Payments

Use of cash continues to decline

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anadians continue to increase their use of credit and debit cards to make both large and small payments, according to a 2019 study by the Bank of Canada. In the past ten years, cash transactions of all kinds have declined from more than half of all payments to just more than a third of all transactions.

The Bank of Canada is Canada’s central bank, and sole issuer of Canadian bank notes, The Bank of Canada surveys Canadians every four years to find out how the nation pays for things.

The declining use of cash is not unique to Canada. Other countries worldwide are also seeing a rise in the use of electronic means of making payments large and small. Cash, however, remains easy to use. Cash is seen as secure, and cash is nearly universally accepted in Canada. For small-value purchases like a cup of coffee or a snack, cash is a popular payment method. In general, worldwide, the lower the value of the transaction, the more likely the buyer and seller will exchange value with cash.

Implications for immigrants to Canada

Cash, however, comes with some serious drawbacks. Using cash doesn’t build your credit rating, which you absolutely need to borrow money, qualify for a mortgage, or get a credit card. While cash itself is secure in that Canadians recognize the look and feel of Canadian currency, which is very difficult to counterfeit, carrying large amounts of cash has always been risky. Cash is not a good way for an employer to pay wages, or for an employee to be paid for work. Employers need to deduct income taxes; Canada Pension Plan contributions; health care premiums and other essentials ‘at source,’ which means you pay them as you go, rather than trying to find money you may have spent when you file your income taxes in Canada each spring.

Workers paid in cash may find out the hard way that they have no record if they need to claim workers’ compensation for a work-related injury.

Many of our clients prefer to pay us in cash. That’s fine. We accept cash. There is no advantage or drawback to you in paying us in cash. We also accept an e-transfer or a cheque.

Tips for good Canadian money management

In your country of origin:

  • Have a bank account. Use it, and deposit your cash in your bank account;
  • Build your credit history by showing that you can responsibly use a credit card, and pay the balance in full each month, or that you can manage a debit card;
  • You’ll need to show you have liquid assets (securities or cash) to come to Canada. Set up a savings account, separate from your chequing account, where you can save money.

Once you land in Canada:

  • Move your banking to Canada. Open a bank account with one of the major Canadian banks. Your employer should directly deposit your wages in your main chequing account;
  • Open a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), and use this registered account to save and invest your money tax-free. You can withdraw and re-contribute the money you have in this account as your circumstances change over the years;
  • Open a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), and make annual contributions of whatever you can. This account accumulates income tax-free until you use the funds, ideally after you have retired. Plan never to use this money during your working career;
  • Get and use either (or both of) a debit and a credit card for your purchases. You gain an expense record of what you spend money on, which helps you set and manage a personal budget;
  • Pay your income taxes every year. Filing your income tax return automatically makes you eligible for a wide variety of federal and provincial supports and programs.

Retain and file your financial records. Pay regular attention to how you and your household use money. Canadians generate a formidable trail of payments for the things you must purchase (rent or mortgage; utilities; taxes; transportation; food; clothing and so on) and the discretionary things you spend money on (entertainment, eating out, gifts; etc.). Financial success in a country like Canada is a matter of both increasing your income during your working career, and understanding and managing how you spend money. Keep score, have a plan, you’ll know whether you are winning or losing in the game of life in Canada.

Program Fraud

Beware of the phony job recruiters

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host (illegal, non-regulated) immigration consultants are playing would-be immigrants to Canada for fools, and making off with people’s life savings by manipulating non-existent job offers in the Atlantic Canada Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP).  Prospective  Chinese immigrants seem to be a prime target. On a daily basis UCIC receives inquiries  about this program from individuals on every continent . Click on the link below  for details and insight on a “money- for-nothing” scheme:

A CBC News story in September 2019 exposed the method of demanding that prospective immigrants in essence pay for their own job by handing over huge sums of money, from which a prospective employer may be ‘paid off’ to make a phony job offer, for which the employer is paid with the applicant’s own funds, and the applicant receives no compensation during the so-called employment period.

Our advice for prospective immigrants to Canada is that there are no tricks, gimmicks or back doors to entry to Canada. You can’t buy your way into the country, and if you fall victim to this type of ghost consultant fraud, you’ll likely lose all your money, and end up back in your country of origin. Worse yet, a fraudulent attempt to enter Canada will also end all your dreams of coming – and staying – legitimately.

Invitation to Apply

Your ITA starts a crucial clock ticking

Invitation to apply
The coveted Invitation to Apply (ITA) expires within 90 days. If you get an ITA, you need to get moving on it right away.
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he coveted Invitation to Apply, or ITA, is a sought-after opportunity to come to Canada. All applicants want one. Fewer than one in four of all profiles in the Express Entry pool receive an ITA. Once you have an ITA, you have a use-it-or-lose-it  opportunity.

Immigration consultants have two big advantages over the do-it-yourself approach: A good consultant does this work frequently, and is fast and accurate, with a system for tracking what you need to make good your ITA on time and with precision. Not being you, the consultant isn’t as emotional or under the stress about the ITA as you are. That makes things go more quickly.

If you have received an Invitation to Apply, you need to take the next two months of your life very seriously. This is one of life’s use-it-or-lose-it opportunities. Click here for some vital information on turning your precious ITA into your opportunity to settle in Canada.

Avoid foreseeable mistakes

There are common mistakes people frequently make, realizing only too late that procrastination or taking the wrong advice may have either doomed their application, or left them no further ahead, but many thousands of Canadian dollars poorer. We have summarized some of the common mistakes on this page.

Express Entry Pool

Updated Express Entry info

Express Entry Invitation to Apply
Here’s how you’ll feel if you are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residency in Canada. The key to getting that ITA is to work with us to maximize your score.
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e have updated and expanded our Express Entry information page.  Be sure to either read it for the first time, or re-read it once more. Have you created your profile yet? By creating a profile, individuals are ‘visible’ to the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for program-specific draws and regular draws. From this pool of applicants, regular draws invite applicants with the best scores to apply for Permanent Residency in Canada.

Canada’s strong economy, particularly in its heartland of Ontario, makes this path especially attractive  to applicants from the trades and professions; to those with language skills in Canada’s official languages; and to those with family ties to Canada.

This is an especially good time for young, qualified, and motivated individuals who are progressive thinkers to consider coming to Canada. Upper Canada Immigration can assist you in getting into the Express Entry system; help you to maximize your chances; and steer you toward a coveted Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residency if your score has reached the threshold to be drawn. Time works against you. This means if you are serious about coming to Canada, don’t wait that extra year or two before you start the process.

 

Coming to Guyana

A new life in Canada starts with a meeting

Upper Canada Immigration Consultants (UCIC)  comes to the Caribbean on an annual basis. We meet with people seriously interested in coming to Canada. There is a small charge for the meeting. This is to ensure that the people who see us make a commitment to their future. We credit the entire meeting charge to your account once you become a client of ours. We’ll be frank and candid with you, and let you know if you have a good chance of succeeding in a desire to come to Canada.

We use Facebook because so many of our clients and prospective clients are on that platform. The Upper Canada Immigration 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 us. We will visit the Caribbean again in 2020:

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 returning to the Caribbean each year, and assisting qualified and determined folks on their road to permanent residency in Canada.

Andrea Seepersaud
President, Upper Canada Immigration Consultants

IRB phone fraud

Beware the IRB phone call fraud

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he fraudulent caller says that if you don’t pay up, somebody will show up at your home and arrest you. Relax. It is fraud. The criminal is the caller, who is committing a federal offense. In April 2019, the Toronto Star reported on a telephone scam aimed at newcomers to Canada living in Canada. The article quoted an Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) warning about telephone calls in which the caller claims to be a representative of the IRB. The person called is told (incorrectly) that he or she is under investigation, and owes money, typically $1,000. The caller’s phone number is ‘spoofed‘ to look as if the call is coming from a body such as the Immigration and Refugee Board, or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

In 2018, we alerted our web site viewers to another fraud: the so-called ‘Canadian immigration lottery.’  There is no such program. Click to read our post.

We are collecting the common immigration-related scams on a dedicated page on our web site. Click here to read it.

If you know of a type of fraud that we have not described here, do the following:

  • Report the fraud attempt to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501;
  • Advise us too. We will use any information that we can verify to assist folks trying to enter Canada legally.

New for 2019

An offer to settle in smaller Canadian centres

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new Government of Canada pilot program will match applicants for permanent residency to jobs in rural Canada. The community-driven initiative aims to address ongoing labour shortages in rural and northern communities of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest territories.

The objective of the five-year economic immigration pilot project is to stimulate economic growth in communities that have, in recent years, seen population declines, and have job vacancies for mid-level positions that are never filled. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot promises to link communities experiencing labour shortages to the one source that can supply a steady stream of human capital – immigration.

Merrickville
Merrickville calls itself “The Jewel of the Rideau.” It is located near Kingston, halfway between Montreal and Toronto, and close to Ottawa.

Launched in 2019, this pilot program aims to rejuvenate rural Canada, while answering the prayers of thousands of potential new Canadians who are seeking a new start to their lives. Each year during the next five years, Canada will bring 2,750 principal applicants and their families to these outlying areas of Canada. Communities wishing to be a part of the initiative will enroll in the pilot by demonstrating their capacity to respond to the influx of human resources through social capital, supportive infrastructure and readiness to welcome and settle newcomers. The deadline for communities to get on board is March 1, 2019.

Check out some smaller Ontario towns and cities all within driving distance of Toronto.

Thirty percent of Canada’s GDP is derived from rural Canada, where the workforce between 2001 and 2016 has shrunk by 23 percent. The percentage of retirement-age population has steadily increased, while the potential for work and economic benefits remain. Some 78 percent of immigrants tend to settle in large urban areas in Canada, where friends, family and established ethnocultural communities exist. The vision of newly arrived immigrants is no different. This five-year plan aims to assist rural communities to set themselves up as attractive, welcoming and economically viable for newcomer settlement, by offering supports.

The Northern and Rural Immigration Pilot could tap into the best practices of previous approaches to community-driven programs, where community collaborative efforts have included business and service sectors working closely with government to settle and integrate newcomers into the local environment.

Canada, the second-largest country in the world by land size, welcomes immigrants on an ongoing basis through various programs, initiatives and pilots. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program implemented in 2017 has been successful in driving economic growth in the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. So far, 734 principal applicants along with their families totaling 1,562 people, have been approved for permanent residency.

The Government of Canadian has defined participating Northern and rural communities as either:

  • Cities of 200,000 but classified as remote because of distance from an urban centre; or
  • Those with a population of less than 50,000, and located at least 75 kilometers from centres boasting a population of 100,000 or more.

The pilot will operate through the respective provincial nominee programs of the identified provinces and territories. The local community and economic development office for each community is expected to play a key role in matching candidates to local job openings. Potential candidates will have to wait until later in 2019 when participating communities would have been designated, and the parameters respecting candidate applications defined.

Contact us for more information, and to discuss whether the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot might be a route to Canada for you.

Vanishing population

Competing for the globe’s top people

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ecent news articles in Canada in recent weeks 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 new 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.

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.

  • 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.

Contact Info

Keep up to date with us

Upper Canada Immigration e-newsletter
Be sure to subscribe to our periodic e-newsletter to receive updates on immigration to Canada, and find out when and where our consultants may be in your area for a meeting.
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pper Canada Immigration uses a mail list manager called Mailchimp. It is a powerful tool. It helps us keep in touch with you, and helps us get you specific information quickly. For a list and description of the open source software we use in our business, and which you can use too, click here.

If you don’t receive our e-mail newsletters, you may want to subscribe. If you do receive our e-mail newsletters, you should check to be sure the information we have on you is complete. A few notes for people unsure of what to share with us:

  • We assume we are dealing with serious and honest people whose interest in their future is genuine;
  • To help you, we have a genuine need to know where in the world you live, and how to contact you. Let us know who you are, and where you live. Or, if you receive our newsletter, please spend a few moments checking the information you may have given us earlier;
  • We respect your privacy, and don’t share your information in any way with anyone. Should you no longer wish to hear from us, the contact information you supplied is deleted when you unsubscribe to our e-mail newsletter.

Click here to see our latest e-mail bulletin, correct or update your contact information, or join the list.

Remember, other than you and us, the rest of the world will never see your info. We hope you enjoy our occasional (never too frequent) e-mail newsletters.

 

Visa Lottery Scam

No such thing as a Canadian Visa Lottery

Immigration lottery scam
The Government of Canada has no ‘Visa Lottery.’ There is no such program that enables an applicant to ‘win’ a chance at immigration to Canada.
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ate in 2018, we were still receiving inquiries from individuals all over the globe, and particularly from Africa, about something called a new Canadian Visa Lottery Application that purportedly allows applicants a chance to come to Canada on a permanent resident visa.

I have reviewed the posts and links that people have sent me with Canadian Visa Lottery Application Form 2017/2018 and Canadian Visa Lottery Application Form 2018/2019. This is a scam.

This Canadian Visa Lottery scam is a deliberate attempt to mislead you. It is a fraudulent attempt by certain websites to mislead you, and obtain your personal data, obviously with questionable intent.

Please beware of any posts and websites that tell you there is a chance to ‘win’ permanent residency in Canada through a lottery-type system. The Government of Canada has no such program or initiative.

There are more than 60 programs of the Government of Canadian to facilitate access to Canada, whether for temporary residency, or permanent residency. Additionally, there are special programs, initiatives and pilots that are administered by Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial governments that will allow you, based on their own set of criteria, to legitimately come to Canada.

These, along with a solid and reputable consulting firm like Upper Canada Immigration Consultants, are the only authorities that can provide you a chance to come to Canada. Do not be misled by something that sounds too good to be true, because it likely is just that.

For more information on how you can come legitimately to Canada as a skilled professional, a skilled trade, a visitor, a student, a sponsored family member, or to overcome an immigration hurdle: