Tag: Canada

A Guide to Sponsorship in Canada: Who, how and when to sponsor?

Hasa Attorneys, a distinguished law firm with profound expertise in Canadian immigration law, specializes in facilitating the complex process of family sponsorship. Our commitment is to provide clients with personalized and thorough legal guidance, ensuring a seamless journey towards family reunification in Canada.

Understanding Family Sponsorship

Family sponsorship is a cornerstone of Canada’s immigration policy, designed to reunite families. This program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor eligible family members, including spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, and parents or grandparents, to become permanent residents of Canada. The program underscores the value of family and aims to strengthen the social and cultural fabric of Canadian society.

Quebec Application Caps

The Quebec government has implemented a cap on the number of family sponsorship applications that will be accepted until June 2026. A limited number of applications will be considered, so it is crucial to submit your sponsorship application as soon as possible. The imposed caps are as follows:

  • A total of 13,000 applications will be accepted from June 26, 2024, to June 25, 2026.
  • A maximum of 2,600 applications will be accepted for parents and grandparents.
  • A maximum of 10,400 applications will be accepted for spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children.

Once the maximum number of applications is reached, no additional applications will be processed until June 2026. The period for submitting family sponsorship applications is limited, and we anticipate that capacity will soon be reached. We strongly encourage potential sponsors to complete and submit their applications immediately to ensure their application is processed before the cap is reached.

Categories of Family Sponsorship

  • Spouses, Common-law partners, and their dependent Children:
    • The sponsor must be at least 18 years old, a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person registered under the Canadian Indian Act. The relationship between the sponsor and applicant must be genuine and not primarily for the purpose of immigration.
    • The relationship must be genuine and not primarily for the purpose of immigration.
    • Common-law partners must provide proof of a minimum of 12 consecutive months of cohabitation, unlike spouses.
    • Dependent Children of the spouse or common-law partner must be under the age of 22 and not have a spouse or common-law partner, or over 22 and financially dependent on their parents due to a physical or mental condition.
  • Parents and Grandparents:
    • Sponsors must meet minimum income requirements to ensure they can support their sponsored family members for a period of 20 years.
    • The sponsorship agreement includes an undertaking to provide financial support and basic requirements for the sponsored family members.
  • Dependant Children:
    • You can sponsor your dependent children, whether natural or adopted, to live with you as permanent residents in Canada. Children must be under 22 years old and unmarried or, if over 22, they must have a condition that prevents them from supporting themselves​​.
  • Dependent Children of the spouse or common-law partner:
    • Must be under the age of 22 and not have a spouse or common-law partner, or over 22 and financially dependent on their parents due to a physical or mental condition.

Sponsorship from Within Canada

Sponsoring a family member from within Canada, also known as “inland sponsorship,” allows the sponsored individual to reside in Canada while their application is being processed. This type of sponsorship offers the possibility to work or study legally in Canada during the processing of the application under certain conditions. It is particularly essential that the sponsored individual has maintained a legal status in Canada, whether as a visitor, student, or worker at the time the application is submitted.

Family members sponsored from within Canada may benefit from certain temporary resident permits, such as:

  • Open Work Permit: Sponsored spouses or common-law partners can apply for an open work permit. This allows them to work for any employer in Canada while their permanent residence application is being processed.
  • Study Permit: Sponsored dependent children can apply for a study permit to attend school in Canada. This provides them the opportunity to continue their education without interruption while awaiting the outcome of the sponsorship application.

Sponsorship from Outside Canada

Sponsorship from outside Canada applies to family members living abroad. Applications submitted through this route are generally processed by visa offices abroad. The sponsored individual will have to wait for the approval of the application before they can move to Canada as a permanent resident. This process can be longer than inland sponsorship, but it also allows the sponsored individual to stay with their loved ones in their home country during the processing of the application.

Application Process

The application process for family sponsorship involves several detailed steps, including eligibility assessment, gathering necessary documentation, and submission of the application. Hasa Attorneys will guide clients through each step:

  • Personal Assessment of Eligibility: Sponsors must first ensure they meet the eligibility criteria, including age, financial stability, and residency status.
  • Gathering Documentation: Essential documents include proof of relationship, financial records, and legal identification.
  • Submission of Application: Applications must be submitted to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), along with the required fees and supporting documents.
  • Governmental Assessment: The application undergoes a thorough review process, where the eligibility of both the sponsor and the sponsored individual is verified.
  • Approval: Upon successful assessment, the sponsorship application is approved, moving the process to the next phase.

Importance of Supporting Evidence for the Application

Providing strong evidence is essential for the success of a family sponsorship application. The evidence must demonstrate:

  • Financial Capability of the Sponsor: Bank statements, proof of income, and employment letters to prove the ability to support the sponsored person.
  • Compliance with Eligibility Criteria: Identity documents, marriage certificates, proof of cohabitation, and other relevant documents.
  • Authenticity of the Relationship for Spouses and Common-law Partners: Photographs, correspondence, testimonies, and proof of cohabitation, if applicable.

Ensure that all evidence is clear, complete, and well-organized to avoid delays or refusals.

Quebec-Specific Considerations

Sponsorship within Quebec comes with specific obligations towards both the government and the sponsored individual. Sponsors enter into a contractual commitment with the Quebec government, ensuring that the sponsored family members will not become a financial burden on the society.

Once the sponsor’s eligibility is confirmed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the process in Quebec proceeds to the following steps:

  • Guarantor’s Application: For sponsorships in Quebec, the sponsor must submit a commitment application to the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation, and Integration (MIFI). This step includes signing a commitment contract to financially support the sponsored person.
  • Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ): To obtain a CSQ for spousal sponsorship in Quebec, you must first receive confirmation from IRCC that your federal spousal sponsorship application’s sponsor eligibility has been approved. The Ministry of Immigration, Francisation, and Integration (MIFI) evaluates the commitment application. If approved, the sponsored person receives a CSQ, which is essential for the permanent residence application.

Once the CSQ is obtained, the application will continue to be processed at the federal level for the issuance of permanent residence.

The Minimum Necessary Income for sponsors in Quebec:

In Quebec, the Minimum Necessary Income for sponsors depends on the family size, including both the sponsor’s own family and the sponsored persons. These numbers change and are routinely updated by the Quebec Government, but here are the numbers as of June 2024. The basic income required is $28,242 for a single individual. That amount increases with each additional family member being sponsored. For sponsoring persons under 18, an additional amount of $9,776 for one person and $15,493 for two is required, with an increment of $5,166 for each additional minor. For more details, you can visit the official Quebec government website.

Integration into Quebec society

For integration into Quebec society, the Government emphasises the importance of understanding French and adapting to Quebec’s social norms. It suggests prospective residents should enhance their French language skills for effective communication and integration into the local community. Additionally, adapting to Quebec involves familiarizing oneself with the province’s culture, values, and societal expectations to ensure a smooth transition into the community. For more detailed guidance on these aspects, the document recommends specific resources and programs available for newcomers in Quebec.

Fees and Estimated Time

  • Application Fees: Fees vary based on the category of sponsorship and the number of individuals being sponsored. It’s crucial to check the latest fee schedule on the official IRCC or Quebec immigration websites.
  • Processing Times: The time it takes to process a sponsorship application can vary significantly based on several factors, including the category of sponsorship, the volume of applications received, and the specific requirements of the Quebec immigration process.

Navigating the family sponsorship process, especially within Quebec, requires a thorough understanding of the legal obligations, application steps, and associated costs. Hasa Attorneys provide expert guidance throughout this journey, ensuring a smooth and informed pathway to family reunification in Canada. If you would like to discuss your sponsorship application further, please contact us to book a consultation.

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The Asylum Application Process in Canada Explained by Hasa Attorneys

Welcome to Hasa Attorneys, a distinguished immigration law firm nestled in the heart of Montreal. Specializing in immigration, we strive to guide asylum seekers through a sometimes complex process. Our dedicated team combines experience and compassion, ensuring each client receives personalized and effective legal support. In this article, we will explore the journey of asylum seekers in Canada, highlighting eligibility criteria and the various steps leading to protected person status.

Understanding Refugee Status in Canada

In Canadian and international law, a refugee is defined as someone who is outside their home country or the country they normally live in and is unable to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or being part of a particular social group. Refugee status in Canada is granted to those meeting that definition of a refugee. It also applies to persons in need of protection, who would face dangers such as torture, or risk to life, or cruel treatment if returned to their home country. This status offers crucial legal protection, preventing individuals from being sent back to situations where their safety and rights are at risk.

Eligibility for Refugee Status

Gaining refugee status in Canada involves a nuanced process that carefully evaluates an individual’s circumstances against specific eligibility criteria. To embark on this journey, understanding these prerequisites is vital:

  • Presence within Canada: Initiating a refugee claim mandates your presence within Canadian borders, ensuring you are not subject to any removal orders.
  • People who are not eligible:
    • Refugees must not have received protection or refugee status from another country they can return to. Those who have already been granted protected person status in Canada are ineligible. Claims made at the Canada-United States border, following the Safe Third Country Agreement, generally do not qualify.
    • Previous unsuccessful or withdrawn refugee claims in Canada or other countries can affect eligibility.

Navigating through these criteria requires a deep understanding of legal nuances and the implications of each condition. It’s not just about meeting the basic requirements but about clearly articulating the threats and persecutions faced in the country of origin, aligning with Canada’s protective stance for human rights.

The Asylum Claim

Applying for refugee status in Canada is a critical step toward protection and safety for those fleeing persecution. The process is designed to be accessible, offering two main avenues for making a claim: at a port of entry upon arrival in Canada, or from within Canada if you have already entered the country.

At a Port of Entry

Upon arrival at any Canadian port of entry—be it an airport, seaport, or land border—you are entitled to make a claim for refugee protection. This process starts with an eligibility interview conducted by an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), during which you’ll complete an application package and provide necessary biometrics like fingerprints and photographs.

  • Documentation and Further Instructions:
    • Normally, you’ll fill out the provided forms on the spot. However, there may be instances where the CBSA officer schedules a future interview at the port of entry or an inland office.
    • In such cases, you’ll receive an information pamphlet, an acknowledgment of claim letter which facilitates access to the Interim Federal Health Program and other services and instructions for completing a medical exam.
  • Online Completion: In certain situations, you may be directed to complete your claim online, using the application number and interview location details provided by the officer.

After Arriving in Canada

This section outlines the steps for making a claim from within Canada, emphasizing the importance of a complete application, the online submission process, and the role of representatives in assisting with the application. Whether you’ve recently arrived or have been in the country for some time, understanding this process is key to successfully navigating the Canadian refugee claim system.

  • Complete the Application: If opting to make a claim after your arrival, a complete application is necessary, encompassing all supporting documentation and the BOC Form.
  • Online Submission: The preferred method for submitting your claim is online, where you’ll need a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents and an online account for submission and status checks. If online submission is not feasible, a paper-based claim can be requested within Canada.
  • Assistance from a Representative: Should you have a representative aiding in your claim, they can assist in or directly submit the claim on your behalf.

Arguing your case

Once submitted, if deemed eligible, your claim will be referred to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). You will receive a Refugee Protection Claimant Document and a Confirmation of Referral letter, along with the Claimant’s Guide for further steps.

Basis of Claim (BoC)

A crucial next step is submitting a completed Basis of Claim (BOC) Form for each family member within 15 days of referral​​. When applying for refugee status in Canada, articulating the foundation of your claim is pivotal. The Basis of Claim (BoC) Form is an important document that enables you to outline your background, family circumstances, and the specific reasons you’re seeking refugee protection. This form is designed to capture the essence of your claim through detailed inquiries. Key Sections of the BoC form include:

  • Who You Are: This initial section is where you provide essential personal details such as your date of birth, gender, nationality, religion, and languages spoken. This foundational information sets the stage for understanding your unique identity and background.
  • Details About Your Claim & Why You Are Claiming Refugee Protection in Canada:
    • The heart of the BoC Form lies in explaining the reasons behind your claim for refugee protection. This portion is structured to draw out a comprehensive narrative of your experiences and fears. You’re encouraged to delve into specifics, detailing the harm, mistreatment, or threats you believe you’d face upon returning to your country. The form’s design, with leading questions, guides you to uncover and articulate the core issues driving your claim for asylum.
    • The narrative should encompass broad aspects that paint a clear picture of your situation and address more pointed questions that validate the legitimacy of your claim. For instance, queries like “If you returned to your country today, do you believe you would experience harm or mistreatment or threats?” compel you to reflect deeply and justify your need for protection.

Providing a thorough and honest account within the BoC Form is not just about fulfilling a procedural requirement; it’s about conveying your story in a manner that underscores the urgency and legitimacy of your plea for refuge. This documentation is pivotal in the assessment process, where the details of your narrative can significantly influence the outcome of your claim​​.

Gathering and Submitting Evidence

When making a refugee claim in Canada, substantiating your claim with concrete evidence is crucial. This evidence provides the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) with the necessary context to assess your claim accurately. Here’s how to gather and submit this vital information:

  • Detailed Narratives: Alongside formal documents, a written account of your experiences, including dates, places, and people involved, can significantly strengthen your case. These narratives should align with the information provided in your Basis of Claim (BoC) Form.
  • Document Everything: Ensure you collect all relevant documents that can support your claim. This might include identity documents, police reports, medical records, witness statements, or any other evidence that corroborates your narrative of persecution or danger.
  • Legal and Country Information: Including legal documents, human rights reports, and information on the conditions in your country can help contextualize your claim, especially if they relate to your specific circumstances.

Remember, the quality and relevance of your evidence can significantly impact the outcome of your claim. It’s not just about the quantity of documents but their ability to convincingly illustrate your need for protection under Canada’s refugee and asylum laws.

Attending Your Hearing

The refugee hearing is a pivotal moment in the application process, offering you the platform to present your case in detail. This section provides an overview of what to expect during the hearing and how to prepare effectively. Here is what you can expect at your hearing:

  • Participants: The hearing will typically include a Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), yourself, any family members claiming refugee status, and possibly an interpreter, your legal counsel, a minister’s representative from IRCC, and support people like close friends or family​​​​.
  • Privacy: Hearings usually last half a day and are conducted in private to protect your privacy, unless a request is made for a public hearing​​​​.
  • IRCC and CBSA Involvement: The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) may participate in the hearing to challenge your credibility or argue for exclusion from refugee protection​​​​.
  • Decision: While the decision may sometimes be provided orally at the hearing’s conclusion, it’s more common to receive a written notice of the decision afterward, detailing the IRB’s reasoning​​​​.

Proper preparation, along with gathering substantial evidence are key to articulating your case compellingly.

Receiving Your Decision

After your refugee hearing, the process of awaiting a decision begins. This crucial phase determines the next steps in your journey towards safety and residency in Canada. Here’s an overview of what happens post-hearing and the possible outcomes you might face.

Post-Hearing Process

  • Immediate Feedback: In some instances, the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) member might provide an oral decision at the conclusion of the hearing, giving you immediate insight into the outcome of your claim.
  • Written Notice: Regardless of whether an oral decision is provided, you will receive a written notice of the decision post-hearing. This document will detail the IRB’s decision, including reasons for a negative outcome if applicable​​.

Possible Outcomes:

Outcomes can be broadly categorized as negative or positive.

  • Positive Decision: A positive decision grants you Convention Refugee status, paving the way for you to apply for permanent residency in Canada. It’s important to note that the Government of Canada retains the right to appeal positive decisions to the Refugee Appeal Division.
  • Negative Decision: If your claim is denied, you will have the option to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), except in specific cases where this right is not available. Should an appeal at the RAD not be available or if your appeal at the RAD is unsuccessful, you can file a notice for leave and for judicial review at the Federal Court. While you have an appeal at the RAD or an application for leave and for judicial review at the Federal Court in process, you will not be removed from Canada.

After You Apply

After submitting your refugee claim in Canada, there are several important steps and options to consider as you await the decision. This period involves managing your existing documents, exploring work and study opportunities, and ensuring your claim remains secure against fraud.

Work and Study Permits

Both work and study permits represent avenues through which refugee claimants can constructively engage and integrate into Canadian society during the processing period of their claims. It’s essential to stay informed about the application processes for these permits to make the most of your time in Canada while awaiting your claim’s outcome.

  • Work Permits: While waiting for a decision on your refugee claim, you may be eligible for a work permit. This can be requested at the same time as your claim if you apply at a port of entry. If your claim is submitted online, you can also request a work permit within the application. Eligibility for a work permit typically depends on the referral of your claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) and completion of your medical exam​​.
  • Study Permits: Unlike work permits, study permits must be applied for separately from your refugee claim. If you’re interested in studying during your wait, it’s important to understand the eligibility criteria and application process for obtaining a study permit​​.

For comprehensive support and guidance through this complex process, consider partnering with Hasa Attorneys after you have made your claim as a refugee. Our experience in immigration law ensures that every step of your journey is navigated with precision and care, maximizing your chances of a favorable outcome and a new beginning in Canada.

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Explaining the Canadian Study Permit Process:  A Guide by Hasa Attorneys

Welcome to Hasa Attorneys, nestled in the vibrant core of Montreal, a city celebrated for its academic excellence. Our firm stands as a pillar of legal acumen, specializing in unwinding the complex skein of Canadian immigration law for international students. We pride ourselves on crafting bespoke solutions that cater to the unique educational ambitions of our clients, bolstered by our comprehensive understanding of immigration legislation and procedures.

Understanding Canadian Study Permits

A Canadian study permit is the golden ticket for international students, a crucial document that legally endorses their academic pursuits in Canadian institutions. This permit is the bedrock of their academic journey, ensuring their educational endeavors are in line with Canada’s immigration standards.

The Canadian Educational Landscape

Canada’s educational landscape is a rich mosaic, beckoning students with its inclusive ethos and globally recognized academic credentials. It is a nurturing ground for innovation and intellectual growth, offering a wealth of opportunities for personal and scholarly development.

Types of Study Permits

The study permit system is designed to reflect the diverse academic pathways of students:

  • Regular Study Permits: Intended for those enrolled in programs exceeding six months.
  • Short-Term Study Permits: For shorter courses, which may necessitate an eTA or Visitor Visa.

Specialized Study Provisions

In line with its flexible immigration policies, Canada provides specific provisions for students under various scenarios:

  • Work While Studying: Certain students are allowed to work part-time to complement their academic experience.
  • Post-Graduation Work Permits: After completing studies, graduates may obtain work permits to gain professional experience in Canada.

Steps to Obtaining a Study Permit

For students applying for a study permit from outside of Quebec, the process is managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and does not require a Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ). Here are the key steps you would need to follow:

  • Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution: You must be accepted by a recognized educational institution in Canada and receive a letter of acceptance.
  • Gather Required Documents: This includes proof of identity, acceptance, financial support, and any other documents required by your local visa office or the IRCC.
  • Complete Application Forms: Fill out the necessary immigration forms for a study permit.
  • Medical Exam: You might need to pass a medical exam as part of the application.
  • Application Submission: Apply online through the IRCC portal, or by paper application if you cannot apply online.
  • Biometrics: You may be required to give biometrics (photo and fingerprints) after you apply.
  • Study Permit Approval: If approved, you’ll receive a Letter of Acceptance.
  • Temporary Resident Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): Depending on your country of citizenship, you may also need a TRV or eTA to travel to Canada.

Additional Steps to Study in Quebec

Studying in Quebec involves additional considerations, given its unique cultural and linguistic heritage. Accordingly, if applying to study in Quebec you will need to follow the following steps:

  • Apply for a CAQ: Students must secure a CAQ through Immigration Quebec.
  • Compile Required Documents: Alongside the CAQ application, students must submit a detailed study plan and proof of acceptance from a Quebec institution.
  • Dual Approval: Gain concurrence from both the Quebec government and the federal immigration authorities.
  • Apply for a Study Permit: Following the CAQ approval, students can proceed to apply for a study permit.

Preparing for Studies in Canada

Prospective students should prepare for their academic journey by acquainting themselves with Canada’s cultural and educational systems, language proficiency requirements, and financial planning for their studies.

Settling in Canada as a Student

The transition to student life in Canada encompasses finding accommodation, understanding healthcare, and engaging with campus life. Canadian educational institutions offer extensive resources to help international students settle in.

Hasa Attorneys is your steadfast guide through the Canadian study permit process. Whether you’re planning to study in Quebec or another province, we offer the know-how to ensure a smooth and successful academic journey. Contact Hasa Attorneys for a detailed consultation and begin your educational adventure in Canada with a team that is committed to your success.

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