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Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants
Zain Hashmi

 
Immigration News
  Date: September 22, 2009  (Source:NORANEX Media )
NORANEX Consulting is the first immigration Consulting company owned and operated by certified Canadian immigration consultant which has opened its office in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. Zain Hashmi, President and CEO of the company said that the new office will not only serve the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad but will also serve clients from NWFP, Azad Kashmir and northern areas. People in that part of Pakistan had no choice before but scrupulous ghost consultants or to travel to Lahore. By opening up this office we will be providing authorized representation and world class services to the clients closer to their homes. He also mentioned that NORANEX Consulting has a large number of clients from this area and they will also be benefited by being served in Islamabad.

The new Islamabad office is conveniently located at Beverly Center on Jinnah Ave, Blue Area Islamabad which is a well known place in the twin cities. It’s just a few kilometers from all the important places in Islamabad, including the Canadian High Commission. The office is operational from September 24, 2009 to serve the clients. Office timings will be from 10 AM till 6 PM, Monday to Saturday. To arrange a personal appointment clients may call the Islamabad office numbers. Please click here for the contact details of the office in Islamabad.
  Date: September 05, 2008  (Source:CIC )

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced that certain temporary foreign workers and students can start applying for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class starting September 17, 2008.


“With the Canadian Experience Class fully in place, Canada will be more competitive in attracting and retaining individuals with the skills we need,” said Minister Finley. “It, along with other recent improvements to modernize the immigration system, will go a long way in bringing Canada in line with its global competitors while further spreading the benefits of immigration into smaller centres across Canada.”


The Canadian Experience Class is a new avenue of immigration for certain temporary foreign workers and foreign student graduates with professional, managerial and skilled work experience. Unlike other programs, the Canadian Experience Class allows an applicant’s experience in Canada to be considered a key selection factor when immigrating to Canada.


The final implementation of the Canadian Experience Class reflects what was originally proposed on August 9, 2008. The main difference is that those who have left Canada, but otherwise meet the requirements as workers or graduates, will be eligible to apply provided they do so within one year of leaving their job in Canada. Under the proposal, CIC had suggested that applicants would be required to have temporary resident status and be present in Canada to be eligible to apply. The Government of Canada has since chosen to cast a wider net to avoid missing those with the Canadian experience we want, through residency restrictions.


The final regulations for the Canadian Experience Class will be published in the Canada Gazette.


For more information on CIC programs, please visit www.cic.gc.ca.

  Date: July 03, 2008  (Source:CIC )

Canada needs a more responsive and fair immigration system to address current challenges and emerging needs.  Key amongst these is the need to address the immigration backlog and reduce wait times so that families are reunited faster and skilled workers arrive sooner.


There are approximately 925,000 people waiting in line—almost enough to meet our immigration targets for the next four years.


And yet hundreds of thousands more people continue to apply every year. Under the old law, all applications had to be evaluated and processed to a final decision. The backlog continued to build and threatened to reach 1.5 million by 2012 if we did nothing. This would have meant a wait time of 10 years for applicants.


Until the recent amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), applications in the largest backlog—federal skilled workers—used to be processed in the order they were received, regardless of whether the applicants’ skills or professions would enable them to find a job in Canada.


We must have an immigration system that effectively balances Canada’s own needs with its popularity as a destination. That is why the Government of Canada proposed changes to IRPA. On June 18, 2008, these changes became law.


The changes mean that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will have greater flexibility in processing certain categories of applications submitted on or after February 27, 2008—the date the new law takes effect. While all applications will continue to be accepted, the ministerial instructions will identify which categories will be prioritized for processing.


In the first instance of issuing ministerial instructions, the Government of Canada intends to apply this new flexibility to the federal skilled worker (FSW) category, where the largest backlog and longest wait times exist. At the same time, all applications submitted before February 27 will continue to be processed to a final decision under the rules in place prior to the amendments.


Reducing the backlog


The amendments address elements within the existing legislative framework that contributed to the growth of the backlog. In particular, they amend IRPA in order to:



  1. eliminate the obligation to process all properly submitted applications to a decision (section 11); and,
  2. confer a clear authority for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to establish priorities through ministerial instructions that limit the number of applications that would be processed (section 87.3).

Simply put, far more people apply than can be processed and admitted and integrated. As a result, a backlog has been created and wait times have increased. By removing the obligation to process all applications and requests CIC receives, combined with the ability to return applications unprocessed, the amendments begin to reduce the backlog by preventing it from growing further.  Once stabilized, the backlog can start to be reduced over time through a combination of new funding and administrative measures that increase processing capacity and efficiency.


Budget 2008 also provided over $109 million over the next five years to improve and modernize the immigration system. As a start, some missions will receive additional resources to help improve wait times for permanent applications, international students and temporary foreign workers. Ongoing funding will help build the capacity to meet future levels and increasing demand, and will introduce administrative improvements such as centralized processing and data entry.


Increasing labour market responsiveness


With a growing backlog, particularly in the FSW category, individuals with the skills and experience that employers want wait years to be admitted.


The new authority allows the Minister to issue instructions that will ensure workers with the skills in demand are processed and arrive in Canada faster. By prioritizing certain skills and occupations, labour market needs will be addressed more quickly.


Ensuring the integrity of humanitarian and compassionate consideration


In order to ensure that ministerial instructions are effective, subsection 25(1) was amended to provide the Minister with the discretion not to consider requests for humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) consideration made outside of Canada. The intent of this amendment is to prevent certain applicants, such as FSW applicants who do not meet the priorities stipulated in instructions (and whose applications may be returned unprocessed), from circumventing the instructions through an H&C request.

  Date: May 20, 2008  (Source:CIC )

The Off-Campus Work Permit Program for international students at public institutions was launched nationally as a formalized program on April 27, 2006. Prior to the introduction of this program, students were only allowed to work on the campus of the educational institution at which they were studying.


The new pilot project will extend the program to eligible international students studying full time at eligible private post-secondary institutions and enrolled in qualifying programs.


To qualify for an off-campus work permit, international students must:



  • Hold a valid study permit.
  • Be a full-time student enrolled at a participating post-secondary institution or in a qualifying program that leads to a degree at an eligible privately funded institution
  • Have studied full-time for at least 6 months out of the previous 12 months
  • Have signed a consent form authorizing the exchange of their personal information between the participating institution, the province of British Columbia, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
  • Have satisfactory academic standing in their qualifying program of study at the time of their application for a work permit, and have maintained satisfactory academic standing during the 6 months of full‑time study out of the previous 12 months and since their application for a work permit.
  • Continue to fulfil the terms and conditions of their study permit and work permit, as applicable.
  • Continue to meet the above eligibility requirements while participating in the program.

While all 25 B.C. public post-secondary institutions already participate in the program, the newly added private post-secondary institutions include the Adler School of Professional Psychology; Alexander College; City University; Columbia College; Fairleigh Dickinson University; New York Institute of Technology; Quest University Canada; Sprott-Shaw Community College; Trinity Western University; University Canada West; and, University of Phoenix (British Columbia).


Students who qualify for the program will be able to work up to 20 hours per week off-campus while classes are in session, full-time during summer and winter breaks, and over their reading weeks.


For more information about participating B.C. institutions in the Off-Campus Work Program, visit www.learnlivebc.ca/off-campus-work/participating.htm.

  Date: April 21, 2008  (Source:CIC )

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allows most international students who have graduated from an eligible program at a post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience. A minimum of one year of work experience  in managerial, professional or technical positions (i.e., at level 0, A or B under the National Occupational Classification system) will be necessary to apply to stay permanently through the Canadian Experience Class.


The changes to the program include extending the duration of the work permit to three years across the country for those whose program of study is at least two years (previously, permits could be granted for only one or two years, depending on location); providing the flexibility for new graduates to work in any field and not just their field of study; and removing the requirement to have a job offer.


To be eligible for the program, international students:



  • Must have studied full-time for the eight months preceding the completion of their program of studies and have graduated from:

    • a public post-secondary institution, such as a college, university or CEGEP (in Quebec); or
    • a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, and that receives at least 50 percent of its financing for its overall operations from government grants (currently, only private college-level educational institutions in Quebec qualify); or
    • a Canadian private institution authorized by provincial or territorial statute to confer degrees.

  • Must apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from the institution that they have met the requirements of the academic program.
  • Must have completed and passed the program of study and received a notification that they are eligible to obtain their degree, diploma or certificate.
  • Must have a valid study permit when they apply for the work permit.

Note that if the student’s program of study is less than two years but at least eight months, the student would be eligible for a post-graduate work permit. However, the validity period of the work permit must not be longer than the period of study of the graduate at the particular post-secondary institution in Canada.


International students not eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program include the following:



  • Students participating in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program or a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
  • Students receiving funding from the Canadian International Development Agency and participating in a distance learning program.
  • Students who have previously been issued a post-graduation work permit after any other program of study. However, note that graduates who are already working with a work permit issued under the previous rules are eligible to apply for an extension.
  Date: March 28, 2008  (Source:CIC )

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has made significant improvements to Canada’s immigration system to make it more flexible and responsive to changing labour market needs. These initiatives are designed to ensure that Canada reunites families fast and helps skilled workers arrive sooner. Essentially, they are designed to attract new immigrants, help them integrate more quickly into Canada’s labour market and ensure that they succeed once they arrive.


As stated in the 2008 budget, we are modernizing the immigration system with a $22 million investment over two years, growing in time to $37 million a year. These funds will allow us to better respond to the increasing demands placed on the immigration system, both in the temporary and the permanent applicant categories. This builds on investments made since 2006, including an additional $1.4 billion over five years to improve the quality and availability of settlement and integration programs.


Attracting and retaining immigrants with the right skills


Legislative Amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act


Proposed changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act will make our immigration system more flexible and responsive to Canada’s labour market needs. The measures, proposed on March 14, 2008, will expedite the processing of select skilled worker applications to ensure that skilled immigrants can get to Canada quickly when their skills are in demand. The legislation will not apply to refugees and does not affect our family reunification objectives.


The changes will also provide for greater flexibility in selecting the applications to be processed, based on labour market needs. This will make Canada’s immigration system more efficient and competitive by managing future growth in the inventory of applications, improving service and reducing wait times. A well-managed and efficient immigration system is critical to ensuring that Canada is a destination of choice for skilled immigrants.


Improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program


Improvements have been made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to help make the process of hiring temporary foreign workers easier, faster and less costly for employers when they are unable to find Canadians to do the job.


The 2007 budget committed $50.5 million over two years to increase processing resources and to establish monitoring and compliance mechanisms to ensure that employers abide by program terms and conditions.


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has worked closely with Human Resources and Social Development Canada to make several other improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. These include:



  • extending the maximum duration of the work permit for temporary foreign workers with less formal training from 12 months to 24 months;
  • extending the maximum duration of the work permit for live-in caregivers from one year to three years and three months;
  • expediting the process for employers hiring a temporary foreign worker by allowing work permit applications for highly skilled work to be processed at the same time as the application for a labour market opinion, at the request of the employer; and
  • expanding employer services by establishing temporary foreign worker units in high-demand areas in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Moncton.

Canadian Experience Class


The new Canadian Experience Class (CEC) will allow, for the first time, certain skilled temporary foreign workers and international students with Canadian degrees and work experience to apply for permanent resident status without having to leave Canada. With this new stream, we will be better able to attract and retain skilled and talented individuals who have already demonstrated their ability to successfully integrate into the Canadian labour market and society. First announced in the 2007 budget as a new immigration category, the CEC will be implemented later this year once details are finalized.


Improvements to the Provincial Nominee Program


The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a good example of how the federal government works with provinces and territories to develop flexible arrangements that allow them to address specific labour market needs. Provincial nominees are accorded priority at missions abroad, and are therefore processed for permanent residence faster than other economic applicants.


The federal government has removed the limit on how many newcomers the provinces can accept under the PNP. This will ensure that provinces and territories can nominate individuals who have the occupational skills to meet regional economic and labour market demands.


Combined with the recent improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the introduction of the Canadian Experience Class later in 2008, these measures will ensure that the labour needs of employers in all provinces and territories are met in a more timely fashion.


Attracting and retaining foreign students


To attract foreign students and facilitate their arrival in Canada, CIC will improve the processing of their visas at missions abroad. For example, an online application system, as well as other measures to improve service and speed up processing, will be implemented for student visas.


To allow students to build their skills through work opportunities in Canada, CIC created the Off-Campus Work Permit Program in 2006. This program allows students attending recognized post-secondary educational institutions to work part-time off campus. As well, the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program was significantly improved by allowing students to work up to two years after completing their studies.


The CEC will make it easier for certain international students with Canadian credentials to apply for permanent resident status without having to leave Canada. The prospect of eventual Canadian citizenship, combined with these other initiatives, will give us a marketing advantage as our schools and employers look to recruit the best and the brightest from around the world.


Improving the integration of immigrants in Canada’s labour market


Foreign Credentials Referral Office


In May 2007, the government created the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO).


The FCRO is helping prospective immigrants get the information they need on the foreign credential recognition process and the Canadian labour market even before they get to Canada. The FCRO is also helping increase employer awareness of the processes for and benefits of hiring internationally trained and educated professionals, and directing these professionals to existing programs, supports and organizations.


The FCRO, in partnership with Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program, will improve the integration of internationally trained workers into the work force. The FCR Program funds and works with provinces, territories and partners across jurisdictions to strengthen foreign credential assessment and the recognition of qualifications acquired in other countries.


Increases in settlement funding


The Government of Canada has substantially increased funding in almost every province and territory to support settlement programs and services that help newcomers integrate into Canadian society. In 2006, the Government of Canada began investing an additional $1.4 billion in settlement funding over five years to provinces and territories outside of Quebec. Quebec receives annual funding through a separate agreement.


These new measures, combined with our existing settlement programs, will help immigrants adapt to the labour market more quickly and offer assistance in finding employment.


Reduction of the Right of Permanent Residence fee


We have also cut the Right of Permanent Residence fee by 50 percent, from $975 to $490 per person, thereby reducing an enormous burden for newcomers struggling to build a new life and support their families. This would save a family of four almost $2,000.

 
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