Tag Archive: work permit

Lawyer versus consultant? Immigration data shows visa applicants have best shot with former

December 10, 2018

The following article appeared in the Sunday, December 9, 2018 edition of the Toronto Star newspaper. Its contents have been reproduced in their entirety. The article offers some interesting insights into the advantages of using the services of a Canadian Immigration lawyer over those of a Canadian Immigration consultant; however, we leave it up to our readers to draw their own conclusions.

By NICHOLAS KEUNG Immigration Reporter
Sun., Dec. 9, 2018

Foreign nationals who prepare their own Canadian visa applications are nearly as successful in being accepted as those who spend money on a consultant to do the job.

But chances of success are much higher if they hire an immigration lawyer to help get their study, work or visitor visas, according to immigration data obtained under an access to information request.

Canada received 342,154 temporary resident applications in 2017, the data shows. While 86 per cent of applicants declared themselves as self-represented, 6 per cent were represented by consultants and another 5 per cent by lawyers. The remaining 3 per cent hired Quebec notaries or used “non-remunerated” representatives.

Overall, 18.9 per cent of the applications were rejected. Those who prepared their own applications had a 19.3 per cent refusal rate, slightly higher than the 18 per cent among those who paid a consultant to do it.

In contrast, only 10.4 per cent of applications prepared by a lawyer were rejected. The refusal rates for applications prepared by Quebec notaries and unpaid representatives were 13.1 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively.

Marina Sedai, chair of the immigration section of the Canadian Bar Association, said she wasn’t surprised lawyers had the highest success rate.

“Canadian lawyers’ rigorous education, legal analysis skills, and high ethical standards enforced by an effective regulator, have long been understood to result in better outcomes,” Sedai said.

“Lawyers’ culture of the law being a calling rather than a business means that although lawyers will often take the tough cases, they will also protect clients by advising them against hopeless cases.”

When it comes to the lower success rate for consultants, lawyers are quick to point out that group has lower educational requirements and a less robust regulatory regime than lawyers. For their part, consultants say the immigration data is too general and doesn’t give the full picture.

“It is based on the flawed assumption that all applications are equally complex. In reality, applications completed by unpaid representatives may be far simpler, thus having a much higher chance of success,” said the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants in a statement to the Star.

Currently, licensed immigration consultants must meet a minimum language requirement and graduate from an accredited immigration practitioner program, which takes about a year to complete full time. While only about 1,000 lawyers practise immigration law, there are five times more licensed consultants in Canada.

“Immigration lawyers typically have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree before undergoing a very competitive process for admission to law school. Law school degrees take three years to complete and are also no cakewalk. Then there is the bar admissions course which must be passed, the articling process, etcetera,” said Toronto immigration lawyer Ravi Jain.

“Many immigration consultants have only completed online courses at a community college. The education and training is just not comparable.”

The immigration consultants’ association, which has more than 2,000 members, said it’s pleased more people are using consultants and believed that’s due to the generally higher fees charged by their lawyer counterparts.

Regulatory bodies for lawyers and consultants do not mandate how much their members can charge clients, but fees can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Jain, who is also vice chair of the bar association’s immigration division, said the success rate for lawyers would likely be even higher if not for the fact lawyers often take up very difficult and complex cases.

“A lot of my clients come to me after they have gone to a consultant or tried on their own,” Jain said, adding many are reluctant to lodge a complaint against their former consultant and prefer just to have him reapply.

“It’s much more difficult to obtain approvals when applications have already been refused,” he added.

Minister Announces Improvements to Spousal/Partner Sponsorship Application Process

December 7, 2016

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Minister, The Honourable John McCallum, made an announcement today, Wednesday, December 7, 2016, regarding improvements to the Spousal/Partner Sponsorship Application Process.  Among the improvements are:

  • processing times for all spousal/partner applicants, inside and outside Canada, will be cut from 24 to 12 months
  • a simplified guide (reduced from 180 to 75 pages in simpler language)
  • one checklist (not clear whether visa office checklists will be removed)
  • one relationship questionnaire
  • medical, criminality and security screening to be done after applying (no longer up front)
  • a new application kit for use by all spousal/partner applicants. Applicants will no longer have to choose between two different kits depending on whether they live in Canada or outside Canada. All applicants will use the same application kit. Since some applicants may have already started filling out their application using the current kit, IRCC will continue to accept new applications using the current kit until January 31, 2017. After this date, only applications using the new kit will be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin using the new kit, which is easier to use and understand, as soon as it is available on December 15, 2016.
  • along with the new 12-month processing commitment, IRCC will extend its pilot program which gives open work permits to eligible spouses or partners who are being sponsored and are in Canada, giving them the freedom to work while their applications for permanent residence are being processed. This pilot program ensures applicants are able to work, provide for their families and contribute to the Canadian economy while waiting for their applications to be processed. The pilot, currently slated to end on December 22, 2016, will be extended until December 21, 2017.

These changes are to be online on December 15, 2016.

The Minister will be making another announcement tomorrow, Thursday, December 8, 2017 around the 2017 intake process and application kits for the Parents and Grandparents class and the announcement will be posted on our website just as soon as it becomes available.

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.

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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.

job growth

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?

help wanted sign
(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.

vancouver british columbia
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.

Canadian Immigration News Update

January 24, 2012

AKCANADA IMMIGRATION NEWS

2011 is finally at an end. It was a year full of changes and new developments with respect to Canada’s Immigration system. This newsletter is a synopsis of all of those changes/new developments, which will continue to have an impact, well into 2012.

I. PARENTAL/GRANDPARENT SPONSORSHIPS – NEW “SUPER VISA”

Effective November 5, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada was not accepting any new applications to sponsor parents or grandparents for up to twenty-four (24) months. The Department’s rationale for this decision was that the “temporary pause” would allow the Government of Canada to focus on those applicants already awaiting a decision and reduce the backlog in the parents and grandparents category.

As an alternative to sponsorship, the Government of Canada introduced the new “Parent and Grandparent Super Visa,” which will be valid for up to ten (10) years. The multiple-entry visa will allow an applicant to remain in Canada for up to twenty-four (24) months at a time without the need for renewal of their status. The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa came into effect on December 1, 2011, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be able to issue the visas, on average, within eight (8) weeks of the application. Parent and Grandparent Super Visa applicants will be required to obtain private Canadian health-care insurance for their stay in Canada.

Before submitting an application for a Super Visa, it is necessary to have a letter of invitation from a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, proof that the Canadian citizen or permanent resident has sufficient income or savings to support the visitor for the duration of the visit, and some evidence of the visitor’s ties to his/her country of citizenship to satisfy the visa officer that the visitor will return home at the end of the visit.

II. INVESTOR CATEGORY QUOTA

For the first time, ever, Citizenship and Immigration Canada imposed a quota on new applications in the Investor Category of the Business Class. Under new rules announced by the Government of Canada on June 24, 2011, a maximum of seven hundred (700) Investor Applications would be considered for processing from July 1, 2011 until June 30, 2012. The quota was quickly met.

If you wish to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada as an Investor with our assistance, it is IMPERATIVE that you retain/engage our services AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE so that we can have your entire Application package prepared and ready for filing by July 1, 2012 when the new quota for Investor Applications for the period of July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 is announced.

III. ENTREPRENEUR CATEGORY MORATORIUM

Also on June 24, 2011, the Government of Canada announced that it is currently reviewing the Entrepreneur Category of the Business Class and imposed a moratorium on new applications. As a result, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has temporarily stopped accepting new applications until the review is finalized (the date of which is currently unknown).

IV. FEDERAL SKILLED WORKER QUOTA, DEMAND LIST AND POSSIBLE CHANGES TO POINTS SYSTEM

A. Quota

Under new rules announced by the Government of Canada on June 24, 2011, a maximum of ten thousand (10,000) Federal Skilled Worker Applications would be considered for processing from July 1, 2011 until June 30, 2012. Within the ten thousand (10,000) cap, a maximum of five hundred (500) Federal Skilled Worker Applications per eligible occupation (any one (1) of the twenty-nine (29) occupations that appears on Canada’s General Occupations (Demand) List) would be considered for processing from July 1, 2011 until June 30, 2012. The General Occupations (Demand) List for the period of July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 remained the same as that for the period of June 26, 2010 to June 30, 2011.

As of January 16, 2012, 6,774 Federal Skilled Worker applications had already been received by the Centralized Intake Office and the quotas for the following occupations had already been filled:

  • Restaurant and Food Service Managers
  • Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management
  • Biologists and Related Scientists
  • Specialist Physicians
  • General Practitioners and Family Physicians
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Registered Nurses

B. Demand List

As of January 16, 2012, the quotas for the following occupations remain unfilled:

  • Primary Production Managers (Except Agriculture)
  • Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners
  • Architects
  • Physiotherapists
  • Medical Radiation Technologists
  • Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Chefs
  • Cooks
  • Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades
  • Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades
  • Electricians (Except Industrial & Power System)
  • Industrial Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Welders & Related Machine Operators
  • Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
  • Crane Operators
  • Drillers & Blasters – Surface Mining, Quarrying & Construction
  • Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

If you wish to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker in one of the jobs whose quota has not yet been filled, it is imperative that you do so as quickly as possible so that your Application for Permanent Residence is filed 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 the new General Occupations (Demand) List is announced on July 1, 2012; however, should you do so, you run the risk that your occupation might no longer appear on that List, thereby rendering you ineligible to immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker.

C. Possible Changes to Points System

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is proposing changes to the Federal Skilled Worker program to help Canada select immigrants who have the best chance of integrating and making a better contribution to the Canadian economy.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is consulting with stakeholders and the public on the proposed changes. The input received through the consultation process will be taken into account in the development of new regulations, which could take effect as early as the late spring/summer of 2012!

What are some of the proposed changes?

  • introducing minimum official language thresholds and increasing points for language;
  • making changes to the assessment of education points to reflect a foreign educational credential’s value in Canada;
  • redistributing points for age to benefit younger immigrants who will be active members of the workforce for a longer timeframe;
  • reducing points for foreign work experience and increasing points for Canadian work experience;
  • increasing the integrity of and simplifying the process for the Arranged Employment factor; and
  • facilitating the immigration of skilled tradespersons through criteria that are more specific to those in the skilled trades.

V. SELF-EMPLOYED CATEGORY AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO FEDERAL SKILLED WORKER CLASS

Although there is a moratorium on new applications from Entrepreneurs, the quota for Investors is full and the quotas for the Federal Skilled Worker Class are quickly filling, one category of Immigration, which remains open and which has no quota is the Self-Employed category.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, a self-employed person means a foreign national who has relevant experience and has the intention and ability to be self-employed in Canada and to make a significant contribution to specified economic activities in Canada.

Relevant experience means a minimum of two (2) years of experience, during the period beginning five (5) years before the date of application for a permanent resident visa and ending on the day a decision is made on the application in any one of the following occupations:

I. Professional Occupations in Art and Culture

A. Librarians, Archivists, Conservators and Curators

  • 5111 Librarians
  • 5112 Conservators and Curators
  • 5113 Archivists

B. Writing, Translating and Public Relations Professionals

  • 5121 Authors and Writers
  • 5122 Editors
  • 5123 Journalists
  • 5124 Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications
  • 5125 Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters

C. Creative and Performing Artists

  • 5131 Producers, Directors, Choreographers and Related Occupations
  • 5132 Conductors, Composers and Arrangers
  • 5133 Musicians and Singers
  • 5134 Dancers
  • 5135 Actors and Comedians
  • 5136 Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists

II. Technical and Skilled Occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

A. Technical Occupations in Libraries, Archives, Museums and Art Galleries

  • 5211 Library and Archive Technicians and Assistants
  • 5212 Technical Occupations Related to Museums and Art Galleries

B. Photographers, Graphic Arts Technicians and Technical and Co-ordinating Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts

  • 5221 Photographers
  • 5222 Film and Video Camera Operators
  • 5223 Graphic Arts Technicians
  • 5224 Broadcast Technicians
  • 5225 Audio and Video Recording Technicians
  • 5226 Other Technical and Co-ordinating Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts
  • 5227 Support Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts

C. Announcers and Other Performers

  • 5231 Announcers and Other Broadcasters
  • 5232 Other Performers

D. Creative Designers and Craftspersons

  • 5241 Graphic Designers and Illustrators
  • 5242 Interior Designers
  • 5243 Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers
  • 5244 Artisans and Craftspersons
  • 5245 Patternmakers – Textile, Leather and Fur Products

E. Athletes, Coaches, Referees and Related Occupations

  • 5251 Athletes
  • 5252 Coaches
  • 5253 Sports Officials and Referees
  • 5254 Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness

If you have self-employed work experience in any of these occupations and would like to be considered for admission to Canada as a self-employed business immigrant, please complete our Online Assessment Questionnaire at http://www.abramsandkrochak.com and we will assess your eligibility to do so within one (1) business day.

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We hope you enjoyed this Newsletter. To keep up-to-date on Canadian Immigration news, please read our blog at http://www.akcanada.com

Abrams & Krochak has been helping people tens of thousands of people from around the world immigrate to Canada since 1996. If you need assistance with respect to applying for:

  • Permanent Residence (Federal Skilled Worker Class/Business Class/Family Class)
  • Citizenship
  • Permanent Resident Card Renewal
  • Super Visa
  • Work Permit
  • Study Permit
  • Visitor Visa

please send us a message at http://www.akcanada.com/contact.cfm and we will respond to your query within one (1) business day.

If you would like your eligibility to immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker, Business Immigrant or Member of the Family Class assessed by Abrams & Krochak OR if you would like your eligibility to sponsor a Member of the Family Class assessed by Abrams & Krochak, please visit:

http://www.abramsandkrochak.com

Honest immigration officer returns $10K to Canada-bound Filipino

December 1, 2010

Overcoming the temptation to use the money for his cancer-stricken mother’s hospital bills, an airport immigration officer returned the $10,000 left on his desk by a Canada-bound Filipino passenger.

Immigration officer Amando Amisola admitted in a radio interview Monday he was tempted to keep the <span>money</span> but eventually decided he had to do the right thing.

“Honestly naalala ko mother ko na Stage-4 cancer itatakbo that morning sa hospital. Kalalabas lang sa PGH kaya lang naghihingalo na. Pinakita ko sa kasamahan ko, parang sinasadya ng tadhana, parang pagsubok. Naisip ko di akin yan kaya isauli ko sa may-ari,”Amisola, 37, said in an interview on dzBB radio.

(Honestly I thought of my mother who is suffering from Stage-4 cancer. She was to be rushed to the hospital that day. I showed the envelope with the $10,000 to my work colleagues and remarked fate must be testing me. But in the end I decided the money was not mine, so I decided to return it.)

Amisola said the incident occurred on Saturday when Patricio Francisco accidentally left behind a brown envelope containing some documents and $10,000.

Francisco and his family were heading for Canada to start a new life there. Amisola said Francisco was overjoyed to see the money returned to him.

Amisola said he knew he would not be able to pay for his mother Rosita’s hospital bills but he was sure she would be happy because he did the right thing.

He said his mother is suffering from ovary cancer and had been brought out of the Intensive Care Unit at the University of Santo Tomas Hospital in Manila because his family could not afford to pay the hospital bills.

She had been moved to an isolation room, he said.

“Masaya siya sa ginawa ko dahil tama ang ginawa ko … Marunong po ang Diyos (My mother would be happy because I did the right thing. I know God will provide),” he said.– VVP, GMANews.TV

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/207113/

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Victims Duped by Immigration Fraudster

May 4, 2010
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The law firm of Abrams & Krochak, Canadian Immigration Lawyers, is licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada (province of Ontario) to provide legal services for persons wishing to immigrate to Canada. Please be aware that there are some immigration consultants that claim to be a legitimate provider of such legal services, but who are not licensed by the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC).

To our Friends and our Fans, please do not be taken advantage of by unlicensed consultants. Begin your legal Canadian immigration today by completing our Free Eligibility Online Assessment at

http://www.akcanada.com/assessment.cfm

Victims Duped by Immigration Fraudster

An uncertified immigration consultant in Windsor has been charged with fraud after 11 clients allegedly paid him thousands of dollars for services they never received.

The victims made payments to the consultant ranging from $2,000 to $100,000 in the belief that applications to immigrate to Canada were being made on their behalf.

But no such applications were ever submitted, said investigators with the
Immigration and Passport Section of the Windsor RCMP.

Eleven counts of fraud have been laid against Francesco Salvatore Sam Burgio, 45, of Amherstburg, Ontario.

Police identified 11 victims, but believe there may be others.

Often, individuals who have been victimized are reluctant to come forward fearing that reporting their situation will interfere with their ability to gain legal immigration status in Canada, Cpl. Rod Rudiak of the Windsor RCMP said in a press release.

The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) had revoked Burgios license back in 2006.

That should have set off red flags for anybody who was considering hiring him, CSIC Chair and Acting CEO John Ryan said in a release.

Most people would never consider hiring an unlicenced doctor or lawyer, and consumers need to realize that hiring an uncertified immigration consultant is just as unwise, he said.

In reaction to the arrest, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Minister Jason Kenney said Tuesday that unscrupulous immigration consultants heap misery upon their victims and pose a serious threat to the reputation of Canada’s immigration system.

The charges against Burgio come just weeks after Vancouver-based consultant Fereydoun Hadad was sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty in January to defrauding an Iranian man seeking to immigrate to Canada of over $49,000.

Hadad had convinced the would-be immigrant to set up a bank account in Canada and deposit money in it. By forging the mans signature, Hadad withdrew the funds for his personal use.

Unscrupulous consultants are a significant problem and tackling it requires all levels of government to work together and make it a priority, Kenney said a statement after Hadads conviction.

Preying on people who are desperate to have a new start in Canada, or who are trying to bring their family members here, is unconscionable. As the Speech from the Throne promised, we will be taking steps to address this, Kenney added.

Ryan welcomes a government crackdown on fraudulent immigration consultants, saying legal loopholes permitted the practice to go on for too long with little danger of legal repercussions.

Only members licenced with the CSIC, a provincial or territorial bar, or Quebec notaries may advise or represent clients before the Government of Canada for a fee. However, friends, family, or religious organizations may offer free help.

The CIC website states that the government will not deal with any unauthorized person charging a fee for immigration services. To assist prospective immigrants, the website provides detailed information about e-mail and Internet scams, fake websites, and computer viruses.

Dont be a victim of a scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, the CIC warns.

Don't be a victim of Fraud

Don't be a victim of Fraud

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