Some immigration questions about immigration to Canada

Below is the answer to some frequently asked immigration questions from Meritrusts Immigration Consulting. Most of these immigration questions are probably answered by wrong people and caused misinformation. We hope this article will remove some misunderstandings about Canadian immigration law and regulations.

1- I have a visitor visa. Can I upgrade (or change) my visitor visa to a study visa or work permit after I arrive in Canada?

Many travel agencies that don’t have RCIC and are not authorized to provide immigration advice promote the idea of changing or upgrading a visa either upon arrival to Canada or any time after that. Unfortunately, a visa is not like a seat in your flight where it could be upgraded or changed from the window seat to the aisle seat, even by paying a premium.

Every visa applicant should explain the reason for travelling to Canada with backup documents. A visitor visa would be issued for tourism purposes or visiting family or friends. You may check the type of visa in the visa counterfoil. Every kind of visa comes with some restrictions. Canadian immigration laws and regulations define part of these restrictions, and the rest could be decided by the CBSA officer at the port of entry. For example, studying in Canada with a visitor visa in the courses taking longer than six months is not allowed. Working for a visitor visa holder is also not allowed except for a few situations.

If your situation changes (i.e. you sign up for an educational course that takes longer than six months), you need a different type of visa/permit. In this case, you have to submit a new study permit application and all supporting documents and the reasons behind the request.

Since the application should be prepared and submitted from scratch, the applicant’s presence in Canada is no advantage or disadvantage. Having an approved Canadian visitor visa is also does not affect the officer’s decision on the new application. In this case, the only definite point, a past visitor visa might indicate that IRCC will likely pass the admissibility check quickly.

2- Is it possible that I enter Canada with a visitor visa and then apply for permanent residence from inside Canada?

In theory, yes. But I urge you to think twice before you pack your luggage!

During your temporary residence visa (TRV) application, you already informed Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that you are travelling for tourism or visiting family/friends. Unfortunately, unlike common perception, a visitor visa is NOT a final permit for entering Canada. The CBSA has full authority to double-check all the documents from your application package and make sure that your intention to visit is the same as described in the first place. If the CBSA officer is satisfied with your case (s), he will stamp your passport. If no date is written on the stamp, an applicant may stay in Canada for up to 6 months from the date of entry. If any date is written on the seal, the applicant must leave Canada before that date.

In most cases, the permanent residence applications take well over six months. As you may have guessed, it is customary to see cases take 2-3 years to be finished. In that case, for an applicant to stay in Canada, they must either extend their visa or have to exit and re-enter Canada if they have a multiple entry visa.

All I can say, it’s abusing the Canadian immigration laws and visitor visa regulations, and I urge you to avoid doing so. In case of visa extension, you should have an excellent reason for IRCC why your visit has taken more than six months. Many people start misrepresentation, a severe crime that undermines their visitor visa and permanent residence applications. Exiting and re-entry to Canada have the same principles. CBSA might be suspected that why a tourist needs more than six months to visit Canada? Or what type of family need more than six months to catch up? Does the applicant have any ties to their home country? These immigration questions and answers would be held at the port of entry. If the officer is not satisfied with the results, the permitted duration of stay may be remarkably reduced, or in some cases, the officer denies the request to enter Canada.

As a result, considering that you are limited to 6 months of stay, most probably you are not allowed to work or study in Canada, there are risks associated with visa extension or exit and re-entry, and the permanent residence process takes long, I would suggest avoiding this scenario as much as possible.

3- Is it possible to move to Canada by purchasing real estate or business?

The easy part at first, the purchase of real estate has nothing to do with immigration to Canada. There is no advantage or disadvantage for permanent residence applicants who purchased a property in Canada.

But purchasing a business is an entirely different story. In most provincial entrepreneur programs, purchase or start of business is part of the eligibility requirement for permanent residence. It is of utmost importance that an applicant has full awareness of all the program requirements and details of the process. The applicant should always have related work experience in the home country and must provide a comprehensive business plan compatible with that field of activity in the province. Finally, the applicant can start a business instead of buying a business or franchise. In all entrepreneur programs, the purchase or creation of the company is the last step; hence you should be very careful with people who trap the immigration applicants to buy a business at the first step.

Although there is one exception that business purchase happens at the first step. This method is called “Owner-Operator Labour Market Impact Assessment,” It is very niche and specific.

In a nutshell, this method consists of the following steps:

  1. Applicant purchases an active business or acquires the controlling share of an existing business.
  2. Applicant with enough documented history of the business and ownership papers asks for an Owner-Operator Labour Market Impact Assessment.
  3. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requires most applications to perform a particular employee advertisement for hiring the Canadian workforce in the first place. In the case of Owner-Operator LMIA, this advertisement (which is a very tricky step) would be eliminated because the owner responsibilities of the business could not be performed by someone recruited from advertising.
  4. Finally, the applicant with a positive LMIA can apply for a work permit to IRCC.

And that is the essential part! You can expect a work permit by successful completion of this method. I highly advise that you think before investing in a business and going through all the steps mentioned above about what you will do with this work permit. Are you going to apply through the Canadian Experience Class? Are you going to use Federal Skilled Worker? Have you met all other eligibility criteria? It is not sensible to purchase a business before knowing precisely what you will do next.

4- Can I come to Canada and immigrate as a refugee?

In short, No. Most people planning to come as refugees would not be eligible under convention refugee, and CBSA would return most of these refugee claimants to their home country after claim refusal. Asylum is not an immigration program, and unfortunately, it is advertised by unauthorized people to move to Canada.

Asylum Is not a way to gain a better economic lifestyle or better economic gains. The government of Canada has 150 years of experience of applicants from 200 countries of the world and can easily find out refugee claimants who seek to abuse the immigration law and refugee protection regulations to move to Canada. The negative consequences of refugee claim refusal could be not accepting any refugee claim of all family members in the future to 5 years bar of any application to Canada due to misrepresentation.

5- Is it possible for me to come to Canada on a study permit, get a work permit after finishing my studies, and then apply for permanent residence?

In theory, yes. But you should pay attention to the following points:

• Your learning institute and course should be one of the approved public learning institutes by IRCC to get an open work permit after finishing your studies. Also, your class should be more than a year 

• Choose your job wisely! There were many situations where working in a NOC C or D job prevented a successful permanent residence application.

• Applicant should conduct enough planning and research before applying to Canada study (and work). You should know under what program you will ask for permanent residence. Just like purchasing a business in Canada, if you move without the end in mind, you may spend lots of money and time in Canada without a successful PR application.

In the end, as you probably know, education in Canada for foreign nationals is quite expensive. Also, there are refusal risks involved in every (study, work and PR) application, which makes this method riskier than other ways under the same situations. It is highly suggested that filling the free assessment form, make sure that there is a no different or better alternative for moving to Canada.

6- Is It possible to move to Canada with a job offer? I’ve heard some companies will also provide a job offer.

Unfortunately, the job offer topic is so filled with abuse that it makes honest head-hunting businesses a minority. I strongly suggest that you scrutinize every job offer (especially the ones that come with for a fee) with scrutiny. It is infrequent for a Canadian employer to trust someone from a remote country so much that offers a job. If the employer and applicant know each other (i.e. family ties, friendship, etc.), it would be entirely different. If the applicant has particular expertise or education at a world-class level, it would be understandable again. But for most cases, the job-offers are mainly trapped by some scammer to get money from desperate immigration applicants. The sad part is the scammed applicant would also face negative legal consequences if s(he) tries to bring the matter to the Canadian government.

7- Is it possible to immigrate to Canada by marriage?

If a foreign national marries a Canadian citizen or permanent residence, the Canadian spouse can sponsor the foreign national spouse only if:

• The marriage is genuine.

• The marriage is made primarily to acquire any status or privilege (including immigration to Canada)

It is evident from the immigration question that the primary purpose of the marriage is immigration to Canada, so the brief answer to this immigration question is “No.” As previously explained, the IRCC officer has extensive practical experience to find lousy faith marriages and pinpoint the applicants who want to bypass the immigration laws by abusing the sponsorship regulations to gain economic status in Canada. If two parties marry and the Canadian spouse intends to sponsor the foreign national spouse for uniting their family in Canada, then sponsorship is the answer. I strongly suggest that applicants avoid facing legal and immigration consequences by bypassing the sponsorship regulations.

I hope that this article has shed some light on immigration, the most asked immigration questions. If you have any topic on immigration and think that might be beneficial for others, please add it in the contact form here so I can answer it in the following articles.

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