Details of the event and the full panel of speakers can be found at:-
Canada - The State Bar of Texas, 31st Annual Institute, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Houston, Texas. March 28-29, 2019
Sergio Karas spoke on Thursday, 28 March 2019, at Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston, TX, on the topic of the USMCA ( United States, Mexico, Canada Free Trade Agreement). The event was sponsored by the State Bar of Texas International Law Section.
Details of the event and the full panel of speakers can be found at:-
Sergio Karas co-chaired the ninth annual Northern Border U.S./Canada Immigration Law Conference which took place on 20th October 2017 at the Holiday Valley Mountain Resort Ellicottville, NY. Richard Link, Chair of the Upstate New York chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, sponsor of the conference, was co-chair of the conference.
This conference brings together leading immigration law practitioners from both the United States and Canada to discuss issues touching on immigration to both countries, with a focus on the North Eastern U.S./Canada border posts.
This important cross-border program was attended by approximately 100 US and Canadian lawyers, and several senior government officials, including keynote speaker, the new US Consul in Toronto, and the Canada Border Services Agency Chief of Rainbow Bridge (Niagara Falls).
The theme of this year’s conference was “Dealing with Change”, reflecting the fact that since last year’s conference, the electorates in both Canada and the United States have installed new leadership at the federal level. A more restrictive immigration attitude has taken hold in the United States, and practitioners must adjust accordingly. Conference presentations this year focused on the effects of these changes.
To read the Conference Program click here
Canada - Visalaw International member Sergio Karas has been chosen to receive the new Platinum Client Champion award established by Martindale-Hubbell.
Fewer than 1% of attorneys have achieved Martindale-Hubbell's newest award, making Mr Karas part of an elite group. This award recognises Mr Karas' approach and commitment to the best in client service and will appear on Mr Karas' Lawyers.com and Martindale.com profiles to confirm credibility for consumers. It is awarded to lawyers who receive frequent reviews of at least a 4.5 client rating average.
Canada - Federal Court issues 2 divergent rulings on whether job-experience requirements can rule out Canadian candidates
The following article by Sergio Karas was published in the August 30th edition of Canadian Employment Law Today.
"Weighting experience in the foreign worker search"
Two recent cases highlight the difficulties that exist with the current Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. The main question before the Federal Court in these cases was what kind of evidence regarding labour market conditions can be relied upon by a Temporary Foreign Worker Unit officer, and how it must be disclosed to an employer?
Generally, Canadian employers are only permitted to recruit foreign workers if they can’t find Canadian candidates to fill open positions. But how important is previous experience when it favours foreign workers over Canadian ones? Two recent decisions by the Federal Court addressed whether experience should be factored into LMIAs and came to different decisions.
To read the full Article click here
Sergio Karas was quoted on 13/08/2017 in the Toronto Star in connection with the case of a paralegal who defrauded hundreds of clients from around the world and absconded, stealing more than $1 million.
Mr Karas, who was not involved in the case, said he was not surprised by the complaints but was shocked by the hefty fees the paralegal charged.
“The amount of fees he was charging was incredibly high, over and above what lawyers would charge for the same kind of work,” Karas said.
“This case really highlights the need for Ottawa to revisit the issue over who can practise immigration law in this country.”
Paralegal found guilty of defrauding immigrants ‘appears to be on the run’
By Nicholas Keung, immigration reporter.
A professional watchdog revoked the licence of Victor Manuel Castillo Garcia for misappropriating over $1 million, using fake documents and offering immigration services for which he wasn’t licensed.
Victor Manuel Castillo Garcia, who was licensed as a paralegal by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2010, worked with clients from around the world — including Taiwan, Cuba, El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Peru — for their permanent residence and work permit applications.
The paralegal also failed to provide statements of account for money received from clients and instead, established a company, VIPA Financial, to receive payments and offer “financing” and credit to clients — an apparent conflict in interest, a law society disciplinary tribunal found.
Not only did the clients lose their money, they were unable to retrieve their original documents submitted to the paralegal for their applications, said the tribunal in its decision.
In one case, the paralegal partnered with an agent in Taiwan in 2013 to bring in 180 applicants for jobs in Canada at a price of $5,500 each.
More than $1.1 million was deposited into the man’s account, which was not a trust account as required by the law society, according to the tribunal.
Immigration laws stipulate paralegals can only represent refugees for their asylum claims, and must register with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council to offer other immigration-related services. Garcia was not a member of the group.
Click to Find Article
Sergio Karas published an Article entitled " Employer applications for TFWs deserve fair assessment: Court" in the latest edition of " Canadian Employment Law Today".
The Article considers the case of an employer who was unaware of the information that an officer used to deny a foreign worker application and was not given the chance to address it.
To read this Article click here
An Article by Sergio Karas entitled, “Court sides with employer in dispute over foreign worker wage calculation“ was recently published in, “HR Reporter. The National Journal of Human Resources Management”. To read this Article click here.
This Article was previously published in, "Canadian Employment Law Today". See Canada 10/10/2016 below.
Canada - Changes cause headaches for foreign work application. Employer's application to Temporary Foreign Worker Program denied after interpretations of the 2014 changes made its application incomplete.
By Sergio Karas
An Article under the above title, written by Sergio Karas, was published in "Canadian Employment law Today" on 27th May 2016.
Recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program ( TFWP) have caused considerable difficulties to employers looking to hire temporary foreign workers. June 2014, the federal government implemented significant modifications to the program and replaced Labour Market Opinions ( IMOs) with a more complex regime of Labour Markey Impact Assessments ( LMIAs). The changes include a strict interpretation of advertising and compliance guidelines that employers must follow in order to avail themselves of the TFWP, increased scrutiny on reasonable efforts to hire Canadians, monitoring of wages and working conditions and a consideration of proposed transition plans to eventually replace foreign workers with Canadians or permanent residents. The new TFWP regime has been the subject of recent litigation dealing with the interpretation of these guidelines.
The Article examines recent decisions and their implications.
Canada - Auditor General Michael Ferguson issued his Spring Report on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. It concludes that cracks in the system allow fraudsters to get citizenship.
By Sergio Karas
Sergio Karas was quoted in the Toronto Star on May 3, 2016, in an article written by Nicholas Keung, the immigration reporter, headed - " Cracks in system allow fraudsters to get citizenship, auditor finds. Investigations opened into at least a dozen cases in the wake of auditor general’s report, Immigration Minister John McCallum says."
Quote - “Both immigration and the border services are not up to the task in policing and prosecuting fraud because there are no consequences and a lot of incentives to commit it,” said Toronto immigration lawyer Sergio Karas. “We need to face up to the fact that most frauds are committed in certain parts of the world and we need to target our efforts.”
Read article below
By Sergio Karas.
On 31st March 2016 Sergio Karas was quoted in the Globe and Mail in an article by Simona Chiose, entitled "Express Entry Program skewed too heavily toward in-demand jobs: critics."
News from Visalaw International members around the world.