IRCC Clarifies Non-Compliance in the International Mobility Program

28th Nov 2016 Comments Off on IRCC Clarifies Non-Compliance in the International Mobility Program

Last Updated on November 28, 2016 by Steven Meurrens

It is imperative that employers hiring foreign workers in the International Mobility Program (“IMP“) understand the consequences of non-compliance. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“) has finally published information on its website which summarizes how it will determine when non-compliance has occurred and what the consequences will be.

Since December 1, 2015, IRCC has had the legislative authority to apply administrative tools, including warning letters, administrative monetary penalties (“AMPs“) and bans on employers accessing the IMP to certain employers where an IRCC officer has determined that an employer has breached the terms and conditions of participating in the IMP. 

Breaches that Occurred Before December 1, 2015

It is important to note that the AMP and the bans described below only apply to employer breaches that occurred after December 1, 2015.  The penalty to an employer for unjustified breaches that occurred prior to December 1, 2015 is a two-year ban on that employer from being able to hire foreign workers under the IMP. However, while the consequences to an employer for being found non-compliant changed on December 1, 2015, the way in which IRCC assesses whether non-compliance has occurred remains substantially the same.  

The Administrative Monetary Penalty Regime

Under IRCC’s AMP regime, employer non-compliance is divided into three types of violations.  

Type A violations include where an employer:

  • is unable to demonstrate that any information that it provided in respect of a foreign national’s work permit application was accurate during a period of six years beginning on the first day of the foreign national’s employment;
  • did not retain document(s) that relates to employer compliance during a period of six years,

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First Reported BC PNP Decision

22nd Nov 2016 Comments Off on First Reported BC PNP Decision

Last Updated on November 22, 2016 by Steven Meurrens

The first reported British Columbia Supreme Court decision involving the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program has gone to the BC PNP.

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Free trade agreements help those who want to work in Canada, but the Trump presidency could impact Americans

12th Nov 2016 Comments Off on Free trade agreements help those who want to work in Canada, but the Trump presidency could impact Americans

Last Updated on November 12, 2016 by Steven Meurrens

On Oct. 30, 2016, Canada and the European Union signed the Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CETA), which, amongst other things, will make it easier for European Union citizens to work in Canada without their employers first needing to obtain labour market impact assessments (LMIA).

CETA is only the latest free trade agreement that Canada has signed.  One of the first steps that a foreign national who is interested in working in Canada should do is determine whether their home country has signed a free trade agreement with Canada. If so, they should check if the agreement encompasses their specific area of employment.

LMIA vs. free trade agreements

The main benefit of a free trade agreement encompassing one’s employment is that the person’s potential Canadian employer does not need to first obtain a positive or neutral LMIA prior to the foreign worker being able to obtain a Canadian work permit.

LMIAs can be a very cumbersome process. They generally require that an employer conduct domestic recruitment, meet prevailing wage requirements, complete numerous application forms, enter into a transition plan, and pay a $1,000 per foreign worker application fee. For many employers, obtaining LMIAs is simply too great an obstacle to employing foreign nationals in Canada.

It is much easier for employers to employ workers who are encompassed by free trade agreements. Employers must simply enter information about the proposed job offer into the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website, pay a $230 employer compliance fee and provide a written job offer to the prospective employee.

Free trade agreements

As of writing, Canada has free trade agreements that contain immigration provisions in force with the United States, Mexico, Chile,

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Borderlines Podcast Episode 8 – Lobat Sadrehashemi on Citizenship Revocation for Misrepresentation

7th Nov 2016 Comments Off on Borderlines Podcast Episode 8 – Lobat Sadrehashemi on Citizenship Revocation for Misrepresentation

Last updated on October 23rd, 2020

Last Updated on October 23, 2020 by Steven Meurrens

Lobat Sadrehashemi joins Peter Edelmann, Deanna Okun-Nachoff and Steven Meurrens to discuss issues in Canada’s citizenship revocation and refugee determination processes. The recent controversy around Maryam Monsef guides our discussion.

Lobat Sadrehashemi is an Associate Counsel at Embarkation Law Corporation.  She is also the Vice President of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (“CARL“).

CARL’s reform proposals for Canada’s inland refugee determination system and other aspects of the immigration system, which we recently submitted to the Ministers, their staff, IRCC, and the Immigration and Refugee Board can be found here.

Lobat’s paper on Refugee Reform and Access to Counsel in British Columbia can be found here.

 

 

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Helpful Procedural Fairness Case

3rd Nov 2016 Comments Off on Helpful Procedural Fairness Case

Last Updated on November 3, 2016 by Steven Meurrens

A very helpful case which reminds everyone that “I don’t understand what you are asking” isn’t the same thing as ignoring requests.

http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fc-cf/decisions/en/item/181503/index.do

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Government of Canada To Abolish Conditional Permanent Residency in 2017

2nd Nov 2016 Comments Off on Government of Canada To Abolish Conditional Permanent Residency in 2017

Last Updated on November 2, 2016 by Steven Meurrens

On October 29, 2016, the Government of Canada announced that it would be abolishing the conditional permanent residency regime currently in place in the Family Class and the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class.

Since October, 2012, conditional permanent residency has applied to individuals who are the spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner of their sponsor for two years or less when they submit their sponsorship applications and who do not have children in common with their sponsor when they submit the sponsorship applications.  Conditional permanent residents are required to cohabit in a conjugal relationship with their sponsors for a continuous period of two years after the day on which they become permanent residents.  If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“) determines that conditional permanent residents have breached the condition, then IRCC will declare them inadmissible to Canada, and removal proceedings will be initiated.  An exception to this is where there is abuse.  Conditional permanent residents are able to appeal such decisions to the Immigration Appeal Division, which can consider humanitarian & compassionate considerations.

From 2013-2015, 58 218 spouses and partners along with their children were admitted to Canada as conditional permanent residents. This represented approximately 42% of admissions of spouses, partners, and their children within Canada’s family reunification programs.  During this time, 307 conditional permanent residents requested an exception to the requirement to cohabit with their sponsor due to abuse or neglect. Approximately 80% of these requests were approved. 

In my experience, the Canada Border Services Agency was very flexible in its application of the abuse exception, and was very reluctant to dismiss someone’s claim that they had suffered abuse.

In the Gazette, the Government of Canada has now announced that after four years it is unclear whether or not conditional permanent residence has had its intended impact of deterring non-genuine sponsorship applications,

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