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New Immigration Program: Canada Express Entry – New Points System

Canada Express Entry (EE) Program

As of January 1st, 2015 Canada will only accept applications for permanent residence through the Express Entry program.  Candidates who would otherwise qualify through any of the following 3 programs will be eligible to submit an application to show their interest in obtaining permanent residence in Canada:

  • Federal Skilled Workers

  • Canadian Experience Class

  • Provincial Nominees

The Canada Express Entry program is points based, and is incredibly confusing. There are many variables, and candidates may apply as single, or with dependents to ensure they are awarded the highest number of points.  Candidates will have to pass an English language test and have their educational credentials assessed and possess at least 12 months of full time paid skilled work experience.

Candidates who have previously worked or studied in Canada will be awarded additional points.  Those candidates who have arranged employment offers or have been nominated through a Provincial Nominee Program will be among those who are selected as priority.

How it Works

Candidates create an Express Entry profile.  The candidate will receive an automatic score which will be used by Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) to determine which candidates, compared to others within the ‘pool’ will be invited to apply.  Since candidates will be ‘competing’ with other candidates in the ‘pool’ it is important that your profile is created with the most accurate and appropriate information.

CIC will begin “inviting” applicants to apply with the first invitations being sent out in the last two weeks of January.

Arranged Job Offers and Provincial Nominations

Candidates who will apply through Canada Express Entry program with arranged job offers or provincial nominations will be selected first before those who have not secured a job in Canada nor have a provincial nomination. Citizenship & Immigration will be able to control the ‘dial’ on how many applicants they will be bring to Canada, and ensure that only the most qualified, skilled, and those who can contribute to Canada’s economy the most will be invited to apply. Candidates who do not have arranged employment offers will need to register with the national job bank which is designed to assist them in finding an employer.

Receiving an Invitation to Apply

Candidates will be invited to apply as per Canada’s needs and requirements at the time.  Applicants who receive an Invitation to Apply (IOA) will be required to submit their supporting documentation within 60 days of receiving the IOA. It is important to note that your Express Entry profile must be accurate and consistent with the documentation provided, otherwise applicants could be considered to have misrepresented their circumstances and be banned from the program.

Processing Times

Citizenship & Immigration Canada is committed to processing applicants who have received an invitation to apply within 6 months from the time they submit all requirements. Thereby, speeding up the process for potential immigrants.

No Guarantees – Like a Lottery

While the Canada Express Entry program is open to anyone, there are no guarantees that a candidate will be invited to apply.  This is similar to a lottery, with the exception that the more points you are awarded, the higher your chances are to be invited. We strongly recommend that candidates consult a professional before entering in the program to ensure the highest number of points will be awarded.

Contact our office to speak with a professional regulated consultant

We encourage you to call our office for any further information or to discuss your chances of becoming a permanent resident of Canada.

Live-In Caregiver Program Major Changes Eliminate Need to Live-In with Employer

An overhaul of the Live-in Caregiver program will remove the requirement that caregivers must live with their employers.  The changes to be implemented will also speed up the processing of their permanent resident applications.

Live-in caregivers come to Canada with hopes and dreams of one day becoming permanent residents of Canada and brining their families for a better future.  As it has been for years, caregivers would leave behind their families including their own children to have an opportunity to care for our loved ones.  The program required the caregivers to secure a job offer with a Canadian family and reside with them for 24 months in order to be eligible to apply for permanent residence.  In many cases, employers treated their caregivers as modern-day slaves, and the government felt that it was time to revamp the program andgive the caregivers a choice.

We are saying to the whole Canadian population, to caregivers above all, the time of abuse and vulnerability is over,” said Minister Chris Alexander at a Toronto news conference.

The changes which are scheduled to be implemented on November 30, 2014 will remove the live-in requirement and make it optional for caregivers to live with their employers.  In addition to this major change, the program will be split in 2 streams, one for child-care workers and one for those working as health-care aids.

live in caregiver program canada

After working in Canada for 2 years and applying for permanent residence, caregivers would often wait up to 3 years for their applications to be processed.  During this time, the caregivers must wait and continue to spend time apart from their families for even longer before being able to bring them to Canada.  With over 60,000 applications in the current backlog, the wait times are destined to increase even more.  As part of the overhaul to the program, and to reduce the backlog, Canada will cap the number of applications it will accept.  A total of 2,750 for each stream will be accepted and they will be processed within 6 months; reuniting caregivers with their families that much sooner.

The changes to the program will affect caregivers applying for permanent residency, but will not disturb the process or procedures currently in place to obtain a work permit under the program.  Employers wishing to hire caregivers must still apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and provide evidence they were unable to fill the position with someone who is already in Canada.

For more information on these changes, please contact our office directly.

Sponsorship for foreign spouses gets tougher

Canadian citizens applying to sponsor their foreign spouses will be hit hard by the government’s doubling of processing time due to a backlog of applications.

Applicants in Canada will now have to wait 11 months, up from six months, to get past the first stage, which, if approved, will let the foreign spouse work in Canada and access health care while phase two is being finalized.

Spouses

Currently, Canada allows a foreign national married to a Canadian to apply for sponsorship in the country if they’re already here legally with valid temporary status. They also have the option to return to their homeland and apply from there, but most couples prefer the in-Canada route.

The recent unexpected delays in inland sponsorship processing have caused both emotional and financial hardships for thousands of these Canadian couples because the foreign spouses lack full status here.

It’s not known how many inland spousal applications are backlogged, but more than 8,000 new in-Canada applications (one-fifth of all spousal cases) are processed each year.

While immigration officials have said applicants are free to choose whether to apply in or outside Canada, a letter from Chris Alexander’s office obtained by the Toronto Star stated the government’s preference: “It is always in the client’s best interests to apply abroad.”

Student visas for Canada processed despite ongoing strike

students

While we are all aware of the on-going strike that is causing serious delays in processing times, we expect that less files will be processed.  However, it’s not the case when it comes to Study Permits for Canada.

The Canadian government has issued more student permits for Canada in the last three months than it did during the same time last year.

More than 45,000 international student visas for Canada were issued between May and July (the busy season for those seeking to begin studies in Canada in the fall.  Last year, the number was approximately 39,000.

Of the total number of study visa applications visa offices received, only approximately 81 per cent received a decision.  By end of July there were approximately 13,000 visa applications yet to be processed.

There are currently thousands of study permit applications in process awaiting decisions.  If you are interested in submitting a study permit to Canada, you must remember that these applications can be refused for many different reasons and hiring a representative to support and represent you on your application is crucial.

Feel free to contact me directly should you have any questions regarding the study permit application process or our representation services.

Nir Rozenberg, RCIC
Regulated Immigration Consultant – 416-665-3939

Bridging Open Work Permit for Skilled Workers

A new program has been introduced to allow skilled workers working in Canada to continue working as they wait for their permanent residence application to be processed. The new Bridging Open Work Permit will benefit skilled workers who have applied for permanent residence under one of the following Canada immigration options:
  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  2. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  3. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  4. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
This program will allow you to receive an open work permit should your current work permit expire before you receive permanent residence in Canada. The Bridging Open Work Permit will prevent skilled workers from losing status and being unable to work in Canada if their application for permanent residence is still in process and their work permit is about to expire.
Prior to the introduction of the Bridging Open Work Permit, Canadian employers would have to submit an application for a Labour Market Opinion and the skilled worker could submit a request for extension of their work permit only if the LMO was issued. The Bridging Open Work Permit will prevent “unnecessary disruption in the lives of newcomers who are already contributing and successfully integrating into the Canadian economy,” declares Minister Kenney. Open work permits are already available in other immigration streams and this new Bridging Open Work Permit gives foreign skilled workers a chance to apply for permanent residence with less worry of processing times.
If you are a skilled worker who is currently working for a Canadian employer and interested in submitting an application for permanent residence, you may take our free assessment to see which of the Canada immigration options will best meet your needs. If you have a work permit that is close to expiring and would like more information about the Bridging Open Work Permit, you should contact us to speak to a qualified immigration consultant.
Share your opinions on the new Bridging Open Work Permit by commenting on our blog or visit us on Facebook and Twitter to share, like, comment or tweet about the Bridging Open Work Permit.

Canadian Embassy in Tel-Aviv may experience interference in operations

In light of the recent unrest in Israel, the Canadian Embassy in Tel-Aviv may experience interference in normal operations.  If you have applied for a visa to Canada through the Embassy in Tel-Aviv, you can expect processing times to increase.

Can-Am Immigration is committed to providing updated information regarding the Canadian Embassy in Tel-Aviv.  We will continue to post information and updates on this blog as the events unfold.

 

Updates to Parent and Grandparent program will reunite families faster than ever before

In an effort to reunite families in Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been working on a new plan to allow parents and grandparents to receive permanent residence in Canada. With the changes in the Parent and Grandparent (PGP) Program, the old processing time of up to 8 years will be greatly reduced and will allow acceptance of nearly 35,000 parent and grandparent applications. In response to strong complaints from Canadian residents and citizens, CIC has stepped up to fix the Parent and Grandparent Program. The very popular Parent and Grandparent Super Visa has allowed families to reunite with their loved ones for extended visits of up to two years at a time. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney expects “to reunite up to 35,000 parents and grandparents with their families next year. This is a significant achievement and the highest number in nearly two decades.”

The plan to fix the current Parent and Grandparent Program began with some national public consultations which were started by the CIC in March of this year. A high response to an online consultation received by the CIC in May showed that many Canadians were unhappy with the current system in place for the Parent and Grandparent Program. The new 2013 Levels Plan will allow up to 25,000 parents and grandparents to enter Canada next year which is 60% more than the number of parent and grandparent acceptances in 2010.
With the introduction of the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa in December 2011, over 10,000 visas were issued to allow entrance into Canada for the parents and grandparents of Canadians. With an acceptance rate of 87 percent for the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, it is obvious that many families are being reunited as a result of this plan. Therefore, the CIC is putting together a new, more modern Parent and Grandparent Program to allow these families to stay together in Canada by allowing parents and grandparents to apply for permanent residency. This is excellent news for Canadians with family abroad who have been waiting for years to reunite with their parents and grandparents. Minister Kenney also expects a great reduction in the backlog and wait times for parent and grandparent applications as this new plan is put into action. The new Parent and Grandparent Program is expected to launch within a year with a more modern approach to allow faster processing of parent and grandparent applications.

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with family abroad, you may call our office to find out more about bringing your parent or grandparent into Canada using the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa and for more information about Canada immigration options for you and your family. Can-Am Immigration has been helping families reunite in Canada for years. Our dedicated immigration consultants can help you bring your parent or grandparent to Canada quickly and easily.

Updated Federal Skilled Worker program allows 55,300 new applications in 2013

In an attempt to clear up the backlog of Federal Skilled Worker applications, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) issued a pause on all new Federal Skilled Worker applications as of July 2, 2012. This pause prevented thousands of federal skilled workers from applying for immigration to Canada as it requires foreign workers to have a qualifying job offer or to qualify under the PhD stream.

Many actions have been taken by the government in order to fix the backlog of Federal Skilled Worker applications and allow more federal skilled workers and their families to immigrate to Canada. The Action Plan for Faster Immigration of 2008 was the first step taken by CIC to limit the number of federal skilled worker applications to only occupations which were a priority. CIC took further action to limit the federal skilled worker applications in 2010 and again in 2012 with the Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act. The final step to put a stop to the backlog problem was to place a pause on all new federal skilled worker applications.

Now, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced a new plan which will allow for faster processing times for federal skilled worker applications as well as the possibility of faster processing times for additional immigration programs. In an effort to attract federal skilled workers from around the globe and promote economic growth, CIC will be introducing an Expression of Interest (EOI) system for federal skilled workers. With this system in place, federal skilled workers and their families will have the option of immigrating to Canada and having their immigration applications processed in a period of 12 months or less. This is a huge improvement over the old system which made federal skilled workers wait for years, some as long as eight years, to have their applications processed.

As a result of this new immigration program and the steps taken over the last few years, the backlog of federal skilled worker applications is expected to be cleared by the end of 2014 which will allow new applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program to be processed as they are received. This new system for processing applications – “a just in time system” – will bring between 53,500 and 55,300 Federal Skilled Workers and their families into Canada. Minister Kenney has stated that “Immigration plays a vital role in our country’s long-term prosperity. By improving our economic immigration system, we can ensure that Canada is competitive on the world stage.” Allowing federal skilled workers to enter the work field more easily and quickly will contribute to Canada’s economic growth and allow Canadian employers to fill shortages in high skill occupations. This new plan is excellent news both for Canada and for federal skilled workers wishing to immigrate to Canada.

More information regarding this new system along with the final regulatory changes and the new selection criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will become available later this year.

We would like to hear from you. Tell us what you think about this new immigration system for federal skilled workers and their families. If you are a federal skilled worker or you know anyone who may benefit from this new plan, we urge you to share, tweet, like, and comment on this issue.

For more information about immigration to Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, contact our office to speak with a certified immigration consultant and find out if you qualify as a federal skilled worker.

Applying for Citizenship? Processing times are slow

Current Processing times for Citizenship applications

If you submitted your application for Canadian citizenship expect to wait a really, really, really long time.  Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) is currently taking approximately 19 months to complete an application for citizenship.

From the time you submit your application it will take approximately one (1) year for you to be called to write the “knowledge-of-Canada” test, also known as the citizenship test, if you require one.  After you take your citizenship test you can expect to wait another 7 months to be called for the ceremony.

If you have submitted your citizenship application and already received your acknowledgment letter you may check the status of your application online at the following link: https://services3.cic.gc.ca/ecas/?app=ecas&lang=en

Canadian immigration applications will continue to be processed

It is now official.  Canada will continue to process those Federal Skilled Worker applications submitted prior to February 27, 2008.

Over 900 applicants under the Skilled Workers’ program sued Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Ottawa for violating their promise to process their applications in a timely fashion.  The Federal court’s decision this week ordered the Minister and the federal government to continue processing those eligible for the program.  The Minister still remains with the power to return applications of those applicants who are deemed not qualified.

CIC wanted to return all application caught in the backlog to reduce the backlog and open the space for other more recent applications based on the current immigration policies.

This is a setback for Ottawa who wanted to clear the backlog, but now cannot. The court has already ordered several applications to be finalized by October 14, 2012.

In this case, Canada did what is fair… in our opinion. We are very interested in what our readers have to say.

We appreciate you sharing this article and commenting below.

 

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