My eBook, How To Immigrate To Canada For Skilled Workers: The Authoritative Guide To Federal And Provincial Opportunities is available now on Amazon and other online retailers. Get your copy of the essential guide to Skilled Worker class applications today!

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Also available is my new eBook, "How To Immigrate To Canada In The Family Class: The Authoritative Guide Including Qu├ębec And Super Visa Opportunities". Get it at Amazon or the other e-retailers noted above.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ontario unites immigration resources

Ontario Immigration is a great website put together by the Province to help immigrants at all stages. They have done an excellent job in organizing and linking information from many different sources and acting as a portal for a range of core questions that immigrants have to address.

At the site, presented in (of course) both French and English) you will find information aimed to deal with issues both before (like how to apply to immigrate, which links you to the pertinent sections of the CIC web site) and after you arrive in Canada (like how to get your Social Insurance card), guides to Ontario, information on immigrant assistance programs, finding housing, health insurance, banking, jobs and more.

This is a fantastic site and a must-have bookmark for those at any point in their immigrant journey.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ontario gets it right - "Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act" passed

You wont see any news about it, other than the mention with this article - - News - Another first for Augustine, but the "Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act" was recently passed in Ontario, as championed by Minister Mike Colle.

Under the new legislation, measures will be implemented for ensuring the regulatory bodies that oversee various professions are "fair and open" to qualified newcomers.

To that end, audits of the registration practices of regulated professions will be conducted to make sure they are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.

While the successful passing of this legislation didn't make the press, here's part of a backgrounder from 2006 outling the key elements of it:

Ensuring Fair Practices
The proposed Act would require regulatory bodies to adopt fair and transparent registration processes by:

- Reviewing their requirements for registration including academic courses and work experience.
- Providing information about documents and credentials required to support an application or alternative options if an applicant cannot obtain documentation for reasons beyond their control.
- Providing complete information about how the registration process works, the approximate amount of time it would take to get a decision, fees required, and the criteria for acceptance into the profession.
- Deciding whether an individual is successful or not in obtaining a license within a reasonable amount of time.
- Providing applicants with written reasons for the decision.
- Ensuring applicants have the right to an internal review or appeal if they don’t agree with the decision, and receive a written response to a request for a review or appeal.
- Ensuring officials making decisions on registration, internal reviews or appeals are trained so that they have knowledge of the processes.

Way to go, Ontario!

Immigration fuels Canada‘s growth - we have a problem

Immigration fuels Canada‘s growth

"Two-thirds of Canada‘s rapid population increase over the past five years came from immigration — a force that in coming decades will account for almost all of the country‘s growth, according to census figures released Tuesday."

The article noted chronicles a unique situation. Canada's birthrate is slowing. Soon, the only net gain in population will be through immigration.

So what's the problem? Barriers to immigrating is one - the backlog of applicants continues to grow, without a plan in place to manage it.

The second problem is the one of employment access, as noted before. While some Provinces, like Ontario (who bear the brunt of immigration by a huge margin) are proactively putting programs in place to take advantage of the economic capital flowing into the country associated with highly educated new immigrants, there is still no cohesive Federal plan in place.

It seems Canada can do one of three things - stay the course, create more restrictive policies to stem the flow of immigrants (ala the US) or embrace the future and take advantage of those who truly want to build a new future in a wonderful country.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Application wait times examined - permanent residence

You have to dig a bit on the CIC website to find out what wait times are for different types of immigration applications. But I don't mind tracking these things down now and again. This time around I'll look at all applications for permanent residence. In general, things still aren't very good for this class - some can still wait over four years to process. But the good news is at the other end of the scale, where it appears the "easier" applications are moving through at a reasonable pace.

Processing Times at Visa Offices in All Regions

30% of cases finalized in 7 months
50% of cases finalized in 17 months
70% of cases finalized in 32 months
80% of cases finalized in 54 months

The best places to come from if you want to get into Canada in a reasonable amount of time? Vienna (80% of applications handled with in 12 months) and surprisingly, San Paulo (80% of applications handled with in 13 months) .

The worst? Moscow and New Deli at up to 66 months.

For more information, see the CIC site

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Skilled immigrant worker barriers studied under new Conservative plan

In a press release from Minister Monte Solberg, it appears that after a public kick in the ass from the NDP, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper is finally going to loosen the purse-strings and put some money behind the issues faced by skilled worker immigrants in Canada.

What caught my attention here was what they are spending the money on: "The project (entitled: "Bridging the Gap: Integration of Skilled Immigrants into the Canadian Workplace") will be led by the University of Ottawa and will work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's), skilled immigrant employees and human resources professionals to develop and test learning modules for understanding the barriers to integration into Canada's workplaces, and then implement strategies to overcome them."

So they are funding a university study, with small and medium sized businesses (typically exempt from Federal employment laws if they employ under 100 individuals), to develop and test "learning modules" (read: government pamplets).

Come on Monte - the barriers skilled workers face are clear. You don't need to spend $2 million to see them.

There is no consistent path for the acceptance of foreign training or professional credentials; there are many protectionist professional societies restricting job access to immgrants; without a point of entry, it is nearly impossible to gain often required "Canadian experience."

You don't need to be a University of Ottawa professor to figure it out.