Canada: Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) to launch Pilot Program targeting Construction and Agriculture Sectors

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Aug 17
10


Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) to launch Pilot Program targeting Construction and Agriculture Sectors

In Brief

The OINP is expected to launch an Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Pilot Program for certain occupations described in the National Occupation Classification (NOC) Matrix as C- and D-level occupations, during the week of August 14, 2017.

Discussion

In response to feedback received from various stakeholders in Ontario, the OINP will be launching the Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Pilot Program, targeting certain NOC C- and D-level occupations within the construction and agriculture sectors. As discussed during a technical briefing, the eligible NOC codes are as follows:

– NOC 7441 – Residential and commercial installers and servicers
– NOC 7521 – Heavy equipment operators (except crane)
– NOC 8431 – General farm workers
– NOC 8432 – Nursery and greenhouse workers
– NOC 8611 – Harvesting labourers
– NOC 9462 – Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry prepares and related workers
– NOC 7611 – Construction trades helpers and labourers

The specific eligibility criteria for both employers and foreign workers will be published in detail in the application instruction guide, which is expected to be released shortly.

Impact

This pilot program may be beneficial to employers who employ or intend to employ foreign workers falling within the above NOC codes. Employers should keep in mind that the OINP may set quotas for this pilot program, and as such, the program may open and close, as quotas are met.

For more information on the OINP’s Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Pilot Program, please contact PwC Law LLP.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada: New recruitment requirements applicable to high-wage and low-wage LMIAs (Update)

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Aug 17
8


In brief:  Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has formally released new recruitment requirements which will apply to both high-wage and low-wage Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs).

Discussion:  With limited exceptions, employers are required to advertise a foreign worker’s proposed role on the National Job Bank before filing an LMIA application.  Effective August 28, 2017, employers applying for a high-wage or low-wage LMIA will be required to provide evidence that they have utilized the National Job Bank’s new “Job Match” service as part of their recruitment efforts.

The Job Match service will match candidates with an active profile on the National Job Bank with positions that are being advertised on this platform. The Job Match service will assign each candidate a rating of one to five stars based on the compatibility between the candidate’s qualifications and the qualifications required for the position. The higher the rating, the greater the compatibility between the candidate’s qualifications and the qualifications required for the available position.

For high-wage positions, employers will be required to invite any candidates to apply for the position who are: (a) matched within the first 30 days of posting; and (b) are rated four stars or more in terms of compatibility between the position’s requirements and the candidate’s skillset. For low-wage positions, employers will be required to invite any candidates to apply for the position who are: (a) matched within the first 30 days of posting; and (b) are rated two stars or more in terms of compatibility between the position’s requirements and the candidate’s skillset. 

Impact: Employers filing high-wage or low-wage LMIA applications prior to August 28, 2017 will not be required to use the Job Match service. However, employers submitting LMIA applications after this date will be required to provide evidence that they have used the Job Match service in accordance with Service Canada’s new recruitment requirements.

For more information on the minimum recruitment requirements for LMIA applications, or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

US: Proposal for immigration reform receives endorsement from President Trump

Posted by Immigration Law Team|US Immigration
Aug 17
3


On August 2, 2017, President Donald Trump provided an endorsement of a new bill in the Senate intended to reform the current employment-based immigration system and reduce certain non-employment categories within the current immigration framework.

The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act (the RAISE Act) is a modified version of a bill previously introduced by Republican Sens. Tom Cotton (AR) and David Perdue (GA) which would replace the current employment-based immigration system with a skills-based points system.  President Trump heralded the RAISE Act as prioritising immigrants based on skills while safeguarding the interests of American workers.

The RAISE Act would eliminate the Diversity Visa lottery program and limit refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 per year.  Family-based immigrant categories offering permanent residency to extended family and grown adult family members of US residents would also be eliminated under the RAISE Act, and a renewable temporary visa would be established for US residents who need to bring elderly parents to the US for care taking purposes.  Spouses and minor children of US residents would continue to be eligible to immigrate.The RAISE Act would also condition naturalisation on the immigrant fulfilling its obligation to reimburse the federal government for means-tested public benefits, as required under current law, and immigrant households arriving through the points system would be ineligible for federal means-tested benefits for a period of 5 years.

The RAISE Act would fundamentally change the current immigration system, and estimates project a 50% reduction in overall immigration levels over 10 years, primarily by slashing immigrants entering the US through family connections.  Though touted as prioritizing skills-based immigration, the proposal would maintain the current levels of employment-based immigration at 140,000 per year.  Modeled after the merit-based immigration system used by Canada and Australia, the RAISE Act’s immigration system would award points for education, age, English proficiency, extraordinary achievement, high-paying job offers, and entrepreneurial initiative.

Under the points-based system, applicants would require a minimum number of points to enter the pool of potential immigrants from which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would invite the highest scorers to file applications every six months.  To be eligible to enter the applicant pool, immigrants without a degree higher than a bachelor’s would require a job offer with an annual salary of at least 150 percent of the median household income in the State in which the applicant will be employed.

Although the prospects of the proposed bill appear to be limited, the endorsement may draw increased attention to legislative efforts to modify the existing immigration laws.  While the RAISE Act would have the effect of increasing the proportion of employment-based green cards through cutting other family-based categories, actual employment-based immigration levels would remain largely unchanged.

As changes within the political and immigration landscape in the US continue to develop, PwC Law LLP will remain at the forefront of these changes and keep our clients informed. The reforms proposed in the RAISE Act face opposition from both parties in Congress, and in the unlikely event that the legislation succeeds, the implementation of such changes would not be immediate. Understanding the impact of future policy changes on businesses is essential to making strategic decisions from a global mobility perspective, and PwC Law will ensure clients are kept abreast of any developments.

For further details regarding the recent immigration proposals, or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada: Procedural changes to Rehabilitation and Temporary Resident Permits (TRP) applications in US

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Jul 17
26


On August 1, 2017, procedural changes with respect to applications for rehabilitation and TRPs filed in the United States will come into effect. These procedural changes are as follows:

1. All Rehabilitation applications are to be sent to the visa office in New York (unless they form part of an application for permanent residence)

2. All TRP applications are to be sent to the visa office in Los Angeles (unless they form part of a work permit or temporary resident visa application that is being sent to New York)

After a brief grace period, applications sent to the wrong office will be forwarded to the correct office without notice, or returned to the sender.

Effective July 19, 2017, visa offices in the USA will only accept online payments for these applications. The PDF receipt must be included in the application package. Visa offices will continue to cash instruments “in the mail” which were issued prior to July 19, 2017, during a brief grace period.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada: New recruitment requirement for high-wage LMIAs

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Jul 17
26


In Brief

As of August 28, 2017, all employers applying for high-wage Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) will be required to use Service Canada’s new Job Match service to meet the LMIA minimum recruitment requirements.

Discussion

The Job Match service, which is part of Service Canada’s National Job Bank site, will identify job seekers whose profiles indicate that they possess the advertised skills and qualifications for a particular position. The job seeker’s profile will then be forwarded to the employer and ranked on a scale of one to five stars based on the compatibility between the job seeker’s skillset and the eligibility criteria for the role. Any employer who, during the first 30 days of their job posting, receives a match of four stars or higher will be required to invite that applicant to apply for the position.

Impact

Employers who file a high-wage LMIA before August 28, 2017 will not be required to use the Job Match service. However, any employers who conduct recruitment activities and/or submit LMIA applications after this date will be required to provide proof that they have used the Job Match service.

For more information on the minimum recruitment requirements for high-wage LMIAs or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada: The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s (OINP) Foreign Worker with a Job Offer stream has re-opened as of July 20, 2017

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Jul 17
20


In brief

The OINP’s Foreign Worker with a Job Offer stream, which was paused in June 2017, reopened today, July 20, 2017.

Discussion

The Foreign Worker with a Job Offer category has been streamlined and is now nominee-driven. It was launched on May 31, 2017 and was paused on June 10, 2017. The re-opening of this stream today indicates that the program’s quota has not yet been reached.

It is important to note that the employee and employer selection criteria and processing fees remain unchanged.

Impact

The re-opening of the streamlined Foreign Worker with a Job Offer stream may simplify and expedite the process for skilled workers who want to pursue permanent residence in Canada.

For more information about the OINP’s Foreign Worker with a Job Offer stream, please contact a member of our team at
PwC Law LLP.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada: Visas Now Required for Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Jun 17
27


In brief

The Government of Canada announced today that it has instated a visa requirement for citizens of Antigua and Barbuda due to concerns regarding the integrity of travel documents originating from this country. Effective immediately, citizens of Antigua and Barbuda will require a temporary resident visa to enter Canada and Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs) previously issued to citizens of this country will no longer be valid.

Discussion

Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda are now required to apply for a temporary resident visa at a Canadian Visa Office abroad prior to travelling to Canada. Temporary resident visas may be valid for up to ten (10) years and authorize multiple entries to Canada for up to six months at a time. The implications of this new visa requirement are as follows:

–  Travellers in transit between June 27, 2017, and June 29, 2017
The Government of Canada will work with airlines to facilitate travel for citizens of Antigua and Barbuda who are already in transit to Canada.

–  Travellers with confirmed flights to Canada between June 27, 2017 and July 11, 2017
For citizens of Antigua and Barbuda who booked and purchased their flights to Canada prior to June 27, 2017, the Canadian Visa Office in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago will expedite the processing of visa applications if proof of purchased flights and itinerary information is provided. The estimated processing time for these visa applications is approximately 24 hours.

–  Travellers with confirmed flights to Canada after July 11, 2017
An application for a temporary resident visa may be submitted online or by paper via a Visa Application Centre. The closest Visa Application Centre to Antigua and Barbuda is located in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The estimated processing time for these visa applications is approximately 14 calendar days.

–  Dual citizens
Dual citizens of Canada and Antigua and Barbuda need a valid Canadian passport to travel to Canada.

Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda who are dual citizens with a visa-exempt country may apply for an eTA using the passport of the visa-exempt country.

–  Lawful permanent residents of the United States (Green Card holders)
Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda who are Green Card holders need an eTA to travel to or transit through Canada by plane. If an individual previously held an eTA, a new one will be required. These travellers must travel to Canada with their U.S. Green Card and valid passport.

Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda who are Green Card holders who are not travelling to Canada by plane need to carry their U.S. Green Card and valid passport when crossing the border into Canada.

–  Visitors, students and temporary workers in Canada
All existing status documents for temporary visit, study, or work in Canada remain valid. However, citizens of Antigua and Barbuda who plan to travel outside Canada must obtain a visa to return to Canada.

Impact

The new visa requirement for citizens of Antigua and Barbuda will make it more difficult and costly for citizens of this country to travel to Canada. Therefore, citizens of Antigua and Barbuda and employers recruiting from this country should be cognizant of this new requirement and plan accordingly.

For further details regarding the new visa requirement for citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

United States: Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”

Posted by Immigration Law Team|US Immigration
Jun 17
26


In brief

On Monday June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed parts of President Donald Trump’s executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” to go into effect.  The Supreme Court will hear full arguments as to the order’s legality in October.  However, in the meantime the decision allows the Executive Order to go into effect for people with no strong ties to the United States.

Background

The Executive Order calls for a 90-day travel ban of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and directs heads of executive agencies to review and determine the procedures that should be required for individuals seeking admission from these countries.  Furthermore, the Order seeks to reduce the cap on the admission of refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year.

On March 15, 2017 the Federal District Court of Hawaii granted a temporary restraining order with nationwide effect, preventing the enforcement of the travel restriction.  The District Court’s ruling was challenged by the government and upheld by The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on March 30, 2017.  The Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court’s ruling, completely blocking the Executive Order, on the basis that it was discriminatory and failed to provide sufficient rationale as to why the entry of foreign nationals from the designated countries would be detrimental to the United States’ interests.

On Monday June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court granted parts of the Trump administration’s request to put the order into effect while the legal battle continues.  The court narrowed the scope of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling and determined that the Order will go into effect “with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”  The ruling indicates that people from the six countries and refugees who have family, business or educational ties would not be barred from entry.  But those seeking visas to enter the United States with no such ties could be barred.

The Supreme Court’s opinion explained that “for individuals, a close familial relationship is required.” For people who want to come to the United States to work or study, “the relationship must be formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course, not for the purpose of evading” the travel ban.

Recommendations

Although the travel ban remains suspended for U.S. workers with formal ties to the United States, nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who are physically present in the US are advised to either extremely limit their international travel or not travel out of the country at all.  Those concerned that they are not eligible for entry should seek counsel regarding entering the US as soon as possible. Additionally, affected nationals should closely monitor the situation over the coming months, especially since the Order’s legality is expected to be decided by the US Supreme Court this fall.

PwC Law continues to monitor these developments and will be sure to provide updates as changes occur.

For further details regarding the Executive Order, or any other immigration matters, please contact a member of our team.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »