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

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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Express Entry

Express Entry

26th Oct 2014 Comments Off on Express Entry

On January 1 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“) is expected to overhaul its economic immigration programs with the launch of Express Entry.  On December 1, 2014, the Government of Canada released detailed Ministerial Instructions regarding Express Entry.  In this post I hope to provide an easy to read overview of the new program.

Express Entry will significantly alter every economic immigration program, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP“), the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC“), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP“), and the Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP“).

Rather than first in, first processed for permanent residence applications Express Entry will feature a “selection” of candidates who the Government of Canada believes is most likely to succeed in Canada.

Express Entry will consist of two steps for potential applicants:

  1. Completing an Online Express Entry Profile
  2. Receiving a Letter of Invitation

CIC is touting that Express Entry is not a new immigration per se, but rather a way for CIC to manage economic immigration applications online.  However, a quick review of Express Entry suggests that who will be eligible to immigrate to Canada under Express Entry will fundamentally change.

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CIC Caps CEC, Eliminates Eligible Occupations

28th Nov 2013 Comments Off on CIC Caps CEC, Eliminates Eligible Occupations

On November 8, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) announced significant changes to the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”).

The CEC is a very popular program for immigrating to Canada.  Subject to narrow exceptions, individuals qualify for the CEC if:

  1. they plan to live outside of Quebec;
  2. they have at least 12 months of full-time skilled work experience in Canada during the three-year period before they apply;
  3. they gained their skilled work experience in Canada with the proper authorization;
  4. they were not self employed when they gained their skilled work experience; and
  5. they meet required language levels (which vary according to occupation).

Qualifying skilled work experience is work experience in one or more National Occupational Classification (“NOC”) Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B, occupations.  The NOC is a Ministry of Economic and Social Development initiative which categorizes all occupations in Canada.  It can be found here.

The November 8 changes introduce an annual cap on the number of CEC applications that CIC will accept each year, introduce a further sub-cap for NOC Skill Level B occupations, and eliminate certain NOC Skill Level B occupations from being eligible for the CEC.

The above changes took affect on November 9, 2013.  They only apply to applications which CIC receives after that date.

Caps

CIC will consider a maximum of 12,000 completed CEC applications each year. Within the overall 12,000 application cap, CIC will process a maximum of 200 new CEC applications per NOC Skill Level B occupation each year.

While there is no sub-cap on CEC applications in NOC Skill Type 0 or NOC Skill Level A occupations, these occupations are subject to the overall cap of 12,000 new applications.

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PSLRB Rules CIC Bargaining with PAFSO in Bad Faith

17th Sep 2013 Comments Off on PSLRB Rules CIC Bargaining with PAFSO in Bad Faith

As the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (“PAFSO”) strike enters its fifth month, the Public Service Labour Relations Board (“PSLRB”) has ruled that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) is bargaining with PAFSO in bad faith.  The PSLRB decision can be found here.

CIC has filed a judicial review application of the PSLRB decision.

There appears to be no end in sight to the PAFSO strike.  However, by now most individuals who frequently interact with CIC have likely realized that many applications are continuing to be processed, and that there are certain steps that can be taken to minimize the impact of the PAFSO job action.  Indeed, as the University of Toronto’s Varsity Newspaper reported:

For students, the PAFSO strike practically seems to have caused, at most, a limited problem. Visas, while sometimes delayed, are not being withheld with any significant regularity, and in fact seem to be getting processed more efficiently than ever.

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PAFSO Strike Jeopardizing CIC Client Services

PAFSO Strike Jeopardizing CIC Client Services

19th Jul 2013 Comments Off on PAFSO Strike Jeopardizing CIC Client Services

As many people know, the Professional Association of Foreign Services Officers (“PAFSO“) is currently taking strike action. According to the PAFSO Facebook page:

[As of July 10] members who have not been identified as essential have withdrawn services in San Juan, Costa Rica,Sao Paulo. Guatemala, Brasilia, Moscow, Warsaw, Singapore,Manila, Islamabad,Chandigarh,Ankara, Hong Kong, and Delhi. Some instances involve trade and political officers as well. While this action does not mean that the entire visa office is closed, it does mean a significant increase in processing times.

It is true that there is some processing going on at Canadian missions abroad. Yesterday, an immigration lawyer shared a letter which he had received from the Canadian High Commission in Istanbul. He has given me permission to reproduce it below.

cicislamabad

I have never seen a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada which contained as many typos as this. I don’t know if a PAFSO member wrote this, or if someone who is filling in for a PAFSO member did. What I do know is that this is embarrassing for Canada.

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Spousal Sponsorships where the Sponsor Does not Live in Canada

14th May 2013 Comments Off on Spousal Sponsorships where the Sponsor Does not Live in Canada

Section 133(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the “Regulations”) provides that:

A sponsor who is a Canadian citizen and does not reside in Canada may sponsor a foreign national who makes [an application to sponsor a member of the Family Class] and is the sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child who has no dependent children, if the sponsor will reside in Canada when the foreign national becomes a permanent resident.

(Emphasis Added)

I have dealt with this issue on numerous occasions, and, depending on the visa post, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“) may scrutinize in some detail the sponsor’s intention to actually reside in Canada with their spouse, or to simply get the principal applicant permanent resident status without actually immigrating to Canada.

The Embassy of Canada in the United Arab Emirates asks applicants to complete a Residency Questionnaire for their sponsors if they reside outside of Canada, and I have reproduced the questions below.  These questions can serve as a useful guide to anyone submitting a family class application where s. 133(2) of the Regulations applies.

  1. Is your sponsor currently a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident? 
  2. Is your sponsor currently in Canada?
    1. If yes, then how long has the sponsor been physically residing in Canada?
    2. If yes, then when did you last see your sponsor?
    3. If no, then how long has the sponsor been living outside of Canada?
  3. If your sponsor is not living in Canada, then please explain why and when he/she intends to return to reside in Canada once your visa is issued.  Please provide as many details as possible.
  4. What preparations have you and/or your sponsor made for your move to Canada?  

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Santa is Canadian, and He’s Already Employed

Santa is Canadian, and He’s Already Employed

21st Dec 2012 Comments Off on Santa is Canadian, and He’s Already Employed

In 2010 Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”), reaffirmed that Santa Clause is a Canadian citizen.

This year, CIC doesn’t  want us to forget, and they’ve displayed the “fact” that Santa is a Canadian on their front page.

cicsanta

Of course, we here in British Columbia already know that.  In fact, when he’s not delivering presents on December 25th, Santa is gainfully employed in the City of Abbotsford.

 

abbotsfordsanta

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CIC Office Closures Run Deep

1st Jun 2012 Comments Off on CIC Office Closures Run Deep

The deficit reduction strategy has officially hit Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Canadian offices.  Here are a list of closures effective today:

Office Closing
PR Cards and Investigation Referrals will be transferred to
Vegerville Referral Files will be transferred to
Citizenship Files will be transferred to

BC
 Kelowna
Expo Office in Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver

 Nanaimo
 Expo office in Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver

 Prince George
 Expo Office in Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver

 Victoria
 Expo Office in Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver

AB
Lethbridge
 Calgary
Calgary
Calgary

SK
 Regina
 Saskatoon
Saskatoon
Saskatoon

ON
 Barrie
 St. Clair
Etobicoke
Scarborough

 Kingston
 Ottawa
Ottawa
 Ottawa

 Oshawa
 St. Clair
Scarborough
Scarborough

 Sault Ste. Marie
 St. Clair
Etobicoke
Mississauga

 Sudbury
 St. Clair
Etobicoke
Mississauga

 Thunder Bay
 St. Clair
Etobicoke
Mississauga

QC
 Gatineau
 Ottawa
Montréal
 Ottawa

 Quebec City
 Montréal
Montréal
Montréal

Sherbrooke
 Montréal
Montréal
Montréal

 Trois Rivières
 Montréal
Montréal
Montréal

NB
 Moncton
 Moncton
Moncton
Moncton

 Saint John
 Fredericton
Fredericton
Moncton

PEI
Charlottetown
 Halifax
Halifax
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Immigration Non Story of the Day

2nd Feb 2012 Comments Off on Immigration Non Story of the Day

The media is aflutter with stories about six Citizenship and Immigration Canada bureaucrats attending a citizenship reaffirming ceremony.  Frankly, as long as neither of the two people on the left are CIC bureaucrats processing immigration applications, I consider this to be a non-story.  

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