Update 2: I'm still getting through your questions but I think I have to stop soon. This has been a pleasure and I've really enjoyed it (didn't think it'd be this fun). If you have a matter and you are trying to reach me feel free to send an email at "[email protected]".

Update: Hi everyone, thank you for all the questions. I'll happily continue to answer, but I'll just need more time. Thanks, keep em coming.


My name is Ali Esnaashari and I am the founder of Esna Law Professional Corporation, a boutique immigration litigation law firm based in Toronto (Proof).

I was called to the bar of Ontario in 2016 and since then, my practice has focused exclusively on immigration law and in particular litigation and enforcement under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27 (“IRPA”). I appear regularly before all divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board as well as the Federal Court of Canada.

My clients are from all around the world and with different issues, including, US citizens with criminal record trying to enter Canada, refused visa applicants, refugee claimants, out-of-status individuals, and basically anyone who’s immigration mater has been derailed for some reason.

  • Link to my profile on our website.

My personal areas of interest?

  • Visa refusals and IRCC’s use of AI.
  • Mandamus applications (i.e. taking the government to Court for failing to process applications in -time).
  • Misrepresentation.

Disclaimer: My answers to your questions are not intended to be legal advice and should not be used as such. This is merely to provide information.

If you want legal advice, you should book a 1-on-1 consultation with a licensed professional who will ask you all the relevant info about your situation.

Let’s do this.

Comments: 396 • Responses: 55  • Date: 

resolutefool154 karma

I am a US citizen who applied for Nexus about 5 years ago and was denied based on a DUI charge that was dropped - they basically said that I needed to provide evidence that I "wasn't convicted," even though there's no conviction on my record. I also neglected to initially report a misdeamor arrest for disturbing the peace as a conviction, that occured over 40 years ago when I was 18 and forfieted bail, per my lawyer's guidance. I'm not looking for legal advice on my Nexus application, but I'm wondering how likely it is I will be be denied entry if I just show up at the border?

aliesna_IMMLaw147 karma

Thanks for your question. A few things here.

  1. There needs to be a determination as to whether the criminal conviction would result in criminal inadmissibility under the Canada's Immigration, Refugee Protection Act ( section 36). Not all offences result in criminal inadmissibility.
  2. If it does result in inadmissibility, then the fact that it took place 40 years ago doesn't by itself make it irrelevant. It continues to apply and inadmissibility flows. However, given the length of time that has passed, it may be overcome via criminal rehabilitation application. You can find further information here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/application-forms-guides/guide-5312-rehabilitation-persons-inadmissible-canada-past-criminal-activity.html
  3. I would suggest you speak with a lawyer to assess inadmissibility and see if you'd qualify for deemed criminal rehabilitation.

resolutefool37 karma

Thanks for the detailed answer. Could this be handled by a US lawyer, or would I need to go through a Canadian lawyer (such as yourself), presumably one that specializes in immigration?

aliesna_IMMLaw90 karma

My pleasure. It'd need to be a Canadian immigration lawyer as it pertains to Canada' immigration laws on admissibility.

Erendibi67 karma

Hello, I got refusal last November and still it doesnt have any sense, here is the reason. I'm an engineer but I dont have any experience in engineering, 2 years ago I started to work in hospitality and I did task force in Dubai because tourism is seasonal in Turkey. After Dubai experience, I decided to study in Hospitality at Toronto, I got 6.5 on IELTS, I paid to school, insurance and I had 20k CAD in my account. By the visa lawyer its a random decision lol. I'm flying back to Dubai tomorrow, i will continue to work but it cost me 4 month time wasting and disappointment about Canada.

In a nutshell, I'm wondering: If I reapply from Dubai, will my chances of getting accepted increase? My visa advisor from Canada thinks I rejected because there are too many student visa applications from my country.

aliesna_IMMLaw122 karma

Great question. So a few things here:

  1. The "reasons" you provided for your refusal, are not really the reasons, but more like the Officer' conclusions. The reasons are typically entered into the Global Case Management System ("GCMS") that is used by IRCC to maintain records of Officer's note and activities on file. I would recommend that you get a copy of either through an access to information request, or if you decide to pursue a judicial review (kind of like an appeal) at the Federal Court.
  2. If you are thinking of re-applying, you want to make sure you don't get the same outcome. Thus, getting the reasons become even more important, because you want to make sure to address them in your new application.
  3. I highly recommend speaking with a lawyer regarding judicially reviewing the prior refusal, particularly if you think you provided a solid application. I do a lot of these in my practice, and they have a good success rate in our practice.

Humorii53 karma

My partner and I are about to submit our application for PR through spousal sponsorship! I'm a Canadian citizen and he's American. Any tips or things applicants frequently get wrong? We're super nervous.

Thanks for doing this also! My parents were also immigrants back in the 80s and super thankful to have had people happy to help.

aliesna_IMMLaw91 karma

Great questions. Here are my thoughts:

  1. Vigorously go through the checklist, over and over again. Make sure you've included everything required.
  2. If there's any documents/information missing, provide a clear explanation.
  3. Review the forms very carefully and make sure you've followed the instructions in answering each and every question.
  4. Make sure you clearly have established the bona fide of the application, with all the evidence.
  5. Once you think you have fully completed the application and you are ready to submit. Get a professional to look at it and give you feedback. It wont' cost you a lot compare to full representation, and could save you time and money.

Good luck.

Ktopotato39 karma

I just got my pr approved today and I can say - some of the instructions are very archaic and unclear. If there's ANYTHING you don't fully 100% without a doubt understand, ask an immigration lawyer. One of our papers said that it would be forwarded to the relevant department but it wasn't, and apparently (we know now) hardly ever is. So we waited months and almost failed the application because of the dumb instructions that we thought we understood. So much unneeded stress.

aliesna_IMMLaw33 karma

Congratulations! The IRCC is actively trying to make the process more accessible, but I agree that many of their instructions remain vague and unclear. We have seen qualifying candidates get refused because they did not follow their instructions to the tee, and it costs applicants time, money and stress.

dimitrix29 karma

I live and work in USA and my Canadian PR card has expired.

1) Will I be refused entry when I present this card at the border?

2) If I ever want to move back to Canada permanently do I have to start the immigration process from the beginning again?

aliesna_IMMLaw41 karma

in USA and my Canadian PR card has expired.

Will I be refused entry when I present this card at the border?

  1. You do not lose you permanent residency just because your card expires. Permanent Residents, even with expired PR cards, are allowed entry to Canada via land border crossing, and they cannot be denied entry. However, if someone has an expired PR card, the CBSA officers may look into whether you meet the residency requirement to maintain your PR status and if you do not, that could initiate the loss of PR status.
  2. If you lose your PR status (not just the card), then yes you do. You should look into the residency requirement for PRs. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/new-immigrants/pr-card/understand-pr-status.html

Nikuraya22 karma

I am on a 1 year Post Graduate Work Permit in Ontario, as you would know it is not enough for a possible PR application. People usually say you got to have at least 2 years of "Canadian" work experience to be safe.

What would be my options for permanent residency? Thank you.

aliesna_IMMLaw42 karma

One years of work experience could be sufficient. If you are talking about the Canadian Experienced class under the express entry, I would suggest that you calculate your score and see if you'd be competitive. Here's the calculator on IRCC's website:


TyrannosaurusWest17 karma

Hey there Ali, I appreciate you taking time out of your day to jump in a thread to tackle something as complex as law.

A lot of users, and people in general do not interface within the legal domain much beyond some of the standard legal proceedings one faces in their life: marriage, custody, maybe some business disputes, speeding tickets, etc. - safe to say, misconceptions about the field are widespread.

What are some common misconceptions you regularly see in your practice area and would like to see more people have a better understanding of when it comes to immigration law? Are there any particularly harmful tidbits of information that is popularly shared that is entirely contrary to how it actually works?

I've been a regular user over at another forum for a while now and I'd like to introduce you to a "tradition" over on Hacker News where Peter Roberts, an immigration attorney, spends some time tackling questions to the users over there. If you'd be interested, I'm sure Dan (dang) would be receptive in potentially having some extra help over there if you'd be interested. It's a great network over there and having a Canadian immigration attorney would be a really valuable asset to that end.

aliesna_IMMLaw5 karma

Great question, thanks for asking

What are some common misconceptions you regularly see in your practice?

  • "Canada is too soft on immigrants". Perhaps our liberal government tries to portray that image via their public relations, but in practice not much has changed since the Harper era. We are taking in more immigrants, but we haven't rolled back all the changes that Jason Kenny and the Harper government implemented.
  • "I've got refused visa, I cannot do anything about it". No, we have this amazing legal system that allows you to challenge decision and ensure they are intelligible, justified and transparent. If they are not, they will be overturned. Not enough people challenge decisions by immigration.
  • "Immigrants/refugee drain our social services." In my experience, most immigrants and refugees feel privileged to be in Canada, and they don't think "Now, I've made it I should just relax". No, they want to improve and are willing to work hard, pay their share and build something. We should encourage that.

Particularly harmful tidbits of information that is popularly shared that is entirely contrary to how it actually works?

  • Only individuals with work authorization are allowed to work in Canada, what defines work is very different under our immigration rules. Work is not just whatever you get paid for, no. "Work is any activity that: you are paid to do, or. you are not paid to do but is a job that: you would usually be paid for, or. would be a valuable work experience for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident". So even if you are volunteering at a restaurant, but you are actually taking a job away from a PR/CC, that's work. We don't care whether you're getting paid or not.
  • "I've got a visa in my passport, I can enter Canada". The counterfoil in your passport (what we call "visa") is your authorization to present yourself at the border and request entry. It is the Officer at the border who authorizes your entry. So even if you have the "visa", the Officer can deny you entry.
  • "My Canadian immigration visa allows me entry into USA" .Not true, two different systems.

number93bus8 karma

A few years ago there was a popular 'loophole' where IEC visa holders would apply for express entry before their visa expired and then they were granted implied status (like a bridging status) until the decision was made. This allowed people to keep working and stay in Canada after their original IEC permit expired, until GC came back and either approved or denied the express entry application. There was a huge backlog so in some cases it could be an extra 3-4 months, especially if you lodged your application by mail. After they denied it they gave you some time (I think 90 days?) to then leave the country, but you had to stop working when the decision came back because your implied status was no longer valid. My question is, if someone who did this process was to return to Canada now, either as a tourist or with an actual work or study permit etc, will that flag any issues for them at the border?

aliesna_IMMLaw17 karma

eir visa expired and then they were granted implied status (like a bridging status) until the decision was made. This allowed people to keep working and stay in Canada after their original IEC permit expired, until GC came back and either approved or denied the express entry application. There was a huge backlog so in some cases it could be an extra 3-4 months, especially if you lodged your application by mail. After they denied it they gave you some time (I think 90 days?) to then leave the country, but you had to stop working when the decision came back because your implied status was no longer valid. My question is, if someone who did this process was to return to Canada now, either as a tourist or

If an individual has worked with valid status and work authorization, including implied status, then that cannot be held against them. They did not break the law. Whether that would be "flagged" or not, I can't really tell you.

TheScotchEngineer7 karma

What's your most interesting case (whether they got in or not)?

aliesna_IMMLaw20 karma

North Korea clients, by far.

The stories about life in North Korea and growing up there. Their story of fleeing North Korea, living in China in fear of deportation, taking the uncertain path through Myanmar, Laos and Thailand to seek repatriation to South Korea. After going through all of this, they get to South Korea and think finally, we have made it. But in South Korea, they face discrimination and significant obstacles to establish themselves.

It is a humbling experience working with these clients.

BagelKing6 karma

Is the recent measure pertaining to the acceptance of 10,000 Uyghur refugees on your / your colleagues' radar? Do you expect it to come to fruition?

aliesna_IMMLaw10 karma

No actually, haven't really heard about this one yet. It'd be interesting to see how they are going to go about implementing it.

minor_tantrum5 karma

I was born in Canada in 1965 to US military parents, in a hospital near (and not on) the military base. At birth, I was granted dual Canadian and US citizenship. In 1968, our family moved back to the US, and I’ve lived here ever since. At age 18, I was required by the US to renounce dual citizenship, and to select either US or Canadian citizenship. I chose US, and I recall having to sign some paperwork and mail it in. I don’t have a copy, or remember wha the form was called. Is it possible that Canada would still recognize my right to citizenship? If so, what would I need to do to get a passport? Bonus question- I hear a lot about US citizens with dual citizenship. Why is this allowed now, but not in 1983 when I was 18. Thanks for any information!

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

You can contact IRCC, but also submit an Access to Information Request to get your full file from IRCC. That should give you an idea as to how everything unfolded on the Canadian side.

zwirp5 karma

Do you think they will ever update the list of TN occupations?

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

....maybe. Sorry, I can't really be sure.

wikram5 karma

I moved to Toronto in Nov last year via internal transfer through my employer, so I have a 3 year work permit tied to them. What would be my options to stay in Canada if I were laid off?

aliesna_IMMLaw17 karma

Admittedly, that could get complicated. If you I understand correctly, you have a work permit via ICT (Inter-Company Transfer). These are closed work permit, and thus your residence and ability to work in Canada is ties to that employer. Depending on where you are from, you may qualify for an open-work permit or access a quicker pathway to get a WP with another company.

DolanWasThere3 karma

What does it take to be "rehabilitated"? I'm currently applying for that now 8 years after a DUI from high school (equivalent in Europe). My fiancé is Canadian and I still haven't been able to visit her home country since we started dating 5 years ago.

aliesna_IMMLaw5 karma

It is a pretty complicated issue, and really depends on a lot of factors. I would suggest you consult the relevant IRCC page here:


But ultimately, talk to a professional to figure out how it all applies to your circumstances.

NonPracticingAtheist3 karma


roenthomas12 karma

If neither of your parents were ever Canadian, I don’t know what claim you’d have for Canadian citizenship.

GoodGoodGoody3 karma

Applicant X did a PR medical at an out of Canada IRCC-specified dr. Apparently everything good. Dr initially refused to give X either a copy of their medical report as submitted to IRCC or even a confirmation of the visit beyond a financial receipt from a mastercard type machine - few details beyond date and amount. After much insisting X received an email confirmation implying the medical was 4 days later than it was and there was no report. My reading of the IRCC website is that applicants are not only entitled to, but encouraged to request a copy of both the report (not just labs but the actual full report) and a (somewhat redundant) confirmation of their visit.

From IRCC https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/medical-police/medical-exams/requirements-permanent-residents.html#after

Getting a copy of your medical exam If you want a copy of your medical exam results, please ask the doctor when you’re there.

Medical reports and x-rays for the medical exam become our property. We cannot return them to you


After your exam is done Once the exam is done, the physician will send us the results. The doctor will give you a document confirming that you had a medical exam. Keep this with you as proof of your medical exam

aliesna_IMMLaw4 karma

out of Canada IRCC-specified dr. Apparently everything good. Dr initially refused to give X either a copy of their medical report as submitted to IRCC or even a confirmation of the visit beyond a financial receipt from a mastercard type machine - few details beyond date and amount. After much insisting X received an email confirmation implying the medical was 4 days later than it was and there was no report. My reading of the IRCC website is that applicants are not only entitled to, but encouraged to request a copy of both the report (not just labs but the actual full report) and a (somewh

Sorry, not sure what the question is.

Baricuda3 karma

Hi Ali,

My Fiancé (American citizen) and I (canadian citizen) are a cross-border couple and are now trying to figure out where to settle now that she has completed her PhD program for Materials Science and Engineering. We were hoping that we would be able to find her an employer to sponsor her up in Ontario, but that is proving to be more difficult than we anticipated. Obviously, there is the spousal option, which we were going to pursue as a backup, but we were hoping to get her here through a work visa or through express entry. What would be some of the quickest options for her given that she does not have any current job offers? Thanks!

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

If she is in Canada, you can apply to sponsor her as a spouse from inside Canada and if her status is in order at the time, she would be eligible for a work permit following submission of sponsorship application to work in Canada while she waits for her permanent residency to be completed. She certainly has options and I would highly recommend that you reach out to a lawyer.

TazManiac72 karma

I am a Canadian citizen and have not been able to get any family members to visit me from Yemen. Is it true that no visas are being given to citizens of Yemen? I’ve tried parent grand parent, visitor, and student.

aliesna_IMMLaw3 karma

I hear you. Getting visitor visas from family members in war torn countries are extremely difficult. In 2020, which is the latest statistic I have, Yemen's approval rate was at 25%. I'd think it is even lower now post pandemic. The problem is that temporary residents need to establish their intent is to remain in Canada temporarily, and that they would return to their home country. When a country is in midst of civil war, it becomes hard to convince an officer that you'd go back.

justasimplecountry2 karma

I need help applying to confirm Canadian citizenship. My long lost fathwr as evidenced by a dna test, is Canadian, but the application doesn’t have that as an option. Wondering how to get the application in front of someone. Put an asterisk in self-created “other” box and then explain the situation?

aliesna_IMMLaw8 karma

plying to confirm Canadian citizenship. My long lost fathwr as evidenced by a dna test, is Canadian, but the appl

This is a pretty complicated matter, and I wish I could give you a straight answer, but even I'd need to do a deep dive on this. This is the kind of matter that you want to speak to counsel about, and even then they may need to do conduct their own research to explain how you should go about this.

legendaryoddity2 karma

Hi Ali, thank you for for taking the time to do this.

What advice do you have for any 1Ls who might be thinking about getting into immigration law?

aliesna_IMMLaw6 karma

Great question. Here's what I got:

  1. Get involved with the legal clinic(s) at your school.
  2. Reach out to CBA, RLA, CARL, JRLN and ask to join their student committee.
  3. Immigration law practice involved dealing with vulnerable individuals. Strengthen your skills in those areas, and seek out experience relevant experience.
  4. Reach out to lawyers and ask them for a zoom or phone call to get insight into their experience and how to enter this area.
  5. If there's an immigration intensive program at your school, take it.

Best of luck!

porkchopbub2 karma

My fiancé and I will be submitting his visitors visa application soon. ( he will be visiting from the Dominican Republic) We are in a time crunch because I am two months pregnant and we need to get it done now as it takes 7 months for an answer. We will be married in March, but again, have to submit application before then for him to be here in time for the birth.

-should we mention the pregnancy and birth in the reason for visit?

-if we are married in March, but not now, he will not be able to put “visiting immediate family”

-do you suggest he find a lawyer to help him fill the form

FinchRosemta4 karma

I'm just gonna say he'll be denied for a visitor visa.

His ties to Canada (you and his child) are stronger than his ties home.

aliesna_IMMLaw6 karma

You are correct that he has significant ties here clearly, but family ties on their own should not be used as a ground to refuse a visitor visa. Now, the reality is that a lot of Officers mistakenly do refuse individuals on that basis. However, the Federal Court has been abundantly clear on this issue and we have overturned visa refusals on this basis.

For the Federal Court case, you can check:

Bteich v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2019 FC 1230%2C%202019%20FC%201230%2C&autocompletePos=1),

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

  1. Unfortunately, I cannot advise you here (It irks me too) regarding the content of your application.
  2. You are technically correct, so far as you are not a spouse at this point based on your description.
  3. I always recommend people get professional help. Some people are savvy enough to take care of it themselves, others are not so good with these things. So it is really your decision, but my recommendation would always be to get help - a very typical line, I know.

lifewontwait8112 karma

I have a masters degree in English and wife a bachelor's degree (librarian). In your opinion, what course of action would be best for us to move to Canada? What type of visa would you suggest we apply for?

aliesna_IMMLaw12 karma

ers degree in English and wife a bachelor's deg

Thanks for your question. It is really difficult to say, and very much dependent on what it is that you are after. If it is ultimately about getting permanent residency in Canada, you'd need to have your full profiles assessed (Age, education level, employment experience, language abilities etc). Depending on that assessment, there be a lot or very few options available. Really recommend the assessment.

Knute52 karma

Have you seen the recent film, "Aisha" about a Nigerian female asylum seeker in Ireland? Accurate portrayal?

aliesna_IMMLaw12 karma

No, I actually haven't. I recently finished read "No Friend but the Mountains" by Behrouz Boochani, and his depiction is chilling and pretty accurate! Highly recommend it.

Brickthedummydog2 karma

Greetings, my learned friend!

How do you feel about the LSO failing to lift the restrictions on licensed paralegals providing immigration services? I've been following the matter of Mr. Tony Caruso taking them to task over it

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

I think as long as there is proper regulations, I don't see why not. This is an issue of access to justice and if having paralegal allow more people to have representation, lawyers should not stand against it. Having said that, they need to be closely regulated and there should be no compromises in quality of representation.

mistakenhat2 karma

My husband is a Russian citizen and hasn’t heard from IRCC regarding his visitor visa since May. Is this because of the general processing delay, or because he is Russian?

aliesna_IMMLaw3 karma

atroxodisse2 karma

So here's one you might not have heard before and perhaps this isn't your area of expertise but I'll ask anyway. I'm Canadian. My wife is American and we live in the US. We want to move to Canada. She had a couple kids before we got together, one of which she gave up for adoption. He has recently come back into our lives and we want to take him with us to Canada. Legally speaking he's basically just a guy living with us but Canada's immigration laws talk about "natural born children". Would he fall under that category or is that just bad wording on their part?

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

How old is he? At the end of the day, it comes down to whether he meet the definition of a dependent child. Even if he does not, there could be a request made to process the application based on humanitarian and compassionate ground under s. 25 of IRPA. You need to speak with an immigration lawyer to determine the best path to proceed here, particularly if he is under the age of 22 and you are now his legal guardian.

strayed_182 karma

I'm a single person with contract job (consulting) in India. I have a sibling living in Canada. I've been to Canada a few years ago but my visa expired. I've applied for visitor visa twice in the last 2 years and it got rejected both times.Both times it said that they think I'll overstay in Canada. I've never overstayed my visa in any country in my life, have no criminal charges (or even a ticket) in any country I've lived in. What can I do to get a visitor visa?

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

I've seen this a lot, and a big part of our practice is taking visa refusals to the Federal Court and having the decision overturned. I do not know your full history, and cannot opine on your chances of course without seeing the full application. However, the Federal Court has been very clear that past history with Canadian immigration officials is one of the best indicators of an Applicant’s likelihood of future compliance. See the following cases:

Murai v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2006 FC 186 at para 12; Arias Bravo v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2010 FC 411 at para 25.

Sil3691 karma

in Quebec, the premier Legault is trying to reduce the number of english coming to the province. he recently said (and boosts) that he wants 100% of immigrants to be french speaking by 2026 (why that year, idk). is he allowed to do this? curious to hear your opinion.

aliesna_IMMLaw1 karma

Immigration is a program operated mostly federally, but also with various provincial program often called Provincial Nominee Programs. The provinces can set their requirements as they see fit, but of course they have to be constitutional. I think you need a constitutional lawyer to opine on how this would fair in Court, but I'm sure they'll push for it as they have been recently.

opposablegrey1 karma

Which nationalities most often want to move to Canada. And do they specify where in Canada they wish to move to.

Some areas of Canada have a greater labor deficit than others I believe. Also it's cold as balls.

What's the story?

aliesna_IMMLaw4 karma

Currently, I think the top 5 source countries are:

  1. India
  2. Philippines
  3. China.
  4. Nigeria.
  5. United States

ronalith1 karma

My wife and I got recently married with the intention to apply for family reunification (I have a PR). Her visitor visa got denied due to having too strong ties with Canada. Would it be possible for her to get a visitor visa (for vacation visit only) while we wait for the main application? If so, what are some things that could help the case?

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

She can apply for a visa, but there is nothing I could tell you to bulletproof against refusals. Unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of unreasonable refusals by IRCC, many of which are completely unjustified. We take the refusals to the Federal Court, and have a high success rate. The Officers are simply not spending enough time on these visa applications, and the reasons often do not hold up in Court.

In my practice, when there is a previous refusal, we get the reasons for the refusal via access to information request and addressed concerns raised by previous officer. As for what you should do, unfortunately I cannot legal advice on this platform.

cptnstr8edge1 karma

My wife is a US citizen, born in the US. Her mother is a full Canadian citizen. Her older brother was born in Canada, and has dual citizenship. Her father is a full US citizen.

Does my wife have any possibility to gain dual citizenship in Canada? If so, what's the best steps to take to make that happen?

Head_Dingo_21195 karma

If her mother was a Canadian citizen at the time of your wife's birth then that would make her a citizen. She would need to apply for search and proof of citizenship at the same time. Or else no. She would need to get permanent residency first and apply for citizenship once she qualifies.

ballysham1 karma

Hi I moved to Canada on a Two year working visa from Ireland. My company attempted to sponsor me and sent me to an immigration consultant. However he literally forgot about me and never completed my application before my visa ended. So I've been living & working in Canada for the past 3 years illegally and paying taxes ( my sin number still works) my question is can I still apply for pr or will I be rejected straight away?

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

You need to speak with an immigration lawyer as soon as possible to discuss next steps. I cannot advise you here, but overstaying beyond the period of authorized is a ground for inadmissibility.

ohlesl1e1 karma

How do you usually go about to proof fear of persecution for political opinions? Like, if I’m pro-democracy and openly criticized my home government for being autocratic. Is that enough to seek asylum?

aliesna_IMMLaw1 karma

Great question and it really depends on context. Public statement, advocacy, expression of opinion, all could form as part of evidence. Even small acts or omissions could even amount to political opinion, or even perceived political opinion. In many of our cases, it is not just about the person's political opinion, but whether the persecutor perceives them to have a political opinion.

tubby81 karma

What is the general situation currently in terms of Canada giving residence to Americans?

I have a friend in the US who wishes to move to the GTA. She has a master's degree and no criminal record - would it be easy for her to get a PR card?

aliesna_IMMLaw6 karma


Well, it may be easier to US citizens to move to Canada on a work permit, if they qualify for one of the streams under CUSMA (treaty agreement that replaced NAFTA). But Americans, like citizens of all other countries, must follow the general pathway to permanent residency.

drunkennova1 karma

Hi Ali.

I applied for a student visa in December and I listed my wife and daughter as dependents (visitors). My visa was approved two weeks ago but my wife and daughter's application is still in progress. Is there a chance that they will refuse their visa even tho they approved mine? Is it usual that they consider each person's visa separately? I am certain that they have no reason to refuse a visa to my wife, she has no bas records and we have good financials.

Edit: I clearly stated in my SOP that I want to bring my family with me.

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

So, if I understand correctly, you didn't just include as dependents but also applied for their visas too, right? Let assume they have. To answer your questions.

  1. In most cases the family gets decisions together, but I have seen cases when the accompanying family gets a decision a bit later.
  2. There is no guarantee that they will be granted visas, as it is up to the officer. In my experience though, when the principal applicant's application is granted, the family also gets their visas. But again, doesn't mean officer cannot refuse.
  3. If you wan to follow-up with IRCC, you can use the webform: https://secure.cic.gc.ca/enquiries-renseignements/canada-case-cas-eng.aspx

sonygoup1 karma


aliesna_IMMLaw5 karma

Difficult to say, but all the western countries are competing to attract IT professionals and Canada is trying to become a top destination for it. We have more and more programs specifically catering to IT professionals. Hate to sound like a broken record, but talk to a professional and to have you profile assessed.

TylerJWhit1 karma

Hello Ali, I have a few questions that I'd love to get your insight on.

  1. Do you have any insight into the difference in policy between Canada and the United States (or for that matter anywhere else) that you think would lead to inspiring the other nation to adopt similar laws? In other words, can we take inspiration from you, or visa versa?
  2. Do you have any experience with Roxham Road? https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/08/nyregion/migrants-new-york-canada.html

aliesna_IMMLaw3 karma

  1. I think the refugee sponsorship program is an excellent way to give shelter to refugees, and at the same time to make sure they have adequate support once they get here. We have it in Canada, and I think all countries should have it.
  2. I do actually. Some of my clients actually entered Canada via Roxham Road.

redstar_51 karma

Not sure if you're still doing these, but I'm a Canadian citizen who moved to the US and married my US citizen wife. I am a green card holder of many years and we've talked about us and our kids moving to Canada.

I'm not asking for step by step instructions because we've been down that road before and know how to do it, but I'm curious what a 30,000 foot overview would look like in general. Is it going to be difficult for my wife and kids to move to Canada? Would it be easy since I'm a citizen? Should we prepare for an incredibly long, expensive, and difficult journey?

Have a fantastic weekend!

aliesna_IMMLaw3 karma

So, if a Canadian is residing outside of Canada and they are looking to sponsor their spouse, they need to demonstrate two things (on a broad level).

  1. The Canadian citizen/PR intends to relocate to Canada .
  2. This is a genuine marriage not entered into for the purpose of immigration.

If they can establish both, and their spouse is admissible otherwise, then it is possible. How difficult is the journey? Well how difficult is it in your circumstances to prove the above?

legaleagle101 karma

Hi! I’m a dual citizen between Canada and the US. I was born in Vancouver. Are there residency requirements if I want my US born daughter to also be a Canadian citizen? Thank you!

GoodGoodGoody1 karma

What the heck is it with IRCC website technical issues. They ask for screenshots of problems and then just send the same generic “try this” list of steps. What does it take to get real technical assistance on things like linking an application to an account to see status, confirm items have been received and upload new items without using the generic web form?

aliesna_IMMLaw4 karma

This has been going on for years. Not just for applicants, for representatives too. On daily basis, I get at least 10 to 20 errors trying to sign into my account. I need to clear cache, go incognito, change browser etc. We've complained about this to IRCC and they've said they are working on it...

shrewdDis1 karma

My boyfriend lives in Vancouver, BC and I live in the states. We've been long distance for almost 5 years and we're talking about me immigrating to BC to live with him but I have no idea where to start. I'm scared of getting deported or anything like that.
Where should we start looking?

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

Talk to a lawyer. I hate to be that guy. But that's the best thing I can tell you. Talk to a lawyer and figure out your options, and then decide if you want to hire one to do it all for you, or you'll take of it yourself. Don't go down a path with your eyes closed.

rayrayrayray1 karma

My gf and I are planning to get married. I am Canadian and she is Russian. Our goal is to have her come live with me in Calgary. Is it better for us to get married in Russia and apply from Canada to bring her over OR bring her here and get married in Canada?

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

I'm so sorry, I'd love to get into it but I cannot advise you on how to proceed on your file on this platform. If there's information I can provide to help, please ask.

bokurai1 karma

I just asked this on another post that seems to be related to you, but the account that made it (not you, I think?) didn't know the answer. Perhaps you do?

As I understand it, apart from a brief period during Covid when they temporarily changed the rules, one currently has to leave the country and re-enter in order to finalize a change in one's visa status if applying from inside Canada.

For example, my partner, who is here on a visitor's visa, applied and was provisionally approved for a working holiday visa. However, in order to receive final approval, it seems that he'll need to leave and cross the border into Canada again.

Why make people do that? It seems super inconvenient for everyone. (I believe other countries, such as Japan, operate this way, too, which makes me wonder what I'm missing.)

aliesna_IMMLaw3 karma

Well, that policy is still ongoing for employer specific work permits, but I believe it expires on February 28, 2023. You need to determine eligibility for it yourself. I've included the link here:


AS for why we require people to leave and come back, I'm really not sure. It is extremely inconvenient for almost everyone involved. The foreign worker has to take an extra trip, it crowds the borders and often becomes burdensome for the officers, and employers cannot get their employees right away. Hopefully this temporary policy will inspire permanent change.

bows_and_pearls1 karma

Can you be admitted to any jx in Canada if you practice immigration or do you have to be admitted in the jx in which you practice?

aliesna_IMMLaw1 karma

Sorry, I'm not sure if I understand the question.

Saskaya0 karma

What would my chances of acceptance be having no degree or trade, but having served in the military for years?

Really would love to leave my country and start fresh in Canada (sooner rather than later as I am no longer in my 20's), just concerned I'd be refused as not a good candidate, especially as I have a young child and a low earning partner.

aliesna_IMMLaw10 karma


Really would love to leave my country and start fresh

It is really difficult to say. It depends on what it is you are after. Perhaps qualifying straight for permanent residency or work permit may not be possible. But there could be other avenues, for example if you wished to upgrade your skills or go back to school. I'd say speak with a professional and don't just "self-select" yourself out of the process.

mcchronicles20 karma

What's the chance of a visitor visa with a criminal record? Grievous bodily harm conviction around 8 years ago. No offending before or since. Successful professional career before and since fortunately. Australian and British passport holder. Thanks

aliesna_IMMLaw4 karma

If the conviction is sufficiently serious enough to result inadmissibility (which can only be assessed by determining the equivalent offence in Canada), then a visitor visa is not possible because you'd be inadmissible. If criminal inadmissibility - and again, that needs to be assessed and confirmed - then it is possible to consider a Temporary Residency Permit or criminal rehabilitation. You should consult with a lawyer to figure out how this would all apply to your personal circumstances.

XQuizyx0 karma

Hi there and thank you for doing this!

I've recently (November) married a Canadian and we are in the proces of getting the paperwork taken care off. Just getting the wedding license may take up to 24 weeks at the moment though due to delays.

I'm currently here on a tourist visa and therefore am not allowed to work. I'm also passed 30 so no options for a working holiday visa as far as I understand. Would you happen to know if there are any other options available or where to look further?

Not your area of expertise but we were talking about this earlier and I happened to run into this post so figured why not take a shot :).

aliesna_IMMLaw1 karma

Congratulations on your wedding. I'm not sure where you are originally from, but you might want to see if Canada and your country of nationality have any treaties/agreements that may qualify you for a work permit. As always, I suggest you speak with a professional who can look at your specific circumstances. and advise you accordingly.

aqqalachia0 karma

A lot of American trans people in very conservative areas are discussing trying to seek asylum in Canada. Do you think this is something that is possible, legally? My instincts say it's doubtful unless an extreme hate crime or extensive legal witch hunt has already been committed.

aliesna_IMMLaw7 karma

Great question. Under Canadian laws there is a presumption that democratic countries such as the United States can adequately protect their citizens. So even if you have a legitimate fear from private citizens, the presumption is that your state can protect you.

Ok-Feedback56040 karma

If I have a blue collar job experience from south Asia could I be able to get a blue collar job in Canada?

aliesna_IMMLaw7 karma

Yes, you could. Canada's Federal Skill Trades program is specifically designed to attract people like yourself.

fanywa0 karma

Can an one appeal a student visa denial?

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

Yes, but it is not called an appeal, but rather a judicial review. We do a lot of them and have high success rate with them. As I said earlier, these decisions are often poorly put together as visa officers are not spending a lot of time on them, and they fall apart quickly in court.

ksgif2-1 karma

I have a Thai friend who wishes to immigrate, 29 yo, bachelors degree, working as a dive instructor in Thailand. His english is good but no french. Any advice?

aliesna_IMMLaw3 karma

Get him to talk to a professional. He may need to pay for consultation fee, but that's the best way to know if he qualifies.

Owlmop-1 karma

My sister is a lawyer by profession in India, she is interested in moving to Canada and pursuing her career here. She has cleared her NCA exams - the question is, what her her options to make the move to make Canada her home? Can she apply through express entry? Or We have to arrange for a LMIA? All these options seem confusing and cumbersome. She is 26 years old, with 7 bands in IELTS.

aliesna_IMMLaw1 karma

There are so many option and we have many clients that get overwhelmed by it. Talk to a lawyer, get a clear understanding of her possible options and then decide whether you want to hire that lawyer fully to represent her, or if you'll venture down the application path yourself.

DFWPunk-1 karma

I have a conviction for Reckless Driving by Speed in Virginia. Would this disqualify me from receiving a visa?

aliesna_IMMLaw2 karma

It depends. If an offence amounts to a federal offence in Canada, it could result in criminal inadmissibility. I cannot tell you for certain without know more details.