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Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Old Oct 26th 2012, 9:10 am
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Default Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Hoping someone out there can give us some advice;

My partner has been living in Canada for almost 3 years, applying for status (spousal, common law) from within the country. He has finally gotten a letter stating that he has met the criteria for immigration and a work permit was on it's way.

The problem is that we ran into some money problems (I was supporting us both, but lost a job contract and didn't qualify for UI etc...) and he got work at a local convenience store using my Social Insurance Number. It was only for a few months and he does not work there (or anywhere else) anymore.

We recently received a letter from Revenue Canada asking him to either confirm his previous employment & SIN number, because the store has filed a T4 in his name OR say that he never worked there.

Does anyone know how / if / what will happen if we do or don't do what the letter asks? We're expecting our first child and are terrified about deportation or possible felony charges regarding the use of my SIN.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 9:30 am
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

It seems the government is on to you.

Unfortunately, you have excluded yourselves from the public policy against removal of common-law spouses. It applies on "approval in principle" if the applicant for permanent residence has overstayed, but not if they have worked illegally. The penalty for working illegally can be an exclusion order of up to 1 year.

Best be honest from here onwards. I suggest file a sponsorship application for overseas processing now, because you may need it - if the inland application is refused you have no appeal rights and your partner will have to leave. Make sure you reflect your partner's work experience accurately on the Schedule A Form, or you could face an accusation of misrepresentation.

Sorry to give you bad news, but frankly if you work illegally you must accept that it can have consequences. This has also put the employer in a difficult position, because they can be charged with employing a foreign national illegally. This may not happen very often, but if the government start enforcement action, there is a large fine and up to 5 years in jail for this offense (for the employer) if they are convicted.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 10:47 am
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Thank you for the swift reply;

So we must presume the government already knows exactly what we have done wrong and is seeing if we will continue any deception? That is a sobering thought. If we file a sponsorship application for overseas now, to be prepared for the worst (him being deported for up to a year) will it be considered a brand new process of applying for permanent residency? Right back to square one? Although we accept the consequences of our mistake that would be heartbreaking.

I know its a stretch but do you think they would judge us less harshly based on the circumstances why my partner worked illegally? Is there any way we can recompense for this mistake other than being separated? Such as a fine from within Canada or Community service? He is willing to do anything not to be separated from me and our unborn child, we have waited for so long to get this far but we were struggling financially and made a serious error.

Thank you for being so clear in your response
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 10:55 am
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Originally Posted by atlascakes
So we must presume the government already knows exactly what we have done wrong and is seeing if we will continue any deception?
Yes. Assume they know it all, don't risk further lies which could mean even more severe consequences (as said above, that would be misrepresentation which is v serious). Tell the truth and hope for the best.

Out of interest, why has your OH been in Canada for 3 years and still not got PR, was he on another visa previously and if so, what kind?
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 11:18 am
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

"I know its a stretch but do you think they would judge us less harshly based on the circumstances why my partner worked illegally? Is there any way we can recompense for this mistake other than being separated? Such as a fine from within Canada or Community service? He is willing to do anything not to be separated from me and our unborn child, we have waited for so long to get this far but we were struggling financially and made a serious error."

No-one can know for sure that this will reach CIC/CBSA but I really do think the odds are stacked against you, sorry. As ChristmasOompa says it is definitely in your interest to be honest now.

In theory you could try to explain/plead with CBSA removals unit/go to your MP/write to the Minister. You could also spend a lot of money for a lawyer to apply to Federal Court for a Stay of Removal. I personally don't believe any of those is a viable approach if the government proceeds with a removal. There is no provision under the Immigration Act for Community Service or fines

The worst that is likely to happen is that your husband has to go back home for a year, and after that he will be back with you. Stay positive and wait for the light at the end of the tunnel is what I would say too.

Last edited by firstchoice; Oct 26th 2012 at 11:22 am.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 11:39 am
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Hi atlascakes,

I would be completely honest, explain exactly what you did and why you did it. Express this was done as a desperate measure, but that you wish to make amends and be completely honest and up from with them from now on. Your going to them is going to work more favourably than them coming to you!

Ultimately it will be human beings, not computers, which read your response and they are hopefully not heartless. Their hands may or may not be tied with regards the range of options they have to deal with this. But if there is any measure for discretion, then admitting you were wrong and coming forward should work in your favour.


My motto is always tell the truth. Anything else just comes back to bite you in the backside in the end

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Old Oct 26th 2012, 12:02 pm
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Hi All, and thanks again to everyone for their replies. We feel very stupid and knew that it was wrong... but thought that as long as tax was paid (and it was...) it would be okay.

ChristmasOompa: My hubby originally came over on a visitor's visa (we met on the internet...) and before the six months were up we decided that we didn't want to be apart! We found out that he could apply for citizenship from within Canada through a spousal sponsorship (which couldn't be done until he'd been here a year, so we extended his first 6 month visitor visa without any problems...) then it took another year to hear back from Immigration - who just wanted more documentation that wasn't on the original list which took some time to get and then send it off to IC then ANOTHER few months to hear back.

So it will be three years as of Feb 2013 (he came over Feb 2010) We were never told anything about permanent residency as an interim step? Would that have been a different application to the spousal sponsorship application?

Thanks again to all - we're very upset and the direction you all are providing is a little comfort, considering the weekend's here and we won't be able to talk to IC or even a lawyer (which we can't really afford anyway...) until Monday.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Originally Posted by atlascakes
Hi All, and thanks again to everyone for their replies. We feel very stupid and knew that it was wrong... but thought that as long as tax was paid (and it was...) it would be okay.

ChristmasOompa: My hubby originally came over on a visitor's visa (we met on the internet...) and before the six months were up we decided that we didn't want to be apart! We found out that he could apply for citizenship from within Canada through a spousal sponsorship (which couldn't be done until he'd been here a year, so we extended his first 6 month visitor visa without any problems...) then it took another year to hear back from Immigration - who just wanted more documentation that wasn't on the original list which took some time to get and then send it off to IC then ANOTHER few months to hear back.

So it will be three years as of Feb 2013 (he came over Feb 2010) We were never told anything about permanent residency as an interim step? Would that have been a different application to the spousal sponsorship application?

Thanks again to all - we're very upset and the direction you all are providing is a little comfort, considering the weekend's here and we won't be able to talk to IC or even a lawyer (which we can't really afford anyway...) until Monday.
Spousal sponsorship gets permanent residency, after the spouse has been in country for three years out of the previous four, they can apply for citizenship. This assumes they have not been naughty, citizenship is not automatically granted.

If you OH has to leave Canada, a few of things may happen, you lose common law by being apart, you have to move to be together to retain common law, you get married to retain spousal status. Also, take a look at the new spousal regulations that came in today.

If your current application is refused, you would have to start over out of country under the new regulations.

FYI, each SIN is attached to a name and address, presumably the T4 had his name and a SIN that did not match. There is a reason for a SIN to be attached to a name, the same as there is a reason for work permits and PR.

Not sure if your regret is due to doing the wrong thing (as you say you knew it as wrong) or getting caught doing the wrong thing.

CRA and CIC are not known for their empathy. See Section 141 http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/a...8.html#docCont This may apply to you both. I would get advice from a lawyer and accountant before proceeding further.

Last edited by Aviator; Oct 26th 2012 at 12:55 pm.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Originally Posted by Aviator
Not sure if your regret is due to doing the wrong thing (as you say you knew it as wrong) or getting caught doing the wrong thing.
Both? But we were in terrible financial shape (I had not worked in a while and my savings were almost gone....) and we found out I was pregnant so my hubby took a crappy part time job at a convenience store to try and help - this was after we'd waited over TWO YEARS for some sort of status?

I lost the baby, and my hubby only worked a short while after that. We got some help from my parents (a rent-free place to live in exchange for cooking and looking after them - they are 84 and 81 - my mom with Stage IV cancer...) and my career is on a slow comeback.

So yes - regret due to both - but born out of a real desperation. As a contract worker I did not qualify for UI so we lasted on my meager savings a while before my common law husband did what he had to do.

They say this country needs immigrants - what country wouldn't want an educated, 26 year old British guy with lots of time to pay into his adopted country's system? When I was fully sponsoring him with my family's support???

I'm terrified & regretful yes - but also angry and upset when the immigration backlog into Canada forces people to make terrible choices. I'm angry at myself too, for not being smarter about this - but all we can do right now is move forward and hope.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Originally Posted by atlascakes
Both? But we were in terrible financial shape (I had not worked in a while and my savings were almost gone....) and we found out I was pregnant so my hubby took a crappy part time job at a convenience store to try and help - this was after we'd waited over TWO YEARS for some sort of status?

I lost the baby, and my hubby only worked a short while after that. We got some help from my parents (a rent-free place to live in exchange for cooking and looking after them - they are 84 and 81 - my mom with Stage IV cancer...) and my career is on a slow comeback.

So yes - regret due to both - but born out of a real desperation. As a contract worker I did not qualify for UI so we lasted on my meager savings a while before my common law husband did what he had to do.

They say this country needs immigrants - what country wouldn't want an educated, 26 year old British guy with lots of time to pay into his adopted country's system? When I was fully sponsoring him with my family's support???

I'm terrified & regretful yes - but also angry and upset when the immigration backlog into Canada forces people to make terrible choices. I'm angry at myself too, for not being smarter about this - but all we can do right now is move forward and hope.
My suggestion, get professional advice and be up front with your advisers. Spousal sponsorship does not usually take very long, not sure why yours went on for so long.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Thank you Aviator, and everyone else. All we can do is take your good advice, be honest and hope.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Originally Posted by atlascakes
Hoping someone out there can give us some advice;

My partner has been living in Canada for almost 3 years, applying for status (spousal, common law) from within the country. He has finally gotten a letter stating that he has met the criteria for immigration and a work permit was on it's way.

The problem is that we ran into some money problems (I was supporting us both, but lost a job contract and didn't qualify for UI etc...) and he got work at a local convenience store using my Social Insurance Number. It was only for a few months and he does not work there (or anywhere else) anymore.

We recently received a letter from Revenue Canada asking him to either confirm his previous employment & SIN number, because the store has filed a T4 in his name OR say that he never worked there.

Does anyone know how / if / what will happen if we do or don't do what the letter asks? We're expecting our first child and are terrified about deportation or possible felony charges regarding the use of my SIN.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
I don't usually have much sympathy for people in your situation but I have to say your story has really touched me. You sound really genuine and I can see how you could get in the situation you did. From what you say and the responses it seems that the worst that can happen is a year apart? I know that sounds terrible and if you can avoid it then that would be great, but if you can't then try to remain positive. When I first met my husband, we were forced to be apart for a year, and we were expecting our first child too. It seemed like forever at the time, but 17 years on - it doesn't seem like such a big deal.
Be honest with the authorities from now on, being caught in a lie will undoubtedly make the situation much worse - and I wish you both the very best.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 6:03 pm
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

A question... I am not being contentious - I am interested to know for future reference, would the below section not apply to her partner?

In IP08, section 5:27 http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resourc...p/ip08-eng.pdf it states:

5.27. Legal temporary resident status in Canada

Under the current Regulations, applicants in this spouse or common-law partner in Canada class must have a valid temporary resident status on the date of application and on the date they receive permanent resident status to be eligible to be members of the class.

However, under the spousal policy, applicants who lack status as defined under the public policy (see “What is lack of status under the public policy” below) may be granted permanent residence so long as they meet all the other requirements of the class (i.e., they are not inadmissible for reasons other than “lack of status.”)

However, applicants who do not have temporary resident status and who cannot be granted positive consideration under the public policy can be removed at any time. Further, the spousal policy does not change the requirement to seek necessary authorization to visit Canada or to work or study here.

What is “lack of status” under the public policy?

For the purposes of the current public policy, persons with a “lack of status” refers to those in the following situations:

• persons who have overstayed a visa, visitor record, work permit, student permit or temporary resident permit;

persons who have worked or studied without being authorized to do so as prescribed by the Act;

(continued...)

I realise that the use of someone else's SI number is another matter and may have consequences that could affect this, but could there be some degree of flexibility regarding working without a permit?

When I was waiting for PR I did not keep up my temporary residency (stupid I was back then and did not realise it was necessary until it was too late to get it again) - yet this did not preclude me for gaining PR even though I was not a legal resident at the time that PR was granted.

Just wondering.....
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Originally Posted by atlascakes
My hubby originally came over on a visitor's visa (we met on the internet...) and before the six months were up we decided that we didn't want to be apart! We found out that he could apply for citizenship from within Canada through a spousal sponsorship (which couldn't be done until he'd been here a year, so we extended his first 6 month visitor visa without any problems...) then it took another year to hear back from Immigration - who just wanted more documentation that wasn't on the original list which took some time to get and then send it off to IC then ANOTHER few months to hear back.

So it will be three years as of Feb 2013 (he came over Feb 2010) We were never told anything about permanent residency as an interim step? Would that have been a different application to the spousal sponsorship application?
You're confused it seems. Permanent Residency IS what your husband has applied for, not citizenship. He can't apply for citizenship until he's been in Canada for at least 3 years, with a minimum of two of those as a PR.

I'm still not understanding why it's taken so long though, an Outland PR application shouldn't take more than 6 months or so (recent cases on the forum have taken as little as 3 months). Or did you apply inland?

Edit: never mind, I've just re-read your posts and realised you've applied inland hence why it's taken so long. http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Spousa...sorship-Canada

Last edited by christmasoompa; Oct 26th 2012 at 11:28 pm.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Working Illegally in Canada with spouse's SIN

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
You're confused it seems. Permanent Residency IS what your husband has applied for, not citizenship. He can't apply for citizenship until he's been in Canada for at least 3 years, with a minimum of two of those as a PR.

I'm still not understanding why it's taken so long though, an Outland PR application shouldn't take more than 6 months or so (recent cases on the forum have taken as little as 3 months). Or did you apply inland?
They applied inland... "applying for status (spousal, common law) from within the country."
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