mmigration Consultants like me handle issues that change people’s lives. Helping people qualify to come to Canada, and settle here, 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, as of the end of 2019. I am one of them. At Upper Canada Immigration Consultants, we stick to the law, treat our clients fairly, and deliver value for money to serious people.
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.
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.
pper Canada Immigration Consultants is doing an outreach to folks in parts of the United Kingdom this spring. Perhaps you saw our information on Facebook, in our e-newsletter, or on this web site, and you are wondering what to do next. If you are from the UK, please read this page first. It has lots of handy tips and sound advice for people seriously considering emigrating to Canada.
Call us via WhatsApp or by phone. The sound of a human voice is always best. For your initial consultation, we can arrange a telephone (or Skype or WhatsApp) appointment for a detailed discussion. Because of the time zone difference, mid-evening UK time is still in the midst of the working day in Ontario. If you are in Canada, or plan to come for a visit, we can meet with you. Here is how you can help us work with you:
Our web site is a treasure trove of free information for you. It also offers you a way to write us a short message. For example, you could advise us that you had just filled out the two forms above. Click or touch here to send a message.
What happens after that?
Our staff will assemble your information, and contact you. We will need to know about your academic or trade background and your qualifications and experience. If you have raised a question in a message to us, we can respond briefly, and offer you an introductory consultation. This does not cost you anything, and lasts a short time.
When (or if) it looks as if your inquiry has substance and merit, your consultant will lay out a path for you. At this point, you become a paying client of Upper Canada Immigration Consultants;
After your initial consultation, we follow up with an Engagement Letter if your case would benefit from our services.
Once we have agreed to work together, a Retainer Agreement will detail the scope of our services, the terms of your billing and a tentative timeline. From then onward, you are our client, and we are working on your behalf.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.