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Q. I was born in Canada and sponsored my Filipina wife through the Canadian Embassy in Manila.

I have had no problems completing government documents or tax forms in the past and decided I could pursue this matter on my own.

All was going well until the Canadian Embassy sent me a refusal letter recently because I failed to provide them with some documents they supposedly requested months ago.

I have received prior letters in the mail but the latest communication says that they sent me a letter via e-mail.

However, I never received this e-mail.

I checked my spam box and there is nothing.

I tried to call them but they won’t talk to me on the phone.

I know I can appeal the case but I was hoping for another course of action.

A. With new technology and saving costs on postage, the Canadian Immigration department seems to be favouring e-mail communication as their primary mode of communication.

While I agree that it is fast and cheap, it can be full of problems.

What if a person does not have e-mail or a computer?

What if a person does not check their e-mail regularly or they are away on vacation?

And finally, what happens if you do not receive the e-mail?

This can be disastrous as has happened in your particular case.

In a similar vein, many times the embassy will request that documents be sent to them via e-mail.

Well, how can you be so sure they received it?

The above issues are just some of the problems that can arise and have arisen lately.

The question on how these issues are resolved is much more difficult to answer because of the different attitude by visa officers.

Some officers will not accept the fact that a person did not receive an e-mail.

This is most common when the embassy has sent previous e-mails with no problems.

Some officers will agree to re-opening the file is the particular request is not integral to applicant’s eligibility.

In brief, there is always risk is sending e-mail and recent cases from the Federal Court of Canada seem to be in favour of the applicant.

The court has said in one case that sending one single e-mail to an applicant is not justifiable to refuse an application.

As well, if there is proof that an e-mail was received or a confirmation, it is likely that the file will be re-opened.

If documents must be in their original, I suggest to send them via courier as you will be able to track the shipment.

Q. I entered Canada as a live-in caregiver in December 2013 and was released upon arrival.

I then obtained a new work permit.

In total I worked for 12 months but I am currently unemployed.

I am trying to obtain a new LMIA under a new employer but the time for processing is far too long.

I am afraid I will not meet the live-in caregiver requirements to apply for permanent residence.

What are my options?

A. There may be other options available to you that can result in permanent residence.

You have the option of applying under the new live-out program and you may also qualify under the new express entry program.

You have not mentioned if you are married.

If yes, you can also investigate whether your spouse can be the main applicant.

Best to obtain professional assistance so you know what is best before your current work permit expires.

Q. I want to sponsor my mother to Canada.

She is still married to my father but they are separated and living in different countries.

I have enough income for my mother but not enough if my father is included.

Can I only sponsor my mother?

A. Yes and no.

Yes, you can only have your mother immigrate if you want.

But, if she is still married then the family size must still include the father regardless of whether the father immigrates.

The income must include the father unless you can produce a divorce certificate.

If they are separated for over a year, it may be wise to see if your mother is able to obtain a divorce certificate (i.e., if living in Ontario), then that excludes the father and you then have enough income.

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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.