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.

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.

The real deal

ICCRC consultants are the genuine article

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mmigration Consultants like me handle issues that change people’s lives. This is a service that is complex, difficult, takes continuous ongoing training on my part, and takes time. That makes it, by definition, expensive. My clients may do this process once in their lives. For most of them, our fees represent an amount of money they don’t hand out daily. We do this work all the time, do it well, and do it correctly.

Sometimes, people ask if dealing with a licensed Canadian Immigration Consultant brings with it any form of success ‘guarantee.’ I answer that occasional question on this web site. Click or touch here. There are only about 4,600 licensed Canadian Immigration Consultants. At Upper Canada Immigration Consultants, we stick to the law, treat our clients fairly, and deliver value for money to serious people.

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.

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.

 

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.
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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

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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.

Christmas 2017

Christmas greetings & Holiday hours

Christmas Card 2017

Merry Christmas to all our clients and friends, wherever in the world you are!

Holiday hours

Our Upper Canada Immigration people enjoyed their Christmas break. We are back at work for you, and accepting new and familiar callers.

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.