Depending on their nationality, Canadian landed immigrants receive different treatment when it comes to residency requirements.
Archives for 2009
Federal Skilled Worker is no longer the only way to go. Both federal and provincial immigration programs have expanded significantly in recent times, offering candidates more than sixty different alternatives for immigration to Canada. This new reality in Canadian immigration is matched by the revamp of Canada’s leading immigration website, Canadavisa.com. By submitting a Canadian immigration eligibility questionnaire on Canadavisa.com, an applicant’s candidacy will be assessed across all the Canada immigration options that currently exist.
In the July, 2009 edition of our Newsletter, we reported that the province of Quebec, which is responsible for its own immigration program as part of an agreement with the federal government, would be making changes to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. The changes to the program were announced and implemented on October 14, and the new selection system for Quebec Skilled Workers may make it easier for some applicants to qualify.
The most significant change reduces the overall selection pass mark from 59 to 55 for a single applicant, and from 68 to 63 for a couple.
The breakdown of points awarded for education has been amended to recognize more types of diplomas than under the previous system. Undergraduate diplomas attesting to 1 or 2 years of university education and more vocational and technical diplomas are now considered.
In addition, the “Areas of Training” criterion, which awards bonus points to applicants with certain educational or training backgrounds, has been changed to reflect the current needs of Quebec’s economy and labour market. Applicants with certain educational backgrounds will not only benefit from more points, but will also qualify for priority processing.
The breakdown of points awarded for an applicant’s age has also been adjusted, so that it declines less rapidly after the age of 35 than under the previous system.
The more favourable weighting of the education and age criteria could make it easier for some applicants, who did not qualify under the previous system, to become eligible to immigrate to Canada under the Quebec Skilled Worker category.
Successful applicants obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), and must then submit their application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (a Canadian visa office) for medical and security checks and the issuance of a Canadian immigration (permanent resident) visa.
This new selection system is in effect as of October 14 2009. Applications that were received by Quebec immigration offices before that date will be assessed under whichever system is more favourable to the applicant, while those received on or after October 14 will be assessed under the new system.
Do you qualify under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program? Our new assessment form allows us to assess your eligibility across the more than 60 different Canadian immigration programs that are currently in place. Find out which program is right for you.
Earlier this month, the province of Saskatchewan introduced new procedural guidelines for the Entrepreneur category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) that will speed up the processing of applications under this program. In recent years, Saskatchewan has been an attractive destination for immigrants to Canada because of the many employment and investment opportunities it offers.
According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business ranking of top business-friendly cities, Saskatchewan is home to the most business-friendly cities in Canada. The province is currently experiencing a business boom and its highest population growth since 1952. As the economy grows, the creation of jobs and investment opportunities are increasing.
For this reason, the province has amended its immigration strategy to welcome a greater number of qualified immigrants.
“This new process will make Saskatchewan more competitive in Canada. It will bring talented managers and entrepreneurs to the province, it will spread opportunities for investment to more communities and create jobs,” said Saskatchewan’s Minister Responsible for Immigration Rob Norris.
Under the new process, nominations for the SINP Entrepreneur category are expected to be finalized within six months from the date of application.
In addition, three new streams have been added to this category:
- The Large Scale Investor Stream, for applicants who wish to invest $10-million or more in Saskatchewan;
- The Science and Technology Stream, for applicants who have an innovative idea or plan to partner with an existing Saskatchewan science and technology body; and
- The Young Farmers Stream, for applicants under the age of 40 who have farming experience.
Norris also announced plans to add two new streams to the SINP Entrepreneur category in the future: one for entrepreneurs to partner with First Nations and Métis businesses or communities, and one that will facilitate business succession in the province.
Do you qualify for Canadian immigration under the SINP? Our new assessment form allows us to assess your eligibility across the more than 60 different Canadian immigration programs that are currently in place. Find out which option is right for you.
On October 9, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada (CIMC) Minister Jason Kenney announced proposed changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program that will strengthen the protection of Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada.
“Temporary Foreign Workers play an important role in the Canadian economy. We have a duty to them, employers and all Canadians, to ensure that the program is fair and equitable,” Kenney said.
The proposed amendments to the program include:
- a more stringent assessment of the genuineness of the job offer by Canadian authorities, which will include verification of the employer’s compliance with labour laws in the past;
- limits to the time period a worker can stay in Canada before returning home; and
- a two-year prohibition from hiring a temporary foreign worker for employers who have been found to offer working conditions, wages or occupations that are significantly different than initially promised.
Employers who have been prohibited from employing foreign workers will be listed on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.
Prior to announcing the changes, Kenney and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) Minister Diane Finley consulted extensively with various groups involved with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
“The regulatory changes being proposed today are the result of extensive consultations and address the most significant concerns identified through that process,” said Kenney.
Kenney’s office stressed that the proposed changes reflect Canada’s commitment to protecting foreign workers.
“It’s a warning to companies and individuals that depend on foreign workers – treat them with respect, otherwise you will lose the ability to sponsor new foreign workers,” said Alykhan Velshi, Kenney’s aide.
Over the past few years, there has been a gradual but steady shift in the ways that people qualify for a Canadian permanent resident visa. More and more, the Canadian government is relying upon the 13 provinces and territories to come up with their own immigration strategies (Quebec and Provincial Nomination Programs), using selection criteria that best suit local interest. To counterbalance this change in direction, the Canadian government has stifled the national Federal Skilled Worker program by making it available only to individuals with work experience in a short list of 38 occupations or to people who have a Canadian job offer. So what we have now in Canada is an immigration selection system that resembles a patchwork quilt of more than 60 separate and distinct immigration programs that lead to Canadian permanent residence. Talk about confusion!
For the second year in a row, the World Economic Forum has ranked Canada’s banking system ‘the soundest in the world,’ and given Canada top marks for the ease of starting a business. The Immigrant Investor Program, a category of Canadian Business Immigration, is an essential Canadian immigration option for business people who have accumulated a high net worth and wish to take advantage of Canada’s opportunities, such as a five-year ‘tax holiday’ for new Canadian permanent residents. There are two Immigrant Investor programs: the Federal Investor program, and the Quebec Investor program. While the requirements for both programs seem similar, the Quebec Investor program has slightly different conditions than the Federal Investor program, and, depending on the applicant’s country of residence, may provide a faster route to a Canadian immigrant (permanent resident) visa.
In the August, 2009 edition of our Newsletter, we highlighted two of the 38 qualifying occupations for the Federal Skilled Worker program: University Professors, and College and Other Vocational Instructors, and emphasized the importance of duties performed in each occupation, as opposed to job titles. This month, we look at Construction Managers, another qualifying occupation, and explore the possibility that Civil Engineers and Architects with supervisory roles might qualify for Canadian immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker program if their job descriptions and duties match those of Construction Managers.
Many Civil Engineers and Supervising Architects perform the duties of Construction Managers as in their jobs. Depending on their degree of involvement with the constructions projects they oversee, they may qualify for Canadian immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker category, though their job titles do not specifically designate them as construction managers.
According to the National Occupation Classification (NOC) description, Construction Managers plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate the activities of a construction company or a construction department within a company.
They are responsible for evaluating projects from the planning stages through to completion according to schedules and specifications. Construction Managers prepare budget estimates, as well as negotiate contracts with subcontractors for all stages of a given construction project. They are also in charge of purchasing building materials and coordinating quality control programs.
Civil Engineers who oversee construction projects in their entirety and perform a substantial number of the duties described above may qualify to immigrate to Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker program if they have at least one year of work experience performing those duties within the last ten years.
Architects with supervisory roles may also be considered under this occupation as long as they perform the duties outlined in its NOC description. Many Architects do more than project-design; they also plan, budget, and oversee the completion of the projects they have designed. If they have done so for at least one year within the last ten year period, they should look into whether they qualify to immigrate to Canada as Construction Managers.
Find out if you qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program.
Earlier this month, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) announced a major change to its popular US H1B Visa Holders category. One occupation—Computer and Information Systems Managers—has been removed from the list of qualifying occupations. That’s the bad news. The good news is the Federal Skilled Worker program remains an attractive Canadian immigration option for Computer and Information Systems Managers currently working in the United States, as well as those working elsewhere in the world. This occupation is still in demand across Canada as a whole, and is still one of the 38 qualifying occupations under the Federal Skilled Worker category.
The AINP’s Strategic Recruitment Stream’s US Visa Holders Category is still an attractive option for both the temporary workers in the United States who qualify, as well as the province of Alberta. It provides Alberta’s labour market with skilled workers who have North American work experience, and provides the workers with an option to immigrate to a Canadian province where their work experience and skill set are in demand, making it easier for them to find employment after their arrival.
The list of qualifying occupations is frequently amended to reflect the needs of Alberta’s labour market, and now, Computer and Information Systems Managers is no longer a qualifying occupation.
As one of the qualifying criteria for the program is a minimum of 12 months of qualifying work on an H1B visa, many temporary workers in the US who have been on H1B visas since last October will soon qualify for the AINP US Visa Holders category. However, as we have very recently seen, the requirements for the program can change without notice at any time, and potential applicants are advised to submit their applications as soon as possible, while their occupations currently qualify for the program.
Find out if you qualify for the AINP’s Strategic Recruitment Stream, US Visa Holders category.