New Language Requirements for Citizenship Applications to Take Effect November 1, 2012

Sep 12
28


As of November 1, 2012, citizenship applicants will be required to produce objective evidence of their language ability at the time of application. Under the old system, language ability of applicants was assessed through their interactions with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) staff, and their results from the citizenship knowledge test.

Under the new rules, language abilities will be further assessed by way of objective evidence. Applicants must include in their application such evidence as results from a CIC-approved third party test, evidence of completion of secondary or post-secondary education in English or French, or evidence of achieving the appropriate language level in certain government-funded language training programs. The change also serves as a kind of “gatekeeping” function, as applications can be returned from the outset if no objective evidence is included.

The requirement will apply to applications received as of November 1, 2012.

For more information on any Canadian or US immigration matter, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com or 18009939971.


Posted by Sindura Dar » No Comments »

Citizens of Botswana, Namibia, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Swaziland now require Temporary Resident Visas to enter Canada

Sep 12
18


The government announced that Botswana, Namibia, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Swaziland are being removed from the list of visa-exempt countries for travel to Canada. The amendment is effective as of September 11, 2012.

The government has also issued a set of transitional instructions, as follows:

If a citizen of Botswana, Namibia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Swaziland has:

  • a valid work or study permit which has not yet been used to enter Canada:

    • they will be instructed, via the mission web site, to send their original letter back to the visa office with their passport;
    • the file will be re-opened, a new letter will be issued and a counterfoil will be put in the passport; and
    • no additional fee will be required. Cost recovery code M09 is to be used with a note added to the file explaining why fees have been waived.
  •  a valid study or work permit which has been used to enter Canada or valid temporary resident status and they have left Canada to go anywhere other than the United States or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon:

    • they will need to submit a completed TRV application; and
    • the usual TRV processing fees will apply.
  • a valid work or study permit which has been used to enter Canada and they will remain in Canada:

    • they may continue to work or study according to the validity of their permit.

For more information on any Canadian or US immigration matter, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com or 18009939971.


Posted by Sindura Dar » No Comments »

Sponsoring a Spouse or Common Law Partner: In-Canada vs. Overseas application process

Sep 12
10


When a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident wishes to sponsor a foreign spouse or common-law partner who is already in Canada, he or she has the option of using either the “In-Canada” or the “Overseas” application process. Regardless of whether you select the In-Canada or the Overseas option, the requirements to immigrate to Canada are the same.  Nevertheless, it is important to understand the key differences between the two processes, and the relative advantages and disadvantages to each, so that you can make an informed decision as to which is the right choice for you and your spouse.

Some of the key differences between the two processes are:

In-Canada Sponsorship:

  • The applicant (sponsored spouse) must be in Canada when the application is submitted.
  • The application is submitted to, and processed by, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta.
  • Processing currently takes approximately 16 months, on average, for routine applications.
  • Once the application has been “approved in principle”, the applicant normally becomes eligible for an open work permit.  Currently it is taking approximately 11 months for approval in principle.
  • In many provinces, once the application is approved in principle, the applicant becomes eligible for provincial health insurance coverage.
  • There is no right to appeal of a negative decision.
  • If the applicant leaves Canada during the processing of his or her application and is not permitted to return, the application may be abandoned.  As such, travel outside of Canada is generally not recommended while the application is in process.

Overseas Sponsorship:

  • The applicant can apply through the overseas process whether he or she is inside or outside of Canada when the application is submitted.
  • The application is initially submitted to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.  Once the first stage of the application (the sponsorship) has been approved, the application is transferred to the appropriate overseas visa office, as determined by the applicant’s country of nationality or country of residence.
  • Processing times vary depending on the visa office where the application is processed, but it is normally faster to apply using the overseas application process, as opposed to the in-Canada process.
  • Eligibility for an open work permit does not arise during the in-Canada application process – if the sponsored spouse wishes to work in Canada while the application is in process, they must apply for a regular work permit.
  • The sponsor has the right to appeal a negative decision.

If you have questions regarding the spousal sponsorship process and which application process is best for you and your spouse, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com or 18009939971.

 


Posted by Joy Sisca » No Comments »

Fraud Investigation Continues

Sep 12
10


As a result of the fraud investigations launched last year, the government announced today that the number of potentially implicated individuals has grown to nearly 11,000.  This initiative combined the efforts of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police , in order to tackle the issue of individuals who obtained permanent residence status in Canada on fraudulent bases.

To date, over 600 former permanent residents linked to the investigations have been removed from or denied admittance to Canada, while approximately 500 citizenship applications have been denied where the applicants did not meet the residence requirements. Furthermore, it is estimated that almost 1,800 applicants linked to the investigations have abandoned their citizenship applications altogether.

For more information on any Canadian or US immigration matter, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at  pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com or 18009939971.

 


Posted by Sindura Dar » No Comments »

How do I apply for TN Classification?

Sep 12
7


Since January 1994, with the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals have enjoyed facilitated travel to and employment in the United States.  In order to qualify for TN status, the proposed U.S. activity must be in a profession listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA and the applicant must be in possession of the required credentials to qualify. Eligible professionals may also work for Canadian or Mexican companies in the United States.

In most cases a Baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree or Licenciatura (the Mexican equivalent of a bachelor’s degree) is the principal requirement. Although not specifically stated in Appendix 1603.D.1, United States Customs & Border Protection (“USCBP”) has previously stated that it expects the degree to be clearly relevant to the proposed position. As such, an alien with a bachelor degree in Psychology will usually not qualify as a computer systems analyst. However, an alien with a mathematics degree should be able to qualify for TN status as a computer systems analyst, since it can be argued that systems analysis requires the application of mathematics principles.  The list of eligible professions also includes occupations where a bachelor’s degree is not the minimum requirement. Specific outlined professions require a post-secondary diploma or certificate in addition to several years of experience.

Although the minimum requirements are similar for both Canadian and Mexican citizens, Canadians are permitted to apply for TN classification at a port-of-entry (land border) or pre-flight inspection, whereas Mexican citizens must first apply for a TN visa at a consular post.

A citizen of Canada may be admitted pursuant to TN status for a requested length of employment not to exceed three years.  An approved visa classifying a citizen of Mexico a TN non-immigrant shall be valid for a period of up to one year.

In summary, professionals of Canada or Mexico may work in the U. S. under the following conditions:

  • Applicant is a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
  • Profession is on the NAFTA list;
  • Position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional;
  • Mexican or Canadian applicant is to work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job, for a U.S. employer; self employment is not permitted;
  • Professional Canadian or Mexican citizen has the qualifications of the profession.

For more information on TN Visa or any other Canadian or US immigration matter, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at  pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com or 18009939971.

 


Posted by Ana Soares » No Comments »