This month's newsletter is a long one, but it is packed with plenty of interesting reads, including Matrixvisa's travel itinerary for the new year, the Canadian economy, and fun facts about Canada, so make sure you read all the way to the end.
- Vacancies Available & Positions Filled
- Visit to South Africa
- Immigration Q&A
- Canadian Economic News
- Effect of Criminal Offences in South Africa
- Visitor Visa & Work Permit Refusals
- Unregulated Recruiters & Cancellation of Work Permits
- Permanent Residence Cards
- Canada's Whisky: Best In the World!
- Highlights (How to Immigrate & Cost of Living)
1. VACANCIES AVAILABLE & POSITIONS FILLED
- There is a vacancy for a General Pathologist in Alberta. Interested doctors are advised to contact us.
- We have been approached to search for an overhead crane technician with 10 000 hours experience in maintenance or repairs of overhead cranes. The position is located in New Brunswick.
- Another employer is searching for a mechanical engineer with experience in the overhead crane industry. The position is also located in New Brunswick.
- We are also searching for person with business-to-business sales of tires. Expert knowledge of the tire industry is required for this position. Interested parties should send their resumes to Matrivisa Inc.
We have found jobs for construction experts in the petrochemical industry, CNC machinists, quantity surveyors, agriculture mechanics, specialized livestock workers, an elevator mechanic, medical doctors, overhead crane technicians, butchers, farm supervisors, a technical sales expert and several others.
2. VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA
Cobus Kriek from Matrixvisa Inc will be in South Africa from Friday 22 January until Monday 1 February 2016. His schedule will be as follows:
Friday 22 January 2016 (from 8:00 am) – Sunday 24 September (until 11:00 am) in Johannesburg.
Meetings will take place at the City Lodge located on the Oliver Tambo Airport (not the City Lodge at Barbara Rd, which is 5 km away from the Airport). Most GPS’s take drivers to the City Lodge at Barbara Rd, which is the wrong City Lodge).
Sunday 24 January 2016 (from 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm) Umhlanga Rocks, Durban
Meetings will be held at the Holiday Inn at Umhlanga Rocks, Durban
Monday 25 January2016 (11:00 am - 3:00 pm) in Port Elizabeth
Location will be provided to clients.
Monday 25 January 2016 (5:00 pm - 7:00 pm) in Jeffrey's Bay.
Location will be provided to clients.
Wednesday 27 January and Thursday 28 January in Stellenbosch.
Location will be provided to clients.
It would be wise to make appointments in advance by contacting Cobus. Please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The crime in Canada has been dropping for decades and it is a modern day miracle. The following article that appeared in the Metro Newspaper this year will give you a glimpse of how little crime there is in Canada, because even a lawnmower theft was important enough to reach the media! Although true Canadians see this as a terrible crime, some immigrants will see the absence of serious crime that they are used to seeing, as good news.
4. IMMIGRATION Q&A
A South African Attorney recently sent me an e-mail stating that she cannot apply for permanent residence now, as she “must” first pass her law examinations in Canada before she may apply to emigrate. She did not ask me a question; she just stated this as a fact in her e-mail.
She is actually incorrect. The correct answer lies within the immigration rules written by the Department and not the Act of Regulations. The rules as mentioned in paragraph 11.5 of Immigration Manual Chapter OP6 provides officers the following guidance:
“The majority of licensing and certification requirements for certain occupations in Canada cannot be satisfied from outside of Canada. As such, visa officers should not penalize applicants for not meeting Canadian licensing or certification requirements.
However, officers must be satisfied that the applicant is likely to accept and capable of performing the employment being offered to them, and can with reasonable probability be expected to qualify for licensing/certification once in Canada. In making this determination, visa officers may take into account the applicant’s education and training, background, and prior work experience.
If officers should have any concerns with respect to the applicant’s ability to perform or likelihood to accept and carry out the employment being offered to them, the officer should communicate these concerns to the applicant and provide them with an opportunity to respond.”
A “National Committee on Accreditation Assessment” may be obtained from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (see www.flsc.ca), which indicates any subjects that must be written for equivalent recognition of a Canadian common law degree program. Such an Assessment would likely have been sufficient to satisfy the visa officer of this requirement.
5. CANADIAN ECONOMIC NEWS
We will first provide the bad economic news and then give some insight into the good news.
Canada is a large commodity exporter that includes iron ore, copper, metallurgical coal, oil, nickel, natural gas, and potash. Other products include pulp and paper. Sadly the world prices for these commodities are very weak at present.
Anglo American announced in the media this week that it will terminate 85 000 jobs of the 135 000 employees world wide (about 60 % of it’s employees). This will probably effect employees in South Africa, Canada and Australia.
The metallurgical coal price and iron ore has been falling for many months, as steel production has been limited in the East, especially China.
Teck Coal in British Columbia (one of the world largest producers of metallurgical coal) announced that they are going to lay off another 1000 people. Several South Africans had job offers there, but the offers where rescinded.
Another metallurgical coal mine in Alberta announced that they will freeze underground operation until the metallurgical coal price is higher.
In Manitoba the large nickel company, Vale, announced that they will stop refining nickel in 2018 at the Thompson location. The nickel price is now the lowest since 2008.
It was announced yesterday that a potash mine of $3.5 billion in Saskatchewan was placed on hold by a mining company, Vale, due to low potash prices. Potash is used in the fertilizer industry.
One of our employers in Saskatchewan (in the instrumentation and electrical field) just closed their branch due to low oil prices. The same employer informed me yesterday that hundreds are unemployed in North Eastern British Columbia and when they placed advertisements in the trades they get many applicants.
World copper prices are now at USD2 per pound, down from USD4.60 during 2011. USD2 per pound is close to what it was during the 2009 world recession. Annually 20 million tons of copper is produced worldwide. It is expected that there will be a surplus of 500 000 tons of copper for 2016.
Spot iron ore prices are expected to decline to $44 a ton next year and $40 a ton in 2017 from around $46 a ton at present.
Resolute Forest Products in Ontario reduced its newsprint capacity by 465,000 tons last year by closing a newsprint mill in Iroquois Falls, Ontario, while idling paper machines at two Quebec mills as it sheds 300 jobs.
Paper Excellence (a multinational paper and pulp producer) announced in July the permanent closure of its mill in Howe Sound, British Columbia, which would remove 200,000 tons of capacity and 180 jobs. Several South Africans received job offers to work there but the offers were revoked.
Finning the Canadian agent for Caterpillar announced that they would terminate 1400 employees worldwide of which 1100 will be in Canada. Finning’s large branch in Sparwood (British Columbia) that served the coal industry, was also recently closed down.
Although Canada has developed 150 000 new jobs in 2015 (As reported in the Toronto Star on Sat 4 Dec 2015), in November 2015 the country lost 35 000 jobs.
The world price of diamonds has weakened to the extent that De Beers Mining announced the temporary closure of their Snap Lake Mine and their decision to lay off 434 employees. Hundreds of employees will be transferred to other De Beers mines in Canada.
It seems as if the commodity prices will remain low until 2017, before a recovery is possible (that is another 24 months).
So what is the good news on the economic front?
- The manufacturing sector is doing well, including the automotive sector in Ontario.
- There are many positions available in the agriculture industry and many employers are interested in appointing foreign nationals in the agriculture industry.
- Despite job losses in the natural resource sector, Canada developed 44 000 new jobs in October 2015.
- Manitoba’s gain of 2,800 jobs in October means it continues to have the best job growth for total employment and private employment, for the first 10 months of 2015.
- Saskatchewan’s unemployment is also low at 4.9%, which is the second lowest in Canada. According to a press release on 10 Oct 2015 from the Government of Saskatchewan, Regina has the lowest unemployment rate among major Canadian cities at 2.8 per cent and Saskatoon has the second lowest at 4.2 per cent.
- Please see the October 2015 unemployment rates in percent, with October 2014 rates shown in brackets:
Canada 6.3 (6.0)
Newfoundland & Labrador 11.6 (10.8)
Prince Edward Island 8.3 (7.7)
Nova Scotia 6.9 (7.9)
New Brunswick 7.7 (8.9)
Quebec 6.8 (6.7)
Ontario 6.2 (6.2)
Manitoba 4.8 (4.6)
Saskatchewan 4.9 (3.0)
Alberta 6.0 (4.1)
British Columbia 6.0 (5.8)
- Therefore the unemployment rate is still very low compared to many other countries such as South Africa where the unemployment rate is reported to be close to 45 %.
- In food production Canada is doing well. Canada exports meat, wheat and many other commodities. About $100 billion dollars in food are annually exported from Canada which is about 6 -7 % of the GDP and accounts for approximately 5-6 % of all jobs in Canada. Western Canada had a drought and this had a detrimental effect on the local crops.
- Immigrants are still streaming into Canada through provincial immigration programs (occupation lists) and many unique positions still exist for which Canadians cannot be found.
- Although $74 billion was invested in Alberta last year, $45 billion dollars is still being invested in the Oil Industry during 2015.
- Four Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) projects are being considered in North Western British Columbia in the coming years (Town of Kitimat and Prince Rupert), with a major announcement being expected in February 2016. The four major investors are reported to be AltaGas Ltd, Shell Canada Ltd, Petronas and ExxonMobil Corp. AltaGas Ltd leads a project named he Douglas Channel proposal with a $500 million investment. Petronas is working on a Pacific Northwest project worth $36 billion, which is expected to be the first project. The Calgary based Veresen announced a $725 million gas processing complex near Fort St John in BC.
6. EFFECTS OF CRIMINAL OFFENCES IN SOUTH AFRICA
For many years the Canadian High Commission refused South Africans based on claims that the applicants are criminally inadmissible based on South African police clearances with a record of “record of reckless and /or negligent driving.”
A number of years ago we challenged the conventional wisdom of Citizen and Immigration Canada through a mandamus request that was submitted in Federal Court. In the Canadian Federal Court (Docket IMM2822-11 GJB v Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) a visa officer agreed in an affidavit with our arguments that our client was not criminally inadmissible when he had a South African criminal record of “reckless and /or negligent driving.”
The essence of our arguments and the process were as follows:
- South African police clearances with record of “reckless and /or negligent driving” are erroneous, as a person cannot be found guilty of 2 offences concurrently. Only one of these offences may be listed in the South African Police clearance. As part of our solution to demonstrate that a person is not criminally inadmissible, we obtained copies of the police docket, charge sheet, and the magistrate’s judgment. We then demonstrated to the South African Police’s Criminal Record Clearance Centre that they made an error on the record. They corrected the police clearance so that it listed only one offence, “negligent driving” and not “reckless driving.”
- The second step was to provide evidence in the form of an expert opinion from a Canadian criminal lawyer, indicating that in Canada there are two types of negligent driving: Inadvertent negligence which is an offence under the provincial highway legislation (similar to a parking or speeding ticket) and advertent negligence. Advertent negligence is identified as a criminal offence in the Canadian Criminal Code. Inadvertent negligence is not criminal by nature, as a reasonable person could not have foreseen the effect of the action. Advertent negligence is more conscious. Obviously there are many nuances and the final opinion was in excess of 10 pages. We provided the details of the accident and demonstrated that the type of negligence was of an inadvertent nature, which is not criminal in Canada.
- The third step was to provide an expert opinion in which it was explained that in South Africa the National Road Traffic Act indicates that a driver can not be found guilty of “reckless and /or negligent driving” as the intention is that one offence must be identified. It was explained more than 20 pages that in the South African legal system, criminal offences are not codified in one law but spread in multiple laws, which confused my fellow Canadians in Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It was also explained that the intent of the legislation is that police officers must charge the person with one of the offences only and the South Africa police record may only reflect one of the these offences.
Our client received his work permit and we used the same arguments in a number of other cases without approaching Federal Court for relief via barrister (advocate). It seems that CIC now understands to look at the facts of the case and to carefully review our arguments before issuing a refusal.
Therefore not all criminal offences in countries like South Africa and the United Kingdom are deemed to be the equivalent of a criminal offence in Canada.
7. VISITOR VISA & WORK PERMIT REFUSALS
In a recent immigration industry application (Lexbase December 2015) it was reported that only 5% of visitor visas were refused. The refusal rate for study permits is 42% for South Africans. The sad reality is that once a person got a refusal it could lead to multiple refusals in the future.
The answer was provided in an Access to Information Act request that was reported in Lexbase during May 2015. This was written by the High Commission in Pretoria as reported in Lexbase: “Our South African movement shows a higher than expected refusal rate. Most refusals are for mature students heading to technical studies (most of which do not fit with their career pattern). The goal seems to be to get to Canada (especially if the spouse is eligible for an open work permit).”
In the past the Canadian High Commission also refused study permit applications, as a specific visa officer claimed that only the parents in South Africa might pay for the studies of their children even though Federal regulations clearly state any source of funds may be used. We sent a letter of complaint to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada on 18 December 2012. The Minister intervened and as result this requirement was stopped by the Canadian High Commission in Pretoria. This letter can be seen at point 18 at following link: http://www.matrixvisa.com/achievements/
If anyone in South Africa is interested to study in Canada, please contact us for assistance as we can provide a solution.
8. UNREGULATED RECRUITERS & CANCELLATION OF WORK PERMITS
Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation 200 (5) (d) indicates that employers in Canada must comply with all laws regulating employment. That includes laws regulating recruitment, health and safety, overtime, etc.
Employment and Social Development Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada as well as the Canadian Border Services Agency has a statutory duty to assess whether a person involved in the recruitment process had a license under provincial legislation. If there is a contravention, it could result in the cancellation of a Labour Market Impact Assessment and the subsequent work permit.
We have seen cases where a recruiter in Manitoba recruited truck drivers without being authorized to do so. This has placed the work permits and permanent residence applications of the applicants at risk.
We have also identified a South Africa (in South Africa) recruiting doctors for Canadian employers without a license. The doctors that will arrive through this unregulated recruiter could face a refusal to the issuance of their work permits and cancellation of their Labour Market Impact Assessments at the Port of Entry (airport) and will be re-routed to South Africa.
In South Africa, doctors may use Medrec (see http://medrec.co.za) for certain provinces where Medrec is licensed. The Medrec team provides ethical services to medical doctors.
When using a recruiter always ask for a copy of their licenses !
Be Careful of Unregulated Immigration Representatives
In South Africa there are several agencies that claim to be working with authorized immigration representatives located in Canada. Many have made false claims about these relationships of cooperation. The initial danger signs of a false relationship are:
- The name of the authorized representative in Canada is not named on the website of the South African agency. The Rules of the ICCRC (see https://www.iccrc-crcic.ca/home.cfm) require the name and membership number to appear on their website.
- The Rules of the ICCRC require the client (foreign national) to pay theICCRC member only and not the agency in South Africa. The ICCRC member must pay the fees to the Agency overseas according to a signed agreement. If anyone paid the agency direct it is a definite sign of trouble with your agency in South Africa.
- One of the locally engaged staff members has given you immigration advice without checking with the authorized immigration representative in Canada. South Africans working at an immigration company are not competent to provide Canadian immigration law advice (unless they are dual Citizens and are members of the required organizations in Canada that would allow them to act as authorized immigration representatives). It is actually an offence under Section 91 of the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to provide immigration law advice without being a Canadian Authorized Representative.
9. PERMANENT RESIDENCE CARDS
New permanent residents (PRs) will automatically receive the new card as part of the immigration process.
Some of the changes include a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip with an identification number unique to the card. When a PR is moving through a land border crossing, an RFID-enabled PR card is securely read by chip readers. As the RFID chip is read, the unique identifier is transmitted to a secure database and acts as the key to authorize the return of the traveller’s biographical information from the database. The information is displayed to the Border Service Officer as the vehicle pulls up to the inspection booth. The installation of RFID chip readers at land border crossings is scheduled to begin in 2016.
Therefore a Canadian Border Services Agency officer would be able to view the profile of a permanent resident and photo as the person approaches the booth on foot or in a vehicle.
10. CANADA'S WHISKEY: BEST IN THE WORLD!
On a lighter note: Here is some interesting trivia for the whisky connoisseurs that are planning to emigrate to Canada: Four days ago it was announced that Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye whiskey (a Canadian Whiskey) is the Worlds Whisky of the year for 2016. A renowned whisky writer Bill Murray made the announcement.
This whisky is distilled in a small town named Gimli on the shores of lake Winnipeg and bottled in Amherstberg, Ontario, which is only a few kilometers from the USA border.
There is an interesting geography lesson here: Crown Royal is distilled in Gimli as Manitoba is a strong supplier of rye and wheat and therefore it is brewed at the source of the raw material.
Crown Royal is also one of the most popular whiskies in the USA and a big export earner for Canada.
It was reported that the actor, George Clooney, requires a bottle of Crown Royal to be in all hotel rooms that he stays at during all his travels!
11. HIGHLIGHTS FROM PAST NEWSLETTERS
In the case that you are just joining our newsletters, or perhaps you missed it in the last newsletter, we highly recommend the following articles on our website:
How To Immigrate:
Please see possible immigration options, and a helpful diagram here: http://www.matrixvisa.com/how-to-immigrate/
Cost of Living:
We are often asked about the “quality of life” in Canada. We formulated a comprehensive answer at this link: http://www.matrixvisa.com/cost-of-living/