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Immigration Corner: I want my mom to stay in Canada

Published:Monday | November 2, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell, I'm a Jamaican who lives permanently in Canada with my family. My mom came up from Jamaica on a visitor's visa and has been helping me, as I have a two-year-old and I'm also pregnant. Her visa won't expire until next year May. Can she stay until then, and not have any difficulties? A friend says I should check with you as she thinks she can only stay for six months without getting into trouble. I need her to stay longer as I need the help, but I do not want her to mess up her visa. What can we do?

- MS


Dear MS,

It sounds as if your mother has a regular temporary resident visa (TRV) or visitor's visa. The holder of a visitor's visa is usually permitted to spend a maximum of six months at a time in Canada, and must leave by the date that is stamped in the passport by the border-security officer on entry into Canada. If the border-security officer does not stamp a date for departure, then it is expected that your mother will leave within six months. The expiry date noted on the visa is known as the validity date, and not indicative of the period of time that she is authorised to stay in Canada.

There are options to consider. You may apply for an extension of time, provided she has at least 30 days before the expiry of the time permitted to stay. She could leave and return since she does have a valid visa. However, she should be prepared to answer questions on her return, regarding the reason for the prompt return to revisit you. You may consider providing her with a letter from your doctor, regarding your medical status. The next option is to apply for the parents and grandparents super visa, or apply for sponsorship under the parents and grandparents (PGP) immigrant programme.

Any visitor to Canada can apply to extend their stay to a time longer than the standard six months, provided there is a valid reason for staying. The key is that the application should be made a minimum of 30 days before the six months expire.

The application may be submitted online or by using a paper application. paper applications appear to be processing a little faster than online applications, so you may want to submit a paper application. Ensure you submit all supporting documents required and pay the required fee of CD$100.00.

This visa will authorise your mother to stay up to two years, from the date of initial entry, without the need to apply for an extension of time.

As long as you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, you may assist your mother to get this visa. Your mom will be expected to provide documents to show ties to her home country. I have written many times about how to prove ties to your home country. You may search the Gleaner website or my blog for past articles. Ties to Canada should not be stronger than her ties to Jamaica.

You, the daughter, will need to provide your mother with a detailed invitation letter, which outlines your financial status in Canada and attach all necessary supporting documents. You will need to meet a minimum-income threshold to show you are able to provide your mother with adequate financial support during her visit, without creating economic stress for yourself and your family.

Additionally, your mother will be required to do an immigration medical exam, and have a valid Canadian medical insurance coverage for at least one year.

You should also note that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will start accepting new applications under the PGP Immigrant programme. This is a highly competitive programme. about 5,000 applications are accepted each year. This programme is usually reopened on the first day of January each year.

You should consider consulting directly with an immigration lawyer to provide you with additional information, and to assist with permanent options for your mother.-

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. submit your questions and comments to: Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration. Tel: 613-695-8777/ 876.922.4092