IRB phone fraud

Beware the IRB phone call fraud

T

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

A

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

R

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.
U

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.
L

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:

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

You need a job offer

T

he Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project is aimed at experienced, skilled and qualified immigrants to the four Atlantic Canada provinces: Newfoundland & Labrador; Prince Edward Island; Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The initial challenge to apply for permanent residency to Canada through this pilot, is to obtain a job offer from a designated employer.

The threshold for language proficiency and proof of settlement funds is much more attractive than for Express Entry. And more importantly, it is not points based, as in the case of Express Entry.

Read the most commonly-asked Questions and Answers about the program.

Guyana Schedule

Thanks, Guyana

Freezing Rain
This does not happen in Guyana. Rainfall freezes to ice on trees and poles during Canadian winter freeze-thaw cycles.
A

nnual visits to Guyana by Upper Canada Immigration Consultants come at the end of our Canadian winter. In March of 2019, we held five full days of meetings in Guyana, helping our guests come to Canada. It was wonderful to meet some well-qualified people, and to see some familiar faces as we helped them move their cases forward.

Upper Canada Immigration Consultants met prospective clients between Monday March 25 and Friday March 29 in East Demerara, near Georgetown Guyana.

From among the many people who completed our on-line form, we arranged appointments with those having the best chance of successfully coming to Canada to live or visit. If you missed your chance to meet with  or consult us, click here for tips on how to prepare, and contact us by e-mail or WhatsApp in Canada. While our 2019 Guyana trip is now over, we will still talk with serious folks from the Caribbean, WhatsApp, e-mail or Skype – it is your choice if you want to consult us about coming to Canada.
We saw our Guyana guests in March, 2019 at the Grand Coastal Hotel in East Demerara.

Spousal Permanent Residence

Conditional status removed

T

his is good news for sponsors and their spouses. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirmed in late April  2017 that the period of conditional permanent residency, imposed since October 2012, on sponsored spouses and partners has now been removed.  All spouses and partners, upon landing will now have full permanent residency status.

In October 2016, the  current government  in its Forward Regulatory Plan resolved to change this condition in the spring of 2017.  Many of our clients have been asking about the changes that we first talked about in an earlier article on this website  Silly Spousal Sponsorship Rule. We are happy to report that this change is now in force.

Initially the last government, in its effort to address the problem of fraudulent marriages to achieve immigration status and  non-genuine marriages of convenience, imposed a two-year conditional permanent resident status on all sponsored spouses and partners. This condition. to the degree that it was ineffective as a deterrent or not, also  gave rise to situations of domestic abuse from which vulnerable partners remained trapped for the duration of the condition, for fear of losing their residency.  Although there were exit clauses written into permanent residency conditions to protect  spouses and partners from staying in volatile and abusive relationships, victims continued to endure the harsh conditions rather than risk losing their status. By removing this condition from all sponsored spouses and partners upon landing, there is now a  greater chance of individuals facing  physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse at the hands of their partners, of confidently seeking safety and help outside of their home.

Commitment to family reunification

This change means Canada has reinforced its commitment to family reunification under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). It represents a more humane approach to spousal applications, while also embracing gender equality.  Canada will protect  vulnerable spouses and partners from  willful neglect and gender-based abuse.  For foreign nationals sponsored as spouses and partners, repeal of the permanent residency condition indicates a level of trust that the family-class immigration program applicants are assumed to be honest and trustworthy. The change recognizes that people are overwhelmingly involved in genuine relationships, and are interested in coming to Canada to be honestly reunited with their loved ones for a better life.

One can, however, expect  visa officers to be as vigilant and as thorough as ever in ensuring that the small percentage of  phony spousal applications by unscrupulous individuals are quickly identified, and summarily tossed out.

Pharmacare

Ontario youth drug coverage

Pharmacare
Ontario’s 2017-18 signature Budget measure means all eligible Ontario residents 24 years of age and less are fully covered for the cost of all 4,400 drugs in the Ontario formulary.
T

he Province of Ontario’s 2017-18 budget, passed in 2017, implemented universal drug coverage for Ontario residents age 24 and less, and who are eligible for its Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

Ontario became the first Canadian province or territory to extend pharmacare coverage to its residents. Coverage for eligible Ontario residents became effective in 2018. The entire Ontario drug formulary of more than 4,400 drugs is included, from routine prescriptions to expensive treatments.

Ontario Links

Newcomers to Ontario can qualify for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan if they are:

  • A Canadian citizen;
  • An Indigenous person (registered under the federal Indian Act);
  • A permanent resident (formerly called a “landed immigrant”);
  • Have applied for permanent residence, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has confirmed that they meet the eligibility requirements to apply (i.e. have not yet been denied); are in Ontario on a valid work permit and are working full-time in Ontario, for an Ontario employer, for at least six months.

Your spouse and any dependents also qualify if you do. You are eligible to apply to OHIP if you are in Ontario on a valid work permit under the federal Live-in Caregiver Program, or are a convention refugee or other protected person (as defined by Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada).

OHIP annual health care premiums are among the lowest in the world.

Google e-mail issue

Gmail accounts issue resolved

C

lients and friends who use personal Gmail accounts to send and receive e-mail had an issue in late November of 2018. It appeared some overzealous programmer at Google concluded that businesses like ours, that correspond with international clients (like you) beyond their home country’s borders, must therefore be spammers. Google has since rectified the issue, whatever it was.

The problem was that we could receive your Gmail messages, but Gmail wrongly bounced our replies. This had to be affecting countless other businesses like ours too. It lasted a few days before Google made changes, and the issue went away.

To ensure the reliability of your communications with us (or anybody you value for that matter), please be sure to tell your e-mail program (especially if you use Gmail) that the e-mail messages you receive from andrea@uppercanadaimmigration.ca are from a ‘safe sender.’

During this short period, we used our own Gmail account to correspond. You did not experience this issue corresponding with us from e-mail accounts from Yahoo, Hotmail or other providers. Just thought some of you might want to know.