Preparing for Labour Demands in Western Canada

Posted by Donna Habsha|Canada Immigration
May 11

The Canadian federal government has resumed granting approval for companies to fly in trades workers from other countries to ensure western Canada’s oil sands projects aren’t slowed down by labour shortages. Alberta will need tens of thousands of new workers in coming years as it attempts to cope with major spending commitments from some of the world’s largest petroleum companies, including giants from Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

The Alberta government says the province will be short 77,000 workers in the next 10 years. The Petroleum Human Resources Council has predicted up to 130,000 new workers will be needed in the coming decade, both to staff new jobs and replace retirements.

Depending on the country of origin – a factor that affects the speed of visa processing at local embassies – it can take between four and six months to gain government approval to bring in a foreign worker. That’s why companies are advised to start working on recruiting foreign workers as soon as possible to avoid labour interruptions.

According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada in the first four months of this year, Alberta companies applied to bring in 9,910 temporary foreign workers.

Once in Canada, Temporary Foreign Workers may be eligible for Canadian Permanent Residence through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program.

For further information regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker and Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program, contact our office to speak with one of our lawyers.

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

Shortage of Skilled Workers in Canada’s Mining Industry

May 11

A shortage of labour threatens to diminish growth in Canada’s junior mining sector.  As reported by the Globe & Mail, the mining industry could face a labour shortfall of 60,000 unfilled positions in the next six years in a broad range of professions – management,  geologists, engineers, accountants.  The shortage is explained by the lack of young people entering the industry during the 1990’s and the large number of skilled employees who will be retiring soon.  Canada’s Mining Industry Human Resources Council estimates 40% of employees in the mining sector are going to retire by 2020.

It is clear that Citizenship and Immigration Canada needs to recognize the shortage of professionals in the mining industry and implement strategic immigration policies for Canadian work permits and permanent residence to attract skilled foreign nationals which will help facilitate further growth in Canada’s mining industry.

Posted by Immi Sikand » No Comments »

DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status to Haitians

Posted by Immigration Law Team|US Immigration
May 11

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) demonstrated the humanitarian side of its immigration responsibilities today and took an important step on behalf of Haitians affected by Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010. Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that DHS would extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an additional eighteen months for Haitians currently living in the United States. She also announced that she would permit Haitians who arrived up to one year after the earthquake, many of whom came in on visitor visas and other authorized measures, to apply for TPS. Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, issued the following statement:

“We applaud DHS’s decision both to extend the timing of TPS and to broaden the scope of people who qualify for it. In the chaotic days following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the men and women of DHS worked hard to provide relief to survivors, admitting many people temporarily to save them from devastation, disease, and starvation. While DHS quickly designated TPS status for those Haitians residing in the U.S. at the time of the earthquake, many others who came to the U.S. within days or weeks of the disaster were ineligible for TPS, but were also unable to return home. Today’s announcement addresses these problems and recognizes the extraordinary need for a compassionate and humane response to the devastation in Haiti.

Today’s decision by the Secretary is evidence of the power of the Executive branch to shape the implementation of existing immigration law. Secretary Napolitano could have declined to extend TPS or make more people eligible, because the law did not require her to do so. But because she had the discretion to revisit the original determination, and ultimately used it to expand the range of people eligible for this protection, the U.S. will be able to help thousands of people who might otherwise have faced deportation to Haiti and enormous suffering. However, DHS will continue to deport some Haitians back to Haiti. We urge DHS to continue to exercise discretion with respect to Haitians still facing deportation and others adversely affected by harsh immigration policies who are eligible for immigration relief.”

Posted by Immigration Law Team » No Comments »

CIC to Speed Up Processing of Successful Family Class Appeals

Posted by Donna Habsha|Canada Immigration
May 11

One of the frustrations people who successfully appeal family class decisions to the Immigration Appeal Division (“IAD”) is the delay between when the IAD allows an appeal and when a mission abroad resumes processing. 

In response to this issue Citizenship and Immigration Canada  has introduced a pilot project. Following a successful appeal, the processing of a Family Class Application for a Permanent Residence Visa will no longer be sent back to the original embassy, but rather will resume at Case Processing Pilot – Ottawa (CPP-O).

The implementation of the pilot project will take place in two phases.

From now until September 2011, all successful family class appeals will be forwarded to CPP-O.  CPP-O will create a file, conduct security checks, and forward the file to the respective visa office for processing.

Starting in September, CPP-O will conduct security checks, and then triage the files into relatively low admissibility risk files and complex ones.  For relatively low risk files, CPP-O will process the entire file, and print the Confirmation of Permanent Residence.  Files that are identified as having complex admissibility issues will still be forwarded abroad.

These procedural changes will hopefully significantly reduce processing times following success at the IAD.

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

L1-A Intra-Company Transfer Visa for USA Received in Record Time

Posted by Donna Habsha|US Immigration
May 11

Recently our law firm obtained approval of an L1-A Intra Company Transfer Visa to the U.S.A. in record time. Our client attended at our office following receipt of a Request for Evidence (RFE) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). We were able to assemble a succinct and detailed response addressing the specific questions and concerns raised in the RFE.  Given our client’s urgent need to enter the U.S. in order to set up their company’s U.S. branch they were delighted and relieved to receive the L1-A Visa so quickly following our involvement.

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

Key Changes to Work Permit and CAQ Requirements in Quebec

Posted by Melodie Hughes|Canada Immigration
May 11

Yesterday, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced a key change in the requirements for obtaining a work permit in Quebec.

With the recent amendments to the Règlement sur la sélection des ressortissants étrangers (regulations on the selection of foreign nationals coming to work in the province of Quebec), CIC has confirmed that all offers of employment in Quebec of less than 30 calendar days, regardless of National Occupational Classification category, will no longer require prior evaluation from the Ministère de l’immigration et des communautés culturelles du Québec (MICC).

Previously, Canada’s foreign worker regulations and guidelines mandated that any Labour Market Opinion applications for individuals entering the province of Quebec to work for more than 5 days would also require an evaluation of the offer of employment by the MICC, which would in turn issue a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ). Now, companies seeking to employ a foreign national for up to 30 days in the province of Quebec will no longer need to go through the additional CAQ process.

While all other requirements remain the same and Service Canada will continue to issue LMOs for these jobs, it is expected that this change will greatly facilitate the issuance of work permits for many temporary workers in Quebec.

For more details or for information on how to obtain a work permit to work in Quebec or any other province in Canada, contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP!

Posted by Melodie Hughes » No Comments »

Toronto Lauded as #2 Global “Metro Powerhouse”

May 11

Toronto was named as one of the world’s most powerful metros in a recent report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers that ranked global capitals of finance, innovation and tourism.  An overall second only to New York City, Toronto was ranked #1 in quality of living, clean air, sports and leisure and skyscraper construction.

What helps make Toronto great?  Canada’s immigration policies, which allow Toronto to grow, retain and attract talent.

Posted by Immi Sikand » No Comments »

Update on Transit Without Visa Program

Posted by Karen|Canada Immigration
May 11

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in co-operation with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced the formalization of the TWOV Program pilot at the Vancouver International Airport (VIA) in July 2009. The TWOV Program allows certain foreign nationals with valid United States visas, travelling to and from the United States, to transit through Canada without having to first obtain a Canadian visa.

The objective of the TWOV Program is to facilitate the movement of bona fide travellers transiting through Canada while maintaining the security of Canadians and the integrity of Canada’s immigration and refugee protection programs. This program will also improve the international competitiveness of Canadian airports by making them more attractive to airlines and travellers originating from or destined to the United States.

As of March 2011, the TWOV Program has expanded to include Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (PIA).

Please contact the lawyers at PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP to discuss whether or not you may require a visa to transit through Canada.

Posted by Karen » No Comments »