List of Institutions in British Columbia Eligible to Participate in the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program Has Been Expanded

Posted by Donna Habsha|Canada Immigration
Feb 11

Retroactive to January 31, 2011, eight (8) additional institutions in British Columbia have been found eligible to participate in the recently launched pilot program to expand the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). The additional institutions have received “Education Quality Assurance” (EQA).

This pilot will be in effect between January 31, 2011, and January 31, 2013, inclusively and may be extended with a mutual agreement between the parties. These dates refer only to the period in which qualifying work permits can be issued and not to the duration of the work permits. The terms of the pilot will apply only to qualifying foreign nationals who have graduated from eligible programs of study at select EQA-designated, private post-secondary institutions in the Province of British Columbia.

Eligible institutions under this pilot program

Degree-Granting Institutions: Alexander College; Columbia College; Fairleigh Dickinson University Vancouver; Quest University Canada; Sprott-Shaw Degree College; Trinity Western University; University Canada West

Non-Degree Granting Institution: Arbutus College of Communication Arts; Business and Technology; Ashton College; Canadian Tourism College; Centre for Arts and Technology; Eton College; Greystone College; John Casablancas Institute of Applied Arts; Mountain Transport Institute Ltd.; MTI Community College; Omni College; Pacific Audio Visual Institute; Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts; Pacific Rim Early Childhood Institute; Sprott-Shaw Community College; Stenberg College; Universal Learning Institute; Vancouver Central College; Vancouver Film School; Vancouver Institute of Media Arts.

To find out whether you qualify for a post-graduate work permit in British Columbia or any other Province or Territory contact our office and ask to speak with one of our immigration lawyers.

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

Federal Skilled Worker Cap reached for only 2 of 29 Eligible Occupations

Posted by Immi Sikand|Global Immigration
Feb 11

The Federal Skilled Worker eligibility criteria changed on June 26, 2010 to allow a maximum of 1000 permanent residence applications per eligible occupation, to a maximum of 20,000, to be considered for processing until June 30, 2011.   As of February 15, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) received 7,772 applications out of the maximum of 20,000 that can be processed and only 2 of the 29 eligible occupations have reached the cap: Registered Nurses and Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management.    CIC has received 827 applications from Pharmacists, which appears to be fast approaching the cap.  Conversely, many of the other eligible occupations, such as Licenced Practical Nurses, Plumbers and Physiotherapists are still far-off from reaching the cap.

These limits to not apply to Federal Skilled Worker applications with an offer of arranged employment (indeterminate job offer).

Posted by Immi Sikand » No Comments »

Permanent Resident Visas to Drop By 5%

Posted by Donna Habsha|Canada Immigration
Feb 11

The federal government has announced it aims to reduce overall immigration next year by five percent, mainly by cutting back on family reunification visas. The government has stated it will issue about 11,000 visas this year to parents and grandparents of Canadian residents, down from more than 16,000 last year.

This means that parents who have been sponsored could wait 10 years or more to receive their permanent resident status. The parental sponsorship backlog now contains more than 300,000 applications.

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

CIC Eliminates Warranty Requirement for Emergency Repair Work Permits

Posted by Melodie Hughes|Canada Immigration
Feb 11

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has lifted previously-imposed restrictions on the issuance of LMO-exempt work permits to facilitate the entry of skilled individuals required to perform emergency repairs on commercial or industrial equipment in Canada.

Under Canada’s immigration laws, foreign workers may obtain a work permit without a Labour Market Opinion where their entry to Canada is required to carry out emergency repairs to industrial equipment in order to prevent disruption of employment in Canada, and where they have sufficient documentation to support the urgent nature of their work. In August 2010, CIC announced that the above exemption from a Labour Market Opinion only applied so long as the equipment requiring emergency repair was still under warranty.

In its most recent updates to Canada’s temporary foreign worker guidelines, however, CIC has lifted this requirement. Moving forward, workers and companies applying for an LMO-exempt work permit under this category no longer need to show that the equipment requiring repairs is under warranty. Previous criteria, including proof of the emergency, still apply.

For further details on this and other LMO-exempt work permit categories, contact a PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP professional.

Posted by Melodie Hughes » 1 Comment »

Part 6 of Form I-129 On Export Controls/ITAR Come Into Effect on February 20, 2011

Posted by Marwah Serag|US Immigration
Feb 11

Begining February 20, 2011, employer’s using the I-129 petition to obtain certain U.S. work visas for foreign nationals, are required to complete an attestation regarding export controls.  By way of background, U.S. law prohibits the release or “export” of certain technology and technical data to certain foreign nationals within the U.S., without a license.  The new I-129 form requires employers to review the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and to classify the type of technology or technical data that will be released or accessed by the foreign national in order to assess whether an export license is required before releasing this technology or data to the individual.  This new attestation regarding export controls affects H-1B, L-1, and O-1 petitions.  Contact one of the Bomza Law Group’s U.S. attorneys to ensure that your company has complied with the new I-129 attestation requirements.

Posted by Marwah Serag » No Comments »

PEI to announce new Investor’s Provincial Nominee Program

Feb 11

The P.E.I. government is expected to introduce a new immigrant investors’ provincial nominee program (PNP) in about a month.  Unlike previous P.E.I. investor programs, there will be a cap on the number of nominations that are accepted.  The federal government has limited the cap to 400 applications.  The new PNP will allow immigrants to either buy a one-third ownership in a P.E.I. company or invest $1 million for five years as a loan, although the specific rules for eligibility have yet to be confirmed.    The new PNP  for P.E.I. will also change to allow farmers and fishermen to be eligible under the program in order to encourage investment in the primary sectors.

Posted by Immi Sikand » No Comments »

Failure to Declare Accompanying or Non-Accompanying Dependents Could Ultimately Result in Your Canadian Permanent Residence Being Taken Away

Feb 11

PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP was recently successful in arguing for the  closure of an investigation against our Permanent Resident Client who, prior to hiring our law firm, failed to declare her dependent son on her application for permanent residence. As a result of our success our Client is grateful to no longer be at risk of having her  permanent residence taken away from her.

If you are an applicant for Canadian permanent residence, you are required to declare all dependents on your application whether they are accompanying you to Canada or not.

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

Changes to the AINP Employer-Driven Stream, Semi-Skilled Worker Category – Hotel and Lodging Criteria

Posted by Melodie Hughes|Canada Immigration
Feb 11

On February 4, 2011, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) announced key changes to its hotel and lodging criteria for all applications submitted through the employer-driven stream, semi-skilled worker category.

Effective April 1, 2011, Alberta Employers and Candidates in the Hotel and Lodging Industry will be subject to new industry-specific criteria regarding English language assessments, work experience and professional certification. Specifically, Alberta-based employers and candidates will need to meet the following:

Employer Criteria
As of April 1, 2011, an Alberta Employer in the hotel and lodging industry, must meet the following criteria in order to nominate a foreign national under the AINP:

    – Be a member in good standing with the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and adopt the association’s prescribed practices with respect to hiring and employing temporary foreign workers.

    – Be aware that you are eligible for a maximum number of allocations per calendar year for Food and Beverage Servers and Room Attendants based on the total number of rooms at a property.

    – Be aware that you are only eligible for one allocation per property, per calendar year for the occupation of Front Desk Agent/Clerk.

    – Have satisfactory recruitment strategies and conditions, employment policies and practices, retention and settlement in order to qualify for allocations.

Candidate Criteria
As a Candidate in the hotel and lodging industry, you must:

    – Show that you are competent in listening, reading, speaking, and writing English prior to nomination by submitting language testing results (IELTS preferred) with your application. The test results must be one of:
      > International English Language Testing System (IELTS) that show a minimum of 4.0 in each of listening, reading, speaking, and writing; or,
      > Canadian Language Benchmark test results using an approved CLB assessment tool that shows a minimum level of 4 achieved in each of listening, reading, speaking, and writing; or,
      > Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) computer-based total score of 137, a TOEFL internet-based total score of 47, or TOEFL paper-based total score of 457.
    – Have a total of three (3) years of work experience in a job directly related to the hotel and lodging industry (abroad and/or in Canada), as evidenced through reference letters

    – Be employed in Alberta for a minimum of six months before applying to the AINP.

Transitional Process
Prior to April 1, 2011, applications will be accepted with documentation supporting either the current criteria or the new criteria indicated above. Applications postmarked on or after April 1, 2011, will be assessed based on the new criteria only.

Posted by Melodie Hughes » No Comments »