The Department of Employment and Social Development’s (“ESDC“) Agricultural Stream allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers (“TFWs“)for a maximum period of 24 months when Canadians and permanent residents are not available.  The program was created to reduce differences between the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (“SAWP“) and the regular Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA“) stream.  The Agricultural Stream applies to TFWs entering Canada from any country.

Information can be found on the ESDC website here: http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/foreign_workers/hire/agricultural/overview.page

 

The following are frequently asked questions about the program as reproduced from the TFWP Wiki. This Wiki was obtained through an Access to Information Act request, and may be out of date by the time you read this. The reproduction did not occur with the affiliation of the Government of Canada. The full reproduction can be found in the PDF below.

 » Read more about: Agriculture LMIAs  »

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On the 7th podcast episode, Tom Davidoff and David Eby  joins Peter Edelmann and I to discuss Vancouver’s housing market.

Tom Davidoff is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.  He is frequently cited in the Vancouver media as being an expert on Vancouver’s housing market, and was part of a team of nine academics who created the B.C. Housing Affordability Fund proposal.

David Eby is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Vancouver-Point Grey, and was previously the Executive Director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.  He is a passionate advocate for making Vancouver a more affordable place to live.

 

The questions that we discussed in the podcast are:

  • What has been going on in the Vancouver housing market? How fast have prices been rising?
  • Is there evidence that foreign investment / foreign funds has been the cause of the increase in Vancouver housing prices?
  • What data is there regarding the amount of foreign home ownership in Vancouver?
  • What is the property transfer tax, and what are the new rules on how it applies to foreign buyers?
  • Is there evidence that high housing prices impacts the rental market? Does it matter if the landlord is a Canadian or a foreigner?
  • Why should high housing prices matter? Why should people think that they should be able to live in a market that they cannot afford?
  • Should we move beyond the paradigm of valuing single detached homes?
  • What role do international students play in the increase in housing prices?

 » Read more about: Borderlines Podcast Episode 7 – David Eby and Tom Davidoff on Vancouver’s Housing Market  »

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Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA“) applications typically take 1-4 months to process. However, the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC“) processes LMIAs for in-demand occupations (skilled trades), highly paid occupations (top 10%) or short-duration (120 days or less) entries within a 10 business day service standard.

High-Demand

To be considered a High-Demand LMIA, the position must be for a skilled trade on the list of eligible occupations below, and the wage being offered for the position must be at, or above, the provincial / territorial median wage where the job is located.

Tables about unemployment, Median wages, 10-day speed of service.

NOC
2006
NOC
2011
Occupation Title

7212
7202
Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations

7215
7204
Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades

7219
7205
Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers

7271
7271
Carpenters

7216
7301
Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades

7217
7302
Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews

8211
8211
Supervisors, logging and forestry

8221
8221
Supervisors, mining and quarrying

8222
8222
Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling services

8241
8241
Logging machinery operators

8252 / 8253
8252
Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers

9211
9211
Supervisors, mineral and metal processing

9212
9212
Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities

9214
9214
Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing

9231
9231
Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing

7351 / 7352
9241
Power engineers and power systems operators

9424
9243
Water and waste treatment plant operators

7231
7231
Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors

7261
7233
Sheet metal workers

7263
7235
Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters

7264
7236
Ironworkers

7265
7237
Welders and related machine operators

7241
7241
Electricians (except industrial and power system)

7242
7242
Industrial electricians

7243
7243
Power system electricians

7244
7244
Electrical power line and cable workers

7245
7245
Telecommunications line and cable workers

7246
7246
Telecommunications installation and repair workers

7251
7251
Plumbers

7252
7252
Steamfitters,  » Read more about: Priority Processing in LMIA Applications  »

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In John v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2016 FC 915, Justice Brown provided a helpful summary on how psychological reports are to be treated by the Immigration and Refugee Board and visa officers.

He wrote:

Having come to this conclusion, it is not necessary to deal with the other issues re the psychologist’s report and the Gender Guidelines. However, in connection with the psychologist’s report, the RPD appears to have rejected the psychologist’s report on grounds that were directly and recently criticized by the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada in Kanthasamy v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2015 SCC 61 (Kanthasamy). The RPD states at paras 13-14 of the Decision:

[13] The panel, however, does not find [the psychotherapist’s] assessment to be persuasive evidence and determines that [the psychotherapist] is in no position to state categorically that the PC’s mental and emotional state are the result of her alleged problems in Antigua.

[14] (…) The panel finds that, although the PC may be suffering from anxiety and depression, this may or may not be related to the causes described by the PC in her evidence. Accordingly, the panel gives the psychological assessment, no weight.

[emphasis added]

In Kanthasamy at para 49, the Supreme Court rejected this approach to psychological reports:

And while the Officer did not “dispute the psychological report presented”, she found that the medical opinion “rest[ed] mainly on hearsay” because the psychologist was “not a witness of the events that led to the anxiety experienced by the applicant”. This disregards the unavoidable reality that psychological reports like the one in this case will necessarily be based to some degree on “hearsay”. Only rarely will a mental health professional personally witness the events for which a patient seeks professional assistance.

 » Read more about: Psychological Reports  »

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On October 20, 2016, IRCC posted Operational Bulletin 627. It restricts what qualifies for “urgent processing” of PR Cards to:

  • travel due to an applicant’s own serious illness or the serious illness or death of a family member; or
  • to obtain employment or to travel due to employment requirements or opportunity.

 

 » Read more about: Urgent Processing of PR Cards  »

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I’m writing this post quickly after reading the Federal Court’s decision in Hehar v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2016 FC 1054.

In the decision, Justice Brown writes:

Naveen Kumar Verma gave radically different answers from those given by the Applicant during the verification process in response to the same two simple questions. First, in response to the question, “Who does she report to/Who do you report to,” two different individuals, with different job titles were named.

I have never liked the “who do you report to” question. Prior to becoming a Partner at Larlee Rosenberg I theoretically could have given the name of either Peter Larlee or Ryan Rosenberg. If my Legal Assistant were to be asked “who does she report to” I could see her answering that it was either me or Ryan Rosenberg, the Managing Partner. Both answers would be correct.

Contradictory answers to this question often result in great suspicion by visa officers that is difficult to overcome. And it really shouldn’t.

 » Read more about: Who Do You Report To – Misrepresentation  »

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People who do not meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “IRPA“), and most commonly people who are criminally inadmissible to Canada and who are not eligible to apply for rehabilitation, require Temporary Resident Permits (“TRPs“) in order to enter or remain in Canada.

 » Read more about: Temporary Resident Permits  »

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On September 1, 2016, the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (“BC PNP“) published changes to its program guide.

Here is a summary of the changes.

Topic

Original

Change

Representatives
If you are invited to apply and your employer is using a representative, your employer must also complete their own use of representative form, even if your employer is appointing the same representative.
If you are invited to apply and you are using a representative, your employer must also complete their own use of representative form, even if your employer is appointing the same representative.

Refunds
If invited to apply, you must submit the $550 application fee with your online application before your application will be processed. Incomplete applications will not be processed and fees may not be refunded.
If invited to apply, you must submit the $550 application fee with your online application before your application will be processed. Incomplete applications will not be approved, and application fees will only be refunded if you withdraw your application before the BC PNP begins to assess it. You may contact the BC PNP at PNPinfo@gov.bc.ca to withdraw your application and find out if you are eligible for a refund. Please provide your full name, your date of birth, and your BC PNP application file number in your email.

Minimum Incomes Threshold
2014 Data
2015 Data

All thresholds have an average increase of $100-600

Paid Co-Op Counting as Experience
No mention.
Experience obtained in paid co-op work terms is eligible if it meets the following criteria:

  • paid co-op work term must be full-time (minimum 30 hours per week)
  • paid co-op experience must be at a NOC skill level equal to or greater than the NOC code of the B.C.

 » Read more about: BC PNP September 1 Changes  »

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It is not uncommon for refusal letters to contain some variation of the following statement:

I find that letters or affidavits made by the applicant, who has a personal interest in this matter, require a degree of corroboration in order to contain much weight.

As the Federal Court of Appeal held in Maldonado v Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration), [1980] 2 FC 302 at para 5 (FCA), this is inappropriate. There, the Court noted that:

When an applicant swears to the truth of certain allegations, this creates a presumption that those allegations are true unless there be reason to doubt their truthfulness. On this record, I am unable to discover valid reasons for the Board doubting the truth of the applicant’s allegations above referred to.

In Hilo v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1991] FCJ No 228 (FCA), the Court further noted that:

The appellant was the only witness who gave oral testimony before the Board. His evidence was uncontradicted. The only comments as to his credibility are contained in the short passage quoted supra. That passage is troublesome because of its ambiguity. It does not amount to an outright rejection of the appellant’s evidence but it appears to cast a nebulous cloud over its reliability. In my view, the Board was under a duty to give its reasons for casting doubt upon the appellant’s credibility in clear and unmistakable terms. The Board’s credibility assessment quoted supra is defective because it is couched in vague and general terms. The Board concluded that the appellant’s evidence lacked detail and was sometimes inconsistent. Surely particulars of the lack of detail and of the inconsistencies should have been provided. Likewise particulars of his inability to answer questions should have been made available.

 » Read more about: Corroborating Affidavits  »

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In a previous blog post I wrote about how IRCC’s internal reasons for refusal are often much more detailed than what is in the refusal letters that IRCC sends to refused applicants.

The recent case of Aguilar v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2016 FC 947 illustrates this.

There, the refusal letter stated:

The checklist reasons for refusal further added that the reasons for refusal were “employment prospects of country of residence” and “current employment situation.”

The internal reasons for refusal, which could only be obtained through filing an Access to Information Act request or going to Federal Court were much more detailed, and stated that:

As you can see, it would be impossible for people who did not have the internal reasons to fully understand why their application was refused. It is for this reason that people with refusals should always seek to obtain the full reasons for refusal before re-applying.

 » Read more about: IRCC Application Refusal – Example of Internal Reasons for Study Permit Refusal  »

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