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Canadian Immigration Essays

Canadian Immigration Essays by Canadian Immigration Lawyer David Cohen.

The following articles have been written by David Cohen to inform those who are considering or are in the process of immigration to Canada either permanently or temporarily. These writings are intended to give readers a perspective different from the legal matter covered in much of this site:

For more essays and writings by David Cohen, please visit his Canada Immigration Blog.

Every year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) sets immigration targets to meet the Canadian government’s economic, family reunification, and humanitarian goals. 2012 will see a large increase in the issuance of visas from overseas, with total documents rising from 217,800 in 2011 to a projected 255,100 for this year.

Saskatchewan, located in western Canada between the provinces of Manitoba and Alberta, is home to a booming economy and rapidly growing population of Canadians and new immigrants. According to the most recent Canadian census, its population has recently surpassed 1 million residents. The majority reside in the urban centers of Saskatoon and Regina, though robust industrial and agricultural industries support job growth in rural areas as well.
The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, or SINP, is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) for this region.

Applicants in the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program may be required to attend an interview with a Quebec immigration officer. This month, CIC News offers some advice on how to prepare and interviews Fritzie Selga, a Filipino nurse who succeeded at her interview and received her certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ).

While Canada is a large and diverse country, traditionally newcomers tended to settle in immigrant enclaves like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. The situation is changing, however, as immigration programs like the popular Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program become more of an attraction.

The path to Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada can be daunting in its complexity. However, some individuals find work in Canada before achieving permanent status, first entering on a Temporary Work Permit.

While Canada, since the 1970’s, has progressively seen more of its immigration come from Asian countries, there has been at least some hard evidence that immigration from Europe is increasing as well.

Federal Skilled Worker applications pass through three phases of evaluation, each with their own requirements. This phased approach was introduced with amendments to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in 2008, with the primary aim of reducing backlogs and wait times.

The best known Canadian immigration program is the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Most potential immigrants believe that it is the easiest or the only immigration program they may qualify for. Many potential immigrants have never heard of the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, or if they have heard of it, they have some misconceptions about the program.

One of the goals of Canadian immigration is to reunite families in Canada. Earlier this year, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenny announced that the Canadian government would be increasing the number of family reunification visas, especially for spousal and child sponsorships. Family reunification is made possible through the Family Class Immigration Program.

Like many countries around the world, Ireland is in economic crisis. Irish workers are packing their bags and leaving the country in search of better employment opportunities abroad. Many are heading to Canada and Toronto in particular. Others are seeking an opportunity to travel and experience a different culture. Canada offers certain foreign individuals an easy way to work and travel in Canada temporarily through the International Experience Canada initiative.

Last month, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that two of the Federal Business Immigration Programs had changed. A moratorium was placed on the Federal Immigrant Entrepreneur Program and the number of applications accepted for the Federal Immigrant Investor Program from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 was limited to 700 applications. Within a couple of days, the cap limit for the Investor Program was reached. Fortunately, this does not mean an end to Canadian Business Immigration. The province of Quebec offers Entrepreneur and Investor Programs for applicants looking to obtain Canadian Permanent Residency.

Canada offers immigration programs that allow foreign-born nationals to come to Canada to work temporarily. One program in particular is aimed at helping Canadian employers hire and retain American and Mexican professionals.

Applying for Canadian permanent residency can often be a daunting task, especially when trying to understand which documents are required and trying to understand instructions which need to be strictly followed. Even small mistakes can result in an application being returned or refused. The following are the top five most commonly made mistakes when submitting an application for Canadian permanent residency.
Earlier this month, the Quebec government announced that they will be holding public consultations for changes to be made to their provincial immigration programs and policies. A proposal was released by Quebec’s Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, Kathleen Weil, which listed several changes that should be made to Quebec’s immigration programs for the period of 2012-2015.

Prince Edward Island (PEI) is Canada’s smallest province and is known for its beautiful sandy beaches. Due in part to the warm and welcoming nature of its residents, PEI is quickly becoming an attractive settlement destination for newcomers to Canada. To entice more immigrants to the province, the PEI provincial government recently announced the addition of five new categories to their Provincial Nominee Program. By expanding the program, PEI hopes to increase the population and supply of workers, and to fuel business and economic development in the province. Applicants who are students in Canada, semi-skilled workers, and investors are now able to fast-track their applications for Canadian permanent residency through PEI. Last year, Canada accepted 182,322 temporary foreign workers into the country. Nearly 100,000 international students were accepted to study at Canadian schools. International students and temporary foreign workers are ideal candidates for Canadian permanent residency. These individuals have already settled into Canadian society and have established important networks in their communities and their careers. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration program can help fast-track these students and workers in becoming Canadian permanent residents.

Quebec is Canada’s largest province in terms of size and is often referred to as “La Belle Province” or the beautiful province in the rest of Canada. Known for its European-style cities, such as Montreal, Quebec is a prime destination for immigrants from all over the world.

Having a job offer from a Canadian employer can be a great way to optimize your chances of obtaining Canadian permanent residency. A genuine job offer may entitle you to a work permit or permanent residency under various Federal and Provincial immigration programs.

Several Canadian provinces offer Canadian Permanent Residency nominations for individuals in semi-skilled professions in manufacturing, transportation, food and beverage, and hospitality occupations. These provincial nomination programs (PNPs) are designed to support economic growth by attracting work-ready immigrants to the provinces.


Canada's first-rate academic institutions welcome international students from across the world. More than 130,000 students come to study in Canada every year and even more come to Canada to learn English or French. Foreign students bring a rich culture to Canadian classrooms.


Manitoba's very successful Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) is proof that Manitoba is a destination of choice for those considering immigration to Canada. Here we take a closer, in-depth look at the General stream, one of several streams under the Manitoba Provincial Nomination Program each having its own eligibility requirements.


A foreign national who wishes to work in Canada generally requires a work permit. Work permits allow people to quickly begin working in Canada and can be a stepping stone toward Canadian Permanent Resident visas.


Les autorités des marchés financiers en France et au Québec ont signé un accord qui vise à faciliter la mobilité des professionnels des services financiers entre la France et le Québec. Cette entente garanti la reconnaissance mutuelle de la qualification professionnelle des personnes exerçant des fonctions réglementées dans le domaine des instruments financiers en France et des valeurs mobilières au Québec.


  • Criminality Issues for Visitors, Temporary Foreign Workers & Permanent Residents
    Any person currently charged with or previously convicted of any criminal offence inside or outside of Canada may be prohibited from visiting, working, studying or applying for permanent residence in Canada. Even offences as seemingly minor as some moving traffic violations may render an individual inadmissible to Canada. Examples of convictions that could make a person inadmissible to Canada include: Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving With Ability Impaired (DWAI), Theft, Petty Theft/Larceny (Shoplifting), Assault, Disorderly Conduct, Obstruction of Justice.

  • Canadian Immigration Options for Temporary Workers and International Students
    Since 2008, the Canadian federal and provincial governments have had programs in place to make it easier for individuals working or studying in Canada to obtain Canadian permanent residency. The governments recognize that individuals currently living in Canada, contributing to Canadian society and to the economy are likely to be successful Canadian permanent residents. There are four categories under which a person working or studying in Canada can qualify for a Canadian permanent resident visa.


  • Report recommends expansion of Immigrant Investor program, highlights benefits to Canada
    A new study by three prominent Canadian economists concludes that Canada should expand its Immigrant Investor program, and highlights the positive contributions immigrant investors have made to Canada’s economy and society in the years since the program has been in effect.


  • Doing Business in Canada: An Intra-Company work permit can allow non-residents to expand their business to Canada
    For individuals interested in bringing their current business to Canada, there are new guidelines that will help them to accomplish this goal. In November 2009, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) redefined the way for businesses and individuals to get “Intra-Company Transfer” Work Permits.


  • Finding Work In Canada: Preparation is the key to finding a rewarding Canadian job
    When searching for employment in Canada, it is important for candidates to be prepared, not just to integrate into the Canadian workforce, but to organize a job search that is targeted specifically to the Canadian market.


  • Immigration Minister proposes significant changes to improve the Live-In Caregiver Program
    After extensive consultations with caregiver groups across Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada (CIMC) Minster Jason Kenney announced proposed changes to the Live-in Caregiver program earlier this month. The changes will make it easier for foreign workers in Canada employed as live-in caregivers to qualify for Canadian permanent resident visas, as well as ensure that their rights are protected and their working conditions are up to standard.
  • Court rules sponsors not automatically accountable for family members' social assistance debt
    Earlier this month, the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered governments to stop automatically charging individuals, who have sponsored relatives to come to Canada as permanent residents, for social assistance debt sustained by those relatives.
  • Canadavisa.com reveals fresh new look with new assessment form that determines eligibility across all of the 60-plus Canadian immigration categories
    Federal Skilled Worker is no longer the only way to go. Both federal and provincial immigration programs have expanded significantly in recent times, offering candidates more than sixty different alternatives for immigration to Canada. This new reality in Canadian immigration is matched by the revamp of Canada's leading immigration website, Canadavisa.com. By submitting a Canadian immigration eligibility questionnaire on Canadavisa.com, an applicant's candidacy will be assessed across all the Canada immigration options that currently exist.
  • Business Immigration: the Quebec Investor category may provide a faster route to Canadian immigration
    For the second year in a row, the World Economic Forum has ranked Canada's banking system ‘the soundest in the world,' and given Canada top marks for the ease of starting a business. The Immigrant Investor Program, a category of Canadian Business Immigration, is an essential Canadian immigration option for business people who have accumulated a high net worth and wish to take advantage of Canada's opportunities, such as a five-year ‘tax holiday' for new Canadian permanent residents. There are two Immigrant Investor programs: the Federal Investor program, and the Quebec Investor program. While the requirements for both programs seem similar, the Quebec Investor program has slightly different conditions than the Federal Investor program, and, depending on the applicant's country of residence, may provide a faster route to a Canadian immigrant (permanent resident) visa.
  • Applying to immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker: Beyond the 38 qualifying occupations
    When Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada (CIMC) Minister Jason Kenney announced the details of the new Action Plan for Faster Immigration, which set new regulations for the Federal Skilled Worker program of Canadian immigration, the focus turned to a list of 38 qualifying occupations that determine a potential applicant's eligibility to apply to immigrate under this program. However, there are two additional ways to qualify as a Federal Skilled Worker that are not related to the 38 occupations at all.
  • Quebec Immigration Update: Changes to selection grid to improve the immigration and settlement process
    Since 1991, the province of Quebec has had an agreement in place with the Government of Canada, called the Canada-Quebec Accord, which allows Quebec to select its own immigrants. In the June 2009 edition of our newsletter, we reported that the Quebec Immigration Minister had announced changes to Quebec's immigration programs. Some of these changes have already been put into effect, while others will be implemented in October. More information has since been released about how the new amendments will facilitate immigration to Quebec.
  • Quebec adopts special immigration program for international students and foreign workers
    Along the lines of the federal Canadian Experience Class, introduced last year by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the province of Quebec is launching its own accelerated and simplified immigration program for international students and specialized foreign workers who meet labour market priorities in the province.
  • Manage a business in Canada: Business Immigration for Entrepreneurs
    Entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses are an important part of the Canadian economy. If, as a potential Canadian immigrant, you would like to establish and manage your own business in Canada, the Entrepreneur category of Canadian Business immigration could be your ticket to Canadian Permanent Residency. The federal and provincial governments strongly encourage newcomers to invest in new or existing businesses across the country, bringing their international experience to the Canadian economy. The federal Entrepreneur category of Business Class immigration was created to do just that, and many provincial Entrepreneur programs have subsequently emerged as well.
  • Self-employed? Canadian business immigration seeks cultural and athletic professionals, farmers
    Though it is one of the three categories of federal business immigration, the Self-Employed Person category is the only one that does not require a monetary investment or a minimum personal net worth. It is simply a fast-track option for those who have relevant experience in an occupation in art, culture, recreation, or sport, as listed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and have the ability to become self-employed in Canada. It is also open to people who wish to purchase and run a farm in Canada.
  • Looking for a safe place to make an investment?
    Canada's banking system is renowned for its stability. And Canada is recognized for its superior quality of life. Through the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program, you and your family could qualify for fast-track Canadian Permanent Residency…and your money is secure.
  • Ontario widens its PNP: More people can qualify for fast-track Canadian immigration
    What started as Ontario's Pilot Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in May 2007 has now come into its own as the full-fledged Opportunities Ontario Provincial Nominee Program. The Ontario PNP will now be welcoming a greater number of newcomers from a larger array of skilled occupations. The expansion of the program is great news for soon-to-be Canadian immigrants, many of whom plan to live in Ontario, as it offers a quicker and more efficient route to Canadian Permanent Residency.
  • Canada may soon reduce immigration numbers
    Citing economic uncertainty, the Canadian government recently announced the possibility of a reduction in the number of immigrants to be admitted to Canada in 2009.
  • New requirements for Canadian employers hiring foreign skilled workers
    In order to hire a foreign worker, Canadian employers may need to satisfy Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that they cannot find any Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents to fill the available position. ESDC's role is to ensure that Canadian residents have first access to Canadian jobs. To better reflect Canada's evolving labour needs, ESDC has recently altered employer requirements for hiring from abroad.
  • Faster Canadian immigration processing times with new submission procedures
    With the goal of processing new Federal Skilled Worker applications within 6-12 months, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada (CIMC) has implemented new submission procedures to make the process more efficient.
  • Canada Business Immigration - The door is wide open
    If you are a business person looking to make an investment in Canada, the Business Immigration Program may be an important fast-track Canadian immigration option for you. Business Immigration seeks to attract foreign nationals with business and managerial experience who will contribute to the development of the Canadian economy. Through this priority processing program, you could be immigrating to Canada in a matter of months.
  • Nouvel accord entre le Québec et la France appuie la mobilité des travailleurs
    Le président français Nicolas Sarkozy et le Premier ministre du Québec Jean Charest viennent de signer un accord bilatéral qui assure la reconnaissance des qualifications professionnelles par leurs gouvernements, permettant la liberté de mobilité de nombreux travailleurs français et québécois.
  • Atlantic Canada: An increasingly important immigration destination
    With smaller cities and a lower profile, Atlantic Canada traditionally has not seen large influxes of newcomers to Canada. Recent initiatives have somewhat altered this trend, as immigrant communities are becoming established and are growing. However, the rate of immigration is not high enough to satisfy regional governments, who are facing the challenges of aging populations, low birth rates, and chronic labour shortages. To effectively manage these issues and plan for the future, Atlantic provincial governments have banded together to build a regional immigration policy to expand the Atlantic work force.
  • New fast-track immigration category for applicants with Canadian experience
    International graduates and temporary foreign workers have established themselves in Canadian society and are well-poised to become Permanent Residents and eventually Canadian citizens. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC), a new immigration category, has been created specifically to facilitate this transition. Recognizing their Canadian education and/or work experience, the Canadian Experience Class will fast-track their Canadian immigration applications, to ensure that Canada retains these valuable contributors to the Canadian economy and work force. Under the CEC, these applicants can remain in Canada throughout the processing of their applications.
  • Reciprocal work permit agreements for Canadian and international youth travelers
    Canada's International Youth Program encourages young Canadians to travel and work abroad; to acquire the skills, training, and cultural experiences that are so valuable in Canada and in the global marketplace. Canada has coordinated reciprocal work permit arrangements with close to 40 countries in which qualifying Canadians and international youth can visit each others' countries to experience a new culture and different work environment.
  • Practice for your IELTS on Canadavisa – New preparation material available
    Certain Canadian immigration applicants are required to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), a standard test that is recognized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as an indication of English language ability. New to Canadavisa are free IELTS practice tests where visitors can get an idea about to expect.
  • In the U.S. on an H1B? Alberta PNP has a new option for you - no job offer required
    The province of Alberta, with its booming economy and expanding cities, has been working to make it as easy as possible to bring in foreign workers to contribute to the provincial labour force. The Strategic Recruitment Stream, a new pilot project by the Alberta Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) can fast-track the issuance of Canada Permanent Resident visas to people who are in the United States on temporary work visas. No job offer required.
  • Canada rolls out the welcome mat for international students - No job offer needed for three year work permit
    Through recent changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, Canada has made it easier for graduating international students to obtain work permits and acquire Canadian work experience. Not only will the changes help Canada's international student retention rate and ease current skills shortages, but they will also help these students on their way to becoming successful Permanent Residents - new immigrants who have already integrated into Canadian society thanks to the education and work experience they have obtained in Canada.
  • Proposed Changes to Canadian Immigration Laws: Implications for Applicants
    On March 14, 2008 Canada's Conservative government tabled a bill that proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Under the current law, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is required to assess every Permanent Resident application received at a visa office, in a particular immigration category, on a "first come, first served" basis. The proposed legislative change provides the Immigration Minister with the authority to regulate the backlog of applicants. It allows CIC to select among the new applications received and choose those that it determines are best suited for Canada's labour market needs.
  • Smaller Canadian Cities Offer Faster Economic Integration for Newcomers
    Nearly three quarters of Canadian immigrants settle in Canada's three largest metropolitan areas, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. However, a recent Statistics Canada report suggests that those who go against the grain and start their new lives in smaller Canadian centres will likely experience an even more successful integration into Canadian society. In response to this report, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has created a program for these smaller communities to help them with the attraction and retention of Canadian newcomers.
  • Fast-Track Option Expanded for Foreign Workers
    With a pressing need for skilled workers, Canada's Western provinces continue to implement new initiatives to help foreign workers get to Canada and start contributing to the labour force quickly. Human Resources and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is rolling out the welcome mat to temporary foreign workers, making the transition into the workforce easier, faster and with more protection.
  • New Legislation Restores Citizenship to 'Lost Canadians'
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada recently tabled a new bill to modernize the country's citizenship laws. New legislation will retroactively restore citizenship to the tens of thousands who lost, or never had Canadian citizenship because of several obscure clauses in existing legislation.
  • Occupations Under Pressure Lists Fast-Track Temporary Foreign Worker Hires
    More and more provinces are making lists of Regional Occupations Under Pressure, which help employers in labour-tight industries to bring in foreign workers quickly. Employers with job vacancies in listed occupations face less stringent requirements under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
  • British Columbia Eases Requirements for Business Immigration
    Recent modifications to British Columbia's Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) make it easier for immigrants to establish new businesses in the province.
  • Associate's Degrees Recognized for Immigration to Canada
    Under the Federal Skilled Worker category of Canadian immigration, applicants who have obtained Associate's degrees are granted up to 20 points under the Education factor.
  • The Canadian Immigration Integration Project for Pre-Arrival Preparation
    The Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP) was created to improve employment prospects for new immigrants to Canada.
  • Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada on the Increase
    The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program is the Canadian government's primary means of helping employers address immediate skill and labour shortages. As labour tensions continue to mount across industries, Canadian employers have been making use of this program to fill a growing number of vacant positions.
  • Canadian Government's New Foreign Credential Referral Office
    To overcome the challenges of having internationally-obtained qualifications recognized in Canada, a new government office has been established to provide support services to newcomers as they navigate the credential recognition process.
  • North American Companies are Looking Overseas for Information Technology Talent
    According to a recent study by consulting firm Deloitte and Touche LLP, many North American CEO's are having trouble finding IT workers and are looking to foreign skilled workers to staff their organizations.
  • Post Graduation Work Permits for International Students in Canada
    Foreign students completing post-secondary education in Canada are prime candidates for the Canadian workforce. Their education is recognized and they have already settled into Canadian society. In recent years, the federal and provincial governments have implemented initiatives to attract and retain international students; one of which is the right to work in Canada upon graduation.
  • Family and Community - Your Ticket to Provincial Nomination
    The number of options is on the rise for Canadian immigration applicants who do not want to wait out the lengthy application processing times associated with a Federal Skilled Worker Application. Applicants who have relatives or can become part of a community group in Canada may be able to benefit from provincially-sponsored programs, aimed at increasing province-specific immigration.
  • Canada Green Card
    Canada Green Card is a term that is used figuratively to describe Permanent Residency in Canada. Officially however, a green card is uniquely American and is the popular name for a United States Permanent Resident Card.
  • Fast-track your Canada Immigration Visa Application
    Choosing among Work permit, Arranged employment & Provincial nomination.
  • Finding a job in Canada
    The time it takes to complete the processing of a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) visa under the Skilled Worker / Professional category can be lengthy.
  • The Open Work Permit Advantage
    Spouses and common-law partners of temporary foreign workers and foreign students, who themselves want to work in Canada, will need an Open Work Permit.
  • Coming to Canada sooner through the Provincial Nomination Program or Arranged Employment
    Both the Provincial Nomination Program and Arranged Employment in Canada can significantly speed up the Canadian Immigration Application Process.
  • Coming to Canada Sooner on a Work Permit or Arranged Employment
    We are often asked if there are ways to speed-up the processing of an application for a Canada Immigrant (Permanent Resident) Visa. There are.
  • All's Well that Spends Well
    A look into Canada's economy as it achieves what Finance Minister Paul Martin calls "a financial turnaround of historic proportions". According to Porter's Economic Performance Index, a hypothetical measure of a country's economic rating, Canada surpasses most European powers.
  • IT's the way to go
    A look at Canada's booming IT industry, and the demand for professionals that it creates.
  • Canada: The Place You Want To Be
    Historically, Canada has been a haven for people looking for a peaceful economically sound country to call home, but at no time in history has Canada been more inviting and accommodating to immigrants than now. The Canadian government is hoping to attract between 200,00 and 225,000 new immigrants during the year 2000.
  • Same-Sex Couples: Equality under Canadian Immigration Rules
    Canada has distinguished itself from most other nations by affording same-sex and opposite-sex couples equal treatment for immigration purposes.
  • A Message for American Citizens
    I receive many inquiries from American citizens about the possibility of moving to Canada. As an American citizen you may be interested to know that Canada welcomes (even encourages) you to consider becoming a Permanent or Temporary Resident of Canada.
  • Additional Canadian Immigration Essays...

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