Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Is he forever inadmissible?

Good day Ms. Powell, 

My husband was ordered to leave Canada.  Is he now considered “inadmissible”? Does that mean that he cannot apply again?
M.R.

Dear M.R.

Anyone who is the subject of a removal order will need to deal with this issue before reapplying for any form of visas or permit to re-enter Canada.  That however does not mean that your husband can never return to Canada if he is the subject of what is called a removal order.  His ability to return to Canada will depend on the reason he was required to leave and how soon after the order he actually left the country.  The solution may be to make and application for an Authorization to Return to Canada (“ARC”) before he is able to re-enter Canada.

Types of Removal Orders
There are three different types of removal orders and depending on which one he was a subject to, he may not be required to apply for an ARN.

Departure order: A departure order requires that a person leave Canada within 30 days after the order becomes enforceable. If your husband left within the 30 days, then he may reapply for a visa without applying for an ARC.  Of course he will need to satisfy the visa officer that he has strong ties to his home country, is gainfully employed and demonstrate that he will not over stay again.  

Exclusion order: A person who has been removed as a result of an exclusion order cannot return to Canada for one year after the date of removal, unless he has received a written consent of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). The CBSA is responsible for removing people from Canada who have been issued a removal order.  

If your husband has a Certificate of Departure and 12 months have passed since the order, he does not need to apply for an ARN.  If, however, the period of time is less than 12 months, he will need to apply for an ARC.

Deportation order: This is the most serious of the removal orders.  If a person has been removed from Canada as a result of a deportation order, he is permanently barred from returning to Canada. Usually such an order is for serious violations or criminal activities and so he would be deemed “criminally inadmissible”.

Reasons for inadmissibility
Individuals may be deemed inadmissible under nine different categories. They are: (1) security (2) human or international rights violations (3) organized criminality (4) serious criminality (5) health (6) financial reasons (7) misrepresentation (8) non-compliance and (9) as a result of an inadmissible family member.

All three removal orders require an individual to confirm his or her departure from Canada with the CBSA. A departure order automatically becomes a deportation order when someone who has been issued a departure order does not leave Canada within the time stipulated or if he leaves without confirming his departure with the CBSA. Departure and exclusion orders are usually issued for less serious violations.

Important information
There is no absolute guarantee that once he applies for the ARC that he will be automatically granted the authorization to return. He needs to bear in mind that he will need to convince a visa officer that he will not make the same mistakes again.  

Some of the things the officer will consider are:
  •   The reasons for the removal order;
  • Whether or not there is a possibility that he will repeat the behaviour that caused the order to be issued;
  •   The length of time that has passed since the order was issued;
  •   Current situation, including social, economic and emotional ties to his home country;
  •   Reasons for wanting to return to Canada;
  • Ability to afford the trip and expenses while in Canada.
The processing fee for ARC is $400 CAD.

If your husband needs to make an application for ARC, apply for record suspension/ pardon, or apply for rehabilitation as result of an exclusion or deportation order, I strongly recommend that he consults with an immigration lawyer before approaching CIC. 


Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Her areas of practice are in immigration, personal injury, commercial, family, and administration of estates. She is on the roster of mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica.  Submit your questions and comments to: Email:info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration. Find her on Facebook:jamaicanlawyer. Tel: 613-695-8777. 

Published in the Jamaican Gleaner - 18.8.2014
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140819/news/news3.html  

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Money spent and still no job - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | August 12, 2014

Money spent and still no job - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | August 12, 2014


Dear Miss Powell,
I travelled to Canada via a recruiter who promised to provide employment. I was charged CAD$3,000 prior to departing Jamaica for his efforts. To date, he has not provided any employment. He says I need an LMO. What is that? How can I acquire an LMO if I am offered employment? In addition, my visa will expire in July 2016. Can I file for an extension?
- WP
Dear WP,
I'm very concerned about your letter as I'm unclear about your status in Canada. I have many questions. Are you in Canada on a temporary resident visa? Study permit?  Work permit? How long have you been in Canada? The answers to these questions can affect the approach that you should take at this time.
I trust that you have not exceeded the time that you were granted to stay in Canada under a temporary resident visa/visitor's visa. Usually, the maximum amount of time that individuals are granted is six months at a time. In order to stay longer than the six months granted, you will need to apply for an extension of time and must provide a valid reason for your request. The application should only be made approximately 30 days before the time that you were told that you should leave Canada. Such an application can be done online via Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website : www.cic.gc.ca.
scammers
I will not elaborate on the issue that you have paid CAD$3,000 to someone and have yet to receive a job offer. I have written too many articles advising how to spot scammers and have warned readers not to give away your money to people who are not able to follow through on their promises. You may visit my blog, website www.deidrepowell.com, or The Gleaner's website to view past articles on how to spot scammers and what to do if you are scammed. That's all I will say on that issue.
LMO/ LMIA
You should note that in June 2014, the Canadian government revamped the temporary foreign worker programme, and so employers in Canada who wish to hire a temporary foreign worker, for most job categories, must now apply to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is a change of name from the old Labour Market Opinion (LMO), but the requirements are essentially the same. The fee is now CAD $1,000 and is payable by the employer.
ESDC will evaluate the impact that hiring you, a foreign worker, will have on the current  Canadian job market and whether there is a genuine shortage of persons in Canada who can fill the particular position. They will examine the prospective employer's application to see if there is a genuine need to hire you and to see if you are qualified and able to do the job that no other person in Canada can do. Once they make an assessment that there is a genuine need for your services, then they will issue a positive LMIA or a confirmation letter to the employer so that your prospective employer may hire you. You will then be able to apply for a valid work permit.
Your prospective employer will need to submit documents and proof of the following:
1. A genuine need to fill the position.
2. Means to hire someone at the standard rate for that particular job.
3. Demonstrate the efforts made to find someone within Canada to fill the position and failure to find a suitable person.
4. Suitability as an employer to ensure that the correct salary and work conditions are met. Also verification that they have not breached labour laws, rules, or regulations.
This type of investigation does take time, especially if your prospective employer is applying for the first time. If the employer has previously been approved, then the application may be processed in approximately two weeks. Once a confirmation letter has been granted, then you can use that letter to apply for a valid work permit. You should note that once you have been in Canada under a valid work permit for a number of years, this could also provide you with opportunities to become a permanent resident, and later, a citizen of Canada.
If you and your prospective employer need assistance with the application, I recommend that you contact an immigration lawyer to guide you with the process.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada, bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, personal injury, family, commercial, and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to Email: info@deidrepowell.com Subject line: Immigration or Tel: 613.695.8777 Follow her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Changes to immigrant investor programmes - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | July 29, 2014



Changes to immigrant investor programmes - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | July 29, 2014



Dear Ms Powell,
My husband submitted an application under the Federal Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) three years ago, and we received a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) acknowledging receipt of our documents but have not heard anything else. I heard that CIC announced that all investor programmes would be cancelled and that they are refunding application fees. Why would they cancel the programme when it means more money could be invested in Canada? Will only the fees be returned? What about interest on the money we gave them and the other costs we incurred to deal with this application? Can I ask them to just transfer my application to the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Programme ? What's this new 'express entry'?
- WJ
Dear WJ,
You have asked a number of questions that touch on and concern both the Investor Programme and the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, so I will attempt to address each issue as comprehensively as possible.
CIC announced that the Federal Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) would be abolished as research showed that the IIP and the Entrepreneur Programmes (EN) have created a class of immigrants that were not maintaining ties to Canada or making a positive economic contribution to the country. Their way of handling this dilemma was to institute new laws to deal with the backlog of applications and to institute more efficient immigration programmes, which they believe will be more beneficial to the country.
I will summarise the major changes below so that other readers can benefit from your question.
Canada Economic Action Plan
On June 19, 2014, the Economic Action Plan Act 2014 became law. The effect was that certain applications that have not yet been approved under the IIP and EN would be terminated or cancelled based on whether an applicant met the selection criteria before February 11, 2014. Selection will be based on the CIC processing system and is time based.
So fees paid to CIC in respect of the terminated IIP and EN applications will be returned to the person who paid them. Any investment that has been made in respect of a terminated IIP application will also be returned to the applicant.
This means that if a decision was made on your application before February 11, 2014, your application will not be affected and will continue to be processed. So even if you have not yet been asked to do a medical examination, your application is not affected by the legislation and you should be hearing from CIC soon.
If a selection decision was not made on your application before February 11, 2014, then your application is automatically terminated and CIC will contact you either directly, or through your representative, to return the processing fees and any investment that you may have made. You should note that the fees and investment will be returned without interest.
I know that many persons are concerned about the fees and costs associated with their application such as the financial audits, language test, bank charges, and representative fees; however, these fees will not be returned or reimbursed.
Is this the end of investment opportunities in Canada?
No. The government of Canada is still hoping to attract economic immigrants who are more likely to contribute positively to the Canadian economy and maintain ties to Canada through new pilot projects.
There is the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Fund pilot project. This project will require immigrants to make a "real and significant investment in the Canadian economy".
The government will be engaging in consultations to ensure that more appropriate programmes are implemented to achieve their goals. I will tell you more about this programme, hopefully, in another article or blog.
Express Entry
The other programme is set to launch in January 2015 and is called 'Express Entry'. It is viewed that this new Express Entry Programme will help Canadian employers to recruit the best candidates from around the world to foster productivity and growth in their businesses and ultimately, the Canadian economy. Individuals will be selected based on selection based on "the most likely to succeed in Canada" rather than based on the existing 'first come first serve/the first person in line' system.
Essentially, the express entry system is a recruitment model that may be viewed as a match-making service between 'highly skilled immigrants'; the provincial, territorial and federal governments; and others employers.
Transfer from Investor to Federal Skilled Worker Programme
You cannot have your fees or application transferred from one programme to the other. The application process and requirements are different. You will need to submit a different application under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme if this is the route you now wish to take. However, since your application was submitted three years ago, there is a strong possibility that an officer has made a decision on your case by now. You should contact the CIC's approved communications lines in your country to ascertain the status of your file and make a decision then.
You should note, however, that beginning in January 2015, CIC will be transitioning to the Express Entry system. Once this system is implemented, individuals will no longer be able to apply under the FSW programme. Instead, a prospective applicant will need to submit his or her intent to apply for immigration to an applicant pool. Then, the federal government and employers will all be able to select candidates from the larger pool and invite them to submit an immigration application. 
CIC will be accepting applications under the existing FSW programme until January 1, 2015, or until the overall cap of 25,000 is reached. While all occupations appear to currently be open, some popular fields will fill up very quickly. If you qualify under the FSWP, you should apply immediately as there is no guarantee that you will be selected or matched with a prospective employer under the new system. The concern is that many employers will be scrutinising the list and selecting the 'cream of the crop' to join their organisation, therefore, the selection process could be more subjective.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, personal injury, commercial, family, and administration of estates. She is on the roster of mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Submit your questions and comments to: Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration. Facebook: jamaicanlawyer Tel: 613-695-8777.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Job opportunities in Canada - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | July 15, 2014


Job opportunities in Canada - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | July 15, 2014



Dear Ms Powell,
I've been reading about job opportunities in Canada and so I decided to write you to see if I stand a chance. I have a diploma from The Mico Teachers College and I have been working in a day care as I haven't been able to get a job as a teacher. I heard that I may be able to find work in Canada. Can you tell me how to apply?
- BT
Dear BT,
As a part of  Canada Immigration policy and economic action plan, the government reopened the Federal Skilled Worker Programme in May 2014 with a new list of eligible occupations. This list is based on research which reveals that Canada is experiencing a shortage of early childhood educators (ECEs) and early childhood assistants.
In order to qualify, you would need to have a minimum of one year of continuous, full-time (or an equal amount of part-time) paid relevant work experience within the past ten years as an early childhood educator or early childhood assistant. Then, you may be eligible to apply, under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, for you and your immediate family to become permanent residents of Canada.
Eligible workers
ECEs are also known as pre-school teachers, childcare workers, day care workers, childcare practitioners, home childcare consultants, nursery school teachers, childcare assistant supervisors, day care supervisors, childcare coordinators.
You will need a letter from your employer confirming that you are working in a registered childcare centre, day care centre, early childhood school, kindergarten or an agency/school for exceptional children. The key is that you provide education or care for pre-teens or work in any other setting where early childhood education services are provided.
If you are applying as a supervisor or coordinator, you will need to have a minimum of two years working experience in the field.
Basic eligibility to become an early childhood educator or assistant in Canada
Completion of secondary school;
Experience in childcare;
Completion of an early childhood education assistant certificate programme or post-secondary courses in early childhood education may be required;
Licensing by a provincial or territorial association for early childhood educators (ECEs) may be required.
The key to remember is that even though the educational requirement may seem easy to meet, you will need to be able to get a minimum of 67 points in order to qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme.
In your particular case, you indicate that you already have a diploma from Mico, so you should be able to reach the minimum requirement under the point system depending on other factors such as your age, whether or not you have other relatives here in Canada and language skills.
How do you apply?
You may visit the Citizenship and Immigration  Canada website and download the required forms, complete the forms accurately, attach the supporting documents, pay the required fee and submit your application. You will also need to pass the medical and security checks.
You should note that even though Jamaica is an English-speaking country, you will be required to prove your language skills by doing the required English exam. Your application will be returned if you do not send your English test results with your application.
Once your application is successful, you will be given a permanent resident card. This card is similar to the popular American green card. In essence, you would now be able to apply for a job to work anywhere in Canada, in an early childhood institution.
I must caution you that this is a time-sensitive application, as there is a cap on the number of applications that will be accepted. Also, when applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, it is essential for you to pay attention to the finer details of your applications. Incomplete or incorrect applications may be returned or refused. With so many people around the world focused on this programme, it is important for prospective immigrants to act quickly and efficiently to secure a place in the queue. 
If you have issues or concerns about your eligibility or need help with your application, consult with immigration lawyer.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, personal injury, commercial, family, real estate and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to: Email:info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration. Tel: 613-695-8777. Follow her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer

Friday, 20 June 2014

Government welcomes Royal Assent of Bill C-24 - Canada News Centre

Government welcomes Royal Assent of Bill C-24 - Canada News Centre

Source: Office of Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister

Government welcomes Royal Assent of Bill C-24

The government celebrates the passage of reforms to the Citizenship Act
June 19, 2014 — Ottawa, ON — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced today that reforms to the Citizenship Act received final passage and Royal Assent. The reforms will strengthen the rules around access to citizenship to ensure that new citizens are better prepared for full participation and integration into Canadian society, with the goal of fostering in new Canadians a stronger attachment to Canadian values and traditions.
Key reforms include:

Improving efficiency

Canada’s citizenship program is being improved by reducing the decision-making process from three steps to one. It is expected that, by 2015–2016, this change will bring the average processing time for citizenship applications down to under a year. It is also projected that by 2015-2016, the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80 percent.

Reinforcing the value of Canadian citizenship

The government is ensuring citizenship applicants maintain strong ties to Canada. These amendments to the Citizenship Act provide a clearer indication that the “residence” period to qualify for citizenship in fact requires physical presence in Canada.
More applicants will now be required to meet language requirements and pass a knowledge test to ensure that new citizens are better prepared to fully participate in Canadian society. New provisions will also help individuals with strong ties to Canada, such as by automatically extending citizenship to additional “Lost Canadians” who were born before 1947 as well as to their children born in the first generation outside Canada.

Cracking down on citizenship fraud

The updated Citizenship Act includes stronger penalties for fraud and misrepresentation (a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or five years in prison) and expands the grounds to bar an application for citizenship to include foreign criminality, which will help improve program integrity.

Protecting and promoting Canada’s interests and values

Finally, the amendments bring Canada in line with most of our peer countries, by providing that citizenship can be revoked from dual nationals who are convicted of serious crimes such as terrorism, high treason and spying offences (depending on the sentence received) or who take up arms against Canada. Permanent residents who commit these acts will be barred from citizenship.
As a way of recognizing the important contributions of those who serve Canada in uniform, permanent residents who are members of the Canadian Armed Forces will have quicker access to Canadian citizenship. The Act also stipulates that children born to Canadian parents serving abroad as servants of the Crown are able to pass on Canadian citizenship to children they have or adopt outside Canada.

Quick facts

  • Requiring 14-64 year-olds to meet knowledge and language requirements provides an incentive for more individuals to acquire official language proficiency and civics knowledge, which helps them successfully integrate into Canadian society. 
  • Citizenship applicants will need to be physically present in Canada for a total of four out of their last six years. In addition, they will need to be physically present in Canada for 183 days per year for at least four of those six years. These provisions will come into force in approximately a year.
  • Under the new streamlined decision-making model, citizenship officers will decide all aspects of a citizenship application. Under the old model, obtaining citizenship was a three-step process that involved duplication of work.
  • Since 2006, Canada has welcomed over 1,300,000 proud new Canadians. Citizenship and Immigration Canada received 333,860 citizenship applications in 2013, the highest volume ever.

Quotes

“Our government is proud to announce that the first comprehensive reforms to the Citizenship Act in a generation have now become law. Moving forward, the value of citizenship will be reinforced and new citizens will be able to acquire citizenship more quickly. Our government has strengthened the rules around access to citizenship to ensure that they reflect its true value, and that new citizens are better prepared for full participation for life in Canada. Canadian citizenship is highly valued around the world and, with this balanced set of reforms, our government is ensuring that this remains so.”
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister
“Our government expects new Canadians to take part in the democratic life, economic potential and the rich cultural traditions of Canada. Our government remains committed to the successful integration of new citizens into our labour market and our communities, ensuring that they are better prepared to assume the responsibilities of citizenship, and fostering in new Canadians a strong attachment to Canada.”
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister



Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Do I need a work permit AND a study permit for Canada? - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | June 17, 2014

Do I need a work permit AND a study permit for Canada? - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | June 17, 2014



Dear Ms. Powell,
just got accepted to study at a college in Ontario and I am about to submit my application for a study permit. Do I also need to submit an application for a work permit separately? I would like to be able to work on a part-time basis so that I don't have to pressure my parents too much for spending money. Your help would be appreciated.
M.P.
Dear M.P.,
Working while attending school as a full-time student is beneficial to your time management skills, networking, as well as both your and your parents' pockets! ( They must be pleased with your initiative).
There are several avenues that can be explored in terms of working while you are attending school on a study permit in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has recently made changes to the International Student Program (ISP). So as of June 1, it is easier for some students to work off campus without seeking to get a separate work permit.
Under the new rules, students who are attending one of the eligible learning intuitions on a full-time basis may work off campus for up to 20 hours on a part-time basis. However, you may work on a full-time basis during scheduled school holidays such as during the Christmas and summer breaks. There may be some restrictions that apply to this programme if you qualify.
If you are a full-time student, you may work on campus at the institution that you attend without a work permit. There are restrictions regarding which institutions qualify for this programme. However, if you and your institution qualify, working on campus can be beneficial to you and your institution's community. Should you choose to work on campus, contact your school's administration office to enquire about job opportunities. These are often posted on their websites.
Summary of qualifications
In order to be qualified to work in Canada during your studies without a separate work permit, you must:
1. Have a valid study permit;
2. Be a full-time student;
3. Be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level; and
4. Be enrolled in a programme, no shorter than six months, that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
Further, although you may not need a separate work permit, you are required to obtain a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN), issued by Service Canada, before you start working.
I like your industrious spirit, however, you should bear in mind that your main purpose for being in Canada is to further your educational qualifications and, therefore, you must ensure that you maintain your grades or risk your study permit being revoked. It will be your responsibility to find employment on or off campus and to ensure that all requirements for both your study and your employment are met at all times.
You may visit my website at www.deidrepowell.com for more information about study permits, work permits, and other immigration programmes.
Congratulations on being accepted by the school of your choice and best of luck in your studies!
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration , real estate, personal injury, family, and administration of estates. Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subjectline: Immigration or Tel: 613-695-8777. Facebook: jamaicanlawyer

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Look out for immigration scammers - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | June 10, 2014


Look out for immigration scammers - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | June 10, 2014


Dear Ms Powell,
I am a truck driver working in Jamaica and I am eager to work in Canada. Someone told me about an agency here in Jamaica and I contacted them. They said they can guarantee me work in Canada and that they can get me the work permit. They are charging me CA$4,000 to get this done. They mentioned that the CA$4,000 is to prepare my documents. However, a friend got a job at a hotel and said she didn't have to pay so much for hers. I tried linking with that person who helped her, but the man said he was only looking for hotel workers. Then I heard that I can get permanent residence and don't need a work permit. I see all kinds of advertisements online and in the newspaper. I'm very confused. I don't want to get scammed. How can I know who is legit?
- PS
Dear PS,
I have written several articles advising people about immigration scams. In fact, since Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has reopened the federal skilled worker (FSWP) and federal skilled trade programmes (FSTP) many persons have contacted me asking about providing them jobs and work permits to move to Canada and the United States.
So once again, I'm going to share the facts with you and other readers so that you can identify scammers and safeguard yourselves.
First and foremost, no one but an immigration officer at the Canadian embassy/visa office can guarantee you an authentic work permit; no other person - not an immigration lawyer, immigration consultant, paralegal, notary, recruiting company, employer or agency. So if someone says you are guaranteed a work permit, you should be on the alert. If the offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
Be on the lookout for phrases such as:
Guaranteed work permits! Free scholarships! High-paying jobs in Canada with minimal or no experience needed! Free air tickets and accommodation! Guaranteed employment! Special programmes! Earn $4,000 a month as hotel cleaner or truck driver! Get permanent residence without a degree! Work as a live-in helper for $500 per week!
Watch out for telephone calls from individuals claiming to be calling from CIC, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), or US  Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asking for personal information for verification of your account/application.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Who are authorised representatives?
CIC will only accept applications from those who are authorised to do so. You could waste valuable time and money if you do not use an authorised representative to assist you with your application.
Authorised representatives are:
1 Lawyers and notaries who are in good standing with their law society that governs the jurisdiction in which they practice. So you would need to check the regulatory body for the particular country, province or state. The lawyers who are authorised to practice are usually listed on the organisation's website. For example:
a. Jamaica - General Legal Council - www.generallegalcouncil.org
b. Province of Ontario - www.lsuc.on.ca
c. Province of British Colombia - www.lawsociety.bc.ca
d. Florida - www.floridabar.org
e. New York - www.nysba.org/
2 Immigration Consultants  must be registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and must be accredited as a Regulated Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in order to be able to represent you. You may find a list of accredited immigration consultants on their website: www.iccrc-crcic.ca.
3 Some paralegals who are a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario only) are authorised to accept fees for assisting clients. Check the LSUC website to ensure that the paralegal is registered.
Should you pay for Labour Market Opinion (LMO)/ Arranged Employment Opinion (AEO) reports? NO!
If you are applying under the FSTP to become a permanent resident, your occupation must be listed on CIC website as one of the eligible occupations. While railway carmen or women, conductors brakemen and crane operators are listed, there is nothing listed for drivers at this time, under this category.
If your occupation was listed, your prospective employer would need to give you an AEO, which they would get from Employment and Social Development Canada, and this would be submitted with your application under the FSTP. You do not need to pay for the AEO.
When a prospective employer is looking to recruit a temporary foreign worker then it is the responsibility of the employer to provide you with a positive LMO from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. You would then use this to support your application for work permit. A work permit is temporary and does not give you the rights of a permanent resident. You do not pay the employer or recruiter for this. Any company that tells you they need money from you to apply for an LMO is acting fraudulently and this should be reported.
The application fee for your work permit is CA$150, which is paid directly to the Visa Application Centre (VAC). You should note that if you are using an authorised representative, they may charge you a fee for the preparation of your documents, but they cannot guarantee that you will be absolutely successful. That can only be guaranteed by CIC and their visa officers.
BE SMART
Investigate the person, company or agency. Ask your friends and family for referrals. Be smart and get receipts for all payments. Most importantly, you should be able to communicate directly with the authorised representative and not just persons who claim to be the agent of the representative. If the representative is always 'unavailable', then chances are the person you are dealing with is not an agent of the authorised representative.
Check my website, www.deidrepowell.com, my blog, The Gleaner's website for past articles and www.cic.gc.ca for additional information on how to avoid being scammed. You should also report the person or agency to your local police and the Canadian Border Security if they are providing you with false information. Ensure that you have credible proof of the activity if you want to be taken seriously.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, personal injury, real estate, commercial, family, and administration of estates. She is on the roster of mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Submit your questions and comments to: Email:info@deidrepowell.com subjectline: Immigration Facebook: Jamaicanlawyer .Tel: 613-695-8777.