PR Cut-off looms

Canada Immigration Forum (discussion group)


 
visaplace.com            
Subject: PR Cut-off looms
  Cut-off looms for workers in Gulf states who have Canadian landed status but don´t actually live here

Oct 14, 2007 04:30 AM
Nicholas Keung
Immigration/Diversity Reporter

As the first of Canada´s new Permanent Resident cards hit their expiry date, immigrants who haven´t spent the required length of time in Canada ? 730 days out of five years ? face losing their landed status in the next few months.

The looming cut-off means hundreds, perhaps thousands, of "phantom" residents ? some of whom settled their families here and then went back to well-paying jobs in China, India or the Middle East´s Gulf states ? will be out of luck.

A large number of them came through a single Canadian visa office: Abu Dhabi.

A government internal report estimates that a whopping 98 per cent of "permanent residents" processed in Abu Dhabi, which serves the Gulf region, had no intention of remaining in Canada after their initial landing.

Currently, 80 per cent of the permanent resident travel applications in the United Arab Emirates capital are for people who have failed the residency requirement.

As a result, they must return to Canada to appeal the revocation of their status.

"Unless something major happens in the region to make the Gulf less attractive for expat workers, there is not a pool of professionals who are serious about settling in Canada," notes the mission´s annual overview, obtained under the access to information process.

"The high application rate is related to what Canada can do for them, not the other way around."

Since its June 2002 launch, the PR card, often called the Maple Leaf card, has become official proof of landed status for Canada´s permanent residents, who must carry it to re-enter Canada on a commercial carrier (airplane, boat, train or bus).

The wallet-sized plastic card, which must be renewed every five years, was introduced after 9/11 to increase border security and improve the integrity of the immigration process.

It supplements the old IMM 1000, which allowed landed immigrants to return to Canada within an unspecified time span.

Under the new policy, those who don´t meet the residency requirement by the card´s expiry date will be stripped of their landed status.

Figures aren´t available for the number of lapsed PR cards, but a Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokesperson said the department and the Canada Border Services Agency have systems in place to detect fraudulent documents.

The PR card situation mirrors the phenomenon of Hong Kong parents who deposited their children in Canada during the anxious run-up to China´s 1997 takeover.

And it reignites the debate over how much time today´s highly mobile skilled immigrants should spend in Canada to earn and keep resident status ? an issue that flared last summer, when millions were spent to rescue Canadian citizens and permanent residents from Lebanon during the Israeli bombardment.

"It irks me with their absence of contributions to our country," says Quebec immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, who obtained the Abu Dhabi report.

"They are basically using the PR status as an insurance passport without living in Canada, so their kids can be exempted from foreign-student tuition fees and their spouses (in Canada) can get the GST credits."

News that PR cards are being revoked has been trickling in over the past few months. Kurland predicts it will get worse as more people try to return to renew them (renewals can be issued only in Canada).

Dubai-based Canadian immigration lawyer Carter Hoppe has been getting calls regularly from expatriates working in the Gulf.

Hoppe says today´s "best and brightest" immigrants are different from those of the past, who wanted to stay permanently. Unlike the old rules, which stipulated that newcomers must spend half of each year in Canada, the new ones give people more time to decide ? what Hoppe calls a "trial engagement."

"I don´t think permanent residents who don´t reside full-time and work full-time in Canada, and may even end up abandoning their PR status, are abusing anything at all," Hoppe argues. "That sort of thinking about immigrants is very much a 20th-century view and completely outmoded in today´s global human capital marketplace."

According to the government report, Canadian resident status is especially attractive to South Asian expatriates who don´t want to return to the developing world after living in the Gulf countries, where they can get work permits but find it almost impossible to obtain citizenship. (Typically, residence of 30 years is required even to apply.)

However, many, already working in middle-management jobs, are turned off by poor job prospects in Canada, where employers demand Canadian experience and hard-to-get credentials. Plus, they pay no income tax in the Gulf states.

To make things worse, immigration consultants abroad lure clients with promises of settlement assistance and help obtaining drivers´ licences, social insurance, health and bank cards ? with only a minimal absence from their Gulf jobs. "Many immigrants took permanent residence as a means to obtain a subsidized university education for their children while the parents remained abroad, an opportunity for a better passport, a place to go if they cannot stay in the Gulf at retirement, or war breaks out," the annual report says. "All this may become a bigger issue for Canada if thousands of Canadians working in the Gulf, many of whom either stayed in Canada the minimum time possible, if at all, decide to return to Canada in their later years to utilize social programs."

Toronto immigration lawyer Gregory James says people who fail the residency requirement and are turned back at a port of entry can apply for a "permanent resident travel document" at local visa offices abroad, though there´s no guarantee it will be granted.

Those denied PR card renewal could appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board, which is already facing a growing backlog because of Ottawa´s slow pace in appointing qualified adjudicators.

A spousal sponsorship could work if one partner has already spent sufficient time in Canada to qualify. In the worst-case scenario, skilled immigrants can reapply from scratch.

[07-01-2008,14:42]
[***.121.220.199]
Sharon
(in reply to: PR Cut-off looms)
I read this in details before. Agree with most parts. It is very ashaming to see how some immigrants abuse the Canadin system, which is nothing different than cheating. Govt. should track them, this shouldn´t be that difficult.

[07-01-2008,15:40]
[***.254.208.246]
Departed_Canadian
(in reply to: PR Cut-off looms)
the hard part will be for Canada to get over the idea that we might offend someone.
[07-01-2008,15:54]
[***.121.220.199]
Sharon
(in reply to: PR Cut-off looms)
Just wait until all of these SAP actually get looked at and applicants who have recorded the incorrect NOC code get rejected too!

It shows on this forum just how many PR´s ask about the residency requirements.

Well if they have connections they can always try to apply for a WP and return.

Roy
www.cvimmigration.com

[07-01-2008,15:55]
[**.158.52.214]
Roy
(in reply to: PR Cut-off looms)
Residency fraud is relatively trivial w.r.to other types of cheating. Some folks are so greedy that they even take GST return showing 0 income in Canada while earning 100K in the middle east. They can´t refrian themselves from the lure of few hunderd bucks of free money!

I know some guys recently moved to CA from Canada finishing their studies in Canada, all of them have monumental student loans and have no plan to repay.

[07-01-2008,16:02]
[***.254.208.246]
Departed_Canadian
(in reply to: PR Cut-off looms)
and people wonder why us Canucks get a little testy around here when the subject turns to residency requirements! (as we watch our student loan payment sucked out of our bank account)


[07-01-2008,16:07]
[***.121.220.199]
Sharon
(in reply to: PR Cut-off looms)
True Sharon, good reasons to be upset. Though also have to keep in mind that such relaxed residency requirements were set by the Canadian Govt., and more importantly beforehand we don´t know who are the genuines and who are the cheaters. So, all deserve benefit of doubts.
[07-01-2008,17:06]
[***.254.208.246]
Departed_Canadian
(in reply to: PR Cut-off looms)
yes you are absolutely correct. Just sometimes the patience grows thin, especially when the intent is not even remotely disguised.

as for our beloved government policy, it is all about votes.

[07-01-2008,17:10]
[***.121.220.199]
Sharon
(in reply to: PR Cut-off looms)
Hmm, vote? Yes, has good points. Immigration is being used as a political arsenal, who ever opposes the immigration is immediately marked as "racist". All political parties are now very cautious to criticize the high immigration level.

Result? Stat Canada reported that for every 10% increase in the population from immigration, wages in Canada are now reduced by 4% on average (with the greatest impact to more skilled workers, such as workers with post-graduate degrees whose wages are reduced by 7%. In short, the meaningless high immigration is simply aiding to lower your salary. I wish to sue CIC at least for this, from a perspective of a Canadian citizen.


[07-01-2008,17:56]
[***.254.208.246]
Departed_Canadian
(in reply to: PR Cut-off looms)
Not sure if I agree or not with you guys. But I think Canada´s residency requirements, although generous, are correct and reflect the country´s openess.

If someone wants to live outside the country for 3 out of 5 years, that´s his/her business. It doesn´t impact Canada negatively at all. If that person exceeds 3 yeras, that´s it and end of story. Not sure why all the patriotic heartbreak, as if the country´s sovereignty was somehow under threat.


[08-01-2008,13:35]
[**.47.168.9]
Richard
(in reply to: PR Cut-off looms)
As I told earlier, residency requirement rule is a trivial issue to me. However I can say for sure that the 2/5 relax rule opened the door for abusing. Though I doubt whether CIC cares for this seriously. Their main target is to attract more and more immigrants by all means.

In real sense if somebody comes and leaves Canada then Canada doesn´t have anything to lose, true. She is even getting some foreign currency. However, if that migratory bird can´t be satisfied with just the PR status then Canada has problems. That person can abuse the system by many ways like by collecting benefits. Who´ll pay that eventually? The hard working Canadians. Mr. Migratory bird is actually working elsewhere with a high paying job. It can´t be fair.

[08-01-2008,14:12]
[***.254.208.246]
Departed_Canadian