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Randy Quaid denied Canadian visa

by Dominic 28/01/2013 14:59:00

Randy Quaid faces felony charges
should he return to the US.

Hollywood veteran Randy Quaid has been denied permanent residency in Canada after he tried to seek refuge there following a federal arrest warrant in his native US.

Mr Quad and his wife, Evi Quaid, fled to Canada last year after causing $5,000 (£3,200) of damage to a Californian home they were renting. American authorities refused to extradite the pair to face felony vandalism charges and so were permitted to remain in Canada.

However, the local authorities in Santa Barbara, California maintain that they will prosecute Mr Quaid and his wife should they return to the US.

The former Golden Globe winner petitioned to become a permanent resident of Canada late-last year but was refused as the actor does not have a passport.

Mr Quaid alleges he needs to stay in Canada to avoid 'Hollywood star-whackers' who have allegedly killed his friends David Carradine and Heath Ledger.

Celebrities taking up permanent residency in third countries has become newsworthy in recent months after French cinema star Gerard Depardieu was granted Russian residency by Vladimir Putin in order for the Frenchman to avoid paying the 75% tax rate.

However, it would appear Mr Quaid, who is the older brother of fellow Hollywood star Dennis Quaid, does not have enough clout with the Canadian immigration officials to warrant a special grant of permanent residency.

Mr Quaid, who is best known for his roles in screwball comedies such as National Lampoon's Vacation as well as a dramatic turn in Independence Day, has been granted leave to appeal the decision to the federal court.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

OECD report highlights strengths of Canadian immigration system

by Dominic 05/12/2012 13:25:00

The OECD's report will be released
on Monday in Paris.

A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) due to be published next week will highlight Canada's successful immigration and integration programs.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation of 34 of the world's strongest economies. A major study to be released by the organisation has compared how well immigrants adapt and succeed in member nations.

The study, which takes into account both first and second generation immigrants, compares factors such as income levels, health, education and integration into society.

In almost all aspects, Canada ranks either top or near the top.

The full details of the study are expected to be released in Paris on Monday but it is believed that Canada is top in the percentage of immigrants who eventually take up citizenship - almost 75%  - as well as the equality of opportunity afforded to the children of immigrants.

Immigrants moving to Canada on average are also the best educated with over half having a degree; conversely, Canada also accepts the smallest proportion of uneducated migrants.

"Canada is doing quite well. That should not come as a surprise," said Jean-Christophe Dumont, head of the International Migration Division of the OECD.

Mr Dumont said Canadian immigration policy of selecting migrants with the best potential to succeed paid dividends; Canadian immigration criteria consider language skills, education levels and qualifications.

"The type of migrants Canada receives compared to other OECD countries, particularly Europe, is quite different," said Mr Dumont.

"Canada receives more skilled migrants, more migrants from Asia, who tend to perform quite well and especially their children perform quite well.

"The other element is that the labour market situation is much better overall in Canada than it is in a number of European countries.

"Overall, the finding is that immigrants are well-integrated in the labour market and have fairly good results in health, education and civic engagement."

Australia, which has a similar system to Canada, ranked second to Canada in many categories but Mr Dumont says immigrants and their children are better able to integrate into society in Canada than Australia.

"Canada is above Australia and all other countries in this respect," said Mr Dumont.

"If there are problems, they don't necessarily go from one generation to the next. It obviously takes time to settle in the country of landing, but in Canada after one generation and even before, most of the integration is on a good track."

- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canadian Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Canadian immigration officials urged to fast-track Olympian's citizenship

by Dominic 15/10/2012 12:40:00

Canada was eliminated in the first round
at the 2012 London Olympics.

Recently released documents show that Canadian immigration officials were urged to expedite an athlete's citizenship application in order for him to compete at the London Olympic Games.

In a letter sent to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's office some time before the August Games, the Canadian Olympic Committee urged the minister to grant Chinese-born table tennis player Eugene Zhen Wang, then-top ranked player in North America, his citizenship 'exceptionally early'.

“I am writing to you regarding Mr. Zhen Wang’s request for an exceptional early granting of Canadian citizenship,” reads the letter.

“The Canadian Olympic Committee supports Mr. Wang’s request and I am writing to confirm that Mr. Wang would be eligible to compete for Canada at the 2012 London Olympic Games if he is granted Canadian citizenship by July 4.”

Mr Wang had already competed as part of the Canadian national team at several competitions while he was in the country on a Canadian visa but had to sit out the Olympic trials while he awaited the outcome of his citizenship application.

The player was eventually granted citizenship on 4, July and managed to celebrate the event by playing Prime Minister Stephen Harper during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Alexis Pavlich, spokesperson for Mr Kenney, confirmed that the player's application was fast-tracked under a category known as 'five-four citizenship' which can be used 'to alleviate cases of special and unusual hardship or to reward services of an exceptional value to Canada.

"Many athletes have been granted this exemption because their intense, international training and competition schedules may preclude them from fulfilling certain requirements," said Ms Pavlich.

Canada was eventually knocked out of the London Games in the first round by Japan.


- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canadian Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Canadian Immigration Update - 2 August, 2012

by Dominic 02/08/2012 10:37:00
Crackdown on Canada visa abuse

The government has announced its intention to toughen Canada visa restrictions for international students in order to combat reported abuse of the system...read more.

Public asked for input in Canadian immigration initiative

Canadian immigration officials have launched an online campaign aimed at allowing members of the public to offer their opinion on Canada's federal Immigration Investor Program...read more.

Minister scrutinised over Conrad Black's Canada visa

A coalition of 80 Canadian immigration lawyers have written to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney demanding to know his level of involvement in the decision to grant disgraced former media mogul Conrad Black a Canada visa...read more.




Crackdown on Canada visa abuse

The government wants to make
sure foreign students are using
their Canada visa to study.

The government has announced its intention to toughen Canada visa restrictions for international students in order to combat reported abuse of the system.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said he had heard anecdotal reports of foreign citizens entering the country on a legally obtained Canada visa ostensibly to attend one of the country's colleges or universities and were either purposely seeking employment instead of studying, or were being exploited into the sex industry.

The immigration minister last month prevented foreign citizens in the adult entertainment industry from applying for a visa and was warned at the time that this would only push more people into attempting to enter the country illegally.

"This is a loophole being allegedly used by some criminal operations to bring potentially vulnerable young women to Canada to face exploitation," said Mr Kenney.

"We don't have much in the way of hard data on this. It's a concern that has been raised and I think it's a legitimate one and we think this underscores the need for us to better police the program."

The UK has notoriously suffered from abuse of its student visa system and the debate whether to include student figures as part of net migration figures still rages on. However, despite being a world leader in the international education industry alongside the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand, Canada is the only country which has no checking process in place to check applicants' authenticity.

Foreign citizens claiming they are entering Canada to study and finding work instead damages the country's international reputation and its billion-dollar international education industry while undermining migrants who enter Canada through the proper immigration channels.

Mr Kenney has said he is proposing provinces submit lists of education institutions within their jurisdictions which have credible histories of welcoming bona fide international students and barring others from accepting international students.

"Our broader concern is to ensure the integrity of the student visas that we issue."

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Public asked for input in Canadian immigration initiative

Canada is asking for public input
on how best immigration can
benefit the public.

Canadian immigration officials have launched an online campaign aimed at allowing members of the public to offer their opinion on Canada's federal Immigration Investor Program.

The Immigration Investor Program allows foreign entrepreneurs to obtain a Canada visa if they can prove they have business experience, have a net worth of at least CA$1.6 million (£1 million) and are willing to invest CA$800,000 (£510,000) in the Canadian economy.

Many countries around the world have immigration schemes targeted at wealthy investors and many often prove controversial as they are seen as allowing wealthy people to essentially buy their way into a country while everyone else follows regular channels.

However, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says he is asking for public opinion on how to set the program's requirements to best benefit the country's economy, and therefore public.

“We can no longer be a passive player in the global competition for talent and investment. That is why we need to review our immigration programs to create dynamic opportunities that enable immigrants’ investments to directly benefit the Canadian economy,” Mr Kenney said in a statement.

One change to policy reportedly being considered is requiring the CA$800,000 investment to be much more active rather than the interest free loan which is permitted under current legislation.

Applications for the program are currently suspended while the government reassesses the criteria and attempts to deal with a backlog of visa applications in all programs. Suggestions are being heard until September and the program is expected to begin taking applications again at the start of 2013.

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Minister scrutinised over Conrad Black's Canada visa

Lord Black has now returned to
Canada on a temporary
residency permit.

A coalition of 80 Canadian immigration lawyers have written to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney demanding to know his level of involvement in the decision to grant disgraced former media mogul Conrad Black a Canada visa.

Conrad Black, who was born in Canada, was forced to renounce his citizenship upon taking a peerage in the British House of Lords. Lord Black was then charged in the US with fraud and obstruction of justice for his alleged part in a US$60 million (£38.6 million) scheme centred on Hollinger International, the media company he controlled.

Lord Black was sentenced to 42 months in an American prison for his part of the scheme; he was released in May of this year.

Where he intended to return however proved highly contentious; with his wife and family in Toronto, he announced his intention to return to his country of birth but needed a Canada visa to do so, an unlikely prospect given his criminal record.

Lord Black was granted a temporary residency permit just days before his release and despite insistences from Minister Kenney that he took no part in the decision, a group of immigration lawyers claim Lord Black's application would never have been accepted without political interference.

The lawyers wrote their letter after Mr Kenney's office attempt to have one Toronto-based lawyer censured for publicly expressing his doubt that Mr Kenney did not intervene in Lord Black's application.

The letter claims the group find Mr Kenney's assurance that Lord Black's case was processed 'without any input from yourself' was 'not credible' and challenged Mr Kenney to 'report us to the Law Society' if 'you believe our statement violates the Law Society of Upper Canada rules'.

The immigration minister's office dismissed the letter.

"If the lawyers who signed this letter think it is acceptable for a lawyer to accuse a public office holder of interference without a shred of evidence, and with all evidence to the contrary, then, with due respect, they have a warped sense of professionalism and legal ethics," said a spokesperson for the minister. 

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canadian Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Canada Immigration Update - 26 July, 2012

by Dominic 26/07/2012 10:18:00
Toronto asks for Canada immigration laws to clampdown on gangs

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he intends to ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper to enact Canada immigration laws which will banish convicted gang members from the country's largest city...read more.

Strip clubs look to schools after Canada visa ban

Strip clubs in Canada are reportedly looking to recruit strippers from Canadian high schools and colleges after the government preventing companies related to sex industry from bringing in foreign workers on a Canada visa...read more.




Toronto asks for Canada immigration laws to clampdown on gangs

Toronto wants to deal with its
crime problems by removing
offenders.
 

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he intends to ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper to enact Canada immigration laws which will banish convicted gang members from the country's largest city.

Mayor Ford has said that government-funded outreach programmes have had little effect on tackling the harmful effects of gang culture in the city and that Canada immigration laws would offer a better solution.

"It's a proven fact that when we had the most murders in the city, it was the same time we had the most [outreach] grants. I think we handed out over CA$50 million [£31.5 million] that year in grants," said the mayor.

"Throwing money at the problem and having these, I call 'hug-a-thug programmes'; they just do not work."

Mayor Ford said that he does not know the specifics of how he could keep foreign nationals convicted of gang-related crimes out of Toronto, but that he would speak with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to "find out how our immigration laws work".

Critics of the mayor's proposal have laughed off suggestions that simply moving the problem from one location to another would stop the problem.

"If there is a significant risk, aren't we just shifting it to other places?" said Bruce Ryder, a constitutional lawyer professor from Toronto's York University.

"Will gangs just decide to no longer engage in criminal activity if they can't be in certain places, or will they just shift to smaller centres?

"I mean, is this a kind of urban NIMBYism [Not In My Back Yard] on a grand scale?"

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Strip clubs look to schools after Canada visa ban

Adult entertainment businesses
are looking to schools and
colleges for new talent.

Strip clubs in Canada are reportedly looking to recruit strippers from Canadian high schools and colleges after the government preventing companies related to sex industry from bringing in foreign workers on a Canada visa.

The ban was announced by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney who said the Canada visa ban was to prevent exploitation of foreign workers in the country.

The minister's move prompted an outcry of protest from those within the industry who claim their businesses will suffer if domestic workers have to perform exotic dances.

"This is nothing more than political brownie points for their western, ultraconservative base," said the executive director of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada, Tim Lambrinos.

Further criticism was levelled at Mr Kenney from researchers who said that if the prevention of exploitation was the intention, Mr Kenney would be better served bringing the industry 'out of the shadows'.

"This is creating more of an illicit market, closing the legal door is just going to make the [illegal] door more attractive," said Chris Bruckert, a sex industry researcher from the University of Ottawa.

But Mr Kenney said the government "cannot in good conscience continue to admit temporary foreign workers to work in businesses in sectors where there are reasonable grounds to suspect a risk of sexual exploitation".

Mr Lambrinos' promise to 'challenge this is in some way' was most likely expected but it is unlikely Mr Kenney expected the adult entertainment industry to begin advertising in Canadian high schools and colleges.

'If you are visually appealing and comfortable with your naked body and are comfortable about taking all your clothes off, you can be working right now as an exotic dancer and earn your tuition fees for university or college,' read one flyer obtained by the QMI Agency.

"We already doing some outreach work in some areas," said Mr Lambrinos, "we will be taking a strippers' dance pole with us to the schools."

Whether Mr Lambrinos' move is simply retaliation in the hope of having Mr Kenney reinstate the policy or not remains to be seen but it is likely to enrage both government and education institutions.

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canada Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Canada Immigration Update - 19 July, 2012

by Dominic 19/07/2012 10:14:00
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has been promising to bring the Canadian immigration system under greater control for months and while many of the minister's changes have attracted significant criticism, Mr Kenney is able to begin making the system more responsive. 

While the decision to simply cancel almost 300,000 Canada visa applications hardly proved popular, Mr Kenney's inherited backlog needed addressing and while legal challenges continue, Mr Kenney says the new system will help Canada and new visa applicants. 

Government ordered to process cancelled Canada visa applications

The Federal Court has ordered Canadian immigration authorities to process 165 Canada visa applications which were cancelled as part of an effort to legislate away an extensive backlog away...read more.

Canada visa requirements relaxed in six occupations

Ottawa has announced its plan to remove an employer's requirement to recruit from the domestic labour force before being allowed to hire foreign labour in six occupations...read more.




Government ordered to process cancelled Canada visa applications

A court has ordered 165
Canada visa applications
to be processed.

The Federal Court has ordered Canadian immigration authorities to process 165 Canada visa applications which were cancelled as part of an effort to legislate away an extensive backlog away.

As part of the federal budget released in March, the government said almost 300,000 Canada visa applications would be refunded and returned in the hope that this would allow for the comprehensive and responsive immigration system ministers have been hoping for.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has previously stated his intention to bring the Canadian immigration system under greater control; as Canada's economy struggles to shake off the effects of the global financial crisis, Mr Kenney maintains that the immigration system needs to serve the changing needs of the Canadian labour market.

However, the move, which returned applications from as far back as nine years, proved extremely divisive and was the subject of legal challenges almost immediately. While some were quashed, the Federal Court has ruled that 165 applications, of a total of 670, have to be processed.

The government has since been ordered to process the applications by mid-October.

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Canada visa requirements relaxed in six occupations

Canada is in need of skilled
labour.

Ottawa has announced its plan to remove an employer's requirement to recruit from the domestic labour force before being allowed to hire foreign labour in six occupations.

Under current Canada visa policy, employers are required to complete a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) for almost all occupations but with demand for certain occupations rising dramatically, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has agreed to remove the LMO requirement in the following occupations:

  • Welder
  • Ironworker
  • Carpenter
  • Estimator
  • Millwright
  • Heavy duty equipment mechanic

Mr Kenney has made several changes to the Canadian immigration system in recent months in order to allow the system to better respond to changes in the country's labour needs and with the oilsands in Edmonton resulting in just 4.4% unemployment rate in Alberta, skilled workers are desperately needed.

The minister also said foreign workers would be able to change employers under the new policy.

The move has attracted some criticism from workers' unions who claim foreign workers willing to work for lower wages would price Canadian workers out of jobs but Mr Kenney has rejected the criticism, claiming the demand is too large to rely on Canadian workers but promising to monitor the trends to ensure a shortage does not become an oversupply. 

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canada Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Canada Immigration Update - 12 July, 2012

by Dominic 12/07/2012 10:19:00
Canada's tourism industry received some good news this week when record numbers of tourism visas were confirmed for the year to date. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has asked for some appreciation for his efforts, but not for his work in boosting tourism.

Approximately half a million tourists have entered the country on a Canada visa so far this year, and only 10% of the total number of tourists even need a visa yet Mr Kenney feels he deserves the people's gratitude for his work in clamping down on refugees' rights.

Tourism boom as Canada visa numbers break records

Canadian immigration figures have shown a marked increase in the number of tourists visiting the country compared to last year...read more.

Canadian immigration minister asks for pat on the back

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has set up an online petition asking for signatures to thank him for his work limiting health care benefits to refugees...read more.




Tourism boom as Canada visa numbers break records

Canadian beauty

Canada is experiencing a surge in
popularity.

Canada visa figures have shown a marked increase in the number of tourists visiting the country compared to last year.

The latest figures show as many as 500,000 people Canada visa approvals so far this year, up from 450,000 to the same period last year and the country is aiming to break a million by the end of the year.

Tourism in Canada is driven by its large, attractive and crime free cities and its abundant natural beauty; Immigration Minister Jason says it is therefore no surprise that so many people are choosing to visit.

"Canada is the best country in the world, so it not surprising that so many people want to visit our country," said Mr Kenney.

"Our country’s vibrant cities and remote wilderness are a draw for Canadians and international travellers alike."

Canadian immigration authorities were quick to point out that while the 500,000 visas granted so far this year represent a welcome boost to the tourism industry, the figures do not include more than 50 countries, or 90% of the total number of visitors, who can visit Canada for tourism purposes without a visa.

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Canadian immigration minister asks for pat on the back

Mr Kenney has started a
petition for himself.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has set up an online petition asking for signatures to thank him for his work limiting health care benefits to refugees.

Mr Kenney has made radical changes to the Canadian immigration system including putting a hold on new Canada visa applications and limiting the ability for refugee applicants to claim healthcare benefits.

The minister claims that his changes are necessary to reduce the burden on the Canadian taxpayer and implement a Canadian immigration system which is capable of responding to the changing needs of the country; he also maintains the changes made to refugee status only bring the healthcare options available to refugee applicants in line with what Canadian citizens are entitled to.

While the moves have invited significant criticism from plenty of corners, Mr Kenney feels he deserves thanking for his hard work and a petition has been set up on his personal website inviting people to sign and praise the minister.

"We, the undersigned, thank Jason Kenney for his efforts to streamline benefits afforded to refugees [sic] claimants under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) and bring them in line with the benefits received by tax-paying Canadians, including new Canadians," reads the petition.

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canadian Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Canada Immigration Update - 5 July, 2012

by Dominic 05/07/2012 10:40:00
More changes were introduced to the Canadian immigration system this week; both are intended to achieve the same goal: a fairer, more efficient and more cost effective immigration system. However, the changes affect radically different groups.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has repeatedly stated his intention to bring the Canadian immigration system under better control in recent months, even going so far as to halt new applications while the backlog is dealt with but his latest raft of changes has attracted significant amounts of criticism. 


Canadian immigration minister backtracks on healthcare limits

Opening paragraph of story 1...read more.

New Canada visa rules clampdown on sex industry

Under new rules announced on 4 July, foreign workers will no longer be able to obtain a Canada visa if they are entering the country to work in a job related to the sex industry...read more.




Canadian immigration minister backtracks on healthcare limits

Mr Kenney maintains the
law was never intended to
affect government
assisted refugees.

The Canadian government have been forced to clarify the language in its controversial immigration bill which limits refugees' access to healthcare.

The Canadian immigration bill prevents refugee claimants from getting extended health benefits such as pharmaceutical, dental and vision care has remained in the news since its announcement in April.

Critics of the law claim it is unnecessarily cruel towards refugees but the Conservative government maintains the law is merely meant to ensure that the level of healthcare afforded to refugees does not surpass that available to the average Canadian citizen.

The bill, which the government maintains will save the Canadian taxpayers CA$100 million (£63.3 million) over the next five years, was due to take effect on 30 June yet the immigration department changed teh language of the bill just 48 hours before it passed into law.

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the department realised that the law's wording did not clarify that government-assisted refugees were exempt from the law's wording.

Mr Kenney maintains that the law was never intended to affect government-assisted refugees and the rewording was not a bow to pressure from refugee advocates.

"Out intention was to ensure that those who come to Canada as asylum seekers from abroad do not receive better health care coverage than Canadians," said a spokesperson for the minister.

"Our intention was never to have this policy impact government sponsored refugees who have been living in UN refugee camps, who arrive in Canada as permanent residents, but who do not qualify for provincial social support."

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New Canada visa rules clampdown on sex industry

Companies related to the sex
industry will no longer be able
to employ foreign workers.

Under new rules announced on 4 July, foreign workers will no longer be able to obtain a Canada visa if they are entering the country to work in a job related to the sex industry.

The new Canada visa restrictions, announced by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, is intended to limit the risk of foreign workers entering the country to be sexually exploited or degraded.

"The government cannot in good conscience continue to admit temporary foreign workers to work in businesses in sectors where there are reasonable grounds to suspect a risk of sexual exploitation," said Mr Kenney.

The current Conservative government had already been limiting the number of work permits to exotic dancers, granting less than 500 visas in the five years to 2011 compared to over 1,700 in the four years to 2005 by the previous Liberal government.

The move has been welcomed by anti-human trafficking advocates but has come under criticism from both legitimate members of the adult entertainment industry and academics researching the workings of the murkier side of the controversial industry.

"If you want to stop the exploitation, you bring the industry out of the shadows," said Chris Bruckert, a sex industry researched from the University of Ottawa. "This is creating more of an illicit market, closing the legal door is just going to make the [illegal] door more attractive."

Much of the country's adult entertainment industry are unhappy with the ruling, claiming Eastern European and Asian workers fuel the business and provide a route out of difficult circumstances for the dancers.

"They're beautiful, exotic and very professional," said one strip club owner. "Banning them from Canada just leaves them with fewer options to escape a life of poverty in their home country."

An association representing some of the country's strip clubs accused the government of going after an easy target and promised to fight the ruling.

"This is nothing more than political brownie points for their western, ultraconservative base," said the executive director of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada, Tim Lambrinos.

"We're going to be challenging this in some way."

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canada Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Canadian Immigration Update - 29 June, 2012

by Dominic 29/06/2012 11:19:00
The ongoing battle for greater control of the Canadian immigration system continued recently with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announcing further changes to policy.

Mr Kenney has made significant changes to Canadian visa and immigration policy in recent months; his stated aim is to bring the system under greater control in order to implement a system which can respond quickly to changes in the country's economy and the resultant labour needs the changes create.

Many of the minister's changes have proved extremely unpopular, including legislating away almost 300,000 visa applications and limiting the country's aid to refugees yet Mr Kenney contends the system will be better for all in the end.


Immigration changes hand power to minister

As part of new changes made to immigration policy in Canada, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will receive new powers to override laws dictating whether people can or can't enter the country...read more.

New Canada visa applications halted

Canadian immigration officials have confirmed that they will not be accepting new applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Immigrant Investor Program when the window opens again on 1 July...read more.




Immigration changes hand power to minister

Jason Kenney

Mr Kenney will have more
control over decisions.

As part of new changes made to immigration policy in Canada, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will receive new powers to override laws dictating whether people can or can't enter the country .

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has repeatedly said over recent months his determination to bring the Canadian immigration system under greater control and the latest raft of changes allows the minister to exert personal control over more aspects of the system.

Under the new changes, Mr Kenney will be given greater authority to deny entry to visitors for public policy reasons as well as over rule decisions to let people who would otherwise be inadmissible under existing rules.

Mr Kenney said the rules would allow for greater consideration in exceptional circumstances. Announcing the changes, Mr Kenney cited the case of an imam who would be granted entry to Canada under existing rules but due to his public calls for the execution of homosexual men and women, his entry could be harmful to Canada.

"Sometimes we have foreigners who do not have a criminal conviction and are therefore not strictly inadmissible to Canada under our current law," said Mr Kenney. "But who, for example, may have a long track record of promoting violence or hatred against vulnerable groups." 

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New Canada visa applications halted

Canada will not be taking
new FSW applications.

Canadian immigration officials have confirmed that they will not be accepting new applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Immigrant Investor Program when the window opens again on 1 July.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who is expected to announce the moratorium in a speech today, said he wanted to continue making changes to the Canadian immigration system before new applications are accepted to either scheme.

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program is one of the most popular methods for people with desired skills or guaranteed job offers to move to Canada. The Immigrant Investor Program is for wealthy foreigners prepared to invest at least $800,000 (£625,000) in the Canadian economy.

Both programs were expected to begin taking new applications on 1 July.

Mr Kenney has repeatedly stated his intention to bring the immigration system under greater control and make it more responsive to changes in the country's labour needs; earlier this year, said that almost 300,000 Canada visa applications made before 2008 would be returned with a refund in an effort to eliminate a growing backlog which hinders the system's response to change.

The immigration minister said the new system, which some have predicted won't be ready until January, 2013, will be faster, economically-driven and prioritise potential migrants with strong language skills and professional skills currently in demand in the country.

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canada Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Got 30 minutes to spare? It could save you 28,000 Canadian dollars

by Stephanie 22/07/2010 15:30:00

Take a closer look at the Canadian Dollar
exchange rate and market forces.

Market volatility could mean significant challenges for migrants but there are ways of making currency conversion work to your advantage,  Halo Financial Director David Johnson says. 

Canada seems to be operating in a different dimension to the rest of the Western hemisphere.  Canadian interest rates were raised by another 25 basis points at the Bank of Canada’s July meeting in response to solid domestic data and good receipts from growing commodity exports and we cannot forget that the Canadian banking system is in much better form that that of America or Europe; largely due to long standing regulatory constraints.

However, the volatility in other markets, including Canada’s chief export client, America, is causing some significant volatility in the Canadian Dollar. In the last month, the Sterling – Canadian Dollar exchange rate has been down in the CA$1.48 area and as high as CA$1.62.

Clearly, that fourteen cent swing is a very significant move if you are either buying or selling the Canadian Dollar. As the average migrant moves something like £200,000 to Canada, that represents CA$28,000 of either gain or loss dependent on your timing which is a fantastic hourly rate when you think about it. For most migrants, the offer of a one month contract of work that paid CA$28,000 would be snapped up, especially when you don’t have to actually do anything for the return other than enlist the services of a currency company like Halo Financial to monitor the currency market for you.

And that is the key to making your currency conversion work for you while you plan your migration and spend your every waking hour arranging the myriad of things you have to arrange when you move to another country.

Making currency conversion work for you

The key is to have the right information, the right analysis, the right tools for the job and the right strategy to ensure you get the most out of your currency exchange. In essence, it is about either becoming an instant currency market expert or enlisting a partner to help who has the right expertise to guide your actions. I must confess that even after nearly two decades of being involved in this industry, I still don’t profess to know everything about everything so I would urge you not to try to learn it all in a matter of weeks and I am always mindful of the adage that "a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing".

However, we often find that clients are hugely grateful for the availability of a currency specialist to answer questions about the market movement, to highlight changes in conditions; both positive and negative and to offer suggestions on how best to take advantage of positive exchange rate movements whilst protect against the potential for costly adverse movements. Sometimes it is simply a matter of reassuring someone that their own idea is perfectly valid but there are plenty of occasions when our Currency Consultants start from square one and take a prospective migrant right through all the opportunities and pitfalls, detailing all their options before we get to a plan that suits their particular circumstances.  

How Halo Financial can help

Most peoples' circumstances can be analysed and assessed within a 30 minute phone call and a strategy formed to make the most of the available time. Your Halo Financial Consultant will be adept at talking you through your own requirements, needs and limitations and checking that the consultant’s picture of your position is accurate.

Now if that half hour chat results in a saving akin to CA$28,000, then you will be benefitting from an hourly rate even premiership footballers would feel envious of ... oh and ice hockey players as well.

If you would like to talk about your requirements and get an assessment of the market conditions as they affect you, contact Halo Financial and speak with a consultant today.

- Halo Financial is a leading specialist provider of commercial foreign exchange services for both international business and private individuals who require foreign currency and need expert assistance in successfully managing their foreign exchange exposures. They are a partner of Canadian Visa Bureau, an independent company specialising in helping applicants emigrate to Canada.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.