People with Disabilities
1. What is a disability?
In Canada, the word "disability” can mean different types of physical, psychological or mental states, such as impairment of motor function, vision or hearing, and developmental disorders such as Autism and Down syndrome. Canadian urban infrastructure has adapted to the life of people with disabilities. In buses and subways there are seats for wheelchair users, and there are specially designated spaces in public toilets. Most of the institutions that have stairs are equipped with special ramps for wheelchairs and/or wheelchair accessible elevators. Libraries have also adapted to provide services to persons with disabilities. There are many associations for the disabled, which help them to lead a normal life. In Toronto, for example, you can find the offices of The Canadian Hearing Society (271 Spadina Road, 416-928-2500, www.chs.ca), The Canadian Mental Health Association (700 Lawrence Ave W., Suite 480, 416-789-7957, ext. 231, www.cmha.ca) and The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (1929 Bayview Avenue, 416-480-2500, www.cnib.ca).
2. What is the March of Dimes?
The charitable organization March of Dimes offers the disabled a variety of rehabilitation and cultural programs, personal care and employment assistance to help them to actively participate in Canadian society. March of Dimes has a long-term relationship with employers and 70% of disabled people who seek employment assistance from the organization find a job. The rest are either studying or working as volunteers. For assistance in Toronto contact March of Dimes Canada: 10 Overlea Blvd., Toronto, tel. 416-425-3463. Certain programs are associated with a specific disability, so to apply, you must first call.
Source: March of Dimes Canada www.marchofdimes.ca/EN/Pages/default.aspx.
3. What financial help can people with disabilities receive?
There are a number of programs of financial assistance to the disabled, including:
•Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
•Canadian Pension Plan Disability (CPP).
•Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
•Trillium Drug Рrogram, etc.
Source: What financial assistance can I get if I have a disability?
4. How can people with disabilities get help to find a job?
Most people with disabilities can and want to work. There are many types of assistance that people with disabilities can access to find employment. People receiving ODSP benefits may apply for help to find a job placement at one of the ODSP Employment Support Centres. In Toronto, there is a centre located at 47 Sheppard Avenue East, which can be reached at 416-314-6514. Here, you may be referred to special programs where you can prepare for work and receive the necessary training. For recent graduates of college and university who have a disability, there is the Ability Edge program. This program provides internships for people without work experience and who are entitled to work in Canada. Participants are assigned to internships of 6, 9 and 12 months, which will allow them to gain work experience in industries such as accounting and finance, marketing, human resources, and computer technology.
Source: Ability Edge, paid internship program for recent Canadian graduates who have identified as persons with disabilities www.abilityedge.ca.
5. How can people with disabilities find training assistance?
The education system in Canada accepts those with learning disabilities. For children who need individual programs due to various physical and mental disabilities, there are special curricula. Colleges and universities have special facilities and individual programs. There is a scholarship of up to $ 2,000 per year for students with disabilities. In Toronto, there are special conditions for the education of persons with disabilities in such institutions as Centennial College, George Brown College, Humber College, Seneca College, University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University.
In Ontario, the program Second Career provides up to 28,000 dollars for tuition, buying books, transportation, and other expenses associated with training. This amount may be increased for people with disabilities.
6. Can a disabled person immigrate to Canada?
It is known that all persons who apply for immigration to Canada have to get a stringent medical check and disability can be a barrier to immigration. Canadian human rights organizations consider that a form of discrimination. This issue is discussed at various levels of government, but there is no solution. The reason is that immigration to Canada for persons with disabilities is associated with high costs of treatment and maintenance, although it is allowed in some cases after getting refugee status.
The Canada Council of Canadians with Disabilities has been fighting for 25 years for the right of disabled persons to immigrate to Canada, but the problem hasn’t been solved yet.
Source: Immigration and People with Disabilities www.ccdonline.ca/en/socialpolicy.
7. Where can a disabled person find legal aid?
Located in Toronto's Centre for Legal Protection of Persons with Disabilities, "ARCH Disability Law Centre” provides free legal assistance to low-income persons with disabilities. This centre offers assistance to all residents of Toronto and other cities in the province of Ontario. If you want to speak your native language, you will be given a free interpreter. The address of ARCH Disability Law Centre: 425 Bloor Street East, Suite 110, phone: 416-482-8255.
Source: ARCH Disability Law Centre www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/?q=node/776.
1. What is marriage fraud?
The sponsorship program of Immigration Canada, in addition to the sponsorship of close relatives such as parents or children, also includes the possibility of sponsoring a husband or wife. That means that a single Canadian man or woman who has citizenship or permanent resident status may sponsor his/her wife or husband living abroad.
This sort of immigration has many advantages. First of all, in this case there is no need to accumulate a certain number of immigration points, no need to have a certain level of education and experience and no need for proficiency in English or French. The only things that must be verified are the health status and criminal record check. Secondly, the time for consideration of this application is twice as short as common immigration procedures.
Therefore, it is not surprising that some people take advantage of this program. Some get married for love but others for immigration or financial incentives. Perhaps readers have found ads in local newspapers such as "I am looking for a woman with the right status for a business marriage” or "Man with the right status offers a business marriage.” They even show prices ranging from 10 to 20 thousand dollars and more. This kind of marriage is considered to be marriage fraud.
Source: Marriage fraud: Stories from victims
2. Are there any Canadian laws against marriage fraud?
In 2012 new rules concerning spouse sponsorship were approved. Sponsored spouses are now granted a two-year conditional permanent resident status. If during this period it is discovered that the marriage is false, for example, the spouses live separately, or one of the partners declares that the marriage was fake, the sponsorship will be cancelled. A person who is found guilty of being in a false marriage for the purposes of immigration can be sentenced to a fine of up to 100 thousand dollars and even imprisonment, up to a maximum of 5 years.
3. How do immigration officers detect false marriages?
Readers may think that sponsorship through marriage is used only by people who want to get into Canada through a "back door”. It is nothing like that. There are many cases where Canadian men have sponsored foreign wives as a result of sincere love and their marriage has lasted happily for many years. Nevertheless, each case is thoroughly investigated by trained Canadian professionals who have many ways to identify a fake marriage, which is considered as a criminal offense in Canada.
Suspicions arise that a marriage might be fraudulent if the partners were married at the time that one of them was being deported, if their ages are very different, if they do not speak the same native language or if one of the partners had already been convicted of being in a fictitious marriage.
The immigration officer examines the documents confirming the marriage and visits the couple at their home. He can come without warning, for example, in the morning to ensure that the spouses live together. He talks separately with each of spouses and asks how and where they got acquainted, how and where they spent time together, where and how they married, and so on. If the stories do not match closely enough, this could result in the rejection of their application.
From the 40,000 applications per year to sponsor a spouse, about 15% of applications are rejected by Canadian immigration authorities.
4. How can I report marriage fraud?
If you suspect that your marriage was a fake and your partner has entered into a marriage with you to achieve his/her personal interests, you can report it to Canada Border Services Agency, calling the Border Watch Toll-Free Line at 1-888-502-9060. This line operates around the clock, seven days a week. You can ask what to do in this situation, and what legal recourse you may have, if necessary.
5. Is there a penalty for marriage fraud in Canada?
Immigration Canada warns Canadians to be cautious, especially when dating on the Internet or when spending time abroad on vacation, to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Under Canadian law a reckless marriage, even in the event of a divorce, requires the sponsor to continue sponsoring the ex-spouse for three years. With regard to the person sponsored, if they are found guilty of fraud, they will be deported from Canada and their second visit to Canada will be not be possible for two years, and a criminal record will remain in their file forever.
One Canadian local newspaper reported that a woman who came to Canada as a wife by sponsorship refused to live with her sponsor and said that the purpose of the marriage was only to obtain status in Canada. The man, who was obviously offended, complained to the authorities and that woman was put in jail.
6. I want to sponsor my spouse. How can I prove that my marriage isn’t fraudulent?
Even if your love is true, you still have to prove it, which is easier said than done.
The following documents can support you to prove that your marriage is for love:
•Photos with you and your spouse together on weekends, on vacation abroad, at a birthday party, etc. The photos must not be shot in one day and the bride and groom (or husband and wife) can not be in the same clothes in all the pictures!
•Your love letters, birthday cards, wedding invitations and letters of friends and relatives which show your true love.
•Receipts of hotels where you stayed together, restaurants where you had lunch together, stores where you bought each other gifts, accounts for your telephone calls, tickets to events you attended together and stamps in your passports when traveling abroad for your meetings.
•Your joint bank account, a contract on the joint purchase of real estate or wills drawn up for each other.
Convincing documentation will shorten the time of your application and give you a fair chance of success.