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New Canadian Entrepreneur Visa

A new program designed to further develop and improve the Canadian economy through the immigration of entrepreneurs was announced today, but to start on April 1, 2013.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which has been run for the past few years by Minister Jason Kenney, places a high value on immigration policies that bring in economic improvement. Many, if not most, of the Permanent Resident Cards awarded to immigrants in Canada are based on employment in Canada.

The previous entrepreneur visa program was shut down some time ago.

Start-Up Visa Program

The new program, called the Start-Up Visa Program is designed to connect foreign entrepreneurs with infrastructure for building successful businesses in Canada.

The intent is to create businesses that provide jobs and services for both Canadians and immigrants alike and to create an environment that will provide these entrepreneurs the best chance of succeeding.

CIC will be cooperating with many other Canadian organizations interested in supporting the Start-Up Visa Program. Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, National Angel Capital Organization, and the Canadian Association of Business incubation will all be helping in the development of the new program.

Currently there is not a lot of information about the program because it will not be entirely fleshed out until April 1.

Attracting business talent is seen as being indispensable to a sustainable immigration system in Canada and the key to bolstering the economy.

Immigrants who sign up for this program will have the opportunity to become Permanent Residents of Canada. After four years of residing in Canada with a PR Card (three of those years must be spent within the actual country) residents can apply for citizenship which guarantees the full protection and rights of Canada.

The Start-Up Visa Program is yet another in a long line of immigration reforms enacted in the past few years including tighter fraud investigation and a new Skilled Worker Program.

Canada prides itself on its status as the only officially multicultural country in the world and the new visa program will be the only one of its kind as well.

Multiculturalism is defined as the concurrent and cooperative interaction of a variety of cultures within a society. Originally pioneered by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in the 1960s to ensure that Quebecois would have an independent identity as well as Anglophiles, biculturalism bloomed into multiculturalism and is now one of Canada’s trademarks.

Do I Need A Canadian Visa?

There are several factors that affect whether or not you will need a visa to be in Canada. You will have to consider what kind of visa you need, how long you will be in Canada and which country you are from. Find out more about relevant visas at Immigration Direct.

Visitor Visas

As a visitor to Canada you might not need a visa at all! Below is the list of countries that have agreements with Canada to not generally have tourism visas:


Andorra  Antigua & Barbuda  Australia  Austria  Bahamas  Barbados  Belgium
 Brunei  Croatia  Cyprus  Denmark  Estonia  Finland  France
 Germany  Greece  Hungary  Iceland  Ireland  Italy  Japan
 Korea (Republic of)  Latvia (Republic of) Liechtenstein  Luxembourg  Malta  Monaco  Netherlands
 New Zealand  Norway  Papua New Guinea  Portugal  St.Kitts & Nevis  San Marino  Singapore
 Slovakia  Solomon Islands  Spain  Sweden  Slovenia  Switzerland Western Samoa.


Depending upon what passport or Permanent Residency one holds you might not need to get a tourism visa either. Citizens and Permanent Residents of the United States are allowed to freely cross the Canadian border.

British Subjects of the Crown do not need to obtain visas to Canada provided that they have valid British passports. People from Hong Kong and Taiwan do not need to have visas as long as they have passports from those administrative regions.

Visitors from Lithuania or Poland do not need to have visas as long as their passports are of the biometric variety. Israeli passports allow you to enter Canada freely.

Canadian Visas

Temporary Residency

There are a variety of statuses that allow people to live in Canada temporarily. All of these require a visa.

  • Student Visas,
  • Temporary Work Visas,
  • Exchange Visas,
  • And a few others.

Temporary Resident visas can eventually be parlayed into permanent residency, particularly with the work visas and student visas. These visas can be used to become a Permanent Resident in the Canadian Experience Class.

Permanent Residency

Immigrants who are allowed to live and work in Canada without restriction are called Permanent Residents and it is absolutely necessary for them to have a visa to enter the country. However, once an immigrant has Permanent Residency they can travel in and out of Canada relatively freely as long as they carry their up-to-date PR Card.

There are many different ways to get Permanent Residency and many more exceptions that you may qualify for, but generally there are three categories by which people can immigrate.

  • Family. A family member can sponsor your entry into Canada if they have sufficient funds.
  • Work. You can immigrate permanently to Canada if you are able to get a job offer in one of the provinces.
  • Refugee. Refugees or asylees (people forced out of their home countries because of persecution of some form) can apply for Permanent Residency if they meet a certain set of requirements.


Once you gain citizenship there will be no need to use a visa to enter and leave Canada. Since Canada is likely to have reciprocal relationships with the countries listed above, you probably won’t need to have a visa to visit any of those countries either.

However, in order to get citizenship you will need to maintain Permanent Residency in Canada for three out of four years.

IMM 5257 Form 2013

Canada TRV work

Form IMM 5257 is the application for a Temporary Resident Visa and is going to be an extremely popular form in 2013 because of the new skilled worker program.

IMM 5257, much like any other immigration form in Canada, has a series of forms that must be filled out, assembled into a package with a payment receipt and certain required documents and then sent in to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.


Requirements for application for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) include:

  • Your willingness and planning to leave Canada at the end of your visa stay.
  • Sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents.
  • Not participating or engaging in any criminal activity.
  • Be in reasonably good health.

Required Documents

You must also be able to supply certain documents, including whatever documents that the immigration officials may deem to be necessary on top of the official documents list.

  • You will need to have a valid passport.
  • A fee payment receipt will also be necessary and must be included in the package or else the whole application will be returned.
  • If you already reside in Canada, you must include the immigration documents that declare your legal status.
  • If you are either enrolled in school or employed in Canada you must include proof to that effect as well.
  • IMM 5257, Application for Temporary Resident Visa.
  • IMM 5645, Family Information. If any of your family members are coming with you to Canada they must file separate TRV applications. The separate applications can be included in the same envelope as long as you will all be entering the country simultaneously.
  • IMM 5257 – Schedule 1. Schedule 1 Application for Temporary Resident Visa.
  • IMM 5409, Declaration of Common-law Union. Only required if you have a common law marriage.
  • IMM 5476, Use of a representative. Only required if you are using a representative.

All of the documents included in this package must be translated if they are in a language other than French or English. Valid Translations will include the original text (this can be a photocopy of the actual original document), a copy of the translated text which has been signed and dated by the translator. There should also be a statement from the translator which indicates that they have translated the text properly.

Filling out the Application

Filling out the application closely to ensure that it is as accurate and complete as possible is extremely important for two reasons.

  • Time. By filing correctly, you can ensure that your application will be processed as quickly as possible.
  • Fraud. Correct application will also ensure that you will not accidently come under a fraud investigation. What might only be a simple mistake, could be misinterpreted as fraud.

Application Fees

  • Single entry TRVs cost $75 for each person who applies for entry to Canada.
  • Multiple Entry TRVs cost $150 per person applying for entry to Canada.
  • A special family rate is available for $400.

None of these fees are refundable from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

PR Card Renewal Timeline

Permanent Resident Card Visa

Permanent Resident Cards eventually expire and when this happens residents will have to renew the document.

The renewal process timeline normally follows a very regular path: the application is submitted, processed, and then, if appropriate, granted to the applying immigrant. Few circumstances arise where the Permanent Resident Card will not be renewed.

The processing time for a renewal has been estimated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada as being 98 days from submission. This does not necessarily mean that you will receive your new PR Card in exactly 98 days from when you submitted your application. There are many instances where your PR could come earlier or later. What this designation means is that the card is much less likely to come later than about three months.

The waiting time for the renewal card varies significantly depending upon where you are applying from. When applying from within Canada the wait is slightly shorter, applying from outside of Canada will invariably prolong your wait.

If you are in a particular rush to receive your PR Card you may, in some cases, ask for urgent processing. There are two different sets of instructions for applying for urgent processing depending on whether or not you have already submitted your application.

Urgent Processing Before You Send Your Application

  • Fill out your renewal application as usual.
  • Include photocopies of both your proof of travel and payment. This could be a ticket, receipt or other such record, but they must have the date of your travel, your biographic information and your destination on the photocopied document.
  • The exact words “Urgent—Proof of Travel Included” must be written clearly on the application package envelope.

Urgent Processing After You Send Your Application

If you have already sent in your application package, but wish for it to be processed urgently you can email the CIC with enough appropriate information to identify your package and the CIC may speed up the process. This is not a promise that the application will be significantly sped up, but the CIC will work on it.

Information that needs to be included in the email or fax must meet the CICs requirements exactly. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will contact you soon after you submit your application to inform you of the form’s new status in the processing timeline.

Travel Document

If it is not possible to obtain a replacement Permanent Resident Card in time to prove your right to reside in Canada when you are travelling abroad you will need to obtain a different document called a Travel Document.

Travel documents use an entirely different process from PR Cards and you will have to fill out Form IMM 5627 for submission to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Temporary Worker Rights

As a well-developed nation, Canada provides a variety of laws that serve to protect immigrants of all different types. Even if you are only a temporary worker within Canada you still have access to the rights reserved for workers in Canada.

If you are a temporary worker you may be able to apply for Permanent Residency, and eventually citizenship, which would entitle you to the full rights of Canadian citizens.

The purpose of labor laws within Canada are to ensure that immigrants (and all other people in Canada) are not taken advantage of or exploited. Just because you are a temporary resident does not mean that you are somehow less of a person than a Permanent Resident or citizen and you should not be treated as such.

Laws regarding labor issues are mostly decided by the individual provinces and you should contact them for more information on fair wages and other labor regulations. Below is a list of these organizations.

Dominion of Canada The national body, Labour Canada, Should be contacted at 1-800-641-4049 for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
Alberta The Employment and Immigration Office Employment Standards Branch is the department you should call in Alberta at 1-877-427-3731. If you are hearing impaired and live in Edmonton please call (780) 427-9999.
British Colombia The Ministry of Labour and citizens’ Services Employment Standards Branch is the labour department to contact in the province of British Colombia. You can call them within British Colombia at 1-800-663-3316 or from outside the province at (250) 612-4100.
Manitoba The Manitoba Labour and Immigration Employment Standards Department can be contacted in Winnipeg at (204) 945-3352, or at 1-800-821-4307 for other places.
New Brunswick The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour’s Employment Standards Branch should be contacted with any questions regarding labour laws in New Brunswick. Call (506) 453-2725 for Fredericton, otherwise call 1-888-452-2687.
Newfoundland and Labrador Human Resources, Labour and Employment’s Labour Relations Agency should be contacted with questions about labour in Newfoundland and Labrador. There are three numbers you can call: (709) 729-2743, (709) 729-2742 or 1-877-563-1063.
Northwest Territories Education, Culture and Employment’s Employment Standards are responsible for the dissemination of labour information in the Northwest Territories. They can be reached at (867) 873-7486 or 1-888-700-5707.
Nova Scotia The Labour and Workforce Development Labour Standards Division should be contacted with any questions about labour in Nova Scotia. Call at (902) 424-4311 or 1-888-315-0110.
Nunavut The Department of Justice’ Labour Standards Office should be contacted in Nunavut at (867) 975-7293 or 1-877-806-8402.
Ontario The Ministry of Labour Employment Standards Branch should be contacted if you live in Ontario. If you live outside of Toronto you should call 1-800-531-5551, or (416) 326-7160 if you live within the Toronto area.
Prince Edward Island Advanced Education, Employment and Labour’s Labour Standards Department is the place you should call in Saskatchewan. Their Regina telephone number is (306) 787-2438. Other places should call 1-800-667-1783.
Quebec The Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour Employment Standards Branch should be contacted with any labour question on Prince Edward Island. Call at (902) 368-5552 or 1-800-333-4360.
Saskatchewan Commission des norms du travail is the labour department for the province of Quebec and can be contacted at either (514) 873-7061 or 1-800-265-1414.
Yukon Department of Community services’ Labour Services Office should be contacted for information in the Yukon. They can be reached at (867) 667-5944 or at 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5944.


Don’t let yourself be intimidated by an employer, you have your rights!

Immigration Canada: New Asylum Visa

There are many different ways by which you can get a Permanent Resident Card in Canada and Immigration Direct is here to keep you informed on the best course that you can take when applying for Permanent Residency. Check back frequently for additional updates. Today’s news comes from the CIC’s media centre and concerns asylee visas.

Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) have announced new changes in the process for those immigrants seeking asylum in Canada.

Historically, the Asylum visa program has been habitually abused by foreign fraudsters who cannot enter Canada any other way and resort to illegal methods. Minister Kenney has made it very clear recently that immigration fraud will not be tolerated in Canada and he is not afraid to deport these fraudsters.

However, Asylum and Refugee immigration programs are still very important, especially in such a compassionate country as Canada. There are people all over the world who suffer from immense and oppressive persecution due to their religious or political beliefs and Canada wants to help those people.

This new process is supposed to make the process significantly easier and faster since it will eliminate all wastefulness. Considering Minister Kenney’s prior successes in this position it is likely that it will add yet another feather in the Tories’ caps.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) holds the authority to grant asylum to immigrants, but the problem is that people may end up waiting almost two years in order to get a hearing in front of the board. With the new system it should take a maximum of two months in order to get a hearing with the Immigration and Refugee Board.

A new division has been created for refugees from countries with typically legitimate refugee claimants and they will be able to appeal the IRB’s decision. This is a brand new option for applicants and is designed to enfranchise legitimate refugees. Canada will be developing a list of countries that generate immigrants eligible to this alternate division called “Designated Countries of Origin”.

A country of origin that is unlikely to send legitimate claimants to Canada would be, for example, Britain. A person who is from a Western European country likely has access to a great amount of personal freedom and the democratic process. If they are persecuted for anything it is likely that they would be persecuted for it in Canada as well (for example, a hate criminal).

Failed applicants will also be removed quicker than ever before to avoid wasting taxpayer money and using social programs on people who are undeserving of Canada’s generousness. Whereas previously failed applicants were deported after a series of years they will be removed within one year.

Find out if you can apply for Permanent Residency in Canada here with Immigration Direct and call Canada your home all the sooner.

Extension Tourist Visa

Visiting Canada can be a lot of fun, in fact, it may be so fun that you might not be ready to leave when your visitor visa expires. However, you should go through some application steps to ensure that Citizenship and Immigration Canada does not harm your status. You can either re-apply for a visitor visa, or you can apply to become a Permanent Resident. Immigration Direct can help you get your Permanent Resident Card any time!

If you are currently within Canada you will have a stamp within your passport which will state how long you are allowed to stay in Canada under that visa. If you want to continue visiting Canada you will have to apply for an extension at least 30 days before the expiry date occurs. If the expiry date passes while your application is in process with the CIC you will still be considered legally within Canada until CIC responds to your application.

You may submit your application online, but it is immensely important that you file all of the necessary forms correctly. If they aren’t your application will be returned to you and you may have to leave Canada. Below is a list of the documents that you will have to include on your application:

  • IMM 5708, Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Visitor or Temporary Resident Permit Holder. In this circumstance you will be applying to extend your stay.
  • The Document Checklist that shows that you have collected the necessary documentation for your application.
  • A Stamped Receipt that shows that you paid the requisite fees to the CIC.
  • If you used a representative to apply for a visa extension you will need to file form IMM 5476, Use of a Representative.
  • If necessary you will also have to submit either a Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union (IMM 5409), or a photocopy of your marriage certificate.
  • You will also have to photocopy your passport. It is very important to include in these photocopies your biographic information and the visa stamp from your most recent visit to Canada.
  • If you didn’t use your passport you should use whatever document you used to enter Canada. This could be a citizenship certificate, permanent residency card or any other kind of identification you might have used.
  • If you have a current immigration document, a photocopy of it must be submitted as well.
  • Proof of funds if it is necessary.
  • A photocopy of your return ticket should also be included if you have it.

In order to get your receipt of payment you will need to pay the required fee. You can either pay online or through a Canadian bank, but for the purpose of this article we will be discussing the online process. You must have a PDF reader program, a printer and an email address in order to pay for your visa extension online. After you pay with a valid credit card (the fee is a flat rate of $75) a confirmation page will be sent to your email. This will be your receipt and you must include it in your application.

After you have paid the required fees and completed the application you may then submit your application and you will soon receive your visitor’s extension.

Obtain a Work Permit – Undocumented Workers in Canada are Illegal Immigrants

The government of Canada every year welcomes thousands of people from different countries around the world, who come to this country to work, study or live there permanently. Such foreign nationals who seek to enter Canada must satisfy certain eligibility requirements. Irrespective of the purpose of their travel, they must undergo medical examinations and background security checks according to the Canadian immigration laws.

People who make an attempt to enter Canada without satisfying the eligibility requirements and people who do not undergo the required background checks may not be able to remain in Canada. They may be deported by the Border Services Agency of Canada, if they do not leave the country voluntarily. Such people who had entered the country illegally have an option to go back to their home countries and enter Canada legally.

Such immigration rules are designed in order to protect Canada and to ensure that everyone enters the country legally. Among the undocumented individuals who are found in Canada, a majority of them are undocumented workers. Such workers are found to have entered Canada illegally and they had not undergone security screening and the required medical examinations. Canada defines these undocumented workers as illegal immigrants.

Some Canadian employers hire undocumented immigrants due to labor shortages. The Canadian government has been working with its partners in the regional government and in private sectors to deal with labor shortages in Canada. Moreover, special offices are set up to enhance the immigration process for foreign employees. All types of businesses in Canada are allowed to hire foreign workers in order to meet labor shortages, but it has to be done legally. Anyone who evades the Canadian immigration laws will be removed from the country.

In order to recruit workers from abroad, the Canadian employers must establish that there are no Canadians or permanent residents with skills suitable for that particular vacancy. They must establish that the recruited foreign workers satisfy the eligibility requirements according to the Canadian immigration laws and must prove that recruiting foreign workers will not adversely affect the Canadian labor market.

If you are a foreign national and if you wish to work in Canada, you may require a work permit. Some categories of workers may not be required to obtain a work permit. Requirements and the processing times vary according to the kind of job for which you are recruited. In order to work in Canada, the employer who had recruited you must ascertain that you are eligible to work there. Your employer must obtain a labor market opinion, in order to confirm that your employer may hire a foreign worker for that particular vacancy.

If you seek to work in Canada, you must be eligible to enter into the country and to obtain a work permit. You may be required to apply for and obtain a temporary resident visa. A work permit allows you to work temporarily in Canada but it is not an immigration document that allows you to remain in Canada permanently. Foreign workers who qualify under a Canadian immigration category may be granted permanent resident status in Canada, if not they may work in Canada as temporary workers.


What is Arranged Employment in Canada?

Arranged Employment in CanadaArranged Employment is a way through which a foreign national may become eligible to obtain a permanent resident visa to enter Canada, through the Federal Skilled Worker program. A Canadian employer who offers a permanent job to a foreign national who wishes to immigrate to Canada, may do so by offering arranged employment under the Federal Skilled Worker program. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) processes with high priority, the applications of applicants with a qualifying employment offer, based on the Federal Skilled Worker Program, where most applications are adjudicated within six months.

The employers who recruit foreign workers must provide them a qualifying job offer and must obtain an Arranged Employment Opinion. They also have an option to recruit foreign workers as Temporary foreign workers until they are granted permanent resident status in Canada. Moreover, CIC does not require the Canadian employers to offer jobs to the Canadian citizens or permanent residents before looking for workers from abroad.

If Recruiting a Foreign Worker Who is Abroad

If recruiting a foreign worker who is abroad, the job offer must be permanent and full-time, as job offers that are seasonal may not qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. The employers must also pay the foreign workers on par with what is being paid to the Canadians working in similar jobs. Arranged Employment proves to be beneficial to the Canadian employers as they are able to attract international talents on permanent basis.

The employer who is offering the job must file an application for Arranged Employment Opinion with the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). Once the application is verified and approved, the HRSDC will provide the employer with a confirmation letter. The Arranged Employment Opinion and the employment offer letter must be given to the foreign worker, which must be submitted along with his application for permanent residence in Canada.

If Recruiting a Temporary Foreign Worker Who is Already in Canada

A temporary foreign worker who is already working in Canada may submit his Federal Skilled Worker Application along with his qualifying employment offer to CIC. Such a foreign worker who is already working temporarily in Canada need not file a separate application to HRSDC for Arranged Employment Opinion. Arranged employment is possible when a foreign skilled worker is offered a full-time permanent job by a Canadian employer. The application for permanent residence in Canada, filed by a foreign skilled worker will also be expedited. A foreign national may easily qualify for permanent residence in Canada through Arranged Employment under the Federal Skilled Worker category of immigration.

How to Extend Your Stay While Working Temporarily in Canada

People who enter Canada to work are temporary residents, legally authorized to work temporarily in Canada. There is a restriction in the length of their stay and they can stay in Canada per those restrictions. A person who wishes to work in Canada must obtain a work permit, in order to establish eligibility to work in Canada, as it is illegal to work in Canada without a work permit.

A work permit which is issued to a foreign worker is not valid for a life time and it has to be renewed. There are certain conditions related to applying for renewal. A work permit that was issued to a temporary foreign worker in Canada may be changed or renewed through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). To change or renew a work permit, the foreign worker need not leave Canada. The permit holder can apply for a renewal while in Canada. The employer who is offering the job must extend or change the LMO through Service Canada.

An application to extend your stay in Canada must be made at least 30 days prior to the date of expiration of your current status. While applying for renewal you must also remember that the validity of your work permit cannot surpass the validity of your passport. You may apply to renew your work permit if the job that you were offered has been extended or changed. You can also renew your work permit if you are offered another job in Canada. Other circumstances where you can apply to renew your work permit is when you wish to reside and work permanently in Canada or if you seek to re-enter Canada after you leave Canada. Besides, there are certain provisions that allow you to extend your work permit in emergency situations.

In case your job has changed or has been extended, you must apply to extend your work permit before your existing card could expire. A work permit may be renewed if you had obtained a new job in Canada. You cannot work in Canada without a work permit and you also cannot start working for a new employer without a new work permit. Hence, to work for a new employer, you must obtain a new work permit. Some people who enter Canada through a job offer may seek to reside there permanently. Such people who wish to stay in Canada permanently may do so by satisfying the eligibility requirements for permanent resident status in Canada. A work permit will allow non-Canadian citizens to stay there permanently but they must qualify under certain categories such as the skilled worker category.

There are some people who leave Canada after working there for a particular period of time. That is when they leave for their home countries after the expiration of their work permits. Such people are also given opportunities to return to Canada. If they wish to re-enter Canada and work here, they must have a valid work permit and a valid passport. A valid entry visa must be possessed by citizens of countries that require a temporary resident visa to travel to Canada. The possession of all these documents alone does not ascertain that you will be allowed to re-enter Canada; you will be allowed to enter if you satisfy all the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.