On February 27, 2018, the Canadian government released Budget 2018, entitled ‘Equality + Growth – A Strong Middle Class.’
Budget 2018 commits to increasing the budget allocated to Canada’s Start-up Visa Program in order to match demand from global entrepreneurs wishing to start up a business via the Start-up Visa Program, and spur job creation in Canada. In July 2017, the Canadian Government announced that the Start-up Visa Program, previously launched as a five year pilot program, would become a permanent immigration stream effective March 31, 2018. Following from this, Budget 2018 allocates CAD $4.6 million over five years to enhance client service within the program by enabling online applications, and facilitating the processing requirements for program applicants, private sector partners, and immigration personnel.
Budget 2018 also commits CAD $194.1 million over five years to better ensure employers’ compliance with various aspects of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”) and International Mobility Program (“IMP”). The funding will target unannounced inspections under the TFWP, the continued operation of the compliance regime under the IMP, and the ongoing collection of labour market data related to open work permits.
Although not yet available online, moving to an electronic application system removes significant administrative burdens previously faced by Start-up Visa applicants, and will very likely reduce the current and lengthy processing times, thereby sparking growth in Canada.
Currently, the Government has committed to inspecting 1 in 4 employers under the IMP. Budget 2018’s funding to this regime will likely result in employers being subject to more inspections than before. Finally, previously identified as by stakeholders an under-used inspection power, the specific budgetary commitment to unannounced site visits may increase the frequency with which this power is employed by inspectors.
For more information on the Start-up Visa Program, employers’ obligations under the TFWP and IMP, or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.