October 2013 Newsletter

28 October 2013

Hello from all of us at Ackah Business Immigration Law!  We are sending our October newsletter with details on some exciting new immigration initiatives that may affect a wide range of our clients and their temporary foreign worker employees.

Updates in Immigration Law

Cancelled fast-track program for foreign workers could soon return

The Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (ALMO) was suspended in April 2013 due to some highly publicized problems - however, the federal government is considering bringing the cancelled fast-track program back.

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development is reviewing whether they should bring back the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion process for certain highly skilled occupations and he is also reviewing the occupations that are currently exempt from the labour market opinion process.

Please see link to article:
http://www.canada.com/Cancelled+fast+track+program+foreign+workers+could+soon+return/9017802/story.html

HRSDC/Service Canada Employer Compliance

Canadian Employers who hire temporary foreign workers are reminded of the importance of ensuring compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.  When Employers have obtained a positive or neutral Labour Market Opinion (“LMO”), they may be subject to a random Employer Compliance Review (“ECR”) by HRSDC/Service Canada.  To demonstrate compliance during an ECR process, below are examples of documents that Employers MUST ensure they retain for a period of six (6) years:

  • Payroll Records – ensuring the appropriate prevailing wage and overtime are being paid, proper deductions are being made for the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and Income Tax and an explanation of any non-standard deductions
  • Time Sheets – ensuring that workers are working the number of hours as set out in the LMO confirmation letter and annex
  • Registration with Provincial/Territorial workplace safety – Evidence that the employer has properly registered for workplace safety insurance to ensure workers are covered in case of a work-place injury
  • Job Duties – Evidence that the Employer has not changed the temporary foreign workers’ job duties after obtaining the LMO

Should the Employer be found non-compliant during an ECR Process, HRSDC/Service Canada may revoke any future LMO applications made by the Employer and prohibit the Employer for a period of two (2) years from making an application for a temporary foreign worker.  The Employer’s name and contact information may be published on CIC’s website as part of a list of ineligible employers.

For more information on Employer Compliance measures, please visit the link below:
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/foreign_workers/employer_compliance.shtml

Start-up Visa Program to Include Business Incubators

Immigration Minister, Chris Alexander expands the Start-up Visa Program to include world-class Business Incubators with immigrant entrepreneurs to contribute to Canada’s economic sector.  The purpose of this new addition to the Start-up Visa Program is to recruit dynamic foreign entrepreneurs and partner them up with Business Incubators.  Business Incubators are business support groups that provide mentorship and guidance to foreign entrepreneurs who intend on starting a new business in Canada.  For more information on the expansion of the Start-Up Visa Program, please visit the following link: 
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2013/2013-10-21.asp

Changes to the United States Customs and Border Protection I-94 Process are Causing Problems and Technical Difficulties with the New Paperless I-94 Issue by US CBP

All travelers entering the U.S. via air or sea ports of entry should be aware that the former process of receiving a hard copy I-94 upon entry into the United States is now slightly different. I-94 numbers will still be assigned to these travelers, but a paper copy will no longer be provided.  The US CBP rationale is that automation will save time, eliminate paper and streamline the admission process.

We have heard anecdotal evidence that the move towards paperless I-94s has caused some problems because US Customs and Border Protection is now removing the small white cards that were the hard copies of the I-94s.   This has some travelers concerned that the removal of the hard copy I-94 indicates that their US Visas (L-1s, H-1s etc...) have been revoked, but that is not the case; it simply means that US CBP now places no value on those white cards.  Instead, any one entering the US and obtaining a Visa must use the online system to log in and print off their I-94.  Travellers should take the time to check if their I-94 has been correctly entered by US CBP.

Another interesting issue is that some travelers have noticed when they do log in to print off their I-94, there are notes on the US CBP system about them that cause concern.   Some travellers have found out that they have been issued a Visa that only allows them to be in the US for a matter of days – not the number of months or years that they asked the US CBP Officer to allow.  A US CBP Officer is under no obligation to tell you that he is putting only a few days on your I-94 and not months – it is your responsibility to log in and check the terms set out on the card.  Also, some people have discovered that the US CBP has an inadmissibility issue flagged on their file that they were previously unaware of. 

To see your I-94 number you will have to log on to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s website once you have arrived in the U.S.  Every person entering the U.S. will be issued an I-94 number, but only those entering through land or train POEs should expect to have a paper I-94 issued and stapled in their passports.  We have confirmed that the fee of $6 for the actual I-94 card is still charged for entries through land and train ports of entries, but it is not charged for travel by air or ship.  Please see below for more information:
http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/newsroom/fact_sheets/travel/i94_factsheet.ctt/i94_factsheet.pdf

From All Of Us At Ackah Business Immigration Law:

We hope that you have found this newsletter both helpful and informative.  Please let us know how we may be of assistance and how you can leverage our expertise in helping meet your business needs.  Should you wish to discuss further the impact of any of these changes, we encourage you to contact our office and speak with one of the members of the Ackah Law Team. 

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

Read original email of our October 2013 newsletter here.


Contact us:

Email:
   contact@ackahlaw.com

Phone:
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