Environmental Overview – Bangkok

29th Oct 2015 Comments Off on Environmental Overview – Bangkok

Last Updated on October 29, 2015 by Steven Meurrens

The following is a summary of the Environmental Overview of the immigration functions at the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok (the “Environmental Overview“).  The Environmental Overview was prepared as part of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada 2015-2016 planning exercise, and is current as of March 2015.

Environment

The Canadian High Embassy in Bangkok (“CIC Bangkok”) provides temporary resident visa services to residents of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.  It assists in permanent resident applications where possible, as it is a sub office of the Regional Processing Centre based in Singapore.

It is a small office and does not have the resources to undertake sites visits.

 

 

Temporary Resident Program

As with other visa posts, CIC Bangkok is reporting that E-apps “sap considerable resources” due to the time that it takes to process an E-app compared to a paper file.  The fact that Thai police certificates take 4-6 weeks also significantly impacts processing times.

The TRV approval rate is 87%.   For study permits the overall approval rate is 65%, with most refusals being based on lack of medicals.

The full report is below.  Please note that this report did not occur with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, and the report was obtained through an Access to Information Act request.

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Environmental Overview – Abu Dhabi

28th Oct 2015 Comments Off on Environmental Overview – Abu Dhabi

Last updated on June 11th, 2020

Last Updated on June 11, 2020 by Steven Meurrens

The following is a summary of the Environmental Overview of the immigration functions at the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi (the “Environmental Overview”).  The Environmental Overview was prepared as part of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada 2015-2016 planning exercise, and is current as of March 2015.

Environment

The Canadian High Embassy in Abu Dhabi (“CIC Abu Dhabi”) provides visa services to residents of Yemen and the six Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Due to continued unrest in Yemen, this office has not been able to conduct an area trip there since spring of 2010. We are unable to predict when we will be able to resume travel. This has created a large inventory of cases in Yemen, primarily refugees. Serving temporary resident applications from Yemen presents a challenge in itself. Yemeni citizens cannot easily travel outside the country, and they must provide biometrics. Getting documents in and out is also difficult because some couriers have suspended their services in Yemen.

Area trips to Saudi Arabia are subject to all restrictions applicable to that country, such as that women must have their heads covered and must be accompanied by a man in all public places.

Quality Assurance

CIC Abu Dhabi shares work with the visa offices in London and Riyadh on a regular basis.  London is responsible for Federal Skilled Worker Program applications and business applicants residing in the Gulf.

This sharing agreement sometimes confuses clients who do not fully understand how this matrix works. In addition, we have shared cases with other offices in order to use the international network to its full potential..

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The Parent & Grandparent Sponsorship Program

24th Oct 2015 Comments Off on The Parent & Grandparent Sponsorship Program

Last Updated on October 24, 2015 by Steven Meurrens

With the incoming Liberal government of Canada promising to double the number of applications in the Parent & Grandparent Sponsorship Program (the “PGSP“) there will likely be renewed interest in the program.

Under the PGSP, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their foreign national parents and grandparents.  Sponsors must sign an undertaking with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (“CIC“) or with the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion for those in Quebec.  The undertaking ensures that the sponsored individuals and their family members do not have to apply for social assistance. The length of undertaking in the PGSP is 20 years.

As per the CIC website, sponsors must:

  • be 18 years of age or older;
  • be a Canadian citizen, Registered Indian or permanent resident;
  • be sponsoring their parents or grandparents;
  • live in Canada;
  • sign an undertaking promising to provide for the basic requirements of the person being sponsored;
  • sign an agreement with the person theyare sponsoring; and
  • prove that they have sufficient income.  Co-signers are permissible.

In 2015, the minimum income requirements were.

Federal Income Table for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship

Size of Family Unit
Minimum Income
2013
Minimum Income
2012
Minimum Income
2011

2 persons
$37,708
$36,637
 $35,976

3 persons
$46,354
$45,040
 $44,229

4 persons
$56,280
$54,685
 $53,699

5 persons
$63,833
$62,023
 $60,905

6 persons
$71,991
$69,950
 $68,689

7 persons
$80,153
$77,879
 $76,475

If more than 7 persons, for each additional person, add
$8,148
$7,929
 $ 7,786

Excluded from these amounts include, amongst other things, any amounts paid to the sponsor under the Employment Insurance Act,

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Immigration Detainees Granted Access to Habeas Corpus

21st Oct 2015 Comments Off on Immigration Detainees Granted Access to Habeas Corpus

Last Updated on October 21, 2015 by Steven Meurrens

On October 20, 2015, the Court of Appeal for Ontario (the “ONCA”) released its decision in Chaudhary v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) (“Chaudhary”).  The ONCA has ruled that the immigration detention review system provided for in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA”) does not provide an effective forum for detainees to challenge their continued detention. Effective immediately, detainees will be able to apply to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for habeas corpus to challenge their continued detentions.

Habeas Corpus

Habeas Corpus, latin for “you shall have the body,” is a recourse in law whereby a detained individual can apply to a court for a determination on whether their detention or imprisonment is unlawful.  If the court rules that the detaining entity is acting beyond its authority, then it must release the detainee.   Habeas Corpus is commonly regarded as a cornerstone of liberty.  It is enshrined by s. 10(c) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and freedoms, which provides that “everyone has the right on arrest or detention to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.

Under what is known as the “Peiroo exception,” the Supreme Court of Canada in May v. Ferndale Institution stated that in immigration matters habeas corpus is precluded where federal legislation provides a complete, comprehensive and expert statutory scheme which contains a review process that is at least as broad as and no less advantageous than habeas corpus.

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International Experience Canada

19th Oct 2015 Comments Off on International Experience Canada

Last updated on May 8th, 2019

Last Updated on May 8, 2019 by Steven Meurrens

International Experience Canada (“IEC“) provides young individuals the opportunity to travel and work in Canada. The program has grown considerably since it was introduced in 1951, and in 2016 IEC comprised 22% of International Mobility Program (“IMP“) work permits, making it the largest component of the IMP.

The IEC Programs

Participation in IEC is currently available to the citizens of 34 countries that have a bilateral youth mobility arrangement (a “YMA“) with Canada.  The three most common IEC programs are the Working Holiday Program (the “WHP”), the Young Professionals Program (the “YPP“) and the International Co-op Internship (the “IEC Co-Op“).  While eligibility requirements vary somewhat for each country, participation is typically open to young adults between the ages of 18 to 30 or 35.

Under the WHP, participating young adults obtain open work permits which allow them to work anywhere in Canada.  This is the largest IEC stream, and comprises 81% of IEC.

Under the YPP, participating young adults can obtain employer-specific work permits if they have a job offer that contributes to their professional development related to their field of study and work for the same employer for the duration of their stay.

Under the IEC Co-Op, participating young adults can obtain an employer specific work permit if they are enrolled in a post-secondary institution, have a job offer that is related to their field of study and work for the same employer for the duration of their stay.

A breakdown of the programs in these 34 countries can be found on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website here,

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Updated Predictions of the Immigration Consequences of the Election

16th Oct 2015 Comments Off on Updated Predictions of the Immigration Consequences of the Election

Last Updated on October 16, 2015 by Steven Meurrens

In August, 2015, I wrote an article for the Policy Options magazine  on what the results of the October 19, 2015, federal election would mean for Canadian immigration policy.  Although the article was published in September, at the time that I submitted the article to Policy Options Prime Minister Stephen Harper had not yet asked the Governor General to dissolve Parliament, and the parties had yet to begin formally campaigning.  With the election now three days away, I thought it would be interesting to update my predictions on what the 42nd Canadian federal election would likely mean for Canadian immigration policy.

I continue to believe that Monday’s election will likely be a pivotal event for Canadian immigration policy. The Conservative Party of Canada during its time in office has comprehensively overhauled Canada’s immigration system both legislatively as well as operationally.  Monday’s election will likely determine whether many of its changes become permanent, or are undone, or whether immigration policies go in a completely different direction.

In order to understand the possible consequences of the upcoming election on immigration policy we have to understand how much things have changed. Indeed, it is not uncommon for immigration practitioners to jokingly refer to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as the “Jason Kenney Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.”

Arguably the most significant change to the immigration system was its transformation from a system where people were immediately admitted to Canada from overseas as permanent residents into one where prospective immigrants had to “prove” that they could establish themselves in Canada, economically, by initially being temporary foreign workers and then transitioning to permanent residency. While in the long run this change should ensure that immigrants are gainfully employed and should end the recognition-of-foreign-credentials debacle,

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CIC Decisions Stolen at Gun Point En Route to VAC

15th Oct 2015 Comments Off on CIC Decisions Stolen at Gun Point En Route to VAC

Last Updated on October 15, 2015 by Steven Meurrens

Not all visa processing delays are caused by a lack of officers or over-bureaucratic requirements.  Sometimes the decisions themselves can go missing, or, as apparently was the case in 2014, be stolen at gunpoint.

Wow.

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