Environmental Overview (Kyiv) [Updated]

The following is a summary of the Environmental Overview of the immigration functions at the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv (the “Environmental Overview”).  The Environmental Overview was prepared as part of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada 2013-2014 planning exercise, and is current as of January 2013.

Areas in blockquote are direct passages from the Environmental Overview.

Environment

The Canadian Embassy in Kyiv (“CIC Kyiv”) provides visa services to residents of the Ukraine.

There will be another Imagine Canada education fair this February. Approximately twenty institutions will take part in event which will visit Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk. This event along with last fall’s Languages Canada tour will put upward pressure on student applications but this may be mitigated by the high refusal rate which may deter some from applying. The new Federal Skilled Trades Program is likely to attract a lot of attention in Ukraine. Skilled tradesmen already make up the bulk of the Provincial Nominees and Temporary Foreign Workers.

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Kyiv started to process e-applications in 2013. Given that less than 30 cases were processed so far, it is too early to determine how it will affect work for Reception and Registry staff.

Kyiv successfully hosted a temporary duty officer for remote work on Moscow cases in 2012. The paper file applications were shipped from Moscow to Kyiv where the passports remained. Once the decision was made by the officer, printing of counterfoils and letters was done in Moscow.

In a revelation that I am sure will be of interest to PAFSO members, the Environmental Overview notes that the salary for a locally Engaged 04 is CAD 12,700 per annum.

Permanent Resident Program

Federal Skilled Worker – The inventory of pre C50 cases and MI1 cases was eliminated in 2012.  The overall active Federal SW cases currently sits at 40.  Newly submitted applications are reviewed within 3 months of receipt, however, delays occur due to fraud verification.  Sixteen of seventeen FSWP refusals in 2012 were based on misrepresentation.  The overall approval rate remains close to 70%.

Quebec Skilled Worker – Biggest component of economic cases in 2012 with 630 files processed.  Initial review is done within 3 months of receipt, and the approval rate is 97%.  GCMS processing time was 9 months in 2012.

Provincial Nominees – Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the most popular provinces. Initial review takes places within 3 months of submission.  MEdian processing times are 9 months.  The approval rate is 96%.

Business – There are currently 40 cases.  Significant concerns regarding organized crime and proof of funds.  The processing time is lengthy due to screening requirements, and Kyiv did not finalize a single business case in 2012.  It hopes to process some in 2013.

Spouses and Children – Due to resource challenges, cases are reviewed within 3 to 4 months of receipt.  The interview rate is high due to the large amount of internet cases.  30% of interviews result in refusal, but the overall approval rate is over 90%.

Adoptions –

Kyiv processes annually a few dozen of C14 citizenship applications of Ukrainian children adopted by Canadian parent(s). The majority of the cases respect local legislation on international adoptions and are relatively straightforward to process. However a few cases received in 2011-12 involved parents of dual nationality having adopted domestically to circumvent the recent restrictions related to international adoptions. Such cases are time consuming and likely to result in refusal for violation of Ukrainian legislation on international adoptions. The said legislation stipulates that foreigners or Ukrainian citizens residing abroad or married to a foreigner should not use the domestic adoption process.

Temporary Resident Program

Visitors – Processing times are now 6 calendar days.  Several high profile A34 cases proved to be a source of bilateral friction.  The approval rate was around 84%.

Study Permit – The refusal rate remains to be high at 44.5%.

As previously noted, there was a 61.2% increase in study permit applications received compared to 2011. The refusal rate also continues to be quite high, currently 44.5%. The popularity of the ESL study and work programs is largely responsible both for the volume increase and the high refusal rate. The limited number of spaces in the Working Holiday Program stream of IEC also contributed to this increase. Although the high refusal rate should result in downward pressure on volumes, last fall’s Languages Canada mission and the upcoming Imagine Canada student fair are both likely to increase upward pressure. As long as the economy continues to perform poorly we are likely to see significant numbers of study permit applications.

Most students in Ukraine use the services of a local agent. For most ESL courses the applicants appear to rely solely on the agent for choice of school and program. While KYIV-IM has made it clear that we cannot deal directly with the local agents the most reputable ones still identify themselves on the application. Unfortunately, there are many more agents of suspect reputation than there are trustworthy ones. The presence of these more problematic agents

Work Permit – Processing time is around 6-8 weeks.  Interview rates are low.  IELTS is requested for cases where English is a requirement.


From Foreign Worker to Permanent Resident

According to the Calgary Harold, on July 20, Thomas Lukaszuk, the province’s employment and immigration minister, had this to say about the temporary foreign worker program:

In my opinion, it was a program that had fulfilled its mandate, (by) suddenly providing a large number of workers to an economy that suddenly had a massive shortage of workers.

It’s not working well now. It’s a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

Lukaszuk goes on to note that many of the province’s temporary foreign workers want to stay beyond the duration of their work permit, however, because the temporary program is not supposed to be a gateway to long-term residency, the same employers keep on hiring new foreign workers for the same jobs.

Why not consider some permanency (for) this workforce. I always joke the only group that really benefits from the current temporary foreign worker program is Air Canada, because they’re flying people in and out

There are in fact several ways for a temporary foreign workers in Alberta to achieve permanent residence.  These include:

  • Applying for permanent residence under the Canada Experience Class.  This program is practically designed for temporary foreign workers. Indeed, CIC’s website introduces the program by saying “if you are a temporary foreign worker….”  To be eligible, the temporary foreign worker must have at least two years of full-time (or equivilant) work experience in a managerial, professional, or technical / skilled trades occupation, be proficient in either English or French, and currently be in Canada.
  • Applying under the Alberta PNP Program. According to the FAQ on the Alberta PNP website:

I have an employee who is a temporary foreign worker and I would like to retain him or her for a permanent position. Does the AINP accept applications for candidates who are temporary foreign workers?

Yes. The temporary foreign worker must be working in an occupation listed under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code in Skill Levels 0, A, B. In addition, some NOC C and D occupations are also eligible under the AINP. Please visit the Semi-Skilled Worker section of the website for information on eligible NOC C and D occupations.

Our firm constantly looks at ways of moving British Columbian  temporary foreign workers out of the “temporary” category and into the “permanent”.  My guess is that most Alberta law firms do as well, and temporary works in Alberta should know that there may be options for them to become permanent residents.