Sunday, February 28, 2010

Canada Visa and Work Permits

A work permit for Canada can only be obtained if you have an offer of employment before applying for your Canadian work visa. Canada seeks to attract temporary skilled workers to fill positions that Canadian employers are currently having difficulty to fill by a Canadian Permanent Resident or Citizen.

A Canadian work permit is issued on a temporary basis only and on the condition that you work for the specific employer sponsoring you. You can apply to change your Canada immigration status once in Canada, however the Canada work visa is not transferable and you will not be able to stay and work in Canada on your Canadian Visa upon termination of your employment.

Your employer must take the following steps before applying for a Canadian Work Visa:

* Your employer must first confirm your position is suitable to apply for a Canadian Work Permit by making an application to Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC)
* Your employer must then offer you the confirmed position
* You must then make an application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for a Work Permit for Canada.

Please be aware that not all employment offers will be considered and HRDC’s role is to confirm that your position will be of benefit to the Canadian Labour Market and of no threat to Canadian citizens employment opportunities before an application for a Canada Work Permit can be considered.

In summary, employers that need to address skill shortages in Canada may seek to employ a foreign national by sponsoring a Canadian Visa.

If you have an offer of employment from a Canadian employer, you may be eligible to apply for a Canadian work visa. Please feel free to contact us for further information.

As you may be aware, some employers find themselves in a catch 22 situation with the work permit process in which case you may like to consider the Federal Canada Skilled Worker Visa. This visa enables you to gain Permanent Resident status, in which you are entitled to live and work in Canada without the need of an employment offer.

Employers can still sponsor this application if they wish to increase your points total and speed up processing, however it will be issued to you and is not a temporary visa.

Some employers may also be able to sponsor your application under the Province Nominee Program, depending on where they are situated and the nature of the position. This visa is also a Permanent Resident Visa, but does restrict you to work in the Province that sponsored your application until you become a Canadian citizen.

We can ensure that your permit is obtained without delay and have you living and working in Canada in a matter of weeks depending on your quick response to our efficient Work Permit process.

If potential employers ask you to get your own work permit before applying for their jobs, they either do not understand the processes or would rather you looked at some of the above options.

If they do not understand the processes, just explain to them that they need to be involved in this sponsored process and point out the above options.

Better still… ask them to get in touch with us.

We are more than happy to help.

Source:http://canadaimmigrationexpert.wordpress.com/2009/05/

How to get a Job offer to work in Canada

The market is ripe for hiring and Canadian employers are realizing just how important immigrants are as a source of skilled labour. But it’s up to you to get that first Canadian job offer. That accomplished, your Canadian immigration application process and your settlement in Canada will be much smoother.

Work Permit – The quickest way to begin working in Canada is via a temporary Work Permit. We’re talking weeks, maybe even days, between the time you get the job offer and the time you can be living and working in Canada. As the name implies, these permits are issued for a specific period, but they are often renewable from inside Canada.

You have to apply for work in some of the job sites in Canada or register in a job reporting site then if an employer got interested in you, you may have a job offer right a way. Tell Canadian employers who you are and what you can do for them. Let them know that you’re keen to be a part of their organization. It’s not easy to get a job anywhere without being there in person but it depends on how much in demand your occupation is.

There are different ways of working in Canada such as

Permanent Employment:

In this type of position, the employee usually gets a package that involves base salary, health benefits and perhaps some other perks such as bonuses, company stock option plans, personal incentives, etc

Contract/Freelance Employment:
Usually entails being paid a fixed amount of money for a particular project with no additional benefits.This type of worker can be hired to address a particular problem that exists for a limited time, say several months and that contract worker must leave the company once the contract expires unless a new, longer-term contract is negotiated.

Part-time Employment:
In Canada, many jobs exist that offer occasional, weekend, evening, partial day or daily part-time employment.

Arranged Employment – This is a permanent job offer of indeterminate length made by a Canadian employer to a foreign national who intends to become a Canadian Permanent Resident. With this type of job offer, you will not be able to begin work until you receive your Canadian Permanent Resident Visa. However, your applications will receive priority processing in order to get you to Canada, and to your place of work, as soon as possible – in most cases in less than one year. What’s great about Arranged Employment is that the employer is not required to demonstrate that efforts were first made to hire Canadian workers.

Volunteering in Canada:
If you are studying or have the financial resources to dedicate a few weeks full-time or a few hours per week to volunteer with a not-for profit organization in Canada, that could pay enormously when you look for a job because of the following two reasons:

You will have proof of “Canadian Experience”
You will have demonstrated your concern for others and your willingness to help without expecting anything in return. Many employers in Canada will consider those who volunteer before those who do not.

Besides Work Permits and Arranged Employment, most Canadian provinces and territories have created immigration programs, specific to their needs, to recruit workers from abroad who intend to settle as Permanent Residents in a given province or territory. These Provincial Nomination Programs are also worthy of consideration as they offer expedited processing of foreign workers’ applications.
If you notice a delay or there is a drawback to Work Permits, it is that in some instances, the Canadian employer must first demonstrate that unsuccessful efforts were made to hire Canadian residents for the position being offered to the foreign worker. This can add some time to the Work Permit process. There are, however, many exemptions to this “Canadians first” requirement.

Source:http://hinenicommunications.wordpress.com/2009/07/26/how-to-get-a-job-offer-to-work-in-canada/

What is IELTS?

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. It measures ability to communicate in English across all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Since 1989, IELTS has been proven and trusted worldwide to provide a secure, global, authentic and customer-focused test which measures true to life ability to communicate in English. More than 6,000 education institutions, faculties, government agencies and professional organisations around the world recognise IELTS scores as a trusted and valid indicator of ability to communicate in English.

Over 1,000,000 people a year are now using IELTS to open doors throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. The test is taken every year across 120 countries, and is one of the fastest growing English language tests in the world, and sets the standard in integrity, research and innovation.

When the question is English language ability – IELTS is the answer.

IELTS (pronounced /ˈaı.ɛlts/), or 'International English Language Testing System', is an international standardised test of English language proficiency. It is jointly managed by University of CambridgeESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Australia, and was established in 1989.

There are two versions of the IELTS: the Academic Version and the General Training Version:

* The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country.
* The General Training Version is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.

It is generally acknowledged that the reading and writing tests for the Academic Version are more difficult than those for the General Training Version, due to the differences in the level of intellectual and academic rigour between the two versions.

IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and South African academic institutions, over 2,000 academic institutions in the United States, and various professional organisations. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia and Canada. This has been criticised in Canada, because the English accents employed in the Listening section of the IELTS are far removed from typical Canadian accents.

An IELTS result or Test Report Form (TRF - see below) is valid for two years.



In 2007, IELTS tested over a million candidates in a single 12-month period for the first time ever, making it the world's most popular English language test for higher education and immigration
IELTS characteristics

The IELTS incorporates the following features:

* A variety of accents and writing styles presented in text materials in order to minimise linguistic bias.

* IELTS tests the ability to listen, read, write and speak in English.

* Band scores used for each language sub-skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). The Band Scale ranges from 0 ("Did not attempt the test") to 9 ("Expert User").

* The speaking module - a key component of IELTS. This is conducted in the form of a one-to-one interview with an examiner. The examiner assesses the candidate as he or she is speaking, but the speaking session is also recorded for monitoring as well as re-marking in case of an appeal against the banding given.

* IELTS is developed with input from item writers from around the world. Teams are located in the USA, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other English speaking nations.


IELTS Test Structure

All candidates must complete four Modules - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking - to obtain a Band, which is shown on an IELTS Test Report Form (TRF). All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules, while the Reading and Writing Modules differ depending on whether the candidate is taking the Academic or General Training Versions of the Test.

Total Test Duration 2 hours 45 minutes

The first three modules - Listening, Reading and Writing (always in that order) - are completed in one day, and in fact are taken with no break in between. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other Modules.

The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user.

Source: http://www.bignews.biz/?id=846284&pg=2&keys=ielts-writing-speaking-grammar

Monday, February 22, 2010

Québec introduces new immigration program based on experience gained in Québec (Programme de l'expérience québécoise)

Canada
February 11 2010

By introducing its new "Québec Experience Class" Program ("Programme de l'expérience québécoise", or "PEQ") based on experience gained in Québec, the province will meet an objective it had set for itself in a document released in March 2008 entitled "To enrich Québec - Better Integration". Basically, the PEQ aims to promote the transition from a Temporary Resident status to that of Permanent Resident for Foreign Students and Temporary Workers. The program is expected to enter in force on February 14, 2010, the date on which the amendments to Québec's Regulation Respecting the Selection of Foreign Nationals become effective.

PEQ's intent is to facilitate the application process for a Québec Selection Certificate for Foreign Students having graduated in Québec and Temporary Workers having worked in Québec as a first step prior to obtaining Permanent Resident status from the federal government. By introducing the program, Québec follows the federal example and makes experience gained in Québec and knowledge of the French language key selection factors when applying for immigration in Québec. For such applicants under PEQ, the traditional selection grid will not apply and there will be fewer documents to include with an application. In addition, applications may be sent electronically and will be processed on a documents-only basis.

Specific requirements applicable to Foreign Students are the following: (1) the applicant must have stayed in Québec for at least half of the duration of the educational program's duration and have conformed to the student visa conditions; (2) the applicant must have obtained from an education institution in Québec subsequent to February 13, 2008, either of: i) a diploma of professional education or a certificate of professional education, which alone or combined with an attestation of professional specialization (obtained consecutively) attests to over 1,800 hours of continuous education; ii) a diploma of technical college education; iii) a University degree, whether a bachelor's, masters or doctoral. However, the following international students are excluded from the program: i) students having received a scholarship requiring return to the student's country of origin; and b) students having applied for a new acceptance certificate for studies.

The specific requirements applicable to Temporary Workers are the following: (1) the foreign worker (including the holder of a work permit under a youth exchange program pursuant to an international agreement signed between a foreign country and either of Québec or Canada) must have conformed with the conditions of his/her work permit and be legally in Québec at the time of the application; (2) the foreign worker must have employment in Québec at the time of submission of the application which is classified at level A or B pursuant to the National Occupational Classification and must have been so employed for at least 12 months during the 24 months preceding the application.

Application requirements common to both Foreign Students and Temporary Workers are that applicants must: (1) undertake to financially support themselves and their family members for a period of 3 months; and (2) demonstrate their verbal French language skills at an intermediary level.

By introducing PEQ, the province intends to promote and facilitate the immigration process for individuals who are likely to remain and contribute to the economy as a result of already living and working in Québec.

Source: Lexology
Author:Davis LLP

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Canada’s top problem is filling labour shortage

OTTAWA — When Prime Minister Stephen Harper gathered the country’s premiers at 24 Sussex Drive last fall, he wanted them to focus on what he saw as the country’s No. 1 economic problem: within a decade or two, there simply will not be enough workers in the country.

Although recent headlines about thousands of layoffs in Canada’s struggling manufacturing sector may suggest otherwise, Harper and his cabinet are struggling to find ways to boost training programs and increase immigration to find more workers to avoid what some Conservative strategists say is an “economic time bomb.”

That Canada is heading for a problem seems unavoidable. In the last 50 years, Canada’s workforce grew by 200 per cent. That growth was responsible for raising standards of living and creating the public and private wealth the country now enjoys. But government forecasters say that, without some radical changes, the workforce will only grow by 11 per cent in the next 50 years — and that figure includes the effects of current levels of immigration.

“Our demographics are working against us,” Human Resources Minister Monte Solberg said in a speech Monday to the Canadian Building and Construction Trades’ Legislative Conference. “Baby boomers are set to retire and our low birth rate means demand for workers will soon outstrip supply.”

Already, more than 80 per cent of working-age Canadians have a job — an all-time high.

Solberg marshalled the following data to back up his claim:

• British Columbia will be short 350,000 workers over the next 12 years.

• Alberta will require 100,000 workers over the next 10 years.

• Ontario will need 560,000 more workers by 2030.

• Quebec will have 1.3 million job openings by 2016.

“We have a significant shortfall of workers in every region across Canada,” said Solberg. “Even in areas of high unemployment, we have too few skilled workers.”

Canada’s labour market has consistently defied market forecasters for the last three years. Despite a high dollar, which makes Canadian workers relatively more expensive than workers in other countries, there were 325,000 new jobs created in Canada in the last 12 months. That job gain comes despite the loss of more than 113,000 jobs in manufacturing. In other words, the economy not only replaced those 113,000 lost manufacturing jobs, it also created an additional 325,000 jobs. The construction sector alone has grown by more than 103,000 workers.

And, as the Bank of Canada noted in its monetary policy report last week, year-over-year wage growth has been strong as well, suggesting that good-paying manufacturing jobs are being replaced with equally well-paying jobs elsewhere.

Statistics Canada will release the latest monthly job data Friday.

Finding more skilled workers is one of the goals behind Ottawa’s controversial proposal to change immigration rules to fast-track certain groups of immigrants although political opponents say that rationale has not been appropriately clarified.

“What we think is that the immigration policies of this country should be designed to help workers come here with their families, use their training and skills and help build the country,” said NDP Leader Jack Layton.

Layton also said that tax rules ought to be changed to help workers who have to travel to other provinces or regions.

“Right now it’s very expensive to travel to use your skills. It really should be considered part of your expenses under the tax law and the NDP has proposed measures to change the taxes to make it easier for workers to travel, particularly construction workers,” Layton said.

In his speech, Solberg said his government is spending more money on training programs than any federal government in history.

But political opponents say the Conservatives could be doing more.

“The government is not doing enough at all about that” said Liberal Leader Stephane Dion. “We need to increase our productivity. We need to adapt to an aging population. We need to do more to help the people that are over 65, if they want to, to stay in the workforce.”
© (c) CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.

Canada's Temporary Migration Program: A Model Despite Flaws

By Tanya Basok
University of Windsor

Interest in temporary migration programs has been rising across the globe. Economist Manolo Abella conservatively estimates that, since 2000, the temporary migration of foreign workers into high-income countries has grown at about 4 to 5 percent a year.

Compared with permanent forms of migration, policymakers consider temporary migration more attractive for a number of reasons. In particular, temporary migration permits greater flexibility in the labor market and can seem more acceptable to electorates that find permanent immigration "threatening."

Also, a legal channel for labor migration can reduce flows of unauthorized immigrants. A less considered reason among destination countries is the development impact of migrants remitting income.

The Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), which began over 40 years ago, is Canada's flagship temporary migration program (the newer Low Skilled Workers Pilot Program operates on a much smaller scale).

Widely recognized as one of the better administered temporary migration programs, SAWP involves multilateral cooperation between governments of origin countries and the Canadian government, and has stable and predictable levels of workers.

SAWP Background

In the years preceding the program, farmers in the province of Ontario experienced serious labor shortages. Farm labor supplied by the National Employment Service was unreliable since many workers did not stay long enough to harvest the crop. For several years, Ontario growers petitioned the Canadian government to allow them to import foreign agricultural labor.

Countries and Provinces Participating in SAWP
Countries and Year They Joined SAWP
Jamaica (1966), Mexico (1974), Trinidad and Tobago (1967), Barbados (1967), and the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines) (1976), and Guatemala (2003).

Provinces in Canada
Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Ontario.
Under constant pressure from Canadian growers, one of whom, Eugene Whelan, was a Liberal member of parliament and a future minister of agriculture, the Department of Labor consented to importing Caribbean farm workers. SAWP began in 1966 by bringing Jamaican workers to harvest field crops in Essex County, Ontario.

Despite the pool of Caribbean farm workers, Canadian growers continued to experience labor shortages and consequently contracted unauthorized migrants from Mexico and Portugal. To dry up the pool of unauthorized workers and insure respect for labor standards, the government extended the program in 1974 to include Mexican workers. A number of Caribbean nations joined later.

Today, migrants can work in nine Canadian provinces, further testimony to the program's success. However, Ontario receives 90 percent of the workers.

Under SAWP, approximately 16,000 migrant farm workers are recruited in the Caribbean and Mexico to work in Canadian agriculture. Approximately one-half of these workers are from Mexico. In 2006, 7,806 Mexican and 7,770 Caribbean workers came to work in Canada. Most workers are men, but about 3 percent are women, mostly single mothers.

Migrant workers provide labor for such activities as apple and other fruit harvesting; canning/food processing; bee and flower production; and ginseng, sod, tobacco, and greenhouse and field vegetable harvesting. The hourly wage is generally CAN$8.58 though workers harvesting tobacco earn CAN$9.63.

How SAWP Works

Within Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) manages SAWP and sets general policies for the program. HRSDC works closely with private agencies, including Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services (FARMS) in Ontario and Nova Scotia, and its French-language equivalent, the Fondation des entreprises pour le recrutement de la main-d'œuvre étrangère (The Foundation of Enteprises for the Recruitment of Foreign Labor, or FERME), in Quebec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

Employers submit requests for foreign agricultural workers to FARMS or FERME. These requests, once HRSDC approves them, are forwarded to recruitment agencies in Mexico or the participating Caribbean countries. It is then the responsibility of migrant-origin countries to recruit workers to match the requests.

Growers bear most of the program's costs, including airfare and ground transportation, visa fees, and administrative costs paid to FARMS or FERME. Some of the airfare costs are consequently deducted from the workers' paychecks. Growers also provide housing to the workers and contribute to the provincial health insurance and workers' compensation insurance programs.

Migrant selection criteria and procedures are different in each participating country. In Mexico, for instance, ideal candidates have worked in agriculture, are responsible for the economic well-being of their households (such as male heads of the family or single mothers), and have experienced difficulties in finding other viable sources of subsistence in Mexico (due to low educational levels and/or occupational backgrounds).

Workers and employers sign a contract that outlines respective rights and obligations and length of employment, which is not to exceed eight months.

Workers are covered under provincial Employment Standard Acts. In Ontario, harvesters are entitled to vacation pay and public holiday pay if they have been employed for at least 13 weeks. Vacation pay is calculated at the rate of 4 percent of total gross earning.

Canadian law requires employers to carry workers' compensation, and workers make contributions to unemployment insurance and the Canada Pension Plan through regular deductions from their salaries.

Workers receive weekly wages calculated as the greatest of the following:

* the minimum wage of workers as stipulated in provincial legislation
* the rate HRSDC determines annually to be the prevailing wage rate for the type of agricultural work being carried out
* the rate the employer pays his Canadian workers performing the same type of agricultural work.

Workers who earn the approval of employers are "named" and requested to return to the same employer. New participants are sent to the same farm for the first few years and then, if not "named," are relocated to another farm.

At the end of the contract, growers arrange for their workers to be transported to a nearby airport. Upon arrival in their home country, workers report to the recruitment agencies with evaluation forms from their employers. A negative report can result in suspension from the program.

Since 2003, the province of Quebec and the government of Guatemala have engaged in a program with the same objective and principles of SAWP, but one that is managed in a slightly different manner. The federal employment ministry approves the offers of employment on an individual basis. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) provides technical assistance, selects qualified Guatemalan workers, and transports the workers to Canada. In conjunction with FERME, IOM returns the workers to Guatemala once their contracts have ended.

Economic Benefits of SAWP

Up-to-date statistics on the economic benefits of SAWP are not available. However, some conclusions can be drawn from a 1995 FARMS report, which argued that new jobs are created and old ones sustained in fields related to agriculture because of the employment of seasonal foreign workers.

The report presented the following calculations. In 1995, the Ontario horticulture industry required a labor force of 99,876 workers per year. Canadians filled only 90 percent of these jobs, generating a shortage of 9,876 jobs.

Ontario farmers invested CAN$626 million in seed stocks, chemicals, equipment, and other goods and services, and thus supported approximately 2,500 jobs in the supply side of the industry. At the same time, they also contributed to the creation of 49,938 jobs in the food processing industry, which employs predominantly Canadian workers.

Thus, each farmworker in horticulture supported 2.6 jobs in the supply and processing sectors in 1995. If the 9,876 jobs in the Ontario industry were not filled, 25,678 jobs in other sectors would have been lost.

SAWP as a Model

Many policymakers and scholars who study labor migration view SAWP as a best-practice model.

At a 2000 workshop (organized by IOM in cooperation with the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean), David Greenhill, a Canadian government official responsible for the program, argued that a program like SAWP, which recognizes and responds to legitimate labor shortages in the economy, is in the national interest.

Greenhill contended that SAWP's key strength is its formal structure. This structure ensures that all the key players are engaged and that the workers' rights are clearly understood, outlined, and enforced through agreements, memoranda of understanding, and operations guidelines.

A 2006 World Bank report identifies numerous benefits of the Canadian program. Growers receive reliable and experienced agricultural workers. Local communities benefit from expanded employment opportunities for native workers (linked to the growth of agricultural industries staffed by reliable and skilled foreign workers). Foreign workers stimulate demand for local services and goods.

For foreign workers, the program provides an opportunity to gain secure employment and to support family needs, especially improved housing, children's education, better nutrition, and medical services. Since they do not need to pay recruitment or smugglers' fees, even the poorest of Mexican and Caribbean workers can gain employment through this program.

For instance, among the 465 Mexican workers I surveyed between 1997 and 2000, about 80 percent (and higher in some villages) used their earning to improve their homes in Mexico. Some had to buy land to build a house. Those who already owned land bought material and paid wages to construction workers.

About 60 percent of the workers I surveyed used their Canadian-earned income to improve the education of their children. For most workers, Canadian jobs provided an opportunity to improve their households' diet and respond to medical emergencies. Anthropologist Leigh Binford and sociologist Gustavo Verduzco report similar findings.

Among Jamaican participants of the program, 35 percent of remittances was spent on children's education, according to Roy Russell, a researcher affiliated with the Agro-Socio Economic Research Center in Jamaica.

The overstay rate among SAWP workers is negligible. The previously mentioned World Bank report estimates it to be 1.5 percent.

Ghost Consultants

The world has seen several effects following the earthquake in Haiti, the saddest and perhaps most worrying are the emergence of fraudulent Canadian immigration lawyers. This is the story that in the province of Quebec numbers of these supposed lawyers has sky-rocketed since the disaster happened, aiming to capitalise on the thousands of desperate people that are now hoping to start a new life in Canada or bring relatives over to Canada to live.

The numbers on the surface are slightly shocking; Canada government officials estimate that there are now over 3000 illegal Canada immigration lawyers operating in Quebec, the number of registered lawyers is 150!

This has seen a hastily arranged ad campaign by the Canadian Government to warn people of the risks involved with using such agents.
New Canada immigration ad campaign depicts a seal being eaten by a shark

One source has told us that victims are being charged between $6,000 and $15,000 for the bogus Canada immigration service.

“They are being offered false hope and false promises, people think that because they are paying these astronomical prices they are somehow assured of getting a Canadian visa, when in fact the sad truth is that most of these people do not qualify for immigration into Canada at all.”

“If you are paying nearly $15,000 in some cases you would think that this would be a guarantee of a visa, the fake lawyers however have no intention of honouring whatever lies they have told and are not regulated so just disappear.”

Of course this is worrying to everyone involved in immigration circles, and it is hoped that the measures now being taken by the Canadian Government to counteract this will be effective.

As well as the ad campaign Canada immigration have announced that they are relaxing the rules for relatives of those Haitians affected by the earthquake. For full details of the new rules please contact us.

Source: Global Visas

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quebec announces special immigration sponsorship program for Haiti.

Canada, Haiti
February 5 2010

By:Davis LLP
Bistra G.Stoytcheva

On February 3, 2010 Québec's Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities Ms. Yolande James announced exceptional sponsorship measures for persons from Haiti. These measures will enable family members that are significantly and personally affected by the January 12th earthquake to immigrate to Quebec and join their families.

The measures are twofold:

1) A new humanitarian sponsorship program has been created which gives the possibility to sponsor people who are not currently admissible pursuant to the regular sponsorship program. In accordance with the program, permanent residents and/or Canadian citizens of Haitian origin who reside in Québec may sponsor their brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters and children who are over 22 years of age, together with their spouses and dependant children. New forms to be used for sponsoring pursuant to this new humanitarian program will be available starting February 17, 2010.

2) Another measure consists in the possibility of having another person (and his/her spouse, as the case may be) without any family ties to the sponsored person to co-sign the financial undertaking together with the principal sponsor. This measure will apply to both the regular sponsorship program and the humanitarian sponsorship program described above. The co-signatories will be solidarily responsible during the length of the undertaking and the duration of the financial undertaking for the humanitarian sponsorship program will be of 5 years.

The number of immigrants from Haitian origin that Québec will accept pursuant to this program is limited to a maximum of 3,000 persons. The selection criteria applied to applicants will be chosen the degree of distress of the person affected by the earthquake and his/her capacity to integrate into Québec society.

The exceptional measures will be in effect from February 17 to December 31, 2010.

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Brunswickers allowed to help relatives immigrate (10/02/05)

Feb. 5, 2010

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is changing the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to allow residents to help family members immigrate if they possess work skills required in New Brunswick.

"The immediate family members of permanent residents should be afforded an opportunity to be successful in New Brunswick," said Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also the minister responsible for the Population Growth Secretariat.

The PNP is designed to help the provinces attract entrepreneurs and skilled workers according to their specific needs. Under the program's existing categories of skilled worker and entrepreneur, nominees need to have a job offer or a business plan to be nominated.

These program changes will introduce a new category for skilled workers who have family support. Residents with family members who have specified work skills will be able to help these family members with their job search, settlement and integration.

"Anyone looking for a job can tell you that the process often takes time and requires face to face contact with potential employers," said Boudreau. "The process is even more difficult for those who live abroad."

Dependents who are eligible to apply for the federal program are not eligible for the PNP.

The entrepreneurial component is also being adjusted to improve overall immigrant retention.

Entrepreneurial immigrants who wish to set up a business in New Brunswick must now submit a conditionally refundable deposit. They will be eligible for a refund if they establish a business within two years of arriving in the province and have it in operation for at least one year.

"This program change encourages retention by attracting newcomers with a genuine desire to stay in New Brunswick," said Boudreau. "Ultimately, we want our staff processing applications from individuals who are sincere about establishing businesses in our province."

The deposit will apply only to entrepreneurial immigrants. Applicants must still prove they have the skills, training and finances to start and operate a successful business in New Brunswick.

"Typically, entrepreneurial immigrants are financially flexible and very independent," said Boudreau. "Unless there is some commitment to our province, they can easily move to other regions of Canada."

Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island have Provincial Nominee Programs that include a requirement for a refundable deposit.

In 2008, almost 2,000 immigrants arrived in New Brunswick through the PNP, compared to 24 in 1999. The Population Growth Secretariat has a government mandate to attract 5,000 immigrants by 2015 and to significantly increase the retention rate.

New Brunswick makes changes to PNP to welcome more immigrants

This week, the province of New Brunswick made modifications to its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to allow it to attract a greater number of immigrants. Family members of current residents of New Brunswick are now eligible to apply under this PNP if they possess work skills that are in demand in New Brunswick.

Before the changes, there were two categories under the New Brunswick PNP: one category for individuals with job offers in the province and one for those who planned to establish a business in New Brunswick.

There are now three categories:

* Skilled Worker Applicants with Employer Support, for those who have guaranteed job offers from New Brunswick employers;
* Skilled Worker Applicants with Family Support, for those who have family members who have been living and working in New Brunswick for at least one year and who possess skills in demand in the province;
* Business Applicants for individuals who wish to start a business in New Brunswick.


A new requirement was added to the Business Applicants category to ensure that only those who intend to start a business in New Brunswick are nominated under this program. Applicants must now make a conditionally refundable deposit of CDN 75,000 prior to nomination. The deposit will be refunded if the applicant established a business within two years of landing in New Brunswick and operates it for at least one year.

Are you eligible to immigrate to Canada under this PNP or any other category? Fill out our free Canadian immigration assessment form and find out.

Source: Canadavisa.com
http://www.canadavisa.com/new-brunswick-changes-pnp-welcome-more-immigrants-100208.html

New rules to benefit Canada immigrants

By SHIANEE MAMANGLU
February 15, 2010, 5:39pm

Architects, nurses, teachers, and pharmacists are some of the professionals who will benefit from a new Canada framework seeking to ensure a fair and competitive labor market environment for immigrants, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said Monday.

The DoLE said that the government of Canada recently implemented the “Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications,” which is equivalent to credential recognition, allowing for an individuals/immigrants to have their qualifications recognized and be directed toward related occupations commensurate with their skills and experience.

“The new framework will address specific barriers to qualification recognition. This is another good news for Filipinos,'' Director Salome Mendoza, head of the Canada desk of DoLE told the Bulletin.

"The framework will be implemented in eight occupations starting December 31 for the first batch and in six occupations by 2012 for the second batch,'' she added.

She said the first batch of occupations qualified for assessment for credential recognition include architects, engineers, auditors, accountants, medical laboratory technicians, occupation therapists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and nurses.

The second batch of occupations include the dentists, engineering technicians, licensed practical nurses, medical radiation technician, physicians, and teachers (from kindergarten to Grade 12), she said.

Mendoza said that many Filipino immigrants today continue to encounter barriers to the recognition of theirs skills, education and experience due to some countries' occupational regulatory systems.

She said the occupational regulatory systems in Canada were designed to respond only to Canadian-educated applicants, although its government developed some flexibility to accommodate applicants in occupations like education or teaching.

According to Mendoza, the new framework was adopted for the purpose of addressing the current gaps to successful immigrant labor market integration.

Under the Pan-Canadian framework, immigrants looking to enter regulated occupations in Canada will now receive clear information as early as possible on the immigration process, fair treatment during the assessment process and prompt communication of recognition decisions.

The framework's purpose is “to articulate a new, joint vision for governments to take concerted action to improve the integration of immigrants and other internationally-trained workers into the Canadian labour market.''

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Canada in Top Five countries of the world by Employed Foreign Workers

A recent study shows that Canada among most attractive countries for international skilled workers to seek their employment, it hold 4th position after USA, Britain and Spain. In polls respondents indicated that would try to come to Canada to work, half of those also indicated that will seek for the opportunity to make immigration to Canada through their employment engagements. It is also noted that mobility of work force come with attributes of age and education, it is associated with young professionals with university education in their earlier 30-s. Canadian Immigration requirement for skilled worker immigration program set this criteria as preferred for Canada.

The reasons behind selecting Canada as top choice for immigration are obvious, high level of wages, lower cost of living in comparison to US, greater opportunities for employment within professional experience and educational background, career growth potential, welcoming social environment. Most foreigners working engineers, production operators, technicians and specialists in the field of information technology.

To work temporarily in Canada it is required to obtain Canadian Temporary Work Permit prior or/and related work visa documents prior to be allowed to work in Canada and choose different jobs. Those individuals who choose to apply for permanent residence in Canada upon completion of their initial working contract, having a job a demonstrating ability of finding job will in most cases qualify them for landed immigrant status without living Canada or going the standard immigration to Canada process.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Canada lures Indian students with citizenship offer.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Effective February 14th 2010 international students who attained a degree from a Quebec university will be offered a “certificate of selection” that will fast track them to obtaining Canadian citizenshi

Quebec Premier Jean Charest asserted that , "any student who obtains a bachelor, masters or PhD degree from a Quebec institute will automatically receive a certification of selection to become a citizen of Canada. This is the first time that such a step is being taken, and the idea is to recognise the efforts and skills of those who come to study with us. We have a shortage of skilled labourers, and we need to address that".

This move was intentional in luring students from India as Canada already has long standing partnerships with many Indian institutions.

Since its inception nine months, ago the Student Partners Program has seen approximately 4,000 applications submitted from Indian students intending to study in Canadian colleges and universities.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenny, commented that "international students bring with them new ideas and experiences and contribute both financially and culturally to the communities and institutions where they study."

A pilot project is currently under way to increase the processing time of students. As a result the acceptance rate has doubled and the applications of students are being processed in as little as two and a half weeks. Despite the quick processing time, the system is designed to identify fraudulent applications by administering a series of checks, including requiring the applicant to provide verifiable documentation as well as collecting feedback from colleges as to whether students are attending classes and upholding academic standards.

Currently there are more than 178,000 international students studying in Canada.

If you are interested in Visas to Canada, contact Nexus Canada for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you.

INTERNATIONAL YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAMS (SWAP, WHP) CANADA

Canada's International Youth Exchange Program visa allows eligible foreign students and young workers from designated countries to work and live in Canada temporarily in order to learn new skills and gain valuable exposure to the Canadian culture. The programs vary from country to country and are managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Many of these programs offer a first-come first-served processing rule, while some programs have a limited number of spaces each year. Each program maintains its own requirements, application quotas, submission deadlines and upper age limits, and applications are processed on a first-come first-served basis.

There may also be conditions attached to the Working Holiday visa which may limit the type of work and the employer for whom the applicant may work. Once granted, Working Holiday visa holders can vacation and travel in Canada , explore the diverse country, and engage in temporary work to supplement their travel expenses.

INTERNATIONAL YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAM VISA REQUIREMENTS

In order to qualify for a Working Holiday visa, applicants must:

* Hold a valid passport from a country which has a reciprocal arrangement with Canada;
* Be aged between 18-35 years of age at the time of the application(depending on the relevant program);
* Be a full-time student in some cases, possess no criminal convictions or serious medical conditions; and
* Have sufficient funds for their intended stay in Canada.

INTERNATIONAL YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAM VISA ENTITLEMENTS

Once an International Youth Exchange Program visa has been issued, applicants are generally provided with assistance on organizing their trip, job search, assistance and orientation in Canada upon arrival, accommodation arrangement and support. The duration of the visa will usually vary between 1-24 months. Applicants can also pursue language, general interest of self-improvement studies. An International Youth Exchange Program visa is an invaluable opportunity for young people to explore all that Canada has to offer. Applications are accepted on a yearly basis, on a first-come first-served basis. Some Working Holiday visas are issued as a once-in-a lifetime opportunity, while others allow for repeat participation. Temporary work permit holders can extend their stay in Canada by applying for another visa, during their stay.

Travel and Work in Canada

Did you know that if you are between the ages of 18 and 35, you can work legally for up to one year anywhere in Canada? Whether it is to gain valuable international work experience or to finally take that trip of a lifetime you’ve always imagined, why not become one of more than 35,000 young participants from around the world who travel and work in Canada with our program each year?

What is it all about?

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has negotiated agreements with several countries and has partnered with various organizations. Through these agreements and partnerships, international young participants can easily obtain a temporary work permit and gain professional and personal experience in Canada.

You have two options:

Option A) Are you a modern-day adventure-seeker or a seasoned traveller who wants to plan your experience in Canada on your own? Consult the list of participating countries to see if your country of origin has an agreement with Canada.
Country


Australia
Austria
Belgium
Chile
Czech Republic
Denmark
France
Germany
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Korea, Rep.
Latvia
New Zealand
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom

Option B) In order to gain experience, are you willing to pay a small fee to obtain guidance, assistance and support, either in Canada or in your country? Consult the list of partner countries:

http://www.international.gc.ca/iyp-pij/partner_countries-pays_partenaires.aspx

Friday, February 12, 2010

Canada Immigration Options for People Under Age 30

By: Gianpaolo Panusa
As you probably know, immigration to Canada is restricted to a handful of occupations. One way around this is to acquire experience working in Canada at an appropriate job.

If you are without dependents and under age 30 (and in some cases, even over 30), you may qualify for an international youth exchange that will allow you to work in Canada from 6 months to two years depending on the country you are in.

You can usually work in any occupation you like, however, if you plan on immigrating permanently in the future, it would be crucial to work in a technical or management occupation in NOC A, B or O.

The following countries have youth exchange agreements with Canada:

* Argentina

* Armenia

* Australia

* Austria

* Belarus

* Belgium

* Brazil

* Chile

* Costa Rica

* Czech Republic

* Denmark

* Dominican Republic

* Finland

* France

* Germany

* Ireland

* Italy

* Japan

* Korea

* Lithuania

* Latvia

* Luxembourg

* Mexico

* Netherlands

* New Zealand

* Norway

* Peru

* Poland

* Russia

* Slovak Republic

* South Africa

* Spain

* Sweden

* Switzerland

* United Kingdom

* United States

There are also exchange programs with various international organizations such as AIESEC and IAESTE and others.

Each program has different qualifications, so check to see if any of these programs work for you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Can I apply to immigrate to Canada from USA?

By Fatima-Zahra Fahmi
I am staying in the USA on a visitor visa and I want to know if I can apply to immigrate to Canada from here as I am not willing to go back to my home country.

Answer:

According to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, applications for permanent residence must be submitted to the visa office responsible for:

• The country where the applicant is residing, if the applicant has been lawfully admitted to that country for at least one year; or
• The applicant’s country of nationality, or if the applicant is stateless, their country of habitual residence other than a country where they are residing without having been lawfully admitted.

The applicant is not required to have been residing in the host country for one year at the time of application, but to have been lawfully admitted to that country for a minimum one year period at the time of application.

In the USA, visitor visas are generally issued for a period of six months but can be extended for another 6 months which makes it up to a total of one year.


If you have lawfully entered the USA and you are currently residing there on the basis of a 6 months visitor visa (B2) you would need to apply for an extension to meet the definition of been lawfully admitted for at least one year. If you already applied and were granted an extension, then you will be able to apply for permanent residence to Canada through the Buffalo visa office. You do not need to wait for the completion of the one year before you apply, you can submit your application as soon as you secure an extension. Also, if you lose your legal status after your application is submitted, whether or not your status is restored, you application will still be processed and assessed on its merits.

However, if you are not sure you can get an extension of your visitor status in the USA and the six months has not yet expired, you may consider applying for a temporary resident visa to Canada (Visitor, student or worker) and explore options to apply for permanent residence from within Canada. For a temporary residence visa, the rule of one year does not apply, yet you have to show that you were admitted lawfully.

Please note that this answer only covers the question on where an application can be submitted. A successful application will depend on whether you meet all the immigration requirements for the category you are applying under or not.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Immigrant talent adds to brewer's bottom line

BY RASHA MOURTADA

Toronto — From Wednesday's Globe and Mail Published on Tuesday, Feb. 09, 2010 4:28PM EST Last updated on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010 10:19AM EST

Adrian Joseph didn't have his certified general accountant designation, but he snagged a key finance job at Steam Whistle Brewing anyway.

The Sri Lanka-born accountant was professionally trained in Europe, and he won a world accountancy prize in Britain. But the lack of a CGA, CMA or CA, standard financial credentials in this country, is enough to cause many Canadian employers to skip right over such a résumé.

Steam Whistle, however, had a different point of view when it was looking to hire a controller eight years ago.

“[Immigrants] have risked everything to build a new life,” Steam Whistle co-founder Greg Taylor says. “They take their jobs very seriously and are very passionate, and at the end of the day that helps your bottom line.”

Since its inception in 1998, Toronto-based Steam Whistle has made inclusive hiring a priority, says Mr. Taylor. And while the practice is clearly good for the community, and adheres to the company's determination to be good corporate citizens, Mr. Taylor insists it has also aided the business. Today, 18 per cent of the company's 115 employees – and half of its management team – hail from other countries, including Sri Lanka, the Czech Republic, Cuba, Portugal and Russia.

At first, Steam Whistle had no choice but to look outside of Canada to fill certain positions. “We wanted a brew master with a master brewing degree,” says Sybil Taylor, Steam Whistle's director of marketing and Mr. Taylor's wife.

“If you're going to [produce] a pilsner that competes internationally, you need to have people capable of bringing that to the table,” agrees Mr. Taylor.

But no such postsecondary education programs exist in North America. In the end, they found a brew master who had received a master's degree in the field in the Czech Republic.

The experience was so positive, the Taylors say, that they saw no reason to limit hiring to candidates with only Canadian training and experience.

That's not to say homegrown talent should be overlooked, Mr. Taylor stresses. But to completely dismiss immigrants – because of foreign credentials or the lack of a Canadian equivalent – is simply bad for business.

For one thing, the work ethic of newcomers is second to none. “New Canadians come here for all the right reasons,” he says. “And that is to work and to take pride in their work. They're excited about the opportunities and they want to afford to live here. They're not taking anything for granted because of all the risks they've taken just to get here.”

For small businesses with limited budgets, hiring immigrants is a way to access top talent at a more reasonable cost. “Brewing is capital-intensive,” Ms. Taylor says. “It took us three years before we even broke even and our reality was that we couldn't afford to pay the top Canadian talent.”

Mr. Taylor gives the example of a marketing executive who wanted a salary of $200,000. “We talked to another guy who doesn't have the Canadian training and he wants half as much, but he has more experience.” This creates an opportunity for small businesses to access talent they could otherwise never afford, he says. “And it's only been created by the ignorance of people who don't value experience from abroad.”

Then there's the benefit of global perspectives and specialties.

“Internationally trained workers know different suppliers, they know different techniques to solve problems,” Ms. Taylor says. “You're just narrowing your information base by not hiring from a broader pool.” In some cases, like with Steam Whistle's brew master, international training provides precisely what the company needs.

That's a point of view with which Toronto-based Ratna Omidvar, president of Maytree, a private foundation dedicated to accelerating the settlement of immigrants and refugees, agrees.

“It's clear that because the world of marketing and technology has changed so much in the last 10 years, the same ideas can't be used to solve new and emerging problems,” she says. “And the more variety you have around the table, the more likely you will come to a new and different place for a solution.”

She backs up her argument by pointing to U.S. studies that show diversity contributes to the bottom line. Companies that don't embrace diversity are missing out on market share in Canada, she says, as well as markets beyond the borders.

Hiring immigrants can also help a business owner understand potential customers better, Mr. Taylor adds. In the case of Steam Whistle, “we're in downtown Toronto. The diverse culture is incredible here and our culture at Steam Whistle reflects that.” Ms. Taylor agrees: “It's reflective of our population here in Canada and so we understand the marketplace.”

The benefits go beyond any one company and extend into the greater community. “It's a way to actively support the country's immigration policy,” Mr. Taylor says.

The benefits may be many, but there are challenges. A lack of recognition of foreign credentials means that even though a candidate has the skills to do the job, additional training or credentials is still required. For example, Steam Whistle funded Mr. Joseph's CGA after hiring him as controller.

“It's an important credential in this country, and so we wanted him to have it,” Mr. Taylor says. It's paid for itself again and again, he adds, and since joining Steam Whistle, Mr. Joseph has been promoted from controller to CFO.

In 2007, Steam Whistle's inclusive hiring was recognized when the company won the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council's Immigrant Success Award for leadership and innovation in recruiting and retaining skilled immigrants.

“We're very proud of that, because it sends a message out that this is doable,” Mr. Taylor says. “Here we are, a successful small business, and the reason our product is so great is because of the hard work and skill of the people we've chosen to hire.”

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ghosts' in Punjab posing big threat to Canadian immigration (Lead)

Source:littleabout.com

Toronto, Feb 9 : Ghost immigration consultants have become a big threat to the immigration process in Canada which lets in more than 250,000 newcomers each year, a large number of them from Punjab.

According to figures, there are about 2,000 ghost immigration consultants as against just 1,655 registered by the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants. Operating out of the purview of law, these 'ghost' immigration consultants fleece thousands of prospective immigrants each year, defrauding them from $1,200 to $30,000 each.

Since India is the second largest source of immigration into Canada after China, the "ghost" problem is even deeper in the Indo-Canadian community as people here want to bring their relatives from India by hook or by crook.

The depth of the problem can be gauged from the following advertisement that appeared in a Chandigarh newspaper recently:

"JOB VACANCY IN CANADIAN HOTEL CANADA: Ominicity Hotel Director wish to advertise through this medium that the Following Job Vacancy in our Hotel. We need both men and females workers to fill in different categories of job openings. Currently, if your interested in working with us you can contact us back E-mail Address: ottawahotelss_canada@yahoo.ca Our Hotel Director shall connect you with our Canadian immigration director during your visa processing, SIGN BY DIRECTOR MRS RESOLING ANNA."

But inquiries revealed that there was no hotel by this name in Ottawa.

"Hundreds of such fly-by-night immigration operators have set shop in India to prey upon people desperate to move to Canada," Sheetal Jhuti, an Indo-Canadian immigration consultant based in Mississauga on the outskirts of Toronto, told IANS.

"These people go to Punjab and anywhere in India to scam the poor gullible people waiting to get any opportunity to get out of India," she says.

Jhuti adds, "Since an immigration consultant here has to pay high fees to the regulatory Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC), many of these so-called consultants choose to operate out of Canada in their native countries where they don't come under any supervision. That's what is happening in India."

Once you are operating outside the system, anyone can call himself or herself an immigration consultant, she says.

The modus operandi of these 'ghost' immigration consultants, she explains, is to open offices in Chandigarh or Jalandhar and appoint some people to fill up immigration forms for them.

Since these 'ghost' operators are not under jurisdiction of the Canadian regulatory body, they can advertise for jobs that don't exist. When people respond, they charge huge sums of money to fill up their forms and then vanish, sayimmigration sources here.

"Thousands of these ghost consultants advertise daily, thousands of so-called education consultancies lie and cheat in the name of getting student visas to the UK, Canada, and Australia," says Jhuti.

"So, while people like me are paying through our nose to get our licences to run a model consultancy, my neighbourhood pizza store owner is making more money than me by just providing form filling services," she adds.

"The situation is simply unacceptable. It not only threatens the integrity of our citizenship and immigration systems but it also raises in my mind national security issues," John Ryan, chair of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, told the Globe and Mail newspaper last week.

"We know who (the ghost consultants) are and where they're operating. But law enforcement agencies can't do anything currently to stop them," he said.

The cheating is equally rampant in immigration from China, Pakistan and the Philippines - the other major sources of immigration into Canada.

Copyright Indo Asian News

Time to exorcise ghost immigration consultants

Some bilk newcomers, jeopardize national security

Vancouver SunFebruary 9, 2010



Many immigrants, leaving less than ideal circumstances in their own countries, choose to come to Canada in search of a better life. It's sad, then, that the first experience many of these vulnerable people have in Canada is one of exploitation.

The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants drew attention to this problem last week, with the announcement of a $1-million advertising campaign. The campaign, which features the image of a shark attacking a seal, draws attention to the fact the unscrupulous, unaccredited immigration consultants -- known as "ghost" consultants -- treat prospective immigrants as prey. The ads will appear in a number of languages and will include a toll-free line to help immigrants find an accredited consultant.

The society, which was created in 2004, accredits and educates consultants, and by law, members are only allowed to take money in exchange for help in the immigration process. The problem, however, is that consultants need not be members of the society, and those who aren't frequently fleece prospective immigrants out of thousands of dollars.

For example, a Surrey woman recently claimed more than $50,000 had been illegally transferred from an account she had set up on the advice of Fereydoun Hadad, a West Vancouver immigration consultant. Hadad pleaded guilty in January to charges of fraud and uttering a forged document, and he will be sentenced in March.

And just last week it was revealed that the RCMP is investigating a case in which 300 people claimed to be living at the same address, This is not a unique situation, as shady agents often attempt to get around residency requirements by advising prospective immigrants to falsely claim they've been living in Canada.

In fact, these few examples don't convey the likely scope of this problem. The society notes that there are more ghost agents than there are accredited ones: While there are a total of 1,655 registered members, the society has identified some 1,920 ghost agents.

Not all of these ghosts are involved in illegal activities, but their sheer volume, and the fact that they operate in an entirely unregulated atmosphere, virtually guarantees that unscrupulous agents can quietly bilk people out of their life savings -- and put Canada's national security in jeopardy.

And this could become an even bigger problem, given that many Haitians are attempting to immigrate to Canada, particularly Quebec, where there are just 150 registered consultants.

Clearly, this is an area in need of significant reform.

The society was created in an effort to solve some problems associated with the immigration system, but given that membership in the society is entirely voluntary, the problems remain.

The society is calling on the federal government to crack down on ghost agents, something that has been promised for more than a year.

In response to the recent controversy, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said regulatory reforms will be announced this year.

It's about time to exorcise these ghosts. Our international reputation, and our national security, depend on it.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

N.B. rule change aims to boost immigration

FREDERICTON - The provincial government has changed immigration rules to allow residents to sponsor family members to move to the province from outside of Canada.

The changes to the Provincial Nominee Program are targeted to attract skilled workers and entrepreneurs to the province.

"The immediate family members of permanent residents should be afforded an opportunity to be successful in New Brunswick," said Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also responsible for the Population Growth Secretariat.

"This program change encourages retention by attracting newcomers with a genuine desire to stay in New Brunswick. Ultimately, we want our staff processing applications from individuals who are sincere about establishing businesses in our province."

Under the program's existing categories, nominees must have a job offer or a business plan. The changes will create a new category for skilled workers who already have family within New Brunswick.

Boudreau said residents will be able to help skilled family members find jobs and integrate into the province.

"Anyone looking for a job can tell you that the process often takes time and requires face-to-face contact with potential employers," he said.

"The process is even more difficult for those who live abroad."

In 2008, almost 2,000 immigrants arrived in New Brunswick through the program. The Population Growth Secretariat has a government mandate to attract 5,000 immigrants by 2015 and to significantly increase the retention rate once they arrive.

Lorraine LeClair, the executive director of the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area, said the new categories will make the program more effective for both the province and new immigrants.

"I think it's going to be a good initiative for New Brunswick," she said. "It's also going to be a great thing for our newcomers so that they'll be able to keep their families together and have an opportunity to bring more folks to New Brunswick."

LeClair said that should help New Brunswick meet its population growth goals, as well as provide benefits to immigrants.

"It shows that there are roots that are going to be built here," she said. "It keeps that family unit as a whole and it shows that we're a welcoming community, not just for the bottom line, but for a healthier, overall family environment."

Entrepreneurial immigrants looking to set up a business in New Brunswick must now submit a deposit, which will be refunded if they establish a business within two years of arriving in the province and it stays in operation for at least one year.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island also have similar programs that require a refundable deposit.

Source: timestranscript.com

New rules help draw foreign students

Colleges laud move to speed visa process
Source: thestart.com

Nicholas Keung,
Immigration Reporter

Until nine months ago, prospective students from India had to wait up to eight months for a visa to study in Canada – with many of them being rejected after a long delay or missing the course deadlines.

But a pilot program to fast-track applicants by Citizenship and Immigration Canada has dramatically reduced the visa-processing time to mere weeks for students like New Delhi's Dharam Pratap Singh, 29, who is enrolled in Centennial College's one-year project management post-graduate program.

Until the visa change was made, he says, students had to pay a fee and wait, possibly for too long, until they missed a term "and it's a year lost."



Canadian colleges laud the program, saying it will help them compete with schools in the United States, Britain and Australia in attracting international students, who pay far higher tuitions than local students.

The joint program between Canada's visa offices in India and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges has tightened the screening of applicants. Among other things, college officials must verify an applicant's financial resources and English proficiency.

"We want our international students' first experience with Canada to be a welcoming one," said Lorraine Trotter, dean of international and immigration education at George Brown College.

Under the pilot program, visa offices in India have received more than 4,000 applications with an approval rate more than double the previous year. Visa processing averages only 2 1/2 weeks.

As a result, Centennial College has seen its students from India increase from 450 to 975, with the visa-approval rate jumping from 27 per cent to 87 per cent.

"We want good students. Canada wants good immigrants. The program is marrying both," said Virginia Macchiavello, Centennial's international education director.

The number of foreign students in Canada has doubled since 1998 to 178,000, creating an estimated 83,000 jobs for Canadians last year. A 2009 government report found the students contributed $6.5 billion to the local economy.

As a result of globalization, George Brown's Trotter said many colleges have developed international strategies that include the delivery of programs overseas through partners and the globalization of curriculum for Canadian students.

"Employers are always looking for global-savvy employees," said Trotter, who just returned from a month-long tour of China and Korea to meet with overseas partners and promote the college.

Macchiavello said many visa students are keen on immigrating to Canada after graduation.

Their investment in a Canadian education can help cut integration costs, she said.

Rashmeet Kaur, a food and nutrition post-graduate student at Centennial, is one of those interested in staying in Canada.

"I like Canada," the 23-year-old New Delhi native said.

"I like its multicultural environment."

WHERE THE STUDENTS COME FROM



China: ..................................... 42,154

Korea: .................................... 27,440

U.S.: .......................................... 11,317

France: ..................................... 8,553

India: ......................................... 7,314

Japan:....................................... 6,627

Saudi Arabia: .......................... 4,672

Taiwan:...................................... 4,127

Hong Kong: .............................. 4,116

Mexico: .................................... 3,853

TOTAL: ................................ 178,227

Source: Citizenship and Immigration

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Working In Canada Tool

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Russian Immigrants Welcome To Toronto Guide

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Think Canada

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

ICTC tool helps immigrants find IT jobs in Canada

By:Jennifer Kavur
05.02.2010 kl 20:29 | IDG News Service

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) recently launched a new online self-assessment tool that helps technology professionals from foreign countries determine whether or not they have what it takes to secure employment in Canada.

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) recently launched a new online self-assessment tool that helps technology professionals from foreign countries determine whether or not they have what it takes to secure employment in Canada.

Unveiled at ICTC's 2010 Immigration Initiatives Partnership Celebration in Ottawa, the Canada Readiness Tool includes three modules to evaluate culture, communications and competencies for those considering the move to Canada as well as those already in the country seeking work.

Internationally educated professionals (IEPs) are very strong in their technical abilities, but very weak when it comes to cultural differences, communication skills and understanding what their competencies are, said Paul Swinwood, president of ICTC.

ICTC has identified competencies for 36 different occupations in the IT sector in Canada and the tool checks against these competencies to give IEPs an idea of what occupations they would more likely fit into and where their strengths and weaknesses are, he said.

The tool also intends to fill some gaps indicated by IEPs, such as the lack of information about the labour market, how and where to find employment and what it actually takes to work at a Canadian company, Swinwood added.

It also includes guides on how to build a resume, how to interview for a position, and labour market intelligence to help job seekers determine not only where jobs are located, but which companies hire for positions that match their skill set.

Roughly 80 per cent of immigrants end up in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, but that's not necessarily where the work might be for their skill sets, Swinwood pointed out.

In partnership with the Government of Canada and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, ICTC validated the effectiveness of the tool in India, China and the Philippines prior to its launch. Pilots were also conducted in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa.

The feedback provided a few "fantastic examples of people getting involved with this at the beginning of their quest to come to Canada right through to employment here in Canada," he said.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program, the tool is available free of charge in English and French to anyone interested in taking it.

The Canada Readiness Tool is one part of the larger Internationally Educated Professionals Integration Initiative, an ICTC-led project involving numerous programs, resources and tools created in partnership with government, industry and immigrant settlement agencies.

"We would not be successful without our partners," said Swinwood.

The tool is "another step in our approach to integrating internationally educated professionals," he said. "We see a lot more to be done across Canada ... we want to make sure that as part of Canada's competitiveness, we do everything we can to keep this valuable resource here and make sure that our companies have these people."

ICTC forecasts roughly 170,000 people will be needed in the ICT sector by 2015 and up to 30 per cent of that demand will come from IEPs. "Unfortunately, we are seeing a decline in the number of people actually applying to immigrate to Canada as an ICT professional," said Swinwood.

Jennifer Cowland, director of technology services for Robert Half Technology Vancouver, provided a few tips to help immigrants find work in the IT field as quickly as possible.

"The job market is the toughest it's been in decades and that's especially true for immigrants who are now competing with an even larger pool of candidates than they would in a stronger economy," said Cowland.

It's "imperative to stay in a very positive mindset," she said. This includes remaining flexible on relocating within Canada, exploring new ways to apply your expertise, highlighting your transferable skills and being willing to compromise on contracts.

One big challenge immigrant IT workers face, according to Cowland, is a lack of Canadian work experience. "I strongly suggest that any individual hearing that looks into temporary contract roles and/or volunteering for a not-for-profit organization," she said.

It's also very important to have a strong command of local customs, soft skills and the English language, she noted. She also suggested networking, reaching out to a specialized IT recruiter such as Robert Half and finding one or two mentors.

There are two types of mentors you can tap into, said Cowland. The first is a professional mentor who has already been through the same situation as you and can help you learn local business customs and broaden your network; the second is a mentor working specifically in your field within a company you'd like to work for, she said.

Certifications are also "incredibly valuable and incredibly important," said Cowland. The value of certifications greatly depends on the needs of each IT department and they often have to be coupled with relevant experience, but there are a few that are in very strong demand, she said.

These include the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and the Project Management Professional (PMP), she said.

The good news is that the unemployment rate for IT pros is "significantly lower than the national average," said Cowland.

According to Statistics Canada, the unadjusted unemployment rate for the Computer and Telecommunication industries was 5.4 per cent in December 2009. The national unemployment rate was 7.8 per cent that same month.

Montreal-based recruitment agency Kovasys Inc. recently reported "a large influx of foreign IT specialists working in the U.S. on H-1B visas relocating and settling in Canada."

"We have found almost a threefold increase of U.S. applicants wanting to come and work in Canada," said Alex Kovalenko, director of operations for Kovasys.

In 2008, Kovasys found 0.6 per cent of screened applicants from the U.S. applying to work in Canada. The percentage increased to 1.6 per cent in 2009, reflecting an increase of 260 per cent in one year, reports the firm.

"The number could also be higher," Kovalenko noted. Some applicants indicate Toronto and/or Montreal as their main residence even if they are still residing and working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa, he said.

Motivating factors for moving north, according to Kovasys, include Canada's high standard of living, free health care, less stringent visa restrictions and even exchange rate with the U.S. dollar.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa granting specialists temporary work in the U.S. under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Follow me on Twitter @jenniferkavur.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Canada Ranks 2nd out of 16 Peer Countries in Education and Skills Performance

By:Kathleen Legris

Canada earned top marks for its Education and Skills performance, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s How Canada Performs comparison with 16 other developed countries.

How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada is the Conference Board’s annual benchmarking analysis, which the Board has conducted since 1996. The assessment measures Canada’s performance against leading countries in the domains of Economy, Health, Society, Innovation, Environment, and Education and Skills.

Canada did exceptionally well in Education, even outperforming its largest trading partner, the U.S., by a sizable margin. The latest Education and Skills rankings give the country an “A” grade, an improvement from last year’s “B” result. Canada remains second to Finland in overall Education and Skills outcomes followed by Japan, Switzerland, Sweden Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, U.K., Denmark, Austria, Ireland, France, Norway, U.S. and Italy. Canada closed the gap on Finland by improving substantially on two key indicators:

* The proportion of working-age population that graduated from high school increased by a full percentage to 86.6%.
* Canada’s proportion of graduates from science, math, computer science and engineering disciplines improved significantly.



Canada’s strength is in delivering a high-quality education to people between the ages of 5 and 25 with comparatively modest spending. The country obtained “A” or “B” grades on 13 of the 15 Education and Skills indicators. Some weaknesses were illustrated in the results. Canada received a “D” grade on the indicator measuring Ph.D. graduates, and its performance on this indicator has deteriorated significantly over time. The leading country on this indicator, Sweden, has three and a half times Canada’s Ph.D. graduation rate. This poor ranking has implications for the country’s ability to improve innovation, productivity, and competitiveness.

How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada measures how well Canada is meeting its fundamental goal of creating a high and sustainable quality of life for all Canadians. The majority of the data used for this benchmarking report is supplied by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The rest comes from other reliable sources, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. The most recent year of data is used for each indicator. In some cases, such as literacy skills, the data is taken from surveys that were conducted several years ago.

Earn While You Learn: International Students Work in Canada from Arrival through Post-Graduation

By:Kathleen Legris

International students are permitted to work in Canada from the point of arrival through post-graduation. In most cases, students will need to apply for a Work Permit to participate in a co-op/internship placement, work off campus, or apply for jobs after graduation. A Work Permit is not required for on-campus employment.

Working On Campus
International students do not need to apply for or hold a Work Permit in order to work on campus. Students may work on campus immediately upon arrival in Canada if they are:

* Enrolled full-time in a designated post-secondary; and
* Have a valid study permit.

Working Off Campus
The Off-Campus Work Permit Program allows certain international students to work off campus while completing their studies. To qualify, students must be enrolled in a participating post-secondary educational institution and meet the guidelines set out by that institution. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) publishes a complete list of eligible institutions, by province on their website.

Students are not eligible to apply for an Off-Campus Work Permit immediately upon arrival in Canada. Instead, they must have been enrolled full-time at least 6 of the previous 12 months and meet the academic requirements set out by their university or college to be eligible.

Co-op and Internship Programs
For some academic programs, work experience is part of the curriculum. In these cases, an open Work Permit can be issued with the institution listed as the employer. If several work periods are required throughout the program, the Work Permit can be issued for the same period as the Study Permit.

International students, scholars, and scientists may also obtain Work Permits for work related to a research, educational or training program.

Post-Graduation Employment Program
The Post-Graduate Employment Program is designed to provide graduating students with Canadian work experience. Students may work in Canada for up to three years after graduation. The duration of the permit is based upon the length of study in Canada. Students who have completed less than 8 months of study are not eligible.


An application guide and forms to apply for an Off-Campus Work Permit, Co-op Work Permit, and Post Graduate Employment can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. International Student Advisors in university Student Services offices can also provide advice and information on these processes.

Obtaining a Study Permit in Canada

By:Kathleen

A Study Permit is an official document allowing someone who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada to study in Canada. Most international students need a Study Permit to study in Canada. Some international students also need a temporary resident visa. A separate application for a temporary resident visa is not necessary- it will be issued at the same time as the documentation necessary to enter Canada as an international student.


When a Study Permit for Canada is Required
If you are not a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, a family or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada or a member of a foreign armed force under the Visiting Forces Act, and you wish to take a course of six months or more, then you will need a Study Permit for Canada.


When A Study Permit for Canada is Not Required
International students do not need a study permit to study in Canada in the following cases:

* Short course or program (6 months or less)
* Courses that are not academic, professional or vocational
* Courses included in a tour package for tourists
* Nursery schools or kindergarten
* Foreign Armed Forces


Students cannot apply for a Study Permit for Canada until they receive an Acceptance Letter from a recognized school, university of college in Canada. Study Permits are issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, who advise students to begin the process of obtaining a permit at least six months before proposed date of entry.

Education is a responsibility of the provincial and territory governments in Canada, and the individual provinces and territories set educational standards. The process and documents required to study in the province of Quebec are different, so check the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles for details. There are a variety of resources available for international students interested in studying in Canada.

Application Requirements

An Immigration Officer will review each completed application, which should include the following:

* Evidence that the student will leave Canada after study;
* An official Letter of Acceptance from a recognized school, university or college in Canada;
* Evidence of funding to pay for tuition, to support the stay in Canada, and to return home;
* Student will be law abiding and has no record of criminal activity,
* Student is not a risk to the security of Canada; and
* Student is in good health (a medical exam may be required).


Local Requirements
Students should check with their local visa office for any specific local requirements, for additional information or with any questions about applying for a Study Permit for Canada.

Foreign Credentials Evaluation for Students Applying to Study in Canada

By:Kathleen Legris

Maintaining the quality of postsecondary programs in Canada is primarily the responsibility of individual institutions, which must operate within legislative and policy frameworks established by their respective provincial or territorial governments. Given the increasing numbers of international students applying to study in Canada, mechanisms for maintaining quality are increasingly important.
In Canada each university or college sets its own admission requirements and its own criteria for recognizing academic qualifications obtained abroad. Therefore, individual Admissions Office determine the procedures required to assess international qualifications.
The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) collects, organizes, and distributes information, and acts as a national clearing house and referral service to support the recognition and portability of Canadian and international educational and occupational qualifications. The organization collects data about procedures for recognizing academic and occupational credentials in different Canadian jurisdictions. This information is stored in a regularly updated database covering more than 800 professional organizations. In partnership with the provinces and territories, they also provide current information about postsecondary education systems in Canada for a variety of users, including Canadian missions and evaluation agencies abroad. Publications include a Directory of Universities, Colleges and Schools in the Provinces and Territories of Canada, which lists Canada's recognized, authorized, registered and licensed institutions.
Students who wish to have an assessment of qualifications for information purposes can consult a credentials evaluation service. Although these services offer expert advice on how credentials obtained outside Canada compare with credentials from a Canadian province or territory, the evaluation is advisory only and does not guarantee recognition of credentials for purposes of admission to a postsecondary institution in Canada. The credential evaluation service will advise about document and translation requirements. Credentials evaluation services charge a fee for their services. Applicants should check with institutions of choice to verify whether they will accept the assessment completed by these services. Although it may assist postsecondary institutions in understanding foreign credentials, there is no guarantee they will be acceptable.

Studying in Canada: A Guide for International Students

By:Kathleen Legris

Each year, more than 130,000 international students enroll in Canadian high schools, colleges, and universities. With one of the most respected education systems in the world, new opportunities to gain work experience during and after studies, and permanent immigration options for international students who have graduated from post-secondary programs in Canada, the numbers are expected to rise over the next decade.

Secondary Schools: There are numerous public, private, and independent high schools in Canada that offer specific programs for international students. Students can choose to study intensive English, an integrated English and academic program, or with strong English language skills, an academic program that leads to a Canadian high school diploma.

Colleges and Universities: In the Canadian education system, which varies from province to province, colleges are geared towards individuals seeking applied careers, such as a chef or hotel management, while universities prepare individuals for more academic careers, or for entrance into graduate school or a professional program such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy or law. The government subsidizes almost all Canadian post-secondary institutions, so entrance to some professional programs is limited to Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents.

Admission to any Canadian university or college requires completion of a high school diploma, such as the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or the foreign equivalent. Generally, students wishing to enter a Canadian university or college should have completed the course of studies that would make them eligible to enter university or college in their home country. Students whose first language is not English will also have to present results of an English Language Proficiency exam. Acceptable tests and scores will vary from institution to institution, so students should refer to individual colleges or universities for specific language requirements.

Master or Doctoral: As with other parts of the world, post-graduate schools in Canada are restricted to universities. Entrance to post-graduate programs will vary from university to university, and from department to department within each university. Masters and doctoral candidates should refer to the Graduate Studies Office of universities of interest for specific information.

There are numerous resources for international students thinking about studying in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the agency responsible for issuing Study Permits and Work Permits, has a comprehensive website for international students. Organizations such as the CEC Network offer information and resources for students including costs, admission and Visa requirements, and cultural adjustment. Additionally, many schools, governments, and educational agents promote Study in Canada throughout the world through local visits, educational fairs, and internet campaigns.