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More Proposed Changes to Family Sponsorships

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Following the introduction of a 5-year sponsorship bar after landing in Canada for people sponsored as spouses, or common-law or conjugal partners under the Family Class, another major change has been suggested. A conditional visa for sponsored spouses, is also poised to become law. The amended regulation was published in the Canada Gazette on March 9 and will be become law as soon as the period for public comment has expired – unless there is an outcry from the public forcing CIC to rethink the policy. Briefly, unless the marriage or relationship lasts 2 years, permanent residence will be revoked and the sponsored partner deported. There is a lot of concern that vulnerable women, or men, would be forced to endure abusive relationships for 2 years in order to be able to stay in Canada, but to CIC’s credit, there are exemptions from the 2-year requirement in cases of spousal abuse – physical, sexual, psychological or financial – or neglect. Couples who have already been together for 2 years before applying or who have a child together are also exempt.
We’d love to hear your opinion about the new rules for Family Class sponsorship. Let us know what you think. And if you have any questions, let the immigration experts at Premier Canadian Immigration Co-op put you on the right path.

How do I apply for the new Parents and Grandparents Super Visa?

Posted by kanrisha in blog - (Comments Off on How do I apply for the new Parents and Grandparents Super Visa?)

CIC introduced a new type of visitor visa for parents and grandparents – a 10-year multiple entry visa that permits the holder to stay as long as 2 years on each visit. In addition to the normal conditions for applying for a visitor visa to be eligible for the Super Visa, the applicant must:

1) Be a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
2) Provide a written commitment of financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada, including proof that the child or grandchild meets the minimum necessary income (Low Income Cut-Off);
3) Undergo the Immigration Medical Examination;
4) Submit proof that they have purchased comprehensive Canadian medical insurance, valid for at least one year; and
Satisfy the visa officer that they meet all other standard admissibility criteria.

Here are the Low Income Cut Off requirements (valid until December 31, 2011):
(to determine the amount needed, you must add the number of visitors to be sponsored and the number of people in the sponsor’s family – so for a family of 4 in Canada who want mom and dad to visit on a Super Visa, the amount required is for 6 persons, i.e., $52,838.

Size of Family Unit Minimum necessary income
1 person (the sponsor) $22,229
2 persons $27,674
3 persons $34,022
4 persons $41,307
5 persons $46,850
6 persons $52,838
7 persons $58,827
More than 7 persons, for each additional person, add $5,989

Please not that a although minimum of $100,000 of health insurance valid for at least 1 year from a CANADIAN insurance company is required, no Canadian health insurance company is offering such a policy at this time. Watch this space for an update when the insurance becomes available.

If you have any questions or if you want to apply for a Super Visa, let Premier Canadian Immigration Co-op help. Please contact us at info@premiercic.com
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Changes to the Live-in Caregiver Program

Posted by kanrisha in blog - (Comments Off on Changes to the Live-in Caregiver Program)

The live-in caregiver program has long been plagued by various problems, from the length of time it takes to process an application to potential exploitation of caregivers. The requirement that the caregiver live in the home makes it difficult to draw the line on overtime and to draw clear boundaries between caring for children and the elderly and general housekeeping duties.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has taken a lot of criticism over the program and has taken some steps over the past couple of years to improve it and to protect live-in caregivers. Changes include:

– allowing live-in caregivers to apply for permanent residence after 3,900 work hours, rather than two years of work, to ensure overtime is appropriately recognized;
– eliminating the need for a second medical examination when the caregiver applies for permanent residence;
– increasing the amount of time a caregiver has to complete their work obligations, from three years to four;
– the adoption of a standardized employment contract that ensures both parties agree to the salary, hours of work, vacation time, overtime, holidays, sick leave, and the terms of termination and resignation;
– defining the costs the employer is obliged to pay, including the caregiver’s travel expenses in coming to Canada, medical insurance, workplace safety insurance and third-party representative fees;
– emergency processing of work permits and employer authorizations to hire live-in caregivers who have been abused and need to leave their employment immediately;
– a dedicated phone service for live-in caregivers through the department’s Call Centre;
– an assessment of:
the genuineness of the job offer, including confirmation that the caregiver would be residing in a private residence and providing child care, senior home support care or care of a disabled person in that household without supervision,
whether the employer has sufficient financial resources to pay the wages of the caregiver and,
whether the accommodations being provided are adequate; and
– a two-year period of ineligibility from hiring foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, for employers who have failed to live up to the terms of past job contracts.

If you are interested in hiring a live-in caregiver, let Premier Canadian Immigration Co-op help you navigate the new rules. Contact us at info@premiercic.com.