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Coming to Guyana

A new life in Canada starts with UCIC

Upper Canada Immigration Consultants (UCIC)  is coming to Guyana. As President of the firm, I am visiting my family in the Georgetown area in early March. During that time, I will hold an information session for interested potential clients, who may wish to retain us to assist them to come from Guyana to Canada.

Our campaign began on Facebook in January. Many of you have read this in Guyana, and this web site has some useful resources for you. If you are serious about coming to Canada to live, work, study or do business, consider retaining UCIC to work with you. Plan to meet with me. I will be available at either or both of:

You may also wish to e-mail Andrea Seepersaud if you are ready to begin the process of immigration to Canada, and wish to see if you are an eligible immigrant. Not everyone is a high-probability prospect. If you are, or if you are not, we will let you know fairly quickly.

Update: Based on some of the questions asked by interested visitors to the Upper Canada Immigration Facebook Page, and from those who have asked to see me in Guyana when I visit in March, I have updated the web site’s Q & A Page. Please be sure to check it.

I was born in Guyana, and came to Canada in the 1980s. Learn more about me. Southern Ontario is home to a large and vibrant Guyana expatriate community. I look forward to seeing the land of my birth for the first time in many years, and to assisting qualified and determined folk from Guyana on the road to permanent residency in Canada.

Andrea Seepersaud
President, Upper Canada Immigration Consultants
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Looking at Canada

Oh America, what are you in for?

A new American President who won by dividing the country, and has never held any elected office in his life? Your Canadian brethren have been there before.

  • A leader and provincial political party dedicated to the breakup of Canada won election in the Province of Quebec during the 1970s, and was re-elected – twice! Canada and Canadians survived two separation referenda, the last by a slim one percent margin. Quebec remains part of a strong and united Canada;
  • Canada’s largest city of Toronto – larger than Chicago – elected the late Rob Ford as mayor in 2010. His struggles with alcohol, drugs and bizarre behaviour made talk shows and news coverage across the world. Toronto subsequently elected a staid replacement in 2014, and life continues;
  • In 2006, Canada elected a Prime Minister whose Conservative Party actions in many respects resembled some of the Republican and Trump agenda. The Conservative government won two minority and one majority government, governed Canada for ten years, and was decisively defeated in 2015.

Canada and the United States are more than joined at the waist of North America. We are family in every literal and figurative sense. No two nations on earth have ever had a larger trading relationship. Our families marry across the border, and share a common language, most of our culture and values, and a friendship and trust warmer than any other two nations on earth or in history.

What are the odds of America surviving a Trump presidency? Probably pretty good. Even when a President’s party has had a grip on both Houses of Congress, any thought that the President ‘controls’ government is fanciful at best. And this President is not even on-side with his own party’s 2016 election platform! Though the majority of states may be governed by Republicans, U.S. states are fiercely independent and autonomous levels of government. Still, is there the potential for America, as our beloved brothers and sisters have known it, to come unglued? To be frank, your neighbours to your north concede that Americans have steered their ship of state into dark and uncharted waters.

In the past several years, America has crept into the list of top ten places from which new immigrants come to Canada. Every year, some 20,000 Americans leave the United States for a new life in Canada.

When Canada entered both world wars, Americans made their way north to join Canadian forces in the struggle. Canada stood by the United States when no other nation would during the Iranian revolution, and brought American hostages back home safely. American air travellers grounded in Canada by the attacks of September 11, 2001 found a few days of welcome in uncounted Canadian homes. It’s what family members always do to help one another.

Should you come to Canada?

Canada is at the same time a nearby and familiar land, as well as a very different country. If leaving your USA home and coming to Canada is more than a reaction to the state of America, it’s time to look into it. This will be a hard look.

  • Click here to start, or;
  • Call Andrea Seepersaud at Upper Canada Immigration Consultants at (647) 988-3846.

 

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The PR Card

The coveted Permanent Residency Card

Next to the Canadian Citizenship Certificate, the Permanent Residence Card (PR Card) is probably the most coveted pieces of identification denoting status in Canada that a foreign national can obtain through designated programs and procedures under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).  In the last few weeks I have been asked a variety of questions by individuals who are confused about certain things pertaining to their own PR Card or a relative’s card. It is time to help dispel fears about residency obligations of PR Card holders as well as how to act prudently in a number of scenarios, so as to protect residency status.

What is a PR Card?

A PR card is issued to an individual who has been given permanent resident status by the government of Canada. It provides the actual proof the holder is in fact a permanent resident of Canada, and can therefore freely leave and re-enter Canada as often he or she likes. If the PR Card holder has a family whose names were identified in the initial application for permanent residency and are now living in Canada, then it is likely that they too are permanent residents, and will all have individual cards. Even a child will have his or her own card. A new permanent resident and accompanying family members, once they have arrived in Canada or “landed”, will receive their PR cards in the mail. This is part of the immigration process, and therefore such individuals will not have to make a separate application for their first card.

Residency Obligations

Once a person has been granted permanent residence status in Canada there are several obligations, the most important of which is to live in Canada for two years out of five from the date of landing in Canada. After five years, and if that person has not yet become a citizen, that person is obligated to prove to the government (IRCC) that he or she has lived in Canada for two out of the last five years (730 days). There are certain circumstances whereby the government will consider as applicable days, a time period that happen to be outside of Canada for prescribed circumstances and situations.

What does a PR card allow you to do?

This card provides you authorization to travel and enter Canada legitimately from anywhere in the world. It also allows you to work freely anywhere in Canada, making any previously issued work permits redundant. In all circumstances, where such is required, it is proof of your status as a permanent resident of Canada.

It is imperative that you protect and secure the PR card at all times. This is especially important if you are travelling abroad.

Without showing transportation and security officials a valid PR card, you will not be allowed to board a flight or travel to Canada via any other means such as train, boat or coach.

PR card has expired or is lost

If your PR card has expired or is lost and you are outside of Canada, wishing to return, you will have to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document. This document will allow you one single entry into Canada, after which you must apply for a new PR card. Such an application is normally made through Canada’s Embassy, Consulate, High Commission, or the Visa Application Centre (VAC) in that country.

What does the PR card not allow you to do?

Although permanent residents of Canada are allowed to live in any province or territory, to access national and provincial healthcare, seek protection under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to travel in and out of Canada anytime, there are two things such individuals are not allowed to do. Firstly, permanent residents are not allowed to vote for and to run for public office anywhere in Canada. And secondly, they may not be eligible for certain jobs that require a high level security clearance.

Individuals in Canada on a temporary basis for purposes of visiting, studying or working, are not permanent residents. They cannot be issued PR cards. However, students and foreign workers may eventually qualify to apply for permanent resident status, providing they fulfill their current obligations, abide by the laws of Canada, and meet the requirements of specific programs and initiatives of federal and/or provincial governments. The process of transitioning from one status to another is not simple, and requires strategic planning along with a sound understanding of rules, regulations and procedures relating to the IRPA.

Advice to PR Card holders

As soon as you are eligible, you should seriously consider applying for Canadian citizenship. When you become a citizen, you are able to participate in that democratic process of electing people who make policies, enact laws and shape our communities, municipalities, provinces and territories and Canada as a whole. As a citizen you are a full-fledged citizen of a country that is the embodiment of progressive thinking, promotes peace and harmony amongst diversity. Isn’t that why you came to Canada in the first place?

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Silly Spousal Sponsorship Rule

Fear, ignorance and perception: welcome rule changes

Since 2012, Family Class immigrants sponsored by their Canadian spouses were obliged to live with their spouses (if they have no children together) for two years, under a conditional agreement undertaken at the time of acquiring permanent residence status. In what was supposedly an attempt by the former government to put an end to fraudulent marriages, then Minister of Citizenship Jason Kenny, slammed on the brakes.

“The jig is up on marriage fraud”, he declared. It was nothing more than a selfish move by a hateful system to force couples to “prove” that their relationship was genuine, with little thought for the human lives that would be affected. It gave rise to an oppressed existence for some extremely vulnerable individuals, the majority of whom were female.

The conditional PR rule kept couples firmly entrenched in cruel domestic conditions and abusive relationships, and drove fear into their hearts of ensuing consequences, should they leave their relationships.

Now that there is a proposed plan to repeal this rule in the spring, it brings to light the underlying assumption that most reasonable people make: that individuals enter into marital relationships with sincerity and good intentions. However, just like life itself, you never know what’s in store for you. Love and marriage, supposedly going together like a horse and carriage, but where sadly, some overzealous circumstance places the carriage before the horse, stuff happens.

Everyone knows that being in love or having known each other for several months or years does not guarantee a successful marriage. Thus, when there is a breakdown, or when there is abuse or violence in a marital relationship, there should be no impediment to seeking protection, safety and a complete dissolution of the marriage.  The conditional PR was an impediment for many sponsored spouses. Government statistics from 2013 to 2015 indicate that 58,218 spouses and partners, along with their dependants, were given conditional permanent resident status in Canada.  Seventy five percent of those who knew about, and applied for an exception to this rule, were women. Approvals were granted to 205 of the 260 cases, representing 79 percent of those that received a decision by IRCC.

In many cultures, arranged marriages are the order of the day. Match makers are highly revered, whether it is an esteemed auntie or the local self-appointed matchmaker who knows every body’s business. And the vast majority of these marriages often work beautifully. So why should unreasonable and illogical assumptions drive policy-making in Canada?

Will this repeal of the rule then give way to a system that will be fraught with irregularities, scheming applicants and a complete breakdown of integrity? Let’s give the government the benefit of the doubt on this for now, and remember, this is a different government. Here are the safeguards:

  • The rules that apply to a spouse who comes to Canada and then leaves the marital relationship soon therefter will still be enforced. Such sponsored spouses will not be able to sponsor a spouse until after five years of having become a permanent resident irrespective of having acquired citizenship;
  • As well, if it is found that misrepresentation or deception with an intent to acquire status was at play, then the government has the right to revoke such status under Section 40 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

At the end of the day, what has been achieved? Not much in the way of ascertaining whether or not marriages are genuine. But it can be reasonably assumed that because of this silly rule, many sponsored spouses stayed with their abusers for fear of losing their status.  Sadly, these newcomers started off their lives in Canada feeling helpless without information about possible remedies, with a perception of having been been horribly let down by everyone. Hopefully, not any more.

 

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Considering Canada

Immigrate to Canada and fulfill your dreams

Welcome to the new Upper Canada Immigration Consultants web site. This is an immigration consulting firm, with a developing web presence.

Upper Canada Immigration Consultants (UCIC) provides consulting services to individuals seeking advice, guidance and assistance in citizenship, refugee and immigration matters. UCIC prepares applications and submits them to Visa Offices on behalf of clients; drafts documents; prepares rationales in support of applications and proceedings before federal and provincial government, as well as the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). UCIC also certifies documents, affidavits and statutory declarations that are needed for submission to government offices, schools, universities, visa offices and other places.

Our firm conducts research and provides feedback to foreign nationals and clients who are interested in exploring investment programs or self-employment in Canada. We develop concept papers and business plans for the investor or entrepreneur and strategic settlement plans for the integration of their family as well.

UCIC can assist foreign nationals who have failed in their application for permanent residency, visitor’s visa, work permit or study permit to obtain your case files and the visa officer’s case notes.

Helping people get a better understanding of why an application did not succeed helps you know what to do to increase your chances the next time you apply. These notes are very helpful and provide deep insight into the decision making process and  the factors that contributed to a failed application.

To reach Upper Canada Immigration: