Happy Spring and welcome to the April 2016 edition of the Ackah Law Newsletter!
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Ackah Law Now Offering Employer Immigration Compliance Review Services!
Ackah Business Immigration Law is pleased to announce that it has begun offering employer immigration compliance review services to assist clients who have obtained Labour Market Impact Assessments under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program as well as those who have foreign workers in Canada under the International Mobility Program (NAFTA and Intra-company Transfer categories etc.). Given the government’s increased focus on compliance and the expansion of Employer Compliance Reviews (“ECR”) and Investigations, we believe that it is important employers are prepared. 1 out of 3 businesses will go through a compliance review every year – are you prepared? If the business is found to be non-compliant, employers can face significant monetary fines up to a maximum of $1 million, a ban of 1 to 10 years or even permanent bans from using the TFW program again. As well, CIC and Service Canada are prepared to publish the names of non-compliant employers. To further assist our clients, we have developed a new employer immigration compliance review program with services to assist you to ensure you are compliant with the new rules and are keeping all the correct documents and responding appropriately if selected for an ECR. Please see the following links: Compliance and Mobility and contact Ackah Law for more information.
IMMIGRATION UPDATES FROM THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE
On April 7 – 9, 2016 we attended the Canadian Bar Association’s Annual Immigration Law Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship was in attendance and delivered an interesting presentation regarding upcoming changes over the next 18 to 24 months in the immigration portfolio. Some of the announcements are as follows:
• Reversing the age of a dependant back to under 22 years of age (currently a dependant must be under 19
years of age)
• Removing the two year conditional Permanent Residence status for sponsored spouses without children in
• shortening processing times for spousal sponsorships to focus on family reunification
• Installation of a right to appeal if Canadian citizenship is revoked based on misrepresentation
• Foreign Nationals who have studied at an approved Canadian Post-Secondary institution (International
Student) will be eligible for more points under Express Entry
• Foreign Nationals who have siblings in Canada could be eligible for more points as well under Express
Further areas under consideration by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada are as follows:
• May remove the requirement for a “qualifying job offer” to require an LMIA under Express Entry, as there
are many applicant’s that do have a job offer under the International Mobility Program, which is
currently LMIA exempt
• May add more spots for parental sponsorship. IRCC has acknowledged the high demand for this program and
is reviewing options to speed up processing and increase the number of applications accepted each year
• Changing the Caregiver program to have certified companies bring in Caregivers from abroad and move them
from household to household as needed. This will ensure continued employment for the Caregivers while
ensuring they are not stuck in a potentially abusive situations because they do not have an LMIA for
• No decision has been made yet on allocating more nominations to provinces/territories under the
Provincial Nominee Program.
• No decision has been made yet if there will be any renewal of the Federal Investor Program.
EXPRESS ENTRY – REVIEW OF 2015
• Top five occupations issued Invitations to Apply in 2015:
• Food Service Supervisors (2,356)
• Cooks (2,295)
• Information Systems Analysts and Consultants (1,255)
• Software Engineers (940)
• Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers (935)
• Number of Invitations to Apply issued in 2015:
• Federal Skilled Workers (13,214)
• Canadian Experience Class (11,228)
• Provincial Nominees (4,105)
• Federal Skilled Trades (2,516)
SELECTION CATEGORIES FOR INVITATIONS TO APPLY FOR EXPRESS ENTRY
Prior to June 26, 2015, the order for selecting a program under which to issue an Invitation to Apply for an applicant who qualified for more than one program was: 1) Federal Skilled Trades 2) Federal Skilled Workers and 3) Canadian Experience Class.
As a result of feedback by immigration lawyers nationally, a shift was made Effective March 2016 as follows: 1) Canadian Experience Class 2) Federal Skilled Workers and 3) Federal Skilled Trades. This makes the process clearer for the applicant, as the Canadian Experience Class has no requirement to show Settlement Funds and is also processed faster.
UPDATES IN IMMIGRATION LAW
CANADA LOOKING TO SETTLE MORE FRANCOPHONES OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC
Beginning June 1, 2016, a new International Mobility Stream is being introduced to attract Francophone skilled workers to settle in communities outside of Quebec. The Mobilité Francophone stream will exempt employers from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment when they hire francophone workers in managerial, professional and technical/skilled trades occupations to work in francophone minority communities outside of Quebec. The News Release can be read here
UPDATE ON EXPRESS ENTRY – RANKINGS DECLINING
April 6, 2016 – Foreign Nationals (“FN”) who were assigned a total of 470 points or more under the CRS were provided an invitation to apply (“ITA”). The number of ITAs released was 954. latest draw.
This is the lowest number of ITAs in almost one year and is clearly a reflection of the federal government’s shifting immigration focus away from economic immigrants to family immigrants and refugees. It will be interesting to see how this trend develops over the course of the year.
Please don’t keep our boutique immigration law firm a secret! We are very appreciative of any referrals and recommendations you send our way. Thank you very much!