Lengthy LMO Processing Times at Service Canada

Posted by Donna Habsha|Canada Immigration
Oct 11

Currently Labour Market Opinions (LMO) processing times have climbed to over 11 weeks! For foreign workers currently in Canada who’s employer is looking to extend their LMO based work permit, processing times at Vegreville is currently at about 76 days. This means that where LMO and work permit extension applications are filed at approximately the same time and just prior to expiry of the employee’s existing work permit, the employee runs a high risk of the work permit application being refused as a result of no approved LMO being on file.

Given the current timelines at Service Canada, which seem to be getting longer each passing week, it is critical that employers plan ahead and submit their LMO applications as early as possible and at least 3-4 months prior to expiry of their foreign worker employee’s work permit so that they do not fall out of status.

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

Minister Kenney Looks to Reduce Immigration Applications under Family Class

Posted by Melodie Hughes|Canada Immigration
Oct 11

In a recent 2011 study conducted by the Reputation Institute on the public perception of 50 countries, Canada was ranked number 1, having the best reputation in the world based on the country’s safety, economic stability, environmental attention, and the overall quality of life of its citizens and residents. Consistently ranking high in the United Nations’ human development report, it is no wonder that every year millions of people apply to live in Canada permanently.

Despite accepting approximately 254,000 permanent residence applications every year, however, the Canadian government is facing a continually growing, large backlog of applications, leading to overly lengthy processing times and a strain on resources. In addressing this backlog at a House of Commons committee meeting last week, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney proposed one solution: Cut immigration applications.

More specifically, Minister Kenney told the House of Commons that the solution to addressing the backlog and speeding up processing times was to scale back the number of applications accepted under the Family Class and the sponsorship of parents and grandparents in particular.

    “Canada is the most generous country in the world with respect to immigration […] But there have to be practical limits to our generosity. We have to calibrate those limits based on our country’s economic needs, our fiscal capacity. There is no doubt that the people who are coming who are senior citizens, they have much, much lower labour market participation and much higher levels of utilization of the public health system.”

Recently, the processing of sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents has come to an almost screeching halt, with processing times having more than doubled in less than two years (in 2010, processing times for sponsorship approval in this category were approximately 24 months; today, they are reportedly at 49 months). With the exponential increase in processing times and potential cuts further proposed by the Minister, many Canadian citizens and permanent residents are left waiting, and in so doing are facing increased hardship and strain as they care for their aging parents and grandparents.

Some may argue that in order to benefit from the healthcare system and other social benefits for which Canada has become known, immigrants must first contribute by working in the country and paying taxes. However, contributions come in many forms. Many elderly immigrants contribute to the family’s financial and social wellbeing by acting as caregivers, thus enabling their working age children to provide income. And in being able to reside in Canada, financial hardship, as well as emotional strain on the family can often be avoided as the need to support a dependent parent overseas, including the costs of travel and maintaining property abroad is eliminated.

It is yet to be determined whether Minister Kenney’s proposed solution will be implemented in future and if so, to what extent. In the meantime, however, applications to sponsor parents and grandparents continue to process…… slowly.

Posted by Melodie Hughes » No Comments »

Lengthy Processing Times at the CIO

Posted by Donna Habsha|Canada Immigration
Oct 11

The Centralized Intake Office (CIO) is currently opening applications received  July 20, 2011 to assess for completion. The lag time between today’s date and the application-opening date is an astounding three months! Unfortunately Applicants may wait several months only to find out that the application quota has been filled.

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

Canadian Citizen Denied Entry to the USA.

Oct 11

I’m a Canadian Citizen and I’ve Been Denied Entry to the USA Because I Have a Criminal Conviction. What Should I Do Now?

Canadian citizens who have been denied entry to the United States due to a past criminal conviction can apply for an I-192 Waiver of Inadmissibility. This waiver must be applied for, and in almost all cases received, prior to attempting another entry into the United States. The first thing you should do after being denied entry to the US is check your records for any documentation you may have regarding your past convictions, and to call a US Immigration Lawyer.

What Can A Lawyer do to Help Me?

One of PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP’s US Immigration lawyers will review your charges and convictions thoroughly to determine whether or not you require a waiver. If it is determined that a waiver is necessary, we will assist you in gathering the necessary documents and preparing a cogent application package to present to the US authorities. We will work with you to ensure that you meet the legal requirements necessary for a waiver to be granted and we will assist you in putting together the strongest application possible. Once the application has been submitted, we will follow-up on your application at regular intervals and continue to monitor its progress.

What Happens Next?

A waiver of inadmissibility can be granted for anywhere from 1-5 years. Initial waivers are generally only valid for one year, and must be renewed if you intend to enter the US.

To schedule a consultation or speak with one of our US Immigration lawyers, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at 1-800-993-9971 or via the internet at pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com.

Posted by Karen » No Comments »

CIC proposes changes to citizenship program and language requirements

Posted by Melodie Hughes|Canada Immigration
Oct 11

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has recently announced proposed changes to the way the government assesses the language abilities of prospective new citizens.

Under the proposal, adult citizenship applicants would be required to provide objective evidence of language ability with their citizenship applications.

“The ability to communicate effectively in either French or English is key to the success of new citizens in Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “This change will encourage applicants to ensure that they can speak English or French when they apply for citizenship, thereby improving the integrity and effectiveness of the citizenship program for Canada and for new Canadians alike.”

The Citizenship Act already requires that applicants be able to communicate in one of Canada’s official languages. This proposed change would not increase the language level required, but would change the way that citizenship applicants aged 18-54 prove their language ability.

Under the new system, applicants would have to provide objective evidence that they meet the language requirement at the time they file their application. Applicants would be able to demonstrate language ability at both speaking and listening levels by submitting a variety of evidence, including:

  • the results of a third party test;
  • evidence of completion of secondary or post-secondary education in English or French; or
  • evidence of achieving CLB/NCLC 4 in certain government funded language training programs.

CIC currently uses the citizenship knowledge test as well as the applicant’s interaction with CIC staff to assess language ability. If it appears an applicant does not meet language requirements, they are invited for an interview with a citizenship judge. This current process can often result in a significant time delay between the submission of the application and the subsequent hearing for language.

The proposed new rule that applicants must provide proof of language ability at the time they file their application would give citizenship judges better evidence on which to base their decision. This would also likely result in the return of applications of those who do not provide evidence they meet the requirements more quickly, thus improving application processing times.

For further information on the above proposal and details on how to apply for Canadian citizenship, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Melodie Hughes » No Comments »

NAFTA Work Permits for US and Canada

Oct 11

October 26, 2011

Businesses are increasingly finding themselves in need to transferring employees quickly and seamlessly to locations around the world. For PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLPs next webinar, we are going to focus on what every employer and employee needs to know about the North American Free Trade Agreement’s most popular work permit categories. This webinar will look at the specific immigration related provisions of the NAFTA as they apply to Skilled Workers and Intra-Company Transferees as they apply to both Canada and the United States. We will discuss the similarities and differences between the two countries, as well as the application process. This is a must attend webinar if you are a person who wants to apply for a NAFTA work permit, or a company that has employees travelling across the U.S./Canadian border regularly.

Register for this complimentary webinar here.

Posted by Karen » No Comments »

Deportation Reviews to Begin

Oct 11

According to CNN, the Obama Administration will soon begin the “systematic review of the approximately 300,000 pending deportation cases, separating ‘high priority’ cases involving criminals it wants to deport from ‘low priority’ cases it will drop.”

This new policy gives federal immigration officials “prosecutorial discretion” where they will place the highest priority on deporting those who pose a real danger to public safety or a threat to national security.

If you have been deemed inadmissible to the United States or are having immigration problems due to your previous inadmissibility or removal, please contact us to book a consultation. PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP has successfully prepared and filed numerous I-601 Waiver Applications for applicants in the United States and abroad. Our lawyers strive to achieve the best results by tailoring each application according to the individual’s personal situation and needs.

Posted by Immigration Law Team » No Comments »

B.C. PNP Taking Steps to Promote Investment and Meet the Province’s Labour Market Demand

Posted by Donna Habsha|Canada Immigration
Oct 11

The British Columbia provincial government is taking steps to further encourage business immigrants to invest in communities in regional B.C. through the BC Provincial Nominee Program. ‘Canada Starts Here – The BC Jobs Plan’ is a program to attract more entrepreneurs from other countries to help create jobs regionally.

A new online investment matching service will link potential business immigrants to business opportunities in regions, with a focus on small business succession, an area of concern identified by the small business sector. In some cases, small business owners in smaller rural communities are facing challenges in finding people to buy their companies when they are ready to retire. The service is scheduled to launch in November.

Other steps being taken to promote investment and meet labour market demand include:

·More aggressively marketing the BC Provincial Nominee Program and regional business opportunities to prospective business immigrants internationally with a strong focus on Latin America, Eastern Europe, Russia and India;

·Amending the program requirements to allow BC PNP business immigrants, who locate in regional communities and invest in existing businesses, to meet their employment commitments by maintaining existing jobs. This change is effective October 14, 2011;

·Making the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled pilot category of the BC PNP a permanent program category to help meet the needs of employers in key sectors such as tourism. This change is effective immediately;

·Reducing the minimum size for eligible employers located outside of the Greater Vancouver Regional District from five employees to three. This change is effective Oct. 14, 2011;

For 2011, B.C. was given a maximum of 3,500 provincial nominations by the federal government. The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation is negotiating with the federal government to increase B.C. nominations for 2012.

A recent, independent study shows that the 203 business nominees who immigrated to B.C. from 2005 to mid-2010 under the BC PNP invested over $423 million into the provincial economy and created over 1,100 jobs.

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »