Express Entry: Things are About to Change

Dec 14
23


Beginning on January 1, 2015, the Express Entry system will introduce a whole new procedure for managing Foreign Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Foreign Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applications more efficiently. The new system will involve the following steps:

1) Creating a profile on the national Job Bank, and registering for the Express Entry system;

2) Applicants will be entered into a candidate pool, and will be given a ranking depending on their stated qualifications. A maximum of 1200 points may be awarded to each candidate;

3) Candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if they have: (a) a job offer and a valid LMIA; (b) a PNP offer; or (c) very high rankings;

4) Upon receiving an ITA, a candidate will have 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residency, which will be processed in six (6) months or less.

Several aspects of the Express Entry system continue to raise questions, such as the frequency of ITA draws, the challenge of acquiring police certificates and medical examinations within the 60 day limit of an ITA, and the impact of the system’s unpredictability.

Nevertheless, CIC believes that the benefits of the Express Entry system will make the transition worthwhile. The system is designed to be more responsive to employer needs, as it prioritizes candidates based on their ranking, regardless of when they applied. Proponents of the system say that Express Entry will give employers a more direct impact on economic immigration to Canada, and the government has stated that its objective is to admit 180,000 economic immigrants in 2015 through the Express Entry system.

For further details regarding the Express Entry system, or assistance in utilizing this new application system, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

 


Posted by Immigration Law Team » No Comments »

Favoriser l’immigration francophone au Canada

Sep 14
17


Le 9 Septembre 2014, le ministre de la Citoyenneté et de l’Immigration du Canada, Chris Alexander, a exprimé son engagement à lancer, au cours des prochains mois, des consultations dans le but d’augmenter le nombre d’immigrants d’expression française qui s’établissent dans les communautés francophones hors Québec, ainsi que de renforcer la vitalité et le dynamisme de ces communautés.

En tant que francophone cherchant à immigrer au Canada, le premier instinct est, généralement, de se tourner vers le Québec où la langue familière de Molière est d’usage. Cependant, une fois les premières frayeurs liées à l’immersion anglophone passées, il est intéressant de découvrir que le reste du Canada offre de nombreuses opportunités pour ceux qui osent s’y aventurer. Que ce soit pour un séjour de courte durée ou une installation permanente, vivre au Canada en tant que francophone s’avèrera toujours être un atout dans votre vie professionnelle et personnelle.

Que votre choix se porte sur le Québec ou une toute autre province Canadienne, il existe de nombreuses options en termes d’immigration offertes aux francophones :

1. L’initiative Expérience Internationale Canada (qui comprend le permis vacances-travail, le permis jeunes professionnelles, le permis stage, le permis job d’été pour étudiants, etc.);

2. Le permis de travail dispensé de l’étude d’impact sur le marché du travail sous la catégorie C10-avantage important francophone;

3. La résidence permanente; et

4. La citoyenneté Canadienne.

Que ce soit en mode baroudeur ou en « golden boy » dans une grande métropole, le Canada n’a pas fini de vous impressionner, après tout, ce n’est pas pour rien qu’en moyenne 250,000 immigrants y déposent leurs valises chaque année…

Pour de plus amples renseignements sur les services offerts par PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP et pour savoir comment on peut vous aider à faire de votre rêve Canadien une réalité, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter au 1-800-993-9971 ou pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com.


Posted by Amandine Kagabo » No Comments »

Happy 2014! New Year – New Immigration

Jan 14
3


Citizenship and Immigration Canada has taken the new year as an opportunity to update, introduce, and amend a variety of Canadian Immigration programs.  The start of 2014 has been very busy in the Immigration world and below I provide a summary of the changes we have seen over the last week.

1.  The reopening of the Parent and Grandparent Family Class sponsorship Programs, which has newly established annual caps on applications to be accepted, higher financing requirements, as well as longer financial support obligations;

2.  Issuance of New Labour Market Opinion forms requiring employer undertakings to review salaries and positions on an annual basis to ensure continuing compliance, and to allow Service Canada to perform onsite spot checks; and

3.  New Ministerial Instructions for the LMO applications to be refused or revoked, as well as the resulting work permits based on unresolvable non-compliance with the LMO conditions.

 

We were also anticipating that the age of dependent children would also be changed at the beginning of 2014 from 22 (or 24 if continuously a fulltime student), to under 19.  This changes has been temporarily postponed and we currently anticipate that the change will be implemented around May 2014.

Other changes that we can anticipate during 2014 are the following:

1.  Changes to requirements to qualify for citizenship; and

2.  Changes to the requirements for work permits based on Intra-company Transferees.

 

In addition, when we look back at 2013 we also see changes such as the loss of the Accelerated LMO, the regular closing of a variety of visas posts around the world, the movement toward electronic application filing, the re-introduction of the new Federal Skilled Worker Permanent Residence Program and changes to the Canadian Experience Class Permanent Residence Program.

 

It feels like Canadian Immigration has completely changed on almost all fronts in the last year and 2014 promised more of the same.  Immigration in Canada is moving quickly and steadily across all Immigration sectors.  When planning relocations and changes of Immigration status in Canada it is becoming increasingly important to seek professional assistance as Canadian Immigration becomes more complex and demanding.


Posted by Sarah Adler » 2 Comments »

Changes to Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Announced

Posted by Nina Modi|Canadian Experience Class
Nov 13
8


On 08 November 2013, Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) Minister Chris Alexander announced changes to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Done in the spirit of “reducing backlogs and processing times,” CIC is introducing an annual cap on the number of new CEC applications. CIC will only accept a maximum of 12,000 new applications under the CEC from 09 November 2013 to 31 October 2014.

Despite the annual cap on applications, the department will admit approximately 15,000 individuals under the CEC in 2014.

CIC will also be introducing limits on the number applications under certain occupations in order to prevent “an overrepresentation of certain occupations in the program.” Effective 09 November 2013, CIC will introduce sub-caps of 200 applications for each National Occupational Classification (NOC) B occupations. NOC B occupations tend to be in the skilled trades and are typically technical or administrative in nature.

Meanwhile, NOC 0 and A (managerial and professional) occupations will not be sub-capped.  They will, however, remain subject to the overall cap of 12,000 applications.

In addition, six occupations will no longer be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class as of 09 November 2013.  These include:

  • cooks (NOC code 6322);
  • food service supervisors (NOC 6311);
  • administrative officers (NOC 1221);
  • administrative assistants (NOC 1241);
  • accounting technicians and bookkeepers (NOC 1311);      and
  • retail sales supervisors (NOC 6211).

And lastly, effective 09 November 2013, CIC will be verifying language ability upfront; note that the same language criteria will be maintained.  Applicants who do not meet the required language proficiency will have their applications returned to them along with the processing fee.

More information to follow.

 


Posted by Nina Modi » 2 Comments »

Additional Details of New Federal Skilled Worker Program Unveiled

Apr 13
18


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) last week released further information regarding changes to the new Federal Skilled Worker Program which will come into effect on May 4, 2013.

By way of background, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is one of the Government of Canada’s main permanent immigration programs. Under this program, applicants are selected based on a points system that assesses applicants’ overall capacity to adapt to Canada’s labour market, based on factors which include: age, education, work experience, proficiency in Canada’s official languages and other criteria that have been shown to help immigrants become economically established in Canada. In June 2012, the Government placed a temporary pause on most new applications to the FSWP while they sought to re-design the program, with the goal of moving towards a faster, more flexible immigration system. It has since been confirmed that the new FSWP will open on May 4, 2013, and last week’s announcement provided some additional details as to the parameters of the new Program.

Key details of the announcement are as follows:

  • A new eligible occupations list, with a total of 24 occupations, has been released and can be found at the following link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/backgrounders/2013/2013-04-18.asp#list.  The eligible occupations stream will be capped at 5,000 applications in total, with sub-caps of 300 applications in each of the 24 eligible occupations.
  • Four organizations have now been designated by CIC to carry out education credentials assessments, which are now mandatory for all FSWP applicants. The list of designated organizations can be found here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/backgrounders/2013/2013-04-18.asp#educ.
  • All FSWP applicants must now meet a minimum language threshold of Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in all four language skill areas (speaking, reading, writing and oral comprehension), as confirmed by a test report from a designated third-party language testing organizations.
  • Effective May 4, 2013, CIC will no longer accept an Arranged Employment Opinion from Human Resources and Development Canada in support of a FSWP application.  Instead, most Arranged Employment offers will require a Labour Market Opinion.
  • CIC will release new FSWP application forms prior to the Program re-launch on May 4, 2013.

Given the caps on the number of applications to be accepted for processing under the eligible occupations stream, which are significantly lower than the caps implemented in prior years, prospective FSWP applicants should begin preparing their applications for submission as soon as possible after the new Program comes into effect on May 4, 2013.

As the Federal Skilled Worker Program becomes increasingly restrictive, the popularity of other Permanent Residence programs, such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), is likely to grow.  The CEC offers a pathway to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers with high-skilled Canadian work experience.  In order to qualify for permanent residence under the CEC, applicants must have at least 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada in the three years before their application, which must have been gained with the proper authorization.  Applicants must also meet the minimum language thresholds for their occupation.

If you would like to discuss your options for a Permanent Residence Application under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Canadian Experience Class, we invite you to contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at 1-800-993-9971 or pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com.


Posted by Joy Sisca » No Comments »

Labour Market Opinion Processing Delays Anticipated as Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program Comes Under Scrutiny

Apr 13
16


In the wake of recent media coverage concerning perceived abuses of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Canadian Government has confirmed its commitment to reviewing and reforming the Program to ensure that it is meeting its purpose and that temporary foreign workers are being brought in only where qualified Canadians are genuinely unavailable. While a number of planned reforms to the Labour Market Opinion (‘LMO’) application process, including more stringent advertising requirements, were outlined in last month’s 2013 Federal Budget, calls for reform have taken on greater urgency in the past week, as allegations of widespread Program abuse have flooded the media. Of particular concern, is the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO) process, which was designed to fast-track Labour Market Opinion applications for qualifying employers, but which some believe has opened the Temporary Foreign Worker Program up to greater misuse.

While specifics of the upcoming reforms have yet to be formally announced, it’s clear that changes are imminent and Canadian employers and prospective foreign workers should anticipate heightened scrutiny and potential delays in the processing of foreign worker applications and, in particular, A-LMOs, in the upcoming weeks. Processing of work permit applications at Canadian Immigration offices in and outside of Canada, as well as at Canadian ports of entry, may also be impacted.

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 »