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Immigration Issues/Resotration Of Status but still waiting for LMO

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QUESTION: Dear Roxanne,

Thankyou in advance for any help you can give.

I applied in March to extend my work visa and my families visas as my employer had been telling me since the beginning of the year that the LMO application was "in Hand". I was asked by CIC for a copy of either the confirmation the LMO had been either submitted or approved by CIC. You can imagine my horror to find that my employer had only just started the process and was unable to provide me with the information needed.

We were issued with the letter of refusal on the 7 May 2012, so our restoration expires 5 August 2012. I contacted CIC to ask whether we should apply for visitor visas while we are waiting for the LMO decision, I was told not to as I then could not apply  for a work visa in Canada. But I have just found a reply that you had given to Laura dated 6-21-2012 where you said you could flag pole, I did not know this information and wish I had know from the beginning. My family and I are British citizens from birth so is it possible for me to reapply for visitor status then go to the border and flagpole when the LMO is received?

My main worry is now the time we have left because when I spoke to the CIC officer, when I asked about the visitor visa, he said that I could reapply during the 90 day period for restoration of status when I receive the LMO, to which I asked what I should do if the LMO still was not back, and he told me within 14 days before 5 August 2012 if I still had not received the LMO reapply for restoration as a worker submitting all the information as I have now got a file number for the LMO application. he said that the application will be held for another 2 months.

Please could you tell me if this really is the case or if we will be refused straight away as we will have gone past the restoration time. I am sick with worry. I have 2 LMOs waiting to be processed at Service Canada in Alberta one with my former employer, who obviously I have no trust with now, that was only issued a file number on June 12 after applying at the start of May, and a new employer whose application was issued a file number on June 20.
I have also contact my MLA to ask if there is anything that they can do to help us.

Again thank you in advance for any help you can offer, we are in a desperate situation.

ANSWER: Hi Clare,

Thank you for your question.  In my previous response to Laura, she had indicated in her question that she was applying for restoration as a visitor and THEN when the LMO was issued I advised that should could flagpole or leave Canada and re-enter.  Since you are visa exempt to Canada you can do this as well BUT, as with Laura, you should have some status if you plan to flagpole, status meaning visitor, worker, etc.  Currently, you have NO status in Canada.  Technically this is an "overstay" and you can correct it by applying for restoration and a change of conditions from worker to visitor OR by leaving Canada.  As soon as you leave Canada you correct your overstay.  Flagpoling is a unique thing.  When you do this, you don't really enter the US therefore you are NOT correcting the overstay and if you have NO status, this could cause you difficulty at the Canadian side of the border when you apply for new work permits.  So be careful.  Don't try to flagpole if you have NO status.  In that case you should LEAVE Canada, even if it's for a one hour drive to see the sites before returning to Canada.  I hope you understand what I mean here.

The CIC agent you spoke to was correct in his advice about when to apply for restoration as a worker if you still have not received the LMO.  Include a cover letter stating that the employer has applied for the LMO and is awaiting the result as well as providing the file number for the LMO application.  As long as you submit your application BEFORE the 90 day period allowed to apply for restoration, you have complied with the Regulations.  That 90 days is just a time period in which you CAN apply to restore your status and CIC will agree to process the application #not guaranteed approval, just will process#.  It is not a status itself.  

An MLA can't help in these circumstances.  First, you are not a voting citizen and secondly, they have no power in these matters.  If anyone wanted to seek political assistance it should be your employer and they should contact the MP for the area.

One final note, when/if you apply for restoration, if that's what you choose to do, be sure you apply for EVERYBODY in your family who is here with you in Canada and is dependent on your status.  You must pay all of the applicable fees for everyone since you are ALL out of status.

I hope this information is useful to you.

Sincerely,

Roxanne Jessome, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
www.joincanada.com

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much Roxanne,

Could you just help with a couple more questions that I have regarding your reply.

Can we apply to restore our status as a worker using the LMO file number that I have, and also apply as visitors? If so do I need to do 2 separate applications or can it be done on 1 application? If separately will it not complicate things because our applications will be sent so close together? Also if we have to apply as visitors what period of time should we apply for e.g 2,3,4 months etc and how much funds do we need to show to support ourselves for a family of 4? Funds are running quite low now that I can't work.
To complicate matters further  I have 2 possible employers who are both waiting for LMO decisions! One was issued a file number on June 12 and the other on June 20 so can I apply as a worker sending both the LMO file numbers? The job I really want is the one where the file number was issued on June 20

Again the help and advice that you have given so far is invaluable and hope your reply make everything clearer.

Many Thanks again.

ANSWER: Hi Clare,

No, you cannot apply to restore status as both a worker and a visitor.  It is one or the other.  Secondly, if you apply to restore status and change your conditions from worker to visitor, there is no set amount of time to request.  Use common sense by requesting enough months for the LMO to be processed.  I would recommend 3 to 4 months at least.  And with respect to funds, I cannot say exactly as I don't know your monthly expenses.  Obviously more is better but try to show enough to cover your family for at least 2 to 3 months.

Finally, NO, you cannot apply for restoration showing 2 LMO File numbers.  You must choose 1.  A regular work permit is employer specific.  There cannot be multiple employers listed on a regular work permit.

You still have a little time with respect to this.  Let me ask you, is your job in a skill level 0, A or B (high skilled)?  I'm assuming it is if your family is with you.  Has your employer requested a regular Labour Market Opinion or an Accelerated Labour Market Opinion?  Depending on the skill level, your location and if the employer has received a positive LMO within the last 2 years, they may be eligible to utilize the new Accelerated LMO process.  LMOs are issued within just a couple of weeks of applying in those cases.  This might be something for the employer(s) to look into.

Best of luck.

Sincerely,

Roxanne Jessome, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
www.joincanada.com


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Roxanne,

Thank you so much for your quick response. The job that really want is NOC level B but its the first time the employer has applied for an LMO so can't go with an ALMO and the other LMO application is low skill level so we are stuck between a rock and a hard place, it is so frustrating as this is down to the previous employer telling us they were dealing with the LMO from the start of the year when they had not done anything!

Can I send the application online now to restore status as a worker even though it is not within the 14 days before restoration expires because I have seen that the processing time for visas has now increased again and I am really scared that the job will be lost.

Thank you so much for all your help.

Answer
Hi again Clare,

Honestly, I would follow the advice of the CIC agent you spoke to in order to maximize your time.  You are almost at the 14 days anyway.  The positive side is that Service Canada tends to process higher skill level LMO applications faster than low skill level.  And considering that the file numbers were received within 8 days of each other it probably won't make a difference which job you accept and use to apply for restoration and a new WP as the times are close.  CIC will only hold the application for so long before they must render a decision but seeing as both LMOs are in process, it is likely, but NOT guaranteed, that a decision on the LMO will be issued before CIC is ready to decide the WP/Restoration application.  That's what you want.  If you submit the application before the LMO decision has been reached, if it is positive you MUST call the CIC Call Centre right away and advise them that you have received a positive LMO and ask them to add that information to your electronic file.  The Call Centre agents can do that.

I really hope for your sake that the employers did a good job on their LMO applications.

Best of luck.

Sincerely,

Roxanne Jessome, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
www.joincanada.com

Immigration Issues

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Roxanne Jessome

Expertise

I can answer questions pertaining to Canadian Immigration laws, policies and procedures as well as Canadian citizenship.

Experience

I am a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant specializing in the areas of family classes (spousal sponsorships, parents and grandparents), economic classes (federal skilled worker, provincial nominees, Canada experience class), and temporary entry (temporary foreign workers, visitors) and permanent residency obligations and citizenship requirements.

Organizations
Immigration Consultants Regulatory Council of Canada Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants

Education/Credentials
Graduate of the University of British Columbia, Certificate in Immigration Laws, Policies and Procedures.

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