Hello from all of us at Ackah Business Immigration Law! Canada’s immigration programs continue to have a prominent place in the news media, particularly as the government continues to introduce or expand upon programs designed to meet the needs of the labour market.
Given the often extreme shortages of certain skilled tradespeople, there is a great deal of excitement regarding the introduction of the Federal Skilled Trades Program for Permanent Residence which was announced in late 2012 and which is now accepting applications. Now that the program requirements have been released, we are happy to provide more information so that you can determine ways this program may be leveraged to meet your workforce needs.
Feel free to contact Evelyn or Helen to discuss any questions arising from this newsletter.
Effective January 29, 2013, there are significant changes to the processing network of Canadian visa offices in the US. The following offices in the US will no longer process visa applications:
All temporary residence applications currently in process at these three offices will be still be finalized by these offices. Should it be necessary, applications may be transferred to the remaining visa offices in Los Angeles or New York City.
Going forward, applications will be submitted as follows:
Study Permits – Los Angeles
Work Permits and Temporary Resident Permits – New York City
Temporary Resident Visas – ONLINE
Permanent Residence – Case Processing Pilot in Ottawa
Outside of North America, there have been further closures of visa offices. Effective immediately, the visa section of the Canadian embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, is being closed. Applications for temporary status such as work permits and study permits can be submitted online, with Canada’s third party Visa Application Centres in Venezuela, or sent to the Canadian embassy in Mexico City. Applications for permanent residence will also now be processed at the Canadian embassy in Mexico.
The visa section of the Canadian embassy in Seoul, South Korea, is also being closed. Similarly, applications for temporary status such as work permits can be submitted online, at Visa Application Centres where available, or directly to the Canadian embassy in Manila, the Philippines. Applications for permanent residence will be also be processed by the Canadian embassy in Manila, Philippines.
As we noted in the last month’s newsletter, CIC is implementing a new stream for foreign nationals wishing to apply for permanent residence in Canada which will admit applicants in a skilled trade occupation. The current list of 43 eligible jobs in the skilled trades can be found athttp://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/trades/applications.asp.
This program will have a quota of 3000 for 2013, with sub-caps of 100 in certain jobs, but it is hoped that this will be increased in future years, depending on the success of the program. To be eligible, applicants must:
Meet a minimum language proficiency requirement, which will be lower than that required under the FSWP
Have an offer of employment OR a certificate of qualification from a provincial / territorial apprenticeship authority
Provide evidence that applicant can practice trade independently
Provide evidence of qualifying work experience
This program, in combination with the LMO exemptions for certain skilled tradespeople inbound to Canada, should greatly help to alleviate labour shortages, particularly in Western Canada.
We hope that you have found this 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 either of our offices in Alberta and British Columbia.
*Please note that this immigration alert has been created for informational purposes only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.
Ackah Business Immigration Law
1105, 550 11 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2R 1M7
5811 Cooney Road
South Tower, Suite 305
Richmond, BC V6X 3M1