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July 25, 2006 — Canada is a country built on immigrants. Immigration has traditionally shaped our society and our culture. Canada is among the world’s most generous nations for immigrants and has one of the highest per capita admission rates. Over 16% of Canada’s citizenship was born elsewhere. Chances are either you or your parents or your grandparents came to this country from somewhere else. We Canadians pride ourselves on our inclusive, multicultural society and the diversity of our people. The world tends to view Canada as having an “open arms” policy in regards to immigration. In reality, entry into Canada is anything but easy. There are just too many people waiting in line to get in. Understanding our complicated immigration laws without professional guidance can be very confusing.
Every year millions of people enter Canada. Along with returning Canadian citizens, there are hundreds of thousands of short-term visitors to Canada — tourists, business people, foreign workers and students. Some arriving are newcomers or refugees coming to Canada to make it their home. Some enter legally — some do not. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Canada’s border and immigration security has increased substantially. To minimize the threat of terrorist infiltration, additional immigration officers have been hired and trained to be more vigilant than ever before.
In 2005, over 260,000 very fortunate people arrived in Canada as “Permanent Residents”. In order to obtain their Permanent Resident Status, they had to apply under one of the three main categories for Canadian Immigration, that of Independent Skilled Worker Immigrant, Business Immigrant or Family Sponsorship. Application forms and procedures and, of course, requirements differ depending on which immigration class is chosen. Those applying for Permanent Resident status as an Independent Skilled Worker are judged on a very complicated “point system”. Even the choice of where you want to settle in Canada can affect the outcome of your application.
Every year a large number of foreign visitors are granted “Temporary Residence Status” in Canada on Visitor Visas, Canada Study Permits and Canada Work Permits. Visitor Visas give temporary entry to foreigners who wish to stay in Canada on a short-term basis. In 2005 approximately 50,000 students were issued Study Permits and approximately 80,000 foreign workers were issued Canada Work Permits. To obtain a Visitor Visa, you must apply to the consular office aboard, verifying the reason for your visit to Canada, your overall admissibility to Canada and satisfying the Visa officer that you will leave Canada within the visa validity date.
In some cases a person applying for a Visitors Visa may already have a Permanent Resident application in process. This is referred to as “dual intent” and, depending on the circumstances and the way the matter is handled, could be grounds for refusal to issue a Visitor Visa. This is just one example of the many number of ways an inexperienced applicant could potentially damage his case for a visa or ruin his chances of ever becoming a Canadian citizen. Accessing the expert advice of a qualified legal professional could make the difference between losing and winning. In general, successful immigration cases result from qualified and informed applicants working with the help of qualified experienced immigration professionals.
Navigating and interpreting Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is not for the uninitiated or the faint of heart. Immigration laws are always changing and are often very complex. “Applying for a visa without the benefit of legal representation is a risk that is not worth taking — especially if you and your family are serious about successfully immigrating,” states Canadian Immigration lawyer Michael Niren of Niren and Associates, a law firm that specializes in Canadian and U.S. immigration law “We believe that it is important that applicants educate themselves about the visa process and work with a professional as a team. Both applicants and immigration professionals working together can maximize the applicant’s chances of success.”
Due to its sheer size and its demographics, Canada will continue to rely more and more on immigration to augment its workforce and sustain its economy. And, because it has so much to offer, Canada will continue to attract huge numbers of people, vying to call Canada home.
Canadian and US Toronto Immigration Lawyers with offices in Toronto, Montreal and Hamilton. Its team of Canadian immigration lawyers handles all Canadian immigration and US immigration cases such as TN Visas, L1 Visas and E2 Visas, US Waiver applications, Family Sponsorships, deportation hearings, skilled workers applications, and problems at the US/Canada borders. Call today for a consultation with a Canadian immigration lawyer.
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