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Q. I’m a visitor in Canada.

I arrived on May 1, 2015 with my two young children.

It is our first time in Canada and I would like to extend my stay past the initial time granted.

If I do that however, my children will miss their school year.

Is it possible to my children to study in Canada?

Do we need to exit to the USA for this?

A. I am assuming that you were granted the regular six-month visitor stay upon entry.

Therefore, you likely all have valid status as visitors until Nov. 1, 2015.

Therefore, if you are planning to stay beyond that then you need to start preparing applications for an extension.

If you wish to have your children study in Canada this can be done inside Canada and you do not need to exit.

The new rules allow children (of visitors) to apply from within Canada for study permits.

Since the school year starts in September, it is crucial to start the application now as it can take months to process.

Q. I became a permanent resident of Canada in 2000.

A year after, I travelled to Los Angeles and met a woman.

We married and lived together in the USA for a decade.

We recently divorced and I want to return to Canada to live.

My immigrant visa has however expired and I have not returned to Canada since my departure in 2001.

Can I simply enter Canada on my U.S. passport?

Will they question me about abandoning permanent residence?

I know that I left Canada and lost my permanent residence but how do I get it back?

A. You have not “lost” your permanent residence status.

The fact that you have been away for a decade does not mean that your permanent residence has disappeared.

Under new rules, it is possible for you to maintain your resident status by returning to Canada and complying with the new residency regulations.

If you are truly serious about returning to Canada you should not have a problem but it must be done properly.

After residing in Canada for the requisite time period you will be eligible to apply for Canadian Citizenship.

Best to obtain professional assistance.

Q. What are the new biometrics requirements?

What is it and does it apply to nationals of the Philippines?

A. The new biometrics requirements are troublesome because travellers to Canada now must submit their fingerprints, photos and an extra $85 in person or at a biometric collection service point.

The goal is to tighten border entry to Canada in the hope of combating terrorism.

Twenty-seven countries (Albania, Nigeria, Somalia, Libya for example) must now apply in person to take fingerprints and photos.

So far, the Philippines is not on the list.

Q. I’m a Canadian Citizen.

I met my first wife in China in 2009 and we married shortly thereafter.

I sponsored her and she obtained her immigrant visa in 2011.

The marriage unfortunately did not work out and we divorced.

I now met another woman and I am thinking or marrying her soon.

Will I have a problem sponsoring her or will they understand that sometimes marriages do not work out?

A. It is not a question of whether Canada Immigration believes in the marriage.

Your biggest hurdle is a law that prevents you from sponsoring a spouse if the sponsorship period of a previous spouse is still in effect.

You stated that spouse #1 landed in 2011.

The sponsorship was for a three-year period.

Therefore, you must wait until that period ends until you sponsor spouse #2.

The fact that you divorced spouse #1 is irrelevant.

As well, it is a good idea to try and ask spouse #1 if she collected welfare.

If she did, then you are not eligible to sponsor anyone (even if after the three years) until you repay back the funds.

On a side note, new rules now state that if a person became a permanent resident via a spousal sponsorship then that person must wait five years in order to file a sponsorship for someone else.

Therefore, in your scenario your ex-spouse is not able to sponsor a new husband until 2016.

***

Atty. 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 him by e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call toll-free: 1-888-847-2078.

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