Tag Archives: canadian immigration

Start Up Visa Program launched

April 4, 2013 – By partnering with Canadian investors, those with a strong business concept who seek immigration into Canada may now consider applying to the Start Up Visa Program for Business Class applications, launched today as a five year pilot program by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

The Start Up Visa was developed in light of an ongoing moratorium placed on the Federal Entrepreneur Program, which required that applicants own at least one third of a Canadian Business and create one full-time job within three years of immigrating. The only applications in this stream being processed are those that were received before July 1, 2011.

CIC expects that the Start Up Visa Program will have greater economic benefits, as those admitted through the program will have both investment and mentor-ship from the Canadian private sector.

Applicants must obtain a letter of support from a designated angel investor group or venture capital fund, as identified by either the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) or Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) respectively.

The letter must have been issued within six months preceding the submission of the application.

Applicants must obtain a minimum investment in their business of either $75,000 from a designated angel investor group, or $200,000 from a venture capital fund. Once this agreement has been made, the organization making the investment will send a commitment certificate to CIC.

In either English or French, applicants must meet a Canadian Language Benchmark of 5 in each of speaking, reading, listening and writing. Test results, no more than two years old, can be used from the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program General test, the International English Language Testing System or the Test d’Evaluation de Francais.

The minimum educational requirement for this program includes proof of at least one year in good standing of post-secondary education. Excluding money from the investment, applicants must also show possession of enough personal funds to support themselves and their families upon arrival in Canada.

The number of applications processed per year is capped at 2,750, and only 5 people in total may apply under the same investment commitment. If more than one person applies through the same investment, each individual must submit a separate application.

Written by Richard McKergow, a Paralegal licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada and guest author on this site.


 
Updated May 16, 2017
Posted in News in Immigration | Tagged

Federal Skilled Worker Program Re-opens

April 4, 2013 – The Federal Skilled Worker Program will reopen May 4, 2013, with several fundamental changes to its criteria, since being paused July 1, 2012.

Although Federal Skilled Worker applications are currently being accepted in the Ph.D. stream and from those with a qualifying arranged job offer, applications under the program’s ‘points grid’ have not been accepted since the 10,000 cap in applications was reached between July 12011, and June 30, 2012. During this time, applications were accepted in 29 different occupations listed from the National Occupation Classification list.

Federal Skilled Worker applications were measured on a ‘points grid’, 67 out of 100 being a pass. English or French proficiency, age, education, work experience, arranged employment (if applicable), and adaptability (including factors such as a spouse’s education, previous employment or study in Canada, or relatives who live in Canada) were all weighed in separate categories.

These same categories will apply on May 4, 2013. Although not all the specifics have been announced yet, the points system will break down as follows with the major changes noted:

  • Language – 28 point maximum. Applicants will have to prove a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark of level 7. This is now the most heavily weighed factor.
  • Age – 12 point maximum. Younger workers will receive more points than before, with the maximum award for applicants 35 and under. Each year older than 35 will lose a point, with no points awarded for those 47 and over (although these applicants are still eligible for the program).
  • Education – 25 point maximum. Credential assessment organizations and regulatory bodies designated by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration will assess the applicant’s educational credentials for equivalence to Canadian educational credentials.
  • Work experience – 15 point maximum. There will be fewer points awarded for work experience than from the previous grid, and more years of work experience will be required to receive the maximum points.
  • Arranged employment – 10 point maximum. Employers will have to get a Labour Market Opinion from Human Resources Development Canada, proving the need for the worker, and their attempt to hire either a citizen or permanent resident from within the Canadian labour market first, in order to gain points in this category. However, an arranged offer of employment is not mandatory when applying under the points grid.
  • Adaptability – 10 point maximum. There will be more points awarded for the primary applicant’s Canadian work experience. Whereas a spouse’s education awarded points in the previous grid, now a spouse’s language proficiency will award points instead.

Out of 100 points, 67 will still be a passing grade.

Written by Richard McKergow, a Paralegal licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada and guest author on this site.


 
Updated May 16, 2017
Posted in News in Immigration | Tagged

Federal Skilled Trades Program Now Open

January 2, 2013 – Citizenship and Immigration Canada is now accepting permanent residence applications to the newly developed Federal Skilled Trades Program. Its purpose is to recruit talent to compensate for the shortage of trades people within the Canadian labour market in all provinces except Quebec.

In its first year, 3000 applications will be accepted from 43 different trades. Of these trades, 17 are capped at 100 applications each. The following groups from the National Occupation Classification (NOC), in skill level B, are being accepted:

  • industrial, electrical and construction
  • maintenance and equipment operation
  • supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production
  • processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators.

Applicants need minimum language requirements in English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark of 5 for speaking and listening, and 4 for reading and writing. Test results, no more than two years old, can be submitted with the application from either the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program, the International English Language Testing System or the Test d’évaluation de français.

Two years of full time (30 hours per week), paid work experience will be required within the five years preceding the application. These hours may be accumulated through part-time work, however apprenticeships do not qualify. The work must have been in the trade under which the worker is applying, and proof is needed that the applicant was qualified to work in the trade in that country or region.

Each of the 43 occupations being accepted has a description under the NOC, and all employment requirements expressed there must be met.

There are two methods of application; either a full time job offer for a period of one year from one or two employers, or a certificate of qualification for their trade given by a provincial or territorial body.

If applying with a job offer, and not currently working in Canada for the employer providing the job offer, applicants will need their prospective employer to apply for a Labour Market Opinion from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Although licensing requirements are not required to apply under this category if applying with a job offer, workers must satisfy an immigration officer that they can perform the job being offered and that they can meet licensing or certification requirements if the occupation is regulated.

Applicants who wish to apply with a certificate of qualification should contact a provincial or territorial body that governs trades. In Ontario, applicants should contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for information on certification in a specific trade.

Proof of funds to support the principal applicant and his or her family is also required upon landing in Canada.

– Written by Richard McKergow, a Paralegal licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada and guest author on this site.


 
Updated May 16, 2017
Posted in News in Immigration | Tagged

Work Requirement Eased for Canadian Experience Class

January 2, 2013 – The work experience required to apply to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) has been eased for those applying as workers or students. Both streams now require 12 months within 36 months of full-time equivalent skilled work experience to apply to the CEC. Previously, worker applicants needed 24 months out of 36, and students needed 12 months out of 24. This new requirements makes both streams uniform in this respect, and more lenient for applicants.

The 12 month skilled work requirement is based on full-time (or part-time equivalent) work experience in a National Occupation Classification skill type O, A, or B; managerial occupations, professional occupations, or technical occupations and skilled trades respectively.

Applicants to the CEC must also reside outside Quebec, meet language requirements for English or French (Canadian Language Benchmark of 7 for NOC O or A occupations, and of 5 for NOC B occupations), and have been working or studying with the proper authorization while in Canada. If applying from outside Canada, applicants must do so within one year of meeting the work requirement.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada intends to accept as many as 10,000 permanent residents through the CEC in 2013, whereas this number was only 2545 in 2009.

– Written by Richard McKergow, a Paralegal licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada and guest author on this site.


 
Updated May 16, 2017
Posted in News in Immigration | Tagged

New Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Announced

April 18, 2012 – Citizenship and Immigration Canada may be testing a new stream of applications for permanent residence in the Economic Immigration Class within a few months. The ‘start-up’ visa, for Business Class applications, would pair new permanent residents with business organizations that have experience mentoring start-up companies. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenny announced that the start-up visa idea will be shaped by consultations with industry followed by a five-year trial period of the new program. Only 2,750 applications will be accepted in each of these five years.

The current Entrepreneur Class has been subject to a temporary moratorium since July 1, 2011 due to its popularity and a backlog in applications. Additionally, the federal investor program, another stream of economic immigration, was capped at 700 and is also not currently accepting any new applications.

Successful candidates of the Entrepreneur Class, as it is currently defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, would own and manage at least one third of a newly established business in Canada as a permanent resident and create at least one full-time job offered to either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident outside the family. These conditions must be met and continue for at least one year within the first three years of permanent resident status.

Although the government has put such programs on hold, Citizenship and Immigration Canada places great emphasis on the economic benefits of immigration and is focused on policies that maximize this benefit. Between 2006 and 2010, the percentage of permanent residents admitted under the Economic Immigrant Class, in comparison to other classes, has increased approximately ten per cent.


 
Updated May 16, 2017
Posted in News in Immigration | Tagged

Ministerial Instructions May Affect Immigration Applications

April 17, 2012 – Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenny announced that the Ministry would soon be enacting legislation that will give the Minister additional powers to allow certain applications to move forward in the queue, according to labour market needs. In addition to these new Ministerial Instructions, the legislative changes will also allow new regulations to be applied retroactively to applications currently in the queue. This means that recent and proposed regulatory changes will apply to those who have long since filed their skilled worker applications and have not yet received a decision.

Those seeking permanent residence currently have the option of applying as a Federal Skilled Worker with one year of full-time experience in one of 29 listed occupations in the National Occupation Classification.

In his announcement, Minister Kenny stated that the government will favour younger workers, Canadian work experience, and high proficiency in either English or French. Each of these is a factor in the current point system, a way of selecting candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker immigration stream. An applicant needs 67 out of 100 points. Age, work experience, language proficiency, education, and adaptability are all factors considered. The new regulations will modify some of these current requirements. Among the proposals are:

Applications in the Federal Skilled Worker category that were submitted before February 27, 2008, but not selected for processing by March 29, 2012, will be returned to the applicant.

Temporary foreign workers applying in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream will need only 12 months of full-time work experience, down from 24 months, within the 36-month period preceding an application.

The government is currently developing the Federal Skilled Worker Program, which will look to recruit workers from the construction, transportation, manufacturing and service industries.

The Immigrant Investor Program isn’t taking applicants until July 1, 2012, and already reached its cap of 700 in 2011. The government is having round table discussions regarding this program, suggesting changes that would still attract investors while focusing on job creation. In the past, government has simply taken a five-year, interest free loan of $800,000 from each investor.

Only applications received before July 2, 2011 in the entrepreneur class will be reviewed. The Ministry is in consultation with various stakeholders, such as members within in the private sector, to develop a new Start-Up Visa. This will partner recently immigrated entrepreneurs with industry players in order to provide guidance for these new businesses.


 
Updated May 16, 2017
Posted in News in Immigration | Tagged

Proposed Change to Canadian Experience Class

April 16, 2012 – Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced a proposed change to the Canadian Experience Class program reducing the requirement for temporary foreign workers to have full-time work experience from 24 to 12 months within the 36 month period preceding an application. The proposal is part of a CIC initiative to retain workers with valuable skill sets needed in the Canadian labour market.

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program is open to students and Temporary Foreign Workers who meet the requirements. It is one avenue a foreign national may use to transition from a temporary visitor to a permanent resident.

Applicants must reside outside Quebec, be either a temporary foreign worker or graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution, have worked under the proper authorization, apply while working in Canada (or within one year of a former job) and meet language requirements in either English or French. Currently, temporary foreign workers need the equivalent of 24 months of full-time skilled work and graduates need only 12. Applicants may apply with their spouse or common-law partner, and dependant children. More details on the proposed changes to this requirement will be available later in the year.

The ‘skilled work’ experience requirement to apply under the CEC refers to jobs that fall within the National Occupation Classification Skill Level O, A or B. These refer to managerial, professional and technical occupations, respectively.

Applicants do not need to apply from within Canada but, if outside the country, should apply within one year of leaving their former job as described above. It is possible for a foreign national to submit an application under two different streams in the Economic Class, such as the CEC program and the Federal Skilled Worker program.


 
Updated May 16, 2017
Posted in News in Immigration | Tagged

Proposed New Program for Skilled Trade Workers

April 10, 2012 – Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced plans for a new immigration stream for skilled trades people seeking permanent resident status in Canada, the Skilled Trades Program. Citing a labour shortage in the construction, transportation, manufacturing and service industries, CIC is responding by creating this additional stream of skilled worker applications. It will be launched sometime later this year.

One option for a trades person wishing to immigrate to Canada is to apply as a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW). The program’s existing selection criteria (which applies to applications made on or after July 1st, 2011) includes the need to show either an offer of employment (for a ‘skilled’ worker), at least two years of a PhD program completed, a PhD completed no more than 12 months before the application is submitted or a year of experience in one of 29 listed occupations in the National Occupation Classification (NOC).

Ultimately, a FSW application is measured on a point system; 67 out of 100 is a passing grade. To gain permanent residence in the FSW category, an applicant must demonstrate their education, English and/or French proficiency, work experience, age, arranged employment (if applicable) and adaptability (including factors such as spouse’s education, previous employment or study in Canada, or relatives who live in Canada).

For applicants applying in one of the 29 listed occupations, there is currently a cap of 10,000 applications per year starting July 1st, 2011, which has now been reached.

However, the new system would relax these requirements by giving less weight to factors such as formal education and a greater focus on practical training and work experience in certain trades. Minimum language requirements would remain.


 
Updated May 16, 2017
Posted in News in Immigration | Tagged

Elimination of Federal Skilled Worker Program Backlog

April 1, 2012 – As part of the federal budget released on March 30th, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that it will not process the majority of skilled worker applications submitted before February 27th, 2008. CIC explains that the reason for such a measure is due to the backlog of permanent resident applications. CIC predicts that this will affect approximately 280,000 applications. For those files that are returned to the applicants, fees paid will be refunded.

Applications are first selected for processing based on certain criteria and then processed to determine whether or not to grant permanent residence. Those submitted before February 27th, 2008 and not yet selected for processing by March 29th, 2012, will likely be returned. However, approximately 20,000 applications have passed the “selection criteria stage” and will be processed to determine eligibility for permanent residence.

This is the most recent in a series of very tough measures meant to reduce the total permanent residence application backlog.

Until February 2008, CIC was obligated to fully process each application. However, following CIC’s Action Plan for Faster Immigration, rules came into effect on February 27th, 2008 that limited the number of applications processed to only those that met new eligibility criteria. Only new applicants who met this selection criteria would have their applications processed, others would not. At that time, CIC stated there was a backlog of nearly 600,000 Federla Skilled Worker applications.

The existing selection criteria (which applies to applications made on or after July 1st, 2011) includes the need to show either an offer of employment (for a ‘skilled’ worker), at least two years of a PhD program completed, a PhD completed no more than 12 months before the application is submitted or a year of experience in one of 29 listed occupations in the National Occupation Classification (NOC).

In 2010, CIC imposed a cap on the number of new applications considered for permanent residence under the NOC category. Currently, the cap is 10,000 applications per year starting July 1st, 2011 (which has already been reached) and a cap of 500 applications per occupation listed.


 
Updated May 16, 2017
Posted in News in Immigration | Tagged

Canada Immigration Proposes Education Pre-Screening

March 28, 2012 – Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applicants may soon have their educational credentials scrutinized much closer than before, according a proposal announced by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Those who submit skilled worker applications in a regulated profession would be required to have an appropriate regulatory body assess their credentials and gauge their likelihood of being licensed in their chosen field and province of work. The screening would take place before the applicant arrives in Canada.

The “2011 Government of Canada Progress Report on Foreign Credential Recognition, Strengthening Canada’s Economy” notes that bodies such as the Medical Council of Canada and the Registered Nurses Professional Development Centre are two examples of institutions that have developed programs to assess international education and training.

In its announcement, CIC cited economic growth and the desire to work in one’s own field upon arrival.

Those seeking permanent residence status currently have the option of applying as an FSW with one year of experience in one of 29 listed occupations in the National Occupation Classification. However, there is a cap of 10,000 applicants in this category and 500 for each occupation in the twelve months beginning July 1, 2011.

An immigration officer then weighs an FSW application on a point system: 67 out of 100 is a passing grade. To gain permanent residence in the FSW category, an applicant must demonstrate their education, English or French proficiency, work experience, age, arranged employment (if applicable) and adaptability (including factors such as spouse’s education, previous work or study in Canada or relatives in Canada).


 
Updated May 16, 2017
Posted in News in Immigration | Tagged