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I Do Not Want My Wife to Lose Her Status

Q. It is always nice to read your answers about immigration matters in 24 hrs newspaper. I have a question: I am a permanent resident of Canada from April 2007 with my wife & 10-year old daughter. Currently I am living here in Canada, but my wife & daughter are living in India. My wife has a job with a Canadian import firm. She is an import coordinator in the Indian branch company of the Canadian corporation. I have already informed the Canadian visa office in India about this situation and they e-mailed me that is would be all right if my wife fulfills the requirements of the law. I believe that the days she spends there are counted as if she were in Canada. Can you please guide me as we do not want her to lose the permanent resident status.

A. Certain permanent residents enter Canada to land or perfect their permanent resident status and then, because of the nature of their jobs, one or both spouses return to their former employment back home. This happens when newcomers do not find satisfactory employment and Canada has suffered in the past several years with poor integration in certain employment sectors. The Canadian visa office was correct in advising you that your wife must fulfill the legal requirements to retain permanent resident status. But that does not mean that she does. Does your wife’s company satisfy the legal requirement? A person must comply with the residency obligation with respect to a five-year period, meaning for at least 730 days in that five-year period, he/she is: physically present in Canada; outside Canada accompanying a Canadian citizen who is their spouse or common-law partner or, in the case of a child, their parent; outside Canada employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the federal public administration or the public service of a province, outside Canada accompanying a permanent resident who is their spouse or common-law partner or, in the case of a child, their parent and who is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the federal public administration or the public service of a province. The meaning of a Canadian business under the law is a complex analysis. Do seek proper legal counsel so there are no surprises in the end. Good luck!


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