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The Expatriate Mind on LoonLounge - Get involved - CIC Launches Online Consultation on Immigration Levels and Mix

Posted on Aug. 31st 2011 by
views: 1224, comments: 0
So you want to have your voice heard on Canada's immigration policy? Now you have your chance.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Aug 29, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today launched online consultations on the appropriate level of immigration and the most suitable mix between economic, family class and protected persons.

Immigration has been a sustaining feature of Canada's history and continues to play an important role in building our country. Canada has one of the highest per capita rates of permanent immigration in the world-roughly 0.8% in recent years-and has welcomed 3.5 million immigrants in the last 15 years.

"The online consultation provides an important opportunity to gather input from stakeholders and the public on key questions facing CIC," said Minister Kenney. "This is also a chance to highlight some of the considerations and difficult choices involved in managing a global immigration system."

In planning for the total number of people to admit as permanent residents, CIC not only balances immigration objectives but also considers several other factors, including broader government commitments, input from provinces and territories, and current and future economic conditions. The Department must also consider its ability to process applications in a timely manner, as well as the capacity of communities to welcome newcomers.

The questionnaire is a key component of the cross-country consultations Minister Kenney and his parliamentary secretaries are currently leading on immigration levels and mix. In July, the Minister consulted with stakeholders in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. This month, parliamentary secretaries Rick Dykstra and Chungsen Leung held round tables in Mississauga, Scarborough and London. Additional sessions may be planned in the coming weeks and months.

Thus far, the majority of stakeholders present at the consultation sessions expressed a fairly positive view of the current immigration system. They have identified immigration as a critical way to meet labour market needs, citing economic factors as among the most important considerations when establishing immigration levels, followed by integration concerns. Participants have also highlighted the importance of family reunification and the need to address wait times in the parent and grandparent stream.

More than 1,600 people have already signed up to complete the questionnaire. It is available at the following link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/consultations/index.asp .

A report on the consultations, including the online questionnaire, will be available on the CIC website in the fall of 2011 or winter 2012.

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Jack Layton - a letter

Posted on Aug. 22nd 2011 by
views: 905, comments: 3

The Expatriate Mind on LoonLounge - Landing as a Permanent Resident

Posted on Aug. 15th 2011 by
views: 924, comments: 3
I landed as a Permanent Resident of Canada in Toronto (at Pearson, YYZ) on Friday the 12th of August.

The flight in from Seattle, all 4-1/2 hours of it, was quiet and uneventful. I was nervous from the get-go. While I had brought some snacks to eat and entertainment to read and watch and listen to, I wasn't hungry and I couldn't focus long enough to read or listen or watch anything but the landscape passing by 38,000 feet below and the cycle of information presented by the in-flight map in front if me: altitude, speed, current time in Seattle, current time in Toronto, distance to destination, time to destination: over and over I watched as it ticked down and I closed in on the moment my Love and I had waited for for the better part of the last decade if you count all the time we've spent pursuing our immigration case.

I landed at Pearson and after a long walk with other passengers through Terminal 1, snaked through the long quay at Customs and Immigration. I let the officer there know that I was immigrating to Canada as a Permanent Resident and he made lots of marks on my customs declaration form, then directed me behind him and to the right where the Immigration office was located. This is where the actual "landing" process takes place.

I stood in line again with people from all over the world and who were there for a range of purposes. Some with tears in their eyes had been refused entry; some were going through a secondary check because they were entering for business purposes; and one other person, like me, was there to immigrate.

When my turn came and I was directed to an officer, the process itself was very straightforward. I handed the officer my passport, which contained a special immigrant Visa and a form called the "Confirmation of Permanent Residence" (COPR). The officer asked a handful of questions regarding the information on my COPR form, whether I was immigrating alone or if others were following, how much money I was bringing with me into the country, whether I had been in trouble with the law in any country (including my own). The questions were straightforward and I answered them easily. The officer wasn't there to trip me up, simply to confirm information on my application and the visa issued.

Next the officer reviewed a record of my file on her computer. This took awhile because my Love and I had a big file. You get one of those when you are conjugal partners and your case takes years to process. After she had reviewed it, she had me sign my COPR in a number of places, then she detached my copy and stapled it to my passport. She let me know that I would have a Permanent Resident card mailed to me within about six weeks at my Toronto address and that while I could travel out of the country, I could not return to the country without it.

With the first of two interviews complete, I moved to the area where I would declare the goods I was arriving with and those I would be importing later (remember the forms I've been mentioning - the B4 and B4a? This is where these came into play). The officer doing this review was as nice as the first officer I encountered. He took my lists of items (you need to have a copy for Customs and one for yourself) and generated the official forms for me to sign. The only mistake I had made was that I didn't calculate the total value of my lists. But he handed me his iPhone and in a flash, I was done.

"Welcome to Canada." He said with a smile. Those words were music to my ears.

Despite the stress I had in anticipation of this process, because I was well prepared, it went very smoothly. The officials I encountered were all thoughtful and professional. I think they realize how stressful immigration is for people. They see it every day - they are on the front lines.

I pushed my cart of a couple suitcases (I saw families bringing in literally dozens, so I felt pretty efficient) thorough two sets of doors and there was my Love waiting for me on the other side. We embraced a long time, my head sinking into her embrace. "We made it," I said.

"And now we can think about the future," she said.

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Don't delay !!!!

Posted on Aug. 4th 2011 by
views: 1014, comments: 2
The two most popular categories for the Federal Skilled Worker have already taken an incredible leap in processing applications this last month.
I believe that this is because people were watching the trends, and applied with COMPLETE packages early, knowing which professions would be in demand,
(They had prepared themselves, or their representatives had)
This year, only 500 from each category will be accepted.
#1122 Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management is almost full. (336)
#3152 Registered Nurses is at 114 in one month.
Stay alert people!


The Expatriate Mind on LoonLounge - Thrown together

Posted on Aug. 2nd 2011 by
views: 562, comments: 0
I'm in pretty good shape. The pictures have been taken, the lists are ready to commit, I've even packed a bit. But the stress is coming.

"Where are we going to put this stuff?" "Do you need to bring that now?" "We still have things to figure out before we add anything else to the mix..." When the rubber hits the road, sometimes there are skid marks.

So we're working it out, this coming together and this moving across the continent and from one country to another. It's not easy. But immigration isn't easy. If you're on this path too, then keep this fact in mind and be patient, be slow to get excited and be deliberate in your thoughts and responses.

When couples or families are kept apart, the normal, organic way lives come together does not apply. Lives in this situation are held apart by the process, then thrown together when its all over. I have to be reminded of this and to be extra thoughtful of my Love, who has been building a life in Toronto all these years we've been waiting; one that from her point of view I am being suddenly thrust into the middle of.

As happy as we are that this is happening for us, there is no getting past that reality.

But we'll be fine.

Follow The Expatriate Mind at http://expatriatemind.blogspot.com/

Useful Links Quebec Immigration

Posted on Jul. 13th 2011 by
views: 1591, comments: 1
One of our members posted this in our forums and we'd like to share.
Thanks SandraT !

Hi! I thought of making this post to gather all the useful links that usually we ask about in the forum.
Most of these links are already in some post in the forum but I guess it is useful to just click here and check what we need. I encourage you all to add more links that we may need.


1. Areas of training that can apply

2. List of docs to submit for application CSQ

3. Evaluate online your possibilities of acceptance

4 List of points for Quebec immigration can be found at:

5. Submit an official application.


1. Training for TCF
Le guide officiel d'entraînement au TCF, publié par les Éditions Didier.

Le Nouvel Entraînez-vous - 250 activités - TCF - Clé International ».

Document téléchargeable : manuel du candidat en pdf

http://www.formation.preau.ccip.fr/ and input both username and password to be tefaq.

More exercises.

2. Training for DELF




Great new tool to find local settlement help all over Canada!

Posted on Jun. 17th 2011 by
views: 974, comments: 0
I want to introduce you to an invaluable new resource to help you find out what assistance is available to you when you actually land in Canada. This is the Settlement Road Map, a searchable directory of non-profit resources offering help with settlement, language training and employment. All of these services will be free, or with a low cost for any parts which aren't covered by existing funding.

You can find the roadmap website at http://www.settlementroadmap.ca/

Just click on the road sign in the picture for the language you want to use: English or French. Then choose your province, and then you will be able to choose a region of that province. If you want information for Vancouver, choose British Columbia and then Lower Mainland. If you want Toronto, click Ontario and then Toronto Region.

You can select the services you need from the three covered: Settlement, Languages and Employment. Just for now, I recommend NOT selecting these and clicking through anyway; we are told that agencies themselves must add information about their services and until they do this they won't appear under a specific search. So just ignore the boxes and click Submit. When you click on an agency name, you will get their address and a link to their website, so you can explore the services offered and see if they meet your needs. As agencies add information about services, you will also see a summary of services offered.

This website is a project of the Canadian Newcomer Magazine, a magazine I've recommended on this website previously for its excellent articles on settling in Canada, finding schools, looking for work, building communities and so on (http://www.cnmag.ca). I am not associated with the Newcomer Magazine in any way, but like to recommend it as a useful resource. Canadian Newcomer founder and president, Dale Sproule says, “We have compiled the best database of settlement sector information in Canada. The newcomer population in this country grew by over 400,000 in 2010 – including students, foreign workers, refugees and landed immigrants – so there is huge need for information that makes the settlement process easier and faster – and a huge opportunity for service providers both inside and outside the settlement sector to reach out to new clients as they arrive.”

If you use the website, tell me what you think!

The Expatriate Mind on LoonLounge - Fraser Institute gets it wrong on the value of immigrants

Posted on Jun. 13th 2011 by
views: 833, comments: 0
Academics. Sometimes they just get it wrong. According to a recent report in the National Post (http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Immigration+long+view/4800391/story.html), The Fraser Institute, in its just-released report on the impact of immigration in Canada, concludes that immigrants no longer represent a net economic gain to the country, and in fact, represent a cost of $25 billion per year to the Canadian economy.

But the National Post wisely points out the many flaws in the limited logic of the report's authors, as well as posing the question of how the recommendations of the authors for curing this deficit would play out if they were applied to native Canadians as well.

"What of the many people born in Canada who never pay any taxes, yet use our healthcare system? By the logic at play in the Fraser study, a stay-at home mother or elderly married woman who was born in Canada but never worked outside the home should also be regarded as a drain on our economy. In fact, if state benefits were tied to income taxes, 40% of Canadians would not receive them, because they don't pay any. Yet these Canadians generally contribute to society in other ways -by raising children, doing unpaid work inside households or as future taxpayers."

Read the article here - http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Immigration+long+view/4800391/story.html

Follow The Expatriate Mind at http://expatriatemind.blogspot.com
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