Fraud prevention for newcomers

The sheer gall of immigration fraud

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arch each year is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. It’s an annual opportunity to remind those we work with to use caution in their immigration dealings. The Government of Canada has a very useful web page that echoes the regular messages we post on this web site, such as the cautionary message that follows. If somebody, or some supposed ‘program,’ sounds too good, or too easy, or too cheap to be real, then it almost certainly isn’t real. See what this site has to say about so-called ‘guarantees‘ to prospective newcomers to Canada.

Fake IELTS certificates

Sometimes, it is hard to believe the brazen gall of a crooked scheme unless you read it yourself! One of our staff, on an e-mail account not associated with Upper Canada Immigration, received an e-mail solicitation just flat-out offering to sell anyone an IELTS certificate. Here was the e-mail title: High-quality Original IELTS certificate for sale.

You have to be kidding! A mail-order fake IELTS certificate is about as brazen a scam as we’ve yet seen. We have a page on this web site about common types of fraud that criminals worldwide try to perpetrate against people applying to be legitimate immigrants to Canada. As our web page states clearly, consultants like us provide advice to clients on each and every document they will require, and then we check each and every document we submit on behalf of our clients. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) independently verifies each document in every application all over again.

Criminal offense

Uttering a forged document means altering or creating a document in order to commit fraud, without the knowledge of the proper authorizing party, in this case IELTS. Uttering a forged document is a criminal offence in Canada, illegal under Section 368 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The odds of a fake IELTS certificate working for you are zero! The chances of a fake IELTS certificate sinking your application are 100 percent. And you commit a crime in Canada if you try it.

Mail order IELTS certificates are a way to get the stupid, the dishonest and the gullible to part with their hard-earned money in return for nothing but a guarantee of failure.

Read more…

TRV processing

Faster options for spouses and dependants

New measures to reunite family class applicants faster and provide work permits are now in place. Contact us for a consultation on WhatsApp.
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash
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ndividuals sponsored by their spouses or family members to come to  Canada as permanent residents will receive much faster service for processing a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to travel to Canada. This comes  after recent changes announced by the Government of Canada. Newly implemented measures benefit those sponsored by their Canadian resident or Canadian citizen spouses and by family members, if they were outside Canada at the time their application was submitted. If your application is already in the system, here is what you may want to do now to reunite with your family member:

  • Apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV) to travel to Canada to be with the spouse while a permanent resident application is processed;
  • Apply for an open work permit (OWP), once in Canada, and integrate into the workforce while an application for permanent residence is processed.

Faster service standard

TRV applications of spouses will be processed within 30 days. To expedite the processing of work permits of spouses and dependents who are already in Canada, the the promise is for processing to be completed within 60 days of submission. Processing of both applications (consecutively) is expected to take approximately three months to complete.

Once an (outside Canada) spousal or family class application has been submitted, a TRV application can immediately be submitted. When the principal applicant has received a  visitor visa, and has arrived in Canada, an open work permit can then be submitted. IRCC’s service standard for finalizing spousal application processing is 12 months.

What has changed?

Previously, individuals living outside Canada at the time of their sponsorship by their spouses and family members remained in their country of residence until they were granted permanent residence. Even though sponsored individuals were eligible to apply for a TRV while they waited for their final decision, the approval rate for such applications was very low. Also, applying for an OWP was only available to sponsored spouses if they were already living in Canada and even then, it was not possible until the first stage in the processing of their application was finalized and the approval in principle letter was issued.

Why the change was made

The newly implemented measures strengthen existing measures to reunite family members faster. The measures  also address labour shortages in Canada by broadening the eligibility factor for OWP applicants. Those eligible for a TRV and an OWP under the spousal pathway, include dependents of the principal applicant. When an application for permanent residence has been submitted under the family class reunification program, either an open work permit application may be submitted by the sponsored party and eligible dependents from within Canada, or a TRV may be submitted by the sponsored party and dependents that are outside Canada.

New processing tools

The increased efficiency level and increased approval rate for spousal TRV applications stems from the implementation and  use of new and dedicated processing tools by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for such applications. The streamlining  and processing of information  submitted by applicants in their applications means  that the processing time of TRVs now averages 30 days, with an approval rate of around 93 percent.

Who can be sponsored

If you are a citizen of Canada with a child who was born outside Canada, your child may already be a citizen, and therefore cannot be sponsored.  Contact us for help to determine the status of your child, and to determine whether or not sponsorship is necessary.

Spouses: A permanent resident or citizen of Canada can sponsor his or her spouse, common law partner or conjugal partner to come to Canada as a permanent resident.

Dependants:  Children who are under the age of 22 and are either unmarried  or not in a common-law relationship and whose parents are  either permanent residents or citizens can be sponsored.  If a dependent child is over 22 years old, there must be evidence that the child is dependent on the parents for financial support because of a mental or physical disability.  It must also be established that the financial support started before the age of 22 and is ongoing.

 

Beware of ghosts

Ghosts who vanish with your money

Ghost Consultants
Ghost consultants are unregistered and unlicensed individuals masquerading as industry experts. They are ignorant of Canadian immigration law, rules, regulations and changing policies . They  are usually much more expensive than legitimate and registered consultants, and when they vanish, they leave their victims out of money, out of time, and out of Canada.  Beware of them!
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aking news in Canada every few months are cases such as a group of international students from the state of Punjab in India’s north. In that case, more than 700 such students faced deportation from Canada after Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) discovered that Letters of Admission from their education institutions were counterfeit. These fake Letters of Admission, issued in 2018 and 2019 by various institutions, were submitted as evidence in study permit applications on behalf of those students.

At the centre of that case was a now-defunct immigration ‘agency’ operating out of Punjab, whose owner-operator has since  vanished. This ghost consultant had been charging aspiring international students thousands of dollars to assist in the process of obtaining admission into colleges in Canada and to apply for study permits. The students (and their parents) all claim to have been innocently duped by the “ghost” consultant who has now ghosted them.

These students, in addition to being fleeced of their family’s cash (apparently all the transactions were in cash) are being deported from Canada for misrepresentation, and also face a ban from applying to IRCC for at least five years. Similar cases include individuals in Canada on a visitor’s permit sent to work for Canadians without a work permit by employment agencies.

If you won’t spend the time and money to do it properly, how will you find the time and the money do do it over again?

Whether you are in India, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe or anywhere else, this is a cautionary tale. Its lesson is to stay away from ghosts. Use a real immigration consultant. We get it done right, and ironically, do your work faster and less expensively than the ghosts who vanish with both your money and your dreams. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is more detail on this web site.

Ghostly image by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

Express Entry opportunities

Opportunity for 1.45 million new Canada residents

The preferred pathway to immigration to Canada is through Express Entry. Draws from among the ‘pool’ of eligible candidates are made regularly. Contact us to get into the Express Entry pool.
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y far, Express Entry is the preferred route to Canada. Between 2023 and 2025, Canada plans to accept some 1.45 million new residents. The plans were announced in late January by Canada’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. This total breaks down as: 465,000 new residents in 2023; 485,000 in 2024; and 500,000 in 2025. While newcomers to Canada often often gravitate to urban areas, where many have friends and families to provide networking and social supports, the new plan contains numerous initiatives and regional pathways to encourage applicants to settle in Canadian small towns and rural areas. At Upper Canada Immigration Consultants, we assist many clients with getting into the Express Entry ‘pool.’

French-Speaking newcomers

In 2022 Canada received more than 16,300 Francophone newcomers to minority French-speaking communities across Canada. This is a marked increase in numbers from previous years, mostly because of targeted initiatives of both the federal government and provincial governments, (apart from Quebec which has its own immigration program).

All immigrants contribute to the rich tapestry of our cultural and linguistic profile. French-speaking immigrants are no exception. Canada, now in the final year of its five-year Action Plan for official languages, had allocated $40.7 million for Francophone immigration initiatives. To that end, and in setting its sights on improving that record number of French-speaking immigrants of last year, Canada has launched a targeted campaign to attract skilled French-speaking newcomers.

Study in Canada

Approval process: study in Canada

Upper Canada Immigration works with students and their families.
Students can work with us to obtain study permits and TRVs 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 have fewer barriers to travelling than the previous two years. Immigration, Refugees and Citizen Canada (IRCC) has reverted to its usual procedures in issuing study permits by issuing an approval letter and a temporary resident visa (student) for travelling to Canada.  Students, upon arrival at a port of entry are  subject to an examination by the CBSA, whereupon they can be refused entry, if it is found that information is questionable, or not bona fide. After examining a student and once  the officer is satisfied,  a secure document, referred to a “study permit” is issued, bearing the issue and expiry dates.

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 lengthy processing periods for study permit applications, students must begin their groundwork on obtaining key documents in their respective countries  for their applications, months ahead of their  semester start dates. And more importantly, students must contact us for assistance as soon as they make a decision that they want to come to Canada to study. We will provide advice, insight and guidance on the process.

Read more…

Guyana ad

We are in Invest Guyana magazine

Upper Canada Immigration Invest Guyana ad 2023
See the 2023 edition of Invest Guyana for our ad offering to assist Guyana businesses needing to build their business in Guyana. Photo credit: Sean Pollock on Unsplash.
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uyana is on a roll! There’s oil, gold and other minerals to extract and build prosperity for Guyana’s smart and dynamic people. It’s been a long time coming, and the country deserves its new prosperity. The Government of Guyana each year publishes a magazine called Invest Guyana, mostly for a business audience. Each year, Upper Canada Immigration Consultants do more work with individuals and businesses in Guyana. In 2023, we choose to invest in an ad in Invest Guyana to see if more Guyana businesses need help getting their people to Canada to raise investment capital, meet suppliers, attend conferences, get staff and students educated and even take a holiday in Canada. Click or tap the image opposite for a full-size copy of our ad.

Get more information on this web site about how we can help businesses in Guyana build stronger and bigger businesses by coming to Canada. The Toronto Stock Exchange is where leading resource developers raise equity capital. Canada is among the world’s leading centres for mining and resource extraction. Many of the services your business may need can be found in Ontario, also home to one of the world’s largest expatriate Guyana populations.

Read more…

Toronto Star Ad

Our Ontario newspaper display ad

Upper Canada Immigration 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 lockdown period, newspapers everywhere found their advertising base drying up. It wasn’t hard to figure out: advertisers were squeezed by their revenue hit during the virus. Newspapers, magazines, radio and TV saw their revenues shrink as retail advertisers cut back on media expenses when their buyers 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. 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.”

If Upper Canada Immigration has helped you, or you know someone who needs help coming to Canada, click or tap our ad on your computer to get a larger version, then print it and give it to your friend, acquaintance or colleague.

Maybe you are reading this, and thinking you need help with your own citizenship and immigration issue. With COVID-19 cases sharply down in Canada, we may be able to meet in person, and we can certainly do business over the telephone, by WhatsApp, Zoom or Skype. If you use Microsoft Teams, we will meet you there as well.

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.

The real deal

CICC 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: College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC) #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 2022. 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.

More resources

Building trades

Construction and skilled trades

Skilled trades workers to help address Canada’s housing shortage are in demand right now. Read this article and see if you qualify to gain permanent residency status in Canada.
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ousing is in short supply in Canada in 2023. The construction industry has suffered from labour shortages, causing fewer new homes to be built. This shortage will continue for years. To address the labour shortage problem faced by the building industry, a pilot program that was previously successful will be expanded in 2023. It will allow 1,000 out-of-status construction workers and their families to obtain permanent residency. This program previously allowed 500 out-of-status workers to apply for permanent residence.

There are more than 140 skilled trades recognized by the Provinces of Ontario. A trade related to the building industry includes such occupations as carpenters, brick layers, electricians, joiners, drywallers, plumbers, roofers, insulation installers, and many others. This time or urgent need for skilled trades is a valuable opportunity to transition from ‘under-the-table’ to ‘above-board’ in your work status.

A trade is classified as either compulsory or non-compulsory. Compulsory trades require that you be a registered apprentice, Provisional Certificate of Qualification holder or Certificate of Qualification holder to legally work in the trade. Non-compulsory trades do not require you to be a registered apprentice or certified journeyperson to legally work in the trade.

Eligibility

This pathway to permanent residence is open only to skilled trades workers who live in Toronto, Durham, Halton, Peel and York regions. They must, among other eligibility requirements, be:

  • Currently living in Canada without legal status;
  • Have knowledge, skills and experience in the construction industry;
  • Currently working “under the table” in the construction industry;
  • Willing to identify themselves to the Canadian Labour Congress and undergo a pre-screening process before being selected for referral to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for final assessment.

Under the current initiative, successful candidates who are selected by IRCC, will have until January 2, 2024 to submit applications for themselves and their family members. Please contact us if you want to apply for permanent residence through this pilot program. The quota is filling up very fast.

Photo by Nate Johnston on Unsplash.

Labour disruption

Strike impacted citizenship, immigration services

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he strike is now over. Canada’s Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the bargaining agent representing many federal government service workers, has reached an agreement to settle a strike involving more than 159,000 of their members. These workers provide a wide range of services, including those under the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Consequently, some services were delayed or not delivered at all. As well, certain physical locations where IRCC services are delivered in Canada had access to the public restricted.

Overseas Services

Visa Application Centre (VAC) offices and overseas locations from where IRCC services are accessed or delivered were unaffected. In-person interviews outside Canada were also unaffected.

Online Services

Some IRCC services remained available during the labour disruption. The public can still:

  • Submit applications online;
  • Mail applications to IRCC processing centres and designated locations;
  • Access personal online accounts;
  • Access some emergency services;
  • Access self-serve, online tools for application tracking.

Services Impacted

Most IRCC services are back to normal. There may still be delays in processing services, citizenship events, issuance of documents such as passports and permanent resident cards, and responses to queries, including ATIP requests.

Client Support Centre and Social Media
The IRCC client support centre, accessed by telephone, is also affected, causing longer response times for those calling in. Queries through social media are also affected; these will not be answered.
Web Forms
Response times for web forms  submitted online are getting back to normal.
If you are in Canada
If you wish to extend your stay in Canada, such applications must be complete, submitted online, and within IRCC regulations. “Maintained status” is achieved only when an application is submitted per prescribed rules.
IRCC in-Canada appointments
Requests from IRCC for in-person interviews may take longer as business returns to normal Scheduled hearings at the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) are expected to remain on the scheduled date, although attendees may experience delays in starting times on those dates.
Prioritized Services
Immigration Services, including certain applications that were previously prioritized were affected by the PSAC labour action. Delays in processing should be diminishing.