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What can make an individual inadmissible to Canada?

When a person is found inadmissible to Canada it means that the immigration officer reviewing your application believes there is a reason why you should not be in Canada. If you are found inadmissible, it means you are unable to visit, work or study in Canada, and if you are already in Canada you may have to leave Canada immediately.

What are the grounds of inadmissibility?

Source Sections of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)Who can be found inadmissible?

Permanent   Residents




Foreign 
Nationals  
ReasoningExamples
Section 34✔️✔️Security GroundsEngaging in terrorism
Section 35✔️✔️Human or International Rights ViolationsBeing a senior member of a government that has engaged in a genocide
Section 36(1)✔️✔️Serious CriminalityBeing convicted of an offence in Canada for which the term of imprisonment is greater than 6 months
Section 36(2) ✔️CriminalityBeing convicted of two offences in Canada not arising out of a single occurrence
Section 37✔️✔️Organized CriminalityEngaging in human trafficking
Section 38 ✔️Health GroundsCould reasonably cause excessive demand on the Canadian health care system
Section 39 ✔️Financial ReasonsUnwilling or unable to support oneself
Section 40✔️✔️Misrepresentation“Directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts”
Section 41✔️✔️Non-Compliance with the IRPAA permanent resident not meeting the residency obligations with respect to every five-year period
Section 42 ✔️Family Member is inadmissibleTheir accompanying (or non-accompanying family member in some situations) is an inadmissible person.

What can you do if you are found to be inadmissible?

There are a few options depending on your situation of ways you may be able to overcome being found inadmissible such as taking your case to the Immigration Division for a hearing, appealing the decision at the Immigration Appeal Division, applying for a Judicial review, or requesting a Temporary Resident Permit.

The options are unique to your matter so it’s important to reach out to a legal representative to guide you through the process. If you are found to be inadmissible, it can have long-term repercussions. It is therefore important to deal with being found inadmissible as it could impact your ability to not only enter Canada but other countries as well. For example, when applying for a temporary work permit a common question asked is “Have you been denied entry into any other country?” Hire a representative to support you through the process and successfully gain access to Canada and all that this country has to offer.

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog post were accurate at the time of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information provided above. This blog post is not updated on a regular basis.

Written by Rebecca B. Tripp.

Originally Posted on October 4, 2021

© Copyright The Immigration and Paralegal Law Office of Rebecca B. Tripp. All Rights Reserved.

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The similarities between Paralegals & Lawyers in Ontario

Ontario is a unique province when it comes to legal representation. The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) governs both lawyers and paralegals, giving them the authority to provide legal services to the public. While the LSO started regulating paralegals decades after becoming the governing body for lawyers in Ontario (issuing the first paralegal license in April 2008) they hold paralegals to many of the same standards. Moreover, while there are many differences between lawyers and paralegals and what they are allowed to do, there are also many similarities that aren’t widely known…

Both have to complete the following before they can provide legal services:

  • High school education (or equivalent certification);
  • An accredited post-secondary education program;
  • A placement/internship with a Licensee in order to gain practical experience (this is called “articling” for lawyers and “field placement” for paralegals);
  • Successfully pass a licensing exam; and
  • Adhere to professional and ethical obligations of a legal professional or face disciplinary procedures.

Once licensed by the LSO, they have to adhere to similar maintenance requirements as well such as:

  • Annually completing
    • Twelve (12) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours (by December 31);
    • annual reports (by March 31); and
    • paying their annual membership fees (by March 31) which is based on their current employment situation.

Lawyers and paralegals annual fees are both paid into the following two LSO funds:

  • General Fund – maintained by the Law Society for its program delivery and administration which includes a provision for the Law Society’s future capital requirements; and
  • Compensation Fund – The Law Society maintains this fund pursuant to section 51 of the Law Society Act to relieve or mitigate loss sustained by any person in consequence of dishonesty on the part of any paralegal or lawyer in connection with their legal services, practice or in connection with any trust of which the lawyer or paralegal was, or is, a trustee.    

Additionally, both lawyers and paralegals…

  • Need to hold valid Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance in order to protect their clients in the event there is a mistake made when providing legal services;
  • Are subject to practice audits to ensure they are compliant with the applicable Law Society Rules and By-laws;
  • Are considered Officers of the Court and Commissioners;
  • Can also hold the title of Notary Public, however lawyers automatically get this title whereas paralegals have to make a separate application to become a Notary Public;
  • Can open and operate Trust Accounts and therefore can ask for retainer money before they start working on your case;
  • Must have their current contact information, business name, practice status and regulatory history made public under the Lawyer and Paralegal Directory on the LSO website; and

Both lawyers and paralegals in Ontario can be your counsel in the following areas of law:

(This list is also considered the Paralegal Scope of Practice, meaning paralegals can solely represent clients without the supervision of a lawyer with these matters):

  • Small claim cases (up to $35,000 CAD);
  • Any matter under the Provincial Offences Act;
  • Most summary offences matters where the maximum penalty is six-month imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than $5000.00 CAD; and
  • Any matter before a tribunal, board or committee such as the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) and Human Rights Tribunals.

If you are not familiar with the Ontario legal system, I am sure there are more similarities than you thought there were. I was even a bit surprised when I sat down to write this article. But with that being said, there are several important differences between lawyers and paralegals in Ontario and this article would not be complete if I did not highlight these differences.

The Differences Between Lawyers and Paralegals in Ontario

 LawyersParalegals
EducationLawyers must complete a Bachelor’s degree, successfully pass the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), complete a three-year law school program, and complete a ten-month articling period.  Paralegals must complete an accredited post-secondary program (most often a two-year college diploma), including 120 hours of a placement/internship before they can write their licensing exam.
Representation  A lawyer can represent you in any area of law, at any level of court in a jurisdiction (province) in which they are licensed.  A paralegal can only provide legal representation in Ontario and have a narrow scope of practice covering small claims, summary offenses, tribunals, and provincial offenses.
Legal AidLawyers can accept Legal Aid Certificates (though not all do).Paralegals are not able to accept Legal Aid Certificates.

The Paralegal scope of practice is ever changing though. For example, the Ontario Small Claims Court in 2008 had the monetary claims limit set at $10,000. It was then increased on January 1st, 2010 to $25,000 and again on January 1st, 2020 to $35,000. Another change that occurred in 2020, was on August 1st the Notaries Act was amended to allow “Paralegals to be appointed as notaries in the same manner as lawyers”.

While there are matters where only a lawyer can represent you (such as drafting a Will) it is important to note that there are paralegals who may also be able to help you with your legal matter. If you are unsure where to turn or who you should hire, feel free to contact me today and I can either represent you as a paralegal or point you in the right direction!

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog post were accurate at the time of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information provided above. This blog post is not updated on a regular basis.

Written by Rebecca B. Tripp.

Originally Posted on September 28, 2021

© Copyright The Immigration and Paralegal Law Office of Rebecca B. Tripp. All Rights Reserved.

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Notaries, commissioners, affidavits, declarations, oaths, and affirmations… But what does it all mean?

On August 1st 2020, paralegals licensed by the Law Society of Ontario were granted the option to apply to become notaries, further expanding their scope of practice and increasing ‘access to justice’ for Ontarians. But the question is now, what the heck does it all mean? 

What is the difference between notarizing and commissioning documents?

Many legal actions require the use of true copies of documents or the swearing of an oath. Have you ever needed to order a new piece of identification (ID), or needed to transfer ownership of a vehicle? If so, chances are you have taken a visit to a Notary Public or Commissioner of Oaths. In fact, even if you’ve never had to do either of those things there’s a high chance you have, or will at some point, need to use the services provided by a Notary Public or Commissioner of Oaths. These titles are all well and good, but what do they mean? Today we’re going to explore this topic.

Who is a commissioner of oaths/for taking affidavits?

A commissioner of oaths, or more formally, a commissioner for taking affidavits is an individual who takes affidavits or oaths by asking someone to swear or affirm that what is in a document is true.

Anybody who regularly requires the use or provision of these services can apply to become one themselves. Lawyers and paralegals are also automatically commissioners for taking affidavits once they are licensed. These individuals are governed by the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act and its various regulations.

Why would I need to access these services?

Commissioning is an important service in our legal environment and in society as a whole as it provides a process for the certification of truth, which helps to combat fraud and false information.

You might require the services of a commissioner for taking affidavits or making statutory declarations when conducting business transactions, accessing, and applying for federal, provincial, or municipal government services, or for various documents in court.

What documents can be commissioned?

Any document could be commissioned, but some documents that may require commissioning include, but are not limited to:

·       Documents for a legal name change

·       Insurance claim forms

·       Applications for passports

·       Birth certificate registrations and amendments

·       Documents included in immigration applications

What is the difference between affidavits, declarations, oaths, and affirmations?

As we know, a commissioner for taking affidavits can also be called a commissioner of oaths. Although these titles are essentially referring to the same profession, it is important to understand the difference between an affidavit and an oath.

An affidavit is a written statement attesting the truth of the contents of said statement. An affidavit is “sworn” by an oath or affirmation. People take oaths by swearing that the information they are providing is true. Oaths hold a religious connotation and are made on a Bible or an equivalent religious object of importance and reverence. An affirmation (or a solemn affirmation) is similar to an oath but taken without the religious connotation. It is important to note that at law oaths and affirmations hold the same weight.

Declarations are similar to affidavits but are usually used outside of court, where an affidavit is typically used in court proceedings.

What about remote commissioning and the status of the profession?

Traditionally, to commission a document, the commissioner and the deponent/declarant (that is the person who is making the affidavit or declaration) must be physically together for the statement to be considered valid. However, as of August 2020, the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act was modified to allow affidavits and declarations to be commissioned remotely.

Who is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is an individual who has the same powers as a commissioner for taking affidavits but can certify, witness, and attest to the execution of a document, as well as certifying and attesting that a document is a true copy.

A person who wants to be a Notary Public must apply  to the provincial government for said designation. A person may only be appointed as a Notary by the Attorney General, if required to do so as an essential part of their employment, or if they are a lawyer or paralegal practising law or providing legal services in the province of Ontario. Notary Publics are governed by the Notaries Act.

Why would I need to access these services?

Similarly, to the services provided by a commissioner for taking affidavits, a Notary Public’s are important to protect people against misinformation and fraud.  A Notary plays an additional role in our legal environment by certifying and executing important documents like wills, effectively making them binding legal contracts.

You may need to access these services when asked to provide medical, legal, educational, or employment documents.

What documents need to be notarized? 

Some documents that may need to be notarized include, but are not limited to:

·       Wills

·       Powers of Attorney

·       Medical certificates

·       Acceptance, enrollment, and admission letters from schools

·       Copies of identification documents (ID)

·       Copies of educational documents to be submitted to the IRCC

Where can I access these services?

All lawyers and paralegals in Ontario are automatically appointed as commissioners for taking affidavits. There are however numerous other professions which may commission documents. Documents can be commissioned remotely as of August 2020, and as such the commissioning of documents can be done from the comfort of your own home with a professional that you trust. 

Notarizing documents must be done in person and the appointments are made on an as needed basis and are therefore less accessible than commissioning services. We suggest contacting a trusted, licensed legal professional or municipal employee to notarize your documents in a safe and secure manner. 

Co-Written by Rebecca B. Tripp and Gavin Baxter.

Originally Posted on April 16, 2021

Copyright © 2020-2021 Rebecca B. Tripp All Rights Reserved.

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An Interview with Gavin Baxter

Over the past few months, Gavin Baxter has been helping me behind the scenes as my paralegal placement student with bookkeeping, legal research, website content development and has all around been a great sounding board. This week we did a Q&A which we hope you’ll enjoying reading!

Introduction

Hello everyone! My name is Gavin J. Baxter. I am a fourth-semester student at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario. I am currently enrolled in the Paralegal program and am hoping to graduate in April 2021. Today, I’m sitting down with Rebecca for a short Q & A so that you can get to know me better! 

1. What led you to choose the paralegal program at Sir Sandford Fleming College?

My journey to Sir Sandford Fleming College began in high school. In my grade 11 year in high school, due to what could be defined as a very general interest in the legal environment,  I decided to take an Introduction to Canadian Justice course. I had always enjoyed school prior to this experience, but this class opened my eyes to a passion I did not know I had. I found law to be a perfect mix of writing, debate, and process and felt that it would allow me to do something of value with my career. Growing up with my father as a soldier in the Candian Armed Forces and my mother a nurse, I had developed a need to help people in whatever way I could. I found that law allowed me to help and advocate for people who perhaps needed a bit of a hand in those processes.

That being said, as I was searching for a post-secondary program to take to effect my new goal of working within the legal environment my eyes landed upon Sir Sandford Fleming’s Paralegal program. It was the perfect way for me to jumpstart my legal career, and so I immediately applied. To my satisfaction, I was accepted and enrolled in the summer of 2019.

2. Is there an interesting concept you have learnt since becoming a paralegal student? (Mine was that your birthday is considered ‘hearsay’!) 

Yes. In my second-semester at college I was doing some legal research and I came upon the Apology Act, 2009 S.O. 2009, c.3. It is, arguably, the most Canadian thing to have an entire statute dedicated to the meaning of apologies in connection with our justice system, and I absolutely love it.

3. What area of law are you most interested in? 

In line with my desire to advocate for others, I would have to say that I am most interested in the field of criminal and quasi-criminal law, as well as human rights. Individuals who are involved in these areas of law can often be disadvantaged by society, and as such I am very interested in helping them find their way through these complicated systems of justice. 

4. What has been your favourite course so far?

Legal research was certainly my favourite course. Although it might sound strange, I found myself enthralled by the act of searching through the legal texts in the library at Sir Sandford Fleming College. It was this course that made me feel like I was taking my first ‘real’ steps into the legal environment, and as such I look back on it fondly. 

5. What advice would you give to an individual considering the paralegal program?

My advice to those considering enrolling in a paralegal program, whether it be at Sir Sandford Fleming or any other of Ontario’s reputable, accredited education institutes, is two-fold:

First, I would take some time to consider whether a legal career is something you desire, as it is a quite distinct and important field of work. Once you’ve decided that is the path you wish to take, do your absolute best work and be yourself. The legal environment takes all kinds of people and should be just as diverse as the individuals it serves. 

6. What are your plans for after graduation?

Although I have not officially decided what I am doing after graduation, I do have quite a few ideas.

I would certainly like to get straight to work and gain some more experience working as a paralegal. However, I am also considering furthering my education with an undergraduate degree in legal studies, eventually using that to attend law school somewhere in Ontario. 

Conclusion
Thank you for taking the time to read this! If you are interested in contacting me, feel free to reach me over email at gavin.baxter@outlook.com.

Co-Written by Rebecca B. Tripp and Gavin Baxter.

Originally Posted on April 1, 2021

Copyright © 2020-2021 Rebecca B. Tripp All Rights Reserved.

Hiring a Legal Rep

Three internet searches to complete before hiring a lawyer or paralegal to represent you

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

Trying to locate a competent paralegal or lawyer to handle your case? Have a few in mind but want more information before you commit?

While I do not represent clients with their legal matters (but rather support other legal professionals with their practices), I understand that many people who come across my website are looking for a lawyer or paralegal to represent them.

So, here are some quick internet searches you can do before signing on the dotted line:

1. Look at the Law Society of Ontario’s directory

The Law Society of Ontario has the Lawyer and Paralegal Directory. You can search by name or location, and a list of names will appear. You can also do an advance search by language or areas of law. 

When you click on an individual’s name, more information about them will come up including any practice restrictions, current regulatory proceedings, and a summary of their regulatory history.

It will also list their status. If under status it states “suspended administratively” this means they have been suspended for administrative issues such as failure to pay their professional fees to the law society. If this is their status, they are not permitted to practice law or provide legal services, so they would be unable to take you on as a client.

2. Check out their website

If they don’t have a website, that is the first red flag as most seasoned professionals, at the very least, have a website. If they don’t, it’s possible they are brand new to the profession. If they do, start clicking through it. Ask yourself: Does it look professional? Do they have a blog post that can help you? Do you see any spelling errors or typos? If you find mistakes on their website, this could be a good indicator of their attention to detail. Human error occurs but if there are several, maybe consider someone else.

*Also, look for outdated information!*

This may be hard for you to spot, but there are two easy things to look for:

i) They state that small claims are under $25,000

Unless you stay on top of the various changes within the Ontario justice system, you may not know that on January 1st, 2020 Ontario Small Claims court increased the cap from $25,000 to $35,000. Since small claims is within the paralegal scope of practice, they can now represent clients who would like to make a claim up to $35,000.

Many paralegals still state on their website that they can represent clients with claims up to $25,000. This is outdated information and one error you can easily look for on their website.

ii) They reference the Law Society of Upper Canada

On January 1st, 2018 the Law Society of Upper Canada officially changed its name to the Law Society of Ontario. Since this was almost 3 years ago now, finding a reference to the Law Society of Upper Canada could be another indicator of their attention to detail.

3. Check their LinkedIn page

Looking at a lawyer or paralegal’s LinkedIn page can tell you a lot about that individual. When did they graduate? How long have they been in the profession? Are there any mistakes in their writing? You can also see their posts and comments which can be quite interesting. If they are someone who uses inappropriate language or makes angry comments, they may not be the person you are looking for.

Still nervous about hiring a lawyer or paralegal to represent you? Not sure where to start? Feel free to reach out to me as I am happy to point you in the right direction!

Written By Rebecca B. Tripp

Originally Posted on October 13, 2020

Updated on March 28, 2021


Copyright © 2020-2021 Rebecca B. Tripp All Rights Reserved.