Express Entry Immigration: Canada is Actively Recruiting Talented Workers to Come to Canada

Citizenship & Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has recently announced the new and exciting Express Entry Canadian Immigration Model. This new program is designed to offer faster processing for skilled foreign workers who want to immigrate to Canada permanently. The Government intends to use this program to boost the Canadian Economy by quickly filling job shortages where there are no Canadians available to fill the positions.   The new program will reduce waiting times for qualified applicants to six months or less. Candidates who fit specific labour market shortages across the country will be given a fast track to Permanent Residency. This plan will strengthen the Canadian Economy  by quickly filling labour shortages and ensure that the skilled workers settle permanently in Canada.

The Express Entry system is set to begin in January 2015 and will change the process by which prospective immigrants apply for entry to Canada. Individuals will no longer be able to apply directly to the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program but instead will be required to submit an application to a pool of intended immigrants. The Federal and Provincial Governments as well as employers will select applicants from the pool based on current labour needs.

This new program is an exciting change to Canada’s Skilled Worker Immigration System. The program is projected to receive a Government investment of $14 million in its first two years and will allow Canada to choose the best candidates for permanent immigration, rather than the first people in line.

Express Entry promises to be a game-changer for Canadian immigration and Canada’s economy. It will revolutionize the way we attract skilled immigrants, and get them working here faster. Our government is actively engaged with our provincial and territorial partners, and with employers, to make January’s launch of Express Entry a success.”       Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander


Denied Entry into Canada Because of DUI

Denied entry into Canada Entering Canada for a visit is something thousands of people do every year from the U.S. and around the world. They cross at border patrols and enter by air. Most people will continue with their holidays or personal visits and the worst they will have to endure is a long line up, or perhaps being inspected by a customs agent. Some visitors, however, will be turned away because of a DUI in their history.

Can a Person Really be Turned Away Because of a DUI?

The Canadian Government often refuses entry to any person with a DUI against his or her name. Not all countries are as strict and might allow entry to a visitor with one such conviction, or they will take note of the age of the conviction when making a decision. In Canada, however, there are rare exceptions, at least not for individuals who have failed to make a prior application to waive the conviction. It is a common story that United States citizens are turned away because they have DUI convictions that are years, sometimes decades old.

Appealing Rejection

There is no appealing rejection at the border. Patrol guards do not make the law. They only enforce it. It is no good having an altercation with one of these individuals, as this will go on record. Think ahead to the appeal you will make when you are home again and feeling calmer. There is a way to get across the border legally, but you need to plan well in advance. It can take several months from the time of your application to crossing into Canada legally, so do not plan any last minute holidays up north. Immigration lawyers indicate that to enter the country from the United States, a citizen needs to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit, available from the Canadian Embassy in the United States (or whatever country you come from where the DUI conviction was instituted). It does not matter if you just want to go shopping, visit the Canuck side of Niagara Falls, or spend a week in Calgary: you need to have this piece of paper before even approaching the border. Rumors abound that Canada will lessen their restrictions in the near future. Before risking a journey, take time to check out the facts.

Avoiding Denial of Entry

Even if you fill out all of the necessary applications, you could still be denied entry into Canada. If this happens and you wish to break down the barrier, you would be wise to seek legal representation. Immigration lawyers handle these kinds of cases all of the time, often enabling foreign citizens to enter Canada legally once more for business or personal visits whenever they want to.

How To Write A Hardship Letter For Immigration

Writing a hardship letter, or the “I-601 waiver of grounds of inadmissability“, to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services will make you feel like carrying a lot of pressure and a huge responsibility as to the fate of someone who is deported. A lot are confused on how should it be written and who should write it. For an informal requirement, it can be the difference between overturning a decision to deport and sealing the deal.

What It Is

It is a letter written by someone, who should be an American Citizen, related to the person deported and seeking re-entry to the country. It should clearly and convincingly illustrate that the writer will suffer terribly if he or she is separated from the deportee. While it is not a formal requirement to contest deportations, it does prove to be a very valuable supporting document in immigration applications and proceedings.

How It Is Done

There are no specific formats other than following the format of a basic formal letter. It should be addressed to the concerned authorities, the local embassy where the deportee is located. When you write a hardship letter, you should be able to explain how life would be hard for you if the deportee cannot be with you. You can also indicate why leaving the country to be where the deportee is located is also not an option for you. You should be able to convince the concerned authorities that allowing the deportee back into the country is the only option for you and any other arrangement would be detrimental to you.

Challenges To Writing the Letter

The letter should very clearly illustrate that deporting the person will cause great hardships for you. Yes, you should show that you are the one to suffer in the absence of the deportee. The job of the authorities is to ensure that its citizens are protected, not the immigrants. So if you write a letter that shows how the deportee will suffer more than you do, chances are the decision would be against you.

Indeed, in theory, it is the deportee who ultimately benefits from a convincing letter. You should show that you will be the one who will benefit more if the deportee is allowed to enter the country. Essentially, the only challenge in writing the letter how you show who suffers more. If you need advice and help on writing this letter, contact an immigration professional.

Reasons You Can Use

There are a lot of reasons you can use to illustrate the situation. This includes your heavy reliance on the deportee for support, whether financial, emotional or physical.

• You may be married to a deportee and that deportee serves as the breadwinner of the family.
• You can include that the deportee is a great parent to your kids and that the kids will suffer immeasurable emotional trauma from their separation with the deportee.
• Persons with disabilities may also bank on the fact that the deportee serves as their caregiver.

Business owners may also write a letter to show that they will suffer tremendous losses when the person is to be deported and prevented from returning to the country however, this should not be confused with corporate immigration.

The following situations are examples:

• The education of the deportee was financed by the business where he is to work upon graduation.
• Pricey trainings and seminars were sponsored by the business for the deportee to attend to.
A reverse scenario may also happen when the deportee is an employer and all the current employees will be greatly affected by his absence.

A very moving and convincing hardship letter can go a long way in defending someone who was deported. It does not guarantee positive results. A highly qualified and respectable immigration lawyer should still be consulted to increase the chances of reversing the deportation decision.

Can I Bring My Pet Into Canada?

Pet Dog Border Crossing

If you are planning to cross the border between the United States and Canada (whether as a visitor or under a temporary resident visa) and you wish to take your dog along, you probably have some uncertainties and questions regarding the pets border crossing formalities.

The upside is that the United States and Canada have similar rules for bringing your pet across the border. Common pets like cats, most dogs and birds can be easily taken across the border if they meet the conditions.

Requirements for Pets at the Border

One of the first requirements is for your pet to be in good health. Unless you are travelling to Hawaii, there will be no reason for you to quarantine your dog, provided that he or she meets the other requirements.

Nevertheless, your pet is subject to a quick inspection at the entry ports, where they are checked for signs of infectious diseases that may be transmitted to human beings. More than that, cats and dogs should have health certificates that are issued by licensed vets.

These certificates are used to identify each pet and certify that they are vaccinated against rabies at least once in the last 3 years. Kittens and puppies under three months can pass through without any kind of certification, but you cannot take more than two such pets across the border.

Importing or Adopting Pets

If however you import or export dogs frequently or you want to take several of them across the border at once, this may be considered for commercial purposes, and different regulations will be applied.

Moreover, there are some things that are universally prohibited at most entry spots around the world, such as fresh eggs, poultry, plants or too many fruits and vegetables. Also, you should not use hay, grass, straw or other types of natural bedding for your pet’s bed, as it may be seized, which will significantly slow your entry into your destination country.

For additional considerations and formal details, you might want to check the requirements imposed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The CFIA sets the regulations with regards to pets border crossing and pet products importation.

However, if you only want to bring your dog with you in Canada, the most important thing is to remember to at least bring the vet papers that identify your canine and the proof of rabies shots from the last 3 years. If you are in doubt about whether your pet will cause a problem when crossing the border, consider asking an immigration professional.

Hiring Foreign Workers in Canada

In Canada, immigration matters are handled in a very organized manner. This is particularly true when companies want to hire foreign workers for temporary or permanent jobs. The process of hiring foreign workers in Canada requires the prospective employer to take the correct steps.

The employee-to-be also needs to have the right documents or else the deal will not go through. Again, the entire process may take a relatively short time. However, there may be delays in the process if the right steps are not followed by the company which wants to employ foreign workers. In the worst case, improper immigration can get the hiring company and potential employee in serious legal trouble. This is why any questions or concerns should be raised with an immigration professional before an employee crosses any borders.

What the Employer Needs To Do

The employer who wants hire a foreign worker needs to begin the process by submitting an application for a Labor Market Opinion (LMO) to the Service Canada Center responsible for processing such applications.

To save time, this application can be submitted even before the foreign worker has been identified by the employer in question. After the submission of this application, the Human resources and Skills Development Canada Service (or HRSDC) will consider the merits of the application.

This process may take a few months or up to one year. The length of time will depend on whether the worker in question is a skilled worker or is unskilled.

Documents to Speed up the Process

The employer needs to provide payroll records. This document needs to detail things like prevailing wage, deductions and overtime paid to workers in similar positions. Other vital documents include time sheets, job description and the temporary foreign worker’s work permit. If the right documents are presented, the application will be approved.

Distinguishing between working in Canada and Canadian Immigration

It is important to point out that working temporarily in Canada is not the same thing as immigrating to Canada. Workers who get into Canada to work will get a working visa and a work permit. If such workers want to be granted residence status, they need to apply for this after staying in Canada for a number of years. This is a separate process and the application for residence status may or may not be approved.

Benefits of the Foreign Worker Program

There are benefits for the worker in the sense that he or she will have a job in Canada for some years or months. The job offer may even lead to permanent employment and residence status in Canada like in the case of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program. For the Canadian government, the worker can contribute to economic development so it is a win-win situation for all the parties concerned.

How to Move From the United States to Canada

Regardless of where you come from, the Canadian government will determine your entry qualifications for permanent residency in Canada are based upon a series of criteria. When you wish to emigrate from the United States, make sure you do not let the closeness of nations lull you into a false and early expectation of success.

The Main Criteria

Canada Immigration authorities judge applications based on:

  • Skills and professional training
  • Education
  • Family sponsorship
  • Finances

For instance, if you are an entrepreneur, Canada wants you. If you have money to invest, you could qualify. A Canadian fiance or spouse could sponsor you to live in Canada. Or, if you qualify for specialized employment program such as a Provincial Nominee Program, this may significantly increase your chances.

Canada Immigration also looks into the background of an applicant. It might be difficult to obtain residency if you have been convicted of a DUI or any other criminal charge, even if you were convicted a decade ago, so address this possibility before applying. You could have the conviction removed from your file.

Pursuing Your Application

The best way to apply is to stay in the U.S. and go through the proper process. The Canadian government (much like any government) will feel that the applicant came into the country as a visitor under false pretenses otherwise, with the original but unstated intention of staying.

An exception would be if you visit an elderly relative and are suddenly needed as a care giver. In this case, an internal application may be viewed with compassion.

Why Would Canada Immigration Refuse Someone?

Canada is a popular immigration destination for many reasons, and sometimes so popular that the government is turning people away. Reasons include:

  • The applicant did not go through the proper channels
  • The applicant does not possess skills needed in the country or a specific province
  • Previous convictions
  • A lack of money to sustain one’s self
  • Not filling out the paper work correctly
  • No employer in place

Even U.S. citizens, in spite of their proximity, will be rejected on these grounds. Legal professionals suggest, however, that applicants from the United States not give up. They can appeal a decision if they act quickly. Also, hiring legal representation can help facilitate the process and make a positive outcome more likely.

When To Apply For an H1 Visa in 2014?

An H1 visa qualifies an individual to work in the U.S. in any job considered as a specialty occupation in fields such as engineering, architecture, health and medicine, arts, mathematics, biotechnology and social sciences, to name a few.

The work is temporary and the visa itself is a non-immigrant type. To facilitate a smooth application, it is a good idea for applicants to be aware of H1 visa time requirements in order to qualify for the 2014 batch.

How Does an H1 Visa Work?

An H1 visa allows an individual to work in the U.S. for 3 years, although his or her stay may be extended to six years, depending on certain circumstances. There are two ways a U.S. employer may  file the application: Regular Processing or Premium Processing.

Premium processing is the shorter route, where processing of application can be as short as 15 days or as long as a few months. It does, however, cost more. Regular processing can take from 1 to 6 months to complete but is cheaper.

When to Apply in 2014

The date for applications in 2014 has not yet been announced, but as a guideline, applications for H1 visas were being accepted starting April 15 this year. A general cap of 65,000 and an advanced degree cap of 20,000 has been imposed.

Ideally, it is a good idea to begin searching for an employer who can file the petition for you months before the USCIS begins accepting applications. This will help a great deal in finding the best company that can offer you the best employment solution that matches your qualifications and needs.


During this time, it is a good idea to gather all the necessary documents that can be used to support your bid for employment, such as professional resumes, school records, licenses, certifications and letters from employers. It is also advised to get in contact with a qualified H-1b visa lawyer to help iron out the necessary details.

You will have to send these documents to your H1 employer so they can file for the Labor Condition Application or LCA. Upon receipt of the documents, the USCIS will evaluate the documents and notify the sponsoring company if the application has been approved or not.

If approved, the USCIS will then issue Form I-797, which is the notice of approval to the sponsor. You can then apply for a visa at your country’s consulate or with an immigration lawyer so you will  be allowed to enter the U.S. and begin working!

If you need more help, check out our full guide to the H1 Visa.

What Careers and Trades Are Best To Get Into Canada?

Canada offers great opportunities for professional and skilled workers. If you are considering immigrating to Canada, there are certain careers that are likely to give you an edge. These occupations have more vacancies than any other jobs in the country at this time. They also offer better chances of getting back on your feet economically and otherwise.

Top 3 Jobs to Consider for your Canadian Career

In recent years, there has been a rise in demand for skilled workers. The sectors that lack adequate supply of skilled labor include service, construction, and manufacturing sectors (see the whole list here).

The particular professionals in high demand include chefs, carpenters, plumbers, and industrial mechanics. With an acute shortage of the mentioned professionals in the country, there is plenty of opportunity for skilled trades-people.

Teachers who can teach skilled trades are also highly sort in Canada. Canada needs instructors for its colleges, technical institutes, and vocational schools. Therefore, teachers and lecturers have a good chance of getting a job when they immigrate to Canada. They would find it relatively easier to settle down.

If you have training in the dentistry field, you could continue this as your Canadian career. Today, more people are opting for cosmetic dentistry to improve their smiles. In addition, with the aging population in Canada, the industry is set to grow. If you do not already have the qualifications, you could enroll for a 2-year program and start working towards your diploma now.

Other Factors that are Considered in Selection

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) looks at a number of things when considering an immigration application. Since Canada immigration criteria is a point-based system, CIC awards points to applicants on the following areas:

  • Proficiency in English or French (these are the Official Canadian languages)
  • Education and professional qualifications
  • Work Experience
  • Age
  • Whether or not you have prearranged employment in Canada
  • Adaptability (one may earn more points for showing that he or she can adapt to life in Canada)

Canada offers many opportunities for skilled professionals from all over the world. Several sectors of the Canadian economy lack sufficient supply of skilled labor. As such, skilled immigrants would have an easier time finding a Canadian career in these sectors and with the aid of such initiatives as the Ontario Provincial Nominee program these kind of immigrants are given the opportunity at a brighter future.

Granted, education and professional qualifications earn an applicant the most points. However, Citizenship and Immigration Canada also requires one to score high marks in other areas that they consider important for a successful immigration application.

How to Get Across the Border More Easily

border crossing

Crossing a border between countries can sometimes become difficult if the travellers do not check border crossing requirements ahead of time. In many cases, it is helpful to ask an immigration lawyer about getting a border crossing package.  The border package that you need depends largely upon the countries from and to which you are traveling. Nationals from certain countries are allowed to visit other countries without much documentation while the same nationals may be required to request a visa in order to enter another country.

Determining Whether or Not You Need a Visa

While planning your trip, you should visit the website for the embassy of the country to which you are headed. If you live near an embassy for that country, you can visit their offices directly. There, you can determine whether or not you need a visa.

If you need a visa, you should leave up to twelve weeks free to process your application (in the case of a government initiative such as Provincial Nominee programs you may want to allow a little more). In most cases, you will need to provide your original passport to the embassy of the destination country so that they can process your request and grant you an entry visa.

Arriving in The Country of Destination

Once you arrive in the country of destination, you will have to talk to immigration officials at the border. These officials will request to see your border package and your passport with your visa. At a minimum, you should be able to provide them with your passport and your declarations statement about anything that you are taking into the country. In addition, you should be able to answer questions about what you plan to do while in their country.

Extra Documents To Help You Cross The Border More Easily

If the border guards have any reason to believe that you are planning to stay in the destination country illegally beyond the expiration date of your visa, they may not allow you to enter their country.

For cases like these, it can be invaluable to have certain documents along. Ideally, you should have financial statements or other documents proving that you have an important life in your home country and that you plan to return to it.

Preparing a border package is one of the most important parts of traveling abroad. Without the right documents, you may be turned away at the border. In contrast, with the right documentation, you will be able to easily pass through any border you encounter.

What Are the Rules and Regulations for Crossing the American Border?

There are various rules and regulations regarding crossing an American border. These mainly pertain to required documents and to contraband and cargo regulations. Due to the fears of terrorism, border rules and regulations have become more stringent in the past years.

Documents to Bring When Crossing Borders

The universally accepted document when crossing the border is the passport. Its purpose is two-fold: it serves as a proof of citizenship and as a proof of identity. However, one’s passport may not always be available. In such situations, alternative documents can be used when crossing a border. Any of the documents noted in the following list can be used as substitutes (see also the US government website documentation):

  • NEXUS card
  • FAST card
  • Citizenship Card/Permanent Residency Card/Certificate of Naturalization
  • Birth certificate AND government-issued identification card with photo (e.g. Military I.D.)

For people who are not permanent residents of either U.S. or Canada, a visa may be required (this visa would have to be one that allows US entry therefore, having a Canadian visa such as that of the Alberta Nominee program may not be sufficient). For children who are not traveling with their parents, a letter of permission or consent is needed.

Important Contraband and Cargo Regulations

When crossing an American border towards Canada, the following regulations should be followed:

  • The maximum worth of gifts that can be brought to Canada is 60 Canadian dollars.
  • Tobacco products should be limited to 7 ounces of unprocessed tobacco OR 200 cigarettes OR 50 cigars. Anyone carrying alcohol products should provide proof of being at least 18 years of age.
  • Alcohol products should be limited to 1.1 L of wine/liquor or 24 12-ounce bottles of beer. Anyone carrying alcohol products should provide proof of being at least 21 years of age.
  • Pets (cats and dogs) are permitted provided they have proper identification and documentation from a licensed veterinarian that they were given rabies shots within 3 years (36 months) prior.
  • Fruits and vegetables brought across a border should be for personal consumption, not for business.
  • Any plant form (e.g. seeds, bulbs, herbs, etc.) should be declared.
  • Only weapons for hunting or competition with permit may be brought. Otherwise, all weapons without legitimate recreational or sporting use are prohibited and will be confiscated. People bringing them may be charged with criminal violations.

Penalties for Violating Border Rules and Regulations

Penalties include fines, jail time, forfeiture, and deportation. The severity of penalty is proportional to the degree of violation. For instance, someone who tried to cross borders with falsified documents may face criminal charges and deportation. On the other hand, people who bring more than the maximum amount of tobacco may be fined and the goods may be confiscated. If in doubt about the border crossing requirements or are unsure of whether you are in good standing, consider contacting an immigration lawyer to help you.