Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Short-term Visitors to Canada

Canada receives a very large number of short-term visitors every year, with around 20 million annual crossings of the Canada/U.S. border alone. There is no statistical breakdown of the particular motives for a visitor’s stay in Canada. A large majority of the many millions of business visitors entering Canada every year would not need visas as they are from visa-exempt countries, particularly the U.S. and Europe.

Around one million visas are issued annually to visitors who do require them and, although a global breakdown is not available, it is learnt that the business caseload accounts for a substantial proportion of the total number of visas issued to visitors.

Source: IOM Geneva.

Canada Calling: From Tourist to Business Visitor to Immigrant

Canada Calling: From Tourist to Business Visitor to Immigrant

In the early 1990s, Andrew was working for a bioscience company in Oxford, U.K., a few years after completing his PhD in biochemistry. In 1992, he and his family took a holiday to visit his brother who was studying in Canada.

Andrew combined his holiday with his participation in an international biosciences conference. At the conference he met a business contact who owned and ran a small image analysis company in southern Ontario, Canada, with whom he had been corresponding but had never personally met before.

On returning to the U.K., Andrew remained in contact with the owner of the company in Ontario and, one year later, he was offered a job and invited to come and work there. On the basis of that job offer, Andrew and his wife decided to apply for permanent residence at the Canadian Consulate in London. The holiday they had spent in Canada the previous year had convinced them that they would like to live there. Their immigration application was processed and approved within two months.

The family left for Canada in June 2003 and settled in the Niagara region, close to the shores of Lake Ontario. They obtained Canadian citizenship a few years later. Andrew is no longer with the same company. Currently, he works for a biomedical company in Ontario piloting new laser scanning technology for use in the medical field.

Source: IOM Geneva.

Rich world needs more foreign workers: report

Rich world needs more foreign workers: report

GENEVA — An international migration organization appealed Tuesday to countries to keep open their doors to immigrant workers despite the global economic crises.

The International Organization for Migration said that, despite the current downturn, rich nations will continue to need foreign workers to fill jobs their shrinking work forces cannot or will not do.

In its 4th World Migration Report, the Geneva-based intergovernmental body said there are more than 200 million migrants around the world today.

Developed nations compete for highly skilled immigrants, but there is also a growing need for low-skilled workers in rich countries, the report said.

Planning immigration is "especially important during downturns in the global economy such as the one we are witnessing today," said Gervais Appave, one of the editors of the report.

Appave said the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s demonstrated that the need for immigrant workers continues, even during times of economic hardship.

"There's always jobs that the host population don't want to do," said IOM spokeswoman Jemini Pandya. She said that, in many countries, the demand for workers in health care, domestic care and service industries will continue to grow.

Europe hosted the largest number of immigrants, with 70.6 million people in 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, the report said.

North American, with over 45.1 million immigrants, is second, followed by Asia, which hosts nearly 25.3 million.

Most of today's migrant workers come from Asia, and demographic data suggest that by 2030, China and India will provide 40 percent of the global work force, the report said.

An average of nearly 1.4 million people per year left each of several areas – Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean – between 2000 and 2005, historically high levels that are expected to be smaller in the future, the report said.

By ELIANE ENGELER, The Associated Press
http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2008/dec/01/eu-world-migration-report-120108/

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Proof of Funds - Mandatory Requirement

Applicants for skilled worker category should be able to provide proof of sufficient settlement funds to support themselves and their dependents after they arrive in Canada. Failure to provide the evidence of sufficient funds may lead to refusal of application. The funds should be readily available and unencumbered from debt, i.e., they should belong to the applicant and cannot be borrowed from another person.

The amount of money needed to support a family is determined by the size of the family. These amounts are updated every year.

Number of
Family Members
Funds Required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $10,601
2 $13,198
3 $16,225
4 $19,700
5 $22,343
6 $25,199
7 or more $28,055

One doesn't require the proof of funds if he/she already have employment arranged in Canada.

Overview of Canadian Immigration

Introduction

While Canada has always been known as a country which welcomes immi­grants from all parts of the world, applying for permanent resident status has become increasingly compli­cated and unpredi­ct­able.

The Canada Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and Regulations deal with all aspects of immigration; including the criteria for the selec­tion of immigrants; rules regarding medical and security checks; and terms and conditions of admission. The Immigration Act and Regulations are frequently amended, resulting in an ever increasi­ng need for a potential applicant to get competent and proper legal advice from those firms who are committed to staying current.

The following is an overview of the various categories under which a person may apply for permanent residence in Canada.

ECONOMIC CLASSES

There are five categories of economic class immigrants.

1: Skilled Workers and Professionals

Applicants whose occupations are in demand in Canada are assessed on the basis of a complicated formula involving a number of factors, including education; age; knowledge of Canada's official languages; occupation; and job related experience. In order to qualify as an independent or "skilled worker", an applicant needs to demonstrate that he has the experience and the qualifica­tions to engage in an occupa­tion which is in demand in Canada. The Canadian government is constantly revising the lists of those occupations which are in demand in Canada.

2: Canada Experience Class

If you have worked in Canada or have graduated from a college or a university in Canada, you may be able to apply for permanent residence from within Canada. Temporary foreign workers in certain occupations require two years of work experience. Students require one year of work experience following graduation.

3: Entrepreneurs and Investors & Self Employed

Under Canada's Business Immigration Program, applicants who have been successful businesspeople and who have accumulated significant assets and who can make a significant investment in the economy and own and manage their own business can apply for permanent residence as either Entrepreneurs, Investors or Self-employed.

Entrepreneurs are described as persons who have the intention and ability to establish, purchase or make a significant investment in a business venture in Canada, which the person will manage on an active basis. The business venture must make a significant contribution to the economy and must result in the creation or maintenance of employment opportunities for one or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents other than the entrepreneur and his or her dependents.

Investors are described as persons who have accumulated assets in excess of CD$800,000 and have the ability to make a qualifying investment in Canada.

Under Canada's Business Immigration Program, a self-employed applicant is an immigrant who has relevant experience and intends, and has the ability, to establish or purchase a business in Canada that will create an employment opportunity for him/herself and will make a significant contribution to the economic, cultural or artistic life of Canada. Self-employed applicants could include artists, athletes, farm managers and small business people who engage in truly beneficial or needed activ­ities.

4: Provincial and territorial nominees:

The provincial and territorial governments in Canada can ask the Government of Canada to process applications from individuals they need to meet their economic needs. In order to apply under the Provincial Nominee Program, you will need to be nominated by a province or territory.

5: Quebec-selected skilled workers and Businesspersons

The province of Quebec selects skilled workers and businesspersons who have the skills or business experience to contribute to Quebec’s economy and settle permanently in the province.

FAMILY CLASS

Canadian citizens and permanent residents over the age of 18 may sponsor the admission of their immediate relatives for residence in Canada. Relations that can be sponsored in Canada include: Spouses, common-law partners, dependent children (including adopted children) or other eligible relatives (such as parents or grandparents). Immigration law provides that the "accompany­ing dependants" of a family class applicant may also qualify for permanent residence. To reunite with their families, Family class applications for spouses and dependent children are given top priority in processing. Once the government is satisfied that the sponsoring relative can provide the necessary financial and other support to maintain the applicant and his/her dependents, then landed status will usually be granted if the applicant and his/her dependents meet other immigration requirements, such as, medical and security checks.

REFUGEES AND PROTECTED PERSONS

Canada will consider for admission under this category those who, on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, are justifiably in fear of persecut­ion. Based on its humanitarian tradition and international obligations, Canada may offer refugee status or protection to people who do not wish to return to their home country because they fear persecution, torture or cruel and unusual treatment.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Canada Fast-Tracks Those it Needs Desperately - Khaleej Times

Canada has a new message for would-be economic immigrants from all over the world: if you belong to one of 38 occupations that are badly needed here, you can expect to receive a landing permit within six months of applying. In 2009, we expect to welcome about 45,000 such applicants.

The list of occupations were announced by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recently along with a promise to maintain immigration levels in the face of a looming recession and a global trend towards lower migrant flows. These changes were introduced by the Conservative government on February 27, freezing a waiting list running into 900,000 applications, including 600,000 in the economic category.

If you were to include dependents, the number waiting to have their visa applications processed would be over three million. It marked the first time in 40 years that Canada substantially altered its own points system that for the first time gave equal weight to all applications, irrespective of gender, race and country of origin.

No longer will it be a first-come-first-served system, but rather one that privileges people in a few select professions who can immediately fill labour market shortages in Canada. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), all it takes to qualify is, “At least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the last 10 years.” The last step in this changeover was identifying the shortlist of high-demand occupations, which the Minister announced last week.

This change makes good sense given the hardships faced by immigrants unable to find jobs and get their work experience or academic credentials recognised by Canadian employers. It makes even more sense if you factor in the reality that the points system had opened the floodgates and by February 27, 2008, the processing time for applications stretched to six years. Also, Canadian law requires that old applications should be processed according to the rules in vogue at the time.

For new applications, this waiting time will be cut down to just six months, but not many people in the UAE or elsewhere are likely to see much of an improvement immediately.

That’s because the 156,000 visas that will be given to economic migrants this year will be split between those already in the backlog of applications and those who can prove they belong to one of the 38 identified occupations. At least 70 per cent will go to those whose applications were submitted before February 27.

The room for new applicants will get further whittled down by a new class of applicants: the Canadian Experience class that includes foreigners already here on work visas or international students attending universities.

There is obviously a need to strike a balance between the new and the old, and it will be some time before all economic immigrants arriving in Canada will belong to one of the chosen professions. This list of professions itself is a moving target and is based on frequent consultations that the federal government has with provinces, industry, labour groups and large employers.

However, the big picture remains sanguine for would-be immigrants. Unlike countries such as Britain and Australia, the gloomy economic outlook has not reduced the intake: Minister Jason Kenney said Canada would continue to accept between 240,000 and 265,000 newcomers next year, in the same range as the 251,000 who were granted permanent residency in 2007.

The plan for 2009 includes 156,000 visas in the “economic” category, 71,000 under the family class and 37,400 as refugees. (These include only the “principal applicant,” not family members and dependents) The relative proportion of immigrants under the three classes remains unchanged.

Numbers mean a lot, not just to people in the UAE or elsewhere who are stuck in a long backlog of people waiting to come to Canada, but also those who already call Canada home. It is the numbers that decide how many skilled immigrants will get invited to Canada, how many family members can join, and the number of refugee applicants that will be accepted.

At the current rate, the backlog will take more than a decade to clear if all those on it choose to keep their names on it.

But, like Australia before it, Canada has come to a fork in the road. Rather than rely on “quantity” - hoping that everybody will eventually succeed - this country has shifted its defining principle of immigration to “quality” - you must have the skills that the Canadian economy requires. In the opinion of its critics, this amounts to “cherry picking,” but in the final analysis, it may be an approach that works best both for the immigrants and the country that is welcoming them.

George Abraham - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?col=&section=opinion&xfile=data/opinion/2008/December/opinion_December68.xml

Rules will make finding skilled foreign workers easier

OTTAWA - The federal government is changing a key immigration rule it says will help Canadian companies more easily find skilled foreign labour.

Ottawa is to announce Monday that such skilled professionals as engineers, accountants or professors from the U.S. or Mexico will be able to get three-year long work permits instead of one-year-long permits.

"We are trying to get all the skilled people we can to Canada quickly," Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said in a telephone interview from Vancouver. "The last thing we want is to strangle a Canadian company that's ready to grow because of a shortage of labour."

Canada grants about 5,150 such permits every year. Most, about 5,000, are for Americans coming to work in Canada and the rest are for Mexicans coming to work here.

"I talk to employers all the time who do not get even one job application when they put a help wanted ad in the newspaper," Kenney said. "Even though we are going into a period of economic difficulty, we continue to have a number of skilled labour shortages in certain areas of the economy."

Kenney said granting work permits in three-year increments will help Canadian companies because employers will be able to count on a skilled import to complete a project. The government says this makes Canadian companies more competitive and can help lower costs.

"This is about less paperwork, less red tape and less waiting time," Kenney said.

The Canadian rule change follows a similar one made in October by U.S. authorities that allow Canadian engineers, computer scientists and other professionals to obtain three-year work permits in America. Mexico is considering such a change.

Canada, the U.S. and Mexico agreed on labour mobility standards for 63 different professional occupations when NAFTA was negotiated in 1993, allowing professionals from those occupations to work in another NAFTA country without having to re-qualify under local certification standards. In all cases, a professional must have a firm job offer before going to work in the other country.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said on several occasions that he believes a shortage of skilled labour is the biggest single long-term challenge for Canadian policy-makers. After a survey of its member companies earlier this year, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, a trade organization, also says finding enough skilled labour should be one of Canada's top priorities.

Kenney said the Conservatives' goal is to align immigration policy more closely with labour market shortages.

Government experts and private sector economists say that, between 2011 and 2015, all net labour market growth in Canada is going to come from immigration.

© Canwest News Service 2008
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=1075480

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Amir Ismail's (Cerrtified Consultant) Visit to Pakistan


PLANNING TO IMMIGRATE TO CANADA?

TALK TO THE CERTIFIED CANADIAN IMMIGRATION CONSULTANT RECOGNIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA AS AN AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

Mr. Amir Ismail, Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant from Toronto, Canada will be in Karachi from January 7, 2009. Interested clients please contact our Toronto office at +1-647-835-0660/+1-647-343-5645 or send us an email at info@amirismail.com

You may also contact our Karachi office at 5652860-1-2 to set up an appointment with Mr. Amir Ismail

Expert advice on Skilled Workers, Investors, Entrepreneurs, Self-Employed, Provincial Nominees, Family Sponsorships, Work Permits, Study Permits and Visitor Visas.

Amir Ismail & Associates
Licensed Immigration Consultants
Member of Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants
Fellow of Canadian Migration Institute
Immigration Practitioner Certificate (High Hons.)

Karachi: Suite 706, 7th Floor, Kashif Centre, Shahra-e-Faisal.
Tel: 5652860-1-2, 5221435

Toronto: 815-265 Main Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4C4X3
Tel: +1-647-835-0660, 647-343-5645

Email: info@amirismail.com
Web: http://www.amirismail.com

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Professions in the Priority Occupation List

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada has recently announced an Action Plan for Faster Immigration for Skilled Workers and Professionals that includes instructions outlining a set of eligibility criteria that apply to all new federal skilled worker applications received on or after February 27, 2008.

According to the instructions, applications are eligible for processing if they:

  • include an offer of arranged employment, or
  • are from a foreign national living legally in Canada for one year as a temporary foreign worker or international student; or
  • are from a skilled worker who has at least one year of experience under one or more of the 38 occupations listed in the high demand occupation list announed by the Minister of Immigration recently.

These occupations fall under high-demand areas such as health, skilled trades, finance and resource extraction. Following is the list of 38 professions included in the Minister's instructions:

  • Financial Managers
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Managers in Health Care
  • Restaurant and Food Service Managers
  • Accommodation Service Managers
  • Construction Managers
  • Financial Auditors and Accountants
  • Geologists, Geochemists and Geophysicists
  • Mining Engineers
  • Geological Engineers
  • Petroleum Engineers
  • Specialist Physicians
  • General Practitioners and Family Physicians
  • Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Head Nurses and Supervisors
  • Registered Nurses
  • Medical Radiation Technologists
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • University Professors
  • College and Other Vocational Instructors
  • Chefs
  • Cooks
  • Contractors and Supervisors, Pipefitting Trades
  • Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades
  • Contractors and Supervisors, Heavy Construction Equipment Crews
  • Electricians (Except Industrial and Power System)
  • Industrial Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Steamfitters, Pipe fitters and Sprinkler System Installers
  • Welders and Related Machine Operators
  • Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
  • Crane Operators
  • Drillers and Blasters – Surface Mining, Quarrying and Construction
  • Supervisors, Mining and Quarrying
  • Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service
  • Supervisors, Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing and Utilities

You can contact us for an assessment of your eligibility and we will be pleased to conduct a detailed analysis of your case. To that end, please download our assessment form available at our web site www.amirismail.com and provide us a duly completed copy together with your detailed C.V. outlining our job description and dates of employment.

We understand that there will be a number of applicants who will find their occupations not listed in the high demand list. Nonetheless, it is pretty much expected that the list is going to be updated periodically to reflect the Canadian labour market needs and, as such, the professions which are not on the list may become available in future. Similarly, those who do exist on the list may find themselves out of luck if their occupation is excluded in future. That is why, it would be appropriate for clients qualifying now to apply as soon as possible if their profession is on the list to ensure that their application is processed and the change on the list doesn't affect your application adversely.

In addition there are also many other ways to immigrate to Canada. People who are not successful through the Federal Skilled Worker Program may qualify under another category such as various Provincial Nominee Programs, Quebec skilled worker program or they may consider coming to Canada as a Temporary Foreign Worker to be eligible to apply for permanent residence from within Canada upon accumulating 2 years of work under the new Canada Experience Class. People may also come to Canada as a student as well whereby they also may benefit from the Canada Experience Class once they may have secured one year of work experience after graduating.

CSIC Vindicated by Supreme Court Decision

Received the following good news from the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants today. Supreme Court of Canada has rendered another landmark judgment that confirms Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant’s right and ability to practice, by dismissing the Law Society of Upper Canada’s application to consider its case against Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants and Attorney General of Canada.I am proud to be a Member of the Society and very happy that as licensed consultants we have finally won our last battle. I personally look forward to contributing to the mandate of the Society to ensure consumer protection and promote better, competent and ethical immigration practice. Good luck to all fellow C.C.I.Cs

Amir Ismail, BCS, MBA
Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant
Member of Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants
Fellow of Canadian Migration Institute
Immigration Practitioner Certificate (High Honours)
___________________________________________________________________

Supreme Court of Canada dismisses Law Society's application with costs

The Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada have all concluded that CSIC is independent, properly authorized under the Act, and presents no problems relating to solicitor-client privilege.

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada reaffirmed the authority of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) to regulate authorized immigration consultants. By dismissing a leave to appeal with costs by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), the Supreme Court has issued the final legal word on the role of CSIC as the sole regulator of immigration consultants in Canada.

“This is not just another legal victory for CSIC and its members,” said John Ryan, Chair and Acting CEO. “This decision means once and for all that CSIC has the authority to regulate immigration consultants for the protection of the people who use their services. This is good news for everyone.”

The court challenges revolved around three key concerns: 1) whether CSIC and its members were independent of Citizenship and Immigration Canada; 2) whether the Immigration Refugee Protection Act can authorize a scheme to regulate immigration consultants, and 3) whether CSIC’s regulation of immigration consultants breach solicitor-client privilege. The Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada have all concluded that CSIC is independent, with delegated authority to regulate authorized immigration consultants with no concerns relating to solicitor-client privilege.

In 2005, the LSUC, supported by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC), brought an application before the Federal Court challenging CSIC’s status as regulator. That application was dismissed by Mr. Justice Hughes in December 2006. LSUC then brought the matter to the Federal Court of Appeal, who heard the case and dismissed the appeal on July 18, 2008. LSUC then filed a leave to appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada in September 2008. This leave was dismissed today.

“Throughout these years of legal struggle, CSIC’s leadership has been supported by its members without fail. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank them for their perseverance and confidence,” added Mr. Ryan. “I am confident we will soon put all of this behind us and work with all of our partners – LSUC included – for the benefit of people who use immigration consulting services.”

Sincerely,

Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants