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Having read of so many horrible experiences with immigration laws and officers, I always thought those things only happened to those who did not do their paperwork right or who did not meet the immigration requirements. Apparently I was wrong. My experience is nothing compared to the one of the Mexican mother who's all over the news lately, but what makes my case interesting is that the law is clearly on my side, and so are the Citizenship and Immigration Canada agents, yet there doesn't seem to be anything I or they can do about it, and I have to leave Canada soon with no right of appeal.


I am not writing for advice, but advice is always appreciated. Here is my experience:


My study permit was set to expire on August 31st. As recommended by the immigration website, I submitted an application for a new study permit on July 26th, more than 30 days before the expiry date. It often happens that the study permit expires before the new application is approved or rejected, so one is left without a valid study permit for an interval of time. During this time, one is said to have "implied status" and is allowed to travel out and into Canada as a temporary resident until a decision is made, as long as one has a multiple entry visa. This was my case, and I did travel outside of Canada during my implied status period, but the Canada Border Services agent who welcomed me at Trudeau Airport didn't seem to know the law very well (I didn't either), and only allowed me to stay in Canada for "further examination of my file". He also seized my passport and immigration documents and told me I had to leave Canada by September 30th if my new study permit had not been approved by then.


I kept checking daily for updates on my application status with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. They repeatedly told me that my study permit was to be approved (or rejected) by the end of October. But I never told them about my situation at the Border Agency.


Today I decided to call the Border Agency Office at Trudeau Airport to see if I could extend the September 30th deadline. A person who sounded like the same officer who seized my documents insisted that I should leave by September 30th before proceeding to threaten me with deportation and jail if I didn't leave Canada (I must add that I was never rude to him or any other agent. I didn't even contradict what he said). I asked him if I could at least return temporarily as a tourist, since I have a multiple-entry visitor's visa. He said that was illegal (it is not) and if I tried to do that, I would be denied entry to Canada for one year. He said he would write a note on my file to ensure this was done.


After this call and a few seconds digesting the horrible feeling, I decided to call Citizenship and Immigration Canada to tell them what had happened. The call center agent who spoke with me was really nice. She asked me to calm down and reassured me. She spoke with two advisors and they all insisted that I should be allowed to stay in Canada due to my implied status, as long as I didn't see any university courses (which I'm not, as I am just working on my PhD thesis). She expressed a lot of concern at the fact that the Border Agent took my passport and tried to call them without success (line was busy the whole day after my call). She then instructed me to send the Border Agency a fax quoting the laws that protect me and asking them to call me on my phone to resolve my situation. I did this and they ignored this fax. I am sure if I call them again, the same will happen, and they will get even more hostile.


Right now I see no option other than going to the US for a month. This doesn't seem like such a bad thing except for some extremely important personal plans I had for this month in Canada. In my short 25 years of existence so far I've had to spend the night in a restroom being completely sober, spend days sleeping on a chair for bureaucratic reasons, and I've had to make big changes on my future because of late paperwork. I guess these things happen to everyone and I've never complained about them, but I can't help but feel powerless and violated in this situation. It almost makes me think bad of Canada, but my mind is not sufficiently weak.

Edited by Newbie
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You can complain and whine all you want but the simple fact is your nothing more than a guest of Canada, no one put a gun to your head and forced you to come here, don't make the mistake in thinking you have the rights of a Canadian citizen because you don't...life's a bitch deal with it

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mtldrp, I agree with everything you are saying. In Canada I do not have the rights of a Canadian citizen just as an English person does not have the rights of a Russian person in Russia. This has always been clear to me and I would never ever contest this, especially because I agree that immigration laws should be strict everywhere, including Canada. You are also right about the fact that, whether it was good or bad, it was my decision to come to study in Canada. I am deeply sorry if I offended you or your culture and I know I should be careful with what I say because this is a sensitive issue for many people. I know I am only a guest to Canada, and in my 5 years here I have never felt more than just that, despite many of my Canadian friends wanting me to feel Canadian.


My only issue is that I am paying a few thousand dollars every year to Canadian immigration offices, while doing everything exactly as their rules say, in order for me to be able to finish my PhD without problem. I am used to the idea that when I am paying someone for a service, this someone will follow the rules that he himself created and is enforcing. I know this is not always the case, and that, as you say, life is a bitch, but I feel better writing about this, mostly because I wish to warn other students or workers that they should never leave during the implied status period.


If this makes you feel better about me complaining about this small issue, please know that I am also paying full tuition, not requesting tax return and paying my own healthcare (that's more than $5000 so far), because I want to contribute only to making Canada a better place instead of taking advantage of it. I like Canada and if I decide to stay here, I wish to one day feel Canadian despite being reminded all the time that I'm not. Thanks for your answer mtldrp. Have a nice weekend.

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I am not American. I have a US visa and it's relatively cheap to travel to the US so I'm going there to stay with some friends in Boston. A similar thing happened to an American friend (I didn't listen to him when he told me the first time), so I believe this has nothing to do with my origin. It's just the way the CBSA officers are trained to understand the rules, as opposed to those of CIC. I will see an immigration consultant before giving up, just to be sure I have no choice (maybe requesting an admissibility hearing will delay the process long enough to get my new study permit). Otherwise, I will leave and forget about this. I shouldn't make such a big deal about something that will only make me waste a few days worth of time. But I will keep warning other international students and workers about this. I wouldn't want something similar to happen to someone I care about.

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