STS – Substantially the Same – and the Employer Black List

28th Apr 2011 Comments Off on STS – Substantially the Same – and the Employer Black List

In a previous post I wrote about how employers seeking to hire a temporary foreign worker will now have to pass the STS test.  This generated some interesting feedback, and I want to expand on the new test.

Substantially the Same, or STS, is an assessment of whether an employer has provided its other foreign workers wages, working conditions and employment in occupations that were substantially the same as those items set out in the employer’s job offer during the period beginning two years prior to an Application for a Labour Market Opinion or a Work Permit.

If there has been a failure to comply with a previous job offer term, employers will be given an opportunity to justify any discrepancies. Reasonable justifications include:

  • A change in federal/provincial/territorial law or a change to a collective agreement;
  • Changes the employer had to make in the workplace in response to a dramatic change in economic conditions that were not directed disproportionately at foreign workers;
  • An error made in good faith by the employer in interpreting obligations regarding wages, working conditions or occupation, and the employer has provided or made sufficient efforts to provide compensation to any foreign nationals that have suffered a disadvantage;
  • An administrative accounting error by the employer, and the employer has provided or made sufficient efforts to provide compensation to any foreign nationals that have suffered a disadvantage; or
  • Circumstances similar to those set out above.

Employers who have failed to meet their commitments as promised in past job offers, and who have failed to provide reasonable justification or to rectify the situation by providing appropriate compensation to the former employee may face:

  • The refusal of work permit applications for any foreign national offered a job by that employer;

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Changes to Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program Strategic Recruitment Stream

26th Apr 2011 Comments Off on Changes to Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program Strategic Recruitment Stream

On March 14, 2011, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program expanded the Strategic Recruitment Stream to include both Compulsory and Designated Trades. Under the program, temporary foreign workers in Alberta can apply for permanent residency if:

  • They intend to and be able to live and work permanently in Alberta.
  • They have an Alberta Qualification Certificate in a compulsory or optional trade.
  • They have an AINP invitation letter from Alberta Industry Training.
  • They are residing in Alberta at the time of application and possess valid work permits from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in the trade in which they are certified.
  • They are either currently working in their trade for an Alberta Employer or have previously worked in their trade with an Alberta Employer for a minimum of six months in the past two years.

A list of the compulsory and optional trades can be found on the Alberta government’s website here.

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The Success of Your Application Can Depend on When the Officer or Judge Had Lunch

The Success of Your Application Can Depend on When the Officer or Judge Had Lunch

26th Apr 2011 Comments Off on The Success of Your Application Can Depend on When the Officer or Judge Had Lunch

The Economist has published a fascinating article in its Science and Technology Section on the possible relationship between when a decision maker has a snack and the likelihood of him granting an application.

The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences followed eight Israeli judges for then months as they ruled on over 1,000 applications made by prisoners to parole boards.  As shown in the graph, the judges tended to grant favorable rulings early in the morning.  As the hours passed, that number fell sharply, eventually reaching zero.  After the judges had a meal break, however, the approval rate shot up back to its original value, before falling again as the day wore on.

The study offered two hypothesis for this somewhat disturbing trend for those who believe that justice should be blind.  The first is that blood-sugar level is the crucial variable, and that decision makers become irritable as their blood-sugar level decreases.

The second is that it is not necessarily meals that matter, but rather that as the number of decisions made increases, decision makers begin to get tired and start looking for easy, status-quo preserving answers.

There is little of course that people appearing before decision makers can do to control this variable.  Knowing and anticipating this trend, however, and remembering that decision makers are above all human, can be quite useful.

 

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Denied Entry into Canada for DUI

22nd Apr 2011 Comments Off on Denied Entry into Canada for DUI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you an American citizen who was recently denied entry to Canada while attempting to cross the border?  Were you told that you were “inadmissible for criminality” and that you were “not allowed to enter Canada for 2, 3, 4, or even up to ten years?”

Many Americans are often stunned to discover that they are inadmissible to Canada for offenses that are just misdemeanors in the United States.  Examples that our office has recently dealt with include:

  • Negligent driving in Washington State (easily the most common reason that an individual is denied entry);
  • Fishing off limits in Alaska;
  • Trespassing in Nevada;
  • Reckless driving in Wisconsin;
  • Possession of cocaine in Oregon;
  • and the list goes on and on.

You Have Options

If you have been denied entry into Canada because of a criminal record, or if you are wary of even attempting to cross because you believe that you will be denied entry, then it is important to know that you always have options.

Our offices regularly assists individuals who have been told that they are inadmissible to Canada.

Amongst the services that we can help you with include:

  • Determining whether you were actually “convicted”.  Many people mistakenly think that if they were sentenced for an offense, then they must have also convicted.  This, however, is not always the case.  It is important to note that Canadian border officials often do not have your full criminal record.  They know you were charged with an offense.  They may even know that you were convicted. 

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Temporary Foreign Workers do not Deflate Average Wages (Updated)

20th Apr 2011 Comments Off on Temporary Foreign Workers do not Deflate Average Wages (Updated)

On April 20, 2011, the Vancouver Sun published an article by David Green titled “Are there too many Foreign Workers?”

The article notes that from 2004 to 2008, the number of Temporary Foreign Workers admitted to Canada increased from 112,543 to 192,281.  (In 2010 the number was 182,322.)

I take issue with numerous aspects of the article, including:

  • It completely ignores the causation between the introduction of the Post-Graduation Work Permit and the increase in the number of Temporary Foreign Workers.  Prior to 2006, foreign students in Canada could not apply for an open work-permit upon graduation.  This is no longer the case, and many of the over 150,000 foreign students in Canada each year apply for and receive these permits.
  • The article does not mention that temporary foreign workers who decide to become permanent residents are likely more able to integrate than those who simply enter on a Family Class or Federal Skilled Worker Program visa.  The reason is simple.  Temporary foreign workers are already established, have already began to integrate into Canadian society, and have developed a network within Canada.

However, the biggest issue that I have with Mr. Green’s article, and the main objective of today’s post, is to address the misconception that Temporary Foreign Workers are hired because employers do not want to pay higher wages to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

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Significant Benefit Work Permits

19th Apr 2011 Comments Off on Significant Benefit Work Permits

Last updated on September 19th, 2018

Most work permit applicants to Canada will typically need their potential employer to first obtain a positive or neutral Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA“) before they apply for their work permit.  This is an arduous process which generally requires that the potential employer conduct recruitment, pay a $1,000.00 processing fee, a mandatory interview, and uncertainty for a period of several weeks to months.

However, there are several exemptions to the LMIA requirement.  One of these exemptions is where the entry of the prospective foreign worker would create or maintain significant social, cultural, or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.  These work permits are typically known as Significant Benefit Work Permits, or C-10 Work Permits.

The CIC website contains guidance to officers who are processing C-10 Work Permit applications. It states that:

… circumstances sometimes present officers with situations where an LMIA is not available, and a specific exemption is not applicable, but the balance of practical considerations argues for the issuance of a work permit in a time frame shorter than would be necessary to obtain the [LMIA] opinion. [Significant Benefit Work Permits are] intended to provide an officer with the flexibility to respond in these situations. It is imperative that this authority not be used for the sake of convenience, nor in any other manner that would undermine or try to circumvent the importance of the LMIA in the work permit process. It is rather intended to address those situations where the social, cultural or economic benefits to Canada of issuing the work permit are so clear and compelling that the importance of the LMIA can be overcome.

Officers should look at the social and cultural benefit of authorizing entry to Canada for persons of international renown,

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Where the Conservative Party of Canada Stands on Immigration

15th Apr 2011 Comments Off on Where the Conservative Party of Canada Stands on Immigration

On October 19, 2015, Canada will have a federal election. There are three political parties that may form government. One of them is the Conservative Party of Canada.

The Conservative Party of Canada has made the following election promises regarding immigration:

  • Continue to make the immigration system faster, flexible, and more responsive to the needs of Canada’s economy.
  • Continue to be a world leader in refugee protection.
  • Increase the intake of applications for the parents and grandparents sponsorship program, as the backlog and processing times continue to decrease.
  • Provide increased funding to Citizenship and Immigration Canada to clear the citizenship backlog over a two-year period.

Comments

I previously wrote in Policy Options on how the Conservative Party of Canada completely overhauled Canada’s immigration system.  Looking at their 2015 platform, I guess they’re done.

Below you can find their 2011 commitments, for comparison’s sake.

 

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Where the New Democratic Party Stands on Immigration

15th Apr 2011 Comments Off on Where the New Democratic Party Stands on Immigration

On October 19, 2015, Canada will have a federal election. There are three political parties that may form government. One of them is the New Democratic Party.

The New Democratic Party has made the following election promises regarding immigration:

  • Remove the cap on parent and grandparent sponsorships imposed by the Conservatives.
  • Reduce wait times by increasing resources to reduce the huge backlogs in processing applications.
  • Put greater priority on family reunification, especially the reunion of children with their parents.
  • Fully restore the Interim Federal Health Care Program for refugees, as ordered by the Federal Court.
  • Reverse the what the NDP calls discriminatory changes to refugee determination and ensure that every refugee claimant receives a fair and unbiased hearing.
  • Make the visitor visa system more transparent and accountable, including by creating an appeal process.
  • Create an ombudsperson for the Department of Citizenship and Immigration to investigate complaints and monitor human rights.
  • In consultation with communities, provinces and territories, introduce a comprehensive action plan to foster immigration to Francophone minority communities across the country.
  • Resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in Canada by the end of this year.
  • Welcome 9,000 Syrian refugees per year starting in 2016.
  • Create a Syrian Refugee Coordinator to expedite and coordinate the efforts of the government, and eliminate barriers to speedy resettlement.
  • Mandate an independent review of the Temporary Foreign Worker (“TFW“) program to make a determination on whether the program is meeting its goals and to put an end to any and all abuses of the program as part of the reforms.

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Where the Liberal Party of Canada Stands on Immigration

14th Apr 2011 Comments Off on Where the Liberal Party of Canada Stands on Immigration

On October 19, 2015, Canada will have a federal election. There are four political parties that will likely win seats in Canada’s Parliament. One of them is the Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party has made the following election promises regarding immigration:

  • Expand Canada’s intake to 25,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq through immediate, direct sponsorship by the government of Canada. We will also work with private sponsors to intake even more.
  • Invest an additional $200 million over this fiscal year and next to increase – without reducing health and safety standards – refugee processing, as well as sponsorship and settlement services capacity in Canada.
  • Provide an immediate $100 million new contribution to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to support the critical relief activities in the region.
  • Fully restoring the Interim Federal Health Program.
  • Establishing an Expert Human Rights Panel for determination of designated countries of origin and to provide a right to appeal refugee decisions for citizens from these countries. This panel will include representatives from international human rights groups.
  • Ending the practice of appointing individuals without subject matter expertise to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
  • Nearly doubling the budget for family class immigration processing, in order to restore processing times to the levels achieved before the Harper decade.
  • Doubling the number of new applications allowed each year, for parents and grandparents, from 5,000 to 10,000.
  • Providing greater access to applicants with Canadian siblings, by granting additional points under the Express Entry system. We will also conduct a review of the program, ensuring that processing times are efficient.
  • Restoring the maximum age for dependents to 22 instead of 19,

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Using a Fake Passport to Enter Canada

13th Apr 2011 Comments Off on Using a Fake Passport to Enter Canada

Section 122 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states:

122. (1) No person shall, in order to contravene this Act,

(a) possess a passport, visa or other document, of Canadian or foreign origin, that purports to establish or that could be used to establish a person’s identity;

(b) use such a document, including for the purpose of entering or remaining in Canada; or

(c) import, export or deal in such a document.

The consequence of being found guilty of s. 122(1)(a) is liability to conviction on indictment of up to a term of imprisonment of a maximum of 5 years.  The average sentence winds up ranging from 4 months – 2 years imprisonment.  It is rare for a conditional sentence to be imposed.

The consequence of being found guilty of ss. 112(1)(b)-(c) is conviction on indictment to a term of imprisonment of up to 14 years.

An additional, and important, consequence, is that if you are convicted of an offense under s. 122 of IRPA, then you will be inadmissible to Canada for at least five years.

 

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