Thursday, December 14, 2006

Canada Imigration Alert

04 October 2006
Article by Naseem Malik

For companies who have foreign national employees travelling to their offices in Canada for short term business trips or longer term secondments, it is critical to take steps to ensure a smooth entry into the country. But w hat happens when an employee is nevertheless refused entry to Canada? The way in which the employee and his or her employer decide to address the situation may have a significant effect on the employee’s ability to enter Canada, both at the present time and in the future.

Why Entry Can Be Refused

The reasons for refusal to enter Canada vary widely. These can range from criminal or medical inadmissibility issues (a previous criminal conviction, for instance), to the lack of an entry visa, work permit, proper travel documents/proof of citizenship, or previous problems that the employee might have had with Canada Immigration. If the employee has been refused entry for merely technical reasons that can be easily rectified, the situation can sometimes be resolved in a matter of hours. An example of this type of situation would be if an employee easily qualifies for a work permit but did not have the proper supporting documents from the employer to substantiate the purpose for traveling to Canada. In other circumstances, there may be serious issues that will prevent future trips into Canada until they are resolved.

What to Do When Refused Entry

In many cases when an employee is denied entry, he or she will call the human resources professional or in-house legal representative of his or her company for assistance. It is important that the first person called at the employer’s office in Canada takes down as much information as possible on what events led to the refusal, what the immigration officer indicated was the problem that led to the decision to refuse entry, and whether an official report has been created. Gathering this information is important, since in most cases the next step is to contact a lawyer specializing in immigration law.

The more information and documentation that the immigration lawyer has at his or her disposal, the better he or she will be able to assess the situation and advise you. Having the ability to review copies of any documents issued by Canada Immigration will also be helpful in determining what has led to the refusal and what can be done to ensure that the employee will not encounter any problems in the future.

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