Happy New Year from all of us at Ackah Business Immigration Law! We hope that 2015 will be a healthy and joyful year for you and your loved ones and that your businesses will continue to thrive and grow! Welcome to our first newsletter of the year which is focused on the new Express Entry Permanent Residence process - we hope you find it informative and insightful.
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Ackah Business Immigration Law Speaking Engagements
We frequently present on a wide range of immigration issues to firm clients, professional associations, community groups, institutions of higher education and many types of businesses. If you are interested in attending a presentation or inviting us to speak to your group, institution or business, please contact Evelyn Ackah directly to schedule and discuss topics of interest.
UPDATES IN IMMIGRATION LAW
As of January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has officially launched Express Entry. According to the government, Express Entry is designed to assist CIC to process Permanent Residence (PR) applications faster and to select candidates who will successfully adapt to life in Canada.
Express Entry is a portal where candidates provide the required personal information such as, their age, level of education, English test results, Canadian work experience, if the applicant has a spouse or a common law partner, their professional skills, if they have arranged employment (LMIA) and/or a provincial nomination and other such details. They create their profile in the portal and then they will be ranked. The ranking the candidate receives will be determined based on the information they have provided in their profile. http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2014/2014-12-01-x10/html/extra10-eng.php#e02
Once the profile has been set up, qualified candidates, those who meet the minimum requirements of the Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skills Trade Worker or Federal Skilled Worker requirements will be placed in the pool and will be automatically placed in the draw and will await their invitation to apply. Immigration Canada has advised that the first draw is scheduled to take place at the end of January.
Invitation to Apply
If a candidate receives an invitation to apply, they will have 60 days to apply for permanent residence. As police certificates are required, it is suggested that while completing the required information in the portal, candidates should also obtain police certificates if they are over the age of 18; as there is only a short window of time to apply once the candidate receives their invitation to apply. If the application is not complete, the candidate risks having their invitation rescinded.
The suggested timeline if the candidate is approved to receive permanent residence is approximately 6 months from the receipt of the submitted completed application.
Invitation to Apply – Offer rescinded
It is possible to have a candidate’s invitation to apply rescinded for multiple reasons. For instance, if the candidate’s application (after the invitation to apply) is incomplete, Immigration Canada will return the application and applicant will have to return to the pool and hope they receive a second invitation to apply – this could take many months.
Alternatively, if the candidate has been ranked, however the information provided in the portal is not truthful, for example the candidate provided incorrect language test results, stated they had a LMIA but did not have one or used an incorrect one, CIC has the right to rescind the candidate’s offer and the candidate may be found to have misrepresented themselves. If a candidate is found to have misrepresented themselves, the applicant can be barred from applying for permanent residency for a period of 5 years. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/notices/2014-12-01.asp
What to do if a candidate does not receive an invitation to apply?
A candidate’s profile in the portal is only valid for 1 year. If the candidate has not been selected within that year, they will need to complete and submit a new profile. Candidates will have 60 days to update their existing profiles and resubmit. If they do not, they will have to redo the entire profile and submit all over again. If the candidate wishes to increase their rank, suggestions on how to do that would be to redo the English test or obtain arranged employment (LMIA) or Provincial Nomination (if they do not have one), or update their skills.
Candidates should be updating their information on the profiles as their situations change. Any changes will reflect in their rank and candidates are encouraged to update their profiles as it important to be as truthful as possible. Examples of changes in a candidate’s profile are as follows:
Provincial Nominee Program and Express Entry
Most provinces and territories are still currently operating their own provincial nominee programs. However, a portion of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) have now become a part of Express Entry. A candidate can use both the PNP and Express Entry streams. There are two ways they can do this.
1) Apply to the PNP first, obtain the nomination and then fill in the Express Entry profile; or
2) Fill out the Express Entry profile first. Provinces and territories can then search the Express Entry and ask a candidate to apply for their PNP. When the candidate gets a nomination certificate, they will update their Express Entry profile.
In either case, once a person updates their Express Entry profile to show they have a provincial or territorial nomination certificate, they will be given enough additional points to be eligible for the upcoming draws. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/notices/2014-12-01.asp
There risk associated with obtaining the PNP nomination and then going through Express Entry is that the applicant is still waiting to be selected from the pool of applicants in their category. Being selected is based on the candidate’s rank and there is no guarantee that even with the PNP the candidate will be selected on the next round or two, as only candidates with the highest rank are selected from the pool.
LMIA’s and Express Entry
The $1,000 processing fee for LMIA applications are waived if the LMIA is used solely for the purpose of permanent residence.
Employers who need a worker to start work before the permanent resident visa is processed can apply for a “dual intent” LMIA. In this situation, the employer will need to pay the $1,000 LMIA processing fee. A dual intent LMIA allows the worker to come to Canada as a temporary foreign worker (“TFW”) first and work while they wait for a decision on their permanent residence application. Please note, in this situation, the TFW will still need to apply for a work permit and meet the requirements for TFW’s.
More details on Express Entry will be shared at the Ackah Business Immigration webinar! Keep an eye out for the email invitation!
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!
FROM ALL OF US AT ACKAH BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAW
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.
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*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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