Canada Immigration News November 2016

The 9th round of Express Entry in 2016 invites 1018 applicants for permanent residence

April 20, 2016 - The 9th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 32nd overall, inviting 1018 applicants for permanent residence was conducted by Canadian Immigration authorities. The lowest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score was 468. It was the twenty-third successive draw under the Express Entry System where the lowest CRS score was under 500. Stakeholders expect to see future CRS scores well below 500 this year to enable Canadian immigration authorities to meet targeted annual immigration levels for 2016.

Introduced in 2014 and implemented in January 2015 Express Entry is an immigration system implemented by Canadian immigration authorities ("CIC") which manages skilled worker applications under Federal Economic programs. This includes the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Skilled Trades Program the Canada Experience Class and certain parts of the Provincial Nominee Program.

CANADA IMMIGRATION: BREAKING NEWS, GOOD NEWS

ONTARIO, Canada, February 2, 2016
Newly-elected Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who represents Liberal Party has recently proposed liberal reforms to Canada's immigration system what he promised during election campaign. The upcoming changes will include:

1. Doubling the number of immigration applications allowed for parents and grand-parents sponsorship (from 5,000 to 10,000 visas per year).
Reducing wait times by doubling the budget for processing family class immigration applications.
Increasing the point's allocation for applicants who have siblings in Canada on their Express Entry application.
2. Eliminating the $1,000 Labor Market Impact Assessment fee for families seeking caregivers for members with physical or mental disabilities.
Restoring free access to healthcare for refugee/asylum seekers pending a decision on their case by the government.
3. Making it easier for international students to achieve Canadian Citizenship by making adjustments to the Canadian Experience Class program that will 'remove barriers' for international students.
4. Restoring the Canadian Citizenship residency time credit for international students in Canada.
Bypassing the two year waiting period for "conditional permanent residence" for spouses of sponsored individuals.
5. Restoring the maximum age for dependents from 19 to 22, making it easier for immigrants to bring their older children to Canada.

The changes have not yet been initiated, but with a pledge of $500 million and a majority government, the Prime Minister and his government are optimistic that they will be executed in a timely manner.
These new reforms will surely help accelerate the immigration procedures, and will be very beneficial for their clients.

19th Express Entry Draw sees 1,502 Candidates Invited to Apply for Canadian Permanent Residence

The nineteenth draw for Canadian immigration through the Express Entry selection system has been performed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on Ocotber 23, 2015. A total of 1,502 invitations to apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence were issued to candidates with 489 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points.

Ontario Announces two new Business Immigration Streams

The Canadian province of Ontario has announced that two new business streams for Canadian immigration will be launched in the near future. The Entrepreneur stream and the Corporate stream will be part of theOpportunities Ontario Provincial Nominee Program(OOPNP), which allows the province to nominate individuals for immigration to Canada based on provincial and local labour market needs.

Saskatchewan Express Entry Sub-Category for Canadian Immigration Reopens

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan has announced that the reopening of its ‘International Skilled Worker – Express Entry’ sub-category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). Up to 500 further applications will be accepted, and the category has reopened with immediate effect.

CIC Issues Instructions to Allow for Religious Accommodation During Canadian Citizenship Oath

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has updated instructions related to the taking of the Oath of Citizenship as a result of a recent decision by the Federal Court of Appeal.

Manitoba Issues 456 Letters of Advice to Apply to the MPNP for Canadian Immigration

The Canadian province of Manitoba, located in central Canada, has conducted its ninth draw for the Skilled Worker category of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). A total of 100 Letters of Advice to Apply were issued to candidates through the Skilled Workers in Manitoba sub-category, while 356 Letters of Advice to Apply were issued through the Skilled Workers Overseas stream.

Fourth Express Entry Draw: Increase in Invitations ,decrease In points required

Fourth Express Entry Draw has shown an increase in Invitations issued, and a substantial decrease In points required.
CIC issues under new Express Entry 1,187 invitations to apply for Canadian immigration to candidates in the Express Entry pool with 735 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. The fourth draw was just one week after the third draw, which took place on February 20 and selected 849 candidates eligible under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) with at least 808 CRS points.

British Columbia Launches Express Entry Stream: No Job offer Needed for Certain Categories

The province of British Columbia (B.C.) announced Express Entry British Columbia to its Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) for Canadian immigration. This allows the province to nominate 1,350 more candidates for Canadian permanent residence through the BC PNP than was the case in 2014. ...Read more

express entry first draw

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has stated its intention to perform the first draw from the Express Entry pool before the end of January, 2015. The statement followed the launch of new Express Entry selection system for Canadian immigration on 1st January. The candidates who have created their online profiles before the first draw is made will be benefited with this news.

Canada Immigration Finally Launched Express Entry

Finally, the long awaited Express Entry immigration management system launched at 12 p.m. Eastern Time on January 1, 2015. Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister celebrated the successful launch of this highly anticipated new application management system designed to get people with the skills to succeed in Canada’s economy faster than ever. From January 1, 2015 the skilled workers who want to apply to Canada’s key economic immigration programs are able to create an online profile and express their interest in coming to Canada permanently. Candidates who meet the minimum criteria will be accepted into the pool and will be ranked according to various factors. These include language proficiency, education and work experience. Each is a leading indicator of one’s likelihood of integrating fully and quickly into Canada’s economy and Canadian society. (January 1, 2015)

Major Reforms to Care-Givers Program

The government of Canada has announced a range of reforms to what has until now been known as the Live-In Caregiver Program. Reforms had been anticipated for some months, but the scope of the changes announced by Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, go beyond what might have been expected. These changes aim to give more opportunity for caregivers to become permanent residents of Canada, while ensuring that workers’ rights are upheld.

Major changes have been announced in The Live-In Caregiver Program. These changes aim to give more opportunity for caregivers to become permanent residents of Canada, while ensuring that workers’ rights are upheld. The main change is that the “live-in” aspect of the program, which required caregivers to live with their employers, is now optional. Further more, employers now unable to dock expenses for room and board from a worker’s compensation. It is also said that the caregivers may still live with their employers and that, in the majority of situations, no complaints are made about such an arrangement.

Two new categories for caregivers to apply for permanent residence are also the part of new changes. One pathway to permanent residence will be for childcare providers. The other will be for caregivers who take care of the elderly or those with chronic medical needs. Employers wishing to hire nannies or caregivers under the new categories, however, will still have to complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to prove they could not find a Canadian worker to fill the job. Two-year work requirement remains in place.

Final Chance For Current Federal Skilled Worker Program

The current immigration to Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), which opened in May, 2014, will finish on 31 December, 2014. Since three months remaining, potential candidates have a limited window of opportunity to apply for this program. Successful applicants will gain Canadian permanent residence. After December 31, 2014, the current rules and procedures for the FSWP will no longer effective.

After the FSWP scenario

From January 1, 2015, candidates will not be allowed to apply directly to the FSWP. Instead they will undergo a new selection system called Express Entry. Through ‘Express Entry’, Canada will transition to a new expression of interest immigration selection system.

Under Express Entry system, the federal and provincial governments and Canadian employers will select potential immigrants from a pool of candidates who have declared an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada and who meet the eligibility criteria for at least one of Canada’s economic immigration programs:

The Federal Skilled Worker Program The Federal Skilled Trades Program The Canadian Experience Class A portion of the Provincial Nominee Program

The highest-ranked candidates (those deemed to have the best chances for economic success) may then be invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada under one of these programs.

A famous Canada immigration expert Attorney David Cohen explains the new system as; “From January, candidates will be relying on being cherry-picked by either the federal government, a province, or a Canadian employer. Now is the time to take action.”

Spouse Visa

The Government of Canada created the Spousal Sponsorship Program, a section of the Family Class Sponsorship Program which allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner for Canadian Permanent Residency. Both the sponsor and the sponsored partner must receive approval from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in order for the sponsored person to receive Canadian Permanent Residency.

Couples can apply under one of two categories of Spousal Sponsorship Program: Inland application and Outland application. Each category has pros and cons that should be considered before submitting an application.

Inland Applications
Couples who wish to submit a sponsorship application while already living in Canada must submit an ‘Inland’ application. If a couple is pursuing an Inland application, the sponsored spouse may become eligible to obtain an open work permit, allowing them to work while waiting for the sponsorship result. Application for open work permits is usually submitted with the Inland sponsorship application. Remeber, the applicant is not allowed to work in Canada without a valid work permit. Also keep in mind that if the applicants leaves Canada during the application process there is a risk of declaring his/her application “abandoned” by CIC.
Outland Application
If sponsored partner is living outside of Canada, the coule may apply for the Outland category. Outland applicants can still be in Canada and apply through the Outland program, and may be permitted to travel in and out of Canada throughout the application process. Outland applications are processed through the visa office that serves the applicant’s country of origin, or where they have resided legally for at least one year. Thus, processing times for applications will depend on the visa office.

Express Entry electronic management system lauch in January 2015:

Canadian Citizenship and Immigration will launch Express Entry electronic management system in January 2015. The system will serve as a faster and more economic way for skilled immigrants to come to Canada.

Express Entry will help the government to actively recruit, assess and select skilled immigrants through three of Canada’s existing economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. The system will also apply under a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs, in order to meet labour market needs of certain provinces. Employers will select qualified candidates through the Government of Canada’s new and improved job bank, and through select provinces and territories.

Express Entry candidates who receive a qualifying job offer from a Canadian employer, or a nomination through the Provincial Nominee Program, will be invited to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency shortly after. This is a key distinguishing figure between Express Entry and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which exists only to fill temporary labour and skill shortages.

Active Immigrant Recruitment new hope for skilled workers applicants: Ottawa — On March 18, 2014, federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) immigration ministers reiterated their commitment to actively recruit economic immigrants that have the skills the Canadian economy needs most. All ministers agreed to continue collaborating on building the new active recruitment model which is known as the Expression of Interest (or EOI) system.

It is intended to transform Canada’s immigration system into one that is more responsive to labour market needs. EOI will provide governments and Canadian employers access to skilled foreign workers and expedite their entry into Canada for jobs that aren’t being filled by people already in Canada. Ministers agreed to engage jointly and intensively with employers on EOI prior to the new system launch in January 2015.

Immigration Ministers also endorsed a plan to improve settlement outcomes for newcomers across Canada. It includes improved pre-arrival services, foreign qualification recognition, language learning for newcomers who are not in the workforce and ways to encourage newcomers to become more connected to their communities.

The ministers reviewed progress to date on the FPT Vision Action Plan, reiterating the continuing need to align immigration levels with economic demand, build a fast, flexible economic immigration system focused primarily on meeting labour market needs across Canada, and improve social and economic settlement and integration outcomes for newcomers to Canada.

As immigration remains crucial to Canada’s economic future, the ministers agreed to meet again before the end of the year to continue this important work.

Under the Canada-Québec Accord relating to immigration and temporary admission of foreign nationals, Québec fully assumes sole responsibility for establishing immigration levels, and for the selection, francization and integration of immigrants. In areas under its responsibility, Québec develops its policies and programs, legislates, regulates and sets its own standards. Québec is an observer at FPT meetings..

New Federal Skilled Worker Program Prepares Immigrants to Succeed When the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) reopens, it will include a number of important changes. The changes to the program are scheduled to come into force on January 1st, 2013. They were created so that immigrants who gain Permanent Residency through the FSWC will be better prepared to find work and settle into Canadian society. In this article, CIC News explores the logic behind the new changes, as well as how the FSWC will help immigrants come to Canada with brighter futures than ever before. Read article HERE.
Quebec seeks Qualified Nurses and Nursing Technicians
the Province of Quebec has vacancies for Registered nurse, Intensive care nurse, Geriatric nurse, Nurse technician, Nurse educator and Recovery room nurse.
Nurses who apply to the QSW program must have 3-year diploma, 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing or (for US-educated nurses) and a 2-year nursing degree. Degrees must have been completed in the last five years, Or Received a relevant degree over five years ago and worked as a nurse for at least one of the last five years. 05 September, 2012

 Canada postponed reopening of Immigration Program
Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) has postponed the re-opening of the Federal Skilled Worker Programme (FSW) for immigration applicants to Canada as well as the re-opening of the immigrant Investor Program (IIP). The new date of resumed intake of applications is January 2013. The intake of applications under these programmes was expected to re-open on July 1 this year. However, both programmes are under review and expected to resume no sooner than January 2013.

Changes Announced for Three Canadian Immigration Programs. Effective July 01, 2011
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced changes that will be made to three of Canada’s federal immigration programs effective July 1, 2011. In order to reduce the backlog of economic applications, CIC will be adjusting the intake of applications from certain immigration categories.

Federal Skilled Worker Program
To qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, applicants must have at least one year of paid work experience in one of the 29 eligible occupations or have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. CIC has just announced that the list of 29 eligible occupations will remain the same for the coming 12 months; however, fewer applications will be accepted for processing. As of July 1, 2011, only 500 applications will be accepted for processing per occupation and only 10,000 applications will be considered in total for the coming 12 months. Applicants who have a validated job offer from a Canadian employer will not be affected by the caps. Federal Immigrant Investor Program
CIC has announced that as of July 1, 2011, the number of Federal Immigrant Investor applications accepted for processing will be capped at 700 for the coming 12 months. Canadian financial institutions, which act as facilitators in this program, are reporting that applicants will be required to submit government processing fees, a copy of their passport, and completed simplified forms to the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia. All other supporting documents will be required at a later stage of the processing.

To qualify for the Federal Immigrant Investor Program, applicants must have:
• Prior business experience;
• A minimum net worth of C$1,600,000 CAN; and
• Make a C$800,000 CAN secured investment.

The Government of Quebec is expected to make an announcement regarding its Immigrant Investor Program early next week.

Moratorium on the Federal Immigrant Entrepreneur Program
As of July 1, 2011, CIC will not be accepting any new Federal Entrepreneur applications. CIC has not stated when the Federal Entrepreneur Program will begin accepting new applications. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application to the Quebec Entrepreneur Program or to one of the various Business Immigration Programs offered by the provinces.

Are you an investor, entrepreneur, or self-employed? Complete our Canadian immigration assessment form to out if you qualify for Canadian Permanent Residency. (29 June, 2011)
RECENT Changes Announced for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
New rules to strengthen Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program came into effect on April 1, 2011. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) will be making significant changes to the current procedures impacting both foreign workers and Canadian employers.

As a general rule, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows employers to hire foreign workers when sufficient numbers of Canadian workers are not readily available. A Canadian employer who wants to hire a foreign worker may be required to apply to HRSDC for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). An LMO is a document that HRSDC issues to employers confirming that hiring a foreign worker for a particular job will have a positive or neutral impact on Canadian workers. Employers must usually prove that they made reasonable efforts to hire a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident before they offer the job to the foreign worker. In addition, Canadian employers must offer wages and working conditions to foreign workers that are consistent with standards for Canadian workers in their region.

With a genuine job offer and a positive LMO, the temporary foreign worker can apply for a work permit. It is important to note that some work permits do not require an LMO, such as Intra-Company work permits and work permits obtained under international agreements (eg. NAFTA).

To ensure that temporary foreign workers are protected while they are in Canada, CIC and HRSDC will be making the following changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which will affect those applying for LMO-based work permits and LMO-exempt work permits:

Genuineness of the Job Offer
To protect foreign workers and prospective immigrants from fraudulent job offers, CIC and HRSDC will be establishing additional criteria for determining whether a job offer is genuine, including job offers extended to Live-In Caregivers. They will be assessing:
1. The terms of the job offer (including the wages offered) and if the employer can reasonably fulfill those terms;
2. If the job offer is consistent with the employer’s labour needs;
3. If the employer previously complied with provincial and federal laws regulating employment or recruiting of workers.

Ban for Non-Compliant Employers
If a Canadian employer is found to be in violation of the regulations, the employer will be banned from hiring any foreign workers for two years. Employers can also receive the two year ban if they fail to fulfill the conditions given in the LMO and in the job offer. These non-compliant employers will have their name and address published on a list available to the public.

According to Immigration Attorney David Cohen, “Employers will want to get this right as the government has indicated that the consequences of non-compliance will be severe. Misinterpreting the new regulations may result in the employer being banned from hiring foreign workers for two years which can negatively impact a company’s brand and ability to meet staffing needs. The risks inherent in these consequences underscore the need for companies to secure professional legal representation to make sure that they comply with the new regulations.”

Maximum of Four Years for Canadian Work Permits
CIC will be limiting the number of years a foreign worker is permitted to hold a Canadian temporary work permit. A foreign worker will only be permitted to work in Canada for a total of four years. Once the four years has ended, the foreign worker will be required to wait at least four years before reapplying for a work permit. Certain workers will be exempt from this new rule:

1. Foreign workers who are working in Canada on a study permit;
2. Foreign workers who are working under an international agreement with Canada (eg. NAFTA, GATS, etc.); and
3. Foreign workers who are working in a Canadian job that creates or maintains significant cultural, economic, or social benefits for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Foreign workers also have the option of applying for Canadian Permanent Residency before or after their four years of Canadian employment have ended. cicnews.com
 

The Bridge Training program to Help Immigrants
Ottawa, March 25, 2011 — The Government of Canada is providing $22 million to help skilled immigrants in Ontario find jobs, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

The Bridge Training program helps skilled immigrants enter the Canadian labour market and find employment that matches their education and skills. The program funds regional projects in Ontario that help skilled immigrants get a Canadian license in a regulated profession, or the training they need to get work in regulated and non-regulated careers. The program also funds initiatives that reduce barriers to the integration of foreign-trained workers.

“This program helps skilled immigrants in Ontario enter and integrate into the Canadian labour market,” said Minister Kenney. “It is absolutely critical to engage employers in this process, and this program does just that.”

The Bridge Training program has been co-funded since 2007-08 by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. Given the success of this program, the Government of Canada is continuing its contribution with $12M in 2011-2012 and $10 million in 2012-2013.

To date, over 200 projects have been funded and over 35,000 immigrants in Ontario have benefited from the program.

The Government of Canada is committed to attracting, retaining and integrating immigrants into Ontario communities. Federally funded settlement services have enabled significant expansion and enhancement of both language training and settlement services. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has tripled funding for settlement services in Ontario. (Source: Immigration Canada)

IMPORTANT CHANGES EXPECTED TO THE FEDERAL SKILLED WORKER PROGRAM

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) recently announced they are consulting with relevant stakeholders about changing various aspects of the Federal Skilled Worker Program. CIC is considering changing the number of points awarded in three of the six selection factors. CIC is also proposing changes to educational requirements and stricter rules for assessing the validity of Canadian job offers. According to CIC, these suggested changes are meant to reflect the current needs of the Canadian economy and enable immigrants to better integrate into the Canadian economy.

 

Points Changes in Selection Factors

Applicants will still be required to attain at least 67 points out of 100, in addition to meeting eligibility requirements, in order to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. CIC is proposing to change the maximum number of points applicants can receive in the following three selection factors: language, age, and work experience. Currently, applicants can receive a maximum of 24 points for their first and second official Canadian language, a maximum of 10 points for age if an applicant is between the ages of 21 and 49, and a maximum of 21 points for paid skilled work experience within the past 10 years.

 

1. Language

One proposed change would increase the number of points applicants can receive for a first official Canadian language (English or French) to 20 points, rather than the current 16. CIC is also considering establishing minimum language requirements for certain occupational skill levels. A higher minimum language requirement would be required for applicants with work experience in professional occupations, such as doctors, nurses, and engineers. Applicants with work experience in skilled trades would have a lower minimum language requirement.

 

2. Age

CIC is proposing to increase the number of points in the age factor from 10 to a maximum of 12 points. Rather than maximum points being awarded until age 49, the suggested change will only allow applicants to gain maximum age points until the age of 35.

 

3. Work Experience

CIC is proposing to lower the maximum points for work experience from 21 to 15 points and increase the years of experience required to obtain maximum points. CIC has noted that foreign work experience is not a strong indicator of success in the Canadian labour market and the additional points would be more beneficial in the language and age factor.

 

Other proposed changes

 In order to make the Federal Skilled Worker Program more accessible to applicants with trade skills, CIC is proposing to reduce the number of years associated with education for those with a trade or non-university certificate. Currently, applicants who have a one year trade diploma must have also completed 13 years of full-time education in order to claim maximum points for that diploma under the education factor. Applicants who have a two year trade diploma must have completed 14 years and those with a three year trade diploma must have completed 15 years of education. If the proposed change is accepted, applicants with trade diplomas would be able to claim maximum points for their education with fewer years of full-time education.

 

CIC is also considering requiring applicants to prove their credentials are recognized by the appropriate Canadian authorities if their profession is regulated in Canada. For example, engineering is a regulated profession in Canada. Under the proposed change, any applicant who has work experience as an engineer would be required to have their credentials recognized by a Canadian professional licensing body before they submit their application for Canadian permanent residency.

 

Finally, CIC is proposing to establish clearer regulations for assessing employers and assessing whether a job offer is genuine. The Arranged Employment factor is an important aspect of the Federal Skilled Worker Program and CIC has noted that applicants who have Arranged Employment fare better upon arrival in Canada compared to those who do not have Arranged Employment. There have been numerous cases of fraudulent job offers from employers looking to exploit immigrants for money. With clearer guidelines for assessing job offers and employers, CIC is hoping to deter potential fraud.

 

Attorney David Cohen warns of a potential challenge with the proposed changes, “CIC will not be giving advanced warning of when these proposed changes will come into effect. If these changes are made to the program, applicants who are over the age of 35 and have lower language proficiency levels could have difficulties qualifying for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. If you qualify now for immigration under the current Federal Skilled Worker Program, you should submit your application as soon as possible as you may not qualify once the changes have been implemented.”

 

While CIC has not announced when they expect to change the Federal Skilled worker Program, EasyGoCANADA.com and CICNews.com will report on any information as soon as it is revealed.

 

NEW Temporary Resident Visa application form
On October 14, 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada launched a new electronic form for Temporary Resident Visa applications. The form can now be completed on the computer and saved. A unique two-dimension bar code is generated for each electronic application form submitted. This bar code contains the data provided by the applicant, and can be quickly scanned by Canadian visa offices that process applications. These changes are intended to make the application process faster and easier and reduce errors. Other Citizen and Immigration forms will be updated with these features in the months and years ahead.

Canada’s 2011 immigration quota is 240,000 to 265,000
An immigration quota for 2011 has been finalized. In the wake of the continuing economic downturn countries are looking to reduce their immigration quotas for 2011. Canada on the other hand has been fortunate not to be in a severe economic downturn is looking at immigration to continue to sustain its economic recovery and boost up its workforce.

Canada’s 2011 immigration quota is 240,000 to 265,000 and 60% of these immigrants are expected to come from the economic stream (federal skilled worker program and provincial immigration programs).  In 2011, government of Canada wants to balance the number of immigrants between Federal and provincial programs to fulfill the work force needs of both national and regional markets.

Changes to Provincial Nominee Programs in 2010

In the year 2010 significant changes were brought to various Canadian immigration laws, regulations, and policies. These changes were made in order to allow more people to immigrate to Canada. Some notable changes that were made to immigration programs this year are mentioned here.

 

Alberta

Two streams in the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program were put on hold this year. Prior to August 23rd, people who were working in the United States on temporary work visas and people who had a close family member living in Alberta were able to apply through Alberta PNP. As of August 23rd, Alberta stopped accepting applications submitted through the Family Stream and the U.S. Visa Holder category. Alberta has not yet announced when the two streams will re-open.

 

British Columbia

This past May, British Columbia announced changes to its category for international graduates. According to the new changes, students who recently obtained a Master’s and/or Doctorate degree in natural, applied, or health sciences from a British Columbia post-secondary school, were no longer required to have a job offer to qualify for nomination under this program. In addition, students who did have a job offer from an employer in British Columbia could qualify for this program with a degree from any province.

 

Manitoba

Manitoba announced that changes will be made to their programs in early 2011. Currently, international graduates who wish to apply through Manitoba must have at least 6 months of work experience for a Manitoba employer. Starting in 2011, applicants who graduate from a Manitoba post-secondary educational program of at least two academic years will be able to apply immediately to the Provincial Nominee Program in advance of receiving an offer of employment.

 

New Brunswick

In February, the province of New Brunswick announced that family members of current New Brunswick residents were eligible to apply under the Skilled Worker with Family Support stream if they possessed work skills that are in demand in that province. New Brunswick receives several hundred immigrants each year, and the new changes will allow families to reunite.

 

Ontario

Changes were made to the International Student Category in Ontario. Previously, only Ph.D. students were allowed to apply for permanent residency without a job offer. In September, Ontario changed its program to allow graduates from Ontario Master’s programs to also apply for permanent residency without requiring a job offer. This was good news for Ontario students as there are currently 4,600 students in Master’s degree programs in the province.

 

Prince Edward Island

In April, Minister Allan Campbell had announced that the Prince Edward Island Nominee Program was currently under review. New streams are being assessed and changes to the programs are expected to be announced in 2011.

 

Quebec

The province of Quebec introduced a fast-track immigration program for students and temporary workers living in Quebec. Under the Quebec Experience Class, students who had graduated from a recognized, participating Quebec education institution and individuals who had worked in the province for at least 12 months out of the last 24 are now able to qualify in this program.

 

Applicants who wish to reside in Quebec may also qualify for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. Applicants must meet certain selection factors, such as training, experience, language proficiency, and more. A job offer or study in Quebec is not required for this program, but may add additional points in the various selection factors.
(Source: http://www.cicnews.com)

 

Government of Canada to facilitate the immigration of Tibetan refugees living in Arunachal Pradesh in India

Ottawa, December 18, 2010 — The Government of Canada intends to facilitate the immigration of up to 1,000 Tibetan refugees living in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India over a five-year period, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

“Our government’s openness to Tibetan refugees is in keeping with Canada’s best humanitarian traditions,” said Minister Kenney. “We look forward to working with the Government of India and the Tibetan-Canadian community on the implementation of this program, and on welcoming these individuals to Canada.”

Special immigration measures will be developed in response to a request by the Tibetan community and will focus on individuals who meet specific criteria. These measures aim to maximize the involvement of communities in Canada by focusing on individuals who have secured the support of the Canadian-Tibetan community or other interested supporters.

Persons entering Canada under these special measures would be required to meet Canada’s requirements for immigration, including security, criminal, medical and background checks. (Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Canada re-opens Immigrant Investor Program effective
December 1, 2010

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will once again accept applications under the federal Immigrant Investor Program. Under the new program criteria, investor applicants will need to have a personal net worth of $1.6 million, up from $800,000 under the old criteria, and make an investment of $800,000, up from the previous requirement of $400,000.

“These changes were necessary,” said Minister Kenney. “The requirements had not been increased in more than a decade and we need to keep pace with the changing economy.”

Canada’s old immigrant investor criteria were the lowest when compared to other countries with similar programs. The new criteria now align it more closely with other immigrant-receiving countries.

The investor program was suspended in June, in part because the high volume of applications was leading to wait times that were too long. Raising the requirements will help reduce the flow of applications while ensuring we attract experienced businesspeople who can make a more substantial contribution to the economy. Higher personal net worth criteria mean the program is now better positioned to attract investors with valuable business links and the resources to make secondary investments in the Canadian economy.

“Higher investment amounts mean provinces and territories will receive more investment capital to put toward job creation and economic development projects,” added the Minister.

Canada’s Immigrant Investor Program offers several benefits to international investors, including permanent resident status up front and guaranteed repayment of the investment.

Under Canada’s old criteria, the volume of applications submitted under the Program had grown exponentially and processing times had increased. By stopping applications between June 26, 2010, and December of this year, the government prevented further delays. Applications received on or after December 1 will be subject to the new criteria and will be processed alongside the old ones. In this way, Canada can begin to realize the benefits of the changes as soon as possible.

Canadian Immigration: The 20,000 Limit, Federal Skilled Workers applications updates
On June 26, 2010, the Government of Canada placed a limit on the number of Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications it will process before June 30, 2011. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will process applications up to a maximum of 20,000. The limit does not apply to those applications with a job offer from a Canadian employer. To qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker category of immigration without a Canadian job offer, the principal applicant must have worked for at least one year in the past 10 years in one of the 29 listed occupations. Moreover, a maximum of 1,000 applications will be considered under any one of these eligible occupations.

For the first time last week, CIC released an update on the number of complete applications received for processing under the FSW category.

Total applications received toward to overall cap of 20,000:
2,785 as of October 27, 2010
(Source: http://www.cicnews.com)

doors are open to Chinese to come to Canada - Canada’s Immigration Minister
Beijing, September 15, 2010 — China is, and will continue to be, one of the most important source countries for immigrants to Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said today in Beijing, the second-to-last stop on his trip to Asia.

“Canada has benefited enormously from immigration from China,” said Minister Kenney.
China remains the number one source country for immigrants to Canada.

Minister Kenney notes that more visitors are coming to Canada from China as well. In the first quarter of this year, China ranked first in visas and extensions issued to visitors. Canada saw 14% more visitors from China than in the first quarter of 2009, or 46% more than in the first quarter of 2005.

“That means more Chinese nationals are visiting their family here in Canada than ever before. With the implementation of the Approved Destination Status, which allows Chinese travel agents to advertise and organize tour groups to Canada, that number will only rise,” said the Minister.

And the number of Chinese students studying in Canada is also on the rise. Almost 50,000 students from China resided in Canada last year. The number of Chinese students living in Canada has grown by more than 300% in the past decade.

“We are committed to increasing the number of Chinese students attending Canadian colleges and universities,” said the Minister, “and in the course of my visit to Beijing, I made an important announcement about how our government will encourage even more students to study in Canada.”

But he also warns that while the door is open to Chinese students, visitors and immigrants, the Government of Canada is serious about cracking down on immigration fraud. This includes drawing attention to fraudulent immigration consultants.

“While many consultants do good work, we want people to know that it’s not necessary to hire a consultant to come to Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “And with the help of the Chinese government, we want to put a stop to the ones who are engaging in fraud.”

Minister Kenney will travel to Manila tomorrow. He will then go on to Canberra and Sydney, the final two stops on this trip. (Source: cic.gc.ca)

Canada increases the number of visas available through PNP
The Government of Canada has approved requests by the provinces to increase the number of visas to be given out this year for Canadian permanent residence under the provincial nomination programs.

Alberta and other western provinces had been lobbying the federal government to increase rather than reduce the number of immigrants eligible for permanent residency under the provincial nomination programs. A spokesperson for Citizenship and Immigration Canada said the federal government heard the provinces' concerns and has decided to increase the numbers beyond what was originally promised earlier this year.

Notably, over the next year, Alberta will receive 5,000 immigrants under the Alberta Immigrant Nomination Program (AINP) which is a significant increase from the 4,200 allocated last year and the 2,800 allocated two years ago. British Columbia’s provincial nomination program will receive 3,500 (an increased from the original 3,200), Saskatchewan will receive 4,000 (up from 3,700) and Manitoba will receive 5,000 (increased from 4,600).

The provincial nominees are important to help sustain the short-term economic turnaround as well as long-term growth, said Alberta Immigration Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. The provincial nominee programs are a good solution to labour shortage problems because immigrants are eligible to apply only if they have a guaranteed job that employers have shown cannot be filled by workers already in the province. Especially in the case of Alberta, the province’s preference is not to attract only temporary foreign workers, but permanent residents through the provincial nomination programs.
Despite the higher unemployment rates in Canada over the past two years, there are still not enough workers to fill job positions in many different sectors.

"We're looking at a problem that is long term," said Enayat Aminzadah, director of operations and resource development with Immigrant Services Calgary. "It's a great way to strengthen our workforce."

Citizenship and Immigration Canada initially set a target of allowing between 240,000 and 265,000 immigrants into Canada this year, and is balancing the number of Federal Skilled Worker applicants with the provincial nominee targets as well as working to drastically reduce the wait times for processing applications. (Source: CICNews)

Canada Temporary Work Visas requirements to become tougher FROM APRIL 2011
There will be new tougher requirements to come under the Canada temporary worker scheme from 1 April 2011. Canadian work visas are used by employers who are unable to find suitably qualified employees locally and so need to employ overseas nationals on a temporary basis. Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney had the following to say:

"The government is taking action to protect temporary foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, from potential abuse and exploitation."

"We owe it to them, their employers and all Canadians to ensure that the program is fair and equitable. After all, they are an essential element of Canada's economic success."

Human Resources Minister Diane Finley also had some comments to make:

"These changes represent an important step. Temporary foreign workers help the Canadian economy by filling labour needs in sectors where Canadians or permanent residents are not readily available."

"Our government is taking action to improve the integrity of the program while ensuring that these people are afforded the necessary protections."

The changes from 1 April 2011 include the following:

A limit on how long an overseas worker may remain on a Canadian temporary work visa.

Tougher requirements to show that a job offer is genuine.

If the employer has not met agreed requirements with respect to wages, working conditions and occupation there will be a two year prohibition on the employer hiring overseas workers.

The Canadian Government also specifically mentioned the Live-in Caregiver Program in their recent news report. This is a work visa that is also used if there are no suitable Canadians or permanent residents who can fill the vacancies. After you come under the Live-in Caregiver Program you can then apply for Canadian permanent residence.


IMPORTANT CHANGES FOR FEDERAL SKILLED WORKERS PROGRAM

On June 26, 2010, Government of Canada has amended its’ current immigration procedures to put even greater emphasis on economic recovery and further reduce the Federal Skilled Worker application backlog. The changes, effective immediately, concern the Federal Skilled Worker program, including:
1) a change in the occupations that are currently ‘open’ under this program,
2) the creation of a limit on the number of applications which will be considered by Canadian Immigration Visa Offices, and
3) a change in the documentation required for an application under this program.
These changes do not affect any applications received at the Central Intake Office before June 26, 2010.
Under these updated instructions, an application is eligible for processing if the applicant:

• has at least one year of continuous, full-time (or equivalent) paid work experience in the past decade in a qualifying occupation, which have been identified as the most in-demand occupations in Canada at this time; or
• qualifies for Arranged Employment with a full-time permanent job offer from a Canadian employer.

Applicants who formerly qualified because they had been living in Canada with legal status as a Temporary Foreign Worker or an international student will no longer be eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker program, but may still meet the eligibility criteria of the Canadian Experience Class program.

The former list of 38 qualifying occupations has been amended to include 11 new occupations with 20 previously listed occupations having been removed.

Effective immediately, the following occupations have been added to the list:
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
3113 Dentists
3131 Pharmacists
3222 Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists
4151 Psychologists
4152 Social Workers
7216 Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades

The following occupations remain on the list:
0631 Restaurant and Food Service Managers
3111 Specialists in clinical medicine
3112 General practitioners and family physicians
3142 Physiotherapists
3152 General duty registered nurses
3215 Radiological technologists
3233 Licensed practical nurses
6241 Chefs
6242 Cooks
7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry 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

For those skilled workers applying under the occupation list, the government will limit the number of applications considered for processing to 20,000 total per year. Within the 20,000 limit, a maximum of 1,000 applications per occupation will be considered. This limit does not apply to applicants with a job offer.

Candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker program and for the Canadian Experience Class Program will now be required to submit the results of a language proficiency assessment exam, along with a complete set of supporting documents (such as copies of passports, evidence of educational history, documentation of marital status, proof of settlement funds, police clearances, etc.) with their application forms. As such, the language proficiency results and additional documentation must be gathered to create an initial application.

The authority for the changes, known as 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 as a flexible tool to allow the government to keep the intake of applications for economic immigration in line with the number and types of jobs available in Canada, as well as reduce application backlogs and processing times.

Since the first instructions were issued in November 2008, the backlog of federal skilled worker applicants in process prior to the legislation has dropped from 640,000 to 380,000. The majority of decisions on new applications are being made in six to 12 months, compared with up to six years prior to the changes. But in the first quarter of 2010, the number of new applications rose significantly beyond the department’s ability to process them in a timely way, leading to the recognition that a more refined approach is necessary.

“These changes bring Canada in line with the practices of the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, our main competitors for skilled immigrants,” said Immigration Minister Kenney. “They help match the supply of applicants to our processing capacity and today’s post-recession job market needs. This is the only responsible way to manage our immigration system.”

“This completely changes the nature of an application for a Federal Skilled Worker permanent resident visa,” commented Canadian immigration Attorney David Cohen. “Under these new rules, there are between 680 and 1000 visas to be issued for each occupation on the list and those spots will fill up very quickly. As the expression goes, ‘the early birds are going to get those worms’,” said Cohen.

Attorney Cohen went on to explain that these new rules favour the fastest and most organized applicants. “The reality of these new rules is that an applicant has only one try to get his or her application accepted. If an application has even a tiny error, it risks being returned without processing, and by the time that error is corrected, the odds of the occupation category being closed are that much greater.”

The new rules and the closure of some of the Federal Skilled Worker occupations should not discourage potential immigrations from considering Canada as a destination. Attorney Cohen encourages potential immigrants: “Remember that there are 60 immigration programs across Canada from which to choose. If the Federal Skilled Worker program is no longer an option, I’ll advise my clients to explore other alternatives.”

One such alternative is the Quebec Skilled Worker program, which uses completely different criteria for selecting applicants. The Quebec selection model relies on the concept of “human capital”, and tries to select candidates based on the likelihood of successful economic and social integration.

Business immigration has a positive impact on British Columbia
Business immigration programs are being praised for their success in the beautiful province of British Columbia (BC), as more and more new Canadians are making an impact on BC’s economy while enjoying the province’s high quality of life.

Since 2002, business immigration programs have been responsible for more than $603-million in investment in the province, as well as the creation of more than 2500 new jobs. However, it is not only the province that is benefitting from business immigration. Business immigrants extol the virtues of living in Canada’s gateway to the Pacific.

Business immigrants choose to settle in BC for a number of reasons. The province and its most well-know cities, Vancouver and Victoria, consistently appear at or near the top of the rankings in studies or surveys of the best places to live in the world. In addition, the province is home to the University of British Columbia, a respected university that the children of business immigrants frequently attend.

“The economy has some influence, but in the [business] class, quality of life is a consideration that’s equally important,” said Moira Stilwell, BC’s Advanced Education and Labour Development Minister.

There are numerous ways to immigrate to British Columbia as a businessperson:

The Immigrant Investor Program is a federal immigration program for individuals who have a high net worth and business experience.
The Immigrant Entrepreneur Program allows individuals who plan to start or purchase a business in Canada to immigrate and implement their business plan.
The British Columbia Nominee Program also has a business component with a number of requirements applicants must fulfill.


Criminality Issues for Visitors, Temporary Foreign Workers & Permanent Residents
Any person currently charged with or previously convicted of any criminal offence inside or outside of Canada may be prohibited from visiting, working, studying or applying for permanent residence in Canada. Even offences as seemingly minor as some moving traffic violations may render an individual inadmissible to Canada. Examples of convictions that could make a person inadmissible to Canada include: Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving With Ability Impaired (DWAI), Theft, Petty Theft/Larceny (Shoplifting), Assault, Disorderly Conduct, Obstruction of Justice.

CIC EXTENDS THE CANADA-ONTARIO IMMIGRATION AGREEMENT
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Earlier this month Minister Jason Kenny and Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minster of Citizenship and Immigration, agreed to a one-year extension of the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA).

In addition to the annual settlement funding of $108 million, $320 million was allotted to the 2010-2011 agreement for Ontario.

Minister Hoskins stated that, "Ontario is pleased to sign this one-year extension as we negotiate a successor agreement, so that newcomers to the province can continue to receive the services they need to settle and succeed."

Furthermore, Minister Hoskins said that, "In extending the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, we signal our commitment to continue to collaborate to attract, retain and integrate immigrants into communities in Ontario while exploring new ways to improve immigrant outcomes... The extension of this agreement prolongs our support for immigrant settlement programs, including language training and programs for newcomer youth."

Under this agreement in welcoming newcomers, the Government of Canada and Ontario will strive to build on its existing relationship as well as recognize the contribution of community stakeholders, including service providers and municipalities.

CANADIAN IMMIGRATION REMAINED AT HIGH LEVELS IN 2009
The rate of immigration remains high with more than 500,000 new permanent and temporary residents in 2009. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney had the following to say:

"Momentum toward a full economic recovery continued throughout 2009, and immigration will continue to support that momentum." Immigration Minister Kenney went onto say that "The Government of Canada is maintaining immigration levels to meet Canada's short-, medium- and long-term economic needs, help offset our aging population and low birthrate, and sustain our workforce."

Canadian immigration released the following immigration statistics:

There were 252,124 new immigrants in 2009. Canadian immigration had a target of between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents.

The immigration levels are 30,000 higher than the average annual intake of permanent residents in the 1990s.

Sixty percent of new Canadian immigrants were economic migrants bringing must needed skills and experience to Canada.

There were 178,640 temporary foreign workers and 85,131 foreign students who came to Canada in 2009.

Ontario modifies its Provincial Nominee Program to attract more qualified applicants
This month, the Ontario provincial government updated its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), known as Opportunities Ontario, in order to welcome more skilled immigrants to the province. International students who obtain their PhDs at publicly funded Ontario universities will no longer need a job offer to be eligible for an Ontario Provincial Nomination Certificate. 

Opportunities Ontario is a largely employer-driven PNP, which means that applicants generally need job offers from Ontario employers in order to be eligible for the program. There are two categories under the program: 

Under the General category, eligible Ontario employers and investors can recruit qualified foreign workers to fill permanent, full-time positions in their organizations. The positions must be in a skilled, managerial or professional occupation, identified as Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B in the National Occupation Classification. Those foreign workers would then be eligible to apply to immigrate to Canada under the Opportunities Ontario PNP. 

The International Students category now has two streams: the With Job Offer stream and the PhD Graduate stream: 

Under the With Job Offer stream, Ontario employers can extend permanent, full-time job offers (also in skilled, managerial or professional positions) to international students who have completed their post-secondary education at publicly-funded Canadian institutions. Those students would then be eligible to apply for an Ontario Provincial Nomination Certificate.

Under the PhD Graduate stream, candidates must have obtained their PhDs from an Ontario publicly-funded university. Applicants who meet this requirement do not need job offers to be eligible for the Opportunities Ontario Program. 

Under all PNPs, including Opportunities Ontario, applicants who receive nomination certificates must then submit their applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for federal approval (medical and security checks are done at this stage) and issuance of Canadian permanent resident visas. 

In February, a report predicting a drastic shortage of skilled workers in Canada as a whole and Ontario in particular was released by Rick Miner, past president of Seneca College and a former management professor. The report described an upcoming discrepancy between the increase in knowledge-based jobs in Ontario and the number of available skilled, experienced workers to fill those positions. 

In this regard, the above update in the Ontario PNP is good news both for international students who have obtained their PhDs in Ontario and the economy of Ontario.

Balanced reforms planned for Canada’s asylum system
Legislation to improve Canada’s asylum system, deliver quicker decisions on asylum claims and provide faster protection to those in need was introduced on 30 March, 2010 by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

“This balanced reform would both increase support for refugees in need of protection and discourage many of the unfounded asylum claims that burden our system,” said Minister Kenney. “These changes would result in faster protection for those who need our help and quicker removals of those who do not.”

CANADIAN ECONOMY DOING EVEN BETTER THAN EXPECTED
The Canadian economy is faring better than expected, as Canada’s Gross Domestic Product grew at an annual rate of more than 6 per cent in January. In addition, the Canadian economy added 100,000 more jobs in February of this year compared to February 2009. The Canadian manufacturing and industrial sectors have driven this growth.

The federal government sees this growth as a sign that the economic stimulus programs they have introduced as a response to the global recession are working.

"It shows our plans for the economy are working. We're seeing strength across a number of sectors including retail and manufacturing," said Industry Minister Tony Clement. (Source: canadavisa)

CANADIAN IMMIGRATION IMPROVED ONLINE RESOURCES
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recently announced a new online resource to make it easier for immigrants to settle in when they move to Canada. The new website provides information on Government and local services for new migrants to Canada. Immigration Minister Kenney had the following to say:

"The Services for Newcomers resource has been put in place to help newcomers find the private sector and government services they need to succeed. With this resource, newcomers will easily find the many services available to them, such as how to buy their first home," said Minister Kenney. "This can only increase their chance of successful integration within their new communities, and this is an important goal for Canada."

The Canadian Government has tripled immigrant settlement funding since 2006. The range of services for migrants include the following:
Language Training.
Employment related assistance.
Community service referrals to help immigrants settle, adapt and integrate into Canadian society.

Applicants can access the new immigration resource at www.servicesfornewcomers.cic.gc.ca

VISA BACKLOG EMERGING AGAIN
It is reported that despite controversial measures introduced two years ago to speed up Canada's immigration process, a backlog of skilled immigrant applications is re-emerging.

Analysis of Citizenship and Immigration Canada's latest data shows that the average processing time from all visa posts is 7 1/2 years, with 600,000 people in the queue for the 80,055 skilled immigrant visas granted in 2010.

New IELTS Requirements for Applicants in Skilled Workers Class.

Every year Canada welcomes immigrants from all over the world. Canadian government knows about the difficulties of immigrants which they are facing due to a high IELTS band requirement for additional points of Canadian Immigration.

Keeping in view these difficulties faced by the potential immigrants, Canadian government has decided to reduced the IELTS score requirement for Canadian Immigration Points system. Immigration Canada has now decreased the IELTS band requirement criteria for Canada Skilled worker Immigration points. Minimum IELTS score requirement for 4 points of Immigration has now been reduced.

The minimum IELTS band score has been reduced from 7 band to 6.5 band to obtain four points for Immigrate to Canada in Skilled Worker class. Now applicants have to obtain 4 points for one module of IELTS if he/she score 6.5 band as compared to old system which required at lease 7 Band in IELTS to obtain four points in a specific module of IELTS. However, listening module gained the IELST score instead of reduction. i.e. 7.5, which was 7 previously. Now an applicant can get 16 points for immigration by having the following minimum band in IELTS
Writing: 6.5 Band
Reading: 6.5 Band
Speaking: 6.5 Band
Listening: 7.5 Band

NEW IMMIGRATION RULES

New rules to fast-track skilled worker immigrants

Skilled workers are people who are selected as permanent residents based on their ability to become economically established in Canada.

Federal skilled worker applications received on or after February 27, 2008 are now assessed for eligibility according to a set of instructions issued by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

If you are eligible your application will be reviewed in three steps.

1. According to the Minister’s instructions, your application is eligible for processing if:

You have an offer of arranged employment, OR

You are a foreign national who has been living legally in Canada for one year as a temporary foreign worker or an international student, OR

You are a skilled worker who has at least one year of experience in one or more of the occupations listed
here.

2. If your application is eligible for processing, you must also meet the following minimum requirements to qualify as a skilled worker:

You have at least one year of continuous full-time paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment, AND

Your work experience must be Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification list, AND

You must have had this experience within the last 10 years
.

3. If you meet these minimum requirements, your application will then be processed according to the six selection factors in the skilled worker points grid. The six selection factors are:

Your education
Your abilities in English and/or French, Canada’s two official languages
Your work experience
Your age
Whether you have arranged employment in Canada, and
Your adaptability.

You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada, and pass a medical examination and security and criminal checks.

Canada and Hong Kong sign agreement on Youth Mobility
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Sunday that Canada had signed an agreement regarding Youth Mobility with Hong Kong, which will allow qualified young people (aged 18 to 30) from both countries to travel and work in each other’s territory for up to one year.

As a result of this agreement, young people will gain an understanding of other cultures by living, working and traveling abroad. This experience will also help them develop personally and professionally, giving them a competitive edge in the job market,” Harper said. The agreement is expected to come into effect in March of 2010.
Monday, 07 December 2009 00:00 (Source: http://www.canadavisa.com)
 

Canadian Economy creates more than 79,000 jobs in November
This week, Statistics Canada (StatsCan) reported that the Canadian economy added more than five times the expected number of jobs in November, a sign that the country's economic recovery is well underway.
"It was across many sectors, many full-time jobs, which are regarded as good-quality jobs because it means steady income and a steady flow of money back into the economy," said Michael Kane, a Business News Network analyst. The national unemployment rate dropped 0.1 per cent in December as a result of the 79,000 new jobs. The most populated provinces of Ontario and Quebec, in particular, saw a substantial increase in the number of jobs created. Those two provinces are common destinations for immigrants to Canada.
Friday, 04 December 2009 00:00 (Source: http://www.canadavisa.com)
 

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Temporary foreign workers program changes

New rules to strengthen Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program came into effect on April 1, 2011. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) will be making significant changes to the current procedures impacting both foreign workers and Canadian employers.

New IELTS Requirements for Applicants in Skilled Workers Class.

Canadian government has decided to reduce the IELTS score requirement for Canadian Immigration Points system. Immigration Canada has now decreased the IELTS band requirement criteria for Canada Skilled worker Immigration points. Minimum IELTS score requirement for 4 points of Immigration has now been reduced.