February 21st 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to the February 2017 edition of the Ackah Law Newsletter!

If you have not yet signed up directly to receive our newsletter, please email Kim Pryhitko – kim@ackahlaw.com or sign up through the newsletter. We encourage you to like our Facebook page and join our LinkedIn and Twitter groups; you can find us under Ackah Business Immigration Law. For more information on immigration matters and on the exciting work we do, please see the link below for our blog http://www.ackahlaw.com/blog/  and follow us on twitter @ackahlaw. 


  • April 3, 2017 – APEG BC (Vancouver)
  • April 28, 2017 – APEGA Annual Conference (Calgary)
  • June 21, 2017 – APEGA Evening Presentation


Newsletter Re-Brand

Ackah Law will be launching our new client newsletter in March 2017 – so stay tuned for a new and fresh look to continue to engage with our clients and contacts!

Some OINP Streams Reopening

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has recently announced that its federal nomination allocation for 2017 will be 6,000 (up from 5,500 in 2016) and that three of its most popular streams will be reopening this week. These three streams are the:

  • International PhD Graduate Stream
  • International Masters Graduate Stream, and 
  • Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream

Applications under all three streams must now be submitted through a new online application system.

The OINP has also stated that it is still in the process of reviewing its business-focused streams and that it expects to reopen these streams within the coming months. For more information on the above please see the February 16, 2017 news release and fact sheet.

More updates are expected this week so stay-tuned to the OINP Program Updates page for new information about the program.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is scheduled to open in early March 2017.  The Pilot has two streams for skilled workers (Atlantic High-Skilled program & Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled program) and one for international student graduates (Atlantic International Graduate Program). You can learn more about the program here.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot candidates will be able to apply for a work permit before submitting their permanent residence application if they can show that the position needs to be filled urgently, and commit to applying for permanent residence through the program within 90 days of submitting the work permit application.


Follow up on US Executive Order

Following the ruling of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which upheld the suspension of President Trump’s travel ban, citizens from the seven Muslim-majority nations targeted by the ban have been permitted to resume normal travel to the United States. This return to normalcy appears to be short lived however, as the administration has stated that it intends to release “tighter, more streamlined version” of the ban. Sources briefed on the new draft say that the ban will still target citizens of the same seven countries and will maintain the suspension of refugee applications.

Updated Low Income Cut Off (LICO) for 2017

Statistics Canada has recently announced its Low Income Cut Off (LICO) figures for 2017. The LICO is used as a baseline by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to establish financial eligibility for a variety of Canadian immigration programs. The LICO figures apply to all provinces except Quebec, and are used to determine the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) for sponsors in most family class application, as well as settlement fund requirements for a variety of Provincial and Federal economic immigration streams where the applicant does not have a Canadian job / job offer. For example, currently:

  • The MNI required to sponsor a parent or grandparent is LICO plus 30%
  • The MNI required to sponsor adopted children and other relatives is LICO or greater
  • The settlement fund requirement for those applying for permanent residence under the Skilled Trades / Skilled Worker stream is 50% of LICO
  • The settlement fund requirement for those applying for permanent residence under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot is 5% of LICO

Federal Low Income Cut-Off Table 2017

Number in Family – including sponsored person(s) Low Income Cut-Off
1 person $24,600
2 persons $30,625
3 persons $37,650
4 persons $45,712
5 persons $51,846
6 persons $58,473
7 persons $65,101
More than 7 persons, for each additional person, add $6,628

Update on Express Entry and Invitations to Apply – Largest draw and lowest CRS score yet

More good news for Express Entry candidates waiting to receive an Invitation to Apply!

The February 8, 2017 round of invitation was both the largest draw yet and the first draw where the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”) score fell below 450 – something which has not occurred since draws began in January 2015.

The number of invitations issued was 3,644 and candidates with a minimum of 447 CRS points were selected.

Data collected from IRCC has shown that the majority of active candidates awaiting invitations in the   Express entry pool have between 300 and 449 CRS points.

Please don’t keep our boutique law firm a secret!  We are very appreciative of any referrals and recommendations you send our way. Thank you very much!


We hope that you have found this newsletter both helpful and informative. We look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions about the content. Please let us know how we may be of assistance and how you can leverage our expertise in helping to meet your business needs. Should you wish to discuss further the impact of any of the above-referenced policy changes, we encourage you to contact our office.

*Please note that this immigration newsletter has been created for informational purposes only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.


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