Data Confirms Removals from British Columbia Up Since Conservatives Took Office

Data Confirms Removals from British Columbia Up Since Conservatives Took Office

29th Mar 2013 Comments Off on Data Confirms Removals from British Columbia Up Since Conservatives Took Office

Last Updated on March 29, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

We have obtained through an Access to Information and Privacy Act request data showing the Canada Border Services Agency’s removal statistics for people in British Columbia from 2003 – 2012 (2012 is partial).  I have reproduced below two pages of the data.  We have also obtained a chart showing Removal Orders from British Columbia by Country of Birth by Year, which I have not published.  If you wish to see it please contact me and I will send it to you by e-mail.

As the chart below demonstrates, removals from British Columbia has increased under the Conservatives.  Interestingly, it peaked in 2008 and 2009, before begin to decline.
removals

There is a lot of interesting information contained in the data below, including tables showing:

  • Removal Orders by Type;
  • Removal Orders by Refugee Claimant vs. Non Refugee Claimant;
  • Removal Orders by Status in Canada;
  • Removal Orders by Inadmissibility Ground;
  • Removal Orders by Gender; and
  • Removal Orders by Age.  

Please note that the Tables below are a copy of an official work by the Government of Canada which was obtained through an Access to Information and Privacy Act Request, and to my knowledge is not otherwise publicly available.  While I believe that the data is still current, I cannot be assured of this.  The reproduction of this document has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

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Introducing the Start-Up Business Class

28th Mar 2013 Comments Off on Introducing the Start-Up Business Class

Last Updated on March 28, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

On March 28, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) revealed the details of the Start-Up Business Class, and announced that it will begin accepting applications on April 1, 2013.  The Start-Up Business Class is a new federal economic immigration program, and joins the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Canadian Experience Class, the Provincial Nominee Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Class.  The Start-Up Business Class will be open until March 31, 2018.

Program Requirements

A foreign national will be eligible to apply to the Start-Up Business Class if they meet all of the following requirements:

  1. The foreign national has obtained a commitment from a Designated Angel Investor Group of at least $75,000 in a “qualifying business” or two or more Designated Angel Investor Groups that together will be investing a total of at least $75,000 in a business.  Alternatively, a foreign national will meet this first criteria if he/she obtains a commitment from a Designated Venture Capital Fund of at least $200,000 or two or more designated venture capital funds that together will be investing a total of at least $200,000 in the qualifying business.
  2. The foreign national has taken an English or French language test and obtained a minimum of Canadian Benchmark Level 5 in Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing.
  3. The foreign national has completed at least one year of post-secondary education.  Completion of a credential is not required.
  4. The foreign national has in the form of transferable and available funds, unencumbered by debt and other obligations, an amount that is equal to one half of the Statistics Canada low-income cut off.

Up to five foreign nationals can apply under the same business.  

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A Common Sense Approach to A44 Reports

26th Mar 2013 Comments Off on A Common Sense Approach to A44 Reports

Last updated on February 3rd, 2019

Last Updated on February 3, 2019 by Steven Meurrens

Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “Act“) provides that an officer who believes that a foreign national or permanent resident in Canada is inadmissible to Canada (for criminality, health, overstay, working without authorization, etc.) may prepare a report alleging the inadmissibility (commonly known as an “A44 Report“).   The Act further provides that once an officer prepares an A44 Report, then the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA“) (the agency generally responsible for this) may commence removal proceedings, or, when necessary, refer the matter to the Immigration and Refugee Board, an independent administrative tribunal.

The use of the term “may” in the Act has caused much confusion.

In Cha v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2006 FCA 126 (“Cha“), the Federal Court of Appeal (the “FCA“) declared that the use of the word “may” did not actually grant CBSA officers broad discretion to exercise or not to exercise the power to write A44 Reports and to commence removal proceedings when it believed that someone was inadmissible to Canada.  The FCA stated (citations removed for ease of reading):

In Ruby v. Canada (Solicitor General) at pages 623 to 626, Létourneau J.A. reminded us that the use of the word “may” is often a signal that a margin of discretion is given to an administrative decision maker. It can sometimes be read in context as “must” or “shall”, thereby rebutting the presumptive rule in section 11 of the Interpretation Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. I‑21 that “may” is permissive. It can also be read as no more than a signal from the legislator that an official is being empowered to do something.

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Labour Market Opinions for Large Scale Franchisees

22nd Mar 2013 Comments Off on Labour Market Opinions for Large Scale Franchisees

Last Updated on March 22, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

The document below is a Service Canada internal bulletin (the “Bulletin“).

The Bulletin provides guidance to Service Canada officers regarding the processing of Labour Market Opinions from large scale franchisees seeking NOC C & D positions.  It was written in 2009, and although much of the requirements contained within now apply to all employers, however, the Bulletin does provide useful information for applicants trying to fill any NOC C&D position.

The Bulletin states that in addition to the normal LMO requirements for employers seeking to fill NOC C&D positions, the following requirements apply when the employer is a large scale franchisee:

  • the advertisement must include the employers’ operating name;
  • there must be evidence of ongoing recruitment made which include communities that face barriers to employment;
  • employers must state the number of locations for which foreign workers are being sought; and
  • the wage being paid.

As well, employers should be prepared to provide the following information:

  • the results of recruitment efforts (number of applicants, interviews conducted);
  • the number of staff currently employed, as well as the hours of operations and positions occupied by existing staff;
  • the benefits offered to existing staff; and
  • staff turnover.

Please note that the Bulletin is a copy of an official work by the Government of Canada which was obtained through an Access to Information and Privacy Act Request, and to my knowledge is not otherwise publicly available.  While I believe that the Bulletin  is still current, I cannot be assured of this.  The reproduction of this document has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada,

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Impacts of Budget 2013 on Immigration

21st Mar 2013 Comments Off on Impacts of Budget 2013 on Immigration

Last Updated on March 21, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

The Government of Canada has released its budget for 2013 (“Budget 2013″).  Budget 2013 contains several announcements of changes to immigration programs which the Government of Canada will introduce this year, including (my editorial comments in maroon):

  • Providing $42-million in funding to support enhanced program capacity within the Temporary Resident program, and giving the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (the “Minister“) the ability to set fees in a timely and efficient manner.  (Budget 2013 actually refers to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada as the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.  I’m not sure if this means that the Department is about to change its name or if it is a typo.)
  • Providing $44-million in funding over two years to improve the processing of Citizenship applications, and allowing the Minister to set fees in a timely and efficient manner. (This is fantastic.  Processing times have ballooned to more than four years in many cases.)
  • Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to restrict the identification of non-official languages as job requirements when hiring through the Temporary Foreign Worker process.  (Not sure about this.. in a global economy some positions require fluency in languages other than English or French.) 
  • Introduce processing fees for Labour Market Opinion applications. (I’ve never understood why this was free.  In 2012 Service Canada processed 112,897 LMO applications for free.  An application fee of say $100 would have saved taxpayers over $10-million.) 
  • Increase the recruitment efforts that employers must make to hire Canadians before they will be eligible to apply for temporary foreign workers (presumably this means Labour Market Opinions),

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Understanding the Three Levels of Customs Infractions

20th Mar 2013 Comments Off on Understanding the Three Levels of Customs Infractions

Last Updated on March 20, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

When a person has goods (as distinguished from monetary instruments and conveyances  seized at customs, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA“) has established three “levels” or “degrees” of breach for the purpose of determining the penalty.  These levels are described in Part 5 Chapter 2 of the Customs Enforcement Manual.

Level 1

Level 1 applies to violations of lesser culpability.  It will be applied where a person’s efforts to hide something from CBSA were initial and effectual.  It is generally applied to offences of omission rather than commission.

In the context of Non-Report and Inaccurate Information, Level 1 will be applied when:

  • goods are not reported to CBSA or goods are reported to CBSA but inaccurate information is given concerning acquisition, entitlements, or description;
  • the goods are not concealed; and
  • a full disclosure of the true facts concerning the goods is made at the time of discovery.

In the context of Undervaluation, Level 1 is applied when:

  • goods are reported for a value less than their actual transaction value but no falsified documents were presented; and
  • full disclosure is made prior to the discovery of documentary evidence.

Level 2

Level 2 applies to violations where the circumstances demonstrate that the individual actively attempted to breach Canadian customs law.  It is also applicable to people who repeatedly omit information.

In the context of Non-Report and Inaccurate Information, it will be applied when the circumstances are the same as for level 1, but in addition:

  • the goods are concealed or disguised; 
  • inaccurate information is given concerning the goods following their discovery;

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Service Canada Regional Reference #6 – Lodge Owners

19th Mar 2013 Comments Off on Service Canada Regional Reference #6 – Lodge Owners

Last Updated on March 19, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

The document below is Service Canada Regional Reference Material – Reference #6 – Lodge Owners, released on November 14, 2012 (“Reference #6“).

Reference #6 provides guidance to Service Canada officers regarding the processing of Labour Market Opinions for partial Owner/Operator Labour Market Opinions where the business is a hunting, fishing, or leisure lodge, camp, or resort.

It recommends that officers approve applications where the employment of the partial Owner / Operator results in job creation for Canadians and permanent residents.  However, where the employment of the partial Owner / Operator does not result in job creation for Canadians and permanent residents, it recommends refusal.

Please note that Reference #6 is a copy of an official work by the Government of Canada which was obtained through an Access to Information and Privacy Act Request, and to my knowledge is not otherwise publicly available.  While I believe that Regional Reference #6  is still current, I cannot be assured of this.  The reproduction of this document has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada


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Who Should Consider the Federal Skilled Trades Class?

18th Mar 2013 Comments Off on Who Should Consider the Federal Skilled Trades Class?

Last Updated on March 18, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

(The following is an article that I wrote for the March 2013 edition of Canadian Immigrant Magazine)

On January 2, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) opened the Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP”).  CIC will process up to 3,000 FSTP applications in 2013.  For certain people, the FSTP will be an attractive alternative to those who fall through the cracks of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (the “Skilled Worker Program”) and the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”).

To be eligible for the FSTP, applicants must meet five requirements.

First, they must have twenty-four months of work experience in an eligible skilled trade during the five year period preceding their application.  CIC has designated forty-three trades as being eligible for the program.  Of these, seventeen occupations are capped at 100 applications.  Applicants will accordingly need to check the CIC website to see whether the quota has been reached for their occupation prior to applying.

Second, applicants must have an offer of continuous full-time employment in Canada from up to two employers for a total period of at least one year in their skilled trade.  As “full-time” means at least thirty hours of week, applicants could be eligible if they obtain offers from two employers who provide fifteen hours each per week.  The effect of this requirement is that most FSTP applicants will have to obtain job offers from employers who have been issued positive Labour Market Opinions from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (“Service Canada”).  Alternatively, applicants do not need a job offer if they possess a Certificate of Qualification from a provincial or territorial Apprenticeship Authority.

Third, applicants will have to satisfy the employment requirements of their skilled trade as described by Service Canada’s National Occupational Classification system.

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CBSA Arresting People without a Warrant

15th Mar 2013 Comments Off on CBSA Arresting People without a Warrant

Last Updated on March 15, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

On March 15, 2013, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA“) conducted a raid on a construction site in Vancouver.  Much of the media attention has focused on the fact that a reality television crew apparently followed the CBSA officers onto the premise.  Many have also commented on how surprised they were that the CBSA apparently arrested many foreign nationals without warrants, and wondered whether this was legal. 

It is.

Section 55(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “Act“) states that:

An officer may, without a warrant, arrest and detain a foreign national, other than a protected person,

(a) who the officer has reasonable grounds to believe is inadmissible and is a danger to the public or is unlikely to appear for examination, an admissibility hearing, removal from Canada, or at a proceeding that could lead to the making of a removal order by the Minister under subsection 44(2); or

(b) if the officer is not satisfied of the identity of the foreign national in the course of any procedure under this Act.

A foreign national in Canada may be inadmissible for numerous reasons, including if they have remained in Canada beyond the period authorized by their visa, or if they have worked without authorization.  If an officer has reason to believe that the foreign national has done something to make them inadmissible, and believes that they likely won’t appear for examination or removal when directed to do so, the officer may arrest and detain the individual.  That individual will then have the right to detention reviews at the Immigration and Refugee Board.

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Procedural Fairness Where Credibility is an Issue

8th Mar 2013 Comments Off on Procedural Fairness Where Credibility is an Issue

Last updated on April 27th, 2020

Last Updated on April 27, 2020 by Steven Meurrens

In an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“) the burden is on the applicant to put forward a complete, convincing and unambiguous application which provides sufficient evidence to establish that the requirements of Canadian immigration legislation are met.

Visa officers are not under an obligation to ask for additional information where the submitted material is insufficient.

However, where there is a concern regarding the credibility or the genuineness of the evidence submitted, as opposed to the sufficiency of, or weight to be given, to that information, then the duty of fairness generally requires that the applicant be given the opportunity to address the concern.

Examples from Jurisprudence

Farooq v. Canada, 2013 FC 164 (“Farooq“) is a useful example of how to distinguish a refusal based on credibility concerns vs. one of insufficient evidence. There, IRCC’s refusal letter stated:

He claims he worked from January 2005 to August 2006 as software developer and from 2006 to present as manager (software development) for Tricastmedia PVT Ltd in Lahore Pakistan. Such rapid promotion is not credible as computer and information systems managers normally require several years of experience in systems analysis, data administration software engineering, network design or computer programming, including supervisory experience. Some of the duties in his employment letter repeat verbatim the duties of NOC 0213 which raises the question of the credibility of that employment letter. The other duties are similar to those of information systems analysts and consultants (NOC Code 2171).

Although the NOC Code 0213 corresponds to an occupation specified in the instructions,

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