Canadian Lawyer

October 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 40 of 59 39 entry because it was deemed discretionary travel. "It's these types of cases that can be heart- breaking." Gomberg Dalfen S.E.N.C. Montreal While the majority of Gomberg Dalfen's immigration clients are related to corporate work, partner Seth Dalfen says it is often "difficult to separate" the corporate from personal. "About 75 to 80 per cent of our work is what we'd call corporate immigration," says Dalfen, who founded the firm with Avi Gomberg in 2000. "But it's hard to divorce the personal from the corporate, and that is what makes the work so challenging, because the people involved can be very emotional when it comes to immigration status for themselves or loved ones." Dalfen says immigration status has so much impact on a person's life — from someone being able to plan with the knowl- edge that their work permit has been accepted to someone who wants to become a permanent resident so they "can be more settled in Canada" — that dealing with the process is often very stressful for clients. But Dalfen says the boutique status of the firm — with three partners and two associates — can help clients make their way through the process thanks to the more intimate service it can provide. "We want to keep a very tight relationship with our clients and give them one-on-one service," says Dalfen, who adds that this can lead to some "hand holding" while a client is "stuck at a border point for hours late on a Sunday night because a border guard has decided to take a hard-line approach to an approved application." The firm assists foreign and Canadian businesses, individuals and commu- nity organizations with all aspects of the inbound Canadian and Quebec immigration processes. Dalfen says the firm's lawyers are well versed in handling corporate and indi- vidual immigration legal issues regarding permanent residence applications, temporary work permits, relocation of skilled profes- sionals and family reunification. The firm's staff is fluent in English, French, Spanish and German with capabilities in Russian, Mandarin and Hebrew. Dalfen says the COVID-19 pandemic has also accentuated the "personal side" of immi- gration, even when it's a corporate file. One client, for example, is on a work permit in Canada, but his teenage daughter spent the summer in France and now wants to come back to continue studying here. Before the pandemic, it was a matter of jumping on a plane, he says, "but it isn't so obvious now — do you need special permission from the consulate to come and join your parents who are on a work permit?" Other cases dealing with COVID-19 issues include: successfully submitting a work permit extension and waiving biometric requirements, along with expedited approval, to allow the permit holder's spouse to receive medical coverage on time for a high-risk delivery and processing a temporary work permit on a tight deadline to allow a citizen of India client to legally enter Canada from the U.S. before his work status in the U.S. expired. Dalfen says the firm has also been assisting various Canadian companies deemed essen- tial in getting foreign personnel into the country to service or install equipment. One client in the food industry had a US$15- million production line delivered in 60-plus sea containers from Europe and could not wait until the end of COVID-19 to have personnel from the original equipment manufacturer enter Canada and set up the production line. "We successfully obtained special authorization as well as quaran- tine exemptions for these workers to enter Canada," Dalfen says. Outside of cases relating to the pandemic, Gomberg Dalfen has also resolved many other complicated immigration cases. For example, it successfully settled a matter of

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