Canada 2013 Budget Plan – Summary of Immigration Issues

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Canada released its 2013 Budget plan on March 21st. A key priority is supporting job growth and creation. Canada’s immigration system plays an important role in this. Here is a brief summary of immigration related intentions set-out by the government

Temporary Resident Program
$42 Million towards Temporary Resident Program to speed up processing times and create a more efficient system

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

  • User Fee for employers to apply under Labour Market Opinion
  • Restriction of putting “non-official” language as a job requirement
  • Employers will have to advertise longer and farther to find Canadians to fill jobs before looking overseas

Expression of Interest

Intention to Create  Expression of Interest immigration management system by 2014– a pool of skilled workers ready to begin employment in Canada.

  • Inspired by the new Zealand and Australia
    • Align intake with processing capability to avoid backlog
    • Choose best candidates, not first come first serve
    • Increase employer role in selection
  • New Zealand’s EOI program (2003)
    • Move from passive acceptance, to active recruitment
    • Priority given to those with job offers
    • Greater control over inventories and processing, less appeal rights
    • 92% of EOI selected applicants have job offers
    • 85% are already in New Zealand as workers or students when they apply
    • Language thresholds are high and credential assessment required

Improvements to foreign credential recognition processes

International Education Strategy
Provide $10 million over two years for international marketing activities to post-secondary schools and partners

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What it means to be a Permanent Resident

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Permanent Residents are people that have immigrated to Canada, but are not yet Canadian citizens. Permanent residents have rights and privileges in Canada, with a few limitations.

Rights include:

  • Social benefits, such as healthcare and Canadian pension
  • Live, work or study anywhere in Canada
  • Apply for Canadian citizenship
  • Be protected by Canadian law

Permanent Residents cannot:

  • Vote in elections
  • Remain in Canada if convicted of a serious crime and be ordered to leave Canada

To maintain permanent resident status, permanent residents must meet the residency requirements.  They must live in Canada for at least two years (730 days) within a five-year period. This time can be accumulated over a five-year period. Permanent residents must prove they’ve met this residency requirement when renewing their permanent resident card or applying for Canadian citizenship. Citizenship and Immigration Canada can revoke permanent residency if someone has not met these residency requirements or has been convicted of a serious crime.

There are some exceptions, where you can count time spent outside Canada towards permanent residency. These include:

  1. Accompanying a Canadian spouse or parent outside Canada
  2. Working outside Canada for a Canadian business or Canadian public service
  3. Accompanying permanent resident spouse or parent outside Canada who is employed full-time by a Canadian business or Canadian public service

For more information on becoming a permanent resident or maintaining your status, contact us.

 

 

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My Permanent Residency was Approved! Now What?

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Landing in Canada as a Permanent Resident

Congratulations, you have received your Confirmation of Permanent Residency and can now land in Canada as a permanent resident! What does this mean though? What can you expect at the border. Here is a brief overview of the next steps.

The Border

You must enter Canada within the validity of your permanent resident visa (COPR). This cannot be extended. The validity date is connected to the expiry date of the medical examination results as well as to the validity of your passport.

If you are in Canada already, you can exit the Canada-USA border and re-enter, showing the border officer your Confirmation of Permanent Residency and supporting documentation. Or you can request an appointment at a Citizenship and Immigration Canada office. If you are outside of Canada, you will land at the airport and present your Confirmation of Permanent Residency to the officer. The principal applicant must land first. If family members are part of the application and were approved for permanent residency, they can land at the same time as the principal applicant or land at a later date, but not before the principal applicant.

When you are the border, you will show the officer your Confirmation of Permanent Residency and supporting documents outlined below. The officer will ask you some standard questions. If he is satisfied that you are still eligible for permanent residency, he will grant you permanent residency status.

Permanent Resident Card

The officer will ask for a Canadian mailing address to mail you your initial permanent resident card. There is no fee. The permanent resident card takes 2-3 months to receive and will be sent to the Canadian address. If you do not have an address in Canada yet, you can use a friend, family or your representative’s address. It can then be couriered to you since you will want the card for the next time you travel to Canada.

What Documentation to Bring

There are several documents you should have at the border with you. These are:

  1. Confirmation of Permanent Residency for you and accompany family members
  2. Passports or travel documents for you and your accompanying family members
  3. 2 copies of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) B4 forms 
  4. 2 copies of detailed list of personal and household items you have with you (You can use the CBSA B4A form)
  5. 2 copies of detailed list of personal and household items you will bring to Canada at a future date (You can use the CBSA B4A form). Items coming to Canada at a later date must all be listed for you to not pay tax or duty.
  6. Proof of funds to show that you can support yourself for the first 6 months. This can be recent
    bank statements.

You should also bring with you:

  1. Birth certificate or adoption papers
  2. Family records
  3. Medical records
  4. Official school records for children (if you have children accompanying you)
  5. Valid driver’s licence or other identification documents
  6. Vehicle registration documents (if you are importing a vehicle)

If you are arriving as a Skilled Worker (i.e. Canadian Experience Class, Skilled Worker, and Provincial
Nominee), bring with you:

  1. Education credentials
  2. Reference letters from previous and current employers (if you are arriving as a skilled worker)
  3. Professional or trade licences or qualification certificates (if you are arriving as a skilled worker)
  4. Up-to-date résumé or summary of work experience

Once Landed

After landing in Canada, you may decide to go back to your home country to finalize your move. There is no issue with this. Once you become a landed immigrant, you are free to travel in and out of Canada.

If you leave Canada before you receive your permanent residency card, you may need to apply for a single-use permanent residency travel document to return to Canada. If you hold a passport from a country that does not need a visitor visa to come to Canada, you should be able to enter Canada without your permanent resident card.

Resources

Visit our What it means to be a Permanent Resident Blog so you know what to expect as a permanent resident. Also, here are some great resources for your first few months as a landed immigrant!

Welcome to Canada Guide
Provides an overview of Canada – places to live, finding a job, understanding Canadian law, the postal
system and taxation

CBSA Settling in Canada
Gives details on how to import your personal items to Canada

Life in BC Guide
Provides overview of living in BC- where to live, education system, driver’s license and healthcare

You First Few Days in BC Checklist
An excellent checklist to help you when you first settle in BC, including how to get your Social Insurance
Number, healthcare, children’s education and banking

BC Healthcare
Details on BC’s Medical Services Plan

BC Driver’s License
Details on ICBC and BC Driver’s License

 

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Details for Federal Skilled Worker Program to be Released April

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Citizenship and Immigration Canada made its latest announcement regarding the much anticipated re-opening of the Federal Skilled Worker Program. They specified that three major announcements will be made middle of April. These include the following:

  • a cap on the number of applications that will be accepted in the first year;
  • a new list of priority occupations; and
  • the organizations that will be designated to conduct educational assessments.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is scheduled to accept applications May 4, 2013. Citizenship and Immigration Canada warns that applicants preparing applications prior to this information being announced do so at their own risk. The cap and priority occupation list will limit those that qualify. However, we encourage potential applicants to learn more about the program and do what is within reason to prepare if they have experience in an occupation considered high-demand in Canada, have strong language skills and education that may be equivalent to Canadian standards. Contact us and we can help you determine if the Federal Skilled Workers Program is a potential option for you, or to explore other immigration opportunities.

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