For decades Canada has been one of the hottest immigration destinations for foreigners around the globe. Whether it is because of Canada’s passion to welcome newcomers or Canada’s neutral role in world politics, Canada is a household name in any country in the world and a place that many can only dream to get to.
The problem with the above is that there are many who take advantage of one’s desire to immigrate to Canada and it is now common place to hear that several individuals were scammed into paying thousands of dollars for applications that were never filed. A look at Canada Immigration web site warns individuals against fraudsters and places a caveat emptor mentality on prospective immigrants looking to make Canada their new home.
While the above is sound advice, in the last few months there has been an influx of coverage and discussion surrounding two types of vulnerable groups who on one hand will do whatever it takes to immigrate and on the other hand file a legitimate application which soon falls apart due to their vulnerability.
The first group involves applicants who enter Canada as live in caregivers. This article is not a discussion of how recruiters lure applicants from abroad to work in Canada only to find no jobs here. That is a separate issue and “old news.” The issue is now taken to a higher degree.
The discussion is now regarding live in caregivers who have already entered Canada as live in caregivers and then pay an agency in Canada to find them a Canadian employer to act as a “ghost employer.” In other words, the employer is only an employer on paper. The work permit states “employer X” and taxes are paid for the live in caregiver by “employer X” but in reality the live in caregiver is working in a factory or bakery.
The goal is then to have the caregiver apply for permanent residence after 24 months of “employment with employer X” and all is fine. Right? Wrong!
Without getting into a discussion of how illegal the above scheme is…..this article is focusing on the ever so common scenario nowadays when “employer X” refuses to cooperate after 2 years.
In other words, for two years (or even less) the caregiver has “paid” all these taxes for alleged employment as a caregiver for “employer X” hoping to obtain the appropriate T4’s or ROE or Letter of Reference from the “employer X” to file for permanent residence.
Then at the end the employer refuses to issue anything and the caregiver is stuck with no proof of employment and a loss of time under the caregiver program. That is, the caregiver will never be able to make up that loss time in the event they wish to change employers and genuinely work as a caregiver.
This special group of caregivers are often “left out in the cold” and do not know what to do. They are vulnerable because they fall prey to the demands of employer and they are too scared to tell anyone especially immigration as they were co-conspirators in the scheme.
The second group of equally vulnerable individuals are those who marry Canadian Citizen or Permanent Residents in order to become immigrants.
It has been reported that there are over 600 files at one immigration office alone where officers are investigating whether marriage of this type are genuine or not.
In many situations, the prospective immigrant pays the Canadian Citizen a certain amount of money in order to follow through on the sponsorship. By law, the Canadian sponsor can withdraw the application at any time and even on the last day before being landed. Again, individuals who take part in this sort of scheme and then get burned at the end are left vulnerable and left scrambling to find a resolution.
Atty. Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto. The article above is general advice only is not intended as legal document. Send your Canada immigration inquiries to his office phone 416-733-3193 or visit his website http://www.moyal.com