Author Archives: Ian

About Ian

Ian Goldman is a Canadian Immigration Lawyer with 23 years of experience. You may contact him at info@immigrationtocanada.org or +1.604.731.3660. See his Canadian immigration law firm’s website at www.immigrationtocanada.org.

How International Students Studying in Canada can get Permanent Residence in Canada

One of the key differences between younger people and older people is their time horizons. When I was young I had a vague plan what I wanted to be doing in 5 years but I had a clear plan for only 1 or 2 years at the most. This article is to get international students in Canada to think more long term if they want to become permanent residents.

The main problem that I have come across in my long time practice as an immigration lawyer is that many international students do not have a long term plan. You should have a good idea of which province you want to go to, which immigration program for permanent residence you want to qualify through and which job you would like to do when you graduate. Of course, plans can change but some plan is usually a big help and much better than no plan at all.

Remember that both the provincial and the federal authorities have immigration programs for permanent residence. The main federal program for students is the Express Entry System and the provincial programs have their Provincial Nominee Programs. Each province and territory has different “streams” or programs. Each program has different requirements and application processing times. Some provinces will only support students who graduate from an educational institution from their province and others will take students from other provinces. So you need to check all 14 jurisdictions (10 provinces, 3 territories and the
federal government) to see which rules fit your requirements the best.

Since there are so many different programs for permanent residence for international students, it is difficult for me to give specific requirements in this blog post. But I will give you some general requirements.

Usually students do not have at least one year of high skilled work experience and that is usually required by the Federal and Provincial immigration programs for permanent residence. However, some programs do not require any work experience. If you have some high skilled work experience from outside of Canada before or during your studies, then this will often be helpful. Co-op programs are very helpful for getting work experience and finding employers.

When you graduate you will likely be entitled to a post-graduate work permit and this will help you to be able to get a permanent high skilled job. The key is not to take a low skilled job as that will usually not help you to get permanent residence.

Another problem I have come across it that there are usually application deadlines hidden in the requirements. For example, they may not count your work experience or education if you don’t apply within a certain time.

And the last warning is that since the process usually takes many years from when you make your plans until you apply for Permanent Residence visa, you need to constantly be rechecking the provincial and federal program requirements as they are constantly changing. The usual rule is that the rules are fixed after you apply. So if they change the rules after you apply, those changes will usually not harm you. However, if your plan is to apply for permanent residence and they change the rules before you apply, then you have to meet the requirements of the new rules.

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You Can Buy Your Canadian Permanent Residence Visa through the Investor Visa

Over the years, I have helped many people to get their permanent resident visa through the investor visa program. This is a program which effectively allows you to buy your visa to come to Canada because you are not required to work in Canada or to run a business in Canada in order to get permanent residence.

There are three main requirements for the Visa. You are not required to have any language tests done for this type of visa.

The first requirement is that you must have at least two years of business management experience within the past five years.

The second requirement is that you must have at least a CAD$1,600,000 net worth. Net worth is defined as your worldwide total assets including your home, investments or business minus all of your debts. This includes the assets and debts of your spouse if you have a spouse or partner. You are not required to sell or move any funds or assets in order to get the visa.

The third and final main requirement is that you must loan the government CAD$800,000 for 5 years. The government guarantees that they will return your funds without any interest after 5 years. It is very important for you to know that you do not need to take CAD$800,000 out of your pocket or out of your assets in order to make the loan to the government. Rather you may borrow the money from any lender anywhere in the world. However if you borrow the money from a Canadian Bank then you do not need to put up any security for the loan since the Canadian lenders know that the government guarantees the return of the funds. So you are allowed to pay the bank at one time payment which includes all administrative costs and the interest. This is effectively the purchase price for your Visa. It is usually around CAD$170,000 to CAD$225,000.

This program has a very small window of time for applying every year because the spots are all taken up very quickly after the program opens usually in April or May of each year. In 2017 it is expected that all the spots will go within a few weeks after the program reopens in April or May.

This program is run through the Quebec government and you are given full Canadian permanent residence status if approved.

If you are at all interested in this program please contact my office and I would be happy to have a free consultation to see if you qualify for the program. It is really within the next month or two that your application must be prepared because there is a large amount of documentation required for this type of application.

Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

As a Canadian employer, you may be having a difficult time finding qualified Canadian workers to fill your positions. There are literally millions of people abroad who would like to work in Canada and we can very likely help you to find a highly qualified worker for your positions.

Recently the government of Canada has streamlined the process of hiring workers – called an application for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

It’s easier and faster than you probably think. It usually takes about 2 months but can be faster if you have already done some of the steps below.

Here are the steps if you want to hire foreign workers:

  1. You need to clearly set out the job description and the requirements for the job.

  2. You need to make sure that you are offering a high enough wage to attract a Canadian. This is called the “prevailing wage” which is the median wage listed on the Canadian Job Bank website.

  3. You need to advertise the job for at least one month. There are certain requirements as to where you need to advertise the job.

  4. If all of the positions have not been filled, then you apply for an LMIA. It usually (but not always) costs $1000 for each position you want approved by the government. This usually takes 2-3 weeks.

  5. Then the foreign worker needs to apply at a border point or at a visa office for the work permit.

We are a Canadian immigration law firm combine with a licensed Employment Agency, matching Canadian employers with highly qualified workers from around the world.

 

permanent residnecy

Permanent Residence Cards – Proof of being a permanent resident of Canada

Once approved to enter Canada as a permanent resident, an individual may get a Card that confirms their permanent residence status. This is a Permanent Residence (PR) Card. Most permanent residents of Canada must carry and show their valid permanent resident card when boarding a flight to Canada or when driving to a border entry point. If you do not carry the card, you will likely not be allowed to board the plane if your passport would normally require a visa.

It is your responsibility to make sure that your PR Card is valid when you return from travel outside Canada and to apply for a new PR Card before your current card expires. If your PR card expires, it does NOT mean you have lost your permanent resident status!

If you are a Canadian citizen, you cannot have and do not need a PR card.

You can apply for a PR card only if you have permanent resident status in Canada.

The process of obtaining permanent residency in Canada is complex and time consuming.  Individuals can apply for Canadian permanent residence under many categories such as Skilled Workers, Business Class Immigration, Provincial Nomination, Family Class Immigration, Refugees and Humanitarian and Compassionate classes.

canada immigration

Good News for People Waiting in the Express Entry Pool.

Here are the Expected Changes to the Express Entry System By Dec 2016

At this time of the year, I usually start my projections for next year based on the government’s announced immigration plan. But this year there is a bit more speculation than normal since there have been many hints from the Immigration Minister that he wants to change the Express Entry rules to increase the chances for International Students who are currently in Canada studying or who have recently graduated.

I normally like to base my statements on facts and announcements that have already been made, but I would like to have a bit of fun and make a prediction.

So here in my crystal ball is what I expect that the Minister will do: There will likely be extra points for someone who has a Canadian degree or diploma in the comprehensive ranking system. That would be the easiest way to get the results that he has stated he wants. I think that an extra 30-50 points would be enough to do that but it could be even more.

There are many people waiting in the express entry pool with 430 to 470 points who have been waiting a long time and who may even have had to renew their Express Entry profiles. So if these people have Canadian degrees or diplomas, they would get bumped above the others and be invited to apply on the next draw.

There is more good news for those in the Express Entry pool based on the new immigration target of 300,000 immigrants next year announced by the Minister on October 31, 2016. Within those targets, the Express Entry targets increased from 58,400 to 71,700. (This would include people who applied before the Express Entry system started.)

This means there will be 13,300 more people processed under the main economic stream next year. That is a huge increase even though it would include Express Entry applicants and people who applied before the express entry system started. So for those in the express entry pool, this is good news even if you don’t have a Canadian degree or diploma!

Ian Goldman is a Canadian Immigration Lawyer with 23 years of experience. You may contact him at info@immigrationtocanada.org.

Canada Immigration

Work Permits

Most work permits allow the worker to work for a specific employer in Canada for 2 years. If the position or the employer changes during that time, then usually a new work permit is required before the worker can take the new position. I will discuss open work permits that do not have these restrictions in a future article.

From my experience, the key to getting the work permit approved is to inform the worker and the employer of the requirements and the process before they begin the recruitment process. In this way, there are no surprises during the process and it flows smoothly.

There are many different types of work permits for Canada. The main one requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A similar application was previously called a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). In a future post, I will discuss when work can be done in Canada without a work permit and when a LMIA is not required.

Here is the typical process for getting a work permit.

Step 1. You get an offer of employment from an employer who is willing to go through the approval process. This step may be done any time during the process below before Step 4.

Step 2. The employer must advertise the position for at least one month. There are many requirements for what is required to meet the advertising requirements.

Step 3. If there are no qualified Canadians to take the position and all of the other requirements are met, the employer then applies for the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Sometimes there is a fee of $1000 for this application but there are exceptions. The LMIA can take 2-12 weeks.

Step 4. If the LMIA is approved, the worker then applies for a work permit. This can be done at the airport or border entry point in some cases. If it is done at a visa office, the processing times vary widely depending on the office used.

I have kept the information at a generic level. In future posts, I will explore details and exceptions to the information provided.

Goldman Associates is both an immigration law firm and an Employment Agency. We match Canadian employers to workers and help with any work permit or immigration issues if required.

Even though I am an immigration lawyer with 23 years of experience, this article is public education and is not legal advice. There are many exceptions and details to the information provided that may not apply to your situation

40 Ways to Get Permanent Residence in Canada

By Ian Goldman, Canadian Immigration Lawyer with 21 years of experience.

permant residence visa canadaYou may qualify for a way to get permanent residence in Canada that you don’t know about. Think about Canada as a big house with many doors. Most people know about the big front door: the express entry system to get permanent residence through the federal government. However, there are many more options and many of them may be easier to get approved depending on your situation.

Did you know there are at least 40 doors to permanent residence Canada?

Yes, I am saying that there are at least 40 other programs to get permanent residence in Canada! Many are added and taken away each year. So it is difficult to be exact over time.

In this article, I will explain the big picture and later I will go into detail about most of them, including the huge issue of work permits.

The first thing to understand is that the federal government offers some permanent residence programs but the provinces have even more. That is because there are 10 provinces and 3 territories and each of them have many programs.  So for the purposes of immigration, you may look at Canada as 14 different countries: the Federal government and each provincial and territorial government.

5 main categories of immigration for permanent residence Canada

  1. Skilled Worker programs are based on your work experience. This work experience could be inside of Canada (usually requiring a work permit) or outside of Canada. Many provinces have their own programs with their own point systems.
  2. Student Programs are based on having studied in Canada. So you may start your immigration plan based on coming to Canada to study first.
  3. Business Programs are based on you managing or investing in Canada. Some programs allow you to simply buy your visa without investing in a business or managing a business.
  4. Family or friend programs are based on you having close families or friends in Canada. These people will need to offer support to you.
  5. Refugee and Humanitarian programs are for people who have unusual hardship.

Even though I am an immigration lawyer with almost 22 years of experience, this article is public education and is not legal advice. There are many exceptions and details to the information provided that may not apply to your situation.

Learn more about immigration to Canada, tips to applying for a Canada work permit or learn about working in Canada.

Contact an Canada immigration lawyer

 

The 4 steps to get a job and a work permit in Canada

I am going to explain the general process to get a job and a work permit in Canada. This is the general process. Most exceptions involve international agreements between Canada and other countries, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS).

Also note that you are able to work in Canada if you have permanent residence. So you do not require a work permit to work in Canada if you have permanent residence. Many people WRONGLY think that they should get a job and a work permit first. Often people will be better if they apply for permanent residence first. But that is another topic.

After you get a work permit, then there are many possibilities to get permanent residence depending on the job and the province where you work. So if you are interested in permanent residence, you should plan it before you start working.

Work Permit | Goldman Associates

Let’s go through the steps on how to get a job and a work permit:

Step 1Find an employer who wants to hire you because they cannot find a Canadian to fill their job and who is willing to pay $1000 for the government fees and to go through the government approval process.

Step 2The employer will then either hire a lawyer or do the Labour Market Impact Assessment Application (LMIA previously known as an “LMO”) themselves to apply for government approval. They must pay the $1000 government application fee.

Step 3The government will either approve or reject the application within 2 weeks. The government’s main concern is that the employer advertised the job and tried to find a Canadian for the position.

Step. 4If the application is approved, then the worker must apply to get a work permit. If the worker does not require a visa to visit Canada (these are generally developed countries), then they can apply and get the work permit at the airport. If the worker requires a visa to visit Canada, then they must apply online or at a Canadian visa office. The processing time for that process depends on the visa office and could take a few weeks to many months.

As you can see, finding the right employer is the most difficult part of the process. How do you “Find an employer who wants to hire you because they cannot find a Canadian to fill their job and who is willing to pay $1000 for the government fees and to go through the government approval process.”?

The truth is it is very difficult to do it on your own. Most Canadian jobs are not advertised unless they don’t have connections to find workers. If the employer advertises, most applicants are not qualified and they spend time needlessly screening people who applied without good reason.

Most Canadian employers do not know the process or the requirements. They do not want to go through an approval process that is not known to them. Even if they would qualify and could pay the fee, most Canadian employers will not go through the process.

So then the question becomes how do you find an educated and willing employer? You have to focus on employers who cannot find Canadians. This usually requires a very thorough knowledge of the job market on the ground and being in constant contact with Canadian employers. You need to know various things:

  • Which employer plans to hire in your industry?
  • Which employer expects to have new contracts in the near future?
  • What are the general statistics about the locations in Canada where jobs are expected to be created?
  • How many graduates are expected to be coming out of the training programs to fill the demand for workers in your industry?

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