Welcome to the February 2016 edition of the Ackah Law Newsletter, we hope the year is starting off well for you!
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Ackah Law Now Offering Compliance Audit Services!
Ackah Business Immigration Law is pleased to announce that it has begun offering compliance audit 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. Given the government’s increased focus on compliance and the expansion of Employer Compliance Reviews (“ECR”) and Investigations, we believe that it is important our clients 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 compliance audit 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.
What is the Difference between a Visitor Visa and a Parent / Grandparent Super Visa?
Currently, most visitors to Canada may visit for up to six months when they first enter Canada. Visitors who wish to stay longer must apply for an extension, and pay a new fee. With the parent and grandparent Super Visa, eligible parents and grandparents can visit family in Canada for up to two years without the need to renew their status.
The Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that provides multiple entries for a period up to 10 years. The key difference is that the Super Visa allows an individual to stay for up to two years on initial entry into Canada, while a 10-year multiple entry visa would have a status period for each entry of six months only. Who is eligible for a parent and grandparent super visa?
Increases in Processing Times for Permanent Residence Cards
It is now taking approximately 73 days after landing for the processing of initial Permanent Residence cards. Renewing a Permanent Residence card is taking more than 170 days. It is important to be aware that processing times may impact travel if you wish to travel outside of Canada before receiving your initial/renewed Permanent Residence card. If travel is unavoidable, then Permanent Residents may need to apply for a Travel Document (Permanent Resident Abroad).
UPDATES IN IMMIGRATION LAW
Electronic Travel Authorization
Effective March 15, 2016, all foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) prior to flying to Canada. Citizens of the United States are exempt from this requirement; however, all other visa-exempt foreign nationals must have an eTA in order to be permitted to board their flight to Canada. Foreign nationals who hold a valid Temporary Resident Visa do not need to apply for an eTA. Visa-exempt countries are:
Click here for more information on the eTA
Updates to Labour Market Impact Assessment Exempt Work Permits For The Arts
New categories of Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)-exempt work permits under section 205 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations have recently been introduced.
The LMIA exemption code C14 applies to foreign nationals whose work is essential to a television or film production and would create and maintain significant economic benefits and opportunities for Canadians and permanent residents.
The LMIA exemption code C23 applies to foreign nationals working in dance (e.g., ballet, contemporary), opera, orchestra and live theatre whose work contributes to competitive advantages and reciprocal benefits for all Canadians, including Canadian performing artists and performing arts organizations.
Foreign nationals who are employed as film producers, essential personnel for commercial (i.e., advertising) shoots, and film and recording studio users may be considered under the business visitor category. More information
Invitations To Apply – Minimum Points Slowly Increasing
After the initial launch of Express Entry when the first draw for an Invitation to Apply was a whopping 886 points, there was a trend for each subsequent draw to be lower. However, recently the points are tending to hover around a “band” of 460, with the lowest point score being 453 in the last six draws.
Many candidates are waiting to be selected, but their points are not quite high enough. There may be ways to increase your points by adding second language proficiency, a spouse’s education and language proficiency or obtaining an Educational Credential Assessment of your education. Contact Ackah Law for assistance. More information here
UPDATE ON EXPRESS ENTRY – RANKINGS
January 10, 2016 - Foreign Nationals (“FN”) who were assigned a total of 459 points or more under the CRS were provided an invitation to apply (“ITA”). The number of ITAs released was 1,505latest draw.
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.