Reis Pagtakhan


Image for Reis Pagtakhan


Office: Winnipeg

Main: (204) 957-4640

Fax: (204) 957-4278

Services provided by R R Pagtakhan Law Corporation

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 24 years of experience advising businesses and individuals on immigration matters. In his international trade and customs practice, Reis advises clients on compliance with Canadian sanction, export control, antibribery laws, and customs seizures and fines.


  • 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 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 and Columbia
  • Successfully obtained business visitor status for international business travellers doing business in Canada
  • Successfully obtained Labour Market Impact Assessments/Labour Market Opinions 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 business class applications to Canada
  • Advises senior corporate executives, in-house counsel and human resource personnel of publically 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 publically 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 the Federal Skilled Worker program, the Canadian Experience Class, the Family Class and provincial immigration approvals from the Manitoba and Alberta Immigrant Nominee Programs

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International Trade & Customs

  • Oversaw the drafting of internal policies and procedures for a multinational corporation on maintaining compliance with international sanctions imposed by Canada and the U.S.
  • Advised an exporter on Canadian export control laws applicable to their products
  • Advised a multi-national company on anti-bribery laws under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act
  • Acted for Canadian travelers on the seizure of goods and fines imposed by Canadian customs officials

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 his international trade and customs practice, Reis has advised multi-national companies on internal policies to comply with Canadian sanction legislation, exporters on compliance with export control laws, and companies doing business abroad on anti-bribery laws. Reis has also acted for Canadians re-entering Canada on reviews relating to seizures and administrative monetary penalties levied under Canadian customs laws.

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 and the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba.

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, Canadian Bar Association Working Group on the Renegotiation and Modernization of the NAFTA (2017- 2018)
  • Member, Manitoba Catholic Schools Board of Consultors (2017-present)
  • Board member, CPHR Manitoba (2012-2018)
  • Secretary, Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba (2012-2013)
  • Member, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Winnipeg Archdiocesan Council on Education (2012-2014)
  • Director, Immigrant Centre Manitoba (2009-2012)
  • Director, St. Edward’s School Inc. (2006 – 2012), Chairperson (2009-2012)
  • Director, Manitoba Catholic Schools Group Services Inc. (2009)
  • Member, Legal Committee, Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba Inc. (2008)
  • Member, Knights of Rizal, Chapter Council (1996-2001)
  • Member, Advisory Council, The Children’s Education Trust of Canada
  • Member, The Trustees of the RCAW, Inc. (2004-2006)
  • Director and Officer, Roman Catholic Archiepiscopal Corporation of Winnipeg (2004-2006)
  • Member, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Winnipeg Finance Council (1998-2006), Chairperson (2001-2006)
  • Member, Board of Directors, The Catholic Foundation (1998-2003), Chair Fund Raising Committee (2001-2003)
  • Member, University of Manitoba Annual Giving Round Table (1998-2000)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Community Legal Education Association (1998-2000)
  • Ambassador, Nayong Philipino Folklorama Pavilion (1996)
  • Governor, University of Manitoba Board of Governors (1992-1994) Member, Executive Committee (1993-1994)
  • Member, University of Manitoba Senate (1990-1991, 1992-1994)
  • Member, The Law Society of Manitoba
  • Member, Manitoba Bar Association
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Presenter, “Immigration Issues Facing Saskatchewan Employers,” MLT Aikins (Saskatoon, November 2017)
  • Panellist, “Immigration Issues for Corporate Counsel,” CCCA BC (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 and South Dakota Chapter (June 2017)
  • Presenter, “Oh Canada! Oh no! What defense attorneys can do for clients who need to travel to Canada” and “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 – Westman Chapter (May 2017)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law Update,” CPHR Manitoba Legislative Review (May 2017, 2011)
  • Guest Lecturer, Immigration & Refugee Law, Robson Hall, University of Manitoba (March 2018, 2017, 2016)
  • Invited to appear as a witness on 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 2017 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, University of 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)
  • Invited to provide testimony on Bill C-6 (An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act), Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) (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 Manitoba – Westman Chapter (Brandon, May 2015)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law 2015,” CPHR Manitoba Legislative Update (Winnipeg, May 2015)
  • Guest lecturer, “The Move to Employer Driven Immigration,” Immigration and Refugee Law class at Robson Hall, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba (October 2014)
  • Presenter, “Boxing with Kid Gloves: Why Temporary Foreign Workers Must Be Treated Differently,” Connect HR and Leadership Conference Concurrent Session, CPHR Manitoba (October 2014)
  • Panel Member, “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 at the Canadian Bar Association Legal Conference (August 2014)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law 2014: Big Brother Comes Knocking… With a Battering Ram” (2014) 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 Manitoba Chapter Meeting (March 2014)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law 2014: A New Dawn (Raid),” Corporate (in-house) Counsel Section of the Manitoba Bar Association (February 2014)
  • Presenter, “What a difference 6 months makes! The ever changing landscape of Immigration Law,” CPHR Manitoba – Pembina Valley Chapter (November 2013)
  • Presenter, “Using Immigration to Get Ahead of the Competition,” Connect HR and Leadership Conference Concurrent Session, CPHR Manitoba (October 2013)
  • Panellist, “De-Mystifying the US Border,” World Trade Centre Winnipeg (September 2013)
  • Presenter, Immigration Law 2013: Time to unlearn what you have learned, 2013 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 – Westman Chapter (January 2013)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Recruitment: How to hire foreign workers while keeping the government off your back”, Connect HR & Leadership Conference Concurrent Session, CPHR Manitoba (October 2013)
  • Invited to appear as a witness on Bill C-43 (the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act), House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (November 7, 2012)
  • Presenter, “Getting Your Global Workforce Across the Canadian Border,” Breakout Session: A Corporate Counsel’s Guide for Managing a Global Work Force, Canadian Corporate Counsel Association World Summit (April 2012)
  • Presenter, “Immigration Law Update: The Good, the Bad and Extremely Frightening,” 2012 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 of the Manitoba Bar Association (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,” 2011 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 of the Manitoba Bar Association (April 2011)
  • Presentation on behalf of the Philippine Association of Manitoba before the Hon. Lucienne Robillard, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada on the report of the Legislative Review Advisory Group – “Not Just Numbers: A Canadian Framework for Future Immigration” (1998)
  • Lecturer on Immigration Law, Community Legal Education Association, Community Legal Intermediate Program (1995-1999) Legal Writing
  • 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)