Tag Archive: Canada
Changes to Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)
November 11, 2016
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced changes to the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The changes will affect those individuals who have submitted their candidacy for immigrating to Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class. The changes will take effect on November 19, 2016.
What are the changes?
1. Job Offers
Previously, qualifying job offers supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) were worth 600 points under the CRS. Now, a qualifying job offer is worth either 200 points or 50 points. 200 points are awarded to qualifying job offers for a Senior Managerial Level Position (National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code starting with 00) OR 50 points are awarded to qualifying job offers in any other occupation with a skill level of 0, A or B.
Another significant change is that the following individuals will now be awarded points for a qualifying job offer:
Individuals with a work permit issued under an international agreement, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
Individuals with a work permit issued under the ‘significant benefits to Canada’ criteria, such as Intra-Company Transfers.
In both cases, the worker must have been working in Canada for at least one (1) year and the job offer must be made by the same employer named on the work permit in order to get the 200 or 50 points.
2. Canadian Study
The points that are to be awarded for Canadian educational credentials are as follows:
0 points if the candidate has only a secondary school educational credential;
15 points if the candidate has an eligible credential from a one-year or two-year post-secondary program; and
30 points if the candidate has either:
a. an eligible credential from a post-secondary program of three years or more,
b. an eligible credential from a university-level program at the master’s level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification matrix at Skill Level A for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required,
c. an eligible credential from a university-level program at the doctoral level.
Points are only assigned for Canadian study experience if, for the purpose of obtaining the credential, the candidate
a. studied in Canada at a Canadian educational institution;
b. was enrolled in full-time study or training for at least eight (8) months; and
c. was physically present in Canada for at least eight (8) months.
Before these changes, Immigration candidates who had completed a study program in Canada were not awarded additional CRS points. Through these changes, the Government of Canada is demonstrating its desire to find simpler ways for foreign students in Canada to obtain Permanent Residence.
3. Invitations to Apply
Candidates who receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residence will now have ninety (90) days (as opposed to the old sixty (60) days) to submit a complete Application to IRCC.
4. Impact of These Changes
When these changes take effect on November 19, many candidates in the Express Entry pool may notice no change to their individual CRS score; however, the upside to the changes is that these same individuals will now be more competitive when compared to candidates with qualifying job offers, who will see their scores drop up to 550 points. This is advantageous because the Express Entry system ranks candidates against each other and those with the highest CRS scores are invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada.
Illegal in U.S. and Wish to Immigrate to Canada?
November 10, 2016
Abrams & Krochak receives a significant number of inquiries from individuals, who have no legal status in the country in which they are residing and who wish to immigrate to Canada. The vast majority of these inquiries are from individuals in the United States and the number has increased substantially since the recent U.S. election and talk of mass deportations. The two (2) primary concerns for these individuals, when considering Canada, are:
1. Whether their illegal status in the United States will render them ineligible to immigrate to Canada; and
2. Whether the Immigration process can take place while they continue to reside in the United States, albeit illegally.
Insofar as eligibility is concerned, illegal status in a third country will not render an individual ineligible to immigrate to Canada unless issues of criminality are involved. Even then, there is not an automatic disqualification and Abrams & Krochak advises on a case-by-case basis.
Insofar as the Canadian Immigration process is concerned, all applicants in the Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades categories are processed under a system called “Express Entry”. With the assistance of Abrams & Krochak, applicants create an Express Entry Online Profile and if they are invited by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada, the majority of the Application process takes place online. Therefore, if no interview is deemed necessary by Immigration officials (which applies to the majority of cases filed by Abrams & Krochak, to date), the applicant’s place of residence is irrelevant. Place of residence only becomes relevant if the applicant’s file must be transferred to a Canadian visa office for further processing and/or the scheduling of an Immigration interview.
The general rule is this: if a file needs to be transferred to a Canadian visa office for further processing and/or the scheduling of an Immigration interview, it will be transferred to the Canadian visa office in the country in which the applicant is currently residing if (i) the applicant has at any point in the past lawfully resided in that country for a period of one (1) year or more OR (ii) the applicant is in possession of a valid visa, authorizing him/her to remain in that country for a period of at least one (1) year (such as an H1-B, J-1 or F-1 visa in the United States). Otherwise, the file must be transferred to the Canadian visa office which normally serves the applicant’s home country/country of habitual residence/country of citizenship.
As long as you are accurate about your qualifications when you complete Abrams & Krochak’s Online Eligibility Assessment Questionnaire at https://www.akcanada.com/assessment1.php, should you receive a favourable assessment from Abrams & Krochak, then it is worthwhile creating an Express Entry Online Profile since, as was stated earlier, if you are invited by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada, the vast majority of Abrams & Krochak’s cases are approved without the need for a personal interview and you will have the chance to begin a new life with legal status in Canada instead of continuing to live in fear of deportation from the United States.
Should an interview be deemed necessary in your case and should you be required to attend it in your home country/country of habitual residence/country of citizenship or a third country whose Canadian visa office serves your jurisdiction, you can evaluate your personal circumstances at that moment in time and then decide whether you are willing to take the risk of leaving the United States and travelling to attend your interview or abandoning your Canadian Immigration plans altogether. Keep in mind, however, the fact that abandoning your Canadian Immigration plans does not necessarily mean that you can apply at a future date, should your personal circumstances change. Canadian Immigration laws, regulations and policies are always subject to change at any time without advance notice.
Number of 2017 New Arrivals to Canada to Remain the Same; Greater Percentage Economic and Family Class Immigrants
November 1, 2016
On October 31, 2016, the Government of Canada announced in the Canadian House of Commons that it will bring in 300,000 new arrivals in 2017. That is the same number that was established in 2016 to accommodate an influx of Syrian refugees.
While Canada will not increase the number of new immigrants being welcomed to the country next year, the Government claims that it is laying the foundation for a bigger boost in levels in the coming years.
Within this plan, the number of permanent residents selected in economic programs (i.e. Express Entry/Business Class/Provincial Nominee Programs, etc.) will increase. The Government also intends to increase Family Class (i.e. family sponsorship) levels to reduce processing times and reunite more families.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that Immigration Minister John McCallum to reveal ‘substantially’ higher newcomer targets
October 30, 2016
The article, below, appeared this morning on the website of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. If the announcement is true and, once more information becomes available, Abrams & Krochak will publish it on our website.
Canada is expected to “substantially” boost the number of immigrants it welcomes to the country each year, but experts warn that any increase must be matched with more robust resettlement assistance.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum is expected to reveal new targets Monday, one day before Finance Minister Bill Morneau presents his fall economic update.
The new levels will seek to offset projected demographic challenges in Canada, including an aging population and growing labour gaps. In 2016, the target was to permit 300,000 newcomers to the country.
The government’s economic growth advisory council has recommended ramping up immigration levels to 450,000 people a year over the next five years, with a focus on skilled, highly educated and business-oriented people. McCallum has suggested that target may be overly ambitious, but said the government will “substantially” raise the number.
There has also been debate among the Canadian public — and among Liberals — about hiking immigration at a time of high unemployment, especially among young Canadians. There are also questions about whether adequate levels of support are in place.
Immigrants worse off?
As the government welcomes more immigrants, it must take steps to ensure smooth integration into communities, said Emily Gilbert, director of the University of Toronto’s Canadian Studies Program. That includes employment that meets their skill levels, so families don’t face undue financial hardship, she said.
“I’m not at all against raising the level, I’m in full support of that. But we’ve had a tendency in the last decade or so for newcomers to Canada to be much worse off economically,” she said.
She’s concerned about the potential emphasis on bringing in business and professional class immigrants.
“I’m worried that the thrust of the levels seems to be to boost Canada’s economy and I’m worried it would be on the shoulders of those who arrive,” she said.
Gilbert said ramping up numbers too quickly without enough supports could lead to potential social and economic problems down the road. She also warned against gearing targets based on economic status.
Not only does that contribute to a “brain drain” in other countries, but it ignores the fact that it takes all kinds of people to build the country, she said.
Raise living standards
The advisory council’s report recommends tapping top business talent and international students to maximize economic benefits from immigration policy that, “if done right, can raise living standards for all Canadians.”
Noting that public opinion to date is largely favourable toward immigration, the report warns that policy makers must be aware of limits.
“Public support is likely to wane if integration of new immigrants is not managed effectively,” it reads. “The recommended increase of 150,000 permanent economic immigrants is not expected to strain public education, transportation, or healthcare systems over the course of the five-year ramp up period, though it should be expected that higher population growth will eventually require increased investments in public services and infrastructure by all levels of government.”
In addition to boosting immigration levels, the council recommends:
- Reducing red tape to attract and expedite entry for foreign talent.
- Easing rules to allow more international students to become permanent residents.
- Improving accreditation processes to help skilled workers find work in their profession.
Dory Jade, CEO of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants, expects the government will significantly increase the annual target and numbers in various categories. He said it’s difficult to measure actual capacity for newcomers in communities because there are so many regional variations.
But Jade said any increase in numbers must come with supports ranging from more staff to process applications to a “big injection” of aid to help integrate new arrivals, even though that capacity is hard to determine.
“That’s the big dilemma for the government,” he said.
NDP Immigration critic Jenny Kwan said Canada could reasonably have a policy to bring in a higher number of immigrants, up to 500,000 annually.
Along with setting new targets, she urged the government to bring in policy changes that would help fill regional labour gaps and give live-in caregivers and temporary foreign workers greater and faster opportunities to become new Canadians.
“I think we’re at the juncture in 2016 to look at our immigration policy and say, ‘If you’re good enough to work here, you’re good enough to stay,'” she said.
Kwan also said Canada’s policy should not be geared to favour those with business and professional credentials.
“There’s value to all the different classes,” she said. “All of us contribute to the rich fabric of who we are, and our immigration policy should reflect exactly that — broad-based, diverse groups of immigrants from around the globe.”
Conservative Immigration critic Michelle Rempel said setting immigration levels must not be “arbitrary” and that targets should be established after consultation with the provinces and territories. She hopes to to see an increase in economic immigration to the Atlantic provinces and consideration to Francophonie targets.
Rempel said she is proud that because of a Conservative motion, Yazidi victims of ISIS genocide will be among the priority groups brought in to Canada.
“Our previous Conservative government oversaw the highest sustained levels of economic immigration in Canada’s history, while working to ensure persecuted ethnic, religious and sexual minorities were able to resettle in Canada,” she said in an email.
“We protected the integrity of our fair and generous immigration system by cracking down on crooked consultants who exploit prospective immigrants. Along with introducing the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, we also enhanced the Caregiver program to ensure faster processing, reunification and more protection against abuse.”
Don’t Look Now, But Canadian Jobs Might Actually Be Booming
September 7, 2016
Yesterday, The Huffington Post Canada published an interesting article, written by Daniel Tencer, regarding the Canadian job market. Considering how many inquiries our law firm receives on a daily basis about the Canadian job market and job prospects for new immigrants to this country, we thought this article was worthy of sharing with you and have reproduced its contents, below.
For those of you worried about all the bad news coming out recently about Canada’s job market, here’s a rare bit of good news: Those negative numbers might just be wrong.
Statistics Canada’s closely-watched labour force survey (LFS) has depressed job-seekers almost every month this year, but an alternate measure of jobs from the agency suggests the job market is actually doing very nicely, thank you very much.
StatsCan’s survey of payroll employment, earnings and hours (SEPH) found Canada added a whopping 52,700 jobs in June of this year, the latest month for which data is available in the SEPH. The earlier labour force survey had declared that Canada had lost 38,000 full-time jobs that month, excluding self-employment.
Media tend not to report on the (currently more positive) SEPH survey, because it comes out some six weeks later than the LFS, and the two often reflect similar trends. But right now the two job-market measures paint a picture of the past year that are like night and day.
The labour force survey found Canada has added a measly 0.6 per cent net new jobs over the past year, not enough to keep up with population growth of about 1.1 per cent. But the SEPH begs to differ: It says Canada added 1.2 per cent new jobs over the past year, more than population growth.
So … which one’s right?
(Photo: Mike Kemp via Getty Images)
“The truth is often somewhere in between,” wrote Bank of Montreal senior economist Benjamin Reitzes in a recent client note.
He noted that the large discrepancy between the two job measures “is not all that uncommon historically.”
That’s at least in part because these two surveys are just that — surveys, which have a margin of error.
In the case of the headline-grabbing labour force survey, that margin is 53,400 jobs, 19 times out of 20. So when the LFS says that Canada added 10,000 jobs, it means Canada may have added as many as 63,400 jobs, or it may have lost as many as 43,400 jobs. And one time out of 20, it’s not even that accurate.
Ouch. That’s pretty much why the experts tell you not to put too much stock in the monthly numbers — they really don’t mean much. It’s the cumulative numbers over months and years that paint a more accurate picture.
The Stanley Park seawall in Vancouver. British Columbia is Canada’s job-creation winner this year. (Photo: George Rose/Getty Images)
On a regional basis, StatsCan’s two measures paint a more similar picture. They both show Alberta is Canada’s weak spot for jobs right now, with the total number of jobs in the province falling three per cent in the past year, or 2.2 per cent, depending on which survey you believe.
And Ontario and British Columbia are still the winners, regardless of the survey you’re looking at.
B.C. is the hands-down jobs champion, adding 2.9 per cent new jobs, or 3.1 per cent new jobs, depending on the survey. Ontario takes the silver medal, adding 0.9 per cent new jobs in the labour force survey, and 2.3 per cent new jobs in the alternate SEPH.
So don’t panic about Canada’s job situation just yet. When it comes to unemployment data, sometimes the numbers are little more than a shot in the dark.
Save 20% on Your Express Entry to Canada!
September 6, 2016
Join Abrams & Krochak in celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. To celebrate, we are offering a discount on our legal fees for Express Entry Applications from 1,980 USD to 1,500 USD. That is a greater than 20% savings and we would like to pass the savings along to you! This limited time offer is our way of saying “thank you” to the tens of thousands of individuals from every part of the globe whom we have helped to relocate to Canada since 1996. We hope that you, too, will become a part of this great group of Canadian immigrants.
If you will recall, at some point since January 2015, we favourably assessed your eligibility to immigrate to Canada under the Express Entry System. If you have not yet created an Express Entry Online Profile and wish to take advantage of our offer of lower legal fees and enlist our assistance with an Express Entry Application, please take note of the following instructions:
To retain/engage Abrams & Krochak’s services, please download Abrams & Krochak’s Agreement by visiting:
In order to view the document, you must have Adobe Reader software installed on your computer. If you do not, the software can be downloaded free of charge by visiting:
Once you have downloaded the Agreement, you need only print your name AND insert your signature on the document, where indicated, and return the document to our office with your initial payment of our legal fees.
Once you are invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada, there is no reason why your Application would be refused. The two (2) most common reasons for refusal are (i) medical and/or criminal inadmissibility of the immigrant over which we have no control and (ii) misrepresentation of fact/fraudulent documents, again over which we have no control. In the event that you are not invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada, after being in the Express Entry pool for twelve (12) months, you can resubmit your candidacy on a limitless basis and we would help you to do so at no additional cost.
Payment instructions can be obtained by visiting:
The easiest way to remit payment is by credit card or VISA debit card online at https://www.akcanada.com/payment/
I wish to inform you that it has been our experience that sometimes, for your protection, credit/debit card companies refuse to authorize online payments if the amount exceeds a certain pre-set limit or if a payment is being remitted over the Internet, especially to an overseas company (for fear of a stolen credit/debit card and/or credit/debit card fraud). Your best course of action might be to telephone your card issuer and advise them that you will be making a payment online to Canada. More than likely, they will pre-authorize the transaction and then you can remit payment at https://www.akcanada.com/payment/
Should you follow this route, please note that our Online Payment Facility at https://www.akcanada.com/payment/ is secure. Please be advised that any personal information you supply is kept in the strictest confidence and, for your own protection, no information is held on any of our servers. Furthermore, our Online Payment Facility is secured by Chase Paymentech and cannot be viewed by any third party. All transactions are processed directly with our banking institutions by Chase Paymentech, the industry standard, at the highest available current encrypted security level.
The form asks for information about the cardholder. You will supply YOUR information.
The form also asks for information about the person on whose behalf payment is being made. Again, you will supply YOUR information.
The form asks for a six digit matter number. Leave this part blank. You will not be assigned a six digit matter number until such time as you are a client of our firm.
If remitting the first installment of our legal fees, via wire transfer, credit card or VISA debit card at:
the signed Agreement can be faxed or scanned and e-mailed to our office. If remitting the first installment of our legal fees, via money order/bank draft/cashier’s cheque/traveller’s cheque, the signed Agreement can be sent to our office, via mail or courier, in the same envelope as that in which you enclose your payment. We recommend you use a courier service such as FedEx/UPS/DHL since international mail to Canada can take several weeks to arrive.
Please ensure to inform us by what method and on what date you remit payment of the first installment of our legal fees so that we may monitor the status of your payment and anticipate its timely arrival in Canada. Once payment has been made, kindly provide us with the requested information at your earliest convenience.
Just as soon as your initial payment has been received by our office, we shall prepare our preliminary package to send to you, via e-mail, which contains all of the necessary forms, document checklists, instructions and information so as to enable you to commence the Immigration process to Canada with our assistance.
UNDER EXPRESS ENTRY, IF CANDIDATES MISREPRESENT THEIR QUALIFICATIONS TO CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION CANADA (WHETHER DELIBERATELY OR INADVERTENTLY), THEY RUN THE RISK OF BEING FOUND INADMISSIBLE FOR MISREPRESENTATION AND BARRED FOR FIVE (5) YEARS FROM APPLYING FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE. THIS IS ONE OF MANY COMPELLING REASONS WHY LEGAL REPRESENTATION AND ASSISTANCE WITH THE CREATION OF YOUR EXPRESS ENTRY ONLINE PROFILE IS RECOMMENDED.
We look forward to representing you and to seeing you, soon, in Canada!
Otherwise, if you wish to have your eligibility to immigrate to Canada under the Express Entry System assessed/reassessed by our law firm, please visit https://www.akcanada.com/assessment1.php and you will receive your new assessment within one (1) business day. Likewise, if you are an existing client of Abrams & Krochak and have a question, regarding your file, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>.