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Express Entry update: settlement funds requirement increases

express entry

The Government of Canada has introduced a slight increase to its settlement funds requirement. All Federal Skilled Worker Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Class candidates must show proof of funds. It is one of the main requirements to ensure the principal applicant and the accompanying family members would be able to support themselves financially upon landing in Canada as permanent residents.

The increase raises the required minimum settlement funds by just over 1.5 percent for each family level. For example, for a single person arriving unaccompanied in Canada, the increase would be from $12,474 to $12,669.

Canadian Experience Class candidates who are working in Canada on an eligible work permit don’t have to prove they have the minimum settlement funds. However, there are cases when Canadian Experience Class candidates invited to apply for Canadian PR through the Federal Skilled Worker Class. In this case, they will have to show proof of funds.

Family members include a spouse or partner, dependent children and the dependent children of a spouse or partner. IRCC considers a dependent child to be any family member under the age of 22.

For more information regarding family levels and required funds, and other details of the Express Entry process, feel free to contact us or order a private consultation with the Immigration Expert.

Travel Updates: ETIAS is set to commence in 2021

ETIAS

The ETIAS visa is an electronic authorization that allows visa-free nationals to travel to the Schengen Zone. The ETIAS visa is similar to the ESTA of the USA or the eTA of Canada. ETIAS is set to commence in 2021.

If you are planning a trip to Europe, there are countries that require ETIAS visas: Austria, Hungary, Norway, Belgium, Iceland, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Latvia, Slovakia, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Finland, Lithuania, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Germany, Malta, Switzerland, Greece, Netherlands, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City State.

Each citizen from the visa-free countries (including Canadian passport holders!) needs to apply for ETIAS prior to boarding. Once issued, a valid authorization will allow its holder to stay in 26 different countries in Europe for a period of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Travellers will be able to apply for the ETIAS visa online starting in 2021. This visa will be valid for 3 years or until the ETIAS holder’s passport expires. If you travel somewhere, where you may need a visa, or you have a question regarding Canadian Immigration – contact us.

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program Opens on January 28, 2019

parents sponsorship 2019

Today, on January 11, 2019, it was announced that the Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Program interest to sponsor form will be available to potential sponsors starting at noon EST on January 28, 2019.

The launch of the 2019 PGP Program will include a new and improved intake process. The Government of Canada has listened to and addressed concerns from clients and stakeholders about the previous intake process and has taken steps to provide a first-in-first-served approach for 2019. This approach will further enhance the client experience by keeping the application process fair for all while remaining an easy-to-access electronic method for applicants.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will accept interest to sponsor submissions for a limited time and then invite potential sponsors to submit a complete application, in the order their submissions were received until the 2019 cap of 20,000 complete applications is reached. Interested potential sponsors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new intake process for 2019, as other improvements have been made. These include a requirement for potential sponsors to upload a copy of status in Canada document when submitting their interest to sponsor form.

Potential sponsors should submit interest to sponsor form as soon as possible once it’s available online, after confirming that they meet the necessary minimum income requirements. 

If you travel somewhere, where you may need a visa, or you have a question regarding Canadian Immigration – feel free to contact us.

New DUI laws in Canada will affect non-citizens

DUI laws

New changes the Canadian criminal code took effect on December 18, 2018. Impaired driving will lead to severe consequences for permanent residents and foreign nationals since it is considered now a serious criminal offence. First of all, the sentence was increased from five to 10 years, and second, this offence will affect the immigration status of Canadian permanent residents.

The elevation of impaired driving offences to serious criminality means permanent residents could be in jeopardy of losing their PR status and could potentially face deportation if they are convicted of an impaired driving offence committed after December 18, 2018, in Canada or overseas.

In addition, offences committed after December 18, individuals charged with impaired driving will never achieve what’s called “deemed rehabilitation.” (Deemed rehabilitation is a concept whereby people with a single, non-serious offence on their record will no longer be considered inadmissible to Canada after a period of 10 years has elapsed from the completion of their sentence.)

Because impaired driving will be considered serious criminality as of December 18, deemed rehabilitation will never take effect for those who are caught driving while impaired after this date. Such individuals will be obligated to apply for criminal rehabilitation if they hope to resolve the fact that they are considered inadmissible to Canada.

This matter is very new, complex and has many multiple implications for Permanent Residents. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to take an action and request a private consultation if deportation was not your New Year Resolution.

Working holidays visa as an option to work in Canada

working holidays

You are probably aware of the list of countries, citizens of which are allowed to apply for a Working Holidays Visa, but do you know that it is also a great opportunity to stay in Canada for good?

What is Working Holidays Visa?

This type of Work Visa may be your perfect solution if don’t have a job offer yet. The type of Work Permit a foreign worker gets for Working Holiday is an Open Work Permit. That will allow a foreign worker to work for more than one employer in Canada and/or in more than one location.

Who is eligible for Working Holidays Visa to Canada?

You are eligible for this type of visa if you are a citizen of one of the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic, Latvia Republic, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

How to transfer from Working Holidays Visa to Work Visa?

If you are already in Canada on a Working Holidays visa, you will have 6-12 months (depending on your citizenship). And here is your Step #1 – Be Smart and don’t waste your time on a non-essential stuff! Use the great opportunity to find a nice and reliable employer, who would want you to stay and work for the company longer. Then we will help you with Step #2 – to lead your employer through the complicated LMIA process. After that you will get our help with Step #3 – to switch your Working Holidays Visa to Work Visa. This strategy will allow you to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker, to continue your career here and make money, and last but not least – you will get a chance to build your new life in Canada!

Thailand Launches E-Visa on Arrival

thailand e-visa

Thailand officially launched e-visa on arrival for visitors, which is the latest attempt of the kingdom to ease the immigration process of foreign tourists.

According to the Thailand news, the Acting Commissioner of Thailand's Immigration Bureau said that the new e-visa on arrival was to deal with overcrowding in airports in Bangkok and other cities.

Now tourists have to wait for one to two hours to get their visa on arrival and pass the immigration at Thailand's airports. However, an early application online will dramatically shorten the immigration process to one minute! All you need to do is to apply for one at least 24 hours before arrival and at most 30 days before arrival at the kingdom. Check if you need a visa to Thailand here.

Japan is about to implement a new electronic visa system

japanese visa

The government of Japan will introduce an electronic system for tourist visa applications in April 2020. Japan has already eased visa requirements and increased the number of low-cost carriers and other flights in order to boost inbound tourism and reach the number of 60 million foreign visitors by 2030.

The first tourists who are going to be eligible for the new system will be Chinese passport holders applying for a single-entry visa. Later on, the system will be available for other nationalities, as well as for other types of visas.

No more lotteries in Canadian Immigration

lottery system

The Government of Canada has just announced that they will retire the draw system for sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents. They also announced they will raise the cap for family sponsorship applications (20.000 instead of current 17.000) for the year 2019.

The Government decided to respond to numerous fairness concerns caused by the draw system among candidates. Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada will now consider family sponsorship inquiries on a first come, first served basis instead of having the applicants rely on chance.

The changes have been published in August of 2018 and will come into force in 2019. Order a consultation with our Immigration Expert and start the process in advance.

What travel insurance covers?

travel insurance

Travel insurance and medical travel insurance are commonly confused. As a matter of fact, a medical insurance plan can be part of your travel insurance policy, but it doesn’t have to be. Below we sort things out to resolve the confusion for travelers across the Globe once and for all.

Basically, depending on the plan you pick, your travel insurance may provide coverage, separately or in a combo, for the following elements:

  • medical emergencies
  • emergency medical evacuation/return home
  • trip delay

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4 reasons to buy a medical insurance for your trip

medical insurance

At first, purchasing a medical insurance plan for a trip may sound like an annoying extra expense. However, if ever you actually need to use a travel insurance plan, your appreciation for pre-purchased medical insurance will grow instantly. Below we suggest four reasons to buy a medical insurance for each and every trip you ever plan.

1. Places, where the climate is different, are particularly exciting to explore. However, your body will likely need to adjust to a different type of weather/climate, which is why it may be more prone to catch an infection. Not even to mention a possibility of a natural disaster – a flood, a hurricane, an earthquake. Medical travel insurance provides certainty that any unexpected expenses related to that would be covered.

2. If the purpose of your trip includes any climbing, hiking, skiing or other sports activities, the government of your country of destination wants to ensure they will not be obligated to spend a penny on your treatment if anything happens. Some countries (Russia, Switzerland, Germany) even reserve a right to not admit a traveler without a pre-purchased medical insurance if they plan to do any sports.

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