2015 Jan to April – Immigration News & Updates

April 10, 2015

Canada Welcomes First Permanent Residents Under Express Entry

Changes to Canada’s eGreat Canadian Gateway Canada Immigrationconomic immigration system are proving successful in selecting people needed in Canada’s economy and giving them permanent resident status quickly. Just three months after the launch of Express Entry, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander welcomed three of the first Express Entry candidates to become Canadian permanent residents—Emma Hughes, Yaoyao (Anita) Zheng and Xin (Frank) Zhao.

Hughes is a successful candidate from Ireland who applied under the Federal Skilled Worker stream. She now works as an application scientist for EcoSynthetix in Burlington, Ontario.

Zheng and Zhao were both international students who applied under the Canadian Experience Class. Zheng came to Canada from China and in 2012 she graduated in Supply Chain Management from Humber College. Today, she works as a dispatch logistician at DMA Logistics in Mississauga, Ontario.

Zhao also came to Canada from China as an international student and graduated in 2003 from Mohawk College in business accounting. Zhao is currently employed at Wing on New Group Canada, in Markham, Ontario.

Launched in January, Express Entry is a new way of managing applications for Canada’s key economic immigration programs. Candidates create an online profile and express their interest in coming to Canada permanently. Candidates who meet the minimum criteria are accepted into the pool and ranked according to various factors, including language proficiency, education and work experience. Each is a leading indicator of one’s likelihood of integrating fully and quickly into Canadian society and making an optimal contribution to the economy.

April 01, 2015

Reminder: Four Year Rule for Foreign Workers

The first foreign workers to reach the four-year maximum for working in Canada will do so on April 1, 2015. As the rule was put in place in 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is providing this reminder of the important details of the policy.

The four-year rule limits the amount of time a temporary foreign worker can work in Canada to four years. After four years of work in Canada, a foreign national who is here, in most cases, through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program cannot work in Canada again for four more years, unless an exception applies to their situation.

March 23, 2015

Saskatchewan Streamlines Immigration Rules for Entrepreneurs

Canada Immigration Great Canadian Gateway ImmigrateIn an effort to make it easier and more efficient for immigrants to set up businesses in the province, changes have been introduced to the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP).

On Monday, Jeremy Harrison, minister responsible for immigration, jobs, skills and training, told reporters that five previous applicant streams — entrepreneur, science and technology, farm, large scale investor and young farmer — have been consolidated into entrepreneur and farmer owner/operator streams.

Under these streams, candidates need a minimum net worth of $500,000 (verified by a professional third party) and business proposals in Regina and Saskatoon are required to make a minimum investment of $300,000 (in rural communities — $200,000). As well, candidates must create or maintain at least one job for a non-family member (Canadian or permanent resident).

Since 2007, the program has resulted in more than 900 entrepreneurs investing $114 million into the provincial economy, said Harrison. The changes were motivated by stakeholder consultations in June 2013.

March 23, 2015

Indonesia Expands List of Visa Free Countries

The government of Indonesia has annoGreat Canadian Gateway Canada Immigrationunced new measures designed to help boost the number of tourists visiting the South East Asian country. Beginning in April, visa requirements will be waived for nationals from additional 30 countries, making a total of 45, allowing them to visit Indonesia for short-term stay without visas. However, once again, Australia has been omitted from that list.

Before the extra 30 states were added to the visa-free travel plan, the original 15 were the 10 member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations, and Macau, Hong Kong, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. The 30 countries that are joining this list as from next month include China, South Korea, Japan, the US, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and South Africa.

March 20, 2015

Reminder—To People From Haiti and Zimbabwe Affected by the Lifting of the Temporary Suspension of Removals

Great Canadian Gateway Canada ImmigrationOn December 1, 2014, in acknowledgment of improved conditions in Haiti and Zimbabwe, the Government of Canada lifted the temporary suspension of removals (TSR) to these two countries. If you do not have legal status in Canada, you could face removal. However, you may be eligible to stay in Canada as a permanent resident.

If you meet the criteria, you may apply for permanent residence on H&C grounds. Follow the steps to apply on or before June 1, 2015, and you will be able to stay in Canada while a decision is made on your application. If you apply after June 1, 2015, you will be at risk of being removed from Canada.

As well, certain Haitian nationals in Canada who were affected by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and were benefiting from the Haiti Special Measures (which expired on November 30, 2014) are also eligible to apply under these measures.

March 19, 2015

Update on Fee Returns for Applications Affected by the Termination of the Immigrant Investor Program and the Federal Entrepreneur Program

On June 19, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) terminated the federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and the Entrepreneur Program (EN) to revamp our business immigration programs and better align them with our current economic needs.

As a result, CIC has been returning fees paid to the Department for applications to these programs that were terminated. CIC has made multiple attempts to reach out to both immigrant representatives and/or principal applicants in an effort to return the fees.

If your application to the IIP or the EN has been terminated and you have not yet been contacted by CIC or by your immigration representative regarding the return of your fees, please follow these instructions and complete the required form, or contact us at IIPENFeeReturn@cic.gc.ca.

March 17, 2015

Temporary Public Policy Concerning Tibetans Living in the State of Arunachal Pradesh in India

The Minister hereby establishes the following temporary public policy under section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

As of March 17, 2011, applicationGreat Canadian Gateway Canada Immigrations for permanent residence made under the IRPA by persons who are displaced Tibetans living in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India who have been matched with an approved sponsor in Canada shall be assessed along with their family members by delegated officers to determine whether permanent residence status in Canada could be granted to them on the basis of the criteria that are set out below. Up to 1,000 displaced Tibetans, including principal applicants and their eligible family members, may be accepted under this public policy. Principal applicants and their eligible family members, whether they accompany the principal applicant or not, will be counted towards this total.

Officers are to consider permanent residence in Canada for persons who are displaced Tibetans living in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India who:

  • demonstrated their identity as a displaced Tibetan;
  • have resided in Arunachal Pradesh prior to, and have continued to reside in Arunachal Pradesh since, December 18, 2010;
  • are matched with an approved sponsor in Canada throughthe Project Tibet Society, the umbrella organization that will support implementation of this public policy;
  • are not inadmissible on grounds of security, criminality, war crimes and crimes against humanity, organized crime, health and misrepresentation; and
  • demonstrated their ability to successfully establish in Canada.

For the purposes of this public policy, approved sponsors in Canada are either:

  • a group of five individuals who have signed an agreement of undertaking to provide for income and settlement support that is equal to provincial social assistance rates minus any in-kind donations for one year; or
  • a settlement organization who has signed an agreement of undertaking to provide immediate settlement support for a period of time that will be established by the Department, as well as income support that is equal to provincial social assistance rates minus any in-kind donations for one year.

Green Books issued to Tibetans outside of Tibet can be accepted as proof of identity for the purposes of this public policy. Applicants without a Green Book must establish their identity as a displaced Tibetan to the satisfaction of the Immigration Officer through alternate means.

Applicants wishing to settle in Québec will be subject to the Province of Québec’s selection criteria further to subsection 25.2 (3) of IRPA, and cannot be granted permanent residence unless Québec determines that they meet the applicable requirements of the province.

When circumstances warrant, households will be resettled together under this public policy. Accompanying family members (spouses, common-law partners, dependent children and dependent children of a dependent child) of the principal applicant will be processed concurrently. In addition, this could include efforts to concurrently process applications for permanent residence for individuals who do not meet the definition of family member of a principal applicant (de facto family members), as long as they meet the selection criteria of the public policy in their own right.

The public policy is intended to end five years after its implementation or once 1,000 individuals are resettled in Canada, whichever comes first. Where there is evidence of significant reliance on social assistance resulting from sponsors’ default during the period of support, the public policy may be brought to an end earlier than that time.

March 16, 2015

Agreement to Inspect Trucks in Canada Should Ease Delay on Peach Bridge

Great Canadian Gateway Canada ImmigrationThings could soon change for the better at the Peace Bridge if Congress and the Canadian Parliament ratify a long-sought diplomatic agreement that could allow U.S.-bound trucks to be inspected in Fort Erie, eliminating long, air-polluting backups on the bridge.

The agreement is expected to be formally announced today. If implemented, it will allow inspections to occur in the country that trucks are exiting, depending upon the configuration that each crossing suggests. At the Peace Bridge, that would put U.S. Customs agents in Fort Erie, given the larger amount of space available there.

The benefits of this agreement stand to be significant. It will make a notable improvement in the efficiency of inspections, leading to smoother traffic flow and, potentially, increased traffic.

That could be a big benefit to Western New York, where lengthy backups act as a disincentive to those who would cross here to shop, attend concerts or sporting events or otherwise benefit the area economy. And it could do the same for Canadian businesses serving American motorists who wonder how long it will take them to get back home. Also important, it could help to diminish the concentration of truck fumes that West Side residents say compromises their health.

March 08, 2015

Long Term Multiple Entry Visa for Canadians to China

Canada`s Citizenship and ImmGreat Canadian Gateway Canada Immigrationigration Minister, Chris Alexander, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today welcomed China’s new long-term, multiple-entry visas for Canadians.

The new multiple-entry visa, valid for up to 10 years, will ease travel, reduce costs and cut down on delays and time spent preparing for trips to China. This will directly benefit Canadian business people, who regularly travel between the two countries to boost exports, as well as tourists and Canadians visiting family, enhancing people-to-people ties.

Effective today, Canadians may submit their requests for the new multiple-entry visa to Chinese consulates and authorities.

March 06, 2015

Calgary Woman Charged in Immigration Fraud

The Canada Border Services Agency has now charged a Calgary woman in connection with immigration fraud that was discovered earlier this year.

A Calgary woman, Yi Min Weng, 28, was arrested on March 3 and charged with nine counts under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and one count of fraud under the Criminal Code.

Officials say she made multiple immigration applications under different names:

  • A Visa application in 2007
  • A claim for refugee protection in 2007
  • An application for permanent residency in 2010

She was not successful with the application for refugee protection, but she was granted permanent residency through spousal sponsorship.

Weng has been remanded into custody and will appear in Calgary court on March 6.

The investigation is ongoing.

February 28, 2015

New Law To Let Canadian Officials Share Immigrants Personal Info

Immigration officials would be given access to permanent residents’ and citizens’ personal information from other government agencies for enforcement purposes under Ottawa’s proposed changes to the laws.

The plan, published Friday, would allow information sharing between border enforcement officials, Employment and Social Development Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, the RCMP and the regulator of immigration consultants, as well as other federal and provincial bodies.

According to the plan, the revenue agency would play a key role in the new information regime as the changes would let immigration authorities access the secure Income Verification Program as a source to identify “possible false representation, fraud, concealment of material circumstances, or discrepancies” provided by immigration and citizenship applicants.

The proposal also recommends changes to grant citizenship to the so-called “lost Canadians” who fell through the cracks under successive changes to the Citizenship Act, as well as adopted individuals.

February 27, 2015

New Passport Requirements in Effect May 09,2015

Great Canadian Gateway Canada ImmigrationThe Government of Canada is committed to protecting the security and integrity of Canadian travel documents. On May 9, 2015, the following new passport requirements will come into effect for all passport applicants:

Photos

  • Photos will be valid for six months from the date they were taken (currently 12 months).
  • Tinted eye glasses cannot be worn.

Signature

  • New passports printed on or after May 9, 2015, will no longer have a pre-printed digital signature on page 2. Applicants must physically sign page 3 in the passport book when they receive it.
  • This change has no effect on the security or integrity of the passport. Previous versions of the passport book, which include the signature, remain valid.

These changes comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for travel documents.

February 24, 2015

International Experience Canada 

International Experience CCanada Immigration Great Canadian Gateway Immigrateanada (IEC) is opening its doors today for the 2015 season. IEC provides young individuals the opportunity to travel and work in Canada. IEC is also available for Canadian youth who want to travel and work abroad.

Canada has reciprocal agreements with 32 countries and territories. In the coming weeks, Canada and its youth mobility exchange counterparts will begin opening their programs. IEC has three streams; Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-operation Internship.

Please note that starting this year, in addition to the $150 participation fee, a new fee of $100 will be introduced specifically for open work permits delivered to Working Holiday applicants. Foreign youth coming to Canada in the International Co-op and Young Professionals categories receive employer-specific work permits. In these cases, their employers must submit the required employment information, along with the new $230 employer compliance fee to CIC before the foreign youth can apply for a work permit. These IEC applicants are still required to pay the $150 IEC participation fee with their application.

February 20, 2015

Transit Police End Agreement with CBSA

Great Canadian Gateway Canada ImmigrationTransit Police say they are ending their relationship with the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Constable Anne Drennan with Transit Police says it’s more concerned about making transit accessible for everyone – no matter who they are or where they come from.

She says officers will no longer hand over people without proper documentation like they have in the past.

“We’ll not make referrals to Canada Border Services other than if there is a warrant already on the system.”

February 20, 2015

Changes to Pre-Removal Risk Assessment for Libya

Individuals from Libya may be eliGreat Canadian Gateway Canada Immigrationgible for a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) if they received a final decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) or a final PRRA decision on or between February 20, 2014 and February 19, 2015. Prior to removing them from Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency will advise individuals from Libya if they are now eligible to apply for a PRRA.

Individuals from Libya are exempted from the bar on accessing a PRRA as conditions in that country have worsened. As a result, individuals could face a situation of risk that may warrant an additional assessment. It is important to note that the ability to apply for PRRA does not guarantee the outcome of the risk assessment. Officers at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will continue to decide cases individually, based on the information provided.

Please note that individuals are responsible for keeping their PRRA application up-to-date. It is the applicant’s responsibility to inform CIC of any changes to their application. This is required so that decision makers have all the information an individual wants considered for their application.

Individuals from Libya who receive a final IRB or PRRA decision after February 19, 2015, are not entitled to a PRRA for 12 months.

The majority of people who seek a PRRA are failed refugee claimants. These individuals will have had their asylum claim heard before the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) at the independent IRB.

Under Canada’s asylum system, most claimants have the opportunity to appeal a negative RPD decision to the new Refugee Appeal Division at the IRB.

All claimants can ask the Federal Court to review a negative decision.

February 16, 2015

Investors Immigration Deadline Extended

Canada’s new millionaire migration scheme appears to have flopped amid doubts about its suitability for rich mainland Chinese, forcing authorities to quietly issue a lengthy extension to an application window which was supposed to have ended last week.

The Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) pilot programme, which will grant permanent residency to immigrants who are worth a minimum of C$10 million (HK$62 million) if they hand over C$2 million for Canada’s government to invest on their behalf, will now take applications until April 15. That extends the application window from two weeks to a total of 11 weeks, suggesting the scheme has fallen well short of the worldwide cap of 500 applications.

Immigration industry sources had doubted the costly scheme would hit the application cap during the original window, and questioned whether the government was sincere about the programme. They said the scheme’s strict requirements – applicants must speak English or French, have a Canadian tertiary qualification or equivalent, and undergo a financial audit – would deter mainland Chinese millionaires.

February 13, 2015

New Fees and Regulations for Employers of Foreign Workers

Great Canadian Gateway Canada ImmigrationIt is about to become more difficult and costly for Canadian employers to hire certain kinds of foreign workers, with the federal government set to impose new fees and regulations next week on a sector that has been at the centre of numerous scandals in recent months.

Starting Feb. 21, employers wishing to hire foreign workers without a Labour Market Impact Assessment — the federal government’s check to make sure Canadians are not being displaced — will be required to submit information about their business or organization and an offer of employment to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, as well as pay an “employer compliance” fee of $230. Those on open work permits, which are not tied to a specific employer, will pay a new $100 fee.

February 10, 2015

Seven Charged with Fraud & Forgery for Immigration Scam

The Canada Border Services Agency has laid charges including fraud, forgery and counselling misrepresentation against seven people who were allegedly involved in an unlicensed immigration consulting business.

The CBSA alleges that the owner and employees of New Can Consultants Ltd. and Wellong International Investments Ltd “advised and assisted clients in providing misleading and untruthful statements on permanent resident renewal cards and citizenship applications,” CBSA spokeswoman Stefanie Wudel said in a news release Tuesday.

The CBSA laid charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Criminal Code last week against Wen Liang (Eric) Li, Jin (Fanny) Ma, Wen (Vivian) Jiang, Ming Kun (Makkie) Wu, Xiao Feng (Heki) He, Li (Ely) Li and Zheng Wen (Vicky) Ye. Each faces between nine and 10 charges for offences that allegedly occurred in the City of Vancouver between 2006 and 2011. Most will appear in Vancouver Provincial Court on April 8.

Their employer, Xun Wang, was charged last October with six Immigration and Refugee Protection Act violations and four Criminal Code offences, including allegations of advising foreigners to provide misleading or false statements in applications for permanent resident cards or citizenship, forgery and fraud. He was also charged with one count of tax evasion and two counts of fraudulently obtaining refunds or credits under the Income Tax Act. The CBSA alleges that approximately 165 of Wang’s clients were involved in significant immigration fraud in order to maintain permanent resident status and obtain Canadian citizenship.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

February 09, 2015

Canada Loosing Immigrant Investors

The federal government has recently launched its new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program which aims to raise $120-million from 60 eligible ultra-high net worth investors.

Under the new program, approved applicants with a personal net worth of $10 million must invest at least $2 million into a government-approved Venture Capital fund for a minimum period of 15 years, with no guarantee for return of capital. Additional requirements include mandatory language testing and proof of completed Canadian post-secondary education of at least one year, or proof of a foreign educational equivalent.

In February 2014, after a two-year pause on new applications, the Harper Government terminated the previous Immigrant Investor Program geared to entry-level millionaires, cancelling more than 15,000 unprocessed applications mostly from Chinese nationals.

The leading countries offering ultra-high net worth permanent residence programs include the U.K., Malta and Australia. Each offers far more attractive terms and conditions that include much shorter investment terms, substantially lower net worth criteria, open ended subscription periods and no language proficiency requirements. Comparatively, the U.K. requires an investment of C$4 million for five years which can include government bonds with interest paid to the investor. The U.S., which became the default leader in the industry once Canada terminated its highly popular program in 2014, offers its EB-5 conditional residence visa which requires an investment of US$1 million or US$500,000 in an approved Regional Center and no minimum net worth requirement.

There are currently more than 25 global residence and citizenship based investment programs. The industry will experience significant growth in the years ahead. Perhaps there are other reasons why this government chooses to close Canada’s doors to a largely Asian and Middle Eastern immigrant investor clientele. In the current rapidly changing economic environment, Canada’s business community should demand an immediate, objective reconsideration.

February 05, 2015

$1.5M Immigration Fraud Case

A Toronto woman is facing dozens of charges in connection with a $1.5-million immigration fraud investigation. Police say they began a probe in October after they were contacted with allegations that a large number of people had been defrauded by a recruiting agency primarily dealing with immigrant workers. It is alleged that individuals, their family members and friends from other countries were recruited for jobs in Canada by the agency, identified as GoWest Jobs International.

Investigators say the company reGreat Canadian Gateway Canada Immigrationceived more than $1.5 million in fees from more than 500 applicants recruited in six different countries, and that many of the foreign applicants were of Filipino descent.

It’s alleged that payment was requested so that positive documents, references and employment contracts could be provided to applicants and the paperwork submitted to government agencies in the foreign countries. But police say the applicants would then be denied entry to Canada due to the fraudulent documents submitted on their behalf and the applicant would be banned from re-applying for two years.

Imelda Fronda Saluma, 46, faces 39 charges including 11 counts of fraud over $5,000, nine counts of passing off wares or services, eight counts of fraud under $5,000 and nine counts of obtaining money by false pretence.

Police say it’s believed there may be more victims. CTV Toronto has learned that Saluma was also charged by Halton Regional Police last month and is facing two counts of fraud over $5,000.

February 05, 2015

Transparency on New Temporary Foreign Worker Measures Demanded

Only a “small fraction” of temporary foreign workers in Alberta will qualify for an extended stay in Canada as a result of one-time bridging measures quietly rolled out this week, the federal government says.

But critics charge that a lack of clarity is causing heightened anxiety among the thousands of vulnerable workers seeking a lifeline in advance of a looming April 1 deadline to leave the country.

The new measures, the result of an agreement between the federal government and the province of Alberta, are aimed at helping temporary foreign workers who are trying to transition to permanent residency but risk having their work permits expire before their applications are processed.

Under the terms of the agreement, temporary foreign workers who have a work permit set to expire in 2015 but are currently caught up in the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program’s lengthy queue of permanent residency applications may be eligible for a one-time, one-year bridging work permit.

In addition, the federal government will provide a one-time exemption to these workers that will keep them from being counted under rules imposed last June requiring employers to ensure no more than 10 per cent of their workforce is made up of low-wage TFWs. The exemption means employers can continue to seek approvals to bring in new TFWs while their existing workers pursue permanent immigration.

But while the new measures have been praised by business groups, others are calling for more information about the number of permits that will be offered and what type of workers will receive them.

February 02, 2015

First Round of Express Entry Candidates Receive Invitations

Canada’s Citizenship and ImGreat Canadian Gateway Canada Immigrationmigration Minister Chris Alexander today announced that the first round of top-ranked candidates from Canada’s Express Entry system is already helping to fill demonstrated and verifiable gaps in Canada’s labour market.

On Saturday, January 31st, 779 skilled workers, including professionals in natural and applied sciences, and industrial, electrical and construction trades, were invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada. Each of these candidates declared that they already have a valid job offer or provincial nomination.

January 22, 2015

Controversial Program of Paying Refugee Claimants to Leave Canada is Axed

**Update: The federal government is refusing to reveal the full price tag for its ongoing legal battle over the interim refugee health program. But so far, the tally exceeds $1.4 million.

A controversial government program which tried to get failed refugee claimants out of the country faster by essentially paying them to leave won’t be renewed after a scathing internal evaluation.

The assisted voluntary return and reintegration pilot program, or AVRR, was supposed to save time and money by getting low-risk failed claimants to leave on their own instead of having border agents enforce deportation orders. But an evaluation by Canada Border Services Agency found that’s not what happened.

“The need for the AVRR as currently designed is questionable in that removals take longer and cost more compared to other low-risk removals since the refugee reform came into effect,” the evaluation found.

The controversial program was part of the Conservative government’s overhaul of the refugee system, launched in a bid to crack down on people making unfounded refugee claims and tying up government resources.

January 14, 2015

Langley Man Facing Human Smuggling Charges

A Lower Mainland Great Canadian Gateway Canada Immigrationman is facing two charges and is accused of human smuggling between Canada and the United States.

A lengthy investigation was conducted by the “E” Division RCMP Federal and Serious Organized Crime unit, which began in 2010. Investigators were tipped off about illegal cross border movement between Canada and the United States. A partnership was formed with U.S. Immigration, Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security and both countries’ border patrol agencies.

Officers launched an investigation against Langley resident Joga Singh Badwal, 64, a prominent spiritual leader within the South Asian community. Police say he used his influence as a prominent community member to assist others in gaining entry into Canada.

Badwal has been formally charged under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. He faces one count of smuggling 10 or more people and one count of failing to bring a person for examination upon entry to Canada. His next court appearance is scheduled for February 10th in Surrey.

January 09, 2015

Ottawa to Limit Number of Foreign Youth Workers in Canada

The Conservative government is preparing to make deep cuts to youth labour agreements with its international allies, a move that would scale back the largest source of temporary foreign workers in Canada.

The Globe and Mail has obtained documents outlining cabinet-level discussions between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander that contemplate major reductions to International Experience Canada, which manages youth mobility agreements.

The documents show the government has decided to delay the reform until 2016 as it encourages more young Canadians to take up opportunities to work abroad.

Though the broader Temporary Foreign Worker Program was given a major overhaul last June, the youth category was left largely untouched and continues to allow workers into Canada without any obligation on employers to ensure they first attempted to hire Canadians.

Ottawa has reciprocal agreements with 32 countries, but is concerned that Canada accepts far more young workers each year than the number of young Canadians accepted by partner countries.

A Dec. 12 document reveals that Mr. Harper decided partner nations should be warned that quotas will be “reduced significantly” for 2016 unless they take steps to accept more Canadians.

In 2012, 58,094 foreign youth came to Canada under the program, while only 17,731 Canadians went abroad.

January 08, 2015

Should the CBSA be Able to Chase Drivers?

Canadian bordeGreat Canadian Gateway Canada Immigration Canadian Immigration News and Updatesr guards should be allowed to pursue drivers who flee border inspections, the head of the Customs and Immigration Union and a security expert say.

Current Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) policy prohibits guards from chasing after those who don’t stop at border checkpoints or ignore orders to be inspected.

Jean-Pierre Fortin, head of the Customs and Immigration Union, and Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former CSIS intelligence officer, are calling for change after a U.S. man blew past the inspection point at North America’s busiest land border crossing in Windsor, Ont., on Wednesday.

The man, who was thought to be armed, abandoned the stolen car he was driving and fled on foot after refusing to stop at the Ambassador Bridge border crossing. His actions prompted schools in the area to be temporarily placed under lockdown and a manhunt ensued. A 46-year-old suspect was arrested at a truck stop 19 kilometres away from the border and returned to the U.S. by the CBSA.

In 2013, CBSA’s vice-president of operations, Martin Bolduc, discussed the issue with the standing committee on public accounts.

“Our officers do not have the authority to initiate high-speed chases of people who do not stop at the border. In such cases, we call upon our colleagues, be it the provincial police or the RCMP,” Bolduc testified, according to a transcript of the committee hearing. “They collaborate fully with us on this. Often, we are able to bring the people who did not stop back to the border. The majority of them are brought back to points of entry where the question is then dealt with.”

January 05, 2015

Keeping Canadian Families & Communities Safe

The HonourGreat Canadian Gateway Immigration Canada immigrate news and updatesable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, highlighted today two outstanding successes by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that will help keep Canadian families and communities safe.

The Harper Government has reached a major program milestone with successful removals of more than 50 individuals on the CBSA Wanted List. Additionally, Canadian border authorities have reached a new intelligence milestone with more than 150 convicted U.S. sex offenders denied entry to Canada.

Together, these milestones reflect the important work our Government is undertaking to help keep our streets and communities safe by ensuring that foreign criminals are turned away from our borders, and removed once found by authorities.