Toronto Star Ad

Our Ontario newspaper display 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 period, newspapers everywhere found their advertising base drying up. It wasn’t hard to figure out. The advertisers were squeezed by their revenue hit during the virus. Newspapers, magazines, radio and TV saw their own revenues shrink as advertisers cut back on expenses to look for buyers where 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.”

Maybe you are reading this, and thinking you need help with your own citizenship and immigration issue.

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;

Student Permits

New approval process: study travel to 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 in the fall semester can now breathe a sigh of relief. Immigration, Refugees and Citizen Canada (IRCC) has announced implementation of  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.

Once the Canadian border is open for non-essential travel, students will travel to their Canadian destination to continue their studies. If you are such a student who wishes to take this opportunity to start your studies in the Fall of 2020, contact us now. We have until September 15 to apply for your study permit. 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.

Careful re-opening

Summer Update: Canada and COVID-19

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anadian borders Are soon open to some travelers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Since March 16, Canada’s borders have been closed to all but deemed-essential travelers in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Such “essential services”, are individuals who, by definition of their occupation, provide services that both countries have come to rely on, are exempted from the ban. These include diplomats and  airline crew members. As well, the European Union has included Canada (but not the USA) in its recently-announced ‘bubble’ of countries whose inbound and outbound flights can connect with the EU.

  • Since April 18, 2020, the U.S. – Canada border has been, and remains, closed;
  • The U.S. has suspended all immigration to the United States, with many essential details missing or vague.

Encouraging progress in Canada

Canada’s efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus have been encouraging. After containing the rapid spread of the virus in seniors residences and long-term care facilities, Canadian provinces have seen their cases – and deaths – fall rapidly. The Canada-wide effort to shut the country down and ask Canadians to stay at home to contain the spread of the virus worked, though summer cases remain stubbornly stuck at various levels from Quebec to B.C..

  • Canada’s three northern territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) have not recorded a case of COVID-19 in more than a month. None of the three have had an active case of COVID-19 for weeks. Nunavut territory has never had a case of COVID-19, and remains one of the few places in the world virus-free;
  • Atlantic Canada opened as a ‘regional bubble’ in July. As of the end of June, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador had all achieved and sustained zero active cases for more than two weeks. Summer travel has brought several cases to PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, but a new spread does not seem to be happening. As the four Atlantic provinces re-open for travel among themselves without a two-week quarantine in July, and as whatever remains of the tourist season progresses, isolated cases remain possible;
  • The rate of new cases and deaths in Ontario and Quebec has fallen sharply since May. Neither province is yet close to zero active cases. The daily count of new cases has stabilized in both provinces. In Ontario, the majority of cases remain in the Toronto area, Peel Region west of Toronto, and Windsor-Essex, near the U.S. border;
  • Manitoba is close to zero in its active cases. Saskatchewan and Alberta are each stable, but remain stuck, in reducing their active cases. British Columbia has been very successful in bringing the infection rate, and the number of active cases, down steadily. B.C. and Yukon will open up a regional ‘bubble’ in the coming weeks.

Check the Globe and Mail web site for up-to-date graphs and case numbers in Canada and the provinces and territories.

Public, sporting, business, conference and entertainment events all remain cancelled. Canadians can start to attend gatherings of many type, including church services, at reduced capacity with a strong recommendation to wear masks. Many retail establishments require shoppers, clients and patrons to use hand sanitizers and wear masks as they re-open, or remain open. Masks are now mandatory throughout Quebec outside the home environment.

What does this mean to me?

All travelers, including Canadians returning from abroad, must self-isolate for at least 14 days once back in Canada. As the European Union re-opens, its defined safe ‘bubble’ now include such countries as Canada which have shown discipline and success in containing and reducing the virus.

If you are working with us on applying for any type of visa or sponsorship,  we will continue to work on your case without interruption. If you have been granted a TRV (visitor visa) you will not be able to come to Canada as a visitor until the ban has been lifted.

If you have been granted a permanent residence visa and have not booked your ticket to “land” in Canada, please delay your arrival in Canada to  a time when you know things are back to normal. There are only four international airports open for international flights: Pearson International in Toronto; Pierre Elliot Trudeau International in Montreal; Vancouver International and Calgary International. The line-ups and testing upon arrival will be long and rigorous. As noted above, every international traveler, Canadian or not, must self-quarantine for at least two weeks.

Who cannot board Canada-bound flights

Canada’s Ministry of Transportation issued an Interim Order on who can and cannot board flights bound for Canada. The rules clarify how to deal with significant risk, direct or indirect to aviation safety or to the safety of the public:

  • Persons who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents may not board an airline flight to come to Canada. This includes stateless persons;
  • Every air carrier must conduct, at the boarding gate, a health check of every person prior to their boarding an aircraft for a flight to Canada;
  • Air carriers may not allow persons to board if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 in their answers to questions, or in the air carrier’s observation. Passengers will be refused permission to board Canada-bound aircraft if they say they have COVID-19, or if they refuse to answer questions.

When COVID-19 ends

In Canada, there is caused for hope that the difficult COVID-19 pandemic will end. Canada is on track to look for as many as one million new immigrants to the country in the next three years. We continue to work from home, and use WhatsApp, Zoom and other technology to meet virtually with clients. If you’re thinking about Canada, get the process started early. Now is the time! Some of our clients have already got their coveted Invitation to Apply during the COVID-19 period.

If you’re serious about coming to Canada, tell us about yourself by filling out this secure form. Let’s see if there is a viable pathway for you to continue life in Canada.

Hong Kong

A reputable path to Canada

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re you feeling afraid and insecure about your future in Hong Kong? Like very many Canadians, I am deeply and profoundly disturbed by the insecurity now so prevalent in Hong Kong. My spouse and I have vacationed in Hong Kong, and love its energy, vibrancy and friendly, hard-working people. Maybe you are among those looking to explore an immigration pathway to Canada. At Upper Canada Immigration Consultants, we may be able to help you to chart a course to a new life in a safe, democratic and welcoming country. Take a deep breath and don’t panic.

Perhaps you have friends and relatives in Canada. Now is the time to get in touch with them, and start learning about possibilities for you to re-start your career. We can discuss how your friends and family can help you to network and get started on your job search and make plans. We are careful who we take on as clients. If your wish is to leave Hong Kong’s anxiety and uncertainty behind you and immigrate to Canada, we may be able to help you. Talk with us, and if you are a good candidate to come to Canada, we will assist you with your immigration matter, help you identify your best opportunity, and pursue your best options to come to Canada. We are located in Mississauga, Ontario, just west of Toronto.

Upper Canada Immigration Consulting is not a free service. As a firm of professional and regulated consultants, we charge for our services. Click or tap here for more information about us on this web site.

Who are good candidates?

Here are some common immigration scenarios. This list is not exhaustive, so your personal situation may differ. Self-assess your situation by considering these common scenarios:

  • Are you a citizen or a permanent resident of Canada with a family member who is not? (Spouse or children)?
  • Are you a young professional under the age of 30 with postsecondary education, three years of work experience, good English Language skills and  settlement funds?
  • Are you a skilled professional who once studied or worked in Canada?
  • Are you a current business owner who has a great business idea, postsecondary education, funds to invest in Canada and fair to good English Language skills?
  • Do you have postsecondary education, English language skills, funds to invest and currently hold a senior managerial position in a private business or a government department?
  • If you have no connection to Canada, and you have two (or more) post-secondary certificates (or diplomas or academic degrees), and you have sufficient settlement funds, and your English language skills are good, and you have three or more experience of skilled work experience, you might be a strong candidate to come to Canada. Talk with us;
  • Are you married to a Canadian resident or a citizen but you have not yet applied for permanent residence?
  • Do you have at least one year of living in a common-law relationship with your partner where one of you is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident?

Canada has long been recognized as a country that welcomes immigrants, and enables them to settle, integrate and succeed. Canada has an enormous, and well-established community of former Hong Kongers in every major city and town. During these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, where some countries have slashed their immigration quotas, Canada has not altered its goal to bring in the brightest and the best, reunite family members, invite entrepreneurs who excel in what they do, and welcome young, ambitious, educated and progressive thinking individuals.

Canada’s immigration department is on track to fulfill its goal of bringing in 341,000 permanent residents during 2020. In 2021, Canada expects to welcome 351,000 permanent new residents. In 2022, Canada plans to “land” 361,000 new Canadians. There are scores of programs and initiatives throughout Canada’s provinces and territories in addition to the federally-run programs.

If you don’t have the BNO passport

The United Kingdom, as of July 1, 2020, announced it would extend an offer to nearly three million eligible Hong Kongers the British National Overseas (BNO) passport, which may enable the holders of those passports to emigrate to the UK. If you have such a passport, you will gain a path to get to the UK and eventually qualify for UK citizenship. If you don’t have such an option, don’t despair. You may yet qualify to come to Canada permanently. See the examples above, and contact us.

Resources on this web site

We have assembled a comprehensive and organized collection of information on this web site. Take some time to explore it. We are reputable and effective. Our fees are fair and reasonable. We expect our clients to work as hard on their immigration and settlement application as we do. We don’t take every person who asks us to perform work for them. We expect you to keep your account active by paying your fees promptly, and we account for how we use your money.

Help us work with you by completing these on-line forms:

  1. Tell us who you are and where you live;
  2. Tell us about your issue or your needs;
  3. Leave a message if necessary. Remember, there is a 12-hour time zone difference between Hong Kong and Ontario in Canada.

You can call us by telephone or WhatsApp at 647-988-3846. If you reach us after hours we’ll call you back. In the meantime, get your essential documents together.

The real deal

ICCRC consultants are the genuine article

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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.

Andrea Seepersaud’s qualifications

  • Member: Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) #R515545;
  • Member: Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC) #R19147;
  • License: Foreign Worker Recruiter and Immigration Services Act, Province of Saskatchewan #00581;
  • Commissioner: Affidavits and Oaths, Province of Ontario.

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.

Click or touch here for more information and FAQs about Upper Canada Immigration and Andrea Seepersaud.

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.

Caribbean trip postponed

See you once travel is safe

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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. Earlier this year, before the COVID-19 situation worsened, we decided to postpone that annual trip to later in the calendar. The global Coronavirus (COVID-19) issue was part of the reason when we made that decision in February. Many of you are contacting us directly as it is, and frankly, this has been a very busy winter season at Upper Canada Immigration Consultants. 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.

COVID-19 and client contact

During this challenging period when Canadians (and people everywhere) are trying to contain and reverse the Corona Virus. People are being asked to work from home wherever possible, and avoid traveling. We are doing the same, following guidelines about minimizing the chance of contacting the virus, or putting our clients at risk through direct meetings. Like most people in the world who can, we are working from home for the next few weeks at least. Consider calling and doing our business on the phone.

Much of our business is conducted on the web and the phone (or WhatsApp) as it is. In the coming weeks, keep doing business with us, and keep it on the phone, by e-mail and by WhatsApp. Expect that routine things will take longer, mail and packages may take longer to receive, and services that we are used to receiving quickly may take longer, perhaps much longer in the short term, or may be interrupted. Together, by being vigilant and careful, we will all get through the Corona Virus.

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.

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.

 

Faster Service

Connecting with UK folks

U.K. and Canada
New Canadians from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have an easy time integrating into Canadian life.
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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:

Please complete these steps before calling us

1. Tell us who you are, and where you live
Please complete this on-line form. This also gets you our periodic e-newsletter. Nobody else ever sees your contact information.
2. Tell us about your situation
Please complete this on-line form. This web form describes your situation, and enables our consultant to gain insight into what you may need us to do for you.
3. Need to send a message, or add an explanation?
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.