What started as Ontario’s Pilot Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in May 2007 has now come into its own as the full-fledged Opportunities Ontario Provincial Nominee Program. The Ontario PNP will now be welcoming a greater number of newcomers from a larger array of skilled occupations. The expansion of the program is great news for soon-to-be Canadian immigrants, many of whom plan to live in Ontario, as it offers a quicker and more efficient route to Canadian Permanent Residency.
Archives for 2009
On most days, I truly love what I do. Many lawyers spend their working lives locked in adversarial battles, where one side wins and the other loses. Not much fun, if you ask me. In my job I get to work in an environment, where most of the time there are no loses. Our clients nearly always get what they want… Canada gets what it needs… and I get to make a decent living from it all.
Earlier this month, we introduced you to LoonLounge.com, a social network where Canadian residents and future immigrants can connect and learn from each other, become engaged in Canadian communities, and ultimately help improve the Canadian immigration and settlement processes. The response from our newsletter subscribers and the Canadian media has been overwhelmingly positive, with a flux of new members on LoonLounge and praise coming from such highly regarded Canadian news agents as the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.
With over 15,500 members from 191 countries, LoonLounge is helping more and more people exchange information, find the tools and resources they need, and make friends with their future Canadian neighbours and colleagues.
The Canadian exposure that LoonLounge has received over the past few weeks has helped balloon the community of Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents on LoonLounge, who are excited to get involved in this non-commercial site where they can help newcomers and future immigrants make Canada their new home.
Canadian residents are well-aware of the importance of immigration to Canadian society and the workforce. Canadian employers are coming up with innovative ways to recruit and integrate newcomers into their diverse workforces; and Canadian community groups across the country are working on making themselves more attractive immigration destinations through settlement programs and services.
Canadians are realizing that LoonLounge can be a central place for them to reach out to newcomers and future immigrants. And as newcomers receive this helping hand, they are turning around and passing it on to others, making LoonLounge a continuous circle of information-sharing and network-building.
The Toronto Star calls LoonLounge “a slick, interactive and well designed venue to draw in Canadians and those hoping to become Canadian.”
Focusing more on the potential for interaction between Canadian employers and future Canadian immigrant workers, the Globe and Mail describes LoonLounge:
“So now someone from, say Nigeria, can post a profile [on LoonLounge] and find people in Canada from his hometown. A professional engineer from India could ask questions about job availability in different cities. Or a Canadian hospital recruiter can find and hire a nurse from the Philippines before she even arrives in the country.”
As the LoonLounge membership continues to grow, so does your potential to make valuable connections to people in Canada and around the world on LoonLounge.
Last year, the province of Alberta introduced the Strategic Recruitment Stream of the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). This program recognizes the valuable contributions that workers from overseas have made in North America by fast-tracking the Canadian Permanent Residency of certain US H1B visa* holders. The application procedure has recently been modified.
The Strategic Recruitment Stream of the AINP was created to help Alberta employers deal with chronic labour shortages in certain industries in the province. The Alberta government reasoned that US H1B holders in these occupations, with their North American experience, would easily find jobs in Alberta. Essentially, if you have been working in the United States for at least one year on an H1B in an occupation that is in high demand in Alberta, the province has rolled out the welcome mat for you. No job offer required.
As of January 2009, the Alberta government has changed the way applications from H1B holders are to be processed.
Under the former process, the applicant would first submit a basic application to the AINP officers. Upon review, the officers would issue an invitation to qualified applicants to submit a full application. Once that was received and processed, the AINP officers would issue a certificate of nomination to qualified applicants. These applicants then submitted their certificate to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for the final processing of their Permanent Resident visas.
The new process has eliminated the initial invitation portion of the application. Applicants will now submit their full forms and documents right away.
Improving the process goes to show that Alberta is motivated to welcome newcomers, especially H1B holders. Do you qualify for this fast-track Canadian immigration program?
* also includes H1B1, H1C, and E3.
As of April 17, 2009, Canada’s Citizenship Act will be amended. The new law now limits Canadian citizenship to the first generation born abroad to Canadian citizens.
All individuals born in Canada are granted citizenship, as are people born abroad who undertake the Canadian citizenship process and are approved.
Previously, individuals who were born abroad to Canadian parents were granted Canadian citizenship and would apply for a citizenship certificate as evidence. The new law alters this.
One of the elements of the April 17 amendments to the Citizenship Act restricts the granting of citizenship for children born abroad to Canadian parents. Now, only the first generation of children born abroad to Canadian citizens will be accorded Canadian citizenship.
Once the law comes into effect, children born abroad to Canadian parents in the second or subsequent generations will not become Canadian citizens automatically at birth. Moreover, those who are born abroad in the second or subsequent generations before the new law is implemented, who are not already Canadian citizens, will not automatically become a citizen under the new law.
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister (CIMC) Jason Kenney spent some time this month in India and Pakistan to work on further strengthening Canada’s relations with the two countries. He met with important political figures and religious leaders from various communities to discuss immigration to Canada, employment in Canada for Indian and Pakistani residents, and Canadian investment in the region.
Minister Kenney visited New Delhi, Amritsar, Chandigarh, and Mumbai from January 11 to 18. In New Delhi, he addressed the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber and visited regional Canadian immigration visa offices as well as the office of the Canadian Immigration Integration Project. In Mumbai, he discussed facilitating the visa process for business travelers and international students.
“The Indo-Canadian community has raised a number of important issues with me, including the need to take action against fraudulent immigration consultants, improve visa processing times, encourage immigration from Indian students to Canada, and build stronger connections between Indian and Canadian businesses,” said Minister Kenney. “I intend to work on fulfilling our government’s promise to modernize the immigration system to make it more efficient and responsive to labour market needs, as well as fairer for applicants.”
On his two-day visit to Pakistan, Minister Kenney met with Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani. They conversed about the Pakistani community in Canada and its important contributions to the social, economic, and political institutions of the country. Kenney announced that Canada has decided to double its Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) assistance for Pakistan from $30 million CAD to $60 million CAD. The investment will be used to strength local government institutions, basic health care for girls, and primary education for Pakistani children.
“Pakistani-Canadians play an important role in Canada. We are seeing more and more newcomers arriving from Pakistan,” said Minister Kenney. “With a program of this size, there are always challenges. This visit gave me valuable insight as we continue to make improvements in our immigration system. My trip was made more meaningful due to many consultations with members of the Pakistani-Canadian community.”
Minister Kenney agreed with Prime Minister Gilani that there have been significant delays in the processing of Canadian immigration applications from Pakistan, but assured him of his resolve to improve upon this. During his visit, Minister Kenney met with Canadian visa officers at the High Commission in Islamabad to review operations there.
Minister Kenney also noted Canada’s intention of increasing the recruitment of Pakistani workers for the Canadian workforce.
In order to hire a foreign worker, Canadian employers may need to satisfy Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) that they cannot find any Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents to fill the available position. HRSDC’s role is to ensure that Canadian residents have first access to Canadian jobs. To better reflect Canada’s evolving labour needs, HRSDC has recently altered employer requirements for hiring from abroad.
Throughout his years in immigration law, David Cohen has learned that there is an important link missing in the Canadian immigration process. He has seen new immigrants thrive just as he has seen others struggle. Those who succeed do so because of their connections to Canada – connections with people in Canada, Canadian community organizations, Canadian employers, and Canadian resource centers.
Connections are the ticket to a successful life in Canada. The missing link in the Canadian immigration process is a vehicle through which these connections can be made.
Introducing www.loonlounge.com, the Canadian immigration and settlement online community. This social and practical network is the central place where people come together to discuss immigration issues and life in Canada. It is the place to connect, to share experiences and advice, to ask questions, to meet people, to create a settlement plan.
Everyone is welcome on LoonLounge:
- if you are in the process of immigrating to Canada;
- if you are just thinking about the idea;
- if you’ve recently arrived in Canada; or
- if you’ve lived in Canada all your life.
The first step is to join your LoonLounge communities based on your Home Country, Occupation, Location/Destination in Canada, and Visa Office (if applicable). The next steps are to get involved and make Contacts with people. Visit community forums and blogs, upload photos, share your experiences, participate in the community chat rooms, and make the most of resources like the job search tool, the immigration tracker, and the Canadian organizations directory.
If you’re presently in Canada, expand your horizons on LoonLounge! Meet your neighbours, make business contacts, learn about services offered in your community, find a new job, learn how to become a Canadian Citizen.
If you’re not yet in Canada, prepare for your arrival on LoonLounge! Talk to others who are ahead of you in the Canadian immigration process, learn about the area where you’ll be living, where to go to school, what training and accreditation you’ll need to work there. Who knows? On LoonLounge, you may find an old high school classmate living in Canada who is able to help you find your first Canadian job.
LoonLounge is a place to help and be helped – to get the true sense that no one is alone in the Canadian immigration and settlement process. Many have been through it before, many are in the process now, and many more will go through it all in the years to come. LoonLounge is the meeting place – the centre of the Canadian immigration network community.
Immigration is fundamental to the future of Canada. This is your invitation to become involved.
Let’s make it work. Let’s build Canada together. Join www.loonlounge.com today.
Simplifier l’immigration et l’établissement Canadiens ensemble – LoonLounge.com
A travers ses années dans la pratique du droit de l’immigration, David Cohen a constaté qu’il existe un lien manquant important dans le processus d’immigration au Canada. Il a remarqué que certains nouveaux immigrants prospèrent alors que d’autres luttent. Parmi ceux qui réussissent, la cause est souvent leurs connexions au Canada – connexions avec des gens au Canada, des organisations communautaires canadiennes, des employeurs canadiens, et des centres de ressources canadiennes.
Les connexions sont le billet vers une vie réussie au Canada. Ainsi, le lien manquant dans le processus d’immigration canadien est un véhicule par lequel ces connexions peuvent être faites.
Voici www.loonlounge.com, la communauté en ligne d’immigration et d’établissement au canada. Ce réseau social et pratique est l’endroit central où les gens viennent ensemble discuter des problèmes d’immigration et de la vie au Canada. C’est l’endroit pour connecter, partager des expériences et des conseils, poser des questions, rencontrer des gens et créer un projet d’établissement.
Tout le monde est bienvenu sur LoonLounge :
- Si vous êtes dans le processus d’immigrer au Canada ;
- Si vous pensez juste à l’idée d’immigrer au Canada;
- Si vous êtes arrivé récemment au Canada ;
- Ou si vous avez habité le Canada toute votre vie.
La première étape est de vous joindre à vos communautés, basées sur votre pays d’origine, votre occupation, votre lieu/destination au Canada, et votre bureau de visa (si applicable). Les prochaines étapes sont de s’impliquer dans les communautés et d’établir des contacts. Visitez les forums et blogues communautaires, partagez vos photos et vos expériences, et profitez-en des ressources comme l’outil de recherche de travail, de suivi du processus d’immigration, et l’annuaire des organisations canadiennes.
Si vous êtes en ce moment au Canada, augmentez vos horizons sur LoonLounge! Rencontrez vos voisins, vos contacts d’affaires de marque, apprenez sur les services offerts dans votre communauté, trouvez un nouveau travail, apprenez comment devenir un citoyen canadien.
Si vous n’êtes pas encore au Canada, préparez-vous à votre arrivée sur LoonLounge! Parler a ceux qui sont au devant de vous dans le processus d’immigration canadien, apprenez du secteur où vous habiterez, où aller s’instruire, ce que sera l’entraînement et l’accréditation dont vous aurez de besoin pour travailler là-bas, etc… Qui sait? Sur LoonLounge, vous pourrez trouver un vieux camarade d’école secondaire qui habite au Canada et qui peut vous aider à trouver votre premier travail au Canada.
LoonLounge est un endroit pour aider et être aidé – obtenir le vrai sentiment que personne n’est seul dans le traitement de l’immigration et de son établissement au Canada. Beaucoup sont passé par là avant, beaucoup sont dans le processus maintenant, et beaucoup le traverseront au cours des années à venir. LoonLounge est l’endroit de réunion – le centre de la communauté du réseau d’immigration Canadienne.
L’immigration est fondamentale à l’avenir du Canada. Ceci est votre invitation pour devenir impliqué.
Faisons en sorte que cela fonctionne. Construisons le Canada ensemble. Joignez www.loonlounge.com dès aujourd’hui.
I have previously written about what I perceive to be the missing link in Canadian immigration. My grandfather’s story illustrates it best. When he arrived in Canada many years ago, my grandfather had nothing but the name of a man in Montreal who once lived in his town. My grandfather was eternally grateful when, after tracking the man down, he was given a small space to fix shoes in the corner of the man’s store. This social support, given through a random act of kindness, enabled my grandfather to begin a new life in Canada. This is the link not common enough in the fast-paced reality of Canada today. The notion has kept coming back to me, that there must be some way to facilitate connections like the one that helped my grandfather to successfully settle in Canada.