Tag Archive: immigration

Canada Has New Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

January 11, 2017


A former Somali refugee is now overseeing Canada’s federal immigration policies after a cabinet shuffle Tuesday.

Ahmed Hussen, who arrived in Canada as a refugee from Somalia at the age of 16, was sworn in as Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship at a Rideau Hall ceremony. He replaces John McCallum, who is leaving politics and heading to Beijing as Canada’s new envoy to China.

The rookie MP for the Toronto riding of York South-Weston is also the first Somali-Canadian to hold a seat in Parliament; his election made news across the world, including on BBC Africa and Al Jazeera.

Mr. Hussen arrived in Canada as a refugee in 1993 and settled in Toronto’s Regent Park community. While he is proud of his Somali heritage, he hopes to be more than the token Somali in the Liberal cabinet.

“As members of Parliament and members of the cabinet, each of us coming into public life are informed … by their different experiences that they bring to the table. And I’m no different in that sense. I’ll bring my experience as an immigrant to Canada, but also an immigration lawyer, someone who worked many, many years before running for office as a community activist, a community organizer and a community advocate,” Mr. Hussen told reporters on Parliament Hill Tuesday.

Mr. Hussen’s commitment to public service began after high school, when he began working for the Hamilton-Wentworth social-services department. He eventually returned to Toronto, where he completed an undergraduate degree in history at York University.

Returning to his roots, Mr. Hussen co-founded the Regent Park Community Council in 2002 and helped secure a $500-million revitalization project for the area.

His first foray into the political realm took place at the provincial level in Ontario, where he worked as an assistant to Dalton McGuinty, who was leader of the official opposition at the time. He followed Mr. McGuinty to the premier’s office after the Liberal win in 2003. Mr. McGuinty spoke highly of Mr. Hussen, describing him as a “natural leader.”

“He sees politics as public service and he is driven in large measure by a sense of indebtedness for the opportunity he found in Canada, his adoptive country. He’s just a great Canadian story. Canada welcomed him and now he will help us welcome others,” Mr. McGuinty said in an e-mail statement.

Mr. Hussen went on to attend the University of Ottawa’s law school and began practising in the areas of criminal defence, immigration, refugee and human-rights law. He continued to maintain links to his heritage as national president of the Canadian Somali Congress and, in that capacity, testified to the U.S. Homeland Security Committee on radicalization within the Canadian Somali community in 2011.

Mahamad Accord, who met Mr. Hussen eight years ago through their work with the Canadian Somali Congress, said Mr. Hussen was always bound for success.

“He’s a natural. He’s an advocate for human rights. He’s a warm-hearted person,” Mr. Accord told The Globe and Mail. “His personality is exceptional, but at the same time his experience, it shows.”

Mr. Hussen comes into his new role amidst growing anti-immigrant sentiments south of the border, as U.S. president-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office next week. Ruby Latif, a long-time friend of Mr. Hussen who worked with him at Queen’s Park, said Mr. Hussen is exactly who Canada needs as immigration minister at this time.

“The portfolio really needs somebody who understands what’s happening to vulnerable people in vulnerable communities, especially with what’s happening across the border,” Ms. Latif said. “Somebody like Ahmed understands the issues of immigrants, visible minorities.”

Mr. Hussen, a father of two boys, is fluent in English, Somali and Swahili.

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.

Big dilemma

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.”


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.


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 info@akcanada.com<mailto:info@akcanada.com>.


Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (Regional Labour Market Demand Stream) NOW CLOSED

April 28, 2014

On Monday, April 28, 2014, the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration announced that the Regional Labour Market Demand Stream is now closed and will not be accepting any Applications that are not received in the office and/or post-marked by end-of-day April 28, 2014.

The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration is processing Applications to reach the 150 nominations. Applications are being dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis.

Once the 150 nominees are identified, any Applications that are not processed will be returned to applicants.

The Stream will open again on January 1st, 2015. Anyone whose Application was returned is encouraged to re-apply at that time.

If you are an existing client of Abrams & Krochak and have already had your Application filed with the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration on or before April 28, 2014, you can disregard this message as you wait to see whether you have been nominated by Nova Scotia.

If you are an existing client of Abrams & Krochak and have not yet had your Application filed with the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration on or before April 28, 2014, you have two (2) options:

(i) You can send an e-mail to our office at info@akcanada.com and ask to have your eligibility to immigrate to Canada reassessed in the Federal Skilled Worker Class;


(ii) You can wait until the new Stream is announced around January 1, 2015 to see whether you still qualify and, if so, apply then.

Any correspondence on this issue from EXISTING, paid clients should be sent to info@akcanada.com, only.

New Federal Skilled Worker General Occupations (Demand) List and Quotas

April 23, 2014

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced new eligibility criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker Class. A maximum of twenty-five thousand (25,000) Federal Skilled Worker Applications will be considered for processing from May 1, 2014 until April 30, 2015. Within the twenty-five thousand (25,000) cap, a maximum of one thousand (1,000) Federal Skilled Worker Applications per eligible occupation (any one (1) of the fifty (50) occupations that appears on Canada’s General Occupations (Demand) List) will be considered for processing from May 1, 2014 until April 30, 2015.

In addition to meeting or surpassing a sixty-seven (67) point pass mark, in order for an individual to be eligible to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class, he/she must either:

• have an offer of Arranged Employment in Canada in:

(a) a management occupation; or

(b) a professional occupation; or

(c) a technical, skilled trade or paraprofessional occupation, OR

• be a skilled worker who has at least one (1) year of paid full-time experience or two (2) years of continuous paid half-time experience in one (1) or more of the following fifty (50) occupations, whose quota has not yet been filled, within the past ten (10) years.

Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services (0013)

Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c. (0015)

Financial managers (0111)

Human resources managers (0112)

Purchasing managers (0113)

Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers (0121)

Managers in health care (0311)

Construction managers (0711)

Home building and renovation managers (0712)

Managers in natural resources production and fishing (0811)

Manufacturing managers (0911)

Financial auditors and accountants (1111)

Financial and investment analysts (1112)

Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers (1113)

Other financial officers (1114)

Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations (1123)

Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers (1212)

Property administrators (1224)

Geoscientists and oceanographers (2113)

Civil engineers (2131)

Mechanical engineers (2132)

Electrical and electronics engineers (2133)

Petroleum engineers (2145)

Information systems analysts and consultants (2171)

Database analysts and data administrators (2172)

Software engineers and designers (2173)

Computer programmers and interactive media developers (2174)

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians (2232)

Construction estimators (2234)

Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians (2241)

Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics (2243)

Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety (2263)

Computer network technicians (2281)

Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors (3011)

Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (3012)

Specialist physicians (3111)

General practitioners and family physicians (3112)

Dietitians and nutritionists (3132)

Audiologists and speech-language pathologists (3141)

Physiotherapists (3142)

Occupational therapists (3143)

Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (3214)

Medical radiation technologists (3215)

Medical sonographers (3216)

Licensed practical nurses (3233)

Paramedical occupations (3234)

University professors and lecturers (4011)

Psychologists (4151)

Early childhood educators and assistants (4214)

Translators, terminologists and interpreters (5125)


a. Existing Clients of Abrams & Krochak

(i) Application already filed

If you are already a client of Abrams & Krochak and your Application for Permanent Residence in Canada was filed with and accepted for processing by Citizenship and Immigration Canada BEFORE May 1, 2014, the new quotas do NOT apply to you.

(ii) Application not yet filed

If you are already a client of Abrams & Krochak and your Application for Permanent Residence in Canada has not yet been filed with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, we will be sending you an e-mail shortly to advise you as to your eligibility based on the information that we have on file for you. Please ensure to check your Junk Mail folder as well as your Inbox for our e-mail over the coming days.

b. Non-Clients of Abrams & Krochak

(i) Eligibility already assessed

If you had your eligibility to immigrate to Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class already favourably assessed by Abrams & Krochak prior to April 23, 2014 and wish to have your eligibility reassessed, please send an e-mail to askus@akcanada.com with your request. You will receive your reassessment within one (1) business day.

If you had your eligibility to immigrate to Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class already favourably reassessed by Abrams & Krochak OR you are certain that you meet the eligibility requirements and you wish to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada as a Skilled Worker with our assistance, it is IMPERATIVE that you retain/engage our services AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE so that we can file your Application for Permanent Residence before the quota for your particular occupation is reached OR the quota for ALL Federal Skilled Worker Applications is reached. Otherwise, you may have to wait until a new “Express Entry” Immigration system is implemented in January 2015, whereby individuals will only be able to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada if they express an interest in immigrating to Canada and are chosen by either the Federal Government or a Provincial/Territorial Government or by a prospective Canadian employer. If you no longer have instructions on how to retain/engage Abrams & Krochak’s services, please visit http://www.akcanada.com/resources/ind.cfm

(ii) Eligibility not yet assessed

If you are interested in immigrating to Canada as a skilled worker but you have not yet had your eligibility to do so assessed by Abrams & Krochak, we invite you to complete our Free Online Assessment Questionnaire at http://www.akcanada.com/assessment1.cfm You will receive your assessment within one (1) business day.