Express Entry

Express Entry

26th Oct 2014 Comments Off on Express Entry

Last Updated on October 26, 2014 by Steven Meurrens

On January 1 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“) is expected to overhaul its economic immigration programs with the launch of Express Entry.  On December 1, 2014, the Government of Canada released detailed Ministerial Instructions regarding Express Entry.  In this post I hope to provide an easy to read overview of the new program.

Express Entry will significantly alter every economic immigration program, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP“), the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC“), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP“), and the Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP“).

Rather than first in, first processed for permanent residence applications Express Entry will feature a “selection” of candidates who the Government of Canada believes is most likely to succeed in Canada.

Express Entry will consist of two steps for potential applicants:

  1. Completing an Online Express Entry Profile
  2. Receiving a Letter of Invitation

CIC is touting that Express Entry is not a new immigration per se, but rather a way for CIC to manage economic immigration applications online.  However, a quick review of Express Entry suggests that who will be eligible to immigrate to Canada under Express Entry will fundamentally change.

 » Read more about: Express Entry  »

Read more ›

Designated Countries of Origin

24th Oct 2014 Comments Off on Designated Countries of Origin

Last updated on May 17th, 2019

Last Updated on May 17, 2019 by Steven Meurrens

The Government of Canada has published a list of the first Designated Countries of Origin (“DCO“).

The initial list of DCOs covers 27 countries, 25 of which are in the European Union (edit: see below for a list of additional countries that have been added):

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

In September, 2010, I predicted ten countries that I thought would likely be designated.  Nine of them are on the above list, I assume Hong Kong will be added in the near future.

 » Read more about: Designated Countries of Origin  »

Read more ›
Service Canada Transition Plans

Service Canada Transition Plans

23rd Oct 2014 Comments Off on Service Canada Transition Plans

Last Updated on October 23, 2014 by Steven Meurrens

On June 23, 2014, we wrote about how on June 20, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) and the Ministry of Economic and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”) announced significant reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”).  One of the changes was:

Introduction of Transition Plans for High-Wage Positions

Employers seeking to hire High-Wage TFWs will now be required to submit Transition Plans to demonstrate how they will increase efforts to hire Canadians, including through higher wages, investments in training and more active recruitment efforts from within Canada.  An employer will have to provide a Transition Plan for each position that it is seeking a LMIA for. The requirement that employers provide a Transition Plan has taken effect immediately.

Employers may be exempt from the Transition Plan requirement if they are hiring TFWs for positions which:

  • require unique skills (ESDC has stated that two examples include nuclear physicist and senior executives such as Chief Executive Officer);
  • have a limited duration of between:
    • 1 and 120 days (ESDC has stated that two examples include emergency or warranty work repair technicians / mechanics); or
    • more than 120 days to a maximum of 2 year (ESDC has stated that two examples include project-based business consultant, specialized construction engineer).

As part of the Transition Plan, employers are required to conduct the all of the following:

  • General Requirements – Employers must conduct at least 3 distinct activities that are designed to recruit, retain, and train Canadian citizens and permanent residents;
  • Underrepresented Groups requirement – Employers must conduct at least 1 distinct activity to work with an organization serving underrepresented groups (Aboriginal peoples,

 » Read more about: Service Canada Transition Plans  »

Read more ›
Service Canada “Refusal to Process” in Certain Economic Regions

Service Canada “Refusal to Process” in Certain Economic Regions

17th Oct 2014 Comments Off on Service Canada “Refusal to Process” in Certain Economic Regions

Last Updated on October 17, 2014 by Steven Meurrens

On June 23, we wrote about how on June 20, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) and the Ministry of Economic and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”) announced significant reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”).  One of the changes was:

Refusing Low-Skilled Applications in Areas of High Unemployment in Some Occupations

ESDC will refuse to process certain LMIA applications in the Accommodation, Food Services and Retail Trade sectors. Specifically, ESDC will not process LMIA applications for employers if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • the employer is applying for an LMIA in a Statistics Canada economic region with an annual unemployment rate over 6%;
  • the employer is seeking an LMIA in a specific occupation identified under North American Industry Classification System as Accommodations & Food Service or Retail Sales; and
  • the employer is seeking an LMIA in an occupation in one of the following occupations:
    • Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Occupations ;
    • Light Duty Cleaners ;
    • Cashiers;
    • Grocery Clerks and Store Shelf Stockers;
    • Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers;
    • Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Labourers;
    • Other Attendants in Accommodation and Travel;
    • Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents;
    • Specialized Cleaners; and
    • Security Guards and Related Occupations.

In today’s post, I wish to elaborate on the above.

 

 » Read more about: Service Canada “Refusal to Process” in Certain Economic Regions  »

Read more ›
The National Occupational Classification System

The National Occupational Classification System

14th Oct 2014 Comments Off on The National Occupational Classification System

Last updated on April 2nd, 2019

Last Updated on April 2, 2019 by Steven Meurrens

Much of Canada’s immigration system is based on Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (“Service Canada’s“) National Occupational Classification (“NOC“) system.  Economic class applicants generally need to understand the NOC system because the success of their applications will depend on them demonstrating that they have qualifying experience or pre-arranged employment in certain NOCs.  Employers submitting Labour Market Impact Assessment applications to the Ministry of Economic and Social Development Canada (“ESDC“) need to know which NOCs their vacant positions fall under because this will determine the respective prevailing wage and recruitment requirements.  Indeed, it is arguable that international graduates should pay attention to the NOC of their first jobs out of post-secondary school because only experience in certain NOCs will count towards immigration.

 » Read more about: The National Occupational Classification System  »

Read more ›

The Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

6th Oct 2014 Comments Off on The Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

Last Updated on October 6, 2014 by Steven Meurrens

On September 26, 2014, Canada and the European Uniona agreed to adopt the The Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement  (“CETA“), with the goal at the time being that the agreement will take effect in 2016.  While that ultimately did not happen, on October 30, 2016, Canada and the European Union signed a final version of the agreement.

Chapter 10 of CETA provides for the facilitation of the temporary entry of business persons.  The European Union’s commitments are the most ambitious that the region has ever negotiated in a free trade agreement.  For Canada, the CETA’s temporary contain similar ideas to those contained in the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA“), although there are very significant differences.  

CETA is significant from a Canadian immigration perspective because prospective foreign workers who are eligible for work permits under CETA do not require Labour Market Impact Assessments (“LMIAs“).  

Any Canadian businesses seeking to hire United States or Mexican nationals will typically begin by determining whether their prospective employees are eligible for work permits under NAFTA.  When CETA takes affect, the same will be true for Canadian employers hiring citizens from the European Union.

 » Read more about: The Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement  »

Read more ›

LMIA Exemption for Francophones

1st Oct 2014 Comments Off on LMIA Exemption for Francophones

Last updated on May 28th, 2019

Last Updated on May 28, 2019 by Steven Meurrens

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“) has a program to facilitate the ability of francophone foreign workers to enter Canada.  The benefit of the program, called Moibilte Francophone, is that no Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA“) is required.  This means that employers of prospective francophone foreign workers do not need to pass a labour market test in order to employ francophone foreign workers.

To qualify for the LMIA exemption, applicants must:

  • apply at a visa office outside Canada;
  • be going to work in an occupation which falls under National Occupation Classification 0, A or B;
  • have French as his/her habitual language; and
  • be destined to a province other than Quebec.

Here are some other key things to note about the program.

 

1. Recruitment through a francophone immigration promotional event coordinated between the federal government and francophone minority communities is no longer required. 

 

Previously, participation in Moibilte Francophone was restricted to prospective foreign workers recruited through government promotional events. This requirement, which the government interpreted incredibly broadly in any event, is no longer the case.

 

Previously, the program worked as follows:

 

2. Habitual French speaking abilities are required, but not for the job. 

 

To approve the work permit application officers must be satisfied that the foreign national’s habitual language of daily use is French.

 

Where the officer is not satisfied the foreign national’s habitual language is French, applicants may need to attend an interview or provide language results demonstrating an advanced intermediate level or above in French.  » Read more about: LMIA Exemption for Francophones  »

Read more ›