Newsletter - September 9, 2014

9 September 2014

Hello from all of us at Ackah Business Immigration Law!  Welcome to the September edition of the Ackah Law Newsletter.  We hope you find it informative and insightful as you plan for the coming final months of the year and consider your staffing needs.

 

If you happened to receive this newsletter and have not yet signed up to directly consent to receiving future newsletters, please email Kim Pryhitko – kim@ackahlaw.com or sign up directly at the top right of this newsletter to opt in.

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.

 You may be interested in attending the following conferences that Evelyn will be speaking at:

 

  • Stony Plain Chamber of Commerce: September 11, 2014

Evelyn will be speaking about recent updates and trends for temporary foreign workers and Canadian employers

  • The Canadian Institute’s 7th Annual Legal and Human Resources Guide to Employing Foreign Workers: October 29 – 30, 2014

Evelyn will be speaking about retaining foreign workers once they arrive in Canada

 UPDATES IN IMMIGRATION LAW

ALBERTA IMMIGRANT NOMINEE PROGRAM (AINP) STREAMS AND CATEGORIES STILL ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

As we are in the final quarter of 2014, it is important to be aware that the following AINP categories are still open for applications for Permanent Residence. It is important to note that eligibility requirements vary depending on the stream and category. Please also keep in mind that the PR stream will be undergoing significant changes in January 2015, so if you have any employees that are interested in PR, we highly recommend that you initiate that process immediately.

Employer-Driven Stream (EDS)

  1. Skilled Worker Category
    1. Individual has been offered a permanent and full-time job by an Alberta employer in an eligible skilled occupation
    2. International Graduate Category
      1. Individual recently graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada
      2. Individual has a Post-Graduation Work Permit; and
      3. Individual has been offered a permanent and full-time job by an Alberta employer in an eligible skilled occupation
      4. Semi-Skilled Worker Category

Only select key industries and occupations are eligible in this category

  1. Individual has been offered a permanent and full-time job by an Alberta employer in an eligible skilled occupation
  2. Individual meets minimum language standards; and
  3. Individual is a temporary foreign worker

Strategic Recruitment Stream (SRS)                                                                                               

Under SRS, there were changes made to the SRS Post-Graduate Worker Category on September 27, 2013.

One may apply on your own (without an employer) under one of three different category options:

  1. Compulsory and Optional Trades Category
    1. Individual is a temporary foreign worker; and
    2. Individual has a valid trade certificate in a compulsory or optional trade in Alberta issued or recognized by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT)
    3. Engineering Occupations Category
      1. Individual is a temporary foreign worker; and
      2. Individual has Alberta work experience in an eligible engineering occupation
      3. SRS Post-Graduate Worker Category
        1. Individual has a Post-Graduation Work Permit
        2. Individual is currently working in Alberta; and
        3. Individual has graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Alberta

For more details, please visit the following link.

 http://www.albertacanada.com/opportunity/audience/2968.aspx

PROCESSING TIMES

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Processing Time

The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) announced a 10 day processing time for certain occupations effective immediately. More specifically, this applies to highest-demand occupations (skilled trades), highest-paid (top 10 percent) occupations (being paid more than $48 dollars an hour in Alberta) or short-duration work periods (120 days or less). As is the case for all requests to hire temporary foreign workers, LMIAs would only be granted after a rigorous review of all of the elements of the employer’s application in each of these cases. However, it is important to note that this service standard may not be experienced across the country. Companies and individuals should be prepared for a longer processing time until such service standard is met.  Those applications that don’t qualify under the above three categories are taking 8 to 10 weeks for processing in Alberta.

 

For more details, please visit the following links.

 http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/foreign_workers/reform/timeline.shtml

 http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/foreign_workers/reform/restrict.shtml

 

 Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) Processing Times

Recently, AINP applications for permanent residence are taking between 8 and 12 months (from the date an application was received) to complete assessments and processing. They used to be completed in 1 to 4 months. This significant increase in processing times is causing major issues for temporary foreign workers as their work permits may be at risk of expiring before the nomination certificate has been approved. Once the nomination certificate has been approved, the foreign worker can use that approval to obtain a 12 month extension on their work permit until such time as their Permanent Residence has been granted. The AINP office is now advising any employees with work permits that may expire within the next 6 months (and within the 12 month processing time) to begin the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process to ensure that at all times they have valid work permits. Losing valid work permit status in this process may impact eligibility for the nomination certificate.

The AINP is authorized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to issue a maximum of 5,500 nomination certificates during the 2014 calendar year. As of the end of May, the AINP has issued close to half of its maximum nomination certificates for 2014. You may continue to submit applications to the streams and categories as mentioned above.

For more details, please visit the following link.

http://www.albertacanada.com/opportunity/immigrating/ainp-processing-times.aspx

Work Permit Extension Processing Times

As of August 27, 2014, the processing times for work permit extension applications submitted inside Canada are as follows:

Type of Application

Paper Application

Online Application

Processing times

Working on applications received on

Processing times

Working on applications submitted on

Work Permit Extension

48 days

4-Jul-14

8 days

13-Aug-14

(new employer)

Work Permit Extension 

58 days

24-Jun-14

8 days

13-Aug-14

(same employer)

 

For more details, please visit the following link.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/temp.asp

 IN THE NEWS

Justin Beiber, Canadian Singer-Songwriter, allegedly offered Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers “up to $10,000 worth of backstage passes” to let his friends, who were performing in a show, into Canada. This was to exempt two American members of his entourage from Canada’s immigration laws on criminal inadmissibility. Apparently the CBSA officers involved have lost their jobs because of this matter.  There are many reasons Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) may not let individuals with criminal inadmissibility issues into Canada. If anyone has a valid reason to travel to Canada, CIC may issue the person a temporary resident permit. If the individual has committed or been convicted of a crime, there are a few options that must be considered before they attempt to enter Canada. Please discuss with us if you have any questions about inadmissibility.

For more details, please visit the following links.

http://arts.nationalpost.com/2014/08/23/justin-bieber-allegedly-bribed-border-guards-with-10000-worth-of-backstage-passes-to-get-friends-into-canada/

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/inadmissibility/index.asp

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.

If you happened to receive this newsletter and have not yet signed up to directly consent to receiving future newsletters, please email Kim Pryhitko – kim@ackahlaw.com or sign up directly at the top right of this newsletter to opt in.

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


Contact us:

Email:
   contact@ackahlaw.com

Phone:
   Calgary: (403) 452‑9515
   Vancouver: (604) 985‑9512
   Toronto: (416) 643‑7177

   North America: 1 (800) 932‑1190


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