New Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program

Jan 15

On January 23, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that Canada will accept applications from January 28 to February 11, 2015, under the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program.

The new IIVC Pilot Program allows for millionaire immigrant investors to invest in the Canadian economy, in exchange for permanent residency.

The IIVC Pilot Program is open to individuals between January 29 to February 11, 2015, or until a maximum of 500 applications have been received. From this pool of applications, a random selection will be made until 60 completed applications are selected. After the selection has been made, additional documents will be required to complete the process, including a due diligence report of finances from one of six service providers listed by CIC.

All selected applicants must have a net worth of CDN $10 million or more and must be willing to make an at-risk, non-guaranteed investment of CDS $2 million over approximately 15 years. The IIVC Pilot Program has been designed to help elevate the Canadian economy, ensure long-term prosperity and grow Canada’s venture capital system.

Posted by Pinaz Farzadi »

H-1B Denials overturned in Federal Court

Posted by Douglas Cowgill|US Immigration
Jan 15

H-1B Denials overturned in Federal Court

The H-1B visa category is available to foreigners who perform services in a specialty occupation. The general requirements for these applications are twofold: (1) The proposed position with the U.S. company must be a specialty occupation (e.g. it requires a Bachelor’s degree or higher) ; and (2) The applicant must possess the requisite education, training, certificates, or work experience necessary to perform the specialty occupation.

Two recent federal cases illustrate the complexity of this category. In Warren Chiropractic & Rehab Clinic, P.C., v. USCIS, a federal judge overturned a USCIS denial where the applicant sought H-1B status as a Medical and Health Services Manager. The Judge ruled the agency was wrong in finding that a “medical and health services manager” position did not qualify as a specialty occupation. The court also found that USCIS was wrong to classify the beneficiary’s job as an “administrative services manager.”

Earlier this month, a different federal judge overturned a USCIS denial where the applicant applied for H-1B status as a Marketing Analyst (Raj and Co. v. USCIS). USCIS argued this was not a specialty occupation because it did not require a specialized bachelor’s degree, and did not meet their other regulatory criteria. The judge disagreed with USCIS, stating that “the patently specialized nature of the position sets it apart from those that merely require a generic degree.” The case was remanded to USCIS with orders to grant the H-1B petition.

Due to the complex nature of this category, it is not uncommon for initial petitions to result in denial due to lack of supporting evidence or improper job description. For further information, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Douglas Cowgill »

Express Entry: Things are About to Change

Dec 14

Beginning on January 1, 2015, the Express Entry system will introduce a whole new procedure for managing Foreign Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Foreign Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applications more efficiently. The new system will involve the following steps:

1) Creating a profile on the national Job Bank, and registering for the Express Entry system;

2) Applicants will be entered into a candidate pool, and will be given a ranking depending on their stated qualifications. A maximum of 1200 points may be awarded to each candidate;

3) Candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if they have: (a) a job offer and a valid LMIA; (b) a PNP offer; or (c) very high rankings;

4) Upon receiving an ITA, a candidate will have 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residency, which will be processed in six (6) months or less.

Several aspects of the Express Entry system continue to raise questions, such as the frequency of ITA draws, the challenge of acquiring police certificates and medical examinations within the 60 day limit of an ITA, and the impact of the system’s unpredictability.

Nevertheless, CIC believes that the benefits of the Express Entry system will make the transition worthwhile. The system is designed to be more responsive to employer needs, as it prioritizes candidates based on their ranking, regardless of when they applied. Proponents of the system say that Express Entry will give employers a more direct impact on economic immigration to Canada, and the government has stated that its objective is to admit 180,000 economic immigrants in 2015 through the Express Entry system.

For further details regarding the Express Entry system, or assistance in utilizing this new application system, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.


Posted by Nell Slochowski »

Irish Drivers’ Exchanging their License for a Canadian One

Posted by Pinaz Farzadi|Canada Immigration, Global Immigration
Nov 14

On October 29, 2014 the Government of Canada entered into an agreement which allows Irish immigrants residing in Ontario to exchange their Irish driver’s license for a Canadian license.

Prior to this change, Irish drivers moving to Ontario started off as learner drivers and had to take the driving test to fully be licensed in Ontario. This agreement also allows for Ontario drivers moving to Ireland to swap their Canadian license for an Irish one.

This agreement will benefit individuals planning on moving from Ireland to Ontario in the future, as well as the large population of over 50,000 Irish born individuals living in Ontario.

Posted by Pinaz Farzadi »

Protecting Canada’s Citizenship System

Posted by Pinaz Farzadi|Canada Immigration, Global Immigration
Nov 14

Canada is welcoming an average of a quarter million newcomers into the country each year since 2006. In response to the increase of immigration, the demand for citizenship has also increased by thirty percent.

To ensure a high level of integrity in Canada’s citizenship system, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander notes that our Government is dedicated to protecting the system from fraud and abuse. Within the past year alone, Canada has retracted twenty-two individuals’ citizenship which were obtained through fraud and misrepresentation.

Changes to the Citizenship Act, including increased penalties for fraud, clearly identifying who is an authorized representative and refusing individuals at any point during the citizenship process, are just a few ways of protecting the citizenship system. Individuals that are dual citizens can also have their Canadian citizenship revoked if they are convicted of serious crimes, through the Citizenship Act.

For more information on any Canadian or US immigration/citizenship matters, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP – Immigration Lawyers at 1-800-993-9971 or

Posted by Pinaz Farzadi »

Canada Welcomes Visitors and Economic Growth

Posted by Pinaz Farzadi|Canada Immigration
Oct 14

Canada has been issuing visas for legitimate travel and trade, now more than ever, to individuals from China, India, Brazil and Mexico to facilitate economic growth and opportunity.

Over 90 percent of all visitors apply for multiple-entry visas (MEVs), which allow visitors to enter Canada for six months at a time, for up to ten years. This along with CAN+ and various “Express” programs ensure a smoother process for visitors, business people and students entering Canada. These programs also aid in increasing Canada’s travel and tourism industry which highly depends on the quality of experience, ease of access and price point.

Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander states that they will keep increasing legitimate trade and travel to meet the government’s top priority of creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Posted by Pinaz Farzadi »