Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The New York Times reports on an accelerating trend:
Shanghai and Beijing are becoming new lands of opportunity for recent American college graduates who face unemployment nearing double digits at home.

Even those with limited or no knowledge of Chinese are heeding the call. They are lured by China’s surging economy, the lower cost of living and a chance to bypass some of the dues-paying that is common to first jobs in the United States.

“I’ve seen a surge of young people coming to work in China over the last few years,” said Jack Perkowski, founder of Asimco Technologies, one of the largest automotive parts companies in China.

“When I came over to China in 1994, that was the first wave of Americans coming to China,” he said. “These young people are part of this big second wave.”

Friday, August 7, 2009


This is quite interesting, because of the implications for sports and immigration: it is undeniable that immigrants from countries who have no affinity to hockey are far less inclined to send their children to hockey practice, or to attend games. In fact, there is a sense of crisis amongst hockey organizations. In my capacity of Chair of the Ontario Bar Association Citizenship and Immigration Section, we were requested by a prominent hockey organization to come up with ideas as to how to interest immigrants in hockey.

Hockey losing its grip among Canadian teens

Thursday, August 6, 2009


The Government has implemented a new transit without visa program , primarily for those changing flights to and from the US. Here is the press release:

News Release

New program to facilitate travel through Canada and encourage business at Canadian airports

Vancouver, July 30, 2009 — The Government of Canada is making it easier for international travellers on their way to and from the United States to pass through Canadian airports. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan, and International Trade and the Asia-Pacific Gateway Minister Stockwell Day announced the news today.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of travellers pass through Canadian airports on their way to the United States. The new program will allow certain international travellers en route to and from the U.S. with valid U.S. visas to transit through Canadian airports without a Canadian transit visa.

Intended to achieve a balance between ensuring security and facilitating the movement of genuine travellers, the Transit Without Visa program is being implemented in Vancouver following a successful pilot project undertaken at the Vancouver International Airport. Other major Canadian airports will now be able to apply for similar status.

“Removing the requirement for a Canadian transit visa will make Canadian airports more attractive for international travellers going to and from the United States,” said Minister Kenney. “This will help airports expand their business, which will in turn have a positive impact on the local economy.”

“This program creates an opportunity to enhance travel to North America through Canada, while protecting our security interests,” said Minister Van Loan.

“We are embarked on a robust trade agenda to open doors for Canadian business in markets around the world,” said Minister Day. “We are taking action here today to facilitate the flow of people and goods over the border so they can seek opportunities abroad and create jobs at home.”

“The Transit Without Visa program is a key initiative for facilitating travel between North America and Asia via the YVR gateway,” said Larry Berg, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “It allows us to capitalize on our geographical advantage as the major West Coast airport closest to Asia, and enables our airlines to transit passengers between Asia and North America seamlessly.”

At this time, the program only applies to nationals of the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan who hold valid U.S. visas and who are travelling through the Vancouver International Airport to and from the United States on a participating airline. Currently, the following airlines are eligible to participate in the program: Philippine Airlines, China Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways.

As the Government looks to further expand the Transit Without Visa program, a full assessment of each new request will be conducted before approving any additional airports, airlines or foreign nationals into the program.

As the program expands to include more Canadian airports and participating airlines, so too will the economic benefits to Canada, such as more revenue from airport fees. The increased flow of international travellers transiting to and from the U.S. through Canadian airports will bring more revenue to Canada’s economy, particularly through money spent by passengers on airport retail.

In the meantime, in recognition of the importance of travel from China, a separate China Transit Trial has been put in place. This trial will allow Chinese nationals holding valid U.S. visas to travel to and from the U.S. through the Vancouver International Airport without obtaining a Canadian transit visa. To qualify, they must travel on one of the pre-authorized air carriers in the Transit Without Visa program and fly on direct, non-stop flights to the Vancouver International Airport, originating from Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Manila and Taipei. The trial will be in place for one year, after which an evaluation will be undertaken.

For more information, visit the websites of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency.