Then there are the people who seek her help to renew their permanent resident cards when they haven’t met the already ridiculously loose requirement that they spend a certain period on Canadian soil.
“They’re panicking because they haven’t spent enough time in Canada,” says Taub. (Permanent residents only have to spend two years in Canada over a five-year period to maintain their PR status.)
Grasping at straws for a way to renew their PR cards, some of her clients plotted to create a fabricated contract of employment with a Canadian employer abroad — a friend of theirs — and then get Taub to prepare the renewal paperwork based on that loophole.
(Working offshore for a Canadian company counts as time in Canada.)
“But they really hadn’t (worked abroad). They said everybody’s doing it,” recalls Taub. “Very soon, the word got out … that I wouldn’t do it. I don’t know who’s doing it. Somebody’s doing it.”
Another popular scam involves permanent residents in the entrepreneur class category who have no intention of setting up a business in Canada. They just want their kids to study for three years at a Canadian university without paying international fees. (Immigrants in the entrepreneur class have three years to start a business here.)
University students have come to Taub pleading for help to extend their PR status so they can study for one more year and finish their degrees without paying the higher fees.
Once she finds out that their parents aren’t in Canada, she shoos the students out the door. “It enrages me because guess who’s subsidizing these foreign kids as technically permanent residents when they shouldn’t be?” Canadian taxpayers, of course.
This later scam is, without a doubt, predominately abused by Chinese citizens. This is mostly a hunch of mine supported by the fact that there are an estimated 300,000 "Canadians" living in Hong Kong right now and that Chinese citizens have a penchant for returning to their homeland once they obtain Canadian citizenship, oftentimes parking their parents and children in Canada in the process. Canadians benefit little from this arrangement with all gains going to the immigrant who abuses the system.
The immigration lawyer interviewed in the article has these solutions to offer:
For instance, Taub believes people should have to be in Canada 80% of the time to retain their permanent resident status. I agree. Right now, many people are using us for our passport and generous social benefits while they live elsewhere most of the time. How does Canada benefit from such a regime?
She also suggests smart cards that could be swiped whenever permanent residents leave or return to Canada to enforce minimum residency requirements. Another great idea.
In addition, Taub proposes that we focus on resettling the refugees most in need — those in refugee camps — instead of spending vast amounts of money processing asylum claims from democratic countries.
Sounds reasonable to me.
It's good to see that there are some immigration lawyers in Canada with scruples. Sadly, I don't think there are enough. Immigration lawyers bare considerable responsibility for the creation of the world's most lax, gullible, unenforceable, costly, over burdened immigration system in the world for which the host society, lawyers aside, enjoy very little benefit. To see how costly and unaffordable the system is we read this at the conclusion of the piece:
Here’s one final shocking detail. The UN Refugee Agency has a $3-billion budget this year to help 34 million refugees and internally displaced people. Canada spends about the same amount yearly on 30,000 to 40,000 refugee claimants.
Yes, folks, we’ve been taken for suckers.
Laugh or cry Canada's immigration system needs a major overhaul on several fronts. It's about bringing integrity back to the system, protecting Canadian sovereignty by enforcing our borders, and bringing dignity back to what it means to be a Canadian citizen. As it is now it advertises to the world that we are a nation of suckers and our country a joke. When you have a system that panders to the lowest common denominator then that is the kind of immigrant Canada will attract.