Ontario announces bridge training projects for new immigrants

Jul 12

Approximately 11,000 skilled and new immigrants in Ontario may be getting the training and support they need to find a job in their field of expertise.

Certain bridge training projects held at the University of Toronto geared toward internationally educated professionals, will be receiving funding from the provincial and federal governments in order to help these skilled newcomers obtain licenses and find jobs in their area of practice. In particular, internationally educated physiotherapists, engineers, lawyers and business professions will benefit from these new projects, expected to run until 2014. They will receive occupation-specific training, licensure preparation and Canadian work experience.

For more information, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Sindura Dar » No Comments »

New Refugee Legislation May Face Constitutional Challenge

Jul 12

Bill C-31, popularly known as the “Immigration and Refugee Protection Act” recently received royal assent on June 28, 2012. Now, a Vancouver criminal lawyer representing one of the men accused in the smuggling of 76 Tamil migrants in 2009 is expected to file a motion in court regarding the constitutionality of Section 117 of the Act. This section criminalized the organizing, aiding or abetting of undocumented persons to get into Canada and the constitutional challenge centers on the argument that the section is so broad and vague that it could apply to most legitimate refugees and their families.

The men charged with the human smuggling will be going to trial in January 2013.

For more information, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Sindura Dar » No Comments »

The Immigration Action Plan

Posted by Allana|Canada Immigration
Jul 12

Pilot Project for Working-Age Dependent Children of Skilled Workers Extended

Recently, CIC announced that they would be extending the pilot projects that allow dependent children of skilled foreign workers to also obtain work permits in Ontario and Alberta.  The project, which was previously set to expire on July 31, 2012 will now be extended until July 31, 2013.

The pilot projects for Ontario and Alberta were initially introduced in 2009, with a similar program being introduced in 2011 for dependent children of select temporary foreign workers destined to British Columbia.  At this time, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia are the only provinces that offer programs by which accompanying dependent children are eligible to obtain open work permits exempt from the usual requirements, including having an offer of employment or obtaining a positive Labour Market Opinion from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (Service Canada).

Aside from the extended dates, it appears that the considerations of the programs in Alberta and Ontario remain the same.  A dependent child may qualify to apply for a work permit under the pilot project, provided that the dependent child’s parent holds an employer-specific work permit valid for 6 months or longer; the dependent child’s parent works in either Alberta or Ontario in a skilled, professional or managerial occupation; and the dependent child meets standard criteria to work in Canada (i.e. minimum age requirement for the province).  The issued permit can only be valid for the duration of the parent or guardian’s work permit (or until the child’s passport expires, whichever occurs first)  and will allow the dependent child to work for any employer in the province in which the parent or guardian works (Alberta or Ontario).

The operational bulletin released by CIC provides a short blurb on the rationale for extending the program, citing that the pilot project is primarily meant to consider whether or not facilitating the issuance of work permits to working-age dependents of skilled temporary foreign workers will make Ontario and Alberta more attractive destinations for the principal applicants.  The connected conclusion being that, by making the province more appealing to skilled temporary foreign workers, the province will attract international workers with in-demand skills.

This decision seems to fit in with recent immigration changes and announcements linked to the Conservative government’s Economic Action Plan, which mandates a revamping of the Canadian immigration system by placing a stronger focus on immigration policies and programs that promote and stimulate economic growth.  Although the extension of this pilot program may be a relatively small announcement, the rationale fits in with the overall narrative of using immigration for the benefit of Canadian economic prosperity and marketing Canada to desirable candidates.

For more information on this pilot program, or any other Canadian immigration matter, please contact the PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Allana » No Comments »

Expanded Temporary Foreign Worker Pilot Project

Jul 12

On July 16, 2012 Minister Jason Kenney announced that Alberta employers looking to hire highly skilled foreign workers in specific high demand occupations will benefit from the newly expanded Temporary Foreign Worker pilot project.

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Annex to the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration, the project will allow Temporary Foreign Workers from the occupations listed below to be issued a work permit which allows them to move freely between Alberta employers, without requiring a Labour Market Opinion.

Commencing July 16, the following occupations were added to the list of high demand occupations:

  • Welder
  • Heavy duty equipment mechanic
  • Ironworker
  • Millwright and industrial mechanic
  • Carpenter
  • Estimator

For more information on Temporary Foreign Workers, contact the PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Zaynah Marani » No Comments »

I am currently in Canada on a study permit. Am I eligible to apply for Permanent Residence from inside Canada?

Jul 12

Given the considerable benefits that foreign students yield for Canada’s economy, the attraction and retention of foreign students has become a top priority for the Canadian government.  Faced with an ageing population and a relatively low birth rate, the government is seeking to increase the pool of talented and skilled professionals in Canada, by developing immigration programs which enable foreign students in Canada to transition into permanent resident status.   

One such program is the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), which offers a pathway to permanent residence for international students and temporary foreign workers with high-skilled Canadian work experience.  In order to qualify for permanent residence under the CEC International Graduate stream, you must:

  • have successfully graduated from a program of study of at least two years’ duration at a qualifying Canadian post-secondary educational institution;
  • have obtained at least one year of full-time, or part-time equivalent, post-graduate work experience in Canada in a managerial, professional or technical occupation, within the 24 months preceding the date of your application;
  • have gained your experience in Canada with the proper work or study authorization, and
  • meet the required language threshold for your occupation.

Most foreign students in Canada will become eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit upon completion of their studies in Canada, enabling them to gain the necessary work experience to qualify under the Canadian Experience Class.

In addition to the Canadian Experience Class, there are also a number of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) for international students in Canada who are seeking to transition into permanent resident status.

If you would like to discuss your options for a Permanent Residence Application under the Canadian Experience Class or one of the Provincial Nominee Programs, we invite you to contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at 416 598 8849.

Posted by Joy Sisca » No Comments »

Work permit applications where there is a risk of sexual exploitation will no longer be processed

Jul 12

On July 14, 2012, a set of Ministerial Instructions came out establishing that work permit applications from foreign nationals seeking to work for an employer that is in a sector where there are reasonable grounds to suspect a risk of sexual exploitation of some workers are not to be processed.

These instructions apply to all work permit applications where the applicant is destined to work for a strip club, escort service and/or massage parlour, or to perform contract work for the business or on its premises (including on a self-employed basis), irrespective of the specific occupation that the applicant is intended to fill at that business.

The new instructions will apply to applications received on or after July 14, 2012.

For more information, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Sindura Dar » No Comments »

So you have Permanent Residence… now what?

Posted by Allana|Canada Immigration
Jul 12

The importance of keeping track of your immigration paperwork

Congratulations!  You have survived the wait and stacks of forms and paperwork.  You landed and received your Confirmation of Permanent Residence and PR card.  You are officially a Canadian Permanent Resident -Fantastic!  Now feel free to lose track of your paperwork -You won’t need that anymore!

Wait… What?

An article published today in the Toronto Star details the struggles of retired Toronto school teacher Elisabeth Horley McLeod who was denied her Old Age Security pension because she was unable to produce her landing papers showing the date she arrived in Canada.  In order to access the Old Age Security pension, Canadian citizens who were not born in Canada must provide proof of the date they arrived in Canada in order to demonstrate they meet the requirement of a minimum 10 years of residence in Canada after reaching age 18.

Understandably, as McLeod arrived in Canada when she was just 4 years old (over 60 years ago), she had trouble locating her record of landing.  Although she was able to produce her Canadian passport, citizenship document, and tax returns, unfortunately none of this documentation proves the date she arrived in Canada.  McLeod goes on to explain her struggles to find the appropriate way of requesting a replacement record of landing, including futile searches, unanswered inquiries, and finally reaching out to her local MP.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be that complicated.  Like many immigration matters, the information available can sometimes feel daunting.  But, staying organized and asking for assistance when needed is your best strategy.  Here are some tips to keep in mind once you have obtained your permanent residence status in Canada:

-Keep a copy of your landing papers (known either as “Record of Landing” or “Confirmation of Permanent Residence”) and keep them in a safe place

-Keep track of all days you travel to ensure you meet the residency requirements to both maintain your permanent residence status as well as to apply for citizenship

-Track the expiry of your PR card – it is needed for any international travel by commercial carrier

-Apply for citizenship when you are eligible

-Contact a lawyer for advice and assistance

 For more information on permanent residence applications, or any Canadian immigration matter, please contact the PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Allana » No Comments »

Amended Residency Rule for Canadian Nexus Applicants

Jul 12

On July 11, 2012, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that with immediate effect they would lift the three year residency requirement for Canadian citizens to apply to NEXUS. This is an effort by the United States and Canada to deliver on key commitments under the Border Action Plan for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.

By amending the three year residency requirement, the CBSA is extending NEXUS membership eligibility to citizens of Canada currently residing abroad, or who have recently moved back to Canada. As pre-approved travelers, NEXUS members can expedite their travel across the Canada – US border at designated air, land and marine locations. The NEXUS program allows US and Canadian officers to concentrate their efforts on unknown and higher risk travelers and goods. 

For more information on this and other US and Canadian Immigration matters, contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at 416 598 8849.

Posted by Tahira Pandit » No Comments »