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17 September 2017

Congratulations Catherine Sas, Q. C., for being listed in Canada’s Best Lawyers for the 12th consecutive year!

On January 1, 2015 Canada's immigration program was transformed with the introduction of the Express Entry program which restricts applicants to only those selected by the government and offered an "Invitation to Apply" (ITA). The selection process is based upon an applicant's Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) which allocates points for education, English or French language proficiency, Canadian and foreign work experience as well as that of their spouse.

Ironically, the above quote is featured on the Statue of Liberty at Liberty Island in the New York City harbour where America welcomed hundreds of thousands of new immigrants to the United States. It might just as well be featured at Canadian ports of entry, as thousands of US alien residents and asylum seekers are considering alternative immigration strategies in their futures. President Trump's Executive Order restricting visas to nationals from seven specified nations, has only intensified concern for many currently in the US and has focused attention on alternative immigration options to Canada.

Often the clients that come to see us have previously worked with other immigration professionals.  In many cases they have not been advised according to best practices and/or have placed misguided trust in those professionals.  One of the most blatant misguided practices is to have applicants sign blank immigration application forms and then rely on the immigration professional to complete the application on their behalf.  If an immigration professional asks you to do this, warning bells should go off immediately and you should find another professional to work with. 

We are frequently approached by self employed business people who are interested in establishing Canadian operations and would like to immigrate to Canada as well.  You would think that Canada would be welcoming of the entrepreneurial spirit that business self starters bring to the economy in terms of both tax revenue and job creation.  Yet Canada's current immigration program is very limited in options for self-employed business people.  Let's review what immigration options are available for the business person.

Canada welcomes tens of thousands of workers every year to become permanent residents under it’s Economic immigration program. These programs focus on attracting the best and the brightest from around the world to bring their skills and experience to Canada. Often, many of these workers already have job offers in Canada in managerial, professional or technical positions. However, there is currently no federal pathway to permanent residence for low or semi-skilled workers other than the Caregiver class. Under Canada’s immigration program, low and semi-skilled workers do not qualify to apply for permanent residence under Canada’s Express Entry System, leaving it to Canada’s provinces and territories to attract and retain these overlooked but important workers.

On March 8, 2016, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable John McCallum, announced the overall immigration targets for 2016. Ordinarily, the Minister is required to provide his annual report to Parliament on or before November 1 of each year. Given that last year was an election year that resulted in a change of government, a levels plan was not presented to Parliament for 2015.

Express Entry is a selection process that is comprised of four separate permanent resident processing streams: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Trades Program(FSTP) and the Provincial Nominee Programs( PNP). Even before registering in the Express Entry pool, it is necessary to determine that you meet the requirements for one of these programs.

Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre LLP

A partnership between Catherine Sas Law Corporation and Victor Ing Law Corporation

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