Summer Office Hours from April 30th to June 1st, 2018

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Relevant current events

May 22, 2018

Be aware of a scam targeting Chinese students

Original article

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently informed us of a scam currently targeting Chinese students in Canada. The Chinese community in Canada is being targeted with calls claiming to be the Beijing Police, Interpol, the Chinese Consulate or in some cases a delivery agency.

May 14, 2018

Biometrics Update:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plans to expand their biometric program. Biometrics is the collections of fingerprints and a photograph of the face. All foreign nationals applying for temporary and permanent residence will be required to provide biometrics.

There are exceptions to this requirement (not exhaustive):

  1. US citizens applying for temporary resident documents (e.g. study permit or work permit)
  2. TRV-exempt nationals coming to Canada as tourists and who have a valid eTA
  3. Children under the age of 14
  4. Diplomats and their dependents

For a full list of exceptions, please see IRCC’s website. The Biometrics will be valid for 10 years and must be valid for the total duration of your immigration documents. The processing fee for the biometrics is $85.

The new regulations will come into force in two phases:

  • starting July 31, 2018 applicants from Europe, Middle East, and Africa will be required to provide biometrics and
  • starting December 31, 2018 applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas will be required to provide biometrics.

For the moment applicants applying for temporary residence (e.g. visitor records, study permits, work permit) and permanent residence from within Canada are exempt until proper facilities in Canada are established, which could be as soon as February 2019. Currently biometrics can only be done outside of Canada at a Visa Application Center (VAC) and at certain ports of entry (airport or land borders).

For more information, please consult IRCC’s website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/campaigns/biometrics.html

April 26, 2018

Be aware of an ongoing scam targeting international students

Original Article: 

International students in Canadian cities including Ottawa and London have recently reported receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be employees of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The caller tells the student that to avoid deportation, they must send prepaid credit and gift cards, money wires or e-transfers as payment to avoid arrest or deportation.

It appears that the calls are coming from local phone numbers, but it is believed that the calls are coming from outside Canada. IRCC wants international students to know that these phone calls are a scam. It is important not to respond to the caller or transfer any money to them.

In these calls, the caller identifies themselves as an IRCC officer and tells the student that they are subject to an immigration investigation, or that they have been charged with a crime in their home country. The student is told to provide personal/financial information or send payment, or face deportation if they do not.

While this scam has emerged most recently in Ottawa and London, international students across Canada should be aware of these types of phone calls.

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting immigrants and Canadians alike from this type of fraud. IRCC wants to remind everyone that if someone posing as an immigration official threatens to arrest or deport you, suspend your account if you don’t pay money or give your personal information, or tells you that your visa or immigration status is in jeopardy, it is a scam.

IRCC will never contact you in person, online, or by telephone to collect fees or fines and say it’s to avoid deportation or face other consequences.

For more information on how to protect yourself against immigration scams, visit the IRCC website. You can also find a number of helpful questions and answers on how to identify fraud, and how to report it, in our Help Centre.

March 26, 2018

Important Update on Off-campus Work: On March 12, 2018, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published new guidelines concerning off-campus work.

Two important updates that we would like to highlight are the following:

1) The new guidelines confirm that students who have regularly scheduled breaks during the summer as per their program of study and who decide to study part-time or full-time during the summer are eligible to work off-campus on a full-time basis during the summer as long as they meet the eligibility criteria for off-campus work.

2) The new guidelines confirm that students who complete one program of studies and then commence a new program within 150 days from the completion of their program, are eligible to work off-campus full-time until the start of their program.

For full details on all the changes to the off-campus work program for students, please see IRCC's website.

JANUARY 3, 2018
As of December 1, 2017, citizens of Romania and Bulgaria no longer need a visa to travel to Canada for short stays (normally for up to six months) for visiting, business and tourism activities.

However, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, they will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport. See the IRCC website for further details.

DECEMBER 15, 2017

Be aware of an ongoing scam targeting international students

Original article

"Ottawa, December 15, 2017 — International students across Canada have recently reported receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be employees of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The caller tells the student that to avoid arrest and deportation, they must obtain an immigration lawyer.

IRCC wants international students to know that these phone calls are a scam. It is important not to respond to the caller, or transfer any money to them.

In these calls, the caller identifies themselves as an IRCC officer and tells the student that there is an arrest warrant in their name. The student is advised to obtain an immigration lawyer and is told that they could face arrest or deportation if they do not.

In some cases, students have transferred thousands of dollars to these individuals under the false belief that they are obtaining an immigration lawyer.

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting immigrants and Canadians alike from this type of fraud. IRCC wants to remind everyone that if someone posing as an immigration official threatens to arrest or deport you, to suspend your account if you don’t pay money or give your personal information, or tells you that your visa or immigration status is in jeopardy, it is a scam.

IRCC will never contact you in person, online, or by telephone to collect fees or fines to avoid deportation or other consequences.

For more information on how to protect yourself against immigration scams, please visit our website. You can also find a number of helpful questions and answers on how to identify fraud and how to report it in our Help Centre."

DECEMBER 11, 2017

Change in opening times at 2 US border crossings

If you're headed to the US border for your study or work permit:

Beware that the hours when permits are issued to people already living in Canada changed effective December 11, 2017 for the St-Bernard-de-Lacolle and the St-Armand/Philipsburg crossings. Hours are now Mon-Thurs noon to 7pm, and Sat 9am to 5pm. Details here: PDF icon Border_hours