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.


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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.


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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 » No Comments »