New changes to federal immigration programs mean provinces must pick up the slack.

,

New changes to federal immigration programs mean provinces must pick up the slack. Nova Scotia lacks the programs and capacity to do this, and will fall behind other provinces in attracting new immigrants if it doesn’t do something quick.

The federal entrepreneur category has been suspended, and the federal investor category has been reduced to only 700 applications per year. This means independent business people wanting to immigrate to Canada will, by necessity, look to the immigration programs offered by the provinces.

Nova Scotia’s entrepreneur category was shut down in disgrace a few years ago and nothing has been created to replace it. In the meantime, the province has introduced new categories such as “agri food sector” and “non-dependent child of nominee”, which apply to about 2 people per year, as far as I can tell.

Most people who know immigration categories will say that the suspension of the federal entrepreneur program is not a great loss. It was the only category where the immigrant had “conditions” attached to her permanent residency after landing. Meaning, if you didn’t establish a viable business within 2 years of arrival, you could have your permanent residence revoked.

However, since Nova Scotia does not have an alternative immigration category, the federal entrepreneur category was used by people who were serious about starting a business here.  Now that it is suspended (read: done), Nova Scotia needs a proper provincial entrepreneur program. And here’s one more reason why Nova Scotia needs one: New Brunswick has one, and theirs is getting more and more attention.

The federal government has cut in half the number of “independent” skilled workers it will process per year. That category is for those who are skilled in jobs where there are shortages in Canada (for example, nurses), but who do not necessarily have a job to come to in Canada before they immigrate. Cutting this category of skilled worker numbers in half probably means that the federal government wants immigrants to rely more on provincial immigration programs. 

The Nova Scotia skilled worker immigration category is limited to higher-paying and higher skill-level occupations and shuts out a segment of people who are working here now or who are overseas and have confirmed job offers here. I have seen welders, cooks and aestheticians, all who have jobs here, be refused processing by the Province because the skill level does not qualify them for the category or their education is not sufficient, or a combination.

In the meantime, an announcement was made in January that the Province and Ottawa had agreed to make it easier for some temporary foreign workers to work here. It’s been 6 months and nothing is finalized. The program has not started. Other provinces have had such agreements in place for years. 

Hey, Nova Scotia Office of Immigration: you snooze, you lose.

“Illegal” immigrants in the mainstream

,

This is an interesting article in the NY Times, by a well-known journalist, explaining how he has built a life and career in the US despite the fact that he arrived illegally and spent his childhood unaware that he had no status there.

www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/magazine/my-life-as-an-undocumented-immigrant.html

 

 

 

 

Fewer immigrants, more caps, suspension of programs…

,

This is easily the worst news from CIC so far this year, disguised as a good news press release. Thanks CIC for waiting until after 5pm on a Friday afternoon to release it.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2011/2011-06-24a.asp

 

Top 10 for 2011 (so far)

2011 has been an interesting year so far, immigration-wise. Whether it’s because of the big changes in the legislation and policy or because it seems like Halifax is being exposed as a hotbed of the unscrupulous consultant, we have noticed a change in the types of inquiries we are getting. This is a list of the top ten issues we are being consulted on these days. Please email us or check the Blog for updates and our answers to these questions.

10. I am a permanent resident with a valid PR Card. I arrived at the airport and ended up being questioned for 3 hours about whether or not I can prove I live here. In the end the officer “reported” me for being inadmissible to Canada. Now I have to go back for another interview to deal with the report. What can I do?

9. My permanent residence card is about to expire but I have not been in Canada for 730 days. What should I do?

8. I have been working in Canada as a cook for 4 years. I want to become a permanent resident. I have a wife and child back home, a grade 9 education and basic English but no French.  What can I do?

7. I filed my work permit extension application 3 months before it expired. Now I see that these applications are taking 4 or 5 months to be processed and I have to leave Canada for a few weeks. My permit is now expired. What can I do?

6.  I am from Colombia. I came to Canada to visit my 40-year old brother who is a citizen here. He is disabled and alone. Now things in Colombia are getting worse and my family there is being threatened. I want to stay in Canada. What can I do?

5. I married a Canadian and am here as a visitor. My visitor permit is about to expire. What should I do?

4. My 35 year old sister was left alone in Iran when the rest of the family immigrated here 2 years ago. She is a nurse. What can she do to come here?

3. I am graduating from a university in Halifax this year. I want to work but I don’t have a job offer. What can I do?

2. I have been living in Canada without status for 17 years. What can I do?

1. I hired an immigration consultant for my PR Card renewal who told me to say I was here when I wasn’t. I sent in the application with untrue information on it. I just had an interview with an immigration officer who gave me a form called a Residency Questionnaire to fill out. Now what?

Elizabeth Wozniak on CBC radio

Following the recent fraud allegations against an immigration consultant in Bedford, Nova Scotia, Elizabeth Wozniak was interviewed on CBC Radio One’s Information Morning to speak on the dangers unethical immigration consultants pose to prospective immigrants. Visit the cbc website to hear the whole interview.

Government of Canada consults on immigrant skilled worker program

,

From the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website:

“Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) 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.

CIC 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. A summary of the results of this process will be published on our website in spring/summer 2011.  Only totals from each question will be reported (names, identifying information or organization details will not be included in the report).”

TO participate in the online questionnaire go to the CIC website.

About us

Proudly based in Halifax, NS, we assist with all Canadian immigration matters. All work on client files is performed by one of our 4 lawyers and we only charge flat rates.
Lawyers: Elizabeth Wozniak | Lori Hill | Cameron MacLeanLara Green
Office Hours: M-F 9-5 |  Tel: (902) 446-4747 

Contact Us

Our fees

As of January 1, 2011, our policy is to charge a flat rate fee for most immigration matters we take on. List of fees »

Humanitarian Application

,

A few years ago we were looking for a lawyer for my parents to prepare their applications for Citizenship and Immigration Canada to let them stay in Canada on humanitarian basis. It was not easy – most of the lawyers have been very skeptical about the chances of our humanitarian application. Elizabeth Wozniak was the only lawyer we have found, who had the experience we were looking for and she was ready to help us.

Rapid International Growth

Their work is always of the highest quality and they understand the operational requirements of our business; but what sets them apart from others is their responsiveness to our needs and the personal commitment that they make to getting the job done for their clients.

J.L., Human Resources Manager, Halifax