Immigration, Citizenship, and Culture Blog

Joint bank accounts and Canadian Immigration and Citizenship Law

Bank of Montreal OfficeIn addition to being an effective tool in managing household expenses, a joint bank account at a Canadian financial institution may serve as an indicator of a couple’s life and commitment together. This may be useful when a person wishes to sponsor his or her spouse for permanent residency from within Canada, particularly when the couple is not married.

However, if a couple relies solely on a joint bank account to manage their own individual affairs, they may be creating immigration and citizenship problems down the road. Read More »

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Québec opts for a strong role inside Canada – National Assembly reconvenes following provincial election

P1040080_sBy Stephen Fogarty

The Quebec provincial legislature known here as the National Assembly (l’Assemblée Nationale), will be back in action this week for the first time since early March, when it was dissolved for the provincial election which took place on April 7th.  The election resulted in a resounding defeat of the Parti Québecois (PQ) ministry, which had advocated incessantly for “sovereignty” for Québec from the rest of Canada.

The new Québec Premier is Philippe Couillard, who worked previously as a brain surgeon and served as Minster of Health for a time during the last Liberal government of Jean Charest.

On Wednesday, Premier Couillard will give the Inaugural Address which will set out in broad terms the agenda his government proposes for the coming years.  In early June, a provincial budget will be proposed to the Assembly. There is plenty of work to be done. Read More »

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A wonderful musical evening in Montréal with Hilary Hahn

Photo of Hilary Hahn © Michael Patrick O’Leary, used with kind permission of IMG Artists

By Stephen Fogarty

A large audience was present in Montreal last Friday evening to hear the American violinist Hilary Hahn on tour with pianist Cory Smythe.  Ms Hahn’s warm and engaging personality helped to dispel the cool and rainy weather concert goers had faced on the way to the Maison Symphonique.   And then there was the music!

Ms Hahn is well-known for her championing of modern music as well as pairing modern pieces with well established parts of the repertoire.  Hahn’s current tour follows the release of her latest CD, 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores.  She undertook this project to encourage contemporary composers and to increase the repertoire of encores available for classical artists.  She is playing two of these compositions on tour.   These contemporary works tied in well with the overall theme of the evening which was thematic development and fantasy. Read More »

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Major changes coming to Canada–Ireland IEC program for 2014

By Stephen Fogarty, Canadian immigration attorney

Montreal panoramic.  Photo copyright Stephen Fogarty.Major changes are coming to the International Experience Canada (IEC) program for Irish nationals aged 18 to 35. The overall quota is rising from 6,350 to 10,700 places for 2014 with two new participation categories coming open. Read More »

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Let’s welcome a new wave of young Irish to Montreal!

By Stephen Fogarty

A new wave of talented young citizens of Ireland aged 18 to 35 will be coming to Canada starting in April and May under the latest incarnation of the Working Holiday Program (WHP) through the International Experience Canada initiative between Canada and Éire, the Republic of Ireland.

The quota of places available to Irish nationals for Canada jumped by 1,000 up to 6,350 for 2013.  Even with this increase, demand was extremely high.  The WHP opened on-line at 3:30 P.M. Dublin time on January 29th, and less than 36 hours later, the quota was met.   On February 1st, Canadian officials announced that they would permit an over-subscription to allow for possible cancellations and refusals among the pool of applicants, but the demand continued to be so high that no new applications were permitted starting February 4th.  This situation contrasts sharply with the 2012 program which took until May 28th to fill the then 5,350 places. Read More »

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