Harper government claims to have reduced Canada’s immigration backlog by 40%

Mar 13

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) says the total immigration wait list at the end of 2012 was down to 616,271 from more than one million the year before.

Measures to reduce the backlog include a moratorium on applications from immigrant investors and entrepreneurs, as well as parents and grandparents of immigrants. The government has said it plans to resume accepting a set number of applications under the family reunification program in early 2014.

In addition, in April 2013 CIC will launch a start-up visa program which is a new visa class aimed at recruiting immigrant entrepreneurs by linking them with experienced private sector organizations that have expertise working with start-ups. Visas will be issued to immigrants selected by venture capital investors as candidates to launch start-ups in Canada. Immigrants under the start-up visa class will receive immediate, non-conditional, permanent resident status. The government will grant a maximum of 2,750 visas a year for each of the five years of the pilot program.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Minister Jason Kenney dismissed suggestions that simply accepting more immigrants would have reduced the backlog and says doing so would have left more than a million people in the queue by 2015. While shorter processing times holds promise for future immigrants, unfortunately this is on the back of the many pre-2008 Federal Skilled Worker applicants whose applications were cancelled after waiting for a decision for more than eight years in some cases.

For more information on any Canadian or US immigration matter, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com or 1-800-993-9971.

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

Jason Kenney Tweets: “New rules make it harder to hire temporary foreign workers”

Mar 13

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney yesterday announced via Twitter that: “New rules make it harder to hire temporary foreign workers”. His comment was in reference to the 2013 Federal Budget, introduced in March 21, 2013, which contains several proposed measures aimed at reforming Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program “to ensure that Canadians are given the first chance at available jobs”.

While details of the upcoming changes are yet to be confirmed, the proposed Government action includes

  • Working with employers to ensure that temporary foreign workers are relied upon only when Canadians genuinely cannot fill those jobs.
  • Increasing the recruitment efforts that employers must make to hire Canadians before they will be eligible to apply for temporary foreign workers, including increasing the length and reach of advertising.
  • Assisting employers who legitimately rely on temporary foreign workers, due to a lack of qualified Canadian applicants, find ways to ensure that they have a plan to transition to a Canadian workforce over time.

Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to restrict the identification of non-official languages as job requirements when hiring through the Temporary Foreign Worker process.

In addition, the government will also look at introducing user fees for employers applying for temporary foreign workers under the labour market opinion process.

For more information on any Canadian or US immigration matter, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com or 1-800-993-9971.

Posted by Joy Sisca » No Comments »

Spouse or Common-law Partners of Skilled Workers

Mar 13

A national of a Temporary Resident Visa requiring country, working in Canada with authorization in a skilled position, attended our office for advice following his wife’s receipt of refusal of an open spousal work permit. Pursuant to section 205(C)(ii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, spouses or common-law partners of skilled individuals coming into Canada as Temporary Foreign Workers, may themselves be eligible for an open work permit without the requirement of applying for a labour market opinion. While this particular couple met the foregoing requirements, it appeared that the visa post was trying to secure the Temporary Foreign Worker’s return to his home country by refusing his spouse’s entry.  While the objectively ascertainable facts and balance of probabilities were in favour of the Applicant Spouse and the Foreign Worker, it appears that the Visa post simply did not like the open spousal permit program. In this particular case the Foreign Worker received provincial nomination shortly following our consultation and we were therefore successful with the resubmission of the spousal work permit application with accompanying evidence of the provincial nomination. While a pending permanent resident application or provincial nomination of the principal permit holder could help support the issuance of an open spousal work permit, unfortunately it does not guarantee it.

For more information on any Canadian or US immigration matter, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com or 1-800-993-9971

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »