Property Damage
    • Larceny (Grand or Petty), Mail Fraud, Malicious Destruction of Property, Knowingly Receiving Stolen Goods, Theft, and Transporting Stolen Property.

 

Please note, these are not usually considered CIMTs:

  • Breach of the Peace, Breaking and Entering (without Intent of CMT), Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Damaging Private Property (without Intent to Damage), Disorderly Conduct, Driving while License Suspended/Revoked, DUI/Reckless Driving, Escape from Prison, False Statements (not Perjury/involving Fraud), Firearm Violations, Gambling Violations, Immigration Violations, Juvenile Delinquency, Minor Traffic Violations, Possessing Stolen Property (without Guilty Knowledge), Smuggling (without Intent to Commit Fraud), Tax Evasion (without Intent), and Trespassing.

Will a DUI make me inadmissible?

A single DUI or summary offence is unlikely to deny you entry to the US. However, you may be denied entry if you have multiple summary offences, DUIs, or a DUI and a summary offence.

Do I need to worry about cannabis?

Possibly. Before October 2018, Canadians who admitted to consuming, investing in, or being involved in the cannabis industry were often denied entry. This is mainly because cannabis is a schedule one controlled substance under US federal law, which controls all POEs and border crossings. After October 2018, CBP announced it will shift its focus from all cannabis involvement to those specifically travelling to the US for cannabis-related reasons. We advise all people to exercise caution and to carefully weigh this policy change. Cannabis policy remains a changing area of law and is further complicated by the growing number of states that continue to legalize recreational and medical cannabis.

For reference, as of February 2023, cannabis has been legalized in AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MT, NJ, NM, NY, NV, OR, RI, VA, VT, and WA.

If I have a criminal record, what are my options to visit the US?

For most cases of criminal inadmissibility as a nonimmigrant, you will need an INA Sect. 212(d)(3) waiver, or “Hranka Waiver.” First, you will need to show you qualify for the underlying nonimmigrant visa you seek. Fortunately, for most Canadians this is a non-issue due to the Visa Waiver program. However, if you are either non-Canadian, or seek temporary entry that requires a nonimmigrant visa, like for work or study, you will have to show you qualify for that visa before being granted a waiver. Next, your waiver request is prepared for filing. You can file at either the US Consulate or the POE/US-Canada border.

In addition to the $585 (USD) filing fee, the request should include:

  • Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant (form I-192),
  • Documents proving your citizenship,
  • Fingerprint Chart (FD-257 form) to be completed by a CBP Officer,
  • A completed G-325A (Biographic Information form),
  • An RCMP or police certificate,
  • Official police and court records,
  • A personal statement signed by you explaining the circumstances of each arrest, conviction, and sentence or fine imposed, as well as any evidence of reformation or rehabilitation, and
  • Any character references or rehabilitation documents you have.

How long does a waiver take to be issued?

There is no set number of days that your waiver must be processed by, but you can generally expect between three and six months. Your initial waiver is usually good for one year and may be good for five years upon renewal. For this reason, you should try to make your waiver request as early as possible to ensure your US travel plans are not delayed.

If you need urgent processing, you may apply for humanitarian parole. If granted, this will give you temporary permission to enter the US for humanitarian reasons during the pendency of your waiver application.

Are there any exceptions to the waiver requirement?

Yes, even though you have a CIMT, you may still be allowed entry without a waiver under the petty offence exception (see INA Sect. 212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II)). To qualify for this waiver, you need to show:

  • The maximum penalty is no more than one year,
  • The sentence is no more than six months imprisonment,
  • It is not a controlled substance violation, and
  • It must be your first CIMT.

Need additional help?

At Quadro Law, we know that waivers for criminal inadmissibility can be complex, stressful, and difficult to navigate. But we are trained on these matters and can help you. If you need further advice or have questions regarding US immigration law, contact James Hayes today. As a dual-licensed US and Canadian lawyer, he can help you with your many immigration questions on both sides of the border.

Disclaimer:

This written article is solely for informational purposes. It is not legal advice and does not make any guarantees or conclusions. Each case is examined individually. Please contact our office for additional information and tailored legal advice.

March 17, 2022
This new program will benefit Ukrainians who wish to come to Canada now, as well as those already in Canada who wish to extend their stay. Ukrainians may also include their immediate family members of any nationality on their application.

 

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced a new temporary residence program for Ukrainians today, called the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET). This new program will benefit Ukrainians who wish to come to Canada now, as well as those already in Canada who wish to extend their stay.  Ukrainians may also include their immediate family members of any nationality on their application. IRCC defines an immediate family member as a spouse, a common-law partner, or a dependent child. The definition also includes dependent step-children, as well as the children of dependent children (grandchildren).

 

Under the CUAET, applicants outside of Canada may apply for a visitor visa and a three-year open work permit. IRCC is waiving processing fees and vaccination requirements for these applicants, and most applications will be processed within 14 days. IRCC will issue a single journey document to any applicant who does not have a passport. Applicants already in Canada may now apply to extend their status for up to three years.

 

It should be noted that the CUAET is a temporary residence program which does not, in itself, lead to permanent residence. However, IRCC has a number of permanent residence streams under which individuals may qualify, either now or after gaining Canadian work experience. If applicants wish to remain in Canada permanently, they should review their options for permanent residence soon after arriving in Canada, in order to choose the best stream and work towards an application.

 

Disclaimer:

 

No information in this blog should be construed as legal advice. Should you have any questions about Canadian immigration law, please contact the Author.

 

July 20, 2021

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is set to invite 30,000 people to sponsor their parents or grandparents for permanent residence in Canada.

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is set to invite 30,000 people to sponsor their parents or grandparents for permanent residence in Canada. To be eligible, the sponsor would have had to submit an expression of interest through the IRCC website in the Fall of 2020. IRCC invited 10,000 people from the pool in late 2020 and is now ready to invite an additional 30,000 people from the same pool. Invitations will be sent out during a two week period beginning the week of September 10. Unfortunately for people who are interested in sponsoring for the first time, there will be no opportunity to submit a new expression of interest in 2021. However, IRCC should start accepting new expressions of interest again in 2022. If you did submit an expression of interest in 2020, make sure you have your confirmation number and watch your inbox for an invitation beginning September 10.
November 19, 2020
D’abord, pour ceux qui aimeraient travailler au Canada, le programme de mobilité francophone, cela donne à réfléchir.

 

Vous êtes francophone ? Il n’y a pas de meilleur moment pour immigrer au Canada.
 
D’abord, pour ceux qui aimeraient travailler au Canada, le programme de mobilité francophone, cela donne à réfléchir. Si vous êtes francophone et vous trouvez un emploi n’importe où au Canada sauf au Québec, cela rend un permis de travail vraiment facile à obtenir. Il ne faut même pas que la langue de travail soit le français ; et faut tout simplement démontrer que vous parlez français comme langue d’usage. De plus, ce type de permis de travail est de longue durée – soit pendant la durée de l’offre d’emploi, soit jusqu’à l’expiration de titre de voyage (par exemple, passeport) ou des données biométriques, selon la première éventualité. En revanche, la durée d’un permis de travail ordinaire (c’est-à-dire, pas sous le programme de mobilité francophone) au Canada est d’habitude 1 à 2 ans. Même après l’expiration de titre de voyage ou des données biométriques, un permis de travail sous le programme de mobilité francophone est facile à renouveler. Une fois que vous avez démontré parler français comme langue d’usage, et ne faut pas le faire de nouveau pour un renouvellement.
 
Quelque chose de plus : vous voulez obtenir ce type de permis de travail et vous avez un époux ou un conjoint ? Pour eux, sous certaines conditions, c’est possible d’obtenir un permis de travail sans d’abord avoir une offre d’emploi.
Le programme de mobilité francophone n’est pas nouveau. Cependant, il y a maintenant encore plus d’avantages pour les candidats francophones – et bilingues – qui veulent obtenir la résidence permanente au Canada. Le 27 octobre, le gouvernement canadien a annoncé une croissance dans le nombre de points d’Entrée express pour ceux qui parlent français.
 
L’Entrée express est un système pour faciliter – et, comme le nom suggère, expédier – le processus d’obtenir la résidence permanente au Canada pour les travailleurs qualifiés. Avec ce nouveau changement que le gouvernement vient d’annoncer, on obtient maintenant 10 points d’Entrée express supplémentaires si on est francophone (20 points au total, par rapport à 10 auparavant) ou 20 points supplémentaires si on est bilingue (50 au total, par rapport à 30 auparavant). Le calcul des points est assez compliqué, mais on est ici pour vous aider.
 
Après qu’on obtient la résidence permanent, il faut seulement passer 3 années au Canada avant de présenter une demande de citoyenneté…
 
Le but de ces programmes et changements, c’est d’atteindre la cible de 4,4 % d’admissions de francophones hors Québec d’ici 2023. (Si c’est le Québec qui vous intéresse, il y a encore d’autres programmes pour cela.) Selon l’honorable Marco Mendicino, ministre de l’Immigration, des Réfugiés et de la Citoyenneté, attirer les immigrants francophones au Canada joue un rôle important dans le « plan gouvernemental de croissance économique et de prospérité à long terme pour l’ensemble du pays. » Pourquoi attendez-vous ?
 
Des questions ? Connectez avec nous à Quadro Law pour programmer une consultation – soit en anglais, soit en français.
October 5, 2020

IRCC announced today that the 2020 parent and grandparent sponsorship program will reopen on..

 

IRCC announced today that the 2020 parent and grandparent sponsorship program will reopen on Tuesday, October 13, at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. At that time, sponsors will be able to submit an expression of interest but, unlike the 2019 program, this will not be a first-come, first-serve registration. On the contrary, registration for the 2020 program will remain open for three weeks, closing at 9:00 a.m. on November 3, 2020. That will give sponsors three full weeks to register an expression of interest to sponsor parents or grandparents in the 2020 program. After registration closes, IRCC will randomly draw the names of 10,000 sponsors and send each one an invitation to submit a full sponsorship application. On receiving an invitation, sponsors will have 60 days to submit the application.
 
Although the number of spots in the 2020 program has been reduced to 10,000, IRCC has committed to opening 30,000 spots during the 2021 program. IRCC has not released any details on whether the 2021 draw will be weighted to favour those sponsors who submitted an expression of interest in the 2020 program but were not selected. We will bring you more details on that as they become available.
We would be happy to assist you with the submission of an expression of interest. We will be contacting people this week who have previously asked us to assist them with the 2020 program. However, please feel free to reach out to us anytime, whether or not we have previously been in touch about the program.
September 27, 2020
Through the temporary measure, asylum seekers can get an early chance at permanent residency.

 

The three words that stand out from the ongoing pandemic are ‘front-line workers’. Those three words have not been heard or read as much before. Amongst other things, the pandemic has made everyone view the challenges faced and roles played them in our society in a different light, a more vociferous light, and rightly so. Before the pandemic, we all knew of them and some even watched TV shows based on their lives, but we still did not see them. Their role in our society before the pandemic was similar to The Dark Knight- a silent guardian, a watchful protector. The pandemic changed that. We now see their efforts, feel their fatigue and hear the cheer to celebrate them. To put it bluntly, we are more mindful of their existence.
An abstract of a policy paper authored by Francesco Fasani and Jacopo Mazza in May 2020 on behalf of the European Commission, notes that on an average 13% of key workers are immigrants in the EU.[1] The conclusion of the paper reads ‘The overarching picture that this note paints is that of a migrant workforce that acts as an integral part in keeping basic and necessary functions of European societies working amidst periods of forced closure. It is worth stressing how, among migrants, the low skilled workers are especially over-represented in a number of key occupations that are vital in the fight against COVID-19, underscoring their often neglected value within European economies.’[2]
In the United States, six million immigrant workers are at the frontlines working for the safety of U.S. residents. Collectively 12 million immigrant workers are at the leading edge of the response to and impacts from the pandemic. In the Unites States, 30% of doctors and 27% of farm workers are foreign born.[3]
Should then, the efforts of frontline workers turn into policy change?
Portugal has temporarily granted all migrants and asylum-seekers citizenship rights; in Italy, the regularization only applies to some sectors. Still, these are all steps in the right direction.[4] Spain and Ireland are considering similar moves.[5]
Canada too took the first step in that direction when the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on August 14 announced a temporary measure, in recognition of their exceptional service, to provide a pathway to permanent residency for asylum claimants working in the health-care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the temporary measure, asylum seekers can get an early chance at permanent residency.
To apply for residency now, they must have claimed asylum in Canada prior to March 13 and have spent no less than 120 hours working as an orderly, nurse or another designated occupation between the date of their claim and Aug. 14. Applicants must also demonstrate they have six months of experience in the profession before they can receive permanent residency and have until the end of Aug. 2021 to meet that requirement. Quebec will select those qualifying for this special measure who wish to reside in Quebec. In- Canada family members of the principal applicant would be included in the application and granted permanent residency, if the application is approved. Those who have been found ineligible to make an asylum claim, or who have withdrawn or abandoned their claims, would be excluded from applying.[6]
Applauding Canada’s move for the temporary measure, Rema Jamous Imseis, UNHCR’s Representative in Canada said “This is an exemplary act of solidarity which recognises the service and dedication of some of the most marginalized and vulnerable members in society. It is a reminder of the exceptional contributions refugees and asylum-seekers make to the communities that welcome them”.[7]
Some have also criticized the move saying it is discriminatory to other front-line workers not working in the health sector such as farm workers, security guards and cooks and janitors working in long-term care centres[8]. Mendicino said the emphasis of the special program was on “those who put themselves at greatest risk by working in hospitals, by working in retirement homes where COVID-19 was ravaging through like a wildfire.”[9]
Whether the government will expand the temporary measure to include other front-line workers is something only time will tell but for now, it seems like it is a step by the government to acknowledge the efforts of asylum claimants and have them viewed more as a boon than a burden on the system.
July 23, 2020
July 23, 2020

This round targeted applicants in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)..

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued a round of invitations to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry today. This round targeted applicants in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). A total of 3,343 invitations were issued and the lowest score to receive an invitation was 445. Invitations were not issued to applicants in any class other than the CEC.
This is the second round of invitations issued by IRCC this week. On July 22 they issued a round of invitations targeting applicants in the Provincial Nominee Class (PNC). They issued 557 invitations and the lowest score to receive an invitation was 687. Applicants in the PNC will have at least 600 points through their nomination, so anyone who was able to gain an additional 87 points would have received an invitation.
Applicants in the Federal Skilled Worker Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) have only had two opportunities to receive an invitation since March 4. On that day, IRCC issued a round of invitations under all programs and the minimum score required to receive an invitation was 471. The next opportunity was July 8, when IRCC issued a round of invitations to applicants in all programs with a score of at least 478. Before March 4, most rounds of invitations were issued to applicants in all programs, but IRCC would issue a round of invitations targeting the FSTC a few times each year. Rounds targeting the FSTC have required a score ranging from 199 to 357, with 357 being the score required in the most recent round.
July 22, 2020
For a limited time, some temporary residents who are out of status in Canada may apply to restore their status, even if they are outside of the 90-day restoration window.

 

For a limited time, some temporary residents who are out of status in Canada may apply to restore their status, even if they are outside of the 90-day restoration window.
July 14 Changes to Restoration
Due to the problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is offering some additional relief to temporary residents who are out of status. The 90-day restoration window has been extended to December 31, 2020 for anyone whose status expired after January 30, 2020. For example if Marco, a temporary resident of Canada with a work permit, discovered on February 15 that his work permit had expired on February 14, he would normally have until about May 15 to submit an application for restoration. This temporary policy will allow Marco to apply for restoration anytime up to December 31, 2020, provided that he meets the other general requirements for restoration.
IRCC has also implemented temporary rules to allow some workers to begin working while waiting for their restoration applications to be processed. To begin working during restoration, a worker must have a job offer that is either supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or is exempt from the requirement to obtain an LMIA, and must notify IRCC about the work. It is important to note here that a simple offer of employment from an employer is not enough; an LMIA must be obtained or an exemption to the LMIA requirement must be applicable to the situation.  
General Information on Restoration and Implied Status
A worker, student or visitor in Canada who intends to remain in the country after the expiration of their status must apply to extend their status before their current document expires. If they are unable to do so, they are considered to be out of status on the day following the date on which their document expired. For example Julia, a temporary resident in Canada with a work permit, looks at her work permit on July 21 and realizes that it expires on July 21. Although likely in a panic, Julia is still able to extend her status as a worker as long as she submits the application before midnight (and she should screenshot the submission page with the time and date visible). In another example, Marco, a temporary resident with a work permit, wakes up on the morning of July 22 and notices that his work permit expired on July 21. Marco is out of status in Canada on the morning of July 22.
Restoration provides some relief for Marco. He will typically have a 90-day window to submit an application to extend his status that expired on July 21. Marco must submit a restoration fee of $200 in addition to his work permit fees, and if he otherwise meets the requirements for restoration, he can expect to be restored to the status of worker.
It is important to note some differences between implied status and restoration. Because Julia submitted an application to extend her status before her status expired, she will be on implied status as of July 22. Implied status means that Julia can remain in Canada under the conditions of her expired work permit until she receives a decision on her new application. Because Julia held a work permit, she may continue to work while on implied status. If she held an open work permit she may work for any employer while on implied status. If her work permit was employer-specific she may only work for that employer while on implied status, even if she is applying for an open work permit through the new application. The same rules are applicable to students and visitors. However, if a worker or student leaves Canada during implied status, they are not permitted to work or study when they re-enter. So if Julia goes to Seattle for the BC Day long weekend, she will re-enter Canada as a visitor and will not be permitted to work until such time as she holds a valid work permit.
Restoration does not offer the benefits of implied status in terms of work or study. Although Marco in our example has 90 days to restore his status, he loses authorization to work after July 21. And unlike implied status, submitting the new application does not give Marco the authorization to work while the application is being processed. He may only begin working again only after receiving a new work permit. If Marco had held a study permit in this example, he would likewise be unable to continue his studies until a new study permit is issued.  
These are merely examples of typical restoration and implied status scenarios. Real life situations are often much more complex.