Tag Archive: ielts

Canada Announces New Immigration Stream – Agri-Food Pilot

May 15, 2020

The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced that, effective, today, Friday, May 15, 2020, Canada has begun accepting Applications for Permanent Residence under the Agri-Food Pilot.

The pilot, which runs until May 2023, will test an industry-specific approach to help employers in the meat processing, mushroom and greenhouse production, and livestock-raising industries fill ongoing labour needs for full-time, year-round employees. It will provide a pathway to Permanent Residence for many temporary foreign workers already in Canada.

A total of 2,750 Applications will be accepted annually throughout the pilot, which applies primarily to people who are already in Canada.

To apply for Permanent Residence under the Agri-Food Pilot, applicants need

  • eligible Canadian work experience in one or more of the eligible industries and occupations.  Eligible jobs for each eligible industry are listed below.

For meat product manufacturing, eligible jobs are

    • NOC B 6331 – Retail butchers
    • NOC C 9462 – Industrial butchers
    • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
    • NOC D 9617 – Food processing labourers

For greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production, eligible jobs are

    • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
    • NOC C 8431 – General farm workers
    • NOC D 8611 – Harvesting labourers

For animal production, excluding aquaculture, eligible jobs are

    • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
    • NOC C 8431 – General farm workers

There are annual limits on the number of Applications that will be processed for each eligible occupation.  Starting on January 1 of each year, Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. This pilot will last for 3 years.

Annual limits

 

Eligible occupation Number of applications accepted per year
Farm supervisor or specialized livestock worker (NOC B 8252)

50

Industrial butcher (NOC C 9462) or retail butcher (NOC B 6331)

1470

Food processing labourer (NOC D 9617)

730

General farm worker (NOC C 8431)

200

Harvesting labourer (NOC D 8611)

300

 

  • a full-time, non-seasonal job offer from a Canadian employer in one of the eligible industries and occupations (outside of Quebec)
  • to meet or exceed the language requirements (CLB 4, which is the equivalent of 4.5 in Listening, 3.5 in Reading and 4.0 in each of Speaking and Writing on the General IELTS)
  • to meet or exceed the educational requirements (the equivalent of a Canadian High School/Secondary School Diploma)
  • to have settlement funds (if applicable)
  • to maintain temporary resident status (if already in Canada)

If you believe you qualify for this new category of Immigration and are interested in obtaining legal assistance to apply, please send us a message through the Contact Us page on our website.

Possibly Increasing Your Chances With Express Entry-For Clients of Abrams & Krochak

January 5, 2015

We are writing for three (3) reasons: firstly, to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year; (ii) secondly, to thank you for your patronage in the past; and (iii) lastly, and most importantly, to provide you with valuable information, regarding Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s new Express Entry system, which could prove beneficial to you.


I. YOUR APPLICATION UNDER THE OLD SYSTEM

As you are aware, Abrams & Krochak filed your Federal Skilled Worker Application for Permanent Residence with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officials BEFORE January 1, 2015. For so long as you have been/are issued a file number by CIC for that Application, your Application will be processed under the OLD system.


II. A POSSIBLE NEW APPLICATION UNDER EXPRESS ENTRY

Even though you have already applied for Permanent Residence in Canada under the OLD system, CIC gives you the option of availing yourself of the new Express Entry system, too, and creating an Express Entry Online Profile, not only for yourself, but also for your spouse/partner (if applicable), if he/she is qualified to be a Federal Skilled Worker principal applicant. In doing so, you are increasing your chances of success, so to speak, because even though you already have an Application in process under the OLD system, CIC might select you OR your spouse/partner from the pool of Express Entry candidates and invite you/him/her to submit another Application for Permanent Residence in Canada. If you/he/she are/is invited to apply, CIC promises processing times of SIX (6) MONTHS OR LESS.

III. COSTS INVOLVED

Legal Fees

If you would like Abrams & Krochak to assist you to create an Express Entry Online Profile, we would charge you an additional payment of 495 CAD per profile (i.e. if you only want an Express Entry Online Profile for yourself, we would charge you 495 CAD; if you want an Express Entry Online Profile for both you AND your spouse/partner, we would charge you 990 CAD (495 CAD x 2). There would be no additional legal fees, other than whatever legal fees are outstanding as per your signed Agreement with Abrams & Krochak. That is to say, if you have already made two (2) payments of legal fees to Abrams & Krochak under your Agreement and you or your spouse/partner are/is invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada under Express Entry, you would proceed to make your third payment of legal fees and so on. Likewise, if you have already made three (3) payments of legal fees to Abrams & Krochak under your Agreement and you or your spouse/partner are/is invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada under Express Entry, you would proceed to make your final payment of legal fees.

Government Fees

CIC does not charge you to create an Express Entry Online Profile. If you decide to create an Express Entry Online Profile and you are invited by CIC to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada, however, new Government of Canada processing fees and Right of Permanent Residence fees would apply (in addition to those already remitted with your previous Application under the OLD system).

IV. HOW DOES EXPRESS ENTRY WORK

The Express Entry system involves two (2) steps:

Step 1 – Completion of Online Express Entry Profile

Abrams & Krochak will complete an Online Express Entry profile on behalf of interested clients. This is a secure form that gathers information about their:

  • skills,
  • work experience,
  • language ability,
  • education, and
  • other details that will help CIC assess their eligibility.

Those who meet CIC’s criteria will be accepted into a pool of candidates.

Anyone who does not already have a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (if needed) or a nomination from a province or territory, must register with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Job Bank. Job Bank will eventually help connect Express Entry candidates with eligible employers in Canada.

Candidates are also encouraged to promote themselves to employers in other ways, such as using job boards, recruiters etc.

In most cases when there is a job being offered to a candidate, employers will need an LMIA from ESDC. The LMIA process ensures employers have made an effort to hire Canadians for available jobs. There will be no LMIA government fee for Permanent Resident Applications.

Step 2 – Highest Ranking Candidates in the Pool Will Be Invited to Apply for Permanent Residence

Candidates will be ranked against others in the pool using a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS will assess the profile information candidates submit, including:

  • skills,
  • work experience,
  • language ability,
  • education and other factors.

A candidate can get additional points for:

  • a job offer supported by an LMIA, or
  • a nomination by a province or territory

CIC will choose candidates from the pool through regular “draws”, choosing a pre-determined number of candidates with the highest scores from the pool and inviting them to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada.

Draws will be made from the Express Entry pool on a regular basis. Every draw will have a set of instructions the electronic system will use to draw candidates from the pool. These instructions will be posted on the CIC website before each draw.

These instructions will include:

  • the date of the next draw,
  • the number of candidates that will get an Invitation To Apply, and
  • if it applies, which specific Immigration program(s) will be included in the draw.

If the instructions do not specify which Immigration program the candidates must be eligible for, the draw will be based on the CRS score.

If someone is invited to apply, they will have sixty (60) days to submit an online Application for Permanent Residence.

CIC will process the majority of complete Applications (meaning those with all the necessary supporting documents) in six (6) months or less.

Candidates can stay in the pool for up to twelve (12) months. If they do not get an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence within twelve (12) months of submitting an Express Entry profile, they may submit a new profile. If they still meet the criteria, they can re-enter the pool. This will prevent backlogs and ensure quick processing times.

V. HOW TO PROCEED

If you are interested in creating an Express Entry Online Profile with Abrams & Krochak assistance or, if you have any question regarding this e-mail or Express Entry, in general, please send an e-mail to info@akcanada.com and we will respond to you with further instructions/information.

Creating Your Express Entry Online Profile-For Clients of Abrams & Krochak

January 5, 2015

This posting will provide you with a roadmap as to how we will be proceeding with your proposed Canadian Immigration plans under the new Express Entry Processing System.


PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING E-MAIL CAREFULLY! ACTION IS REQUIRED ON YOUR PART REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU ARE IN TERMS OF PROCESSING.


A. YOUR RETAINER AGREEMENT WITH ABRAMS & KROCHAK

Abrams & Krochak has revised its Retainer Agreement to correlate with the milestones associated with the Express Entry system. If you wish to proceed with your proposed Canadian Immigration plans with Abrams & Krochak’s assistance, we require you to sign and date a new Retainer Agreement, which can be accessed by clicking on the following link: http://www.akcanada.com/resources/ind_contract_2.pdf, regardless of whether or not you have already sent a previously signed and dated Retainer Agreement. The signed and dated Retainer Agreement MUST be returned to our office by either scanning it and e-mailing it to or faxing it to +1-416-482-0647. We will NOT resume working on your file until this document is in our possession.

Under the new Retainer Agreement, legal fees of 1,980 CAD remain the same; however, the schedule/timing of payments has changed. Now:

  • 495 CAD is payable now in order for us to be able to commence work on your file by sending you our firm’s preliminary package, which contains all of the necessary documents, instructions and information so as to enable you to complete your Online Express Entry Profile;
  • 495 CAD is payable once you have been invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada by Citizenship and Immigration Canada;
  • 495 CAD is payable upon acknowledgment of receipt of your complete Application for Permanent Residence from Citizenship and Immigration Canada; and
  • 495 CAD is payable at the time that Citizenship and Immigration Canada notifies Abrams & Krochak and/or you that an interview appears not to be necessary in your case/an interview appears to be necessary in your case and/or at time of issuance of Immigration Medical Examination Forms (whichever event is earlier).

Because you have already paid the initial payment of 495 CAD to Abrams & Krochak, you can strike a line through Section II, 1(a) of the Retainer Agreement (followed by your initials), which reads:

(a) Upon signing of this Agreement, the client shall make an initial payment of 495 CAD

If you have already made a second payment of 495 CAD to Abrams & Krochak, you can also strike a line through Section II, 1(b) of the Retainer Agreement (followed by your initials), which reads:

(b) Upon receipt by the client or Abrams & Krochak of an invitation from Citizenship
and Immigration Canada to the client to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada,
the client shall make a further payment of 495 CAD

The previous Retainer Agreement that you signed with Abrams & Krochak IS NO LONGER VALID and is being replaced and SUPERCEDED by the new Retainer Agreement as described, above. Furthermore, the Money-Back Guarantee offered in our previous Retainer Agreement NO LONGER APPLIES.

Under the current Retainer Agreement, additional legal fees are only payable if you are invited by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada. If you are invited to apply and do not succeed, your Application would only fail for (i) reasons for criminal/medical inadmissibility; (ii) misrepresentation or fraud; (iii) failure to follow instructions of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and/or Abrams & Krochak, all factors over which Abrams & Krochak has no control and, therefore, cannot offer a guarantee.

If you are NOT invited to apply, after twelve (12) months, you have the option of renewing your candidacy for Permanent Residence in Canada as part of the Express Entry Pool; however, no additional legal fees are payable to Abrams & Krochak, other than your first or (in some cases) second payment of legal fees which you will have already paid.

B. CREATING AN EXPRESS ENTRY ONLINE PROFILE FOR YOUR SPOUSE/COMMON-LAW PARTNER/SAME-SEX PARTNER

Under the Express Entry processing system, candidates have the ability to create an Express Entry Online Profile not only for themselves but for their accompanying spouse/common-law partner/same-sex partner, too, if that spouse/partner could also qualify as a principal applicant in a Federal Skilled Worker Class Application for Permanent Residence in Canada. In doing so, candidates increase their chances of being invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada (i.e. Citizenship and Immigration Canada can invite EITHER spouse/partner to apply).

If you are certain that your spouse/common-law partner/same-sex partner could qualify as a Federal Skilled Worker Class principal applicant and you would like Abrams & Krochak to create an Express Entry Online Profile for him/her, additional legal fees of 495 CAD would apply. If either of you are invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada, our Retainer Agreement would cover the individual who is invited.

If you are not certain whether your spouse/common-law partner/same-sex partner could qualify as a Federal Skilled Worker Class principal applicant, please send an e-mail to info@akcanada.com with a request that we assess your spouse/partner as a possible principal applicant for the Federal Skilled Worker Class.

C. CREATING YOUR EXPRESS ENTRY ONLINE PROFILE AND APPLICATION FORMS

For most of you, when you retained our services and received our Preliminary Package, we sent you Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Application forms in PDF format. The information requested in these forms is needed by Abrams & Krochak to create your Express Entry Online Profile. Please read the following scenarios, carefully, and follow the instructions as per the scenario that applies to you.

(a) For those who already received computer generated Application forms from Abrams & Krochak

If you already been sent your computer generated Application forms by Abrams & Krochak, when you return your new signed and dated Retainer Agreement to our office, please confirm that the information as contained in your computer generated forms remains the same and that there are no changes and/or updates in information of which the firm should be made aware. We will send you an e-mail with further information/instructions upon receipt of your confirmation.

(b) For those who have sent draft Application forms to Abrams & Krochak for review but have not yet received finalized computer generated Application forms from Abrams & Krochak

When you return your new signed and dated Retainer Agreement to our office, please provide us with the information that was previously requested by our law firm to finalize your forms as this information will be needed to create your Express Entry Online Profile.

(c) For those that never sent draft Application forms to Abrams & Krochak for review

When you return your new signed and dated Retainer Agreement to our office, please send your completed Application forms as per the instructions that were provided to you in your preliminary package.

(d) For those that never received blank Application forms with their Preliminary Package

If you never received blank Application forms with your Preliminary Package, when you return your new signed and dated Retainer Agreement to our office, please include a request for blank Application forms to fill out.

If you have any questions regarding this e-mail, please send an e-mail to info@akcanada.com. Given the volume of clients of our firm affected by the new Express Entry system, please allow us some time to reply to your correspondence. You will receive a reply according to the order in which your e-mail was received.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT UNDER THE NEW EXPRESS ENTRY SYSTEM, THERE IS NO QUOTA AND NO DEADLINE FOR APPLYING. THEREFORE, YOUR PATIENCE IS MOST SINCERELY APPRECIATED.

Express Entry to Launch on January 1, 2015

December 4, 2014

EXPRESS ENTRY

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has implemented a new method of processing candidates for Immigration to Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class, the Canadian Experience Class and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program called “Express Entry”, which will take effect on January 1, 2015. The Express Entry system involves two (2) steps:

Step 1 – Completion of Online Express Entry Profile

Candidates will complete an Online Express Entry profile. This is a secure form that gathers information about their:

  • skills,
  • work experience,
  • language ability,
  • education, and
  • other details that will help Citizenship and Immigration Canada assess their eligibility.

Those who meet Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s criteria will be accepted into a pool of candidates.

Anyone who does not already have a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (if needed) or a nomination from a province or territory, must register with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Job Bank. Job Bank will eventually help connect Express Entry candidates with eligible employers in Canada.

Candidates are also encouraged to promote themselves to employers in other ways, such as using job boards, recruiters etc.

In most cases when there is a job being offered to a candidate, employers will need an LMIA from ESDC. The LMIA process ensures employers have made an effort to hire Canadians for available jobs. There will be no LMIA government fee for Permanent Resident Applications.

Step 2 – Highest Ranking Candidates in the Pool Will Be Invited to Apply for Permanent Residence

Candidates will be ranked against others in the pool using a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS will assess the profile information candidates submit, including:

  • skills,
  • work experience,
  • language ability,
  • education and other factors.

A candidate can get additional points for:

  • a job offer supported by an LMIA, or
  • a nomination by a province or territory
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada will choose candidates from the pool through regular “draws”, choosing a pre-determined number of candidates with the highest scores from the pool and inviting them to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada.

    Draws will be made from the Express Entry pool on a regular basis. Every draw will have a set of instructions the electronic system will use to draw candidates from the pool. These instructions will be posted on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website before each draw.

    These instructions will include:

    • the date of the next draw,
    • the number of candidates that will get an Invitation To Apply, and
    • if it applies, which specific Immigration program(s) will be included in the draw.

    If the instructions do not specify which Immigration program the candidates must be eligible for, the draw will be based on the CRS score.

    If someone is invited to apply, they will have sixty (60) days to submit an online Application for Permanent Residence.

    Citizenship and Immigration Canada will process the majority of complete Applications (meaning those with all the necessary supporting documents) in six (6) months or less.

    Candidates can stay in the pool for up to twelve (12) months. If they do not get an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence within twelve (12) months of submitting an Express Entry profile, they may submit a new profile. If they still meet the criteria, they can re-enter the pool. This will prevent backlogs and ensure quick processing times.

    HOW ABRAMS & KROCHAK CAN HELP YOU – OUR SERVICES

    To have your eligibility to immigrate to Canada under the Express Entry system assessed by Abrams & Krochak, please visit http://www.akcanada.com/assessment1.cfm.  You will receive your assessment within one (1) business day.

    If you become a client of Abrams & Krochak, the law firm can help you at both Step 1 and Step 2 of the Application process.

    Step 1 – Requirements to Complete Online Express Entry Profile and Abrams & Krochak’s Assistance

    (i) You must undergo formal language testing by a language testing agency designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and achieve minimum scores mandated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

    Abrams & Krochak will provide you with detailed information regarding which agencies are authorized to test your language abilities; where their offices are located; what fees are involved; which test dates are available; what scores are required; and where to send the test results.

    (ii) You must have your educational credentials assessed against Canadian standards by an agency designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

    Abrams & Krochak will provide you with detailed information regarding which agencies are authorized to assess your educational credentials; where their offices are located; what supporting documentation is required; what fees are involved; and where to send the assessment results.

    (iii) You must ensure that your work experience is in accordance with Canada’s National Occupational Classification system, Skill Types 0, A or B.

    Abrams & Krochak will review your employment history and work with you to ensure that your stated work experience is in accordance with Canada’s National Occupational Classification system, Skill Types 0, A or B. Abrams & Krochak will do so by providing you with Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s job definition for your stated occupation(s) and reviewing the associated job duties and responsibilities with you to ensure that they apply to you.

    (iv) You must ensure that the information you provide in your Online Express Entry Profile is accurate.

    Abrams & Krochak will review your supporting documentation, pertaining to such things as your education and work experience, and cross-reference the information in your documents to the information that you provide in your Online Express Entry Profile to ensure that the information provided to Citizenship and Immigration Canada in the Online Express Entry Profile is accurate.

    THIS SERVICE IS EXTEREMELY IMPORTANT! 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.

    Step 2 – Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence and Abrams & Krochak’s Assistance

    If you receive an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence, Abrams & Krochak will assist you, further, by providing you with the following additional services:

    • Preparation and computer generation of any Application forms required for electronic transmission to you for your review and approval prior to our submission of them to Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials;
    • Organization, review and analysis of your documentation to be filed with Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials in support of your Application for Permanent Residence in Canada;
    • Drafting of detailed written, legal arguments for electronic transmission to you for your review and approval prior to our submission of them to Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials in support of your Application for Permanent Residence in Canada (where necessary);
    • Provision of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s definition(s) of your stated occupation(s) to assist you with the procurement of letters of reference in support of your Application for Permanent Residence in Canada as required by Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials;
    • Review and critique of your draft letters of reference;
    • Regular monitoring of the status of your file and follow up, when necessary, with Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials regarding the status of your Application for Permanent Residence in Canada;
    • Regular monitoring of the status of your file and follow up, when necessary, with other concerned departments of the Government of Canada (i.e. Immigration Health Services/Case Management Branch-Immigration Headquarters) regarding the status of your Application for Permanent Residence in Canada;
    • Assistance and advice in preparation for your interview with visa officials (should an interview be necessary) by providing you with sample interview questions for your responses and Abrams & Krochak’s subsequent review and analysis;
    • Assistance to procure employment in Canada;
    • Assistance to find accommodation and schooling for your children (if applicable) upon your arrival in Canada; and
    • Assistance with applying for health care and social insurance upon your arrival in Canada.

    We invite all clients to meet with us, personally, at our offices in Toronto after their arrival in Canada so as to enable us to help ensure that their move to this country is problem-free.

    If you are not nominated to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada under the Express Entry system OR if your educational/professional credentials are not favourably assessed by the Canadian foreign credentials assessment agency, Abrams & Krochak will work with you to explore other options to make your proposed Canadian Immigration plans a success (i.e. Arranged Employment/Provincial Nominee Programs/Temporary Visas (i.e. Work Permits/Study Permits), etc.).

    DEADLINE FOR FILING FEDERAL SKILLED WORKER APPLICATIONS

    November 28, 2014

    Citizenship and Immigration Canada has just amended its website and has confirmed that, in order for a Federal Skilled Worker Application to be assessed under CURRENT eligibility and selection criteria (i.e. May 1, 2014 General Occupations (Demand) List and 67 point pass mark), the Application MUST be received by Citizenship and Immigration Canada BEFORE January 1, 2015.

    What does this mean?
    (a) Existing Clients of Abrams & Krochak
    If you are a Federal Skilled Worker Program client of Abrams & Krochak who has not yet filed his/her Application for Permanent Residence in Canada but wishes to be assessed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada under the CURRENT Federal Skilled Worker eligibility/selection criteria (i.e. May 1, 2014 General Occupations (Demand) List and 67 point pass mark), your COMPLETE Application package (including forms/supporting documents/IELTS scores/Educational Credentials Assessment/Government fees) MUST be received by Abrams & Krochak NO LATER THAN December 15, 2014.  Otherwise, you run the risk that your Application will not be filed before January 1, 2015 and you will be subject to the new Express Entry processing system.
    If your COMPLETE Application package arrives at Abrams & Krochak’s office AFTER December 15, 2014, we cannot guarantee that your Application will be filed with Citizenship and Immigration Canada prior to January 1, 2015.  However, should clients wish to pay a 400 CAD priority processing fee to Abrams & Krochak, our staff will work over the Christmas holidays to ensure that your Application is filed prior to January 1, 2015.
    Any questions should be sent, via e-mail, to info@akcanada.com.

    (b) Potential Clients of Abrams & Krochak

    If you have had your eligibility to immigrate to Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class favourably assessed by Abrams & Krochak PRIOR TO November 28, 2014 and wish to become a client of the firm, but have not yet retained/engaged Abrams & Krochak’s services, Abrams & Krochak will NOT be able to file your Application under the current Federal Skilled Worker Program (i.e. May 1, 2014 General Occupations (Demand) List and 67 point pass mark), should you subsequently become a client of the firm.  Your Application will be subject to the new Express Entry system to take effect on January 1, 2015 and you should send an e-mail to askus@akcanada.com, with the request for a reassessment of your Immigration eligibility under the Express Entry system.
    WHAT IS EXPRESS ENTRY?

    The Express Entry system will take effect on January 1, 2015 and involves two (2) steps:Step 1

    Potential candidates will complete an online Express Entry profile where they will provide information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other details. Those who meet the criteria of one of the federal economic Immigration programs (i.e. Federal Skilled Worker) subject to Express Entry will be placed in a pool of candidates.
    Candidates will be ranked against others in the pool. Only the highest-ranked candidates (those deemed to have the best chances for economic success), and those with qualifying offers of arranged employment or provincial/territorial nominations, will be invited to apply for Permanent Residence.
    If a candidate does not already have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer or a provincial/territorial nomination, he or she must register with the Government of Canada’s Job Bank which will connect him or her with eligible Canadian employers.
    Where applicable, employers will be required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment from Employment and Social Development Canada. There will be no government fee for Labour Market Impact Assessments for Permanent Residence Applications under the Express Entry system.
    Completing an online Express Entry profile does not guarantee that a candidate will receive an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence.

    Step 2

    Candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence if they rank among the top in the pool, based on their skills and experience. Candidates who have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer (subject to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process in place at that time) or have been nominated by a province or territory will be given high scores in the ranking system.
    Candidates will have sixty (60) days to submit an electronic Application for Permanent Residence through one of the following programs:
    Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP);
    Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP);
    Canadian Experience Class (CEC); or,
    A portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada will process the majority of complete Applications (i.e. Applications including all the necessary supporting documents) within six (6) months or less.
    Candidates in the Express Entry pool who do not receive an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence after twelve (12) months may resubmit their profile and re-enter the pool if they still meet the criteria. This provision will prevent backlogs and ensure quick processing times.

    Immigration consultant arrested

    January 14, 2011

    The RCMP has arrested a Quebec immigration consultant accused of providing Canadian citizenship and immigration documents to hundreds of residents of Middle East countries who then collected tax benefits from Ottawa.

    Ahmad El-Akhal, 62, was arrested in Montreal on Thursday following a 2½-year investigation by the RCMP’s Immigration and Passport and Commercial Crimes sections. His wife was also arrested, as well as a suspected accomplice in Mississauga.

    The arrests have shed light on an audacious scheme that led to more than 200 Middle East citizens–none of whom lived in Canada — fraudulently obtaining Canadian citizenship, immigration and travel documents as well as a half-million dollars worth of federal tax benefits.

    Citizenship and Immigration Canada said on Thursday it was reviewing the matter and may revoke the citizenship and immigration status of those involved. It also said it would ensure that benefits were no longer paid to those not entitled to them.

    The alleged crimes date back as far as 1999 but the investigation did not begin until 2008, when CIC officials noticed that 320 permanent residence applicants had given the same addresses as their residence in Canada. Almost all were eventually linked to Mr. El-Akhal.

    “Basically, this individual passed himself off as an immigration consultant and assisted these people in obtaining permanent resident status and submitted the applications for them,” said Sergeant Marc LaPorte, the RCMP spokesman for Ontario.

    Once they were issued their immigration and citizenship papers, Mr. El-Akhal would then apply for Income Tax benefits for them, Sgt. LaPorte said. “This guy would fill out the tax returns and documents to get benefits back in the names of these people,” he said. “They were getting tax refunds, goods and services tax rebates, child credit tax benefits, so the whole gamut.”

    Mr. El-Akhal, who lives in L’ile-Bizard, Que., has been charged with 58 counts, including forgery, fraud and conspiracy. Police said he worked out of his home and was not a registered professional immigration consultant.

    Also arrested was his wife, Tahani Mohamad Hassan El-Akhal, 53. She was charged with possession of proceeds obtained by crime in the amount of $155,000. Mississauga resident Hussam Hassan Ali Saif, 44, faces three charges under the Citizenship Act.

    “He was the leasor of some of the residences. And also he forged lease agreements and created mail addresses for these people. He actually collected the mail and gathered the information and sent it back to Montreal,” Sgt. LaPorte said.

    The three accused were scheduled to appear in a Brampton court on Friday for a bail hearing.

    Despite the three arrests, the government still faces a significant challenge: how to reclaim and nullify the scores of Canadian documents it wrongly issued and that are now scattered throughout the Middle East.

    “It is important to note that while over 300 files were implicated, we can confirm only five people had obtained Canadian citizenship,” said Melanie Carkner, a CIC spokeswoman.

    “Other cases are being reviewed in terms of their continued status of permanent residence, which is the last step before citizenship. In the case of the five, all appropriate action will be taken to ensure that people do not obtain benefits they aren’t entitled to.

    “In cases where CIC determines that residence requirements have not been met, Canadian citizenship will be refused or may be revoked and appropriate enforcement measures may be initiated that could lead to loss of permanent resident status and eventual removal from Canada.”

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