Canadian Work Permit mixup puts Quebec Man out of work

Date mix-up on Canadian Work Permit could have been avoided

Ahmed-Seghir Guettaoui, originally from Algeria has been waiting for Citizenship and Immigration Canada to process his permanent residence application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds – for seven years.

Guettaoui owns his own barbershop in the town of Aylmer, Quebec. One day at the end of May, Guettaoui was handcuffed by border services agents in front of several customers and later held in a detention centre for two days in Laval. Upon release, he had to find his own way home, and Laval, which is just next to Montreal, is two-and-a-half hours or almost 200 kilometers east of Aylmer, which borders Ottawa.

Guettaoui was arrested because he mixed up some dates on his work permit, but even though applied to renew his work permit, the immigration office would not renew it without his old one (despite the fact that the  immigration office itself actually had his old one and not returned it!) After his arrest he could no longer just pay a fee to renew it, but had to reapply all over again. He also can’t work until his application is approved, which could take up to 100 days.

Guettaoui has been working full-time since he finished an English course in 2001. According to the Ottawa Citizen, he considers himself hard-working and someone who enjoys working and contributing to society, and does not want to go on welfare for support. The delay in waiting for his work permit also means his carefully and painstakingly-acquired clientele may find a new barbershop to frequent, affecting his future business once his permit is in order.

Let this be a lesson:  no matter who you are or whether you have a great full-time job or own your own business, even the slightest mix-up or omission when filing immigration or work permit paperwork can have serious consequences. If you are filling out paperwork for a Canadian Work Permit or any other immigration paperwork, consult an immigration lawyer.

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Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: Ahmed-Seghir Guettaou canada quebec state wok prmit canada quebec work permit renewal canada wok permit Canadian work permit humanitarian and compassionate application quebec work permit work permit on qubec border

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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