New Federal Funding for Canadian Immigrants in Calgary

Posted by Veronica Zanfir|Canada Immigration
Aug 09
31


New Canadian Permanent Residents settling in Calgary will now have access to increased government-sponsored language and settlement services, thanks to a substantial increase in funding. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney has allocated nearly $9.5 million in federal funding for language training programming to assist new immigrants settle in Calgary.

The funds were allocated to the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society, the Agape Language Centre Society, Bow Valley College, the Calgary Board of Education, the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, Columbia Training Centre, Immigrant Services Calgary, Language Plus Inc. and the YMCA and YWCA of Calgary.  More than 13,000 new immigrants will benefit from this investment. The services offered by these organizations are crucial to ensuring newcomers settle successfully in Canada and include employment counseling and language training for professionals.


Posted by Veronica Zanfir » No Comments »

Canada gains more access to information regarding asylum seekers and foreign nationals facing deportation

Posted by Veronica Zanfir|Canada Immigration
Aug 09
31


Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney and Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan have spearheaded a landmark cooperation initiative between Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia to ensure that convicted criminals who attempt to hide their past from authorities cannot slip into Canada unnoticed.

Under the partnership, Canada will be able to securely and confidentially check the fingerprints of asylum seekers and foreign nationals facing deportation, including dangerous criminals, against fingerprints stored in Australian and U.K. databases. The fingerprint information will then be assessed in order to identify foreign nationals who may seek to enter Canada without revealing their criminal past.

The initiative developed between Canada, Australia, the U.K., the United States and New Zealand, will protect Canadians and the integrity of Canada’s immigration and refugee system by improving our nation’s ability to detect misrepresentation, fraudulent refugee claims, violent foreign criminals, and to more quickly remove those who have been found to be inadmissible on criminal grounds.

 


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Permanent Resident Card has been re-designed and holds enhanced security features

Posted by Veronica Zanfir|Canada Immigration
Aug 09
31


This month saw the release of a new Canadian Permanent Resident Card with enhanced security features. Also known as the Maple Leaf card, this identity document has now been re-engineered to help prevent the fraudulent use of Canada’s immigration documents and contains security features that comply with international standards for travel documents.
Specifically, the new card contains micro-lettering and fine line patterns that are resistant to copying, similar to banknotes. Also, the card holder’s photograph and personal details are recorded on a bar code in an encrypted format that may only be read by authorized officials.
Every new Canadian Permanent Resident will automatically receive the new card as part of the immigration process. Current Permanent Residents will receive a new card only when their existing Canadian Permanent Resident Card expires. In the meantime, their existing card is remains valid.
Canadian Permanent Residents should remain aware of the expiry date of their existing Canadian Permanent Residents Card and apply for a new card well in advance of any scheduled international travel. The Canadian Permanent Resident Card is required for all permanent residents of Canada seeking to re-enter Canada on a commercial carrier (airplane, boat, train or bus).


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Lifting of Suspension of Removals

Posted by Karen|Global Immigration
Aug 09
27


The Government of Canada recently announced that due to improved conditions in Burundi, Liberia and Rwanda, the temporary suspensions of removals to these countries have been lifted, effective immediately. This means that previously unremovable citizens of these countries may now be removed to their country of citizenship.

These changes can give rise to considerable immigration issues for foreign nationals who are citizens of these countries who have resided in Canada but were previously exempt from removal.  We urge anyone in this position to contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP immediately to discuss options.

Please note that temporary suspensions of removals to Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe are NOT being lifted. The conditions in these countries make it appropriate to continue the existing suspensions.


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EU’s Employer Sanction Directive

Posted by Melodie Hughes|Global Immigration
Aug 09
25


The Council of the European Union (EU) has recently issued a Directive prohibiting employers from hiring third-country nationals who lack proper work authorization.

The Employer Sanction Directive, which was formalized on May 25, 2009 and is in force with its publication in the Official Journal of the EU, targets employers of third-country nationals (non-EU nationals) who are illegally working and residing in the EU.

Under the Directive, EU member states may enforce certain sanctions against employers who are hiring third-country nationals without the appropriate immigration documents. While this has been standard practice for years, employers will now have a positive obligation to ensure that all of their third-country national workers hold valid work authorization/residence permits, and will be required to keep a copy of this documentation on file throughout the worker’s period of employment. Employers will also be required to notify the government of the start of employment of third-country nationals within a designated time-period.

Specifically, this new directive outlines sanctions that member states must introduce for violating employers. These sanctions include monetary fines, and criminal sanctions for intentional and persistent violators. To ensure compliance, the Directive also authorizes member states to implement inspection programs.


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Exception relating to Safe Third Country Agreement has been removed

Posted by Veronica Zanfir|Global Immigration
Aug 09
20


Recent changes to the Canada–U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement means that nationals of Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Iraq and Zimbabwe who arrive at a Canada-U.S. land border can no longer claim refugee protection from Canada, and will be turned back to the United States. The Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement has been in effect since December 29, 2004 and requires that refugees arriving in North America claim protection in the first safe country they reach: Canada or the United States.

There are several exceptions to this rule. Specifically, individuals who have family members in Canada, or hold a permit, or are minors, or can be admitted for public interest reasons, are allowed to claim protection at a Canadian land border even if they arrived in the U.S.A. first. Another exception initially applied to nationals of any country for which Canada had imposed a temporary suspension of removals due to country conditions. This latter exception has been now removed.


Posted by Veronica Zanfir » 2 Comments »

H-1B Petitions Still Being Accepted

Posted by Marwah Serag|US Immigration
Aug 09
20


As of August 14, 2009, USCIS had received approximately 45,000 H-1B petitions out of the 65,000 H-1B cap.  USCIS continues to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced-degree petitions.  USCIS will continue to accept these petitions until they receive enough petitions to satisfy the statutory limit of 65,000 and 20,000 for advanced-degree petitions.


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New Nominee Program Unveiled for Northwest Territories

Posted by Melodie Hughes|Canada Immigration
Aug 09
11


On August 5th, 2009, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced the signing of an agreement to help attract new immigrations to the Northwest Territories. This agreement results in the implementation of a 3-year Provincial/Territorial Nominee Pilot Program.

The Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP), similar to other provincial nominee programs in place throughout Canada, is designed to help strengthen the Territories’ economy by attracting qualified individuals to fill critical labour shortages and promote business development. A key benefit for those looking to relocate to the Northwest Territories is that it will allow eligible individuals to be nominated by the Territories to have their application for permanent residency processed on a priority basis.

Under the NTNP, applicants can be nominated for permanent residency under one of four program categories:

– Skilled Worker
– Critical Impact Worker (Service and Hospitality Sector Occupations)
– Entrepreneur Business
– Self-employed Business

The NTNP has been implemented as a Pilot Project for the next three years. It is a great opportunity for those seeking to move to Canada’s Great White North on an expedited basis, and is predicted to bring great benefits to the economy and culture of the Northwest Territories.

For more information on the NTNP or other provincial nominee programs, contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.


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