Showing posts with label immigration to Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label immigration to Canada. Show all posts


Source: MuchmorCanada.
As more than a million people wait in the immigration queue, Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has said that applicants with experience in key occupations and those with job offers from Canadian employers will go to the front of the line.
Currently, about 30% of Canadian immigrants are economic migrants selected on the basis of their necessary skills or an arranged employment offer. Kenney recently confirmed that while immigration levels won’t jump drastically, immigration had a role to play in off-setting the country’s ageing population and skills shortages. Today, about 70% of Canada’s 34.1 million population is of working age – a figure expected drop to 60% within 25 years.

Kenney said federal government would continue to recognise the importance of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to help provinces and territories obtain the skilled migrants they need to fill labour shortages. Under the scheme, provinces can choose to sponsor migrants whose skills, education and work experience will have an immediate economic impact.
The top three provincial nominees are the booming oil and gas provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Last year, Canada accepted 38,428 provincial/territory nominees, including more than 8,600 temporary foreign workers who later became permanent residents.
Canada will accept a record of 40,000 provincial nominee immigrants in 2011 – five times more than Canada’s PNP intake for 2005. The Citizenship and Immigration Department is currently conducting a series of nation-wide consulations about immigration levels and the type of migrants it should accept into the country.


Prospective immigrants and visitors to Canada now have a new interactive web tool at their fingertips to help them determine if they are eligible to come to Canada. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today the launch of the Come to Canada Wizard.
“We understand that our application processes can be complex, but this new tool is a major service improvement,” said Minister Kenney. “The Wizard will make it easier for potential immigrants and visitors to navigate the application process.”
“The Wizard should also reduce applicants’ reliance on immigration consultants and hopefully will make the Department more efficient by decreasing calls to our Call Centre,” Minister Kenney added.
The Wizard simplifies the application process by matching applicants with the federal immigration option that best suits their specific circumstances. The Wizard does this by asking applicants a series of questions and, based on the answers, it provides the best options for them.
The Wizard leads applicants to a results page that breaks down the application steps and provides instructions and forms.
To view the Wizard, go to

Immigrants need cash in hand and have to be prepared for tradeoffs, sacrifices

MONTREAL - Newcomers to Canada, get ready: being mentally prepared to make sacrifices or tradeoffs when you arrive on these shores is very important, immigrants who have already made the jump told a recent Royal Bank poll.
The survey found that 58 per cent of Chinese and South Asian immigrants who responded named emotional preparedness as the key for newcomers adjusting to life in Canada.
A big part of that mental preparation is also the key for meeting financial challenges that can await immigrants, according to one recent arrival.
"When anybody comes here, I think the requirement is that they must have $15,000 for immediate expenses," said Ash Ghose, who came from India in 2004 and works in insurance at RBC (TSX:RY) in Toronto.
"The first two or three months are fine, but if you do not have any source of income coming in after four or five months then the panic sets in."
Ghose, who trained as a mechanical engineer but notes that "all my life I have been a salesperson," said he sold off everything he owned in India and came over with two suitcases and some paintings.
"I built everything from scratch here, but that is something one has to be mentally prepared for."
The RBC poll also found that 47 per cent of immigrants surveyed conducted online research to understand more about life in Canada.
Judy Sillito of the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers said any research that can be done before arriving is helpful, but added that immigrants need an "openness to the unknown." She also said immigrants aren't always prepared for the sticker shock of living in Canada.
"They get here and find out it's not so easy to make a lot of money and have enough to live on, much less send a lot home," said Sillito.
"There's absolutely no way to explain that to someone who hasn't been in Canada."
She said another surprise for immigrants is finding out how much time new Canadians can spend at work.
"When you come to a new country and you have to work and day job and a night job and do weekend work, it really takes a toll on the family," said Sillito, whose organization serves 10,000 immigrants a year.
Mikal Skuterud of the University of Waterloo said immigrants tend to be older and much more educated than Canadian-born workers, but they often have to take jobs that pay less than their education would imply they should earn.
"Their unemployment rates are not that different from Canadian-born workers," said Skuterud, assistant professor in the university's department of economics.
"They do get jobs and they get jobs quite quickly but they're not very good jobs. They're what immigrants refer to as 'survival jobs.' They appear to get stuck in these jobs. They have a very low propensity to move out of these jobs and get into the track or career they were trained for."
Statistics Canada's 2006 census found that a recent male immigrant with a university degree earned $30,332 yearly, versus $44,545 for a Canadian-born man with a degree.
Nick Noorani, a motivational speaker and consultant who helps immigrants integrate, said it's essential to have the proper language skills, especially on the job. If you're an immigrant and a sales manager, you need to have the same language skills as a Canadian-born sales manager, he said.
Immigrants need to consider what other skills they have to find work, he said, adding his background was in advertising but he turned to publishing when he came to Canada.
"You need to have a Plan B," said Noorani, chief executive of Destination Canada Information Inc.
"When we come here as immigrants we are so focused on, 'This is what I used to do and I want to continue doing only that.' That leads to a problem."

Immigration backlog a major challenge

Jason KenneyImage by mostlyconservative via Flickr
MONTREAL - Canada could soon stop accepting applications for immigration in an attempt to clear the backlog of more than a million people currently awaiting processing around the world, Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Friday.
In Montreal to hold consultations on how many immigrants should be accepted into Canada per year - and just as importantly what kind of immigrants - Kenney told an audience at the Armenian Community Centre that clearing the huge backlog is one of the main challenges faced by his department as it plans for the years ahead.
"There's an unlimited number of people who want to come to Canada," Kenney said, adding that about 254,000 would be accepted this year, down from 281,000 in 2010.
"We used to have hundreds of thousands of applications more than we could process, and it's stupid and unfair to make people wait seven, eight, nine years for their application to be even looked at. That's the rationale for limiting the number of new applications."
Two years ago, Parliament modified immigration laws to give the minister the authority to place a cap on applications, and this year Kenney has so far chosen to limit the number accepted in the Federal Skilled Worker program, for example, to 10,000. He emphasized, however, that Canada would still be accepting 65,000 skilled workers into the country, most of them chosen out of the backlog of applications.
It remains to be seen which other categories may be capped, and at what level.
Stakeholder consultations across the country on the right "mix" or "balance" of immigrants for Canada began two weeks ago, with employers' associations, immigration lawyers, refugee advocates and other interested parties. Friday's session
in Montreal was postponed until October, however. Public consultations will be held online starting in August.
Apart from dealing with the backlog, Kenney said he is looking for solutions on how to deal with an impending labour shortage as the population ages, without overburdening Canada's housing, health care and education systems with too many newcomers.
Janet Dench of the Canadian Council for Refugees worries the minister will place too much emphasis on economic immigrants at the expense of refugees.
More than 35,000 refugees - government-assisted and privately sponsored - are already on the waiting list to come to Canada, and the numbers, especially in Africa, are growing day by day.
Kenney said he has recently added resources to deal with the huge backlog at the Nairobi mission, which serves 18 countries in East Africa, most of them in conflict, and now also struck by famine.
But he also put a cap on the number of privately sponsored refugee applications out of the Nairobi office, Dench said.

Read more:

Bill C-35

Minister of the Economic Development Agency of...Image via WikipediaSome applicants may choose to use such a representative to act on their behalf with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Immigration and Refugee Board or the Canada Border Services Agency.  There are two types of immigration representatives: paid and unpaid.  Paid immigration representatives  Only the following people may charge a fee or receive any other type of consideration, to represent or advise you in connection with a Canadian immigration proceeding or application:  lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society Notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec, and Immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council The Government of Canada will not deal with non-authorized immigration representatives who charge for their services.  NEW: Other people who offer paid immigration advice  With the coming into force of Bill C-35, anyone who provides paid advice prior to the filing of an application or the commencement of a proceeding will need to be an authorized representative. This means that some third parties who were not formerly required to be recognized to provide paid advice will now have to refer people to an authorized representative or become authorized themselves. Some examples of paid advice or representation that will now be captured through the implementation of Bill C-35 include:  representing the applicant during an immigration proceeding by speaking on their behalf. providing guidance to a client on how to select the best immigration stream and complete the appropriate forms. Unpaid immigration third parties  Unpaid third parties, such as family members, friends, non-governmental or religious organizations will still be allowed to act on your behalf.  To protect your privacy, CIC will not share any of your personal information with your consultant, lawyer, and other representative unless you provide your written consent using the Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form.  Other people who offer immigration advice or assistance  People who provide immigration-related advice or assistance for a fee before the application is filed are not obliged to be authorized consultants. However, be aware that non-authorized consultants, lawyers, and other representatives or advisors are not regulated. This means that they may not have adequate knowledge or training. It also means that you cannot seek help from the professional bodies (that is, the law societies, ICCRC, etc.) if that person provides you with the wrong advice or behaves in an unprofessional way.

Canada's immigration levels won't jump drastically, Kenney says

Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney listens to a question while speaking to journalists in the foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 7, 2011. Canada needs more immigrants to sustain its economic growth but the Conservative government won't significantly increase immigration levels because Canadians don't want too many newcomers and the federal government can't afford to integrate them either, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says.

Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney listens to a question while speaking to journalists in the foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 7, 2011. Canada needs more immigrants to sustain its economic growth but the Conservative government won't significantly increase immigration levels because Canadians don't want too many newcomers and the federal government can't afford to integrate them either, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says.

Photograph by: Chris Wattie, Reuters

Canada needs more immigrants to sustain its economic growth but the Conservative government won't significantly increase immigration levels because Canadians don't want too many newcomers and the federal government can't afford to integrate them either, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says.
Canada faces a labour shortage and needs immigrants to offset the balance of an aging population, Kenney is expected to tell the Vancouver Board of Trade Tuesday.
"Several studies have concluded that we would have to quadruple immigration levels from 250,000 to more than one million annually in order to maintain the (working) age ratio in the Canadian population. But that's not going to happen," he is to say, according to his speaking notes.
"We do not have the resources or ability to integrate a million new immigrants every year. We can't teach them English or French. We can't flood our taxpayer-funded services like health care and public education. We don't put such high pressure on housing and real estate markets," Kenney explains.
"We must also be very careful not to jeopardize the generally very positive and welcoming attitude toward immigration and immigrants that Canada enjoys," he later adds.
Only 30 per cent of Canadian immigrants are economic migrants, people selected on the basis of their necessary skills or arranged employment offer, Kenney notes. Another 30 per cent are the spouses or dependents of these individuals and 26 per cent are immigrants from family class while 14 per cent are refugees.
"People want to come to Canada because we are a model for the world. We can't, however, take all who want to come. There is a limit," Kenney says.
The Citizenship and Immigration Department is currently consulting with Canadians about amount and the types of people it should accept into the country.
Faced with a backlog of more than a million people in the immigration queue, Kenney says he has issued ministerial instructions to put applicants with experience in key occupations and those with job offers from Canadian employers in front of the line.
"We have enough parents and grandparent applicants for seven years, and this problem is getting worse," the minister says.
Kenney is also expected to announce that the federal government will increase the number of provincial nominees — immigrants that provinces themselves select based on their own economic needs — from approximately 36,000 to 40,000.

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Immigrants Outnumber Temporary Foreign Workers by 22 to 1. So What’s the Big Problem?

The May 14th Globe and Mail article on the release of 2009 immigration statistics led with the headline, “Leap in temporary foreign workers will hurt Canada long-term, critics say,” and went on to opine that this “marked a major shift in policy for a country that historically was built through permanent immigration.”
The article continued in an alarmist tone suggesting that Canada’s immigration policy was becoming similar to “European guest-worker programs, which spawned years of social unrest in countries such as Germany.” This betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of Canadian immigration policy and German immigration policy.
Here’s the truth for Canada. On December 1, 2009, there were 282,771 temporary foreign workers in Canada. In 2009, Canada admitted 252,124 permanent residents (immigrants). (CIC, Facts and Figures 2009). Sounds like we have more temporary workers than permanent residents? This is what those who oppose temporary foreign workers claim.
But wait! They are comparing apples and oranges. They are comparing the total number of temporary foreign workers in Canada with the annual intake of permanent immigrants. If we compare total immigrants to total temporary foreign workers in Canada, we have a dramatically different picture. The 2006 Census of Canada reported that there were a total of 6,186,950 immigrants in Canada. (Statistics Canada, Immigrant population by place of birth, by province and territory - 2006 Census).
Therefore, the fact is that immigrants in Canada outnumber temporary foreign workers by 22 to 1! And this figure doesn’t include the roughly 860,000 permanent immigrants Canada has welcomed in the three and a half years since census day in 2006. (CIC, Facts and Figures 2009 )
The truth of the matter is that Canada remains a country dedicated to permanent immigration. In fact recent changes to the immigration legislation creating the Canadian Experience Class, have now made it possible for most temporary foreign workers, who have a permanent job offer in Canada, to apply for immigrant status without leaving Canada, which had not been the case before. It is unfortunate that the legislation excludes temporary foreign workers in lower-skilled occupations but in 2008, they numbered 96,673 or about only 38.5% of the total. (CIC Facts and Figures 2008 Digital Library (available only on CD on request from CIC.)
Now what about Germany? Does the presence of less than 100,000 persons who are not eligible for permanent residence put Canada on a par with Germany? Not by a long shot. In the first place, until 2005, Germany had no legislation allowing permanent residents. Gastarbeiter (guest workers) were admitted on the basis of bilateral agreements with Italy in 1955, then with Spain (1960), Greece (1960), Turkey (1961), Portugal (1964), and Yugoslavia (1968). By 2003, there were over seven million foreigners in Germany. There were 1.9 million Turkish citizens alone, of which 654,000 had been born in Germany but were not eligible for citizenship. It was only in 2000 that Germany’s citizenship legislation allowed any of the guest workers’ children born in Germany to claim German citizenship. (Migration Policy Institute, Germany: Immigration in Transition)
When 8.5% of your population is excluded from qualifying as an immigrant and, in time, obtaining the benefits of citizenship, social unrest is surely likely. When less than one third of one percent are ineligible to apply for immigrant status, it is a different situation entirely.
So, by all means, let’s debate the merits of temporary foreign workers as a means to meet Canada’s labour market needs, but let’s get our facts straight first. Canada is not abandoning its traditional policy of welcoming permanent immigrants in large numbers; nor is Canada creating a mammoth guest worker ghetto. Having said that, let’s focus on an effective program that both meets Canada’s needs and respects the human dignity of all temporary foreign workers in Canada.
Robert Vineberg is a Senior Fellow with the Canada West Foundation. He was, formerly, the Director General, Prairies and Northern Territories Region, Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Quebec Immigrant Investor warming after the New Deal

Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre and Immigra...Image via Wikipedia
Immigration Canada news, federal investment project will be 201,171 migrants from the date of implementation of the New Deal, from 1 to clear the next 630 days will only receive 700 applications. Canadian Immigration Minister Jason · Kenney said that despite the immigration department to improve the investment threshold of immigrants, but still received an excessive amount of applications; to limit the application of the new measures will reduce the backlog process, while ensuring that the amount of the trial department of the trial. For this phenomenon, the general manager Liu Jianjie Shenzhen and made the following analysis:

Has been documented for the applicant is a good news

Taking into account the Canadian Immigration processing of approximately 3000 to 4000 investment immigration applications (some of this capacity has been maintained), the “brakes” for the client application has been submitted is actually a good thing to avoid more crowded, which makes the documented relative to the processing cycle is no longer the customer is more extended.

For the preparation of immigration applicants should be objective and rational

1. The launch of the Canadian Federal Department of Immigration limit 700 applicants for the world, if the Chinese market can be assigned to 400 places, while China’s hundreds of legal immigration agency, shows that “these 700 places into the queue “with considerable difficulty, only the level of policy research and strong professional experience in handling cases have greater ability to help companies more successful delivery of the applicants case. In other words, each of which will test the strength of a company’s overall immigration, work efficiency, the case of sectoral coordination and delivery speed.

2. The applicant in this process should be sufficient to maintain an objective and rational. Applicants should make every effort to prepare the relevant information with immigration company, pre-prepared as possible to save time.

3. Federal and Quebec Immigrant Investor immigrant investment conditions in the application of great similarity, coupled with the end of Quebec to improve the application from the standards, the volume of applications received far less than the amount of the federal application, so if the applicant’s their conditions in line with Canada Quebec Immigrant Investor, you should focus on preparing the application documents submitted to consider Quebec Immigrant Investor program, instead of blindly to competition for limited federal quota. Based on past experience and current situation to determine the federal Reform immigration policy to 71 days after the Quebec Department of Immigration may be adjusted in the near future, so the Quebec investments that meet the conditions of immigration applications to customers, it is recommended to be fully use the current opportunity to plan ahead. (Li)
Source: Finance Online

Former Canadian immigration chief calls for increased immigration

A Canadian Customs and Immigration service signImage via Wikipediaby Ray Clancy on May 30, 2011

A former immigration boss in Canada is calling for the country’s annual immigration intake to be increased by 100,000 a year to match needed population targets.
Robert Vineberg, a former Director of Federal-Provincial Relations at Immigration Canada, said policy changes are needed to boost numbers in most provinces.
He pointed out that the major political parties are failing to address the issue despite agreeing that Canada needs to increase immigration levels by 1% per year.
Now a research fellow at the Canada West Foundation, he argued that Canada’s native labour force is stagnating. Most provinces, and particularly the Western Provinces, want to increase their population and see increased immigration as a major way to do so. The way to expand the federal immigration streams is not to freeze growth in provincial programmes but to increase overall levels during the next several years,’ he explained.
‘An increase in immigration levels by 50,000 to 300,000 per year would bring the ratio back to the 0.87% figure of two decades ago. An increase of 100,000 to 350,000 per year would see Canada finally achieve the one-percent-per-year goal that all parties ostensibly espouse,’ he added.
His comments have been made as a result of Canada’s major political parties failing to address the issue of how many immigrants Canada needs, despite all of them expressing support for an increase in Canadian immigration.

He also hit out at a recent study from the Fraser Institute which suggested that immigration costs Canada as much as $23.6 billion a year. Economists Herb Grubel and Patrick Grady used statistics from the 2006 census to argue for a reduction in immigration.
They said that immigrants received on average $6,051 more in benefits than they paid in taxes and that this weak economic performance of recent immigrants is costing Canadian taxpayers between $16.3 billion and $23.6 billion a year.
Vineberg said that the average income of immigrants in Canada more than 15 years before the 2006 census was actually higher than for native-born Canadians. ‘This turns the Fraser Institute’s analysis on its head and suggests that immigrants are net contributors to government revenues if their entire working life is considered,’ he said.
The data used can lead to diametrically opposed conclusions, he added and described the study as not addressing the issue. ‘The whole principle of such analysis is faulty,’ he said, adding that it zoomed in on one small aspect of the economics of immigration and ignored the larger picture entirely.

Mentors help immigrants find success in Canada

bow valley collegeImage by Dave McLean (aka damclean) via Flickr
Many immigrants come to Canada with years of work experience, talent and new ideas, but often run into language barriers and challenges adjusting to the local culture.
Frustrated and desperate to feed their families, many new Canadians end up taking minimum-wage jobs far from where their expertise lies.
It’s a situation that Ratna Omidvar sees everyday in her line of work.
That’s where mentoring programs can help, said Omidvar, president of Maytree, a Toronto-based private organization that invests resources to reduce poverty.
“Skilled immigrants bring talent, connections to world markets and new ways of thinking to solve problems,” she said at the Sheraton Suites in Eau Claire, where the 2011 ALLIES Mentoring Conference is taking place. “We need to collapse the time for them to succeed.”
Omidvar credited a mentor for helping her find her career path when she first arrived to Canada from Iran nearly 30 years ago.
Her mentor took the time to organize mock interviews, work with Omidvar on resume-writing skills, and even taught her about the “unwritten rules” of Canadian workplace culture.
The experience inspired Omidvar to take on many mentees throughout the years, many who have found success in Canada.
More than 120 delegates from across the country are in Calgary today and Friday to discuss how mentoring between employers and skilled immigrants can benefit workplaces and also help newcomers realize their full potential.
A local partnership between the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) and Bow Valley College pairs mentors in the city’s corporate world with immigrants new to Canada.
Katalina Bardell, a mentoring project lead and employment facilitator for the program, said the partnership has facilitated over 100 matches.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi lauded the program and many others that are sprouting up across the country, but he said more needs to be done to help put new immigrants in jobs that best suit their abilities.
“We need to ensure everyone who comes to this country has the ability of achieving his or her own potential,” he said.
Immigration policy changes also need to be made to better recognize foreign credentials, he added.

Read more:

Choosing Your Legal Representative

A Canadian Customs and Immigration service signImage via Wikipedia

Why is professional legal assistance essential?

You are not obliged to hire a lawyer or registered immigration consultant when applying for any Canadian Immigration status or for Citizenship.
John Abbott College LibraryHowever, we constantly meet new clients whose files are facing delays and problems, or have been refused. Often they tried to do their own applications to save money. They may have relied on advice and experiences gained from friends or family.
The Immigration and Citizenship rules of Canada are constantly evolving and, unfortunately, becoming more complicated. Likely, if  you were about to undergo a major medical procedure, you wouldn’t try to operate on yourself or ask your uncle how to do it. So why act as your own “surgeon” and take chances with your future in Canada? Leave your case in the hands of a legal professional. Fogarty Law Firm stands ready to assist you.
Did you know? If you already have legal status in Canada and you make mistakes when trying to renew or change your status, your application can be denied and you may even face removal proceedings.

Be aware of fraudsters

We applaud the efforts of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration of Canada, the Honourable Jason Kenny, who warns against the danger of falling victim to fraudsters. Fraudsters will pretend to be lawyers or authorized immigration consultants but have no legal training and no right to represent you.

Who can represent you?

The following persons are the only ones legally authorized to represent you to the Government of Canada (including all departments, offices, embassies and consulates) for your Canadian Immigration or Citizenship case:
  • A person in good standing with a Canadian provincial or territorial bar association or law society. Examples are the Quebec Bar Association (Barreau du Québec) and the Law Society of Upper Canada. Note that lawyers from non-Canadian jurisdictions cannot represent you unless they are also a member of a bar or law society in Canada;
  • A person in good standing with the Quebec association of notaries;
“The Government of Canada will not deal with non-authorized representatives who charge a fee for their service.”
Source: official website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Changes to Family Sponsorship Rules in Canadian Immigration

The government of Canada is seeking to implement major changes to the Immigration rules governing sponsorship. Two of the proposals deal with sponsorship of spouses, common law and conjugal partners. The third would modify rules pertaining to the sponsorship of any member of the “family class”.

Curbing abuse of the system

Canadian Immigration wishes to target “abusers” of the Immigration system who use sponsorship as a means to scam their way into Canada.
First, the government wishes to prevent persons, who themselves have been sponsored to Canada, from sponsoring a new (second) spouse, common law or conjugal partner for a period of five years following the date the now new sponsor originally gained permanent residency, and this even if by that time the new sponsor has become a citizen.
Second, the government wants to create a new category of permanent residents. Persons who have been in their amorous relationship for two years or less and are sponsored to come to or remain in Canada as a spouse, common law or conjugal partner will have “conditional” permanent residency status for two years (or perhaps longer) after acceptance. If the new resident splits with their sponsor during the two years following acceptance, the new resident might face removal procedures where Immigration authorities determine that the relationship behind the sponsorship was not genuine.
Why is the Canadian government doing this? This is really an instance of a relatively small group of fraudsters spoiling it for the majority of person who have genuine relationships and want to bring their spouse here.

Sponsorship Bridge

Canada is trying to deal with an old Immigration game. Sometimes all three players are willing participants in the charade. Let’s call it “Sponsorship Bridge”. We mention Canada but this same game is played out in many countries around the world.
The game may have variations, but often looks like this. An individual, we will call “A”, is sponsored by their new spouse, we will call “B”, or even better “Bridge”, to come live in Canada. The paperwork goes through, and A arrives with permanent resident status to join Bridge. But after only a few months or maybe even weeks, A splits from Bridge. A seeks a divorce as soon as legally possible. To help avoid suspicion, A might throw in allegations of mistreatment. Once the divorce goes through, after waiting a while to make events seem natural, A will wed or otherwise make a show of establishing a recognized relationship with another person, we will call “C”. Then C is sponsored by A to come live with A in Canada.
However, A never had any intention of living with Bridge; in fact, C was A’s love interest all along. They kept their relationship low key. B really was nothing more than the Bridge to the new destination for both A and C.
Notice that since both A and C was sponsored, neither of them had to worry about having sufficient educational levels or job experience to qualify as skilled workers, for example. Eventually, A and C will be able to sponsor their own other family members to join them. They may all become happy citizens of their new country. Not a bad scam if you can get away with it.
As we have seen, B, our Bridge, is the key part of the puzzle.
In some cases, Bridge might be a cousin who is eager to promote the interests of his extended family. Or Bridge might be an acquaintance or a stranger who will receive monetary or other compensation for his assistance. (Remember the film “Green Card”?)
However, more often than not, Bridge is in complete good faith, actually in love, but in the love triangle, he or she ends up with a broken heart, and sometimes a lot more. That’s because in many countries, the Bridge or sponsor remains financially responsible for the new resident (A) for a period of time even after the split. I have seen some pretty painful situations when A has split after a few months and is basically laughing in B’s face, but B has to keep paying for A’s upkeep for three years after her arrival.

Concerns with the proposed sponsorship changes

Some women’s and immigrant rights groups have warned that the proposed new rules amount to discrimination. Why should people be prevented from sponsoring a new spouse for five years when their first marriage really did have problems? In addition, they argue the new rules will create a legal trap for A (usually women) who come to Canada in good faith, but face abuse from sponsor B and/or his family members in Canada.  Such women will be afraid to leave the abusive relationship for fear of being removed from Canada because of the two-year conditional residence rule.
The government has promised to create a “process for allowing bona fide spouses and partners in such [abusive] situations to come forward without facing enforcement action…”
That is a rather vague reassurance. Hopefully there will be clear guidelines and special training for officers deciding such files. For example, it takes courage to leave any abusive relationship, especially when the victim may be from a culture wherein men’s actions are never questioned by women, and/or spousal abuse is the norm. As a bare minimum, the government should ensure that such matters are handled at the screening level by Immigration officers, and not deportation teams of the Canada Border Services Agency.

Curbing violence

The government is also proposing to enlarge the circumstances according to which persons will not be eligible to sponsor any family member, not just spouses, for a period of five years following completion of their sentence for certain criminal offences.
For the most part, these proposed changes have been met with approval. After all, if an individual has been found guilty of violent crimes, we as a society want some reassurances that they will not inflict violent acts upon persons they bring to Canada.
This Blog has been written just prior to the Canadian federal election of May 2nd, 2011. Depending on the results thereof, the proposed changes may not all become law or may be modified prior to their adoption.


The official Canadian government announcements for the changes referred to may be found at the following links:
Photo by Patcard, Wikimedia Commons, “Air Canada Boeing 777-333ER just about to touch down at Montreal Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport … arriving from Paris”

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