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Express Entry

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched the Express Entry system in early 2015. This is a completely electronic selection process.  Respective immigrants are required to complete an online form regarding their interest in becoming a permanent resident of Canada. Points are awarded to applicants according to language proficiency, education, Canadian work experience, and other human capital factors that are considered indicators of a successful transition into life in Canada. Once the online application is filed, and points are assessed, immigration officials choose the candidates with the highest scores from among the pool of applicants. Chosen applicants then must demonstrate that they qualify for permanent residency under one of three programs: Canada Experience Class; Skilled Worker Class; or, Skilled Trade Class. If they can demonstrate these qualifications, the applicants will be granted permanent residency in Canada.

If you are unsure whether or not you qualify for Express Entry, give Poulton Law Office a call or send us an email inquiry and we can help you decide whether Express Entry is right for you.

Work Permits

It may be possible to enter Canada on a work permit. There are various types of work permits and ways to obtain them. For example, if you are a manager of an existing company and that company wishes to establish in Canada, you may be issued an intra-company work permit. In special circumstances, where a company can demonstrate that no Canadian or permanent resident already in Canada is qualified or willing to perform the work needed, Service Canada can issue a Labour Market Opinion (LMIA), which is then used to obtain a work permit from an officer at a port-of-entry into Canada or at a Canadian visa post or embassy. It may also be possible to start a business or invest in an existing one to be granted a work permit to manage that business.


Yes, we also do sponsorships! If you are looking to sponsor your spouse, child, parent or grandparent, we can help guide you through the process, and help ensure that you submit a complete and competitive application.

Only those who are 18 years old or older, and are either Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, or persons registered under the Canadian Indian Act are eligible to be sponsors. Sponsorship comes with non-negotiable responsibilities. If you are looking to be a sponsor, you must prove to the government that you can support them financially, and provide for your needs as well as theirs.

Canada’s immigration system is guided by the importance of family reunification. The belief that families should be together provides Canadians and permanent residents the opportunity to sponsor relatives or spouses living outside of Canada.

The following family members can be sponsored: spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent child, parents and grandparents. If you are 18 years old or older, and are either a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or person registered under the Canadian Indian Act, then this application may be what you are looking for.

Sponsorship of parents or grandparents is conducted on a lottery system. At the beginning of each year, you must tell the government that you want to apply to sponsor your parents or grandparents. Potential sponsors are then randomly selected to submit an application.

Note that if you are a Canadian citizen living outside of Canada, you must have the intention of living in Canada once your sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident. If you are a permanent resident living outside of Canada then you are not eligible to be a sponsor.

Sponsorship comes with non-negotiable responsibilities. If you are looking to be a sponsor, you must prove to the government that you are not receiving social assistance (except in the case of disability) and that you have enough income to provide for the basic needs of any grandchildren (any dependent children of dependents).

The sponsorship system is constantly being updated by Immigration Canada. Do ensure that you are aware of any recent changes. If you are looking to sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent child, contact Poulton Law Office today. We will help guide you through the process, and help ensure that you submit a complete and competitive application.

Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

In 2016, Poulton Law Office successfully represented the intervener Parkdale Community Legal Services in the Supreme Court of Canada in a case which changed the rules on humanitarian applications. In Kanthasamy v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Supreme Court agreed that the test used by immigration officers to decide humanitarian cases was too rigid and needed to be changed to be more flexible. As a result, immigration officers have been instructed to consider all factors through the lens of equity, and to decide whether or not the applicant before them is deserving of relief from his or her hardship.

A humanitarian application can lead to a grant of permanent residency for a person who has resided in Canada for a significant period of time without status or who is otherwise inadmissible to Canada. Factors considered on such an application include: the length of residency in Canada, work and education history, civic history, presence of family in Canada, best interests of any children in Canada, and the hardship suffered if the applicant were to leave the country.  Humanitarian applications can generally be filed at any time (with the exception of those who made refugee claims. In such cases, they can only be filed after a period of 12 months since their claim was determined).

The typical humanitarian application involves a person in Canada with no status or who is inadmissible because of a criminal conviction. If this situation applies to you, contact Poulton Law Office today to discuss your options.



The Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) is the tribunal (decision-making body) that hears your case if your sponsorship application has been denied, your permanent resident status revoked and/ or you have been ordered to leave Canada.

If your appeal is successful (as in, the appeal is allowed), the tribunal can overturn the denial, revocation or deportation. 

We are here to provide you with the expertise and skills necessary to give you the best chance to succeed in your appeal. Unsure whether or not you have a right to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division? Unsure about the evidence that might be relevant in your appeal? If you have questions about an immigration appeal, contact Poulton Law Office today.


The Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) is the tribunal (decision-making body) that hears and decides appeals of unsuccessful refugee protection claims.

A claimant who is not successful before the Refugee Protection Division may have a right of appeal to the RAD; in other words, a second opportunity to be granted protection as a refugee or protected person in Canada.

At this appeal stage, there is usually no hearing. Instead, the tribunal bases its decision on evidence submitted by parties to the appeal and the record from the RPD. Individuals can introduce new evidence which came to light after their refugee hearing.

If you are considering appealing a decision from the RPD, remember that you only have 15 days from the day you received your written reasons for the RPD decision to tell the RAD that you intend to appeal (this is called a “Notice of Appeal”). An appeal must be perfected within 30 days from receiving written reasons for the RPD decision. A perfected appeal means that all necessary documents and evidence has been filed within the time period. The RAD returns a decision within 90 days following perfection, unless in rare cases where an oral hearing is held.

If a claimant is unsuccessful at both the RPD and the RAD, they may still be granted status by way of a successful Pre-Removal Risk Assessment application (PRRA).

Ronald Poulton formerly worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Hong Kong as a refugee appeal officer and has years of experience representing refugee claimants in Canada.

If you intend to pursue an appeal of a negative refugee decision, our expertise in immigration law can help you submit the evidence that will give you the best chance to succeed. If you have questions about claiming refugee status, appealing a refugee status decision, or PRRA applications, contact Poulton Law Office today. [Link to Contact Page]


If you have been denied permanent residency or a work or study permit, or in some instances, refugee status, you have a right to “seek leave” of the Federal Court to overturn that decision.  This means you can ask the Federal Court to consider whether or not the decision maker has overlooked or misunderstood evidence or made an unreasonable or unlawful decision. If the Federal Court grants leave and then decides in your favour, the decision will be overruled and sent back for reconsideration by a different decision maker.

A challenge to Federal Court has two distinct steps; leave and judicial review. Within 15 days of receiving the negative decision, a Notice of Application for leave and judicial review must be filed with Federal Court and served on the Department of Justice (the lawyers for Immigration Canada). Usually within the next 30 days, an “Application Record” is prepared, served and filed with the Court. This documentation book contains relevant evidence and legal arguments presented to convince the first judge (the leave judge) that your case is worth hearing. If he or she agrees, the case proceeds to a full hearing of the issues before a second judge – this is called judicial review. This second judge has final say on whether the decision being challenged will be overruled. The entire process takes between 6 to 8 months, with some exceptions.

Ronald Poulton has appeared in numerous Federal Court and Court of Appeal proceedings over the years and is considered one of the top Federal Court litigators. He has also appeared as counsel three times in the Supreme Court of Canada. In each of these cases, he was successful in winning the appeals.

Click here for examples of court proceedings argued by Ronald Poulton.


The Immigration Division (ID) is the tribunal (decision-making body) that decides whether or not you may enter or remain in Canada.

The ID hears cases involving inadmissibility issues. This tribunal may hear your case if you are a permanent resident and you have:

a) been involved in a crime or;
b) misrepresented yourself or;
c)  been accused of working without authorization in Canada or;
d)  do not have enough money to support yourself financially or;
e) failed to comply with Canada’s immigration laws in some other way.

Note that these are only some of the reasons why someone may not be allowed to enter Canada. If any immigration inadmissibility applies to you, your case is heard by the Immigration Division. If you lose, you could be subject to a removal order requiring you to leave Canada.

If your case involves a criminal conviction, be warned that the issuance of a deportation order may be automatic. However, if you are a permanent resident whose term of imprisonment is less than 6 months, we can help you take your case to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) where the decision-maker can either stay removal on conditions, allow the appeal or uphold the removal.

Regardless of the immigration inadmissibility you are facing, we can help you present your case to the Immigration Division. Success is possible with the right tactics and evidence. If you have questions about a potential inadmissibility to Canada, don’t hesitate to contact Poulton Law Office today.

Refugee Protection Division

The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) is the tribunal (decision-making body) that hears and decides refugee protection claims in Canada.

The RPD applies two sets of criteria in assessing claims. The first is the definition from the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Under this set of criteria, a claimant is recognized as a refugee if they can establish persecution in their home country on one or more of the following grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. The second set of criteria applies a definition taken largely from the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). Under this definition, a person is a protected person if they are at risk of torture, death or other cruel and unusual treatment or punishment in their home country.

If you have questions about claiming refugee status or appealing a refugee status decision, don’t hesitate to contact Poulton Law Office today.