Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Immigration Corner | I Want To Work In Canada

Dear Ms Powell,
I would like an opportunity to visit Canada to work. I just want to get some experience of working in another country. Does Canada have programmes like that? I would just like to get some international work experience and get to know Canada. I could visit some of the universities to see if I would like to do further studies there.
- W.P.
 Dear W.P.,
Canada has a programme known as the International Experience Class (IEC), which allows young people from around the world, who qualify, to come to Canada to travel and work under one of three available programmes. The programmes are The International Co-op (internship); Young Professionals; and The Working Holiday programmes. Your eligibility for these programmes is based on your country of citizenship.
To qualify for an IEC work permit, your country of citizenship must have an agreement with Canada that allows you to apply for the work permit. If your country is not on the list, you will need to use one of the Recognised Organisations (RO) to assist you with your application.
There is no Caribbean country on the list of countries that are in agreement with Canada. So as a Jamaican, you will need to visit the website of one of the ROs to find out how to access the programme with their help.
There are currently 12 organisations on the list of ROs.
You will need to contact them to make an application to the ROs and to see if you will be granted a letter confirming that they will help you to plan your trip or to find work in Canada. Once you have this confirmation letter in hand, you may check to see if you are eligible to enter into the pool of candidates via the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
Your first step would be to create a profile via the online portal, which is similar to the express entry portal, so that you can be admitted into the pool of IEC applicants. Once you enter the pool, your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for a work permit will be based on programme for which you are qualified. The most competitive is the working holiday programme. Therefore, you should try to get accepted under the Young Professionals and International Co-op (internship) category to increase your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for a work permit. You must wait for IRCC to grant you an invitation to apply for a work permit. You cannot apply for a work permit under this category without receiving an invitation to apply.
You will need the cooperation of the employer, who will be required to pay a fee within the specified time through the employer portal. Once your prospective employer has paid the fee, you should request the reference code in order to complete your application within the specified time.
Also required are medical and security checks. These reports must be uploaded along with other supporting documents to the IRCC portal. Fees associated with this application are C$150 (participation fee), plus C$100, which should be paid to IRCC via the online portal. You will need an international credit card to be able to make this payment.
This process could take approximately eight weeks to be completed. Therefore, university or college students between 18 and 35 years who are interested in this programme should contact an immigration lawyer, visit the IRCC website, or the website of one of the recognised organisations for additional information.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is admitted to practise in Jamaica and Canada. Submit your questions and comments toinfo@deidrepowell.com. Find her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer. Call 613-695-8777 or 876-922-4092.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Immigration Corner | Application Refusal Putting Strain On Marriage

Dear Ms Powell,
I applied to sponsor my Jamaican husband to come to Canada and the application was refused. How do I appeal? I've been spending too much money going back and forth and this is causing a strain on our marriage. Please help us.
- F.Y.
Dear F.Y.,
I understand the strain that the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) refusals of your application would cause on your marriage. However, the IRCC usually outlines the specific reasons for the denial of the application. What was the reason for the denial? Before you can appeal, you need to ensure that you are able to address, with supporting documents, the issues outlined in the refusal letter.
Your access to the appeal process will not be allowed if your spouse is deemed inadmissible to Canada by reason of his criminal record. If he has a history of committing a serious criminal offence anywhere in the world and that crime is punishable in Canada by a term of imprisonment of two years or more, your appeal will not be allowed. Further, if your spouse is considered to be a general threat to the safety of other Canadians; or found to be involved in organised crime or violated human or international rights, then your appeal will be automatically sent back without a hearing being permitted.
Although misrepresentation to IRCC is a serious issue, you still have a right to appeal and you may have a chance of succeeding, provided that you are able to adequately address the concerns of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).
You have up to 30 days after the decision to submit an appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division of the IRB. This is a very strict timeline and can be very complex. I strongly recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer to assist you with your appeal. The outcome of your appeal can influence whether you are able to reapply to sponsor your spouse or anyone else in the future.
You will first need to complete a notice of appeal, enclose supporting documents and a copy of the refusal letter and send it to the appropriate registry.
If you live in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, or the city of Ottawa, your appeal should be submitted to the IAD Registry Office in Montreal. If you live in Ontario and not the city of Ottawa, your appeal should be submitted to the IRB registry in Toronto. For all other provinces, the application should be submitted at the IAD registry in Vancouver.
You may also submit an oral appeal and this is usually done when you have the support of counsel.
Once your appeal is received and deemed acceptable, the IAD will decide whether to submit your appeal to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). This is a private, fairly informal process and spousal applications are often sent here. This is not a right, but allowed based on the circumstances of the case. If your case is not selected for ADR, it could be sent to be heard by an official of the IAD. This is a formal hearing similar to a court process.
In some instances, you may only need to wait a while then reapply for your spouse, as the appeal process can be lengthy and costly. The decision to do so will ultimately be based on the reason for the denial. Your previous application will be on the record, therefore you must ensure that you have new supporting documents to overcome the concerns of IRCC.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to info@deidrepowell.com or call 613.695.8777/ 876.922.4092. You can also find her on facebook.com/jamaicanlawyer
Published in the Jamaican Gleaner: http://www.jamaicagleaner.com/article/news/20160614/immigration-corner-application-refusal-putting-strain-marriage

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Immigration Corner | What Should I Submit Re: Relative in Canada

Dear Ms Powell,
I have an urgent question. I applied for my son under the express-entry system and put that he has an aunt in Canada. He got an invitation to apply and they are now asking for proof that he has an aunt there. What documents can I submit? What if I can't get the documents in time?
- WL
Dear WL,
Congratulations to your son for receiving an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada. The express entry system is points-based. Additional points are awarded for adaptability if there is proof that at least one of the following relatives is in Canada: aunt, uncle, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, niece, nephew, or spouse. He will need to provide documents to substantiate the information presented in the initial express-entry profile.
Since you indicated that your son has an aunt in Canada, the necessary proof required are documents to show how the parties are related, the relative's legal status in Canada and proof that she is living in Canada. The relative will need to be over 18 years old.
So if the relative is your sister, you should provide a copy of your birth certificate, your sister's birth certificate and your son's birth certificate. This is assuming that the birth certificate clearly shows that you share at least one parent.
If she is a paternal aunt, then the required birth certificates would be that of your son's father and the aunt to show that there is at least one common parent.
In some cases, the father's name is not on the birth certificate and so the relationship is not clearly identifiable. In that case, an application to add the father's name to the birth certificate may be necessary. You should contact the Registrar General's Department to obtain additional information on the procedure to apply to get this done. I strongly recommend that you apply for expedited service.
The other document that may be submitted are your aunt's marriage certificate or deed poll, if there was a change of name, or if her name is different from the one shown on her birth certificate.
To prove status in Canada, you should submit one of the following - the relative's record of landing; Canadian passport; permanent resident card; citizenship card or certificate.
Proof of residence in Canada is also required. Therefore, you may submit a monthly utility bill; a current notice of assessment or tax returns; lease or rental contract; or a letter from your aunt's employer, confirming her employment.
If your case is not clear and you cannot obtain the necessary documents within the required 60 days, you should provide a letter of explanation so that you do not miss the deadline. If you submit your application without the required proof, and do not provide an explanation, your application will be cancelled.
• Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Her areas of practice are immigration, real estate, wills, trusts and estates. Submit your questions to Email: info@deidrepowell.com or call 613.695.8777 Find her at: Facebook.com/jamaicanlawyer.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Authorization to Return to Canada

Immigration Corner | How Do I Fix This Misunderstanding?

Dear Ms Powell,
About three years ago, I visited my aunt who was ill in Canada. I had a return ticket but my grandmother had surgery, so I stayed an extra 10 days to help out. I bought a one-way ticket back home. My aunt has recently passed away and I would like to attend the funeral. I tried to visit her last year and I was turned back. What can I do?
- E.E.
 Dear E.E.,
When an individual stays longer than the time granted, this could lead to a removal order and you will be deemed inadmissible to Canada. In order to overcome this hurdle, you may need an Authorisation to Return to Canada (ARC).
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) 52 (1) states that if a removal order has been enforced, the foreign national shall not return to Canada unless authorised by an officer or in other prescribed circumstances.
There are three types of removal orders and whether you need to apply for an ARC depends on the circumstances surrounding your departure from Canada. What document did you receive before you departed? (Certificate of Departure) Did you receive a departure order, exclusion order or a deportation order?
For a departure order, where you left within the 30 days required and you verified your departure, you do not need an ARC. However, you will be subject to scrutiny by an immigration officer upon landing in Canada. Similarly, if you were issued an exclusion order, have a certificate of departure and 12 months have passed, you do not need an ARC. A deportation order requires an ARC application.
In your circumstances, since you were turned back the last time you attempted to travel to Canada, it appears that you will need to apply for an ARC. This could be because you left without notifying the Canadian authorities of the date you actually left Canada.
The ARC application fee is CDN$400. You must provide a detailed letter explaining the circumstances or reasons for your overstaying. This is bearing in mind that you had the option to submit an application to change conditions or extend your stay in Canada as a visitor and you failed to do so at the time.
You will need to provide proof of your grandmother's illness and surgery. You will also need to provide additional proof that you, in fact, left at the time you indicated. Also submit details of your reason for wishing to return to Canada and convincing arguments to show that you will not overstay again. Your aunt's death certificate is also very important.
A completed Temporary Resident Visa application form and all the usual documents to show your ties to your home country are also necessary. You also need to show proof that you are committed to returning at the end of the time granted. Include documents such as a job letter, bank statement, proof of assets, membership in professional or community organisations, marriage certificate and birth certificates of your children, if applicable.
Meeting the minimum requirements for the issuance of a temporary resident/ visitor's visa is not enough. The authorities will look at the circumstances leading to the removal order and whether the circumstance has changed. Therefore, you must submit compelling arguments to convince a visa officer that you are not a threat to the Canadian society and that they can trust you to comply with their rules and regulations this time.
You appear to have compelling arguments. Therefore, your challenge will be to provide the relevant proof. Bare statements will not be accepted. You must submit documents to substantiate your application.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration, or call 613.695.8777.  We provide assistance with Authorization to Return to Canada, Express Entry, Study Permit, Work Permit, Sponsorship, Citizenship, Appeals and more. Call or email to book your consultation.
Published in the Jamaica Gleaner:

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Canada Immigration: Thinking Of Studying In Canada

Post graduate work permit

Dear Ms Powell,
I heard about a school in Halifax where I can study 'massage and hydrotherapy'. Can you tell me how I can find out if this school is accredited? Can I get a permit to stay in Canada when I finish?
- CR
Dear CR,
It is a good idea to check if a school is accredited or is considered to be a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), before you embark on studies as a pathway to becoming a permanent resident in Canada.
There is a list of DLIs which may be found on IRCC's official website: www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/study-institutions-list.asp.
On the successful completion of your studies, you may apply for a post graduate work permit (PGWP). The work permit will allow you to work in Canada for a specific period of time. The amount of time that you will be granted will be based on the length of your studies. The permit will not be granted for a period longer than the period of study. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you undertake a programme that lasts a minimum of one year. This will allow you to have a minimum of one year's work experience in Canada. You will then qualify to apply under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) via the express entry system.
You should apply for your post graduate work permit as soon as you have confirmation that you have successfully completed your programme. You do not have to wait until you have the certificate in hand. Submit your application before your study permit expires, to ensure that you are not staying in Canada without the relevant permits.
Permanent Residence
In order to qualify under the CEC for permanent residence, you will need to have a minimum of one year post graduate, full-time work experience in Canada or the equivalent number of part-time hours. Work experience as student, intern or under a co-op programme does not count.
Your work experience must fall within one of the qualifying Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes. That means that your experience should be in a managerial, professional or technical job. That is, your job title must fall within the list of NOCs O , A or B.
Since you will have Canadian post graduate certification, you will not need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). However, if you have additional international certification you should get the ECA as it will boost your qualifications. You should also sit the English examinations and ensure that you score is high to maximise your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
Do not just stay in Canada on the completion of your studies without applying for the relevant permits. You want to ensure that you are not deemed inadmissible or become the subject of a removal or deportation order.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to info@deidrepowell.com, Subject line: Immigration or call 613.695.8777
Published in the Jamaica Gleaner: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20160510/immigration-corner-thinking-studying-canada

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Immigration Corner: I Think I've Been Scammed!

Dear Ms Powell:
I'm sure you have heard about the dozens of recruiting companies here in Jamaica taking people's money and not finding them jobs in Canada as promised. My friend told me about one that she thought would have been better than the ones here, so I paid some money to the recruiting company located in Ontario, Canada. They said they could find me a job as a hotel worker or domestic helper, as this would help me to get extra points so I could be admitted in the express-entry programme.
I was very excited as they seemed like a legit company. However, since I paid them, they haven't been taking my calls or responding to my emails. I only get computer-generated responses. I haven't even received one job interview. I emailed and told them to get me the job they had promised or return my money. they haven't answered.
Can I report them to the Canadian High Commission to get back my money or give me a job as promised? Can I sue them in Jamaica? At least four of my friends would join me against this company. All of us work at the same hotel. What can I do?
- JT
Dear JT:
I am sorry to hear about your experience with that Canadian recruiting company. I have written many articles, reminding individuals not to use recruiting companies that ask for a fee for their services.
Most legitimate companies/ recruiters are paid by approved employers to assist with finding suitably qualified and experienced workers.
The employers are usually companies that have a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment Report (LMIA) or are exempt from LMIA requirement.
Furthermore, you do not need a job offer in order to be admitted into the express-entry pool.
If the recruiter has failed to uphold promises and has taken money from you, you may make a complaint, not to the Canadian High Commission in your home country, but you may contact the Ministry of Labour in Canada and make a claim under the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009. You can find the claim form and other information on the website: www.Ontario.ca/EPFNA.
Under the EPFNA, recruiters involved in finding employment for foreign nationals, employers and their representatives are prohibited from charging or attempting to recover recruiting costs from foreign nationals.
The recruiter and prospective employer are prohibited from charging you costs linked to the hiring process. Such costs include hiring fees, application fees, advertising costs, LMIA application fees and cost.
 Some Employers Exempt
 You should also note that some employers are exempt from this strict requirement. These are employers who hire individuals under the federal government's Seasonal Agricultural Worker Programme (SAWP).
Under SWAP, certain employment contracts allow the employer to deduct the costs of air travel and work permit costs. The employer and recruiting company would need to provide the employee with this information up front, if applicable. If this was not provided beforehand, a claim can be made to recover these funds.
The act expressly prohibits recruiters from charging any fees to foreign nationals to find them a job and prohibits them taking your passport, work permit and other original documents.
Remedy is available to any foreign national working in or attempting to find work in Ontario under an immigration or foreign temporary-employee programme. The recruiter has a duty to provide you with the required information sheets about your rights and duties. This should be provided free of cost.
You can submit a claim against the recruiting company, a recruiter, a person acting on behalf of a recruiting company, an employer or a person acting for the employer, provided that you have your relevant proof.
In your case you may make a claim against the recruiting company and anyone who purports to be an agent or agents of the recruiting company.
You will need to provide background information and have credible facts in support of your claim. That means providing the full name, mailing address, telephone number, email and website of the recruiter.
If there is a local representative, then you should put the name, address and telephone number of the local recruiter as well. You will also need to submit proof of payment of fees and correspondences and contract with the recruiter.
You should provide details of your claim, including dates and all relevant information to assist the employment standards officer to investigate your claim.
You will have up to three-and-a-half years of the alleged misconduct, to file your claim. You may submit your completed claim form and supporting documents to:
Provincial Claims Centre
Ministry of Labour
70 Foster Drive,
Suite 410, Roberta Bodar Place,
Sault Ste Marie
Ontario, Canada P6A 6V4.
Fax: 1888.252.4684. Telephone 1416.326.7160
Once your file has been received by the Ministry of Labour and your form has been properly completed, you will be provided a claim number and your case assigned to an investigator.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to: info@deidrepowell.com or call 613.695.8777.
Published in the Jamaica Gleaner: http://www.jamaicagleaner.com/article/news/20160503/immigration-corner-i-think-ive-been-scammed

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Immigration Corner: What Are 'Settlement Funds'?

Dear Ms Powell,
I hear that Canada has a programme that allows professionals to sponsor themselves and their families, but I hear I will need to have at least US$10,000 as settlement funds. What are settlement funds? Do I need to give the government of Canada that money for them to approve my application? Can I just show them that I own a BMW and a house that I can sell when they approve my application?
- H.D.
 Dear H.D.,
Any individual who has the education, work experience, settlement funds and who can satisfy a few other criteria can apply to become a permanent resident in Canada. Many individuals call this self-sponsorship.
The key would be to apply to qualify under one of the existing programmes such as the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, the Federal Skills Trade Programme, the Canadian Experienced Class Programme (CEC) or the Provincial Nominee Programme.
Part of the qualifying process is to show that you have enough funds to assist you and your family to settle in Canada. This is called settlement funds. This is required of persons without a job offer and all other categories except under the CEC programme. The amount of money you need to show is based on the number of persons in your family.
For example, for 2016, if you are the only person applying you will need to show that you have a minimum of CAD$12,164; family of two - CAD$15,143; family of four - CAD$22,636, and so on.
It is indeed recommended that you save your funds in US currency due to the fluctuating value of the currencies. As long as you have the equivalent of the Canadian dollars required, in Jamaican, US or any other currency, then you would satisfy the requirement.
The purpose of the funds is to ensure that you have enough funds to help you with settling in Canada, can support yourself and not require government assistance until you are able to obtain employment and establish yourself in Canada. You will not have to give this to the government of Canada. You will just need to have the funds ready to take with you to Canada. The recommended minimum amount is calculated annually by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and a new list is published every year.
You cannot just show proof of ownership of a car or house. Do you have a lien or mortgage on these properties? Furthermore, a car is a depreciating asset and there is no guarantee that you will be able to sell these assets and have the minimum amount available when it is time to go to Canada. So, this would not be acceptable proof.
You will need to submit proof of liquid funds with your application for permanent residence. Acceptable proof are cash, letter from your bankers or investment brokers showing that you own stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills or other investments.
To find out more about acceptable proof of settlement funds and how to make an application to become a permanent resident of Canada consult with an immigration lawyer.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to: info@deidrepowell.com Find her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer or call 876.922.4092 or 613.695.8777.
Published in the Jamaica Gleaner: http://www.jamaicagleaner.com/article/news/20160426/immigration-corner-what-are-settlement-funds