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Tag Archives: Canadian Insight

December 1, 2020
If you are the extended family member of a Canadian, you are admissible to Canada if you plan to stay for 15 days or more . . .

 

Whichever holiday you celebrate, or even if you’re just taking advantage of a few days off work, it’s that time of year: everyone seems to want to make travel plans. Which begs the question: am I even allowed to travel right now? Where? Under what conditions?
 
Here are a few things you should know.
 
 
Am I allowed to come to Canada from abroad?
 
If you’re a Canadian citizen (including a dual citizen) or a permanent resident of Canada, you are automatically admissible to Canada, wherever you are right now. This also applies to those registered under the Indian Act, and to protected persons. Otherwise, it’s worth taking a closer look at the specifics of your situation.
 
If you are the immediate family member of a Canadian (including a permanent resident or a person registered under the Indian Act), you are likewise admissible to Canada, if and only if you plan to stay for 15 days or more. If you plan to stay for a shorter period of time, you must prove that you will be travelling for a non-discretionary purpose. (Sadly, visiting family for the holidays is considered discretionary. If you were hoping to zip in and out within the space of a week, it might be time to re-evaluate.)
 
If you are the extended family member of a Canadian, you are admissible to Canada if you plan to stay for 15 days or more – as with an immediate family member – and you have written authorization from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You will not be allowed into Canada without this written authorization. At Quadro Law, we are happy to help obtain this authorization on your behalf.
 
IRCC recently updated its definition of extended family members to include those in an exclusive dating relationship, if you have been in the relationship for at least one year and have met your partner in person at some point during your relationship. Other extended family members, as defined by IRCC, include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and adult children (over 22 years old). In contrast, a common-law partner is classified as an immediate family member. Two people are common-law partners if they have been living together for at least one year without breaks, in a marriage-like relationship.
 
Whether you are the immediate or the extended family member of a Canadian, you will require appropriate documentation to prove the existence of your relationship, as well as your family member’s status in Canada.
 
Certain other individuals are also currently admissible to Canada despite the pandemic. Discrete categories of others who are still admissible include temporary workers coming for a non-discretionary purpose, certain work permit-exempt workers, and some international students. The ins and outs of these categories tend to be nuanced, so please let us know if you need any help navigating the system.
 
Okay, so I’m allowed in. What does am an acceptable quarantine look like?
 
If you plan to come to Canada from abroad, you will generally be required to self-isolate and to monitor for symptoms for 14 days. This requires advance planning, as you must submit a plan through the Government of Canada’s ArriveCAN app before travelling to Canada. (ArriveCAN is also available in website format if the app isn’t accessible to you.)
 
Here are a few details you should have ready when submitting your plan through ArriveCAN:
1. Your contact information and travel document details.
2. Your travel details, including date of arrival, flight number, and airline (or your port of entry, if you don’t plan to travel by air).
3. Where you will be spending your quarantine period (exact address).
4. Whether you will be able to have food, medication, and other necessities delivered to you at this address while in quarantine. It is important that you avoid coming into contact with the general public during this 14-day period.
5. Any symptoms you have been experiencing.
 
Are you travelling to Alberta directly from another country through Calgary International Airport or the Coutts land border crossing? In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Alberta COVID-19 Border Testing Pilot Program still requires you to submit a full quarantine plan through ArriveCAN. However, you may be eligible to quarantine for fewer than 14 days if you undergo a COVID-19 test immediately upon arrival in Canada. You must quarantine until you have received your test results. If your results come back negative and you plan to remain in Alberta for at least 14 days after coming from abroad, you will not be required to quarantine. However, you must still follow all required preventative measures, including completing daily check-ins (online or by phone) and a second test on either your sixth or your seventh day after arrival. See the International Border Testing Pilot Program website for more information.
 
Can I get around the quarantine requirement?
 
In select circumstances – for example, if you will be providing an essential service in Canada, or for compassionate reasons (including supporting a critically ill loved one or attending a funeral) – you may be able to forego the 14-day quarantine requirement.
 
However, the general rule is that you are required to quarantine even if you show no symptoms of COVID-19 and have not recently been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for the disease. It is also worth noting that, if you have previously recovered from COVID-19, you must still quarantine, due to the potential risk of reinfection.
 
If you were hoping to dodge the quarantine requirement without fitting into one of the officially exempt categories, the consequences probably aren’t worth it. Possible penalties include a fine of up to $750,000, up to 6 months of jail time, and being found inadmissible to Canada for a period of one year (including forced removal). That’s one way to put a damper on the holidays.
 
What about interprovincial travel?
 
As each province and territory is continually updating its travel guidelines to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation, we recommend checking the most recent provincial/territorial policy.
 
In B.C., for example, the official guidelines currently direct that nonessential interprovincial travel is inadvisable, but not absolutely prohibited.
 
“Travelling home to see my family for the holidays is obviously essential. Right?” Wrong. Just as with coming from outside of Canada, travelling between provinces or territories to visit family counts as discretionary travel. It might be up to you to make this call, and to evaluate the risks and rewards of holiday travel. Of course, before travelling, check back with the appropriate provinces/territories for the latest updates.
 
Maybe the travel restrictions provide a good opportunity to start some new traditions this season. Bond over copious amounts of home-cooked food with your roommates or coworkers. Check out the local ski and snowboard slopes (trust us, there are plenty of hidden gems out there). It could be worse.
 
Before you go…
 
One final piece of advice: check with your airline before boarding a flight to Canada this holiday season. While the Government of Canada requires you to submit your quarantine plan before travelling and to have certain other documents to enter the country, many airlines are imposing additional restrictions. This is an extra precautionary measure to cover their own bases, so that they can avoid transporting anyone who may later turn out to be inadmissible. Be prepared and reach out to your airline beforehand to see what documents you will require.
 
Questions?
 
As always, we’re here to help at Quadro Law. If you’re at all in doubt, schedule a (virtual) consultation with us.
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 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.
July 6, 2020
Yet, the provinces have continued to invite prospective immigrants to submit Express Entry profiles and apply for permanent residence.

 

Importance of immigration to Canada …
Canada is a nation built on immigration and, for a myriad of reasons, immigration is hugely important to the present social, cultural, and economic growth of our country. Immigration serves to reunite families and provide immigrants with educational and vocational opportunities not available in their countries of origin. It also enriches Canadian culture by connecting different parts of the world, thereby diversifying ideas and customs.
The economic benefits of immigration, in particular, have become especially pronounced in recent years. According to the Conference Board of Canada[1], “Canada’s fertility rate is 1.5 babies per woman, below the replacement rate of 2.1”. On the other hand, all of Canada’s “9.2 million baby boomers will be of retirement age by 2030”, and “23% of Canada’s population will be 65 or older by 2040”. Canada’s low fertility rate and the impending swell of individuals in the 65+ age bracket means that Canada will have fewer people to produce and consume goods and services, as well as a smaller number of taxpayers[2]. Thus, Canada will soon be more dependent than ever on immigration to counter imbalance in the labour force and alleviate strain on the healthcare system.
The impact of COVID-19 on immigration to Canada …
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges to Canada’s immigration system. More precisely, IRCC’s transition to working remotely, travel restrictions, and reduced flights have contributed to a drop in permanent resident admissions to historically low levels in June[3]. Thus far, BC has admitted only 350 new permanent residents, a figure which stands in sharp contrast with those from January (4,235), February (4,240), and March (2,950).
Yet, the provinces have continued to invite prospective immigrants to submit Express Entry profiles and apply for permanent residence[4]. Further, as the foregoing statistics indicate, applications are still being processed. The Canada Immigration Newsletter reported there could be four Express Entry draws in June[5]. On June 10th, British Columbia invited 87 individuals to apply to its Provincial Nominee Program [6].
This indicates the doors will remain open to immigration as Canada navigates the unprecedented circumstances created by the pandemic.
IRCC stated the following categories of individuals can continue to enter Canada notwithstanding the travel restrictions currently in place[7]:
· Canadian citizens
· Permanent residents
· Immediate family of Canadian citizens and permanent residents
· Permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence prior to March 16 and who had not yet travelled to Canada
· Temporary foreign workers
· International students who held a valid study permit or had been approved for one as of March 18
· Transiting passengers
Immigration to Canada in the aftermath of COVID-19 …
In its 2020-2021 Departmental Plan, IRCC unveiled its plan to admit 341,000 new permanent residents in 2020 and 351,000 the following year[8], marking a large increase from the previous decades’ average yearly admission rate of 250,000 and “the most ambitious immigration levels in recent history”[9]. Some have argued Canada cannot afford to stick to this plan in light of the economic fallout of COVID-19; they believe immigration should be put on the back-burner until the economy recovers and employment rates amongst those already living in Canada have bounced back to previous levels.
However, a variety of factors indicate Canada’s commitment to immigration will endure, and in fact flourish, in the aftermath of COVID-19. Indeed, the impact of COVID-19 means that Canada is, in many ways, in greater need of new immigrants than it was before. First, it is important to understand that the employment market isn’t a zero-sum game; gains made by immigrants and members of a host society are compatible and, in fact, tend to be mutually reinforcing, particularly when considered over the long run. Immigrants will contribute to the creation of Canadian jobs through spending and entrepreneurial activity.
Second, continuing to welcome newcomers into Canada is consistent with the proactive immigration policy our country has followed over the past three decades. As Kareem El-Assal[10], a senior research associate for immigration at The Conference Board of Canada, explains, Canada had originally taken a “tap on, tap off” approach to immigration, meaning more immigrants were accepted when the economy was doing well, and less when it was not. In the late 1980s, Canada realized the tap-on, tap-off approach was insufficient to offset labour shortages resulting from the retirement of older generations of Canadians. Consequently, the tap on, tap off approach was displaced by a new policy that has a long-term focus and prioritizes a consistent flow of migrants. Canada has persevered with this new, proactive approach through various economic crises, including the Great Recession.
Finally, the pandemic highlighted the vital importance of immigrants to ensuring the well-being of Canadian society in a period of crisis. Newcomers contributed massively, both directly and indirectly, to efforts to combat the virus[11]; as federal Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino succinctly stated, “we could not support our front-line workers without immigration”[12]. Standing firmly by our commitment to immigration is the only way to deal with the ever-present possibility of another, future pandemic.
Conclusion …
The Canada Immigration Newsletter reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased interest in immigrating to Canada[13], and, all things considered, prospective immigrants should continue to apply to immigrate to Canada. The importance of immigration to Canada and its post-COVID-19 recovery means our country is unlikely to back away from its commitment to welcoming newcomers. This point is supported by recent statements made by Mendicio, in which he said “[i]mmigration will absolutely be key to our success and our economic recovery”, and that “[w]e will continue to rely on immigration, it will be an economic driver, and this will be the North Star of our policy going forward.
June 7, 2020
June 7, 2020

We stand with Black Lives Matter. We are listening.

 

As an immigration law firm, it is our job to assist people in clearing the immigration hurdles as they relocate to Canada. But there are many other hurdles that racialized people face every day in North America, whether they are new arrivals or whether their families have been here for generations. We at Quadro Law support Black Lives Matter. We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the systemic racism and disregard for human life that has led to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other Black men and women at the hands of a racist establishment. 
We will do better by ensuring that racialized people have and will continue to have a strong voice in our firm. We will start an ongoing dialog with our employees, aimed at improving upon the respect and sensitivity with which we treat our racialized colleagues and clients. And we will recommit to ensuring that we are as diverse as Canada is.
We stand with Black Lives Matter. We are listening.