Reis Pagtakhan



Winnipeg / Services provided by R R Pagtakhan Law Corporation

Image for Reis Pagtakhan

Education & Qualifications

  • Introduction to U.S. Immigration Law (American University Washington College of Law, 2019)
  • Manitoba Bar (1995)
  • LLB (Manitoba, 1994)
  • BA with honours (Manitoba, 1991)

Services and Industries

Reis is a Canadian corporate immigration lawyer with more than 29 years of experience advising businesses and individuals on Canadian and U.S. immigration matters.

  • Successfully obtained work permits for senior executives, managers and specialized knowledge workers of publicly traded and privately held multinational companies
  • Successfully obtained work permits for professionals entering Canada pursuant to the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (formerly the North American Free Trade Agreement), Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the General Agreement on Trade and Services
  • Has advised on strategies for work permits for technicians pursuant to the Canadian free trade agreements with Trans-Pacific Partnership countries Peru, Columbia and the United Kingdom 
  • Successfully obtained business visitor status for international business travellers doing business in Canada
  • Successfully obtained Labour Market Impact Assessments and Worker Recruitment and Protection Act certificates for publicly traded and privately held companies hiring senior executives and other foreign workers from abroad
  • Successfully obtained permanent residency for foreign investors in the Start-up Visa business class and other business class applications to Canada 
  • Advises senior corporate executives, in-house counsel and human resource personnel of publicly traded and privately held companies on immigration compliance and immigration employer compliance reviews
  • Advises senior corporate executives, in-house counsel and human resource personnel of publicly traded and privately held companies on immigration issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, including the effects on the foreign employees
  • Successfully obtained permanent residency for senior executives, managers, key employees and other individuals through Express Entry, the Family Class and provincial immigration approvals from the Manitoba and Alberta Immigrant Nominee Programs

Download the Free E-book: Tips for Travelling to the U.S. for Work

Reis’s immigration practice is particularly focused on obtaining temporary entry and permanent residency for senior executives, managers, professionals and other company employees from all over the world, providing training to businesses and HR professionals on immigration law and processes, and working collaboratively with business and HR professionals to create easy to use systems to comply with federal and provincial immigration laws.

In 2023, Reis was appointed to the Premier of Manitoba’s Business and Jobs Council, and the following year was named Chair of the council’s Immigration and Skills Alignment Sub-Committee.

Reis has been invited to speak to Canadian and international audiences by the World Trade Centre Winnipeg, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Conference Board of Canada, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the State Bar Associations of Minnesota and North Dakota, the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Manitoba (CPHR Manitoba), the Law Society of Manitoba, the Manitoba Bar Association, Belmont University (Nashville, TN, U.S.A.) and the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba.

He is currently the Chair of the Immigration Subcommittee of the Premier of Manitoba’s Business and Jobs Council. He has presented position papers before the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, co-authored Manitoba Bar Association and CPHR Manitoba responses to proposed immigration changes, and has appeared before both the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration and the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on immigration legislation. He has written more than 100 articles and papers on immigration law that have appeared in human resource, professional services, construction, legal and ethnic publications. He has written a freelance column on immigration issues for the Winnipeg Free Press, and was a Senior Writer for the CBC where he wrote opinion columns on immigration.


  • Member, Premier’s Business and Jobs Council (2023-present)
  • Chair, Immigration Subcommittee (February 2024 to present)
  • Member, St. Mary’s Academy Inc.
  • Member, St. Mary’s Academy Foundation Inc.
  • Member-at-large, Executive Committee of the International Law Section, Canadian Bar Association (2020-2022)
  • Member, Working Group on the Renegotiation and Modernization of the NAFTA, Canadian Bar Association (2017-2018)
  • Member, Manitoba Catholic Schools Board of Consultors (2017-2022)
  • Member, Human Resources Leadership Council, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (Winnipeg, 2014-2016)
  • Board Member, CPHR Manitoba (Manitoba, 2012-2018)
  • Secretary, Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba (Manitoba, 2012-2013)
  • Member, Archdiocesan Council on Education, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Winnipeg (2012-2014)
  • Director, Immigrant Centre Manitoba (Manitoba, 2009-2012)
  • Director, St. Edward’s School Inc. (2006-2012)
  • Chair, St. Edward’s School Inc. (2009-2012)
  • Director, Manitoba Catholic Schools Group Services Inc. (Manitoba, 2009)
  • Member, Legal Committee, Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba Inc. (Manitoba, 2008)
  • Member, Chapter Council, Knights of Rizal (1996-2001)
  • Member, Advisory Council, The Children’s Education Trust of Canada
  • Member, The Trustees of the R.C.A.W. Inc. (2004-2006)
  • Director and Officer, Roman Catholic Archiepiscopal Corporation (Winnipeg, 2004-2006)
  • Member, Finance Council, Roman Catholic Archdiocese (Winnipeg, 1998-2006)
  • Chair, Roman Catholic Archdiocese (Winnipeg, 2001-2006)
  • Member, Board of Directors, The Catholic Foundation (1998-2003)
  • Chair, Fund Raising Committee, The Catholic Foundation (2001-2003)
  • Member, Annual Giving Round Table (Manitoba, 1998-2000)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Community Legal Education Association (1998-2000)
  • Ambassador, Nayong Pilipino Folklorama Pavilion (1996)
  • Governor, Board of Governors (Manitoba, 1992-1994)
  • Member and Executive Committee (Manitoba, 1993-1994)
  • Member, University of Manitoba Senate (Manitoba, 1990-1991; 1992-1994)
  • Member, The Law Society of Manitoba
  • Member, Manitoba Bar Association
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Presenter, “Why Immigration Matters to You – Hot Topic Discussion,” Innovation, Data and Technology Conference, MLT Aikins (June 2023)
  • Panelist, “Ask an Expert Panel,” Innovation, Data and Technology Conference, MLT Aikins (June 2023)
  • Presenter, “International Students and Immigration,” Partner Event, Manitoba Council on International Education Meet Manitoba (May 2023)
  • Panellist, “Open Panel Question and Answer,” Partner Event, Manitoba Council on International Education Meet Manitoba (May 2023)
  • Panelist, “Remote Work and its Impacts on Business,” CUMIS Webinar (May 2023)
  • Co-presenter, “What’s New in Immigration,” Legislative Review, CPHR (Manitoba, May 2023)
  • Co-presenter, “How Not to Deal with Immigration,” Labour & Employment Law Update, MLT Aikins (November 2022)
  • Panelist, “Fireside Chat: Structuring for the U.S. Part 2,” Foresight Canada (November 2022)
  • Presenter, “Tips for Tech Employees Working in Canada,” Tech-Expo, MLT Aikins (May 2022)
  • Co-presenter, “U.S. and Canadian Immigration Law: What’s New for 2022 and Current COVID-19 Challenges,” Legislative Review, CPHR (Manitoba, May 2022)
  • Presenter, “The Great Canadian Road Trip 2022 Series, First Stop: Manitoba,” Manitoba Real Estate Association and the Canadian Real Estate Association (May 2022)
  • Co-presenter, “Is the Future of the United States Immigration System Just North of the Border? Why Canada’s Economic Immigration System Should be Adopted by the United States,” Belmont Law Review Symposium (October 2021)
  • Presenter, “All about Canada,” Sioux Falls International Trade Center (October 2021)
  • Presenter, “Canada – US Border Open for Business: What You Need to Know,” World Trade Centre (Winnipeg, May 2021)
  • Presenter, “International Students, COVID-19 and Immigration,” Heartland International English School (January; May, 2021)
  • Presenter, “Getting into Canada with a Criminal Record,” Grand Forks County Bar Association (January 2020)
  • Presenter, “Crossing the Canada-U.S. Border Under the New NAFTA,” USMCA Breakfast Seminar, Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation (Manitoba, January 2020)
  • Presenter, “Workforce Development Through Immigration,” Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Southern Manitoba Manufacturer’s Summit (October 2019)
  • Presenter, “Getting into Canada with a Criminal Record,” Ward County Bar Association (September 2019)
  • Panellist, “Challenges Facing New Americans and Recent Immigrants as Lawyers, Litigants, and Others Working or Interacting with the Legal System,” School of Law’s Symposium, State Bar Association of North Dakota Women Lawyers Section (North Dakota, September 2019)
  • Presenter, “Entry into the Great White North Part Deux: Navigating the New Changes to Canadian DWI Immigration Law,” 34th Annual DWI Seminar, Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice (Minnesota, June 2019)
  • Speaker, “Learning from the Manitoba Experience,” Conference Board, Canada’s National Immigration Centre (November 2018)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Issues for Labour and Employment Lawyers,” Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (September 2018)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Issues Facing Saskatchewan Employers,” MLT Aikins (Saskatoon, November 2017)
  • Panelist, “Immigration Issues for Corporate Counsel,” CCCA (Vancouver, September 2017)
  • Presenter, “Oh Canada! Why Won’t You Let Me In? DWI Related Problems with Entry into the Great White North,” 32nd Annual DWI Seminar, Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice (June 2017)
  • Presenter, “Canadian Immigration and Canadian Criminal Inadmissibility,” American Immigration Lawyers Association (Minnesota; North Dakota; South Dakota, June 2017)
  • Presenter, “Oh Canada! Oh No! What Defense Attorneys Can do for Clients Who Need to Travel to Canada,” Joint CLE, Minnesota & North Dakota State Bar Associations (May 2017)
  • Presenter, “Doing Business North of the Border: What Business Attorneys Need to Know for Clients Doing Business in Canada,” Joint CLE, Minnesota & North Dakota State Bar Associations (May 2017)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law Update,” Employment Law Day, CPHR (Manitoba, May 2017)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law Update,” Legislative Review, CPHR (Manitoba, 2011-2021)
  • Guest Lecturer, “Immigration & Refugee Law,” Robson Hall (Manitoba, March 2018; 2017; 2016)
  • Witness, “Bill C-6 – An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to Make Consequential Amendments to Another Act),” Social Affairs, Science & Technology, Senate Committee Meeting (Ottawa, February 2017)
  • Presenter, “Open Doors, Open Canada: Canada in the Age of Global Migration,” Converge Conference (Ottawa, February 2017)
  • Author, “Rewriting Manitoba’s Nominee Program,” Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (January 2017)
  • Presenter, “Immigration 101,” Aikins Law (May; September 2016)
  • Panellist, “What More Can Manitoba’s ‘Most Powerful’ Do to Open the Door to Diversity?” Visionary Conversations in the Community (Manitoba, May 2016)
  • Presenter, “Why Crossing the Line is Good for Business – Fact-finding Trip to the U.S. and Canadian Borders,” World Trade Centre Winnipeg (April 2016)
  • Testimony Provider, “Bill C-6 – An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to Make Consequential Amendments to Another Act,” Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (Ottawa, April 2016)
  • Presenter, “Why Crossing the Line is Good for Business,” World Trade Centre (Winnipeg, November 2015)
  • Presenter, “Temporary Foreign Workers: Challenges and Opportunities,” CPHR (Brandon, May 2015)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law 2015,” Legislative Update, CPHR (Winnipeg, May 2015)
  • Guest Lecturer, “The Move to Employer Driven Immigration,” Immigration and Refugee Law Class, Faculty of Law, Robson Hall (Manitoba, October 2014)
  • Presenter, “Boxing with Kid Gloves: Why Temporary Foreign Workers Must Be Treated Differently,” Connect HR and Leadership Conference, CPHR (Manitoba, October 2014)
  • Panelist, “What’s on Your Radar? Top Issues for In-House Counsel – Dawn Raids, Criminal Prosecutions, and Government Audits. Wait! Are We Talking about Immigration Law?” Converging Futures Legal Conference, Canadian Bar Association (August 2014)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law 2014: Big Brother Comes Knocking… With a Battering Ram,” Legislative Review, CPHR (Manitoba, May 2014)
  • Presenter, “The Worker Recruitment and Protection Act: Rules, Regulations, and Liabilities,” Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services Meeting (Manitoba, March 2014)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law 2014: A New Dawn (Raid),” Corporate (in-house) Counsel Section, Manitoba Bar Association (February 2014)
  • Presenter, “What a Difference 6 Months Makes! The Ever Changing Landscape of Immigration Law,” CPHR (Manitoba, November 2013)
  • Presenter, “Using Immigration to Get Ahead of the Competition,” Connect HR and Leadership Conference Concurrent Session, CPHR (Manitoba, October 2013)
  • Panelist, “De-Mystifying the US Border,” World Trade Centre (Winnipeg, September 2013)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law 2013: Time to Unlearn What You Have Learned,” Legislative Review, CPHR (Manitoba, May 2013)
  • Panellist, “Temporary Entry and Border Crossing of People,” Canada-U.S. Border Crossing Seminar, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (April 2013)
  • Presenter, “Work Permits, Immigration Compliance and Permanent Residency: Can You do a Rubik’s Cube in the Dark?” CPHR (Manitoba, January 2013)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Recruitment: How to Hire Foreign Workers While Keeping the Government Off your Back,” Connect HR & Leadership Conference, CPHR (Manitoba, October 2013)
  • Witness, “Bill C-43 – The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act,” Citizenship and Immigration, House of Commons Standing Committee (November 2012)
  • Presenter, “Getting Your Global Workforce Across the Canadian Border,” Canadian Corporate Counsel Association World Summit (April 2012)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law Update: The Good, the Bad and Extremely Frightening,” Legislative Review, CPHR (Manitoba, April 2012)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Due Diligence in Mergers and Acquisitions (or You Gotta Be Kidding, There is Such a Thing As Immigration Due Diligence?)” Corporate (In-House) Counsel Section, Manitoba Bar Association (Manitoba, February 2012)
  • Co-presenter, “The 9th Deadly Sin, Work Permits: When They are Needed, How to Get One & How Long it Takes, Avoiding the Immigration Blacklist and WRAPA Enforcement Overview,” Legislative Review, CPHR (Manitoba, May 2011)
  • Presenter, “Corporate Immigration and Cross Border Issues… or How to Avoid the Immigration Blacklist,” Corporate (in-house) Counsel Section, Manitoba Bar Association (April 2011)
  • Presenter, “Not Just Numbers: A Canadian Framework for Future Immigration,” Legislative Review Advisory Group, Philippine Association of Manitoba  (Manitoba, 1998)
  • Lecturer, “Immigration Law,” Community Legal Intermediate Program, Community Legal Education Association, (1995-1999)
  • Reis has written articles on the law and legal issues which have appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association Magazine, Keystone Professional, HRMatters, Upword, International Family & Home, Building Connections, the Filipino Journal (Winnipeg, MB), the Philippine Canadian Times (Edmonton, AB), the Manila Headlines (Vancouver, BC) and CBC
  • R.C. Armitage Award (1994)
  • H.I. Corne Prize (1994)
  • First Class Honours, Faculty of Arts (1991)
  • Jack Blumberg Memorial Prize (1991)
  • Dean’s Honour List, Faculty of Arts (1989; 1990; 1991)