Changes to the Start-Up Visa Program

25th Oct 2013 Comments Off on Changes to the Start-Up Visa Program

Last Updated on October 25, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

On October 25, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) amended the Start-Up Business Class, and announced that the changes will take affect on October 26, 2013.   The previous Ministerial Instructions respecting the program have been repealed.

The Start-Up Business Class is a federal economic immigration program, and compliments the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Canadian Experience Class, the Provincial Nominee Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Class.  The Start-Up Business Class will be open until March 31, 2018.

Program Requirements

A foreign national will be eligible to apply to the Start-Up Business Class if they meet all of the following requirements:

  1. The foreign national has obtained a commitment from either:
    1. a designated business incubator confirming that it is accepting the foreign national’s qualifying business into its business incubator program;
    2. a Designated Angel Investor Group of at least $75,000 in a “qualifying business” or two or more Designated Angel Investor Groups that together will be investing a total of at least $75,000 in a business; or
    3. a Designated Venture Capital Fund of at least $200,000 or two or more designated venture capital funds that together will be investing a total of at least $200,000 in the qualifying business.
  2. The foreign national has taken an English or French language test and obtained a minimum of Canadian Benchmark Level 5 in Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing.
  3. The foreign national has completed at least one year of post-secondary education.  Completion of a credential is not required.
  4. The foreign national has in the form of transferable and available funds, unencumbered by debt and other obligations, an amount that is equal to one half of the Statistics Canada low-income cut off.

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The Expression of Interest Immigration System

23rd Oct 2013 Comments Off on The Expression of Interest Immigration System

Last Updated on October 23, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

On October 22, 2013, the Conservative Government of Canada tabled its latest omnibus budget bill, titled “A second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 21, 2013 and other measures” (the “2nd 2013 Budget Implementation Act“)  Totalling 327 pages, the 2nd 2013 Budget Implementation Act introduces the “expression of interest” immigration system into the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, sc 2001, c 27 (“IRPA”).

Division 16 of the 2nd 2013 Budget Implementation Act states:

Division 16, Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Amendments to the Act

290. Part 1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is amended by adding the following after the heading “IMMIGRATION TO CANADA”:

 

Division 0.1
Invitation to Make an Application

Application for permanent residence — invitation to apply

10.1 (1) A foreign national who seeks to enter or remain in Canada as a member of a class that is referred to in an instruction given under paragraph 10.3(1)(a) may make an application for permanent residence only if the Minister has issued them an invitation to do so, the invitation has not been cancelled under subsection 10.2(5) and the applicable period specified in an instruction given under paragraph 10.3(1)(k) has not expired.

Limitation

(2) An instruction may be given under paragraph 10.3(1)(a) only in respect of a class that is part of the economic class referred to in subsection 12(2).

Expression of interest

(3) A foreign national who wishes to be invited to make an application must submit an expression of interest to the Minister by means of an electronic system in accordance with instructions given under section 10.3 unless the instructions provide that they may do so by other means.

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Saskatchewan’s Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act

21st Oct 2013 Comments Off on Saskatchewan’s Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act

Last Updated on October 21, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

As previously indicated in this blog post, the Government of Saskatchewan has taken an increasingly aggressive stance in combating immigration related abuses by consultants, recruiters, and employers.  The Government of Saskatchewan has faced difficulties in doing so (including pushback from the courts), however, because of the lack of a statutory framework.   It is therefore not surprising that on October 11, 2013, the Government of Saskatchewan proclaimed The Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act (the “Act“) and The Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Regulations (the “Regulations“).

According to this news release by the Province of Saskatchewan, the Act and the Regulations will impact immigration consultants and employers of foreign workers as follows:

  • Require that immigration consultants be licensed and sign open and transparent contracts with employers and foreign nationals;
  • Require that employers of foreign nationals be registered;
  • Prohibit employers from charging or recovering recruitment fees from foreign nationals;
  • Prohibit unethical conduct against foreign nationals, such as withholding documents or other property, threatening deportation or providing misleading information;
  • Allow foreign workers and immigrants to seek compensation if they incur costs that are considered illegal under the Act; and
  • Allow fines to be levied of up to $50,000 for an individual and $100,000 for a corporation, and up to one year imprisonment, for those violating the Act.

The Act and the Regulations will also change the way that employment recruiters conduct business.  However, those changes are beyond the scope of this post.

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LMO Q&A: How does the Genuineness Assessment Work (OPS/BE-002)

LMO Q&A: How does the Genuineness Assessment Work (OPS/BE-002)

12th Oct 2013 Comments Off on LMO Q&A: How does the Genuineness Assessment Work (OPS/BE-002)

Last Updated on October 12, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

Section 203(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (“IRPR“) requires Service Canada to only issue a positive Labour Market Opinion (“LMO“) when it is satisfied that an employer’s job offer is genuine.  IRPR lists several specific factors which Service Canada officers must consider in a genuineness analysis, and Service Canada – in the interests of balancing program integrity with efficiency – has developed a two level genuineness assessment system.  Level 1 is attestation based. Level 2 requires employers to submit certain documentation.

The Genuineness Factors

Section 200(5) of IRPR provides that:

Genuineness of job offer

(5) A determination of whether an offer of employment is genuine shall be based on the following factors:

(a) whether the offer is made by an employer, other than an employer of a live-in caregiver, that is actively engaged in the business in respect of which the offer is made;

(b) whether the offer is consistent with the reasonable employment needs of the employer;

(c) whether the terms of the offer are terms that the employer is reasonably able to fulfil; and

(d) the past compliance of the employer, or any person who recruited the foreign national for the employer, with the federal or provincial laws that regulate employment, or the recruiting of employees, in the province in which it is intended that the foreign national work.

Actively Engaged

(a) whether the offer is made by an employer, other than an employer of a live-in caregiver, that is actively engaged in the business in respect of which the offer is made

The assessment of this factor (the (“Actively Engaged Factor“) requires Service Canada officers to determine that the employer legally exists and operates a business relating to the prospective temporary foreign worker’s (“TFW“) job offer.  

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LMO Q&A: Who Can Be the Employer Contact? (OPS/BE-001)

8th Oct 2013 Comments Off on LMO Q&A: Who Can Be the Employer Contact? (OPS/BE-001)

Last Updated on October 8, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

My decision to publish e-mail exchanges between immigration representatives and Citizenship and Immigration Canada which I received through Access to Information Act requests has been met very favourably by blog readers.

I am now expanding this to internal correspondence between Temporary Foreign Worker Program officers at Service Canada and Business Expertise Consultants.

The following is an exchange between a Service Canada officer and a Business Expertise Consultant regarding who can be the employer contact in a LMO application.  My thoughts on the exchange are at the bottom of the reproduction.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  I obtained a copy of this internal Service Canada 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.  (I have decided not to reproduce the names of the Service Canada officers involved.) Please e-mail me if you want a copy of the original question and answer contained in the ATI.

Background:

███████ has a 3’d party ███████ and his mailing address is ███████. This ID has 26 pages of activity in FWS, the last of which is a confirmation on 2011-10-12.

This 3’d party ID has a note dated, 2008/11/21, which states, “November 20, 08 Phone call to ███████ Employer states that the signature on the application, third party representative form and employment contract was not hers.”  The SF note for the file in question, SF ███████ states, “Spoke to ER Nov 20, 08. After attempting to verify application details the employer,

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

6th Oct 2013 Comments Off on Question & Answer – Location of Rehab Application (IR-09)

Last Updated on October 6, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

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.

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

2nd Oct 2013 Comments Off on Question & Answer – Renewing IEC Work Permit (IR-08)

Last Updated on October 2, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

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.

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