practicing in Association (not as partners)


(this page was updated April 2020)

Randal Montgomery has 34 years experience in immigration law including:

Senior Immigration Officer
Refugee Claims Officer
Counsel to the Minister at Immigration Appeal Div.

All types of Canadian immigration including: sponsoring relatives, visitor visas, work permits, student permits, Express Entry, Humanitarian applications, Refugee claims and appeals, IAD, Federal Court.

Also experienced in Extradition.

Why choose Dr. Montgomery for IMMIGRATION help when there are many other people in Canada offering immigration services?

Mr. Montgomery is a Canadian lawyer and a former Immigration Officer and a former Refugee Officer, and he still has somel friends and former colleagues who work for Immigration (IRCC), for the Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB), and for Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). Most lawyers never worked for these government departments, and most consultants who used to work for the Immigration Department are not lawyers. Mr. Montgomery has a very high reputation for the quality of his work and for integrity (honesty). In the early 1970's he was a research associate on contracts with the Hospital for Sick Children and the Clarke Institute and in the late 1970's with the Alberta Solicitor General. From 1981- 84 he was a Senior Research Officer for the Alberta government and from 2001 - 2002 he worked as a Senior Statistician for the New Zealand Courts Dept. He has a Ph.D. (Nov. 1992) in sociology-demography from a respected university, taught courses at eight colleges or universities in Canada (and one in New Zealand) and published in academic journals (including International Migration and International Migration Review), all of which attests to his intellectual abilities, willingness to work hard, and give attention to detail. He wrote a 950 page book in 1999 called Refugee Determination in Canada which was very well received by law libraries and other immigration lawyers who bought the book or CD version.

RECENT SUCCESSES: In 2014  won a very challenging refugee claim, an IAD deportation appeal, and two Humanitarian applications.

Trying to sponsor a brother or sister

Dr. Montgomery has successfully helped clients sponsor husbands, wives and commonlaw partners, but often potential clients contact us wanting to sponsor a sibling. If they are aged 19 or over or are married, it is not possible, except in the rare cases such as explained here. Basically you cannot sponsor a sibling – they are not defined as members of the Family Class in the IRPA Regulations - they only can come to Canada as “accompanying dependents” if you sponsor your parents. Even then, the children (your siblings) must be under 19, not married or they could be single and aged 19+ but still dependent on your parents which is hard to prove (full-time student living at home, mental or physical disability)
It is hard to convince IRCC that a child aged 19 or over is still a dependent student. They demand a lot of evidence and check out the school etc. 
If the child is still a dependent due to a mental or physical disability (regardless of age) they will likely be refused based on sec. 38(1)( c) of the IRPA : “likely to create an excessive demand for health or social services.”  
This is why it is so hard to “sponsor” siblings.
Worse, one or both elderly parents may be refused on the sec. 38 (1)( c) basis. See my separate Memo on that topic. 

IMMIGRATION QUESTIONNAIRE:  If you are living outside Canada and YOU ARE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING MOVING TO CANADA, OR COMING TO WORK OR STUDY IN CANADA, mail a check or money order for $150 (made out to Randal Montgomery) or provide credit card number over the phone (Visa, Mastercard, Ameican Express, Discover, or JCB, not Capital One) and we will email you (or if necessary fax or regular mail you) a screening questionnaire.

Or you can email and we will email you back the questionnaire for you to download. Fill it out fully and carefully and truthfully and mail it back to us, or email it back in MS-Word or PDF. Once the $150 has been paid Dr. Montgomery will then study it and decide on the best way to get you into Canada, and what your chances of success are. Within two or three weeks Dr. Montgomery will study it and decide which category or classes of immigration is best for you and what chances of success you have. We will then contact you with this information.

If you then hire Dr. Montgomery for an immigration application, the $150 will be credited to your account.

This questionnaire and fee process is necessary for four reasons:

1) Otherwise Dr. Montgomery spends most of his time giving out free information by phone and e-mail.

2) He cannot give proper and useful advice without knowing a lot about you. (Immigration is a complex area of law which changes frequently; so beware of anyone offering fast, simple answers.)

3) Another reason we must charge for this is that the form costs money to print and mail out, and takes Dr. Montgomery a few hours to study your information, check the latest regulations and policies and form an Opinion.

4) Another very important reason we charge for the form to be analysed and an Opinion made is to keep the information in the questionnaire confidential. For the information to be protected from government eyes by lawyer-client privilege, the lawyer has to be retained by the client, meaning the client must have paid the lawyer some money. You will find that there are many very personal questions on the Questionnaire about you and any relatives in Canada which you would not want anyone else to see. In order to legally prevent the government from looking at these (in the rare case where it wanted to) Dr. Montgomery needs to show that you paid some money and that there was a lawyer-client relationship, which is then considered "privileged", meaning he cannot be forced to disclose what was in the questionnaire, even to a judge or the police or the tax department. Keep this in mind for other websites where the lawyer offers to give a free Opinion on your questionnaire which is sent over the internet. If that lawyer's office is ever raided by the police or immigration officials, they could confiscate your questionnaire and it might be hard for the lawyer to say it was privileged when he/she could not prove any retainer. (Consultants have no lawyer-client privilege so anything you say to them or send to them can be used by the Immigration Dept., the Justice Dept., the police etc.)

Shown below are Dr. Montgomery's pass cards from his former government jobs with secrecy clearances, and his more recent pass cards from the Ontario government.


To make an exploratory visit to Canada, you do not need a visitor visa if you are a citizen of the USA or Mexico or certain other countries. Otherwise you need a TRV (temporary resident visa) i.e. a visitor visa. To apply for a visitor visa, work permit or study permit online go to this link Apply to visit Canada While American citizens do not need a visa to come to Canada, they must have a passport (apply at most US Post Offices, cost $67) to visit Canada. American citizens do not need an ETA (electronic travel document) under any circumstances. US "green card" holders (permanent residents) need an ETA if flying into Canada, but not if arriving by land or sea. The same applies to people from visa exmept countries (they don't need a TRV but need an ETA if flying into Canada but not if crossing from the US by land or arriving in Canada by ocean). Here is the link to list of countries whose citizens may not need a Visa but need an ETA LIST


Dr. Montgomery has done many refugee cases (asylum claims) from Albania, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Punjab, China, Philipinnes, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Nigeria, Russia, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Guyana, Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Nigeria, Sudan etc. SINCE THE END OF 2004, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO CROSS OVER A LAND BORDER (OR BRIDGE) TO CANADA AND MAKE A REFUGEE CLAIM IF YOU HAVE BEEN STAYING IN THE US, LEGALLY OR NOT, although starting in 2017 it became common for people to enter Canada at places where there is no official checkpoint (Port of Entry border post) such as at Roxsam Road in Quebec, next to New York State) wihout being turned back. In fact the offiicals welcome them and allow them to make refugee claims and provide them with accommodation and food. Even if you try to enter legally through a border post there are several exceptions to the policy that you cannot enter Canada to make a refugee claim, the usual ones being:

You have a family member (spouse, commonlaw partner, dependent child or dependent grandchild, sibling, parent or legal guardian, grandparent, aunt, uncle, nephew or niece) who:

Unaccompanied minors exception

Refugee claimants may qualify under this category of exceptions if they are minors (under the age of 18) who:

Serious criminal exception
  • If you have been charged with or convicted of an offence in any country (including the US) that could result in the death penalty (your execution) you can make a refugee claim in Canada at the border with the US. Even if the claim succeeds you may later (probably not for at least two years as the system works so slowly) be deemed inadmissible to live in Canada due to the activities that lead to the charge or conviction. Canada has extradition agreements with many countries so you could be sent back there instead of to the USA. However, if you think you were unfairly charged or the charge was politically motivated or there were special reasons for it, or the same activity in Canada would be dealt with less harshly, you should certainly make the refugee claim. For such a case it would be best to retain Dr. Montgomery before arrving at the Canadian border. I can meet clients in Buffalo and accompany them across the Peace Bridge and help them announce their intention to be a refugee, for a fee. ($800).

    You can also make a refugee claim at the border if you are entering Canada from the USA on a TRV (temporary resident visa, e.g. visitor, worker or student) or you are entering from a visa-exempt country but you need a visa to enter the USA. If you are entering Canada legally with a visa it is MUCH BETTER to simply arrive, then quickly consult an immigration lawyer, fill out the forms, and then go to an immigration office with him/her or her assistant or interpreter as soon as possible to make a claim.

    Apart from arriving at a land border, if you have no status in the US and are thinking of flying or taking a boat to Canada, WITHOUT LEGAL STATUS IN THE USA YOU WILL PROBABLY NOT BE ALLOWED ON ANY SHIP OR AIRPLANE GOING TO CANADA (FROM THE USA). So it is much better to drive or take a bus to a land border crossing.

    Even persons from Visa Exempt countries (except US citizens with their passports in hand) who want to fly to Canada (even if it is just to change aircraft and not stay) must get an ETA (electronic travel document) before attempting to board the aircraft, which is like a six month visa. You apply online and 90% are provided within a few minutes, but it is very important to input your passport number correctly and not mix up zeros with O's and i's with 1's. To see if you need an ETA go to: