Question & Answer – Location of Rehab Application (IR-09)

The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) regarding criminal rehabilitation applications.  Criminal rehabilitation applications are the process through which certain criminally inadmissible individuals can apply to become admissible to Canada, and resolve their inadmissibility.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  I obtained a copy of this internal CIC question and answer through an Access to Information Act request the (“ATI”).  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.  Please e-mail me if you want a copy of the original question and answer contained in the ATI.

Question – May 20, 2013

Dear Madam, Sir,

My client is a foreign national who filed a PR application based on the spousal category from outside Canada (i.e. in CPC Mississauga). He also needs an Approval for Rehabilitation, however, and is currently temporarily in Canada on a TRP.

At the Immigration Summit last November in Toronto, I heard a GIC representative suggest that the PR sponsorship and the Rehab should be submitted together to CPC Mississauga. Therefore, that is what I did for my client. However, CPC Mississauga returned the Rehab application, stating that I need to file it in the correct visa office.

Can you please advise where the Rehab needs to be filed? Since I plan to renew my client’s TRP through Vegreville, should I file the Rehab there at the same time?

Thank you for your guidance.

Answer – May 24, 2013

Good day and thank you for your question.

Rehabilitation applications can be sent to regional Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) offices if the client is in Canada or to an overseas visa office, where the client is residing.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with specific details on the location of the offices as we don’t have information about the location of the client.

We recommend that you communicate with the call centre for CIC for further clarifications and details. You may reach the call centre by calling 1-888-242-2100.

That’s not really much of an answer from CIC, and it’s probably because they’re unsure why CPC-M returned the rehabilitation application instead of forwarding it to the visa post with the rest of the immigration application. 


Question & Answer – Renewing IEC Work Permit (IR-08)

The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) regarding International Experience Canada (the “IEC”).  The IEC, more commonly known as the Working Holiday Program (which is actually a program within the IEC), allows young people from several dozen countries to work in Canada on open work permits.  As with any program, questions emerged regarding specific requirements, including whether IEC work permits can be extended.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  I obtained a copy of this internal CIC question and answer through an Access to Information Act request the (“ATI”).  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.  Please e-mail me if you want a copy of the original question and answer contained in the ATI.  

Question – May 13, 2013

Dear Sir or Madam:

I wish to seek your advice concerning the following situation.

I have a client, an _______, who came to Canada on a work permit issued to him on ___________ through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. His work permit is valid to  through the

My client wishes to obtain a renewal of his work permit prior to its expiry. As a result, I would like your advice as to whether he can submit a direct request to CIC Vegreville for an extension of his work permit or does he need an approved labour market opinion from Service Canada in order to submit an extension request of his work permit to CIC Vegreville so he can continue working in Canada.

I await your reply.

Regards,

Answer – May 23, 2013

If your client wishes to obtain a new work permit under the International Experience Canada program, he will first have to apply for another participation with Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and will receive a Conditional Acceptance Letter that he can use to apply for his new work permit. However, it is my understanding that the Irish Quota for 2013 Participations is now full.

If your client has not received his Conditional Acceptance Letter from DFAIT, then he must have his employer obtain a positive Labour Market Opinion (LMO) for him and then submit his application for an extension to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (online or by paper) or he must be able to show that he meets the requirements of one of the LMO exemptions. Please see the Temporary Foreign Worker Guidelines (FW) manual for a list of these exemptions.

If your client did apply for a second participation in the IEC program AND received his Conditional Letter of Acceptance then he should complete the “Come to Canada’ question flow as if he was living in Ireland and this will provide him the proper ‘result’. However, he must compete the IMM 1295 Application with the correct information regarding his residency.

There are many things to note about CIC’s answer.

First, on August 31, 2013, CIC announced that it was assuming responsibility for issuing Conditional Acceptance Letters in the IEC.  The release said:

Effective August 31, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will assume responsibility for International Experience Canada (IEC). The program was previously administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

The IEC program provides opportunities for young Canadians and foreign nationals, aged 18-35, to gain travel and work experience in each other’s countries for up to two years.

The transfer of the IEC will allow the program to better align with government priorities and labour market demands in Canada by linking IEC to other immigration programs.  The move will strengthen Canada’s strategy to develop its human capital and attract talent.

Transferring the program to CIC will provide an opportunity to take advantage of the Department’s existing expertise in centralized electronic processing of work permits. CIC will become the one-stop shop for applicants by streamlining the application process for IEC participants at one federal government department.

The program will continue to operate as usual, meaning that the application process will be the same for IEC participants. Applicants will not face an interruption in service as a result of the transfer.

Second, the last paragraph of CIC’s e-mail reveals a significant flaw in CIC’s online system.  In May I spoke with CIC employee who designed the MyCIC portal.  He admitted that there were glitches in the Come to Canada Wizard which was forcing prospective applicants to lie in order to obtain the correct CIC document checklist.  He advised that individuals who did so would not be penalized so long as they were truthful in the actual application, and that they were working on the problem.  However, it appears that the problem has not been fixed, and in this case applicants from within Canada need to pretend that they live abroad in order to obtain the “proper checklist.”  The whole thing is incredibly confusing to applicants.

Finally, given that Labour Market Opinion processing times are steadily increasing, applicants who want to extend their ability to work in Canada need to speak with their employers about applying for Labour Market Opinions several months in advance.


Question & Answer – Post Grad Work Permit Continuity (IR-07)

The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding Post-Graduation Work Permits.  The Post-Graduate Work Permit is a phenomenal program which allows graduates of Canadian post-secondary students to work in Canada on open work permits.  It is not clear, however, whether people who complete a program, and then go into another program that they don’t complete, are eligible. 

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 18, 2013

Dear Madam I Sir,

I have a question about post-graduate work permits and Operational Bulletin 194. http://www. cic. qc. ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/20 1 0/ob 194A. asp

OB 194 is clear that when an individual completes a credential, and then earns another credential immediately after completing the first, then the individual can combine the duration of the two programs when calculating the length of validity his/her post-graduate work permit

My question pertains to the opposite scenario. Where an individual completes a credential, and then immediately starts a different program but does not complete it, then is that individual able to get a PGWP for his first program even though it has been more than 90 days?

For example, if someone completes a B Eng and instead of getting a PGWP enrolls in a M Eng program, but part way through the M Eng. program decides that they do not want to complete it, then can that person get a PGWP valid for three years because they completed the bachelors and has always been in Canada on study permits?

Thank you,

Answer – May 23, 2013

The person has 90 days from the completion of their program to apply for the post-graduate work permit. If the person continues studying in a new program, as you stated, they can combine their programs and it is 90 days from the end of the ‘combined’ programs. Please note that the first program must be a minimum of 8 months in duration.

However, in your example, if the person does not complete the second program then they have 90 days from the completion of their first program to apply for the post-graduate work permit.

I don’t understand the motivation behind this policy.  In my opinion, we should not be penalizing students who attempt to obtain further education that they cannot complete.  While “don’t start what you can’t finish” is certainly a motto that some people live by, people who attempt a Master’s shouldn’t lose eligibility for programs that they qualified for when they completed their Bachelors.


Question & Answer – Open Bridging Work Permits and Spouses (IR-06)

The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding open bridging work permits.  One of the best things that Jason Kenney did as immigration minister was to allow individuals to apply for open work permits if their permanent residence applications had reached certain stages in processing.  (A detailed blog post of mine on Bridging Open Work Permits can be found here.)  As with any new program, questions emerged regarding specific requirements of the Bridging Open Work Permit, including whether spouses can apply.  This is actually the second Q&A on open bridging work permits which I have reproduced.  The first can be found here

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 14, 2013

Hello,

Could you tell me if Open Bridging Work Permits also apply to spouses of work permit holders?

Thank you.

Answer – May 22, 2013

NO, the Bridging Work Permit is only available to the Principal Applicant.

However, if certain conditions are met by the principal applicant, they will impact the eligibility for the spouse for an
open work permit.

In all cases the Principal Applicants work permit must be valid for longer than 6 months.

For spouses of Federal Skilled Workers, the principal applicant must be performing work which is at a level that falls within National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Levels 0, A or B.

For spouses of Provincial Nominee applicants, they are eligible for an open work permit for the duration of the work permit held by the provincial nominee principal applicant, irrespective of the skill level of the principal applicant’s occupation.

For spouses of Federal Skilled Trades, the principle applicant must be performing work which is within one of the qualifying occupations in NOC Skill Level B.

For spouses of applicants in the Canadian Experience Class, they are eligible for an open WP without preconditions to be met by the principal applicant.

For Dependent children of an applicant in any Class, they must obtain a LMO or have a LMO exemption based on their specific situation in order to apply for a work permit.

Because of all the confusion over open bridging work permits, CIC recently released OB 485-A, which answers many of the questions which people have


Question & Answer – FSW Arranged Employment and ICTs (IR-03)

The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding Arranged Employment under the Federal Skilled Worker Program for Intra-Company Transferees.  The Federal Skilled Worker Program allows certain individuals employed in Canada without a Labour Market Opinion to qualify for Arranged Employment.  As with any program, questions emerged regarding specific requirements, including whether intra-company transferees qualify for Arranged Employment without a Labour Market Opinion.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 28, 2013

Hello,

Could you please confirm if the intra-company work permit holders in Canada can be considered to have arranged employment under the new rules (as of May 4th 2013) and could submit a FSW application based on the fact they hold ICT work permit and have an indeterminate job offer from the same employer.

Answer – May 28, 2013

Intra-company transferees in Canada who hold a valid work permit which is exempt from the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) requirement under R204(a), are working for an employer specified on the work permit and have a qualifying offer of arranged employment from the same employer are eligible to apply under the arranged employment stream under the Federal Skilled Worker Program under the new rules which came into effect on May 4, 2013 [R82(2)(b)].

All other intra-company transferees who hold a valid work permit which is LMO-exempt under R205 would also be eligible to apply provided they had a qualifying offer of arranged employment from their prospective employer, and that employer had obtained a positive LMO [R82(2)(d)].

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations are actually very clear on the above.  I presume that the representative who asked the above question knew what the answer was, but wanted Citizenship and Immigration Canada to explicitly confirm this requirement for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

I do not understood the Government of Canada’s policy rationale for why intracompany transferees under NAFTA, the Canada-Chile FTA, the Canada-Peru FTA, and other free-trade agreements are eligible under the new Federal Skilled Worker Program for Arranged Employment without a Labour Market Opinion, while general intra-company transferees are not.  When the law first came out I thought that a possible solution would be to request that officers process general intra-company transferees under the GATS agreement.  However, the Foreign Worker Manual now instructs officers to process GATS intra-company transferees under R205(a), C12, thereby excluding them from qualifying for Arranged Employment without a Labour Market Opinion.


Question & Answer – Canadian Experience Class (IR-02)

The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding the Canadian Experience Class.  The Canadian Experience Class allows individuals with one-year skilled work experience in Canada to apply to immigrate.  As with any program, questions emerged regarding specific requirements, including whether work in Canada for a foreign employer count towards the one-year requirement.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 28, 2013

Dear Sir / Madam,

I was wondering if you might be able to provide some guidance regarding a CEC application.  I have a client (foreign worker) who has a valid work permit (initially under C10 and then with supporting LMO) where the employer is a foreign company but does not have any operations in Canada.  The foreign employer is hoping to open up an office in ____ but in the meantime, has the foreign worker attending various client business meetings pitching for potential engagements of the foreign company and providing some consulting services.  The foreign worker is working full time hours in Canada and holds a functional manager position (NOC 0) and would (in my opinion) otherwise qualify for CEC but it is not clear whether his Canadian work experience over the past year would qualify as he has been working for a foreign company. 

I cannot find anything in the guide, operational manual, website or checklist that would exclude him, however, the situation did strike me as unusual and I wanted to confirm this issue before preparing the CEC application. 

Thank you for your guidance.

Warm regards, 

Answer – May 29, 2013

As long as the foreign national demonstrates that they acquired their qualifying period of skilled work experience in Canada with the proper authorization, they are eligible to apply under the Canadian Experience Class.  There is no regulatory requirement that remuneration be provided from within Canada or that work experience be obtained with a Canadian employer.

You note that the foreign worker has been providing “some consulting services.”  Note that pursuant to R87.2(3)(b), any period of self-employment will not be included in calculating a period of work experience.  All applicants are required to provide satisfactory evidence of their work experience in Canada, including the fact that they were in an employer-employee relationship during their period of qualifying work experience.  

From a policy standpoint it makes complete sense that skilled work in Canada for a foreign employer should count towards meeting the work experience criteria of the Canadian Experience Class.  From a practicality and program integrity standpoint, issues do arise where the employer is not a well known company, and applicants should take this into consideration when preparing their applications.


Question & Answer – Open Bridging Work Permits (IR-01)

The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding Bridging Open Work Permits.  One of the best things that Jason Kenney did as immigration minister was to allow individuals to apply for open work permits if their permanent residence applications had reached certain stages in processing.  (A detailed blog post of mine on Bridging Open Work Permits can be found here.)  As with any new program, questions emerged regarding specific requirements of the Bridging Open Work Permit, including whether there are exceptions to the 4 month time-frame.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 27, 2013

Dear Sir / Madam,

I would like to enquire about the time of an application for an open Bridging Work Permit.  In Operational Bulletin 485, dated December 15, 2012, it is noted that the processing office will confirm upon receipt of an application that:

  • The PR applications under one of the classes (CEC, PNP, FSWP) has been found eligible;
  • the applicant is currently in Canada; and
  • it is confirmed that the applicant currently holds a valid WP that will expire within the next 4 months and there are no other issues of concern.

For an applicant who has been found eligible for Permanent Residence as FSWP, whose Work Permit does not expire until ___ but has recently been laid off, is there an exception to the 4 month timeframe which would allow them to file an Open Bridging Work Permit application now in 2013, perhaps under Humanitarian & Compassionate considerations set out in section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act? Or will the applications only be accepted if a Work Permit is set to expire in 4 months, without exception?

Thank you in advance for your response to this question. 

Regards, 

Answer – May 29, 2013

Thank you for four inquiry.

As specified in Operational Bulletin 485, to be eligible for a bridging open work permit, the foreign naitonal must have valid status on a work permit that is due to expire within 4 months. There are no exceptions to this requirement. 

In the situation you’ve outlined below, the foreign national would presumably seek out a new employer and apply for a new work permit before the expiry of their current employer-specific work permit in 2015. 

It is not clear why the representative thought that H&C considerations could be used to overcome the 4 month requirement.  As I blogged about here, recent changes to Canadian immigration law mean that humanitarian & compassionate considerations may only be considered in permanent resident applications.