November 2018 Newsletter

CKR travels to São Paulo, Brazil for Canadian business mobility conference

On November 27, 2018, CKR Law’s Canadian Law Group traveled to São Paulo, Brazil during the City’s renowned Tech Week. CKR’s Canadian Partner, Véronique Malka, was a guest speaker at the CCBC (Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada), providing an overview of the options to move to Canada to an audience of over 100 Brazilian start-up representatives. Our panel also featured Jean-David Cohen, former PwC analyst in Canada and now in charge of preparing immigration business plans; Trinity Zhang, a dual licensed Canada-US tax advisor based in Toronto; and Sharon Druker, CKR’s trusted Canadian corporate lawyer, based in Montreal.

Introduced by CKR’s Brazil partner, Allen Moreland, our panelists presented their holistic and innovative approach to those interested in bringing Brazilian talent to Canada. Topics covered included an overview of life for Brazilians in Canada, top immigration programs such as the Start-Up visa, ideas on how to choose a Province, discussion of the tax impacts of moving from Brazil to Canada, and much more.

The audience also heard from a Brazilian national who participated in the Start-Up visa program. His company does process digitization and received immediate support from a University of Toronto accelerator in its initial stages. The speaker acknowledged when they approached the Canadian incubator with their business idea, they did not have any clients yet. Despite its very early stage of operations, the company successfully set itself up in Ontario and one of the two partners moved from Brazil with his family to reside in Oshawa.

Our panel was joined by a representative of the Canadian Embassy in Brazil and by Guillaume Legare, Brazil representative of the National Bank of Canada.

In a time where immigration to the USA presents so many limits, Canada is an open and welcoming destination for people and businesses alike. Canadians welcome innovation, and the Silicon Valley of the North in Ontario is “open for business.”  The Start-up visa requires a low level of investment, together with a carefully crafted and innovative concept. If done correctly, this can lead to a permanent status for a foreign national in as little as 12-16 months. Our Canadian Law Group encourages those with an interest in Canada to consult with a CKR Mobility expert. Contact us at

CKR Law Canada: Entrepreneur/Investor Series

Canadian Province of the Month: Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s three Maritime Provinces on the East Coast. The capital region, Halifax, houses one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious universities, Dalhousie University. The population of Nova Scotia is just under 1,000,000 inhabitants, while just under half of the province’s population, 410,000 people, live in Halifax. Nova Scotia boasts the nation’s fourth-largest film industry and is home to 40% of Canada’s military assets. It is noteworthy, that Nova Scotia is the largest exporter of Christmas Trees, lobster, gypsum as well as wild berries. Nova Scotia exports over $1 billion in fish products which is a major industry in the province.

Applicants interested in Nova Scotia must either start a new business or buy an existing one while participating actively in the day-to-day management of the business. Application for the NS Entrepreneur stream is by invitation only. The applicant entrepreneur may be nominated for Permanent Resident (PR) status after operating the business for at least 1 year.

For more info:

Canadian Cannabis Investor handed life-time ban by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The Canadian Law Group would like to keep our business clients working and investing in the cannabis industry informed of potential difficulties with entering the United States.

press release issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency in late September reminded travelers that it would be business as usual at US border crossings despite the Federal legalization of Cannabis in Canada, and the legalization of Cannabis at the state level in 10 states. The press release stated that CBP officers are thoroughly trained on admissibility factors and in particular stated: “A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S. however, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.”

This ominous statement foreshadowed the events of the week of November 14 when numerous Canadians traveling to a prominent cannabis conference, the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada were detained for hours. According to the Financial Post, one Canadian cannabis investor, who elected to remain anonymous, received a lifetime U.S. entry ban for admitting his intention to attend the conference and to tour a new cannabis facility.

If you are issued a lifetime entry ban to the United States, you must apply for a temporary waiver that allows you to enter the U.S. for up to five years. However, this process often takes several months and is far from a guaranteed ‘fix,’ given waivers are issued at the discretion of the CBP. At least 12 Canadian conference goers were detained for hours by the U.S. CBP en route to the conference at the US pre-clearance zone at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Many were held up in secondary screening, while some ended up missing their flights because of the delays.

Travelers are finding themselves in a dilemma, lying to the U.S. CBP when asked a question could result in a lifetime ban due to misrepresentation or fraud. However, admitting to working in the cannabis industry could lead to delays at best or a more heavy-handed punishment.

Admitting to the recreational use of marijuana at the border before legalization occurred in Canada on October, 18, 2018 remains another grey area, along with amnesty for prior pot convictions. More guidance is needed from the U.S. CBP on their handling of these issues to provide some certainty for Canadians travelling to the United States. For advice or guidance as to how to cross the border in the new era of cannabis legalization in Canada, contact one of our cross-border lawyers at: