BC PNP Income Thresholds Update
As a reflection of 2012 data published by Statistics Canada, the BC PNP office has recently updated income thresholds for provincial nominee applications in British Columbia. The BC PNP applications received on or before Oct 4, 2013 are going to be assessed per the antecedently published income threshold figures. Applications received after Oct 4, 2013 are going to be assessed per the present income threshold figures taken from Statistics Canada’s 2012 Low income Cut-Offs.
To view additional info regarding BCPNP, check out our British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program page.
View Provincial Nominee Programs for alternative Provinces .
BC PNP Income Thresholds Update
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Thousands of international students arrive to Canada each year with hopes of broadening their education and also making new local friends. International students may have a thriving education but making new Canadian friends can be a bit of a challenge.
According to a report by the Canadian Bureau for International Education the majority of foreign students say they have very few or no Canadian friends. The students want to learn more about Canadian culture and the local way of life but it may be easier to turn to school friends who speak the same language and or are international students too.
Many international students say that making local friends helps them succeed while they are studying. The University of British Columbia assists international students by providing them with a program which makes it easier for the students to make local friends and helps ease the students into their new academic life.
The University of British Columbia (UBC) provides a “Community Program”. This program is designed to help international students to become a part of the local student community. UBC provides the following tips for international students wanting to be a part of the local student scene here in Vancouver:
- Join a student club or peer program
- Sign up for an intramural sports team
- Become a volunteer
- Join a community group
Vancouver is a diverse city with people arriving to British Columbia from around the world. International students enjoy making friends with people from their home country through local cultural groups and organizations in the city. Many of the bigger cultural groups and communities have their own cultural or faith centres. These centres are the perfect place to make new friends.
Canadian students are friendly and like to make new friends. Most local students are eager to learn about other cultures and countries. But it takes two people to be friends, international students are encouraged to reach out to Canadian students and start a conversation.
If you are an international student and thinking about working in Canada, these skills will also help you feel better and happier in the workplace too. Below are five tips for international students to build a circle of local friends and have a full social life.
- Make friends with a wide variety of people. Try speaking with classmates in different courses. Venture off campus and attend events that interest you.
- Don’t be embarrassed about being different. Canada is a country made of people from around the world, chances are your new local friend may have another friend from the same country.
- Speak slowly, and ask people to repeat. Make eye contact and laugh out loud, being friendly and outgoing will make it easier for people to talk to you. Be yourself and share your interests and likes with your new Canadian friends.
- Don’t stay in too close contact with home. It actually helps to venture out a bit on your own, spend more time making local friends than you do speaking with people back home. This will help you learn more about the local culture and enjoy your time in Vancouver.
- Pursue your interests. If you like a certain sport or hobby, try to find groups that share the same interests, this is a great way to make local friends. Be the first person to say hello in the group.
If you are an international student try not to spend too much time with people who speak the same language. Break from the group and start a conversation with a student who sits next to you in class.
There are so many opportunities in Canada and if you are living on campus or plan to work in British Columbia all of these tips will help you start your new life and enjoy your social time that much more!
Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc.
Visit our Study Page for more information about how to become a international student in Canada.
Immigration Opportunities for Foreign Business Owners & Entrepreneurs
Often foreign business owners and entrepreneurs who want to immigrate to Canada look to Provincial Nominee Program Business programs or the Federal Start-up Visa without exploring other options for working or living in Canada. There are over 60 immigration programs available to immigrate to Canada. It’s not just the two programs mentioned above that are open to business owners and entrepreneurs.
Here are three other pathways that are worth exploring as a foreign business owner and entrepreneur: Intra-Company Transferee Program; Intra-Company Transferee Program – Start-up; Study Permit, Student/Graduate Work Permits and Spousal Work Permits
Companies that are located in Countries that have international agreements with Canada, including North America Free Trade Agreement or those countries part of the World Trade Organization, can participate in the intra-company transferee program. The foreign company must be established and be conducting business at an international level. They must also be in a working relationship with an established Canadian parent, affiliate, subsidiary or branch company. If this relationship exists, the company can transfer certain workers to work temporarily in the Canadian company. Workers who qualify must be in a senior management, executive or specialized knowledge position.
As an intra-company transferee, you can apply for a work permit without a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). In most cases when a Canadian company wants to hire a foreign national, it must apply for an LMO from Service Canada and demonstrate it cannot find a permanent resident or Canadian for the position. Service Canada then issues a positive LMO, which is submitted along with a work permit application by the foreign national. This can take weeks or months to obtain and a positive LMO is not guaranteed.
As an intra-company transferee, a work permit can be valid for up to 5 years for executives and senior managers, or 7 years for specialized knowledge workers.
And while working in a skilled position in Canada, an intra-company transferee may qualify for permanent residency through Skilled Workers and Professionals Category, Canadian Experience Class or a Provincial Nominee Program.
For more information and to determine if your business qualifies, please contact us.
Intra-Company Transferee Start-up
A foreign company can expand to Canada under the Intra-Company Transferee – Start Up program. These foreign companies send a senior executive, manager or specialized knowledge worker to temporarily help establish or expand its Canadian branch or subsidiary.
This type of application requires the foreign company to prove they have the ability for their company to become established in Canada. Documents include proof of financial means to support the start-up, business plan for staffing and doing business in Canada, and resume and qualifications of staff member being transferred. They may also need prove that a physical location has been secured or will soon be secured.
Staff members that are being transferred must be in an Executive, Managerial role or have specialized knowledge that is essential to the business start-up.
Like the regular Intra-Company transferee program, while working in a skilled position in Canada, they may qualify for permanent residency through Skilled Workers and Professionals Category, Canadian Experience Class or a Provincial Nominee Program.
For more information and to determine if your business qualifies, please contact us.
Study Permit, Student/Graduate Work Permits and Spousal Work Permits
When studying in Canada, there are options for the student and the spouse to obtain work permits, and potentially permanent residency in the future.
As a student, a foreign national can get an off-campus work permit to work part-time while studying, including starting their own business. Upon graduation, the student may qualify for an open post-graduate work permit, where they can continue building their business.
The spouse of the student can also apply for an open work permit while the student is in school and after graduation, when they have their post-graduate work permit.
Studying may work really well for a couple, where one spouse wants to study and the other can start the business on a spousal work permit. Eventually both spouses have work permits, which create opportunities to immigrate.
List of schools that qualify for the off-campus work permit or post-graduate work permit can be found here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/study-institutions-list.asp
Watch a Video about Canadian Immigration for Business Owners and Business Persons.
Check out our new Media Centre for more information.
Find out more about how to invest in Canada
To understand business options, please contact us.
The North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, United States (US) and Mexico liberalizes and protects trade among these three countries. In meeting the trade objectives, NAFTA allows for the temporary entry of selected professionals and investors of American, Mexican and Canadian citizenship to work and engage in business across borders more freely than workers from other countries. It is a reciprocal agreement, and thus allows Mexican and US citizens to work in Canada and for Canadians to work in Mexico and the US.
If you are from Mexico or the US and have an interest in working, trading or investing in Canada, you may qualify under NAFTA for temporary entry or a temporary work permit. NAFTA provides great opportunities for Mexican and US professionals to temporarily work or do business in Canada with ease. It is important to understand each category and the requirements before assuming you qualify. What is outlined here is only a brief overview of the program. For more information, visitwww.cic.gc.ca or contact your local Canadian consulate or embassy.
NAFTA is open to professionals that fall under four categories:
- Intra-company transferees
- Business visitors
- Investors and traders
Intra-Company Transferees (ICT)
This category is quite common between the US and Canada, especially among major American companies that have subsidiaries or branches in Canada. As an intra-company transferee, you can apply for a work permit without a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). In most cases when a Canadian company wants to hire a foreign national, it must apply for an LMO from Service Canada and demonstrate it cannot find a permanent resident or Canadian for the position. Service Canada then issues a positive LMO, which is submitted along with a work permit application by the foreign national. This can take weeks or months to obtain and a positive LMO is not guaranteed.
In addition, as an ICT, a work permit can be valid for up to 5 years for executives and senior managers, or 7 years for specialized knowledge workers. To qualify, the core requirements are:
- Employment with US or Mexican company that has a branch, subsidiary, parent or affiliate company in Canada,
- Work for at least 1 year of the last 3 years with the foreign company,
- Maintain an executive or senior management position, or be considered a specialized knowledge worker with essential and unique skills,
- Hold an offer for a position with the Canadian branch, subsidiary, parent or affiliate similar to the role in the related foreign company.
Canadian companies can be start-ups or expansions of a foreign company. These foreign companies send a senior or skilled person to help establish or expand the Canadian branch or subsidiary.
Professionals are those that have pre-arranged employment with a Canadian company and are in one of the 60 occupations listed under the NAFTA agreement, which includes accountants, architects, land surveyors, many science-related professions, and even post-secondary instructors. They do not require an LMO, but a work permit along with proof of education and experience in that field.
For a list of NAFTA professionals, visit the NAFTA Secretariat website.
Business visitors come to Canada to conduct business with an international scope, involving activities like research and design, distribution, marketing and sales. Their business is predominantly outside of Canada and they have no intention to enter the Canadian labour market. As a result, they do not have to obtain a work permit, however they do need to declare their status as a business visitor upon entering Canada.
Traders can apply for a temporary work permit and work in Canada to facilitate the trade of goods and services between Canada and their home country. The initial work permit is granted for up to one year, but can be extended for a duration of two years.
Traders must be employed by a Mexican or US company in an executive or supervisor role, or have essential skills. Over 50% of total volume of trade by the company must be between Canada and the US or Mexico. Furthermore, the trading must be considered substantial. ‘Substantial Trade’ is determined by the volume and monetary value of the trade.
Investors can apply for a temporary work permit to come to Canada and invest, develop and direct an enterprise. The person seeking entry should usually be in an executive or supervisory role with the foreign company. While there here is no minimum dollar amount to invest, the investment must be considered substantial. To determine if an investment is substantial, officers are directed to conduct a ‘proportionality test’, which is based on the amount invested vs. the total value of the company or the amount deemed necessary to establish the type of business. For example, an investment of $50,000 for a small business with few operating costs may be deemed substantial; or a $1 million investment for a plant valued at $8 million may qualify.
Like the trader category, the initial work permit is granted for up to one year, but can be extended for a duration of two years.
The advantages of working under NAFTA are:
- Many professional workers are exempt from needing a LMO.
- Business visitors are not required to apply for a work permit.
- It allows for quick processing of professionals and intra-company transferees who need a work permit, since applicants can apply and be issued a work permit by an immigration officer at the Canadian border upon entering the count