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What is Express Entry Immigration?

What is Express Entry Immigration? Express Entry is an immigration stream for permanent resident applicants. Express Entry falls under the following three federal immigration programs: Federal Skilled WorkersFederal Skilled TradesCanadian Experience Class This stream also makes it possible for provinces and territories to consider immigrant candidates through Provincial Nominee Programs – these are designed to fulfill regional labour needs. Candidate profiles must be completed online Candidates who choose the Express Entry stream must complete a detailed profile online. This profile describes education, skill level, work experience, and language competence. Applicants who meet the pre-conditions for one of the three programs join a “candidate pool”. Candidates who don’t have a job offer, or who haven’t been nominated through one of the Provincial Nominee Programs, must register with the Canadian Job Bank (this is through Employment and Social Development Canada) – this connects directly to employers. Those applicants who are accepted into the “candidate pool” are not necessarily guaranteed an “Invitation to Apply” as permanent residents. There will still be various admissibility pre-conditions that are governed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Applications from higher-ranking candidates Higher-ranking candidates in the “candidate pool” may be invited to apply as permanent residents. Ranking is based on a points-system (the Comprehensive Ranking System) - the points are tabulated from details and specifics that were provided on the online profile. Applicants with the highest scores in the “candidate pool” qualify for an “Invitation to Apply”. Points are awarded for job skills/experience; provincial/territorial nominations; or specific job offerings. Candidates may also improve their point-scores in several other ways. After having received an “Invitation to Apply”, candidates have 60 days to complete the actual online submission for permanent residency. Once completed, most applications are processed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada within a six months period (or less).

Can Family Members Accompany an Immigrant?

For family members who are planning to immigrate to Canada with the principal applicant, the Government of Canada has a specific definition for each “family member”. a spouse or a common-law partner a dependent child of the applicant a grandchild (the dependent child of a dependent child) Family members who will accompany the primary applicant are to be included in the application. As it is, parents and grandparents cannot accompany the primary applicant to Canada. However, it may be possible for an applicant to sponsor these family members as Canadian immigrants once the initial immigration has been completed for immediate family members. As with so many other immigration streams, there are requirements and conditions that must be met when a permanent resident of Canada or a Canadian Citizen sponsors family members to immigrate to Canada. the sponsor must meet the basic needs of the family (food, clothing, shelter) the sponsor must financially support and provide for each family member the sponsor must ensure that family members do not need government aid For those who will be immigrating to the Province of Quebec, there are additional pre-requisites for sponsorship, these being defined by the Province of Quebec. Beyond the basic conditions for sponsoring family members, the Government of Canada also considers a number of other variables - like the age of family members, marriage classification, even employment prospects while an application is being processed. Suffice to say that the process is bureaucratic and patience is required throughout the processing. Many immigration applicants choose to use the services of Canadian immigration specialists. In fact, these experts provide much more than just guidance and advice. They understand the array of issues that surround immigration and citizenship, and can streamline some of the bureaucratic elements. A reputable firm can also efficiently prepare an applicant’s paperwork, and make the submission directly to the Government of Canada.

How Does One Start the Immigration Process in Canada?

Every immigrant to Canada is uniquely different, and so every immigrant will be interested in a different immigration stream. It all depends on personality, life situation, career goals, and even family circumstances. All things considered, Canada has excellent federal and provincial programs designed to ensure successful and satisfying immigration experiences for all. Today, there are more than 60 program streams available for new immigrants. A good start for newcomers is to determine which program stream would be most applicable. The categories are wide ranging, and intended for professionals, skilled workers, entrepreneurs, caregivers, and investors. In fact, Canadian citizens can actually sponsor family members for immigration. Because the process of immigration tends to be overwhelming, many applicants choose services provided by an immigration firm. This is an ideal way to start the process and to identify which immigration stream would be most suitable. There are programs for skilled tradespeople; for investors and high-worth individuals; even for those with previous Canadian work experience. The truth is, a reputable immigration firm can provide more than just good advice and guidance. Indeed, immigration experts are skilled in preparing all the paperwork; managing the supporting documents; and submitting completed applications to the right government agency. A good immigration consultant can actually make a difficult immigration experience less stressful. In Canada, immigration applicants may be eligible for Permanent Resident Status under a number of program streams – that’s why it’s so important to identify a stream that is most suitable. At the same time, applicants should ascertain if there are reasons that would preclude admissibility. Needless to say, each immigration program stream will have unique eligibility. Express Entry is designed primarily for skilled workersStart-Up Visas are designed for business entrepreneursFamily sponsorships include spouses, children, parentsProvincial Nominees are part of the federal programs

What is an Invitation to Apply (ITA)?

In Canada, an Invitation to Apply (also referred to as an ITA) is a formal invitation to apply for permanent residency. Certain people who have already submitted a profile to Express Entry are eligible for this special immigration opportunity. Those who have received an ITA have had their profile examined and approved. It means that the Government of Canada recognizes their potential for success as a new immigrant. Once the ITA is accepted, processing takes approximately 6 months. To acquire an ITA, immigration applicants must satisfy several criteria: Having an Express Entry profile that is highly-rankedHaving a binding job offer from a potential employer OR Having been nominated by a province or territory Applicants can improve their chances of receiving an ITA by improving their profile score when applying for Express Entry – simply put, the higher the ranking, the better the chances. Hence, there are several ways that applicants can improve their score and their chances for success: Being considered and accepted in a Provincial Nominee ProgramSecuring a genuine, binding job offer from a Canadian employerImproving education levels, and enhancing language proficiencyAcquiring additional work experience relevant to the job offer For those immigrant applicants who have received an ITA, there are a number of next steps in order to move the process forward. Application processing takes about 6 months (or less). Applicants are advised of the specific program they have been accepted intoApplicants have a threshold of 60 days to then apply for permanent residencyApplicants must submit all required documents to complete their submission Where an application for permanent residency is successful, immigrant applicants receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (this is referred to as a COPR) AND/OR a Permanent Residency Visa. Needless to say, the overall process is highly administrative and bureaucratic, but when supporting documentation and paperwork is properly in place, the results are worthwhile.

How Does One Start the Immigration Process as a Student?

Canada has one of the very best education systems in the world. There are many learning institutions in every province, from coast to coast, including language schools, community colleges, and recognized universities. For many, studying in Canada can be advantageous when planning to eventually immigrate. The best is to have a viable, step-by-step plan. Prior to applying for an official study permit, student applicants must be accepted by a recognized Canadian institution. Across Canada, provinces/territories manage education. It means that each region will have different opportunities, depending on the student need. The Province of Quebec has unique immigration policies, and therefore unique requisites. Apart from the official processing and paperwork, students should also consider their day-to-day needs once they have arrived. This would include such things as finding appropriate long-term accommodation, acquiring proper provincial medical insurance, even transferring from one institution to another. In short, the more preparation, the better the transition. Obtaining a Study Permit Whatever the stream of study, a Study Permit will be required before entering Canada. Students may choose from a wide variety of education streams: purely academic options; vocational instruction and training; or professional accreditation through a university. There are also short-term programs available (6 months or less) where no Study Permit would be required. Working while off campus In order to work off campus while studying, it’s necessary to have a work permit. This entails an Off-Campus Work Permit with 2 options: part-time work (20 hours/week) during academic sessions; and full-time work during winter, summer, or spring breaks. To qualify, students must be enrolled full-time in a recognized post-secondary institution and have a Study Permit. Working while on campus With a Study Permit, students can work on campus, without a work permit. For this, a student must be enrolled full-time in one of the following: a community college; a public university; a CEGEP (collège d’enseignement général et professionnel); a public trade or technical school; a private educational institution that is accredited and authorized to award degrees.

Once I Am a Permanent Resident, What Are My Residency Requirements?

As a Permanent Resident, a new immigrant must understand the residency requirements so as not to lose status. Here, it’s important to know how long one must stay in Canada without losing PR status. In short, to maintain the full PR status, one must live in Canada for at least 2 years, within a 5-year period. The individual must be in the country physically. The 2-year period in Canada does not have to be continuous - immigration officers will determine the total time. There are also certain situations where time spent outside of Canada can count towards the 2-year period that is considered mandatory. Those who are travelling with a spouse/partner who is a Canadian citizenA child who is travelling with a father/mother who is a Canadian citizenSomeone who is an employee of a Canadian business or under contractThose travelling with a spouse/partner, who is a permanent resident and worksfulltime for a Canadian business or for the public service (federal or provincial)A child travelling with a father/mother, who is a permanent resident and worksfulltime for a Canadian business or for the public service (federal or provincial)An employee of the public service (federal or provincial) and on assignment to: A fulltime position outside of Canada A partner business outside of CanadaA client of a Canadian business (or public service) outside of Canada Beyond the primary guidelines for maintaining Permanent Resident status, a new immigrant must not engage in an activity that would compromise admissibility, like committing a federal crime. Permanent residents can also lose their status for contraventions like security breaches; human rights violations; misrepresentations; or participation in organized crime. It’s important for new immigrants to understand that a Permanent Resident is not subject to the same legal privileges and protections as a Canadian citizen.

What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (often referred to as an LMIA) is an immigration document that a Canadian employer may need prior to hiring a foreign worker. A so-called “positive” LMIA will indicate that there is a specific need for a foreign worker to fill a particular job. At the same time, it indicates that no Canadian is available to do that job. A “positive” LMIA is sometimes referred to as a Confirmation Letter. In the case that an employer requires an LMIA, they must make application for one. Once the employer secures the LMIA, the worker in question can then apply for a work permit. Work permits are processed when the worker submits the required supporting documents: A letter that describes the job offerA legitimate contract relative to the jobAn official copy of the LMIA (and number) Through Employment and Social Development Canada, the LMIA essentially gives an employer the permission to hire a temporary worker. And while there are certain ineligible employers, there are a number of categories where the LMIA is applicable: Hiring a temporary foreign worker for an agricultural jobHiring a skilled worker in support of their permanent residencyHiring a worker in the Province of Quebec (special requisites)Hiring a temporary foreign worker for a caregiver positionHiring a foreign academic for a position to match the fieldHiring a temporary foreign worker in film/entertainment Like other government application processes, the LMIA can be difficult for some applicants, and there may be some questions that go unanswered. This could be a good time to get professional advice from an immigration firm that specializes in processing these types of applications. A good firm will have experts on hand to efficiently manage the entire process. Better still, a reputable immigration firm can effectively deal with any problems.

How to receive a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Getting a Social Insurance Number begins with getting an application form, and submitting relevant documents to support the application. Forms are available from Service Canada Centres, where any questions can also be asked. Once completed, the application and documents can be taken to a Service Canada Centre. In many cases, a SIN number can be obtained the same day. In situations where geographic distance is a problem, applications can be mailed out. For those who might require assistance, an immigration services company may be a good option. These are experts who can assist with the paperwork, and who can help to determine eligibility under the various categories that apply. Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Temporary Residents all need a Social Insurance Number to work in Canada. The SIN also allows for various benefits and/or services available through various government programs. Children (12+) may apply for their own Social Insurance Number. Legal guardians can apply for a child who is under age. Refugee Claimants and Temporary Residents will receive a SIN that includes a specific expiration date. When applying for a Social Insurance Number (or amending a SIN record) an applicant must provide proof of identity and legal status in Canada. In some cases, one or more supporting documents may be required. Only original documents are accepted (no photocopies). Documents must be in English or French. Translated documents must be notarized, or can be authorized by a foreign government official or by a Canadian official. When moving, it’s not necessary to inform Service Canada. However, when a name is legally changed, the SIN record must be updated under the new legal name. The new SIN record will be confirmed by regular mail. In the event of legal changes to a Social Insurance Number, the former SIN card will no longer be valid and should be destroyed.

How can I determine whether I can apply for Permanent Residency?

There are numerous requirements when applying for Canadian Permanent Residency. Clearly, it will depend on the individual; on specific circumstances; and on the applicant’s background. In fact, each Government Immigration Program has different eligibility pre-requisites and different application processes. As such, the bureaucratic administration requires time and patience. Typically, most applications will require basic background information: educational experience; language abilities; career and work history; income and net worth; perhaps even details about potential job offers. Nationality is a factor, as is the current country of residence. Having family members who are Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents would be an important factor. Applicants for Canadian Permanent Residency may be eligible under various immigration and/or sponsorship programs. However, before application, it would also be wise to determine whether there are any reasons for NOT being admissible to Canada. For some applicants, it might be helpful to secure the services of an immigration specialist to help choose an immigration stream. Indeed, Canada has numerous immigration programs – each with different eligibilities: Express Entry is for skilled immigrants who will be candidates in an Express Entry PoolQuebec skilled workers must apply for a Certificate of Selection (with certain provisions)The Start-Up Visa Program has special requirements, relative to business ideas/venturesImmigrant investors and self-employed applicants must meet relevant experience criteriaFamily sponsorships may include a spouse/partner, children, parents, and grandparentsProvincial Nominees must undergo language testing, medical exams, and a police check For those applicants who use the services of an immigration specialist, advice and counsel is offered on a wide range of issues relative to immigration and citizenship. These specialists also provide assistance with paperwork, administration, and submission to the Government of Canada. Applying for Permanent Residency Status is more

How Long Does it Take to Get Permanent Resident Status?

The department that processes Permanent Residency - Citizenship and Immigration Canada - defines the processing time of an application from the day the application is received to the day a decision is made. Applicants should also consider delivery time in addition to processing time. As well, processing times could vary, depending on where an applicant is currently residing. Citizenship and Immigration Canada makes every effort to process applications efficiently and in a timely manner. But the truth is, processing times for Permanent Residency are very hard to predict - there are many variables to consider. And although there are online tools to keep up to date on applications, it may be most helpful to secure the help of an immigration specialist. Importantly, there are some helpful guidelines that will help avoid administrative delays and even the potential for refusal. Here again an immigration expert may be very effective. applications should be carefully examined to identify the correct immigration categorypaperwork should be properly filled out, signed appropriately, and dated accordinglyall of the required supporting documents should be included (and likely photocopied)required payments/fees should be submitted by using the correct payment method Given that immigration and citizenship applications are highly administrative, Permanent Residency submissions will be affected correspondingly. Applicants who choose to use the services of an immigration firm may well benefit from expertise and experience that may not otherwise be available. And while there are no guarantees, the process may be streamlined. A reliable immigration service can be very advantageous when it comes to filling out government paperwork; processing supporting materials; and submitting applications to the proper agency. Indeed, an immigration service provider can actually make the entire experience less stressful. As well, the experts are able to effectively deal with difficult cases, and find solutions.

What Rights Does a Permanent Resident Enjoy in Canada?

A Canadian Permanent Resident is an individual who was awarded Permanent Residency Status after immigrating. PR Status does not automatically make someone a Canadian citizen, and those immigrants are still citizens of other countries. Individuals who are in Canada on a temporary basis (like foreign students or foreign workers) are not considered Permanent Residents. As a Permanent Resident, individuals have certain rights: they are entitled to most of social benefits that Canadians receivethey have health care coverage through the public health systemthey can live, work or study wherever they desire across Canada they can apply for Canadian Citizenship, based on the regulations they are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedomsthey must abide by all of the federal, provincial and municipal laws Permanent Residents are allowed to reside outside Canada, but must reside in Canada at least 2 years during a 5-year period. For those who decide to reside outside Canada for a longer period of time, Permanent Residency Status may be lost. This may not happen automatically, but when individuals do not meet residency requirements, returning to Canada can be problematic. Refugees are eligible for Permanent Resident Status through government-sponsored programs or by being privately sponsored through a specific refugee program. A claimant does not become a Permanent Resident automatically – it’s necessary for the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to approve the claim, after which the claimant can receive Permanent Resident Status. Once an immigrant has become a Permanent Resident of Canada, that person must present their documentation whenever travelling to and from Canada. In addition, the PR Card must always be kept valid and current. However, if the PR Card expires, this does not mean that the permanent residency is lost. For those striving for Canadian Citizenship, documentation should be current.

Why apply for Canadian Citizenship if you are a PR (Permanent Resident) and are already eligible to apply for citizenship?

As a lawyer specializing in immigration law one of the most shocking things I consistently hear is how permanent residents who have been in Canada for years or even decades under that status keep putting off doing their citizenship applications until they have “more time”. Some question why even bother since with PR Status you have the right to work in Canada, be part of the provincial health care plan, and in essence enjoy all the benefits of being Canadian except for voting. In fact some clients have come to us and stated that they feel like they are “betraying the mother country” by acquiring Canadian citizenship and even though they can spend 50-odd years in Canada somehow they are loyal to the so-called mother country by not following through with that final step. From a legal standpoint this is incorrect because as a permanent resident you are not protected from being deported for a criminal act no matter how minor you might consider it. Just last week in Montreal (September 9, 2016) A man convicted 20 years ago on Mafia-related charges has been ordered by customs agents to leave the country next Friday (September 16, 2016). Michele Torre, 64, was told last Friday in Montreal by the Canada Border Services Agency he will be deported to his native Italy despite having lived in Canada for the last 50 years as a permanent resident. Torre pleaded guilty in 1996 in a cocaine conspiracy case involving Montreal's Cotroni crime family and served part of his nine-year sentence in prison. His lawyer says it was only in 2013 that Ottawa began trying to have him deported. Torre’s lawyer has also asked the CBSA to reconsider its decision and, if that fails, he will appeal to the Federal Court. He is also asking Canada's immigration and public safety ministers to suspend Torre's deportation order. Although this is an extreme case that should be cold comfort for most people as there are many such cases that touch upon what many people would consider even relatively minor infractions or “mistakes”. Division 4 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (S.C. 2001, c. 27) has broad characterisations of Serious Criminality - Section 36 (1), Criminality – Section 36 (2), and Organized Criminality – Section 37 (1). As a Permanent Resident your status does not guarantee that a “minor” criminal matter will not be the first step towards your potential removal from Canada At our office which specializes in various immigration matters we have wide ranging experience with preparing individuals in their citizenship applications. Contact us today at (416) 857-4957 to see how our office can assist your citizenship needs.

What is a Skilled Worker?

For immigrants to Canada, the skilled worker classification has some minimum requirements. For one, work experience in a specific field must be a minimum of 1 year (1,560 hours). This is further defined as continuous full-time work, or part-time hours that comprise the minimum. Work must be fully paid - gathered in the last 10 years - and in the same line of work. The National Occupational Classification also has defined “skill levels”. Applicants must have the work experience to satisfy the NOC – otherwise, they are not eligible. Skilled workers must also meet language requisites (Canadian Language Benchmark). Beyond taking a language test (speaking, reading, writing), applicants must present an Educational Credential Assessment. Like other immigration streams, there are selection factors for skilled workers. These selection factors are based on a point system and allow applicants to be assessed according to factors: Language skills (English/French)Work experience specific to skillsRelevant education and trainingPresentation of an actual job offerAdaptability as a skilled immigrant In some cases, immigrating skilled workers are able to make their application through the Express Entry Pool. This process requires a number of “earned points” once the selection factors have been assessed. Using a points system allows the immigration department to ascertain whether an applicant will qualify as a skilled worker through the Express Entry pool. Applicants should also know that there are situations where a skilled worker must go right to a province (or a territory) for assessment. There are also situations where a potential Canadian employer must provide an applicant with additional experience/training. And finally, there may be cases where a “certificate of qualification” is needed to work in a province/territory. With every application under the skilled worker stream, processing will be far more streamlined when all requisites are fully satisfied. This is especially true when submitting supporting documents - anything that is outstanding will only delay the processing.

What is an Express Entry Draw and How Does it Work?

The Express Entry stream is an immigration option that selects skilled workers for immigration to Canada. Under various federal programs, applicants can submit their personal profile online and be entered into the Express Entry Pool. In conjunction with the Canada Job Bank, job offers are directed at the candidates who present career profiles that are attractive to potential employers. Applicants who have received an approved job offer are invited to further submit an application for Canadian permanent residency. This may also include candidates whose profiles were selected from the pool by a specific province or who were nominated under a Provincial Nominee Program. Clearly, the profiles with better skills and experience are the ones that receive the most attention. An approved job offer is of definite benefit to an applicant, but not necessarily required. Beyond those who have received a job offer, there’s also a “point system” that can qualify a candidate. Here, various factors are considered in order to rank an applicant: education level; language proficiency; and work experience. Here again, high-ranking applicants can apply through periodic draws. Statistics show that the applicants with job offers or provincial nominations will have the best chance of success. However, others should also do well, since most “economic class” entries into Canada will be flowing through the Express Entry stream. Importantly, most applicants through this stream will be immigrants residing outside of Canada, as opposed to those who are in Canada. With improvements being made on a regular basis, the Express Entry system makes every effort to appropriately match candidates with employers. But with typical government bureaucracy and unfortunate time delays, it’s sometimes advisable to work with professional immigration specialists who understand the ins and outs. They can often streamline the entire process.

What Exactly is an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?

The Electronic Travel Authorization is a newly introduced entry requisite for foreign nationals who are Visa-exempt. This authorization is used when flying into Canada, or when transiting throughout Canada. The eTA is linked electronically to the traveller’s passport and remains valid for 5 years or when the passport expires. Exceptions to the above include citizens of the USA, as well as travellers who possess a valid Canadian Visa. Additionally, Canadian citizens (and dual citizens), and Permanent Residents cannot apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization. As it is, entry requirements for other types of travel to Canada have not changed (includes land and/or sea entry). There are a number of situations where it’s necessary to apply for a Visa to visit Canada, or to travel throughout Canada. This would apply to those who are “stateless” - those who are travelling with a document that’s issued to a non-citizen - and those who are travelling on an “alien” passport or some type of refugee travel document. This is important to know. For travellers coming into Canada, it’s vital to carry the proper travel documents, and any supporting identification, particularly for children who are accompanying. Airlines and other transportation companies must ensure that travellers have valid travel papers. Without these, there may be significant delays or even denial to board transportation. While many submissions and applications can be expedited online, applicants often find themselves with additional questions and uncertainties. This is the time to get valued advice from an immigration service. A reputable firm, with experts on staff, can handle all the paperwork and any loose ends, depending on the specific immigration stream. An immigration service provider can also be instrumental in finding solutions when problems are encountered, or when a particular case is difficult to process.

What is “Misrepresentation” When Immigrating?

Probably the worst transgression when applying to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is “misrepresentation”. Canadian officials are very strict about “misrepresentation”, and when discovered, applicants could have their application refused or their status revoked. All of this could result in being “inadmissible” to Canada. If an immigration applicant withholds information or provides documents that are false, IRCC considers this to be “misrepresentation”. There are various guidelines, all of which imply fraud: False information on an application or when speaking to an officialWithholding salient information (even when not asked specifically)False/altered national passports, travel documents, or travel visasFalse/altered educational documents (degrees, diplomas, transcripts)False/altered credentials, apprenticeships, or trade documentationFalse/altered certificates that are for birth, marriage, divorce, death The penalty for “misrepresentation” is simply rejection. Depending on the circumstances, entry to Canada may be prohibited for 5 years. Clearly, there will be a permanent record at IRCC, and worse, any status as a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, or Temporary Resident may be fully revoked. Sometimes there are criminal charges. “Misrepresentation” is risky and unwarranted. Immigration applicants should ensure that every application and supporting document is accurate, correct, and current. And while mistakes do happen, there is a wide gap between an innocent mistake and false information. Where support documents are insufficient, this can be resolved. Importantly, an application submitted on behalf of an applicant by a third party can also be denied and rejected when information is either false or missing. This is one of the reasons why an experienced, reputable immigration firm can be of great benefit throughout an immigration application - everything is done right from the start. In situations where “misrepresentation” is unjustifiable, an appeal process is available in order to prove otherwise. For those who are actually charged, it would still be possible to come into Canada on a Temporary Resident Permit. The TRP would allow an inadmissible person to reside in Canada from one day to three years.