Premier CIC – Canada's Only Immigration Consulting Co-op: We Know What You Need
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The British Columbia government runs a tourism campaign based on the slogan ‘The Best Place on Earth’. Sitting in my office on a peerless August morning with the sun shining in through my floor to ceiling windows I find it hard to disagree, but I can’t help but think that our visa officers overseas have taken the notion too far.

When I was a visa officer, there were two prevailing mindsets among officers – facilitation and enforcement. The Department’s official policy combined intelligent risk management with facilitation, but I knew a lot of officers who looked at every application to visit Canada with extreme suspicion. Their primarily responsibility, as they saw their jobs, was to protect Canada from those who would try to take advantage of our natural openness and generosity.

I have recently had a couple of clients whose temporary resident visa (TRV – or visitor visa, in laymen’s terms) applications were refused on the basis of their having ‘insufficient ties to their home countries’. Strong as the siren song of Canada might be, both are women in their mid 50s who have been married for nearly 30 years. Recently retired, they speak no English and have extended families living around them – siblings, children, grandchildren! Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of their home cultures would understand how strong these bonds are.

Yet our visa officers are so convinced of the desirability of life in Canada that they arrogantly assume that these folks would abandon their lives, interwoven with family, friends, and community, to make a desperate move halfway around the world to a place where they can’t work legally (if they were inclined to work after finally retiring from a life of toil), can’t speak the language, have no home and no community outside of a small knot of relatives who will quickly tire of their absolute dependence.

I love it here and have devoted my career to helping people who want to come to Canada – but let’s not kid ourselves that given the chance everyone in the world would sacrifice everything they have and know – their homes, their languages, their cultures, their lives, their families and their communities – to stay illegally in Canada.

Do you think I’m being naive or do you agree that our visa officers have an overinflated opinion of Canada’s desirability?

PCIC’s Immigration Blog – Insights into the World of Canadian Immigration

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These are heady times for immigration consultants in Canada with the passage of Bill C-35 increasing consumer protection by making it illegal for anyone to be paid for giving immigration advice unless they are a Quebec notary, a member of a Canadian bar association, or a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), a designation that can be used only by members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).

ICCRC was designated by Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration, as the regulator of immigration consultants on June 30, 2011, marking the end of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants’ (CSIC) role as regulator.

There were many in the immigrant consulting community who considered CSIC’s run as the regulator of immigration consultants as a reign of terror. Some likened it to the North Korean regime of Kim Jong Il or the reign of Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife in Romania – the domain of an ego maniacal, power hungry despot whose only priority was self aggrandizement and self enrichment.
We at Premier Canadian Immigration Co-op (PCIC) would not stoop to such characterisations, but we are happy to give ICCRC the opportunity to move the profession forward.

Premier Canadian Immigration Co-op (PCIC) is unlike any other immigration consulting firm in Canada because we chose to incorporate on the co-op model – based on the values of cooperation, collegiality, mutual assistance, and inclusiveness. We know that if you come to us for assistance with your immigration file, you will find those values reflected in our approach to your case and in our treatment of you as a client. You will find that you have engaged a team who will pool its resources, knowledge, experience, and expertise to give you the best representation possible.

The whole PCIC team is looking forward to making a difference in your life and we hope you will put your faith in us and give us that opportunity.

PCIC – We Know What You Need.

PCIC’s Immigration Blog – Why Does the Canadian Government Hate Skilled Workers?

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One has to wonder why the Canadian government hates skilled workers so much. Last year, new ministerial instructions made it possible for only 20,000 to apply as Foreign Skilled Workers (FSWs) in one of 29 occupation categories. Each of the 29 categories was capped at 1,000 applications – not 1,000 visas issues or 1,000 FSWs accepted – pass or fail, 1,000 applications. It is clearly no longer a question of setting conditions to screen in those with the best chance of succeeding economically in Canada. The game now is to kill the category and to divert those applicants into other channels. More on that later.

So, despite the fact that many of the categories failed to reach anywhere near 1,000 application, this year’s total was reduced to 10,000 with each category – and the categories that attracted almost no applicants remain on the list –  capped at 500 applications.
The only exceptions for FSWs are for the ones who have an Arranged Employment Offer (AEO). Of course, the AEO has come under increasing scrutiny by CIC due to the alleged fraud perpetrated on the system by the current Chair of CSIC. As a result, the forms to apply for an AEO and the reporting requirements for prospective employers have both ballooned to insupportable proportions.

So what’s a skilled worker to do?

It is clear that CIC is employing two strategies. One is to channel would-be independent immigrants (as we used to call them) into employer-driven Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The other is to encourage applications for permanent residence from a pool of people who have experience and success living in Canada, such as temporary foreign skilled workers and international students. Scaffolding has been created for international students, for example, where study leads to work experience, which in turn leads to permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). CEC allows both skilled workers who have accumulated enough work experience in Canada and international students who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution to apply for permanent residence. International students are eligible for Post-graduate Work Permits (PGWPs) that allow them to gain the requisite work experience in qualify for CEC. Both PNP and CEC make it critical for international students and temporary skilled workers alike (assuming their goal is to eventually settle in Canada) to develop a strategy immediately upon arrival in order to maximise their chances of qualifying either under a PNP or under CEC.

The easiest way to stay ahead of the curve is to let Premier Canadian Immigration Co-op’s consultants custom-design a strategy for you.

The whole PCIC team is looking forward to making a difference in your life and we hope you will put your faith in us and give us that opportunity.

PCIC – We Know What You Need.