Happy Spring and welcome to the April 2016 edition of the Ackah Law Newsletter!
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Ackah Law Now Offering Employer Immigration Compliance Review Services!
Ackah Business Immigration Law is pleased to announce that it has begun offering employer immigration compliance review services to assist clients who have obtained Labour Market Impact Assessments under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program as well as those who have foreign workers in Canada under the International Mobility Program(NAFTA and Intra-company Transfer categories etc.). Given the government’s increased focus on compliance and the expansion of Employer Compliance Reviews (“ECR”) and Investigations, we believe that it is important employers are prepared. 1 out of 3 businesses will go through a compliance review every year – are you prepared? If the business is found to be non-compliant, employers can face significant monetary fines up to a maximum of $1 million, a ban of 1 to 10 years or even permanent bans from using the TFW program again. As well, CIC and Service Canada are prepared to publish the names of non-compliant employers. To further assist our clients, we have developed a new employer immigration compliance review program with services to assist you to ensure you are compliant with the new rules and are keeping all the correct documents and responding appropriately if selected for an ECR. Please see the following links: Compliance and Mobility and contact Ackah Law for more information.
IMMIGRATION UPDATES FROM THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE
On April 7 – 9, 2016 we attended the Canadian Bar Association’s Annual Immigration Law Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship was in attendance and delivered an interesting presentation regarding upcoming changes over the next 18 to 24 months in the immigration portfolio. Some of the announcements are as follows:
Reversing the age of a dependant back to under 22 years of age (currently a dependant must be under 19 years of age)
Further areas under consideration by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada are as follows:
EXPRESS ENTRY – REVIEW OF 2015
SELECTION CATEGORIES FOR INVITATIONS TO APPLY FOR EXPRESS ENTRY
Prior to June 26, 2015, the order for selecting a program under which to issue an Invitation to Apply for an applicant who qualified for more than one program was: 1) Federal Skilled Trades 2) Federal Skilled Workers and 3) Canadian Experience Class.
As a result of feedback by immigration lawyers nationally, a shift was made Effective March 2016 as follows: 1) Canadian Experience Class 2) Federal Skilled Workers and 3) Federal Skilled Trades. This makes the process clearer for the applicant, as the Canadian Experience Class has no requirement to show Settlement Funds and is also processed faster.
UPDATES IN IMMIGRATION LAW
CANADA LOOKING TO SETTLE MORE FRANCOPHONES OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC
Beginning June 1, 2016, a new International Mobility Stream is being introduced to attract Francophone skilled workers to settle in communities outside of Quebec. The Mobilité Francophone stream will exempt employers from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment when they hire francophone workers in managerial, professional and technical/skilled trades occupations to work in francophone minority communities outside of Quebec. The News Release can be read here
UPDATE ON EXPRESS ENTRY – RANKINGS DECLINING
April 6, 2016 - Foreign Nationals (“FN”) who were assigned a total of 470 points or more under the CRS were provided an invitation to apply (“ITA”). The number of ITAs released was 954. latest draw.
This is the lowest number of ITAs in almost one year and is clearly a reflection of the federal government’s shifting immigration focus away from economic immigrants to family immigrants and refugees. It will be interesting to see how this trend develops over the course of the year.
Please don’t keep our boutique immigration 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.
*Please note that this immigration newsletter has been created for informational purposes only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.