IELTS Preparation Courses – Toronto, Canada Canada Immigration Consulting - IELTS General - IELTS Academic or TOEFL for study Mon, 16 Nov 2015 00:31:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 14807893 Foreign law school graduates and lawyers: How to become a lawyer in Canada Sat, 15 Aug 2015 19:32:26 +0000

Lawyers wishing to immigrate to Canada: How to become a lawyer in Canada. How will your law degree be assessed?

— IELTS Prep (@IELTSPrep) August 15, 2015

Why the IELTS may be required to become a lawyer in Canada.


Feds propose immigrants provide upfront evidence of English, French fluency Sat, 15 Oct 2011 02:24:41 +0000
OTTAWA— The Canadian Press

The federal government wants immigrants to provide upfront evidence that they’re fluent in one of Canada’s two official languages when they submit citizenship applications.

Ottawa is requesting comments on its proposal to require prospective immigrants to prove they have a Canadian Language Benchmark Level 4, in either English or French.

A notice says the proposed change would not increase the language level required for citizenship but would provide officials and judges with “objective evidence of an applicant’s language ability.”

Current citizenship regulations require applicants to make and understand basic spoken statements and questions in past, present and future tenses.

However, the Canada Immigration Service website acknowledges language abilities have been assessed by citizenship officials “inconsistently.”

Language capabilities are currently assessed through a multiple-choice written test which also checks applicants’ knowledge of Canada and citizenship responsibilities.

“The written test is an inadequate proxy for assessing language as it does not adequately assess listening and speaking skills, which are the essential language skills for effective communication with fellow Canadians and for effective integration,” says the notice.

Applicants are referred for an interview with a citizenship judge if they fail the written test or if their speaking or listening abilities are flagged by citizenship officials.

The notice calls the process inefficient and says it contributes to processing backlogs.

The proposed regulations aim to strengthen the “integration of newcomers by improving language outcomes and encouraging their full participation in Canadian society,” says the notice.

It would also streamline the application process and reduce administrative burdens, it says.

“Furthermore, requiring evidence of language ability would provide citizenship judges, who are the decision-makers on citizenship applications, with additional objective evidence on which to base their decisions.”

People have 30 days to comment on the proposed regulatory changes.

]]> 1 142
Canada Allows CELPIP Results For Skilled Worker and Professional CategorP Mon, 10 Oct 2011 13:44:47 +0000 Canada Allows Results  From New CELPIP  Test As  Proof English Language  Skills for the skilled worker  and professional  category. Note that the CELPIP is  not acceptable for all catefories!

You may remember  an old television ad for  Tetly Tea:  “Only in Canada You Say!”

Canada requires  proof of English Language  proficiency to immigrate to Canada. For many years the IELTS has been the only game in town when it comes to establishing proof of English language proficiency for purposes of Canada immigration. That has changed.

The IELTS must now compete with the newly released CELPIP Test. The acronym stands for:

“Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program”

Like  the IELTS there  is both an Academic (used to  study in Canada) and a General Version (used for immigration to Canada). The CELPIP originates  from the University of British Columbia, uses Canadian English (whatever that is), is computer based, and is administered by a an organization called  “Paragon Testing”.

There is presently an opportunity to take a free sample test. Preparation materials  are low cost.

I am intrigued by the fact that the CELPIP tests “Canadian English”. Sounds interesting. This may NOT turn out to be a sound marketing strategy. IELTS and TOEFL are used internationally. Therefore, those who are undergoing English Language testing for academic purposes may be better off taking the IELTS or TOEFL.

The CELPIP is an interesting innovation. It will be interesting to see how it develops.

To learn about the CELPIP visit:


]]> 1 131
Applying to Canada as an Investor, Entrepreneur or Self-Employed Person Mon, 11 Jul 2011 19:04:13 +0000 It is possible to apply to Canada as an investor, entrepreneur or self-employed person. In other words, having money increases your chances of coming to Canada.

Immigration Canada describes this category as follows:

“The Immigrant Investor Program seeks experienced business people to invest C$800,000 into Canada’s economy and become permanent residents. Investors must:

  • show that they have business experience
  • have a minimum net worth of C$1,600,000 that was obtained legally and
  • make a C$800,000 investment.

Your investment is managed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and is guaranteed by the Canadian provinces that use it to create jobs and help their economies grow.

CIC will return your C$800,000 investment, without interest, about five years and two months after payment.”

It is essential that potential immigrants undertake very careful “due diligence” before investing in Canadian businesses in general and certain kinds of franchises  in particular. The franchise terms are often very onerous and franchisees sometimes find themselves working for less than minimum wage.

There have many complaints about franchises in general. As a result, most Canadian provinces have enacted legislation to protect potential franchisees. General information for Canada may be found at:

Information about the Ontario Wishart Act may be found at:

The Wishart Act in Ontario mandates a duty of fair dealing. S. 3 reads as follows:

“Fair dealing

3. (1)  Every franchise agreement imposes on each party a duty of fair dealing in its performance and enforcement.”

A Toronto law firm has compiled a database of legal cases dealing with the Ontario Wishart Act. You might find information about a franchise that you are considering here.

Once again, be very careful before investing in a Franchise. I have seen people’s wealth and health destroyed because of them.

John Richardson – Toronto, Canad

Disclaimer: The information in this post is accurate as of the date of publication and is not legal advice. Laws are subject to change. Make sure that you get up-to-date independent legal advice before making any investment decision.





Ontario gives green light to record number of foreign doctors Wed, 11 May 2011 02:12:51 +0000 May 10, 2011
Louise Brown

staff Reporter–ontario-gives-green-light-to-record-number-of-foreign-doctors

In what Health Minister Deb Matthews is hailing as a “reverse brain drain,” Ontario licensed a record 3,708 doctors last year — 41 per cent of them from other countries.

Ten years ago, 28 per cent of licences went to international grads.

As a result, 94 per cent of Ontarians now have access to their own doctor and a growing number of physicians understand the cultures of their patients, said Matthews.

“We’re still concerned about that 6 per cent without access to primary health care, but we know where they are — the north is one challenge — and we’re working to get them access.”

A report to be released Tuesday by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario links the rise in licensed foreign-trained doctors here to more overseas recruiting, more openings for international medical graduates to do their residency in Ontario hospitals and more mentors to help them adjust.

“We’ve reversed the brain drain,” said Matthews. “Long ago we were losing trained doctors to other countries, but recent figures show that 174 more doctors came to Ontario in 2009 than left.”

The report, obtained by the Star, shows Ontario licensed 1,522 doctors who were trained abroad and 1,380 who were trained in Ontario — the seventh straight year more licences were issued to international doctors than home-grown talent. Another 716 doctors from other provinces were licensed in Ontario, and 90 from the United States.

The climb in licences has been steady: 3,638 in 2009, 3,467 in 2008, 3,279 in 2007 — up from 2,747 in 2005 and 1,637 in 1997.

“We know there has been a shortage of doctors in Ontario and we have to walk a fine line between getting more of them on the front line without lowering our standards,” said Dr. Lynne Thurling, president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

General practitioners are still in demand in many small towns and rural areas, noted Thurling, who practises psychiatry in Fergus, Ont.

Some estimate Ontario needs another 1,000 to 2,000 doctors, although the McGuinty government claims 1.2 million more people have access to a doctor now than before it came to power in 2003.

Mitra Arjang is an Iranian-trained surgeon who has been unable to land a residency spot in Ontario. It is still too hard for foreign doctors to get the green light to practise, she said, adding there should be more chances to train under a supervisor in a “restricted” residency.

“We have at least 7,500 internationally trained doctors in Ontario but less than 200 can get residency spots because they have to compete with young Canadians who are more familiar with the language and the system.”

American pediatrician Dr. Francesco Mulé relocated to Ontario from New York City last summer partly because he wanted to be part of a universal health care system. For his first year he must work on a “restricted licence” under a mentor and supervisor while he learns the ropes of the emergency department at Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg.

“The standard of care we provide in Ontario is very top shelf. There’s this sense in the U.S. that Canadian health care is not really universal or of a very high standard — and (Americans have) been duped.”

]]> 1 117
Immigrating to Canada – The Language Barrier Thu, 27 Jan 2011 22:20:24 +0000

Standing in the way of Canadian immigrants – Sat, 08 Jan 2011 14:22:49 +0000

English profs not amused by Canada’s immigration pop quiz Thu, 29 Jul 2010 11:22:01 +0000
Sara Landreth and her husband, James Brooke-Smith, teach English literature at the University of Ottawa. Both have doctorates in English literature, but Canada's immigration rules require each of them to take a $280 test proving they are fluent in the language.

Sara Landreth and her husband, James Brooke-Smith, teach English literature at the University of Ottawa. Both have doctorates in English literature, but Canada’s immigration rules require each of them to take a $280 test proving they are fluent in the language. Brigitte Bouvier for The Globe and Mail

New rules require a $280 language test, even if you hold a PhD in literature

Joe Friesen

From Thursday’s Globe and Mail Published on Wednesday, Jul. 28, 2010 10:30PM EDT Last updated on Thursday, Jul. 29, 2010 12:24AM EDT

Sara Landreth can only marvel at the absurdity of her situation.

She has a PhD in English literature. She has been hired to teach English literature to Canada’s budding scholars. Yet her application for immigration will not be processed unless she submits to a $280 English language test, thanks to a ministerial instruction signed by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney last month.

“It certainly strikes me as ridiculous and a bit ludicrous,” Dr. Landreth said. “The irony of someone who’s immigrating to Canada to teach English being asked to take an English test is probably not lost on most people.”

It might seem no more than a bureaucratic hassle, but critics say the decision runs roughshod over immigration law, which states that applicants don’t have to write the test if they can provide other evidence, in writing, of their proficiency in an official language. In response, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration said that in the past, written submissions had to be evaluated by immigration officers; an independently administered test will help prevent fraud and ensure a fair and transparent method of evaluation, a spokeswoman said.

Dr. Landreth, 30, has a tenure-track position at the University of Ottawa, where she has worked for the last year on a temporary permit. She is American by birth and moved to Canada after finishing her PhD at New York University. Her husband, James Brooke-Smith, a British citizen who also holds a PhD in English literature, has been working as a lecturer in Ottawa and will also have to take the test.

“What struck me was the complete inflexibility, that there’s just no way I can waive this,” she said. “That there was no clause for professional capabilities or mother tongue seemed very strange. The reality is it just creates unnecessary red tape.”

David Matas, an immigration lawyer in Winnipeg, said what disturbs him about the change is the way it was enacted. Section 79 of the regulations of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states that skilled worker applicants may choose to submit to a language test or provide written evidence of their proficiency. Last month, Mr. Kenney issued a ministerial instruction, effective immediately, that said only applicants who write a test will be considered.

“What he’s doing is taking a power over processing and using it, in effect, to amend the law,” Mr. Matas said. “Frankly [it] gives me a good deal of concern and isn’t just about language testing or immigration. It’s the sort of power that, if accepted, would wreak havoc with all our laws.”

He went so far as to call it an abuse of the system. “If it goes without comment, I think we’re just going to see more and more of it, not just in this field but in others,” Mr. Matas added.

Toronto lawyer Cathryn Sawicki has launched a legal challenge to the new rules in Federal Court.

Mr. Kenney referred questions on Wednesday to Kelli Fraser, a departmental spokeswoman, who said the change was made through ministerial instruction to speed processing before a formal regulation change is enacted.

Ms. Fraser said that, in making the decision, the government referred to research that found official language literacy had a significant impact on immigrant earnings, and that where literacy matched that of Canadian-born citizens, there was almost no gap in earnings for immigrants. Since non-native English or French speakers often used the documentation option, visa officers found it difficult to assess their abilities, Ms. Fraser said.

“We felt that going to a language test option was the most fair, transparent, objective, consistent and accurate way to evaluate different applicants’ language skills,” she said.

]]> 2 83
Canada – Foreign Trained Professionals and FARPA Mon, 26 Jul 2010 12:20:39 +0000 Canada – Foreign Trained Professionals and FARPA (“Fair Access To Regulated Professions Act”)

July 26, 2010

John Richardson

Barrister and Solicitor

Toronto, Canada

Admitted to the bars of Ontario, New York and Massachusetts

“It’s a story that replays for thousands of new arrivals each year: a skilled immigrant arrives in Canada with high hopes. He or she is an engineer, a teacher, a lawyer, a financial planner, a business executive, a [insert profession here]. With no luck finding relevant work in Canada, he or she realizes going back to school, retraining and even getting re-licensed may be the first steps necessary before he or she can even dream of getting a job in his or her area of expertise.”

Canadian Immigrant Magazine

When it comes to immigrating to Canada, for foreign trained professionals, there has been both good news and bad news.

First, the good news:

Canada is a prosperous, civilized country which is open to immigrants from all parts of the world.

Now, the bad news:

It has historically been very difficult for immigrants to practice their professions or to have their educational qualifications recognized. In Ontario there is a shortage of doctors. Yet, foreign trained doctors drive taxis. People are more comfortable getting legal services in their mother tongue. Yet foreign trained lawyers are denied admission to the bar. Foreign trained teachers are uniquely qualified to “bring the world” to the classrooms of our students. Yet, they are denied  entry to the teaching profession. The list goes on and on. Not only is this unfair to immigrants, but it denies Canadian society the benefits of immigrants’ education and perspectives.

The Regulated Professions Are Particularly Hostile to Foreign Trained Professionals

In Canada, the admission to professions is under the jurisdiction of the provinces. To make matters worse, many provinces have a tradition of allowing many professions to govern themselves. These professions are called “Self Governing Professions”. In general, “Self Governing Professions” have the right to decide who and under what circumstances people can become a member. The most notorious example of a “Self Governing Profession” is the Ontario Legal Profession. The Law Society of Upper Canada has historically had the right to decide:

–         who will become a lawyer in Ontario; and

–         under what circumstances

The Law Society has made it particularly and unreasonably difficult for “foreign trained” lawyers to become a lawyer in Ontario.

Since 2007, admission to the legal profession in Ontario has become a lot easier for “foreign trained lawyers.”

The Fair Access To Regulated Professions Act

At least three Canadian provinces (Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia) have recognized the unfairness of not allowing foreign professionals admission to their professions. Each of these provinces (and it is likely that more will come) have enacted legislation which mandates the following general duty on regulated professions:

“A regulated profession has a duty to provide registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.”

In theory this means that:

First,  regulated professions must establish objective licensing requirements for foreign-trained applicants. In other words, foreign trained applicants have a statutory right to a process that will allow them to become licensed.

Second, the process of evaluating  foreign credentials,  must be done  in a way that is “transparent, objective, impartial, and fair.”

Although there are some other “bells and whistles”, this is the primary focus of the legislation. It should be noted that not all of the regulated professions are covered by Fair Access Legislation.

(It should be noted that the requirements in FARPA also apply to Canadians who leave Canada for their education. For example, there is a shortage of law schools in Canada.  As a result, many Canadians  study law abroad. These Canadians also have a right to have their foreign law degrees evaluated in accordance with FARPA.)

In any case, if you are a “foreign trained professional” who is considering immigrating to Canada you may want to consult a lawyer familiar with fair access legislation. This should be done earlier rather than later. You should not assume that the professions will have registration practices that are compliance with the law (sad but true).

Ontario has a “Fairness Commissioner” who is entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the law. On their site, you can see examples of foreign trained lawyers, engineers, teachers and accountants who have experienced difficulty in practicing their professions. Read their stories and watch their videos.

In addition to IELTS prep and getting their educational transcripts evaluated, it is important that foreign trained professionals coming to Canada, consider how they will become licensed to practice the profession of their choice!

Warning: The above article does not constitute and should not be considered to be legal advice for any particular individual. To obtain legal advice you should consult a licensed lawyer.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Sun, 25 Jul 2010 01:58:15 +0000 Skilled workers and professionals: Who can apply—Selection factors

Language testing

You must provide proof of language proficiency by tak ing a language test from an agency designated by CIC. With your test results, you will be able to see exactly how many points you will receive for the language selection factor.

You must

  • Make arrangements for testing by a CIC-designated agency. You will have to pay the costs.
  • Include the results of your test with your immigration application.

Note: If you do not include your test results with your application, it will not be processed and will be returned to you.

Do not request that your language test result be sent directly to the Centralized Intake Office . Submit your original test result with your complete application.

What happens next

  • You can use the equivalency charts to see exactly how many points you will earn based on your test results.
  • The test results will be used by CIC as conclusive proof of your language proficiency.
  • You can use language test results for one year from the time you took the test.

Designated language tests

You can arrange to take a language test from any of the following designated agencies.


Note: IELTS has two options for the reading and writing tests: “General Training” and “Academic.” You must take the “General Training” option.

CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index

]]> 3 37