Canada: Changes to the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Sep 17
5


In brief

On September 1, 2017 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published updates to the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program.

Discussion

IRCC announced an update to the newly implemented application intake process for the Parents and Grandparents Program. Under the new process, which took effect January 3, 2017, Canadian citizens and permanent residents who wanted to sponsor their parents and grandparents to reside in Canada had to first complete an online form and join a pool of applicants from which they would be randomly selected.

As of this year, 10,000 individuals were selected and invited to submit an application to sponsor their parents and grandparents. They were given 90 calendar days to submit their applications which fell due on August 4, 2017. However, IRCC did not receive 10,000 complete applications by the deadline and thus a second round of emails will be sent on September 6, 2017, to invite additional potential sponsors to submit an application.

In this second round of invitations, only those who have been randomly selected will receive an email inviting them to submit an application. These potential sponsors will have until December 8, 2017 to submit their completed applications to IRCC, excluding those potential sponsors who were invited in the first round, but did not submit their applications. Those potential sponsors will not have another chance to submit their applications in 2017.

As of September 6, 2017, potential sponsors can confirm whether or not they have been selected by looking up their unique Confirmation Number and comparing it to the list of numbers that were randomly selected.

Impact

Those who were not randomly selected in the first round of invitations now have an opportunity to submit an application, if they are selected in this second round of random selection. Potential sponsors should check their Confirmation Number as well as their emails, to see whether they have been selected to apply.   

For more information on sponsorship applications under the Parent and Grandparent Program, please contact PwC Law LLP.


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Canada: Changes to passport and immigration documents

Aug 17
25


In brief

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has formally announced that the Government of Canada will be working to implement an “X” gender designation in Canadian passports and other documents issued by the IRCC.

Discussion

This proposal will allow the government to support the LGBTQ2 community, as well as advance their agenda on gender equality, diversity and inclusion by implementing an “X” gender designation, making it easier for people who do not identify as female (“F”) or male (“M”) to acquire passports and other government-issued documents that better reflect their gender identity.

Starting August 31, 2017, IRCC will be the first Government of Canada department to introduce interim measures, which include allowing individuals to add an observation to their passport stating that their sex should be identified as “X,” which indicates that it is unspecified. These interim measures will be available until IRCC is able to print official documents with an “X” gender designation. More information will be published by IRCC on August 31, 2017.

Impact

Minister Hussen’s announcement follows steps to protect Canadians in their right to the gender identity of their choice, and freedom of gender expression. In the coming months, the Government of Canada will continue working on developing a consistent approach to how it collects, uses and displays sex and gender information so Canadians can have their gender more accurately reflected in government documents while also protecting their privacy.

For more information on the future changes to passports and other immigration documents, or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.


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Canada: Changes made to the Start-up Visa Program

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Aug 17
21


In brief

On August 19, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published updates to the Start-up Visa Program.

Discussion

These revisions have amended both the technical elements of the Start-up Visa Program as well as the list of designated entities.

A number of new entities have been added to the Designated Business Incubator list, the Designated Angel Investor Group list, and the Designated Venture Capital Funds list. Some entities previously included in these lists have now been removed.

In addition to the designated entities lists, further technical changes include the Minister’s ability to temporarily suspend an entity from the program upon giving notice, and updated review requirements against which to assess a designated entity’s commitment to an Applicant’s business. Further, deciding officers now hold the discretion to refuse to issue a permanent resident visa when they are of the opinion that the designated entity did not assess the Applicant’s business in a manner sufficient with industry standards. These changes will apply as of August 19, 2017.

Impact

While these changes are largely technical in nature and do not impact the initial eligibility requirements of the program, updates to the list of designated entities will ensure that those partners trusted with the authority to grant access to the start-up visa program represent those organizations with the requisite expertise and experience to do so. These new changes also impact the Minister and Minister’s delegates’ oversight of the program.

Based on these changes, prospective applicants to the Start-up Visa Program are advised to review the updated list of designated entities to ensure the organization with whom they wish to work remains designated for the purposes of the Program.

For more information on Canada’s Start-up Visa Program, or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.


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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


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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Canada: Procedural changes to Rehabilitation and Temporary Resident Permits (TRP) applications in US

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Jul 17
26


On August 1, 2017, procedural changes with respect to applications for rehabilitation and TRPs filed in the United States will come into effect. These procedural changes are as follows:

1. All Rehabilitation applications are to be sent to the visa office in New York (unless they form part of an application for permanent residence)

2. All TRP applications are to be sent to the visa office in Los Angeles (unless they form part of a work permit or temporary resident visa application that is being sent to New York)

After a brief grace period, applications sent to the wrong office will be forwarded to the correct office without notice, or returned to the sender.

Effective July 19, 2017, visa offices in the USA will only accept online payments for these applications. The PDF receipt must be included in the application package. Visa offices will continue to cash instruments “in the mail” which were issued prior to July 19, 2017, during a brief grace period.


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Canada: New recruitment requirement for high-wage LMIAs

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Jul 17
26


In Brief

As of August 28, 2017, all employers applying for high-wage Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) will be required to use Service Canada’s new Job Match service to meet the LMIA minimum recruitment requirements.

Discussion

The Job Match service, which is part of Service Canada’s National Job Bank site, will identify job seekers whose profiles indicate that they possess the advertised skills and qualifications for a particular position. The job seeker’s profile will then be forwarded to the employer and ranked on a scale of one to five stars based on the compatibility between the job seeker’s skillset and the eligibility criteria for the role. Any employer who, during the first 30 days of their job posting, receives a match of four stars or higher will be required to invite that applicant to apply for the position.

Impact

Employers who file a high-wage LMIA before August 28, 2017 will not be required to use the Job Match service. However, any employers who conduct recruitment activities and/or submit LMIA applications after this date will be required to provide proof that they have used the Job Match service.

For more information on the minimum recruitment requirements for high-wage LMIAs or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.


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Canada: The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s (OINP) Foreign Worker with a Job Offer stream has re-opened as of July 20, 2017

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Jul 17
20


In brief

The OINP’s Foreign Worker with a Job Offer stream, which was paused in June 2017, reopened today, July 20, 2017.

Discussion

The Foreign Worker with a Job Offer category has been streamlined and is now nominee-driven. It was launched on May 31, 2017 and was paused on June 10, 2017. The re-opening of this stream today indicates that the program’s quota has not yet been reached.

It is important to note that the employee and employer selection criteria and processing fees remain unchanged.

Impact

The re-opening of the streamlined Foreign Worker with a Job Offer stream may simplify and expedite the process for skilled workers who want to pursue permanent residence in Canada.

For more information about the OINP’s Foreign Worker with a Job Offer stream, please contact a member of our team at
PwC Law LLP.


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