Canada Is Welcoming 260,000 – 285,000 New Immigrants In 2015

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Canada Announced Annual Immigration Plan 2015

Canada Government announced its annual immigration plan today. The Government of Canada is planning to welcome between 260,000 to 285,000 new immigrants in 2015. which is approximately 19,000 more admissions planned over the year of 2014.

The 2015 levels plan achieved the highest planned level of admission in recent Canadian history. The increase of admissions for 2015 also demonstrates the government’s commitment to reducing processing times as well as the large economic immigration program backlogs.

Here is a brief summary of estimated immigration increases for 2015:

  • 64.9 per cent for economic immigrants (181,300),
  • 24.4 per cent for family class (68,000), and
  • 10.7 per cent for humanitarian and compassionate cases (29,800).

Increasing admission levels will also help with the launch of Canada’s new application management system, Express Entry, on January 1, 2015. The 2015 levels plan allows admissions space to process existing applications as well as new applications that will be received for main economic programs under Express Entry. The new system will enable Canada’s immigration system to be more flexible and responsive to the needs of employers, as well as to changing economic conditions and priorities.


“The Government of Canada is proud to table our immigration plan for 2015, which strengthens our government’s focus on long-term economic growth for all Canadians. Through the 2015 immigration plan we will welcome a record number of individuals who will contribute to our economy and labour market, while also ensuring that we reunite more families and continue to provide assistance to the world’s most vulnerable populations. As we prepare to launch Express Entry in January 2015, this plan will help us attract skilled immigrants who are most likely to succeed.”

Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister

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What’s the Difference between an Immigration Consultant or Lawyer

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What’s the Difference between an Immigration Consultant or Lawyer

When searching online for the difference between immigration lawyers and immigration consultants, you’ll find various opinions. It’s no surprise that when an opinion is written by a lawyer, it favours lawyers over consultants. When written by a consultant, it favours consultants. It’s a given one promotes its own profession over another, especially when they are in competition for business.

When I am asked this question, I am always happy to answer it. Given our firm is a combination of lawyers and consultants, my answer is somewhere in between. Yes, there is a slight difference of what services they can offer. However, for most immigration cases, the critical question is not what profession is better, but what individual is the most professional, trustworthy and has the relevant experience and knowledge for your case.

Here are the two main differences between the lawyer and consultant profession:

  • Services: When it comes to practicing immigration law, lawyer and consultants can offer most of the same services. Lawyers however can represent a client in federal court for complicated cases, whereas a consultant can only go up to the appeal tribunal level when there is an issue with an application.
  • Education: Lawyers graduate from law school, having studied various areas of law over a three year period, plus articling with a firm and writing the bar exam. They typically specialize in two or three areas once they graduate. In contrast, consultants do a 6 to 12 month course specifically on immigration law, and write a national exam. Both programs have a prerequisite of university.

For complicated cases, it’s crucial the applicant has a lawyer or consultant who can provide proper representation. When it is possible the application could go to the federal court, having a lawyer from the beginning of the process (at submission) may be a wise idea. Keep in mind that while consultants cannot go to the federal court, not all lawyers are interested handling these type of cases either.

Furthermore, education is only part of the equation to being a qualified lawyer or consultant. Experience and ability to interpret and apply the law are extremely important. To say all lawyers or all consultants are more experienced than the other is false. Both lawyers and consultants must start somewhere when they enter their profession. They equally find their own niches as well. One lawyer may be an expert at family sponsorships, whereas a consultant may be more experienced with temporary foreign workers. There are over 60 immigration programs. It’s hard for any professional to be an expert in all.

Regarding fees, both consultant and lawyer fees can range among their own peers and between professions. It is true that often immigration consultants charge less for some cases than a lawyer would, but not always. We’ve seen both lawyers and consultants fees range between $8,000 – $10,000 at one firm, and $3,000 to $5,000 at another, for the same service. Our recommendation is to do your research. Get a sense of what the market rate is.

At the end of the day, it’s your future in Canada. Choose a professional, whether it is a lawyer or consultant, that you feel is right for you. Ask about their experience. Meet them in person or on skype when possible. Read client reviews and testimonials. Know their fees. You want someone who is professional, experienced and trustworthy. Remember, you could have a great or bad experience with either an immigration lawyer or consultant.

At Bell Alliance, we have a combination of lawyers and consultants. Our lawyers are experts in Real Estate, Estate Planning and Corporate Law. While they are sometimes involved in an immigration case, its our regulated immigration consultants who work intimately with our clients on immigration matters. Our lawyers and consultants collaborate with and support each other, which in turn gives our clients confidence that all their legal matters can be taken care of under one roof. As a team, we offer clients a one-stop shop for their individual, family and business needs – immigrating to Canada, buying their first home, re-doing their wills or setting up or expanding a business.


Author: Heather Bell

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Canada’s Business Express Program launched in Bulgaria & Romania

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Citizenship and Immigration Canada launched a new Business Express Program (BEP) in Bulgaria and Romania, in order to make it easier and faster for business persons from these countries to come to Canada.

Earlier this year, Canada has successfully launched Business Express Program in India, Mexico and China with visitor visas issued ideally within 3 days as well as an approval rate of close to 100%. As an important part of further strengthening Canada’s relationship with Bulgaria and Romania, The BEP will make business travel from both countries easier and visas quicker to get.

Reliable companies from Both Bulgaria and Romania, whose employees frequently travel to Canada for business purposes will be invited by the Canadian Embassy in Bucharest to take part in the program.

“Canada values its strong relationship with European Union members and wants to maximize the opportunities before us to increase prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. The Business Express Program will facilitate legitimate business, tourism and trade. It is an indication that ties between Canada and our European partners are strong and getting stronger. ” — Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister.


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New Changes to Canadian Passport Applications

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CIC announced new changes to  Canadian Passport Applications. These changes will take effect on October 20, 2014.

ID Requirements for Adult Applicants

General Adult Applicants (Applicants age 16 and over) will need to provide the proof of identity document issued by a federal or provincial/territorial government authority, or local equivalent abroad, and must contain all of the following elements:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Photo
  • Signature

If an applicant couldn’t provide a single piece of identification that meets all the requirements, then they will be able to provide multiple pieces of ID documents that will fulfill the requirements together. However, all pieces of identification must be linked by at least one common element.

Assume A Relationship Surname on Your New Canadian  Passport

For applicants that are applying for a new passport using an assumed relationship surname that is different from the name by birth or on the citizenship certificate, the applicant will need to submit at least one of the following documents showing the relationship surname that are requesting, issued by a federal or provincial/territorial government authority, or local equivalent abroad, along with the birth or citizenship certificate:

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Common-law Relationship Certificate
  • Court Order issued by a court of law in or outside Canada
  • Certificate to dissolve a registered common-law relationship
  • Resumption of Surname Certificate

Legal Name Changes

Applicant applying for a new passport with a legal name change, will need to first modify the proof of Canadian Citizenship to reflect the new legal name.


For more information, please contact us.

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