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Studying in Canada: A welcome to keep you warm through winter

Among British students, Canada hasn’t ranked highly as a destination for education. Perhaps it’s the distance that makes applicants think twice. Perhaps it’s the cold winters. But it certainly isn’t the quality of education, cost of studying or standard of living.
Canadian degrees, awarded at 90 universities nationwide, are internationally recognised and respected, according tointernationalgraduate.net. Their education system offers “strong student support services, small classes and active campus communities”. And, as Canada spends more per capita on its education system than any other country in the world, tuition rates are lower for international students than they are in many other countries.
As for quality of life, Canada was ranked eighth in the UN’s worldwide Human Development Index 2010. Brits are welcome, too. According to Rob Norris, the minister of advanced education, employment and immigration in the province of Saskatchewan, “There’s a spirit of welcome across Canada. We want to make sure that our campuses and communities are increasingly diverse, international and cosmopolitan,” he says.
Saskatchewan puts its money where its mouth is. Norris explains: “We have made record investment of more than C$2.8bn (£1.8bn) in post-secondary education in the past three years. That includes a 3,000 per cent increase in funding for student housing, and new dollars in key areas where we want to be leading in innovation.” Namely, science and engineering, responding to the area’s wealth of natural resources, including arable land, uranium, oil and the mining industry.
Recession is not a word that appears in the Canadian dictionary. Within the province of Saskatchewan alone – an area the size of France – there are currently more than 9,000 job vacancies (saskjobs.ca). “We’re not shy about saying to international students there are career opportunities here,” says Norris. “In Saskatchewan, we’ve just made some improvements to our regional immigration system to allow [post] graduate students to stay for a couple of years [after completing their studies] to enable them to find career opportunities.”
There’s also the graduate retention programme, which enables graduates with honours degrees from Saskatchewan universities to qualify for up to C$20,000 (£12,800) back if they stay and work in the province for seven years.
But that’s jumping ahead. Students contemplating Canada as a destination should first consider fees, which vary greatly. British students pay around C$11,000 (£7,000) a year at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, C$18,000 (£11,500) at York University in Toronto, and $24,000 (£15,300) at the University of British Columbia, according to their websites. As for postgraduate study, costs range from $3,780 (£2,412) a year at Memorial University in Newfoundland to $17,500 (£11,039) at the University College of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.
As for a visa, you shouldn’t need one. A study placement of up to six months is yours for the applying. For longer study, UK nationals need a permit, for which the Canadian High Commission requires you to have been accepted to a university in Canada, and have proof that you can pay for tuition fees and living expenses. It estimates the latter to be around $10,000 (£6,300) per year, plus CA$4,000 (£2,500) for the first dependant and CA$3,000 (£1,900) for each subsequent dependent. You need a clean criminal record and an equally clean bill of health. It takes eight to 10 weeks to process applications, and costs around £75, which is usually non-refundable, regardless of success.
For those applying to study in Quebec, things are a little different. You will need to get a certificate of acceptance from the Quebec government. Visit immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/immigrate-settle/students/index.html for more information.
Overall, though, there are few immigration barriers to UK students. Dr George Maslany, from the University of Regina, confirms: “There’s not much red tape. It takes about two months, but usually anyone from Britain who applies for a permit gets it.”
Financial assistance may be available in scholarships and bursaries. These are numerous and most are competitive, awarded on academic merit rather than financial need. But at the Dr David Hannah, associate vice-president of student and enrolment services at the University of Saskatchewan, says: “We have a guaranteed entrance scholarship programme for undergraduate students, which gives them anywhere from C$500 (£320) to C$3,000 (£1,915) for their first year of study, depending on their academic qualifications. They don’t even have to apply for that, it’s automatic.”
Similarly, places on Canadian courses are almost exclusively awarded on academic qualifications. There are some exceptions, for example medicine often has an interview process. Hannah says: “It’s usually based on secondary school performance. With UK students, we typically look for three A-levels of at least D grades. In some courses it might be higher – for business courses, for example, we’re looking for B grades.”
With the strong and long-standing connections between Canada and the UK, students should have little trouble settling in. “We are very respectful of our traditions, including the monarchy and the Commonwealth, which plays a vital role within our culture and community,” explains Norris. “There’s an affinity here that, from the feedback we get from students and scholars from the UK, gives a tremendous feeling of being at home.”
Hannah agrees: “Because of our Commonwealth connections, our university system is derived from the English and Scottish systems. I think that would be a lot of comfort for students coming to any Canadian university.”
Another plus, for British linguists, may be Canada’s bilingualism: in parts of the country, it is possible to study in either French or English. Most, however, benefit from the lack of language barrier. Maslany jokes “British students don’t have any difficulty as Canadians are devoid of any accent, but UK students have a range of accents. It can take a little while for us to familiarise ourselves with those!”
And the big chill? “The first winter here can take some adjusting,” Hannah admits, “but all of our buildings at the University of Saskatchewan are connected through interior walkways, so you don’t have to spend too much time outside in the cold. In the summer, temperatures top 30C, and from the middle of April until mid October, it’s really very pleasant around here.”
Norris concludes: “The mood in Canada is one of real optimism. We are very student orientated, with universities that are held in high regard. This is a land that’s focused on the future.”

ICCRC Becomes New Regulatory Body for Immigration Consultants

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – June 28, 2011) – The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC/the Council) is pleased that the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has designated the Council as the new regulatory body for immigration consultants.
This represents a new beginning for the immigration consultant profession.
The Council will work hard to regulate the industry fairly and effectively, enhance consumer protectionand uphold the integrity of the Canadian immigration system.
“This is an important day for immigration consultants across Canada,” said ICCRC President and CEO Phil Mooney. “The Council has a clear plan and is ready to regulate this industry.”
“The ICCRC has committed to accountability, transparency and good governance and has pledged to work to protect the interests of consumers,” added Minister Kenney. “Their efforts, backed by strong new legislation, will allow us to better serve people through our immigration processes and protect potential immigrants, all while improving the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.”
The Council will also engage all stakeholders involved in immigration in order to develop new and innovative ways to protect the public, including newcomers to Canada, from unauthorized providers of immigration services.
We now invite all immigration consultants to register on our website to become members of the Council. Consultants in good standing with the former regulator as of March 19, 2011, will have 30 days to become members of the Council.
For the latest information on the Council’s activities, please follow the updates on our website (www.iccrc-crcic.ca) and on our Facebook page. To view the announcement on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website, please visit www.cic.gc.ca.
For Broadcast Use
“The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (the Council) is pleased to become the new regulator for immigration consultants. The Council will work hard to regulate the industry fairly and effectively, enhance consumer protection and uphold the integrity of the Canadian immigration system.”
In August 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) launched a competitive submission process to establish a new regulatory body for immigration consultants in Canada.
On March 18, 2011,the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC/the Council) was proposed as the new regulator for this profession. The Notice was published in the Canada Gazette and was followed by a 30-day comment period.
On June 28, 2011 the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has designated the Council as the new regulatory body for immigration consultants.
Immigration consultants will have 30 days to become members of the Council. This quick transition will help protect consumers, uphold the integrity of the immigration system, and save immigration consultants money.
The Council will implement many newinitiatives designed to make positive changes to the regulation of this industry, guided by the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance.
The Council
The Council is led by a Board of Directors and a President and CEO representing all aspects of the industry, with significant experience in immigration issues. Biographical notes for Board members and the Council’s President and CEO are available here.
No later than March 31, 2012, the first General Meeting will be held. At that time, an election will take place for all positions on the Board of Directors. After the first General Meeting, the Board will consist of fifteen directors, including three Public Interest Directors.
The geographical representation for the remaining twelve elected directors will be:
  • Ontario: 4
  • Quebec: 2
  • Western Canada: 4
  • Other: 2
Several committees have been formed to help the Council operate:
  • Admissions Committee
  • Appeal Committee
  • Communications Committee
  • Complaints Committee
  • Discipline Committee
  • Finance and Audits Committee
  • Governance and Nominating Committee
  • Outreach Committee
  • Practice Management and Education Committee
  • Practice Quality Review Committee
  • Review Committee
These committees are comprised of volunteers who have a keen interest in the subject area.

Tougher rules governing immigration consultants enacted and new regulator announced

Ottawa, June 28, 2011 — Legislation cracking down on crooked immigration consultants will come into force on June 30, 2011, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
At the same time, oversight of the consultant community is being turned over to the newly created Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). “The Government of Canada has promised to crack down on crooked immigration consultants and their shady practices, and with Bill C-35, we now have the tools,” said the Minister.
Bill C-35 strengthens the rules governing those who charge their clients for immigration advice or representation, making it an offence for anyone other than an accredited immigration representative to conduct business, for a fee or other consideration, at any stage of an application or proceeding. It also increases penalties and fines for unauthorized representation and allows for more government oversight in order to improve the way in which immigration consultants are regulated.
With the designation of the ICCRC as the regulator of immigration consultants, consultants who are currently members in good standing of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) can begin to register with the ICCRC on June 30, 2011.
Immigration representatives must be either members in good standing of a provincial or territorial law society, including paralegals; members of the Chambre des notaires du Québec; or members of the governing body for immigration consultants.
A 120-day transitional period will be put in place to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of service for both CSIC members currently in good standing and their clients during the transition to the ICCRC. The transition period will end on October 28, 2011.
After a notice was published on March 19, 2011, in the Canada Gazette, Part I, proposing the ICCRC be designated the regulator of immigration consultants, over 70 percent of the public comments received during the 30-day consultation period supported the proposal to establish a new regulator of immigration consultants.
“The ICCRC has committed to accountability, transparency and good governance and has pledged to work to protect the interests of consumers,” added Minister Kenney. “Their efforts, backed by strong new legislation, will allow us to better serve people through our immigration processes and protect potential immigrants, all while improving the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.”

As nation of immigrants, Canada must now confront its emigrants


Canada has always thought of itself as a nation of immigrants. But new research suggests that among wealthy immigrant-receiving nations, Canada is one of the likeliest to see its own citizens move abroad.
Nearly 2.8 million Canadians (9 per cent of the population) live in other countries, according to a study by the Asia Pacific Foundation, proportionally about five times higher than the United States and roughly the same as Britain.

That demographic shift toward significant emigration will eventually force Canada to confront a long-established ambivalence to citizens living beyond its borders, the report’s authors say.
“There’s a very deep-seated self-image in this country that we are an immigrant country and a kind of instinct that treats Canadians abroad as either failed immigrants or disloyal Canadians,” said Yuen Pau Woo, CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation.
“We’ve got to think bigger than that. … We stand to fall behind other countries that are actively courting their diaspora communities.”
Mr. Woo said Canadian government policy discourages attachment to Canada among its diaspora. Canadians who have lived abroad for more than five years lose their right to vote in Canadian elections, for example. And citizenship can only be passed on to the first generation born abroad.
Mr. Woo said he doubts Canada is actually ready to change its attitude toward emigrants, but he wants to start the discussion.
“Canadians abroad can be seen as a balance sheet. They often have been seen more on the liability side of the ledger than the asset side of the ledger,” he said. “The trick to determining whether they’re assets or liabilities in the end has to do with government policies. There’s a choice. We’re trying to encourage the right choice.”
Scotland, Australia, India, China and Singapore have all adopted policies designed to develop stronger links with their diasporas, from business networking groups to return tourism campaigns. Ireland has received hundreds of millions of dollars in philanthropic gifts from its diaspora.
Jonathan Gray, a Canadian citizen who lived in five countries during his childhood, did graduate studies in Britain and now teaches at the University of Wisconsin. He last lived in Canada in 1999 and hasn’t voted in a Canadian election in several years. Prof. Gray, 35, is also a British citizen and will soon be eligible to become a U.S. citizen.
He says his connection to Canada often feels like no more than a love of hockey and an affinity for fellow Canadians, but he visits Canada once or twice a year and follows Canadian politics. He said he still considers himself Canadian and would be interested in returning to Canada if the right job opportunity arose.
The Canadian government should build bridges with people like Prof. Gray, but it doesn’t, according to the study. Don DeVoretz, a Simon Fraser University economist who directed research on the study, said Canada doesn’t do much to engage its citizenry abroad and, as a result, is ignoring potential benefits.
“We don’t get any benefits as it stands now. You look around, you see countries like India, Australia, New Zealand or Ireland or Scotland, they have very aggressive programs to initiate contact and interchange with their overseas population,” Prof. DeVoretz said.
There is a widespread impression in Canada, though, driven in part by the costly evacuation of Canadian citizens from Lebanon in 2006, that Canada’s diaspora is more of a burden than an asset. There’s also a fear that our free public-health-care system will be used by people who haven’t contributed to Canadian tax rolls during their working years.
Prof. DeVoretz said those costs can be managed. One possibility is to create a fund for Canadians abroad to pay their share of future health-care costs, a kind of insurance fund.

The study calls for the government to support networks of Canadians abroad, citing the example of the C100 group in the Silicon Valley that brings together Canadian entrepreneurs and builds partnerships with universities and alumni groups.
The study suggests the trend toward a more mobile citizenship is accelerating as growing numbers of immigrants, particularly from Asia, stay in Canada long enough to obtain citizenship and subsequently move back to their native country or to a third country. Although a majority of Canadians abroad were born in Canada, immigrants who became citizens through naturalization were more than three times as likely to leave from 1996 to 2006.
Canada, unlike Australia, does not track who leaves its borders, so getting figures for Canadians abroad is difficult. Using census data from Canada and other countries, the study found that the largest number of Canadians abroad – more than one million – are in the United States. The next largest group, roughly 300,000, is in Hong Kong.
Who leaves?
The majority of Canadians abroad – 58 per cent – are Canadian born. But from 1996 to 2006, rates of exit were more than three times higher for naturalized Canadians. Immigrants from China and India, interestingly, had low exit rates, but the data go back only to 2005, when the economic boom in those countries was still accelerating and most mainland Chinese had only been in Canada a short time. Younger Canadians, aged 21 to 25, are most likely to leave. Second-generation Canadians from Eastern Europe, South Asia or the Middle East have high exit rates. Those who identify as French have high return rates, at 29 per cent. Immigrants from Taiwan and Hong Kong are most likely to leave, while those from the Caribbean, Britain and Portugal are among the least likely.
What do they think about Canada?
In a survey of Canadians in Hong Kong, two-thirds of them said they would like to have the same voting rights as those living in Canada and slightly more than half would like to see a central government agency co-ordinate services for Canadians abroad. Two-thirds said they had family connections to Canada, and more than 20 per cent said they think “all the time” about returning to live in Canada. Twenty-nine per cent said they intend to send their children to school in Canada, while another 14 per cent said they will send their children to schools with Canadian curricula. Nearly 20 per cent still pay taxes in Canada
What questions does it raise?
There is a view that Canadians abroad do not pay taxes and therefore shouldn’t reap the benefits of citizenship, such as free health care, should they return. The biggest loss to the Canadian treasury is when a Canadian male in his peak earning years, aged 36 to 61, leaves the country. This loss is compounded if the same Canadian returns after retirement, because people over 61 are unlikely to pay enough in taxes to make up for what they will eventually cost the health-care system. One possible solution would be to establish a fund which those who intended to return to Canada could pay into; another suggestion, similar to what is in place in the U.S., is that Canadian citizens abroad could be required to file annual tax returns.

Study finds CSIC-accredited immigration consultants provide benefits to Canadian multiculturalism

TORONTOJune 27, 2011 /CNW/ – CSIC-accredited immigration consultants benefit Canadian society by helping Canada attract greater numbers of highly qualified immigrants, according to a study commissioned by the Canadian Migration Institute (CMI).

“Multiculturalism Day is an important time to reflect on the valuable role of immigration in Canada and the study clearly demonstrates that members of the Canadian society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) extend high quality immigration services to those who may not be able to afford a lawyer,” said Dr. Don DeVoretz from Can-Excell Consultants, which conducted the study. “The study endorsed the quality of those services because the immigrants that I spoke to indicated that they were very satisfied with the help they received with their immigration to Canada.”
In its report Can-Excell also concluded CSIC membership provided significant value by offering consultants name brand recognition from a trusted accreditation and training that enabled them to provide higher quality service.
“CSIC members must meet high standards to obtain and maintain their membership, and it’s because of those standards that consumers trust the Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant designation,” said DeVoretz. “On Multiculturalism Day it’s important to remember that as Canadians we all benefit when smart, ambitious people make Canada their home, and immigration consultants play an important role in facilitating their immigration.”
“Only CSIC members are accredited immigration consultants and they know they’re leaving a positive impact on the Canadian fabric because every day they help brave, hopeful, motivated people live their dreams of becoming Canadian. CMI has always maintained that CSIC members are vital to the Canadian immigration system and, on Multiculturalism Day, I’m pleased that Can-Excell Consultants have reached the same conclusion,” said Canadian Migration Chair Imran Qayyum.
CMI commissioned Dr. DeVoretz to conduct an independent study to determine whether or not CSIC members provide viable services to consumers of immigration consulting services and whether or not there is value in being an accredited immigration consultant. Dr. DeVoretz is an internationally respected immigration expert. He is a professor of economics at Simon Fraser University and directs the Canadian Abroad Project at the Asia Pacific Foundation. He previously directed Vancouver’s Centre of Excellence on Immigration Studies and sat on the Canadian Border Advisory Board.
As part of the study, Dr. DeVoretz gathered feedback from clients and immigration consultants in focus groups and surveys in TorontoCalgaryMontreal and Vancouver. Clients faced a list of questions concerning their entry class, initial attempts to apply and their source of information prior to choosing to hire a CSIC member. Immigration consultants were queried on their level of experience and education, the types of clients they handle and the perceived quality of CSIC’s education, testing and fees.
The study is available for download at:https://www.cmi-icm.ca/images/files/DeVoretz%20Study.pdf
The role of the Canadian Migration Institute (www.cmi-icm.ca) is to educate, accredit and advocate on immigration law and policy. CMI represents more than 1,740 authorized immigration representatives and is the largest organization of its kind in North America. CMI has several chapters throughout Canada that provide regional support through accredited educational programs, advocacy on provincial issues and a local network for interaction and connection amongst authorized representatives.

Tiffany Nyklickova, (416) 815-4277 x2245, tnyklickova@cmi-icm.ca.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/347596#ixzz1QWDGj2e7


TORONTOJune 27, 2011 /CNW/ – Almost half (49 per cent) of newcomers who have been in Canada for one year or less feel under-employed, according to a recent RBC poll. Even after six-to-ten years in Canada, a third (32 per cent) of newcomers continue to feel that their current job is at a lower skill level than they had, or would have had, in their country of origin.
According to the poll, a majority of newcomers (52 per cent), measure success based on their career, which includes having a good paying job in their field of expertise. Additionally, men (43 per cent) are much more likely than women (28 per cent) to believe that their current job is a step down from what they had, or would have had, in their home country.
“Once newcomers get past some of the career challenges they face when they move to Canada, they make a tremendous contribution to the country’s productivity and diversity,” said Camon Mak, director, Multicultural Markets, RBC. “Canada is built on immigration – new skills and resources continue to be key drivers of our country’s global success. It’s important that we help newcomers get settled quickly both into their new home and their new careers. RBC is here to provide them with relevant financial advice to help them succeed.”
Despite the importance of landing a dream job, only 42 per cent of immigrants indicated that they sought out information about career options in Canada before deciding to move. Twenty-nine per cent searched for information to determine whether there was a demand for their career experience; 24 per cent researched whether or not they would need to be recertified to meet Canadian standards. However, while they may not have their “dream job”, only 12 per cent feel locked in a job that may not lead to their desired occupation.
When polled, newcomers provided the following career advice:
  • Be prepared to wait for your dream job
  • Determine if you need to be retrained or meet certification requirements
  • Find out if there is a demand for your skill set.
Mak offers the following three tips to help newcomers succeed in Canada:
  1. Do your research – Determine what you need ahead of time. RBC offers newcomers advice and provides them with tools to assist with the moving process including resume writing and job hunting tips. This may mean the difference between securing a good job in your field of expertise or working in an unrelated field in order to make ends meet.
  2. Seek out learning opportunities – There are many seminars for newcomers, such as the 7 Success Secrets for Canadian Immigrants (www.prepareforcanada.com). These offer great opportunities to gain invaluable advice, to network and to meet other newcomers.
  3. Set a budget and track your spending – Take advantage of online banking tools to help set your budget and manage your monthly spending when you arrive in Canada. For example, my FinanceTracker (www.rbcroyalbank.com/myfinancetracker) automatically categorizes transactions, tracks expenses and provides advanced budgeting capabilities for all your personal banking and credit card accounts.
Newcomers to Canada – Fast Facts:
  • Definitions of success – While the majority (52 per cent) of newcomers define success as being based on their career, as they become more established (six-to-ten years) family (47 per cent) and health (30 per cent) become more important as definitions of success.
  • Employment – Less than a third (31 per cent) of respondents have a job in their chosen field and over one-third (36 per cent) have a current job that is at a lower level than what they previously had, or would have had, in their country of origin.
  • Career – More than a third (39 per cent) say that lack of Canadian experience has impacted their career options in Canada, followed by lack of available jobs in their area of expertise (30 per cent) and language skill barriers (28 per cent). If they found they were unable to find a job in their career field, the vast majority would consider returning to school (82 per cent), followed by adjusting their goals (75 per cent) or starting a business (73 per cent).
About the Environics Poll
The findings were conducted by Environics Research Group on behalf of RBC in April 2011. Environics conducted a total of 608 interviews among Chinese and South Asian immigrant residents in British Columbia and Ontario who are first generation and have lived in Canada for 10 years or less. Interviews were conducted online and respondents were recruited from an online consumer research panel. Quotas were applied to represent the different regions and tenure in Canada. Data was weighted according to population data from 2006 Census to represent the population as closely as possible.
About RBC Welcome to Canada Package
For more than seven generations, RBC has been supporting newcomers by providing them with resources and tools that make the transition to a new country seamless. The RBC Welcome to Canada package helps newcomers who have been in Canada for less than three years with key financial decisions and includes advice and discounts on products and services. Details on The RBC Welcome to Canada banking package, the “Understanding Banking in Canada” guidebook, as well as branch locators that identify representatives who speak up to 180 languages, can be found at www.rbc.com/settlequick. Consumers around the world can access information on moving to Canada, including financial advice checklists and more, at www.rbc.com/canada.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/347361#ixzz1QWConQ4I

Toronto immigrants find it difficult to land jobs

They come looking for a better life. Recent immigrants to Canada often have years of professional experience but that resume means little when they land in Canada.

In Dubai, Sameer Shiwanna was a respected architect and his wife was a pediatrician. Two years ago they came to Toronto. Now Shiwanna works in security, language is too large a barrier to find employment in his profession.

Shiwanna feels more for his wife than himself, saying she is a doctor who is needed in this nation, yet she is unable to work.

Their story isn’t the minority, either. For newcomers to Canada the dream of a good life is often dashed once immigrants land. The lack of employment in professional fields has caused some to tell others in their native lands not to aim for Canada according to a report from the Vancouver Observer. Others understand that it can take years before they will be able to work in their chosen fields.

Shiwanna said he would like to do work in his field even if he’s not in a lead position.

“In Dubai I built huge towers but in Toronto I am not able to find those jobs,” he said. “My wife has passed her medical exams but language skills are stopping her from working as a doctor.”

He expressed his love for the city he now calls home but does hope that someday he will be able to give his knowledge to the city.

“This job (in security) is a first step. I hope to be able to meet the people that will help me to work in my field.”

Another security guard arrived in Toronto last year from Nepal. She is happy to have a job that provides for her children.

“I love how people in Toronto help each other. It’s how it should be.”

A corner store on the waterfront is owned by two immigrants from Korea. In their homeland they were top business people but wanted religious freedom for their children. The owner’s wife was an accountant. She said that in Canada you can not work in your own field.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/308392#ixzz1QS41WQyX

Changes to Economic Immigration Programs Will Help Further Reduce Backlogs and Improve Wait Times

 Canada is adjusting its intake of applications from economic immigrants to further reduce the backlog and improve wait times while meeting the country’s labour market needs, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
“The backlog of federal skilled worker applications is now half of what it was when we announced the Action Plan for Faster Immigration in 2008,” said Minister Kenney. “These measures will help us to continue that progress.”
Canada receives many more immigration applications than can be accepted every year. As part of ongoing efforts to better align application intake with priorities for immigration, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is limiting the number of new applications it will consider in certain categories of the federal economic immigration stream.
Effective July 1, 2011, the changes will affect new applicants to the federal Skilled Worker, federal Immigrant Investor and federal Entrepreneur programs. The changes will not affect the number of permanent resident admissions in 2011 in these three categories.
“Canada continues to welcome historically high numbers of new immigrants each year, but the Government continues to receive applications that far exceed this number,” said Minister Kenney. “If we don’t keep putting reasonable limits on new applications, backlogs and wait times will grow.”
In November 2008, the government first took steps to identify for processing those federal skilled worker applications that responded to Canada’s labour needs, such as applicants with arranged employment offers from Canadian employers or with experience in an occupation in high demand. In June 2010, the government released an updated list of 29 priority occupations and introduced a global cap of 20,000 for federal skilled workers, as well as a sub-cap of 1,000 under each occupation. Over the past year, CIC has received approximately 13,800 federal skilled worker applications under the priority occupations list (figure accurate as of June 24, 2011).
Now, for applicants who do not have an offer of employment in Canada, the government will further limit the number of new federal skilled worker applications that are considered for processing to 10,000 a year, beginning July 1. This limit will help better align the number of applications with labour market demand. Within the 10,000 limit, a maximum of 500 new applications in each of the current 29 priority occupations will be considered.
In addition, the Minister is introducing a cap of 700 on new federal investor applications. Although last year, CIC made changes that raised the minimum net worth and investment requirements, it continues to receive applications in excess of what is required. An annual cap on new applications will allow for progress on backlog reduction while ensuring that the Department has a sufficient volume of new files to meet its commitments.
The Minister is also introducing a temporary moratorium on new federal entrepreneur applications. Wait times for this program currently stretch to eight years in some visa offices. By ceasing to accept new applications as of July 1, the government will prevent further processing delays. The federal Entrepreneur Program will undergo a review in the coming months to ensure that Canada is better able to attract and retain innovative entrepreneurs.
The authority for these changes, which are being introduced through ministerial instructions, comes from amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act approved by Parliament in 2008 as part of the Action Plan for Faster Immigration. The instructions are meant to be a flexible tool that allows the government to align the intake of immigration applications with priorities for immigration.
Since these changes were implemented in November 2008, the backlog of pre-2008 federal skilled worker applicants has decreased by 50 percent. As well, priority applications are being processed in a period of months rather than years, as was the case prior to the 2008 changes.
The CIC website will be updated on July 1, 2011, with details on application requirements and procedures for affected programs.
Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CitImmCanada.

Changes Announced for Three Canadian Immigration Programs in 2011.

Federal Skilled Worker applications received by the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia on or after July 1, 2011, and that meet either of the following criteria shall be placed into processing:
1. Applications submitted with an Arranged Employment Offer (AEO) consistent with requirements of subsection 82(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
2. Applications from skilled workers with evidence of experience in the last ten years under one or more  of the following National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes, not exceeding the identified caps:
  • 0631 Restaurant and Food Service Managers
  • 0811 Primary Production Managers (Except Agriculture)
  • 1122 Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management
  • 1233 Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners
  • 2121 Biologists and Related Scientists
  • 2151 Architects
  • 3111 Specialist Physicians
  • 3112 General Practitioners and Family Physicians
  • 3113 Dentists
  • 3131 Pharmacists
  • 3142 Physiotherapists
  • 3152 Registered Nurses
  • 3215 Medical Radiation Technologists
  • 3222 Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists
  • 3233 Licensed Practical Nurses
  • 4151 Psychologists
  • 4152 Social Workers
  • 6241 Chefs
  • 6242 Cooks
  • 7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades
  • 7216 Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades
  • 7241 Electricians (Except Industrial & Power System)
  • 7242 Industrial Electricians
  • 7251 Plumbers
  • 7265 Welders & Related Machine Operators
  • 7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
  • 7371 Crane Operators
  • 7372 Drillers & Blasters — Surface Mining, Quarrying & Construction
  • 8222 Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

No Humanitarian and Compassionate requests to overcome requirements of Ministerial Instructions
Requests made on the basis of Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds that accompany a Federal Skilled Worker application not identified for processing under Ministerial Instructions will not be processed.
Investor Class applications
Cap on the number of applications to be processed per year
A maximum of 700 new federal Immigrant Investor applications will be considered for processing each year.
In calculating the cap, applications will be considered in order of the date they are received. Applications received on the same date will be considered for processing having regard to routine office procedures.
For the unique purpose of calculating the caps, the cap year will begin on July 1, 2011 and end on June 30, 2012, unless otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction. Subsequent years will be calculated from July 1st to June 30th, unless otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction.
Instructions for processing federal investor class applications

Federal Immigrant Investor applications  received by the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia on or after July 1, 2011, not exceeding the identified cap shall be placed into processing.
Federal Entrepreneur Class applications
Temporary moratorium
No new federal Entrepreneur application will be accepted unless it is received by the designated Citizenship and Immigration Canada office prior to July 1, 2011. This temporary moratorium will remain in place until otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction.
Family Class applications
Family Class applications will be processed in the same manner and with the same priorities as usual.
Humanitarian and Compassionate requests
Requests for Humanitarian and Compassionate consideration made from outside Canada will be processed in the usual manner, except in the case where the request accompanies a Federal Skilled Worker application not identified for processing under Ministerial Instructions as stated above.
Temporary Resident applications
All applications for temporary residence, including Temporary Foreign Workers, Foreign Students and Visitors shall continue to be placed into processing immediately upon receipt.
Applicants to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the federal Immigrant Investor program or the federal Entrepreneur program whose applications are received by the designated Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices on or after July 1, 2011, and which do not meet the criteria described above shall be informed that their application will not continue for processing and their processing fees shall be returned.

It’s time to make Metro a choice destination for immigrants

The Metro Moncton community recently came together to support the plight of the Maeng family from South Korea, which was facing deportation.
People who signed the petition, wrote letters or attended the rally were no doubt moved by the family’s personal struggle.
All these community actions showed just how much our region is a warm, welcoming place for newcomers.
There could not have been a better spotlight shone on our tri-city. Nor a better time to talk about why it is so important to increase immigration in our region.
An aging population, low fertility rates, significant out-migration of youth to other provinces and sluggish economic prospects make for a very frightening forecast in our province.
New Brunswick has one of fastest aging populations in Canada.
In Metro Moncton, persons aged over 65 currently make up 25 per cent of the population, and this is expected to rise to one third of the population by 2016.
While efforts can be made to retain our young people by concentrating on creating more jobs and opportunities, it will not be enough to counter-balance the strain that older generations will have on our health care system and public services.
Research shows that communities that have made strategic investments in attracting newcomers are more resilient to change and are better positioned to take advantage of economic opportunities in the future.
Immigrants add entrepreneurial talent, enhance skill levels, help create jobs and contribute to faster economic growth.
The Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) has been very active in promoting immigration.
We work hard to dispel the myth that newcomers take away a piece of the economic pie – the reality is that immigration actually makes the pie bigger for all of us – with many immigrants, such as the Maeng family who owns a successful business on West Main Street, playing a vital role in sustaining our local economy and enriching our cultural diversity.
In fact, a 2011 study by BMO Harris Private Banking showed that nearly one-third of affluent Canadians were born outside of the country.
Furthermore, more than 96 per cent of these affluent new Canadians have no plans to invest outside of Canada.
It is also important to note that immigration can help bridge the gap in finding highly skilled workers.
According to 2007 statistics by the New Brunswick Population Growth Division, 66.4 per cent of New Brunswick’s immigrants arrive with post-secondary education and degrees.
The share of immigrants with no formal education remains at only 2.4 per cent.
It often is prejudices among employers as well as red tape surrounding accreditation processes which contribute to the idea that newcomers put a strain on our system.
People who come to Canada to seek a better life are some of the hardest working people you will ever meet. It is a shame that these highly educated and skilled newcomers often have to resort to low wage jobs to make a living in their new country.
Initiatives, like our Chamber’s Business Immigrant Mentorship Program which matches newcomers to seasoned entrepreneurs to help them launch, acquire or expand a business can help bridge this gap.
We recently celebrated the launch of our program’s second cohort with 30 new participants, including 14 immigrant protégés from countries such as Nigeria, France, England, Germany, and South Korea.
In its first six months, the program led to the establishment of two new businesses in our region.
Our Chamber believes that to continue to grow our region’s economy and diversity we must rely on immigration.
Our community has shown how beneficial it can be when people work together.
Keys to a successful immigration strategy for our community include making Metro Moncton a choice destination for new immigrants.
More than just showing hospitality, we need to go a step further and focus on helping newcomers integrate and assimilate.
We need to be more active in recruiting new immigrants as our province’s current immigrant intake is well below the national share.
We need to co-ordinate our efforts to make sure we create opportunities for immigrants and retain our newcomers.
* Nancy Whipp is the Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce. She may be reached via e-mail at ceo@gmcc.nb.ca
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