Tag Archive: permanent residence

Medical Inadmissibility Rules Relaxed

April 19, 2018

On April 16, 2018, The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced changes to the medical inadmissibility provision of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The changes will loosen the rules than deem some prospective immigrants inadmissible on medical grounds.

The Minister said the medical inadmissibility policy, which has been in place for more than 40 years, is “way out of date” and not in line with Canadian values or government policies of inclusion.

Under the revised policy, applicants will not be denied permanent residence if they or any of their children have developmental delays, special education requirements, or a hearing or visual impairment. The anticipated health-care cost threshold — the sum a prospective immigrant cannot exceed in annual health care costs in order to be admissible — will increase to about $20,000 a year, about three times the previous threshold.

The upcoming policy changes (the removal of certain social services, such as special education, and an increase in the cost threshold) address the issue of inclusion, as they would mean that most people with disabilities would no longer be inadmissible.

By tripling the cost threshold, many applicants, particularly those with conditions that primarily require publicly funded prescription drugs (for example, HIV), would likely become admissible because the cost of most of these medications, particularly the generic brands, would not typically exceed the new cost threshold.

Amending the definition of social services will bring the policy in line with Canadian values on supporting the participation of persons with disabilities in society, while continuing to protect publicly funded health and social services. This would also benefit applicants with intellectual disabilities, applicants with hearing or visual impairments, and others.

To improve client service and enhance transparency, a number of measures will be implemented. These include the following:

  • centralization of medical inadmissibility applications to one office in Canada for greater consistency and efficiency in decision-making
  • plain-language review and revamp of departmental procedures and products to facilitate the application process and ensure clear communication with clients
  • ongoing training of decision makers and medical officers to support these changes

 

Multi-Year Immigration Levels Plan Announced

November 2, 2017

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), announced the Government of Canada’s multi-year Immigration levels plan that will grow the number of permanent residents Canada welcomes annually.

Beginning with 310,000 new permanent residents in 2018, the plan will grow to 330,000 in 2019 and 340,000 in 2020, trending towards one percent of the population by 2020.

Each Immigration class will see a steady increase over the three-year period. The majority of the increase will be in economic programs.

More Changes to Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

April 4, 2017

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 June 6, 2017.

 

What are the changes?

 

1. French Language Ability

On June 6, 2017, Express Entry candidates with strong French language skills, with or without English language skills, will be awarded additional points by the CRS.

A total of 15 additional points will be awarded for test results of the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NLC) at level 7 in all four language skills in French (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and an English test result of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 or lower.

A total of 30 additional points will be awarded for test results of the NLC at level 7 in all four skills in French and English test results of CLB 5 or higher.

 

2. Sibling (Brother/Sister) in Canada

Previously, the system did not award any points to candidates with siblings in Canada. On June 6, 2017, the Express Entry system will award 15 points to candidates with siblings in Canada.

To get these points, candidates will need to show that the sibling is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is living in Canada and is 18 years of age or older.

The sibling in Canada must share a mother or father with the principal Express Entry applicant or their spouse or common-law partner. This relationship can be through blood, marriage, common-law partnership or adoption.

 

3. Job Bank

Previously, candidates were required to create a Job Bank account (after creating their Express Entry Online Profile) if they did not have a valid job offer or a provincial or territorial nomination before they were placed in the pool and became eligible for an invitation round.

On June 6, 2017, Job Bank registration for Express Entry candidates becomes voluntary for all candidates.

Candidates who meet the minimum entry criteria for Express Entry will be automatically placed into the pool and immediately eligible for invitation rounds. If they do not currently have a job in Canada and would like to start their job search, they will be able to register for Job Bank.

Employers will still be able to use all of their existing recruiting methods, including Job Bank, to find Express Entry candidates and Abrams & Krochak will continue to create Job Bank accounts for its clients as part of its services.

Canada Has New Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

January 11, 2017

REPRODUCED FROM “THE GLOBE AND MAIL”

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.

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);

and

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,

OR

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,

OR

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.