COVID-19 Update

May Update: Canada and COVID-19

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anadian borders have now re-opened to most travelers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Recent progress in vaccination rates and easing of nation-wide lockdown measures have prompted Canada to allow fully-vaccinated travelers to enter without having to show an individualized recently-obtained Covid-19 test report. However, CBSA officers can still randomly select incoming travelers to take a Covid-19 test at the port of entry. Here is what you need to know when travelling to Canada:

  • Children under the age of 12 years who have not been vaccinated, or who have been partially vaccinated, can accompany their parents into Canada. They, like their parents will not be subject to quarantine measures, and can immediately integrate into school or other activities in the community;
  • For partially vaccinated or unvaccinated dependents, or youth travelling independently between the ages of 12 and 17 years, a 14-day quarantine period applies, as well as pre-testing and post-8th day testing. This procedure applies also to youth of that age group, whether they are accompanying fully-vaccinated or partially-vaccinated adults;
  • For dependents over the age of 18 years who are unvaccinated because of physical or mental limitations, all testing and quarantine policies must be observed;
  • COVID-19 policies of the Canadian government may differ from those of provinces and territories. Travelers must abide by the policies that are the stricter of the two;
  • All travelers must use ArriveCan before entering Canada. This app is downloadable on to mobile devices and is accessible on the web. It is simple to use. Mandatory information must be submitted before entering Canada. Depending on the content of submitted information, ArriveCan will provide notifications and messages to travelers and recent arrivals;
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is now accepting, and processing, most applications for temporary resident and permanent resident visas;
  • Spouses and common-law partners and their dependents can be sponsored by their Canadian family members through the normal sponsorship program. Canada is encouraging these sponsorship applications, and have even deployed additional staff to assess submissions in the quickest possible times;
  • Express Entry draws for federal skilled workers and federal skilled trades which had been put on hold since December 2020 will likely resume this spring;
  • Parents and grandparents program will also resume in 2022 with at least 30,000 invitations expected to be issued to sponsors who had submitted their intent to sponsor since October 2020;
  • As a result of the Russia – Ukraine war, Canada has opened up several temporary pathways for Ukrainians to come to Canada under an expedited process.

Welcome Ukrainians

Expedited temporary resident pathway for Ukrainians

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mmigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, as of March 17, 2022, launched an emergency measure to assist those fleeing the war in Ukraine. The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) is a special expedited temporary resident pathway for Ukrainian citizens and their family members to come to Canada where they will be safe for as long as three years. This is not a refugee stream.

Under this emergency measure, Ukrainians and their immediate family members, regardless of those members’ nationality, may come to Canada as temporary residents. At the time of submitting their applications, such individuals are also encouraged to apply for open work permits. IRCC is expected to process such applications within two weeks, ensuring that the integrity of various processes to authenticate documents and verify facts are not compromised. Standard background checks and thorough screening will be conducted on applicants before final decisions are rendered.

Ukrainians outside Canada

The application process for individuals outside Canada involves an online application submission and enrollment in the biometrics registry. Applications can be submitted online from anywhere in the world, and biometrics enrolment can be done at any functioning VAC office outside of Ukraine. Such offices can be found in Austria, Poland, Romania and Moldova. VAC offices in Chisinau, Warsaw, Vienna and Bucharest have already been expanded to facilitate increased demand for services.

To facilitate continuity of services for Ukrainians and biometrics enrollment, IRCC has relocated staff, moved supplies and deployed mobile biometrics collection units to strategic locations in Europe. As well, all railway travel for Ukrainians to get to VAC offices and such strategic points in Europe is free of charge. Several application requirements such as processing fees for TRV applications (visitor or work permits) fees have been waived.

More information and FAQs

There is lots more information on how Ukrainians needing refuge can find it in Canada. Check out our web page with more detailed information and frequently-asked questions.

Read more…

Hong Kong

The Open Work Permit path to Canada

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re you feeling afraid and insecure about your future in Hong Kong? Maybe you are among those looking to explore an immigration pathway to Canada. Upper Canada Immigration Consultants may be able to help you to chart a course to a new life in a safe, democratic and welcoming country. If your wish is to leave Hong Kong’s anxiety and uncertainty behind you and immigrate to Canada, we can assist you. For example, Canadian employers in Winnipeg Manitoba are actively recruiting Hong Kong holders of work permits received under the Hong Kong Special Measures policy. See the Winnipeg flyer. They are looking for employees in these sectors:

  • Technology
  • Manufacturing;
  • Trucking

If you do not hold an open work permit and want to come to Canada to work, please contact us immediately to determine if you are eligible to apply for the three-year permit. This Special Measures Temporary Policy for holders of HKSAR and BNO passports who graduated in the last five years, will end in February 2023.

Upper Canada Immigration Consultants is a corporation registered to practice in Canada. Our staff are trained immigration specialists and regulated consultants. Please click or tap here for more information about us on this web site.

Read more about coming to Canada from Hong Kong SAR

Caribbean trip 2022

See you again this year

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uring late winter or early spring, Upper Canada Immigration Consultants typically travels to  the Caribbean to meet with people who would like to come to Canada to live, work, study, visit or do business. In 2020, before the COVID-19 situation worsened, we decided to postpone that annual trip. Many of you are contacting us directly in Canada as it is, and Upper Canada Immigration Consultants have moved our business on-line and through video meetings, much like many other service businesses. Remember that you do not have to meet us personally in order to retain our services to assist you. Use the phone, or WhatsApp, please.

If you’d like to work with us on an application, or find out if a visit or a move to Canada is feasible, then contacting us is simple. During this period when travel is perceived as risky, we can safely and securely connect  with you by WhatsApp. You and also  use  e-mail to contact us.

Client contact after COVID-19

For the past two years. Canadians (and people everywhere) tried to keep from catching COVID-19. We worked from home wherever possible, and avoided travel. We did the same, followed guidelines about minimizing the chance of contacting the virus, or putting our clients at risk through direct meetings. Routine things take longer, mail and packages may take longer to receive, and some services we are used to receiving quickly take longer, occasionally much longer than they did in 2019 and earlier. But we are getting through it, and we look forward to visiting the Caribbean again in 2022.

Contact us if you’d like to arrange to see us in Guyana. We are considering a trip to Jamaica and perhaps to Trinidad as well. If one of those places are home to you, and you’d like an appointment to talk with us in person, let us know. If we get enough interest, it makes a business decision to fly to your country that much easier.

Fraud prevention 2022

The sheer gall of immigration fraud

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arch each year is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. It’s an annual opportunity to remind those we work with to use caution in their immigration dealings. The Government of Canada has a very useful web page that echoes the regular messages we post on this web site, such as the cautionary message that follows. If somebody, or some supposed ‘program,’ sounds too good, or too easy, or too cheap to be real, then it almost certainly isn’t real. See what this site has to say about so-called ‘guarantees‘ to prospective newcomers to Canada.

Fake IELTS certificates

Sometimes, it is hard to believe the brazen gall of a crooked scheme unless you read it yourself! One of our staff, on an e-mail account not associated with Upper Canada Immigration, received an e-mail solicitation just flat-out offering to sell anyone an IELTS certificate. Here was the e-mail title: High-quality Original IELTS certificate for sale.

You have to be kidding! A mail-order fake IELTS certificate is about as brazen a scam as we’ve yet seen. We have a page on this web site about common types of fraud that criminals worldwide try to perpetrate against people applying to be legitimate immigrants to Canada. As our web page states clearly, we as consultants provide advice to our clients on each and every document they will require, and then we check each and every document we submit on behalf of our clients. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) independently verifies each document in every application all over again.

Criminal offense

Uttering a forged document means altering or creating a document in order to commit fraud, without the knowledge of the proper authorizing party, in this case IELTS. Uttering a forged document is a criminal offence in Canada, illegal under Section 368 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The odds of a fake IELTS certificate working for you are zero! The chances of a fake IELTS certificate sinking your application are 100 percent. And you commit a crime in Canada if you try it.

Mail order IELTS certificates are a way to get the stupid, the dishonest and the gullible to part with their hard-earned money in return for nothing but a guarantee of failure.

Read more…

Vanishing population

Competing for the globe’s top people

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ews articles in Canada in the past year have focused on the immigration challenge facing western democracies. Populism and nativism, amplified in volume well beyond the number of their advocates by strident social media and flat-out cyber manipulation by totalitarian nations (who, ironically are among the world’s most xenophobic) make dispassionate and rational discussions of the clear benefits of immigration to a country like Canada more difficult for the necessity of trying to speak clearly and calmly amid the noise of hysteria.

We are all, rightly, most concerned about our own situation, and whether we can succeed. Here is a view of the broader immigration landscape.

In Canada, the nation’s self-proclaimed ‘national newspaper,’ the Toronto-based Globe and Mail, published an excerpt of a book by Globe columnist John Ibbitson. His book, co-authored with Canadian Pollster Darrell Bricker (Ipsos Public Affairs) is called Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline.

As authors, the two Canadians are walking ground opened up by the late Swedish statistician Hans Rosling (1948 – 2017) in the YouTube video of his lecture on global population growth. It is a superb one-hour production. Click below to see it.

2022 Update: Rosling was right

Nothing Ibbitson and Bricker’s book, or Rosling’s video, have to say is all that startling, fact by immutable fact. It is the assembling of the larger picture, and projecting it over the entire globe, and the complete 21st century, that make all the data so eye-opening. In 2007, the number of people, worldwide, living in cities surpassed the number in rural or remote areas. Cities are indisputably the 21st century’s engines of growth and repositories of people and knowledge.

The Globe’s Ibbitson published a July 2020 update here. Ibbitson lists some countries that stand to lose more than half their population by the end of the century. The BBC News web site has an article about the implications of a shrinking population, and why global population shifts may be encouraging news for prospective newcomers to Canada.

  • Nations that have not pursued forward-thinking immigration programs already see their populations in decline. Examples include Japan, Russia, and countries in eastern Europe;
  • As populations of youth and people in their prime working years decline or stagnate, proportions of seniors in nearly all western nations are rising sharply. Some 90 percent of health care expenses are spent on the old and the chronically ill. This leaves taxpayer-borne expenses such as health care and pensions to be paid by fewer and fewer working age people;
  • China, which discourages inbound immigration, will see its own population level off shortly, and begin a long decline;
  • Urbanization leads to better education for women, with families starting their child-bearing years later, and having fewer children. The birth date falls below the rate of replacement (depending on who calculates it, between 2.2 and 2.7 babies per woman of child-bearing years);
  • The very policies that welcome newcomers run into opposition in older societies, where a graying older generation can’t – or won’t – connect the dots between a healthy level of immigration, and the people they themselves will need to build their homes, manage their communities, and become their doctors, for example.

Most demographic studies put the world’s population peak at between eight and 11 billion, sometime in the middle of this century, then beginning a steady decline. Canada, with its decades of careful, but generous, immigration numbers remains younger than the average nation. Canada has the ability to keep growing without the looming brick wall of worker shortages facing other nations (such as Japan and even the USA).

Canada’s 36 million people will grow to some 50 million by mid-century, roughly the end of the lives of North America’s ‘baby boom’ generation born after World War II, between 1946 and 1966. Come and work with us. Each year, some 350,000 people will move from the land of their birth to start a new life in Canada. Competition for each of those spots is tight, and the requirements mean you need to have a plan, act on it, and not make mistakes. Contact us. We can help.

Toronto Star Ad

Our Ontario newspaper display ad

Upper Canada Immigration ad
Our display ad in Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper, the Toronto Star, ran for the first time on Sunday August 16, 2020.
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uring the Canadian COVID-19 lockdown period in 2020, newspapers everywhere found their advertising base drying up. It wasn’t hard to figure out: advertisers were squeezed by their revenue hit during the virus. Newspapers, magazines, radio and TV saw their revenues shrink as retail advertisers cut back on media expenses when their buyers were largely staying home.

Here in the Greater Toronto area in Ontario, Canada’s largest province by both population and economy, our largest newspaper chose to spotlight businesses like ours: small businesses owned and operated by people of colour or persons of indigenous origin by offering selected businesses an opportunity to run a display ad in The Star, for many of them their first print ad in Canada’s largest newspaper.

So, we applied, and were chosen, as one of The Star’s participants. And here is the final product! Click the ad to see a full-size rendering.

Much of our business development activity consists of a virtual outreach using social media. We have our own direct mail list. Folks use it to tell us something about themselves, as a preliminary to asking us if we can help them. And a day after the ad ran, lo and behold, the phone rang. That was nice, and I hope we can help the individuals who started by saying, “I saw your ad in the paper.”

If Upper Canada Immigration has helped you, or you know someone who needs help coming to Canada, click or tap our ad on your computer to get a larger version, then print it and give it to your friend, acquaintance or colleague.

Maybe you are reading this, and thinking you need help with your own citizenship and immigration issue. With COVID-19 cases sharply down in Canada, we may be able to meet in person, and we can certainly do business over the telephone, by WhatsApp, Zoom or Skype. If you use Microsoft Teams, we will meet you there as well.

For individuals

  • Permanent residency: Is immigration a bigger challenge during the COVID-19 time? You bet it is! But it can be done, and we’ve landed folks in Canada to begin a new life during the COVID-19 months;
  • Business class: Did you know that Canada is the only country in the world that has free trade agreements with every large economy on earth? If Canada’s access to the world, sound economy, low tax rates, fair and honest business systems could help you serve clients from Canada, maybe we are a fit to help you come to Canada and make your fortune;
  • Spousal and family sponsorships: Once you are relocated to Canada, how do you get your spouse here? Your children? Your parents and maybe your grandparents? We have done it for clients many times. We know how to do it for you;
  • Caregivers: Families in Canada need caregivers to look after their kids, parents and grandparents, and family members with disabilities. Good families, and proud Canadians often originate from a caregiver who came to Canada to help other Canadians;
  • Temporary work permits: Foreign nationals, students and others without status in Canada often need skilled help and advice in gaining landed immigrant status to stay in Canada and build their lives.

PSW Opportunities

Pathways for caregivers and support workers

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aregivers and support workers are in demand in Canada. If you are an international student, and you have completed your studies at a recognized, designated learning institution, the information on this web site may open an opportunity for you. If you are outside Canada and have relevant experience and education, you need to read this page. If you graduated within the past five years, and are a Hong Kong resident, there is a clear pathway to permanent residency in Canada for you.

How caregivers and support workers benefit

  • International students who have completed their studies at a recognized, designated learning institution, may apply for, and may be granted, a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) to work in Canada. You need to be clear on what full-time means, and how to qualify for Express Entry to Canada;
  • PSW students and caregivers whose post-graduation work permits average between one and two years, can benefit from new policies which lengthen the duration that they can legally accumulate Canadian work experience toward the Canadian Experience Class pathway to permanent residence;
  • Support workers and caregivers who are temporary residents in Canada (i.e. visitors) and are still in Canada under the temporary public policies enabling them to remain in Canada during the pandemic, and who wish to work as PSWs, now have a new two-step process to follow;
  • Hong Kong residents who are recent graduates have, as of February 8, 2021, an opportunity to obtain open work permits for up to three years under a new public policy from the Government of Canada;
  • Support workers and caregivers who succeed in obtaining a LMIA-based work permit under the new conditions, after working for 24 months at a minimum of 30 hours per week, may be eligible to apply for permanent residence for him or herself and their immediate family;
  • Foreign nationals not in Canada, and trained and experienced support workers, caregivers or nurses working anywhere in the world, can access the new pilot program, if they are offered a job by a Canadian employer.

If you fall under at least one of the scenarios above, click or tap here for more information about the new opportunities to enable Personal Support Workers to qualify for Express Entry to Canada under recently-changed Canadian government programs and rules.

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Student Permits

Approval process: study in Canada

Upper Canada Immigration works with students and their families.
Students can work with us to obtain permission to travel to Canada to begin, or continue, their study programs. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
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tudents planning to start school in Canada anytime can now breathe a sigh of relief. Immigration, Refugees and Citizen Canada (IRCC) has implemented  a two-tiered approach to issuing study permits: you can get approval now contingent on supplying documentation and other necessary papers later. COVID-19 measures have been in place in Canada since March 18, 2020 and in most source countries in the world.

  • Visa Access Centres have been closed, borders have been shut down and  obtaining  official documents have become almost impossible;
  • Students who may have obtained a study permit prior to March 18 were/are exempt from the imposed travel restriction placed on Canada’s borders.

Nonetheless, such students, upon arrival at a port of entry are still subject to an examination by the CBSA, and can be refused entry, if it is found that they could have been studying on-line instead.

To resume their programs and restore revenue generation mechanisms, educational institutions have developed on-line studies  as part of their offering to students, both local and abroad. Recognizing the difficulties experienced by international students on obtaining key documents and evidence for their applications in their respective countries, IRCC has  issued new, albeit temporary, instructions and procedures for Visa Officers in processing study permit applications.

The two-step process

  1. Students will now receive a first stage approval so that they can start studying their courses on-line, from their country of residence. The advantage of doing this is that the student does not lose time;
  2. When first stage approval students are able to produce mandatory documents such as submitting their original passport or travel document, enrolling in the biometrics program or undergoing a medical examination, their study permit will be finalized. The student still needs to produce these documents. However, you will receive extra time to gather and produce them.

Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

International students planning to study at a Canadian institution can start their studies online from their home country and even if they were to complete their entire program online, will still be eligible for a post graduation work permit (PGWP). However, students who complete their entire program on-line, will not be given comprehensive ranking points for “Canadian Education” in the Express Entry management system.

Before pandemic measures were put in place in March 2020, students whose programs comprised more than 50 percent online studies, were disqualified from applying for the coveted PGWP. Being granted a PGWP means that a student is permitted to work for any employer in Canada for a prescribed number of years. The length of the PGWP depends on the length of studies completed. Well known and acknowledged amongst students, is the clear pathway to permanent residence that the PGWP facilitates, provided that their Canadian work experience qualifies under specific rules of the Express entry management system.

Travel to Canada

Once the Canadian border is open for non-essential travel, students will travel to their Canadian destination to either continue their studies, or start working.  If you are such a student who wishes to take this opportunity to start your studies in Canada, contact us now. See the Help in three steps box on this page. Upper Canada Immigration will help you prepare a successful package of documents. The minimum set of document you need to have in hand for stage one or pre-approval includes:

  1. Letter of Acceptance;
  2. Proof of funds for the first year of studies;
  3. Rationale for your choice of program (background or training)
  4. Study plan;
  5. Demonstration of your ties to your country of residence/citizenship;
  6. Evidence of any ties to Canada.

This is a highly-competitive process. The best applications will be successful. You may do this once in your life. We do it for our clients on a continuing basis. You will likely need help from us. See the Government of Canada web site for more information on the temporary measures for processing student permits.

Health care workers

New policy: permanent residence for refugee claimants

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anada has announced new measures that allow refugee claimants working in the health-care sector and those who provide direct care to patients to apply for permanent residence. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will accept permanent residence applications from refugee claimants working in the health care sector, including the spouses and common-law spouses of those who had been working in the sector, but have unfortunately died from COVID-19. These individuals are refugee claimants who would have arrived in Canada before August 14, 2020 and have responded to the call for help in the health-care sector during the COVID-19 crisis. Two public policies offer the opportunity for permanent residence to health care workers: one for refugee claimants living inside Quebec; and the other for refugee claimants living elsewhere in Canada The program will run from December 14, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

These public policies also include refugee claimants studying in a post-secondary institution where either a paid or unpaid internship was an essential component of their study or vocational program. Such programs must be within one of the designated occupations. Likewise, an internship, paid or unpaid, and performed as a mandatory component to achieve professional designation must also have been from a designated occupation.

If you qualify, you need to get going with your application. Click or tap for more detail on our web site, or e-mail us. You can call by telephone or WhatsApp at: 647-988-3846.