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.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas!

Contrary to the common belief, while Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving a month earlier than their counterparts in the U.S., they actually celebrate Christmas on December 25th like the rest of the world!

So wherever you are this Christmas, may you be blessed with every good gift, and I hope God smiles on you and your families too. If you have a Christmas wish that the New Year bring your personal immigration story to a successful conclusion, then I also wish you that! I know it's really all I have wanted for Christmas for years.

If I don't see you sooner, I'll see you next year!

Happy Christmas to all!

Friday, December 17, 2010

TEM makes the Top 40

Nice mention of our fair blog on Business Degree Online. Apparently, we are one of the "Best Blogs By And For Expatriates". Nice to hear.

40. The Expatriate Mind (Canada)

For the last five years, “The Expatriate Mind” has been one man's love letter to the city and people of Toronto, with dazzling photography and video's documenting the American's insatiable appetite for Canadian living. When he's not gushing about the sights and sounds of Toronto, author J writes about immigration issues for American expats and international relations.

A Christmas story

I have a picture of my love and I. It's from near the start of this decade and we are standing in front of a Christmas tree in the lobby of the Delta Chelsea Hotel. She is tall and beautiful and there is the sweetest smile on her face. It's the smile of possibility and of a bright future.

Fast-forward to the end of 2010 and the beginning of our fourth year of waiting for a decision from CIC on our case. I imagine if we stood in that same lobby today, in front of a similar tree, that smile wouldn't show up in the picture this time. If a smile was there at all it would be one tempered by caution and worn by the emotional erosion of waiting.

For three full years our lives together have been on hold. For three full years we have seen each other when time and jobs and money allows, but its never enough. For three full years I have disappeared from the lives of our friends in Toronto while I wait to go home. Each day that goes by, I diminish. The story doesn't change. The only thing that does change, that increases, is the pressure my love and I feel, and the anxiety that goes along with it.

But each Christmas I still remember our first together. Each Christmas I fall in love with her again. We met at this time of the year and that alone, despite everything else, is reason to celebrate.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Star - Immigration appeal process urged for rejected visa applicants

Did you know that if a visitor's visa application is refused by CIC, that the applicant has no means of challenging the ruling? Do you really want the government to have such power with absolutely no check or balance on it?

Maybe I'm demonstrating my American bias in that thought - that decisions of bureaucrats should be able to be reviewed - that wrongs should have the opportunity to be righted.

I know there are fundamental differences between the way government is run in Canada and the U.S. In general, I prefer the Canadian system. But I believe in fairness too. It hardly seems fair that what might be an arbitrary decision about someone's ability to visit Canada has no current possibility of being challenged.

Read the Star article here

Friday, December 10, 2010

Canada and U.S. seek to unify border security in secret talks

The Harper and Obama governments have secretly been drafting plans to increase the sharing of information on individuals crossing their border among police, security and military officials, as well as sharing border management facilities, and increasing exchanges of law enforcement information.

Sounds like it make us all safer, right? Wrong. And not only will the co-mingling of border security not make you any safer, it will also most certainly take away some of the protections Canadian citizens and permanent residents enjoy that Americans do not. Are Canadians ready for border agents to "touch their junk" when they feel like it? How about the exchange of whatever personal information the U.S. decides is necessary? If someone is inadmissible to the U.S. does that make them inadmissible to Canada too?

Liberal transport critic John McCallum asks, “On sovereignty, does this mean we’ll have the same refugee and immigration policies as the U. S.? Does it mean that someone who’s not admissible in the United States won’t be admissible in Canada?”

Canada should not be pressured into following the U.S. lead on border issues. Let your M.P. know that Canada has a responsibility to its citizens and visitors to set its own border policies and practices.

Read the Star article here