Q. I’m a nurse by profession. I was convinced by a distant relative to apply for a work permit in Canada to work as a personal support worker outside the Toronto area. The job offer was to work for a nursing home and company that guaranteed 40 hours of work per week. My relative in Toronto works for a consulting company/employment agency in Toronto who promised that the job offer was genuine.
A labor market opinion was obtained and I paid thousands of dollars. When I arrived in Canada the nursing home said “business was slow” and my hours were going to be cut. I worked only a few hours a week until I finally quit. I then went back to the employment agency who said they will look for an employer to work as a caregiver. They want more money. I have recently seen ads on Kijiji where the same nursing home is looking for workers and offering full time work. What can I do?
A. You must report this nursing home and consulting company for several violations. I have not seen all your documents so I cannot say for sure what will happen to you, in particular. However, if you want others to be saved from this scam, then you should let the proper authorities investigate. For example, how did this nursing home obtain a LMIA? Personal support workers are not in shortage? Second, how could they offer full time hours and then after you arrive conveniently lower your hours? If business was so slow why are they still advertising for full time work? In my opinion, this all sounds like a scheme where the employment agency is in a relationship with the nursing home just to bring you here. They share the fees. Then, when you arrive, you are so upset at the lack of work, you quit. This must be stopped. As well, the nursing home signed an agreement to Service Canada and if they violated the terms of the LMIA they should be barred from hiring others. Only you can stop this and you have the power to do so. Finally, it is illegal for an employment agency to charge you fees to look for an employer. You should not have paid anything.
Q. I’m about to apply for spousal common law sponsorship but when I entered Canada I mentioned on my work permit application that I was single when in fact I was married. My spouse and I were not on talking terms and separated for almost 6 years so I just figured that it would be easier to file as “single”. All my documents as well as my passport is single too and with that I didn’t declare my daughter as well as I first thought it’ll be a conflict if they’ll ask her birth certificate. Now I’m in a common-law relationship in which we are filing our application before end of this year. I want to include my daughter on my application. I need your advice.
A. You have misrepresented yourself on your application. You declared the truth on your work permit application when in fact it was a lie. I would need more information on why you failed to declare your true marital status and child before handling the file. However, in my experience, we are able to overcome it. As an aside, several people have the false notion that by declaring themselves as “single”, it somehow expedites a work permit or gives the applicant a better chance of success than if married. That is simply not true. There is no truth to such nonsense and it is confusing as to why agencies in the Philippines are still providing such false information to applicants. While it may be easier to simply say “single” (obviously less documents required) it raises all sorts of problems down the road as is evident in your case.
Q. I’m a visitor in Canada and I have to renew my status soon. The problem is that my passport will expire shortly after my expiry date. I applied for renewal of my passport but it will not arrive until well after the expiry date. What do I do?
A. You should have applied for renewal of the passport earlier. However, since you didn’t do that you need to time this carefully. You can apply for the extension now but only receive it for a short duration. Another option is to not apply until you get the passport and then apply for restoration of status within 90 days. The problem with the second option is (a) that you will have no status once initial expiry passes and (b) if you do not obtain the passport within the statutory 90 day period you must leave Canada or risk enforcement.
Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free 1-888-847-2078