English and French Language and Immigration to Canada – What Amount of Skill is Needed?

By Author: Admin | May 17, 2016

english french speaking immigration to canadaThe Express Entry system constitutes the gateway to filing a skilled worker application to live in Canada permanently. It is apparent that (at least with respect to the Canada Experience Class category), the minimum level of English or French language skill depends on the degree of education that the intended job in Canada requires.  Similarly, applicants falling under the Federal Skilled Trades category  (which incudes jobs typified by less formal education), require less fluency in language than those jobs that may fall under the Canada Experience Class (i.e. National Occupational Classification jobs at the “B” level).  In turn, those Canada Experience Class jobs falling under the NOC “B” level require less language ability than those National Occupational Classification jobs at the “A” or “0” level.

The Canada Experience Class requires at least 12 months of full-time work experience within the past three years.  The concern for those aspiring to become a Canada Experience Class candidate is that the specific work performed in Canada dictates the level of language skill required.  As such, if you worked in a National Occupational Classification level “0” or “A” job, you are ineligible to apply under the Canada Experience Class unless your language level is at the Canadian Language Benchmark (or CLB) of 7.  On the other hand, if your work experience in Canada was at the National Occupational Classification level of “B”, then a lower Canadian Language Benchmark (or CLB) applies (i.e. CLB 5)

The Federal Skilled Worker program, another pathway into the Express Entry system requires a minimum  Canadian Language Benchmark (of CLB) of 7 in English (in French, the requirement under the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) is also 7) .

The above language requirements constitute only the entrance into the Express Entry  pool.  To be competitive, one must have regard to the language levels that are specified under the Express Entry system.  The language requirements therein favour applicants who have scored a level of CLB 10.  Such requirements ensure that only those elite students from non-English speaking countries (i.e. those who can obtain a high quality education in the English or French languages) would be favoured under Canada’s immigration  system, particularly when the Invitation To Apply is prefaced by a higher selection threshold.

Other applicants who don’t fare as fluently under under the language factor must make up the shortfall by having more work experience, or a Labour Market Impact Assessment-approved job offer.  Possessing the latter ensures in the eyes of Canada’s immigration system the successful establishment of the foreign national  into the Canadian labour market.

If you have any difficulties navigating the language requirements for immigrating to Canada, contact Toronto immigration lawyer Max Chaudhary of Chaudhary Law Office.

Faster Citizenship Processing – For Some

By Author: Admin | May 4, 2016

Canadian Citizenship Max ChaudharyThe current system for acquiring Canadian citizenship is a more straightforward one.  The current system now relies on an assessment of  physical presence in Canada.  The amount of days needed in Canada (after Bill C-6 is passed) will be a minimum three years out of five, rather than the four years out of six.  In addition, half-days will be credited for the time spent as a permanent resident in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident, up to a maximum amount of one-year’s worth of days.

Because the current system need not assess more subjective definitions of residency, such as the quality of ties to Canada, or the more complex Koo test , citizenship officers need not request as many documents as in the past where the tests were more subjective.  For example, gone are the requirements to submit a laundry list of documents other than proof of residing in Canada.  The changes are summarized on an older Federal Court case lamenting the need to supply such documents under the old system:

“..The statute does not direct the court to evince sentimentality in order to evade, or to defy the statutory requirement for residence. Perhaps because of misunderstanding of this Court’s previous jurisprudence, applicants seem to be advised to keep Canadian bank accounts, magazine subscriptions, medicare cards, lodgings, furniture, other property and good intentions to meet the statutory criterion, in a word, everything except really residing among Canadians in Canada for three out of the previous four years, as Parliament prescribes. One may ask so what if the would be citizen be away at school or university? What is the urgency? If the candidate cannot find an adequate school or university in Canada, let him or her study abroad and then return to Canada in order to comply with the residence requirement….”

Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Chan, 2000 CanLII 16553 (FC)

However, the fact remains that there are now two sets of applications contained in citizenship caseload that must be disposed of.  The older cases, which may have included the extra evidence submitted above would of necessity take an officer a greater amount of time to review.  I’ve come across such cases which have required my office to submit somewhere in the range of 700 pages worth of evidence.

By contrast, the citizenship applications submitted after June 2015, when the new,  less complex criteria came into effect,  contain less voluminous information and are processed less than seven months (not including those cases that may be targeted for further investigation due to possible fraud.  The result? Those whose cases were received before the June 2015 criteria were imposed will see long delays in the processing of their applications for citizenship.  The delay may be of such a length that it may necessitate the Federal Court to compel the citizenship department to issue a decision, i.e. the process of seeking mandamus from the Federal Court.

If you have questions regarding faster citizenship processing or any other Canadian immigration questions, contact Toronto immigration lawyer Max Chaudhary today at (416) 447-6118.

Passports and Benefits They Confer: International Experience Class

By Author: Admin | April 26, 2016

toronto immigration lawyerDepending on your country of citizenship, as well as your age (usually under 30 or under 35 years), you may be eligible for an International Experience Class visa. General Information is at Become a candidate – International Experience Canada. The program is also known colloquially as the Working Holiday Program. Such a visa allows you to legally work in Canada and also explore Canada. The existence of such a program emphasizes the hierarchy of the world’s passports in terms of utility. Countries deemed by Canada to not produce many persons who would violate Canada’s immigration laws (for example, by working illegally or overstaying past the validity of a visa) are often associated with those countries that are eligible for the IEC.
The IEC allows a qualified person to work in Canada for one (in some cases more than one) year. After one year of work experience in a skilled job in Canada, the person may be able to put up an Express Entry profile. Such a profile is the initial step towards lodging an application to reside in Canada permanently. An Express Entry profile that is deemed competitive in relation to other Express Entry profiles may lead to an Invitation To Apply – being invited to lodge a formal application for permanent residence in Canada.
Competition for a visa under the IEC class is at times high due to the limited number of such visas for a given country. For example, Ireland has a quota that during less prosperous economic times filled their allotted IEC visas in a matter of a few minutes.
The broader distinction between preferred passports and less enviable ones is apparent in the fact that holders of passports from certain (usually more economically developed) countries need not apply for a visa prior to boarding a plane to Canada. By contrast, passport holders from other countries must submit an application for a visa prior to attempting to enter Canada. It can thus be seen that the level of scrutiny by Canada’s immigration department varies depending on the country of citizenship of the person seeking entry to Canada. With IEC class work permit holders, the Canadian government is generally certain that such work permit holders will depart Canada once their visa status has expired. Alternatively, the Canadian government is certain that such work permit holders will regularize their status either by entering into a spousal or common law relationship with a Canadian, or via the above-mentioned Express Entry category.
That being said, the Canada aspires to the Rule of Law and where possible, Canadian immigration law would apply to ban a person from entering Canada for one year if it was determined that said person, for example, worked without permission, or overstayed the duration of their permitted visit to Canada, no matter what passport they possess.

If you have questions about the International Experience Class or any other Canadian immigration services, contact Max Chaudhary today at 416-447-6118. If you’re looking for the best Toronto immigration lawyer, look no further than Max Chaudhary at Chaudhary Law.

Provincial Nominee Programs – An Efficient Pathway for Permanent Residency to Canada

By Author: Admin | April 11, 2016

toronto immigration lawyer

PNP programs aim to serve the needs of the province that administers them. If the skills of a person seeking admission to a province happen to cohere with the economic aims of the province, then the chances of being nominated for immigration are greater. A nomination can be an essential element towards permanent residency in Canada.

Smaller provinces want to ensure that the applicant seeking a provincial nomination will actually use that nomination to reside in that smaller, less populous province, such as Saskatchewan, rather than the more popular provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.

The methods of retention are apparent in the criteria for many provinces which favour possessing a job offer in the province, the presence of a relative in the province, or a history of work or study in the province. Fewer spots are available for those seeking to immigrate to a smaller province without these factors. For example, Saskatchewan allocates 500 places for Express Entry, 500 for those who have work experience in occupations under demand in Saskatchewan, and 5000 spots for those with a Saskatchewan job offer.

Needless to say, the 500 spots for those who have occupations in demand (i.e. the spots which don’t require a job offer or the presence of a relative), are filled quickly. Some of those jobs require provincial licensure, which constitutes an additional pre-requisite for applying. The licensing often is associated with entering the province to write an examination – in other words visiting the province may also be mandatory in many PNP nomination applications.

In the circumstances, it is apparent that if you’re considering some provincial nominee programs, then you must act quickly, and ensure you have the prerequisites which may include provincial licensing. The system may not be much easier for those applying under the more abundant ‘occupations under demand’ – such applicants may still be refused by the federal authorities if they don’t satisfy the federal visa officer that they can perform the job being offered.

Another complication includes the fact that some PNP programs have no associated provincial government fee. On the plus side, this constitutes a cost savings as the only additional fee would be the subsequent federal government’s processing fees for immigration. On the negative side, the absence of a fee may mean that the provincial government has no obligation to process an application in a timely way, or may not even have an obligation to process an application. The existing regime for initiating immigration applications, Express Entry, does not require a fee. This omission is intentional because a profile under Express Entry is not an application. Rather, an application only commences after you obtain an Invitation To Apply. At the Invitation To Apply stage, government fees are payable.

The above restrictions ensure that provincial nominee programs are efficient in terms of processing, but are not as easy as you may think.

Minor Children, Custody, and Visa to Canada

By Author: Admin | April 4, 2016

The most simple, straightforward application for a permanent resident visa can be delayed or even refused is there is an issue of custody of a minor child.  Such issues are associated with an applicant for a Canadian visa (often a permanent resident visa) who has a child from a previous relationship.  In the best case scenario, the applicant has a custody order and there thus is no concern regarding having the child accompany the applicant to Canada on a permanent basis.

However, the child is the product of another or previous relationship and there is no court order regarding custody, or there is an order for custody that requires further action, then a visa officer would not grant the minor child a permanent resident visa.  Such situations require an extension of time be granted by an immigration officer so that the custody matter is cleared up.

Officers are strict about custody matters as they do not want a visa application to be a tool for child smuggling. If a custody issue  arises during the course of your visa application, contact Chaudhary Law Office.

Labour Market Impact Assessment 600 Points

By Author: Admin | March 28, 2016

The Express Entry system has a much touted but little used provision where 600 points are allocated if  the Labour Market Impact Assessment-based work permit is combined with a written confirmation that the employer is offering a permanent job.  The rationale for giving 600 points (the most heavily weighed factor in the Express Entry criteria) is that the candidate for permanent residency is a certain to become economically established in Canada. In such a circumstance, the candidate almost inevitably is issued a permanent resident visa in Canada (after the requisite medical and criminal screening).

The difficulty is actually obtaining a Canadian  job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment.  I’ve written elsewhere that  the Labour Market Impact Assessment is designed to give Canadians a first opportunity at jobs in Canada.  As such, it is designed to be available but not easy to obtain, like financial success after obtaining a liberal arts degree, or a woman having her first child after the age of 45, or climbing Mount Everest, or bungee jumping without getting injured,or being a successful contestant at a hot-dog eating contest, or enjoying microwaved french-fries: theoretically possible, but not likely.

Work Experience for Express Entry

By Author: Admin | March 24, 2016

As the Express Entry system captures all of the skilled immigration to Canada, including Federal skilled worker in Canada experience class, the heart of the application is arguably, the work experience acquired by the applicant.

The system is also geared towards encouraging younger people under the age of 30 to apply for permanent residency to Canada.   The age of the person applying may be a concern if the person is applying for a job in which one must work their way up through the ranks of the place of employment  and acquire experience before taking on the a job of more significant responsibility .  Such jobs are often associated with the title of manager. Management occupations are described in the National Occupational Classification with the number 0 as the first of four numbers, such as NOC 0111 Financial Managers.

It is conceivable that a person under 30 may be qualified and may have worked as a financial manager. However, the burden is on that person to show that they had the appropriate skill set and work experience to work their way up to the level of manager.  Such relevant evidence may include evidence of previous positions that were held prior to the position of manager.

If considering an express entry application, don’t hesitate to contact Chaudhary Law office for expert advice.

Maintaining Student Status When Your Situation in Canada Changes

By Author: Admin | March 23, 2016

The immigration department does not want student aged young people to be able to gain entry to Canada on a study permit and work in Canada unless they are actually studying as intended in their study visa application.

Study permit holders must be enrolled in studies and “actively pursue” their course or program of study.  Employment is permitted on a full time basis during the normal school break, not during studies. During studies, only a maximum of 20 hours per week is permitted.  Some co-op programs allow for full time employment while in a normal study session, but this must be indicated on your study permit.  This can only be indicated on your work permit if you apply to amend your study permit to reflect the co-op nature of your studies.

Study permits may have a long duration, longer than the course of study.  However, once you have graduated, the study permit is no longer valid 90 days after meeting the requirements for graduation, despite the date that is written on the study permit.

The ability to work after graduation is possible, despite not having the Post-Graduation Work Permit  if the study permit holder applies for the Post Graduation work permit in a timely way after meeting the requirements for graduation from the appropriate school.

A gap in studies may trigger a query on the part of the immigration department.  The immigration department may have concerns whether you are ‘actively pursuing’ studies, perhaps in the context of a study visa renewal.  In such a situation, an immigration officer may want to know  what your study history in Canada has consisted of, and the length of the gap in the study.  Arguably, you marks achieved may be requested.  Reasons for the gap in studies would be required, as well as what your end goals as a student in Canada may consist of.

If seeking some clarification on maintaining your status as a student, contact Chaudhary Law Office.

A Divorce and its impact on a Visa to Canada

By Author: Admin | March 22, 2016

If you applying for a visa to be sponsored as a spouse or common-law partner to Canada, one issue may be marital history, specifically whether a divorce has been obtained. Questions may arise such as the reason for the divorce, and the subsequent marital partner’s knowledge about the reason for the divorce.  If the new /current partner has insufficient knowledge about why the previous relationship ended up in divorce, then it could cast doubt about the longevity and/or genuineness of the new relationship which is underpinning the sponsorship application.

If you’ve applied for an extension of a temporary visa, such as a student visa, work visa, or visitor visa, then your marital status may have changed since the issuance of your initial visa. Obviously, you’d have to reflect that change in marital status in the application to extend your visa. On occasion, there are people who failed to indicate their correct marital status when initially applying for a temporary visa.  The failure to indicate the correct marital status on a previous application may affect your ability to renew your visa.  Officers who did not know that you might’ve been divorced in the past, may never have been inclined to issue you your initial temporary visa. Alternatively, they would have liked to have questioned you about the circumstances surrounding your divorce before issuing your initial temporary visa to Canada.  The failure to indicate the appropriate marital status may lead to a finding of misrepresentation.

Other scenarios of concern are aware a divorce is obtained from a different country but may not be recognized under Canadian law. Under Canadian law, a person seeking to have a foreign divorced recognized in Canada has to prove that one of the divorcing parties was ordinarily resident in the region/country in which the divorce took place for at least a year.  If the foreign divorce is not recognized under Canadian law, and if a subsequent marriage takes place, then a finding of bigamy may be made by the officer, which is an offense in Canada.

Do you have questions about how your marital status may affect your application for a visa to Canada,? If so, feel free to contact Chaudhary Law office.


Medical Admissibility and Visas or Immigration to Canada

By Author: Admin | March 21, 2016

Medical examinations are required for all permanent resident visa applicants to Canada, no matter what citizenship they possess. Compliance with medical instructions are also required for applicants from certain countries seeking temporary visas to Canada, particularly, if they intend to work in Canada.
In the best case scenario, a routine medical as no negative effect on the ability to obtain a visa to Canada. However, in other scenarios, admissibility to Canada may be affected. This comes up in the case where somebody seeking a visa or their dependent family member has a condition which might cause “excessive demand” on health or social services in Canada.
Officers must provide some degree of fairness in the process before branding a person or her dependent as “medically inadmissible”. This usually entails an invitation in writing by an officer, that provides 60 days in in which the person seeking the visa can provide evidence and arguments in response to the allegation that they or their dependent are medically inadmissible.
It’s a good idea to provide medical evidence about the degree and seriousness of the condition that is being scrutinized by the immigration officer. In some cases, evidence of the financial ability of the family seeking the visa is relevant, to address the social services required such as education would be pertinent to mention as well.
In cases where the medical condition is too severe, other alternatives might be put forward for review by the officer. This may entail providing a submission for a temporary resident permit, or a submission based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. These latter two alternatives must be supported by cogent evidence that would lessen the financial impact on Canada’s health or social services, and or evidence relating to the serious consequences to a minor child if the visa is not approved.
Chaudhary Law office has had many years of experience successfully dealing with medical admissibility cases. Feel free to contact us.

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I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario Canada. I am an accomplished author and lecturer and am consulted by the media and other immigration lawyers and consultants on immigration matters and challenging immigration cases, appeals, and federal court matters.

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