Employment and Social Development Canada updates Provincial Median Wages for Canadian Provinces and Territories

Posted by Pinaz Farzadi|Canada Immigration
Apr 15

Effective April 30, 2015, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will be using an updated provincial median hourly wage chart when assessing applications within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

The provincial median hourly wage is of utmost importance when filing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application since the wage dictates whether an LMIA application is considered to be a “high-wage” or “low-wage” position.

The figures for the top 10% wage earners for each province have also been updated. LMIA applications are eligible for 10-business day speed of service if the wage being offered for the position is at or above the top 10% of wages earned by Canadians or Permanent Residents in the province/territory, where the job is located.

The updated chart indicates an overall increase in the medium hourly wage from 2013 to 2014 in Canada, with the exceptions being Quebec and Northwest Territories, where the medium hourly wage has not changed. To access the chart please click here.

Posted by Pinaz Farzadi »

Is your global workforce working within the law?

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration, Global Immigration
Apr 15

Companies seeking to fill talent gaps with foreign labour ignore immigration rules at their peril.  We’ve identified five ways your company can fill talent gaps with foreign labour while staying on the right side of the law.

Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada and China facilitate multiple-entry visas through reciprocal agreement – effective March 9, 2015

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Global Immigration
Mar 15

Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Mr. Chris Alexander, announced on March 8, 2015 that Canada and China have reached a reciprocal visa agreement to facilitate long-term, multiple-entry visas between the two countries.

Canada and China may now respectively, issue multiple-entry visas, for a period of up to ten (10) years, allowing their citizens to travel to the reciprocating country (with an exception for visa issuance being issued only until the validity of one’s passport). This visa accommodates for all types of travel including business visitors, tourists and family visits. One of the restrictions on this type of a visa includes a maximum of a 180-day stay per visit. The caliber of this type of initiative is meant to benefit both countries in their cultural exchange, economic and trade relations.

What this means to you?
Prior to this agreement, Canadians had to hold two (2) dual entry visas before they were eligible to qualify for a one-year (1) multiple-entry visa to China. Canadian individuals, who wish to travel on an immediate basis for business or personal purposes, will now be able to do so with their multiple-entry visa. Canadians will now only need to apply for a visa once, as a visa may be issued for up to ten (10) years. This will positively impact Canadian businesses and individuals who can now cross borders in a more economic, friendly and convenient manner.

Posted by Immigration Law Team »


Mar 15

The International Experience Canada (IEC) Program provides young individuals from certain countries, with which Canada has a reciprocal agreement, the opportunity to travel and work in Canada. Generally, individuals aged between 18 to 35 years are able to participate in this program; however some countries have capped their age limit to 29 or 30 years.

For most participating countries, the IEC program has three streams: Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-operation Internship. Once approved, a work permit is usually issued to an individual for twelve (12) or twenty-four (24) months, depending on the country of their citizenship. IEC-based work permits are often open permits which provide numerous advantages to holders, however they can be employer specific as well.

Foreign nationals should be aware that each country has a set quota, per category, of applications they will process and accept, and once reached that particular category will be closed for the remainder of the year.
It is important to note that this program is designed to be temporary in nature to facilitate gaining international work experience that would then be taken back to the temporary foreign worker’s home country.

IEC Program Now Open

On February 24, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that they plan on opening up the IEC program for 2015, shortly. Following this announcement, the following categories started accepting applications:

– France – Young Professionals (still open) and Co-operation Internship (still open); and
– Croatia – Working Holiday (now closed), Young Professionals (now closed) and Co-operation Internship (still open).

IEC Programs Opening on March 3, 2015

CIC has indicated that the following streams will be accepting applications as of March 3, 2015:

– Australia – Young Professionals and Working Holiday;
– Germany – Young Professionals and International Co-operation; and
– South Korea – Working Holiday.

It should be noted that CIC recently changed the duration of stay for Australians who are in Canada pursuant to IEC-based work permits. Previously the duration was unlimited, as long as the applicant fulfilled the other conditions listed to qualify under the program, and now the duration is capped out at twenty-four (24) months.

Posted by Immigration Law Team »

L-1 Worksheet for Denied Cases

Posted by Immigration Law Team|US Immigration
Feb 15

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed the deployment of an L-1 Checklist at U.S.-Canada Ports of Entry (POE) for cases that are not approved. L-1 checklists should now be used by CBP if any L-1 petition is deemed deficient when presented by a Canadian citizen seeking petition adjudication and admission under NAFTA. CBP has also released a second L-1 checklist covering basic points of L-1 eligibility, which is intended to serve as both a guide for applicants and an internal officer training tool.

If a Canadian citizen is refused admission following L-1 adjudication at a U.S.-Canada POE, the applicant should now receive an L-1 deficiency checklist. This document should indicate the specific reason(s) why the petition was not approved. The purpose of the checklist is to better inform applicants of the deficiencies in their petitions so that they can return to the same POE to successfully re-apply with the appropriate documents.

At the same time, the checklist is intended to assist the re-adjudicating CBP officer in simplifying their review of the petition. During the re-adjudication, the officer should focus on only those areas which were previously found deficient. For now, the checklist will be in use only at U.S.-Canada POE where NAFTA adjudications are common. For further information about L-1 applications at a U.S. POE, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Known Employer Program

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Global Immigration
Feb 15

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its intent to implement a “Known Employer” pilot program to streamline the adjudication of certain employment-based visa applications. While details about the program have not been released, a goal of the pilot would be to expedite or otherwise facilitate legitimate cross-border business travel along the Northern border ports of entry. The program could make adjudications more efficient and less costly for both DHS and U.S. employers seeking to employ foreign workers.

This announcement stems from prior commitments made by the U.S. and Canadian governments under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as well as the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border Initiative. In particular, the U.S. and Canadian governments have previously discussed the feasibility of incorporating a trusted employer concept when processing business travelers through their respective borders. This could lead to less paperwork and shorter delays for applicants seeking admission based on Employment with a “Known Employer.”

DHS is hoping to launch the new program by the end of 2015, although no specific start date has been announced. The pilot would be jointly implemented by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. For further information regarding work visa applications or other immigration matters, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Immigration Law Team »