Ottawa expands eligibility for pandemic support programs

December 27, 2021

Ottawa has announced it will temporarily expand eligibility for key support programs to ensure Canadians are protected and workers and businesses get the help they need to sustain them as additional public health restrictions roll out in response to the Omicron variant. For one, the Local Lockdown Program will be expanded to include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more; and reduce the current-month revenue decline...

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B.C. SAR leader spent Christmas rescuing refugees attempting to cross Mediterranean

December 27, 2021

The small wooden boat held 15 people, including one pregnant woman, all soaked with sea water. Amber Sheasgreen took a few deep breaths as her training kicked in. Leading a crew of three, she helped the refugees into a rigid-hull inflatable boat called the Mo Chara, then transported them to a larger vessel, the Sea-Eye 4. Sheasgreen, an operations manager with the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) on B.C.’s northwest...

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Colombian-born Paola Gomez uses the arts to inspire and heal

December 27, 2021

Episode 7 of First Generation, the Canadian Immigrant podcast series features Paola Gomez – community organizer, human rights activist and writer. In this raw but uplifting conversation, Paola shares her journey from Colombia to the US and then to Canada as a refugee. She talks about various aspects of making Canada home – finding the tools to support herself and her child, harnessing her passions to make a good life and going...

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One year since FSWP candidates were invited

December 23, 2021

The last time Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates were drawn from the Express Entry pool was on December 23, 2020. Little did most of us know at the time it would mark the beginning of a temporary pause in Express Entry invitations to FSWP candidates. The FSWP has been Canada’s leading pathway for economic class immigrants since it was launched in 1967. In 2008, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) complemented the FSWP by launching the Canadian Experience...

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How to get settled in Canada as an international student

December 23, 2021

Each year, many students from across the world choose to come to Canada to pursue their education. And while starting at a new school can feel overwhelming for anyone, international students face a number of additional considerations. “Moving countries can be a complex and stressful undertaking,” says Frank Psoras, Senior Vice President, Money-In Solutions at TD. “Fortunately, no one needs to do it alone – we’re here to help new...

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The increasing role of AI in visa processing

December 23, 2021

When people submit applications to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) they typically have spent significant time carefully completing forms and assembling documents. They expect that their applications will be processed by visa officers who carefully review the information before them. However, applicants need to understand that artificial intelligence is playing an increasing role in visa processing, as is the bulk processing of applications. IRCC has not been forthcoming with...

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