Can you have your cake and eat it too?

Posted by Sarah Adler|Canada Immigration, Permanent residence
May 16

I just received an interesting call from one of my colleagues regarding the intersection of Immigration and Tax matters in Canada.  The question posed was if you don’t file an income tax return in Canada based on the fact that you were a non-resident , can you still renew your permanent residence status as you have officially stated to the government that that you are not a resident of Canada.  The definition of resident for immigration purposes and tax purposes are different and one is not necessarily exclusive of the other.

On its website, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) states that residency status for tax purposes is based on facts and circumstances and that the individual’s whole situation, including residential ties, purpose and permanence of travel in and out of Canada, and ties abroad must all be considered.   Particularly if you have been physically present in Canada for 183 days or more in the tax year with no other significant ties to Canada you may be deemed a Canadian resident for tax purposes.

For the purpose of maintaining your Canadian permanent residence (PR) card an individual is required to remain in Canada for a full two years, or 730 days, in the five year period preceding the application. Although one of the documentary requirements for renewing your PR card is your Notice of Assessment (NOA) from CRA during the relevant period, this does not preclude individuals not having filed income taxes from making a successful PR card renewal application.

If you do the math, you can see that it is possible to meet the 730 day residency requirement for a PR card renewal without triggering tax residency based on physical presence in Canada of 183 days or more in the tax year. Should an applicant be asked to complete a Residency Questionnaire during a PR card renewal application an applicant’s ties to Canada will then be under consideration and the immigration and tax policies then begin to converge.  It is important to note that the issuance of follow up Residency Questionnaire on PR card renewal application is common for all but the most straightforward of cases.

In order to qualify for Canadian citizenship, an individual must be physically present in Canada for four full years out of the previous six years, and in each qualifying year the applicant must be physically present in Canada for at least six months. As such, an individual will qualify as a tax resident when preparing to apply for Canadian citizenship.  Although the qualifying requirements for Canadian citizenship are set to change in the coming year, the new requirements will likely still trigger tax residency.

Individuals in this situation need to carefully consider which is more important to them given their particular circumstances: the tax savings or the ability to live in Canada as a permanent resident. They must then weight the risks on both sides accordingly.  In the end, trying to maintain your Canadian permanent resident status while not qualifying as a resident for tax purposes, is possible but tricky.  So maybe you can have your cake and eat it too!

Posted by Sarah Adler » No Comments »

New Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration, Global Immigration, Permanent residence
Jan 15

On January 23, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that Canada will accept applications from January 28 to February 11, 2015, under the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program.

The new IIVC Pilot Program allows for millionaire immigrant investors to invest in the Canadian economy, in exchange for permanent residency.

The IIVC Pilot Program is open to individuals between January 29 to February 11, 2015, or until a maximum of 500 applications have been received. From this pool of applications, a random selection will be made until 60 completed applications are selected. After the selection has been made, additional documents will be required to complete the process, including a due diligence report of finances from one of six service providers listed by CIC.

All selected applicants must have a net worth of CDN $10 million or more and must be willing to make an at-risk, non-guaranteed investment of CDS $2 million over approximately 15 years. The IIVC Pilot Program has been designed to help elevate the Canadian economy, ensure long-term prosperity and grow Canada’s venture capital system.

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Express Entry: Things are About to Change

Dec 14

Beginning on January 1, 2015, the Express Entry system will introduce a whole new procedure for managing Foreign Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Foreign Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applications more efficiently. The new system will involve the following steps:

1) Creating a profile on the national Job Bank, and registering for the Express Entry system;

2) Applicants will be entered into a candidate pool, and will be given a ranking depending on their stated qualifications. A maximum of 1200 points may be awarded to each candidate;

3) Candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if they have: (a) a job offer and a valid LMIA; (b) a PNP offer; or (c) very high rankings;

4) Upon receiving an ITA, a candidate will have 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residency, which will be processed in six (6) months or less.

Several aspects of the Express Entry system continue to raise questions, such as the frequency of ITA draws, the challenge of acquiring police certificates and medical examinations within the 60 day limit of an ITA, and the impact of the system’s unpredictability.

Nevertheless, CIC believes that the benefits of the Express Entry system will make the transition worthwhile. The system is designed to be more responsive to employer needs, as it prioritizes candidates based on their ranking, regardless of when they applied. Proponents of the system say that Express Entry will give employers a more direct impact on economic immigration to Canada, and the government has stated that its objective is to admit 180,000 economic immigrants in 2015 through the Express Entry system.

For further details regarding the Express Entry system, or assistance in utilizing this new application system, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.


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Happy 2014! New Year – New Immigration

Jan 14

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has taken the new year as an opportunity to update, introduce, and amend a variety of Canadian Immigration programs.  The start of 2014 has been very busy in the Immigration world and below I provide a summary of the changes we have seen over the last week.

1.  The reopening of the Parent and Grandparent Family Class sponsorship Programs, which has newly established annual caps on applications to be accepted, higher financing requirements, as well as longer financial support obligations;

2.  Issuance of New Labour Market Opinion forms requiring employer undertakings to review salaries and positions on an annual basis to ensure continuing compliance, and to allow Service Canada to perform onsite spot checks; and

3.  New Ministerial Instructions for the LMO applications to be refused or revoked, as well as the resulting work permits based on unresolvable non-compliance with the LMO conditions.


We were also anticipating that the age of dependent children would also be changed at the beginning of 2014 from 22 (or 24 if continuously a fulltime student), to under 19.  This changes has been temporarily postponed and we currently anticipate that the change will be implemented around May 2014.

Other changes that we can anticipate during 2014 are the following:

1.  Changes to requirements to qualify for citizenship; and

2.  Changes to the requirements for work permits based on Intra-company Transferees.


In addition, when we look back at 2013 we also see changes such as the loss of the Accelerated LMO, the regular closing of a variety of visas posts around the world, the movement toward electronic application filing, the re-introduction of the new Federal Skilled Worker Permanent Residence Program and changes to the Canadian Experience Class Permanent Residence Program.


It feels like Canadian Immigration has completely changed on almost all fronts in the last year and 2014 promised more of the same.  Immigration in Canada is moving quickly and steadily across all Immigration sectors.  When planning relocations and changes of Immigration status in Canada it is becoming increasingly important to seek professional assistance as Canadian Immigration becomes more complex and demanding.

Posted by Sarah Adler » 2 Comments »