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.

Posted by Immigration Law Team » No Comments »

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.


Posted by Immigration Law Team » No Comments »

Favoriser l’immigration francophone au Canada

Sep 14

Le 9 Septembre 2014, le ministre de la Citoyenneté et de l’Immigration du Canada, Chris Alexander, a exprimé son engagement à lancer, au cours des prochains mois, des consultations dans le but d’augmenter le nombre d’immigrants d’expression française qui s’établissent dans les communautés francophones hors Québec, ainsi que de renforcer la vitalité et le dynamisme de ces communautés.

En tant que francophone cherchant à immigrer au Canada, le premier instinct est, généralement, de se tourner vers le Québec où la langue familière de Molière est d’usage. Cependant, une fois les premières frayeurs liées à l’immersion anglophone passées, il est intéressant de découvrir que le reste du Canada offre de nombreuses opportunités pour ceux qui osent s’y aventurer. Que ce soit pour un séjour de courte durée ou une installation permanente, vivre au Canada en tant que francophone s’avèrera toujours être un atout dans votre vie professionnelle et personnelle.

Que votre choix se porte sur le Québec ou une toute autre province Canadienne, il existe de nombreuses options en termes d’immigration offertes aux francophones :

1. L’initiative Expérience Internationale Canada (qui comprend le permis vacances-travail, le permis jeunes professionnelles, le permis stage, le permis job d’été pour étudiants, etc.);

2. Le permis de travail dispensé de l’étude d’impact sur le marché du travail sous la catégorie C10-avantage important francophone;

3. La résidence permanente; et

4. La citoyenneté Canadienne.

Que ce soit en mode baroudeur ou en « golden boy » dans une grande métropole, le Canada n’a pas fini de vous impressionner, après tout, ce n’est pas pour rien qu’en moyenne 250,000 immigrants y déposent leurs valises chaque année…

Pour de plus amples renseignements sur les services offerts par PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP et pour savoir comment on peut vous aider à faire de votre rêve Canadien une réalité, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter au 1-800-993-9971 ou

Posted by Amandine Kagabo » No Comments »

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 »

Slow start for the Start Up Visa program

Posted by Vian Sulevani|Canada Immigration, Permanent residence
Nov 13

On November 21st at the Startup Canada’s Day on the Hill conference in Ottawa, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration said that policy making and government doesn’t move at the speed of business.  This sentiment has been echoed by critics of the new Start Up Visa program.  The Start Up Visa program, introduced in April 2013, was meant to be a fast-track program for entrepreneurs.  However, this immigration process is dependent on first securing an investment from a designated venture capital group, angel or incubator.  To qualify for the visa, applicants must secure a minimum investment of $200,000 from one of the designated venture-capital funds, or a minimum investment of $75,000 from one of the angel-investor groups.  Recently added was the designated incubators and there is no set amount of investment required for the incubator stream.

The designated groups have all indicated that they are selective and looking for businesses that have something new to offer to the Canadian market.  So business may move fast, but finding the right start up business idea also takes time. Although the government cannot move at the pace of business, the speed of implementation for this innovative immigration program has certainly sparked world-wide interest in Canada by entrepreneurs.

For more information on this or any other Canadian or US immigration matters, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP – Immigration Lawyers at 1-800-993-9971 or

Posted by Vian Sulevani » No Comments »

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program Announces Changes for 2014

Nov 13

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) will be overhauled and streamlined in the New Year following feedback from immigration stakeholders.  The SINP allows the province of Saskatchewan to nominate foreign nationals to the Federal government for Canadian Permanent Residency.

Changes to the SINP will become effective January 2, 2014.  The program, which currently consists of nine immigration sub-categories, will see these sub-categories combined into three overarching categories, as follows:

  • International Skilled Worker;
  • Saskatchewan Experience; and
  • Entrepreneur and Farm

The most interesting change will be to the International Skilled Worker Category, which will accept 250 applications from applicants who do not have a job offer in Saskatchewan.  They will need to have an occupation on a designated list, meet language requirements, meet a points requirement and demonstrate financial settlement funds, similar to the Federal Skilled Worker Program. More details on the points system and application procedures, will be made available in December 2013.

Changes to the Saskatchewan Experience Category will only affect the Student sub-category.  The Post Graduation Work Permit and Master’s and PhD Graduate sub-categories will be combined to create one general Students sub-category.  Graduates from a Saskatchewan school must have a skilled job offer in the province that is relevant to their education, or a job offer requiring a post-secondary education. They must work in the province for 6 months before applying; and Graduates from a school outside of Saskatchewan must have a skilled job offer in the province that is relevant to their education, and must work in Saskatchewan for two years before applying.

By overhauling its program, the SINP has the opportunity to position itself as one of the most progressive and responsive Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).  Saskatchewan is fighting hard to attract Canada’s most promising new immigrants.

For more information on this or any other Canadian or US immigration matters, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP – Immigration Lawyers at 1-800-993-9971 or

Posted by Vian Sulevani » No Comments »

The numbers are in, and economic immigration is the clear winner

Posted by Nina Modi|Permanent residence
Nov 13

Following the tabling of the 2013 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration on 28 October 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada released details on its 2014 Immigration Levels Plan. The government will accept between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2014.  Economic immigrants will be the most successful group, effectively making up 63% (164,500) of those wishing to become a permanent resident in Canada.

Economic immigrants will include those applying under Provincial Nominee Programs, the Canadian Experience Class program, Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Meanwhile, 26.1% (68,000) will receive residency under the family sponsorship stream, a program dedicated to the reunification of families in Canada.  The final category will be devoted to the humanitarian class, such as refugees.

A portion of economic immigrants may even draw from the freshly conceived Expression of Interest (EOI) category.  While this new model of immigration is not expected to begin until 2015, there is always the chance that it opens in advance of any proposed date.  The EOI aims to customize the incoming stream of immigrants to the local economy whereby candidates fill an online form which is then transferred to a pool for Canadian employers to choose a suitable candidate.

It is clear that the priority for next year is economic immigration.  And as we witness widespread changes to the immigration system, often without any notice, it is vital to apply for permanent residence as soon as you qualify. Please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP to conduct a full assessment of your qualifications and your eligibility for permanent residence to Canada.

Posted by Nina Modi » No Comments »