Promotions Can Impact a Temporary Worker’s Immigration Prospects

22nd Jun 2018 Comments Off on Promotions Can Impact a Temporary Worker’s Immigration Prospects

Last updated on February 5th, 2019

A Canadian business is employing a foreign worker. They want to promote them or give them a raise. What could be wrong with that?

Quite a few things, as it turns out. There are certain immigration requirements that all employers and foreign worker employees should know before a promotion or raise.

Employer compliance in temporary worker program

For the employer, the risk of a promotion or raise is that it could run them afoul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and/or the International Mobility Program. Unless the foreign worker is on an open work permit that contains no restrictions of employment, all employers need to abide by the information that they provided to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as part of the work permit process.

In cases where an employer has promoted the foreign worker or otherwise changed their duties, the foreign worker must receive a new work permit before the change is implemented. While the IRCC website specifically cites the examples of a manager being promoted to a director and a technician being promoted to an engineer, all promotions require a new work permit if the promotion results in the employee’s National Occupational Classification code changing.

Whether a raise will require a new work permit will depend on the work permit program used to hire the foreign worker. If the work permit was the result of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, then a raise will typically require a new LMIA, although there are ways around this. If the foreign worker was hired through an LMIA exemption, then an increase in wages will not result in the employer being non-compliant unless the new wage indicates a change in duties.

Promoting temporary workers and the impact on immigration


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The Beyond the Border Initiative – ETA, Information Sharing, Tracking Exits

17th Jan 2014 Comments Off on The Beyond the Border Initiative – ETA, Information Sharing, Tracking Exits

[The following is a slightly edited (to include links) version of an article that I wrote for The Canadian Immigrant.]

In February 2011, Canada and the United States agreed to the Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competiveness. More commonly known as the Beyond the Border Action Plan, the effect of the agreement was to strengthen co-operation and, in some cases, harmonize Canadian and American immigration practices.

The Government of Canada has begun enthusiastically implementing the terms of the Beyond the Border Action Plan, and will in 2014-2015 introduce three significant changes to Canadian immigration legislation that will impact almost everyone who enters Canada.

Electronic travel authorization

People who wish to visit Canada generally fall into one of two categories:  those who need to apply for and obtain temporary resident visas prior to arriving in Canada; and those who can arrive at Canadian ports of entry without first obtaining a visa. This will change in April 2015, when Canada implements the electronic travel authorization (“eTA”) system.

All foreign nationals who are exempt from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa will instead need to obtain online authorization before they fly to Canada.  This includes Europeans, Australians, Japanese, Koreans, etc. Citizens from the United States, however, are exempt.

The eTA application process will be online via the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. Applicants will be required to enter biographic, passport and background information, which may affect admissibility to Canada. An electronic system will then perform an examination that includes a risk assessment and a verification of the information provided in the application against enforcement databases. The Government of Canada expects that the majority of applications will be approved within minutes.

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Who Should Consider the Federal Skilled Trades Class?

18th Mar 2013 Comments Off on Who Should Consider the Federal Skilled Trades Class?

(The following is an article that I wrote for the March 2013 edition of Canadian Immigrant Magazine)

On January 2, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) opened the Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP”).  CIC will process up to 3,000 FSTP applications in 2013.  For certain people, the FSTP will be an attractive alternative to those who fall through the cracks of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (the “Skilled Worker Program”) and the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”).

To be eligible for the FSTP, applicants must meet five requirements.

First, they must have twenty-four months of work experience in an eligible skilled trade during the five year period preceding their application.  CIC has designated forty-three trades as being eligible for the program.  Of these, seventeen occupations are capped at 100 applications.  Applicants will accordingly need to check the CIC website to see whether the quota has been reached for their occupation prior to applying.

Second, applicants must have an offer of continuous full-time employment in Canada from up to two employers for a total period of at least one year in their skilled trade.  As “full-time” means at least thirty hours of week, applicants could be eligible if they obtain offers from two employers who provide fifteen hours each per week.  The effect of this requirement is that most FSTP applicants will have to obtain job offers from employers who have been issued positive Labour Market Opinions from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (“Service Canada”).  Alternatively, applicants do not need a job offer if they possess a Certificate of Qualification from a provincial or territorial Apprenticeship Authority.

Third, applicants will have to satisfy the employment requirements of their skilled trade as described by Service Canada’s National Occupational Classification system.


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