October 2019 Newsletter


Francophone students from Morocco and Senegal can now take advantage of Canada’s Student Direct Stream Program (SDS). The goal of this expansion is to encourage French speakers to immigrate to Canada, and thus boost Canada’s Francophone population. The Student Direct Stream allows for expedited processing of study permits for applicants who wish to study in a designated Canadian post-secondary learning institution.

The Student Direct Stream Program was introduced in 2018 as part of Canada’s International Education Strategy (2019-2024), which was developed with Canada’s goal of being a long-term competitor in international education. Bringing students from abroad to Canada and sending Canadian students abroad, contributed to Canada’s economic success through immigration, cultural exposure, and Canadian ambassadors.

Canada’s world class education and desirable living conditions have increasingly attracted international students in recent years. Canadian Universities have consistently ranked among the best in the world and Canadian cities consistently land in the top ten best places to live globally. In 2018, Canada experienced an all-time high where nearly 54,000 former students transitioned to permanent residency. The generally positive view of immigration by the public and the pro-immigration policies of the Canadian government also make Canada a welcoming home for new immigrants.

With the addition of Morocco and Senegal, SDS is now available to legal residents of the following countries:

China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Vietnam

Student applicants from these seven countries must also meet the following admissibility and eligibility requirements to gain entry into Canada:

  • Proof of valid language test result (must be completed within 2 years of when the SDS application is received)
  • Proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate of CAN$10,000 or more
  • Proof of full payment of tuition for the applicant’s first year of study
  • A letter of acceptance from a post-secondary designated learning institute
  • Most recent secondary or post-secondary educational transcripts
  • Proof of completion of upfront medical examination

In addition to these documents, applicants must include applicable applications, licenses, forms, certificates, fees, proofs of identity, and any other specified documents by the applicant’s regional visa office. These pre-assessment documents serve as indicators of eligible candidates for future permanent residency in Canada.

Once these student applicants have met all necessary eligibility criteria, they must submit their applications and supporting documents electronically,to take advantage of the SDS process. The expedited SDS program will process most applications within 20 calendar days. Any paper applications submitted will be directed to the normal study permit application stream, thus forcing the application into the regular processing times, which vary by country.

Family members of SDS applicants

The family members of primary SDS applicants may apply for an Open Work Permit or Study Permit at the same time as their student family member and will be eligible for concurrent processing.

Contact us today at info@canadianlawgroup.comto see if you qualify for immigration to Canada through the Student Direct Stream.

DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide legal advice, and no legal or business decision should be made based on its contents.

Traveling to Canada? Be sure to carry the right documents

If you are NOT a Canadian citizen nor Permanent Resident of Canada, you are a “foreigner” for Canada and will generally need a permission from the Canadian Government (Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada, or “IRCC”) to enter the country. The permission can be either a Visitor Visa, Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a Transit Visa.

Which pre-authorization will you need? This depends on a variety of factors such as: which country issued your passport, how long you plan to stay, how will you be travelling to Canada (air, boat, car) and your purpose for visiting Canada.


Types of Permissions to Travel

eTA Visitor Visa Transit Visa Work visa
Canadian Citizens No No No No
U.S. Citizens No No No Yes
U.S. Green Card holders Yes, with a Valid Green Card and Passport No No Yes
Other Yes, if you are from a visa-exempt country and are flying into Canada Yes, if you are from a visa required country and visiting Canada OR your transit through Canada is more than 48 hours Yes, if you are from a visa required country and your transit through Canada is less than 48 hours Yes

Apart from United States citizens, foreigners generally require either an eTA or a visa to travel to Canada. For nationals of countries which require an eTA, there are some exceptions to the rule when traveling to Canada by car or boat. Citizens of most Asian, African, Eastern European and Latin American countries require a visa to enter Canada, even if they are only passing through the country.

The purpose for your visit to or through Canada will determine what type of pre-authorization you need. If you are from a visa required country and you are transiting thorough Canada, you may need either a visitor visa or a transit visa depending on the length of your layover in Canada. 

Transit Visa

If you have less than 48 hours between flightsand you are just transiting, you will need a Transit Visa. A Transit Visa lets you travel through a Canadian airport if your flight is making a stop in Canada (for less than 48 hours) on its way to another country and you do not plan on leaving the airport.A Transit Visa is free and can be applied for online.

Visitor Visa (or Temporary Resident Visa)

If you have more than 48 hours between flightsor if you decide tovisit Canadaduring your layover, you need a Visitor Visa. The processing times for a Visitor Visa application vary by country and you may be required to do Biometrics, which adds further processing times to your visa application. 

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

If you are from a country which does not require a visa to enter Canada, AND you are travelling to Canada by air, you must get an eTA. If you are a US citizen and you are traveling to Canada by car, bus, train, or boat, you will generally NOT need to apply for an eTA or visa. Canadian citizens, dual citizens (Canada and another country), and Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for an eTA. There a select number of eTA exemptions, contact us to find out if any of these exceptions apply to you. 

eTA application process

Application for an eTA is simple and you can usually get approved within minutes. However, sometimes applicants experience wait times up to a few days or longer for approval. Be prepared and apply beforeyou book your flight to Canada and well in advance of your intended travel date. The issuance of an eTA can be further delayed if you have inadmissibility issues, such as a criminal record or high medical needs.

The rules for the type of travel authorization you need differ greatly based on your country of citizenship and your purpose for travelling to Canada. If you are the citizen of multiple countries, the requirements will vary depending on which passport you choose to travel with.

To find out if you need a Visitor Visa, an eTA, or a Transit Visa to enter Canada, contact us at info@canadianlawgroup.com.

DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide legal advice, and no legal or business decision should be made based on its contents.

Cannabis in Canada: One year later
Here’s where to grow your U.S. Green

This October marks the One-year anniversary of Canada’s legalization of cannabis (or marijuana). Here is a valuable update for our readers about what’s happened and what you can expect to see in Canada and the USA:

On October 17, 2018, Canada became the first industrialized country to give the green light to the recreational marijuana industry. Adult-use weed from Canadian licensed-stores generated CA$53.68 million in October, and by July sales hit a whopping CA$104.5 million.  Canada’s first year of full legalization will likely generate between CA$950 million and CA$1 billion, and they are forecasted to do around $5 billion annually within five years.

At this time, only 29 U.S. states have legalized cannabis (or marijuana). Many states still uphold their anti-cannabis laws. Some allow it for medical usage, but not recreational. The U.S. Federal government, on a national level, has yet to decriminalize the growing, selling, and buying of recreational cannabis.  How confusing. And this confusion has caused investor uncertainty in the U.S.A.  In the meantime, a “braindrain” is going on where highly specialized growers, scientists and investors from the U.S. are making their way to Canada to develop a successful enterprise, free from the chaos of the confusing American stance on cannabis.

Many expect national legalization of cannabis in the United States within the next few years. But what to do in the meantime? We believe that U.S. businesses and investors have a great window of opportunity to “grow” their money – from concept to brand – in Canada. Our Canadian Law Group, which has offices in the USA, has already helped many jumpstart their green by mobilizing executives and investors into enormous Canadian opportunities.

Still, for those sceptic or unsure about Canadian opportunities for Cannabis, keep reading.

Will Canada legalization stick?

Yes. It may have been the liberals who kept their election promises to legalize cannabis, but no other party plans to repeal the law.  The practice to buy cannabis legally has also grown. From June 2018 to June 2019, legal sales have roughly tripled and legal medical and recreational marijuana counts for 26% of the market.  The Canadian government’s top priority in this area is to replace black-market sellers with legal retailers.  But consumption and use are on the rise in general for both medical and recreational users.

Join the Green Rush

In the past year alone, approximately 110 cultivators, processors, and sellers have been issued a license by Health Canada under the Cannabis Regulations. These license holders are authorized to either sell to wholesalers, distributors who supply retailers, and/or individuals who are registered as medical recipients. Licensees may also conduct activities such as possession, transportation, storage, destruction, research, development, and bulk sales to other federal license holders.  

Is all of Canada the same? Where should I start?

No. Specifically regarding Quebec compared to the rest of Canada. Given the governmental control over the cannabis retail sales in Quebec, the demand for product is higher than in the rest of Canada. While there is still a demand surplus in the privatized Cannabis industry all over Canada, Quebec would be the ideal place to get started. If you are considering investing in the Cannabis industry, the best places are Quebec and rural areas where the large companies have not yet settled.

How is the Supply and Demand in Canada?

There is high demand, but lack of supply. Legal sales should be far better in Canada, but retailers have been slow to open in some regions such as British Columbia and Ontario. That means at this point, Canada needs you. The demand for legal product is there and it’s waiting. What better place to start to grow your investment in the cannabis industry, than a country that is close by, already fully legal with no intention of repeal, and has consumer demand?

Contact us today at info@canadianlawgroup.comto see how our Canadian Law Group we can help you “grow” your investment in Canada and set you up for local success when the time comes.

DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide legal advice, and no legal or business decision should be made based on its contents.