Hello from all of us at Ackah Business Immigration Law! Welcome to the March edition of the Ackah Law Newsletter. We hope you find it informative and insightful.
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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.
UPDATES IN IMMIGRATION LAW
Preclearance Approved For US Travel
Canada and the United States are each introducing legislation which will allow customs officers to prescreen travelers who are crossing the border by bus, train or boat. Currently, only air travelers are prescreened before entering the US. The goal of expanding the system is to reduce bottlenecks and make it easier for more people to travel between Canada and the US. Both countries must pass the new legislation before this new policy will be enacted.
Alternative Pathways to Permanent Residence:
Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Class
As of February 13, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has reopened an alternative pathway for applicants who wish to apply for Permanent Residence. The category is called the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (“IIVC”) stream. In order to be eligible applicants must have at least $10 million dollars that has been obtained lawfully through business or investments – money received from an inheritance will not count. Applicants who are accepted under this category will be required to make a $2 million non-guaranteed investment for approximately 15 years into the IIVC fund. Applicants will need to obtain and provide a due diligence report from a CIC approved accounting firm who will examine and validate the applicant’s past business or investment experience, source of funds and personal net worth. The funds will be invested in order to assist Canadian-based start-ups with high growth potential. In order to apply, applicants must already have taken their English or French language test and obtained the required benchmarks. As well, applicants will need a Canadian post-secondary degree, diploma, or certificate, or proof of a completed foreign education credential and an equivalency assessment from a designated organization.
CIC will accept applications from February 13, 2015 to April 15, 2015 or until a maximum of 500 applications are received. Approximately 60 applications will be randomly selected to continue the process and only 60 applicants will be approved and receive their permanent residency under this category. Applications to assess whether the applicant will obtain their permanent residence under this category will be processed within approximately 6 months.
Live-in Caregiver Program
As of November 30, 2014, the live-in caregiver program (“LICG”) has been modified and no longer requires caregivers to be ‘live-in’ unless they choose to be. The program was also divided into two streams: caring for children or caring for people with high medical needs. With change come inevitable struggles. In most cases, a caregiver will fall under the low wage category for obtaining an labour market impact assessment (“LMIA”), as such, advertisements must not only be targeted to the required demographic but also directed to underrepresented groups. Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”) have been unable to provide suggestions on where to post the advertisement directed to underrepresented groups. Many free websites that target underrepresented groups do not let individuals post jobs; only corporations have the ability to use them or applicants must sign up to the website in order to see the job advertisements. For an advertisement to be accepted by the ESDC it needs to be accessible to the public, therefore closed advertisements are not suitable. So how does one get around all of this and obtain a caregiver for their child(ren) or for a person with high medical needs? With great difficulty unfortunately. Please contact us for assistance. http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/work/caregiver/index.asp
UPDATE ON EXPRESS ENTRY – RANKINGS
January 31, 2015 – Foreign Nationals (“FN”) who were assigned a total of 886 points or more under the comprehensive ranking system (“CRS”) were provided an invitation to apply (“ITA”). The number of ITA’s released was 779.
Feb. 7, 2015 - FNs who were assigned a total of 818 points or more under the CRS were provided an ITA. The number of ITAs released was 779.
Feb. 20, 2015 – FNs who were assigned a total of 808 points or more under the CRS were provided an ITA. The number of ITA’s released was 849.
Feb. 27, 2015 – FNs who were assigned a total of 735 points or more under the CRS were provided an ITA. The number of ITA’s released was 1187.
The number of points an applicant needs in Express Entry has continued to decrease, however, it is clear that in order to be selected, an applicant must have a LMIA, or a provincial nomination certificate in order to obtain the 600 points. Currently, Alberta’s provincial nomination certificate cannot be used to obtain the 600 points in Express Entry. British Columbia has created a separate stream and Ontario is planning on establishing a separate stream as well. Every province will need to determine how they wish to proceed in light of Express Entry.
Guest Contributor: Ms. Edmee Moojen
Introducing The Talent Pool Development Society of Calgary (“The Talent Pool”)
The Talent Pool was established in 2003 and registered as a not for profit organization in 2004. Our core belief, and mission, is that all existing pools of talent should equally participate in the Calgary workforce. An inclusive workforce is a healthy and strong workforce. We have been an independent, credible resource for Alberta employers for the past 11 years and our goal continues to be to facilitate the process between companies that experience difficulty matching specific skills level needs with currently existing under-employed talent.
As the Employers' Resource and Information Hub, we provide Calgary, and surrounding areas, and businesses with information, resources and links to these talent pools: Aboriginal People, Immigrants, Mature Workers, People with Disabilities and Youth. One of the multiple channels we use to disseminate information is by communicating consistently the ROI of an inclusive workforce through our various social media engines. We organize events, in collaboration with other community or business organizations, we publish relevant articles and blogs featuring the extensive work undertaken by our community partners. We create an open, neutral, forum and continually add value to the communities of skilled professionals, community partners and interested businesses.
In February 2015, we launched the new Community Outreach Report, CORe, after a three-month pilot test. The program’s goal is to support businesses that search for specific skills sets and are resorting to a LMIA and/or Express Entry process to address pressing labour needs. Either process requires a sustained and demonstrated extensive community outreach process as part of its requirements.
In Calgary alone, we have over 200 community partners that work to prepare potential candidates in the five hidden talent pools. We support your application process, as a neutral third party, by undertaking the extensive, and exhaustive, outreach activity required by reaching out to these 200+ community partners in a very targeted fashion, supporting your own outreach via a sustained social media campaign carefully documented, receiving and funneling applications from community partners who may have access to some of the skills required, vetting them prior to sharing them with your organization. We document every step of the process via a comprehensive report that supports your outreach effort and helps you deliver evidence of the undertaken activity.
The CORe program is flexible, can be customized to your application process needs, and varies in duration between a minimum of 40 days and a maximum of one year, with extensions as needed particularly when applying for a Permanent Resident status for existing workers. Reports are regularly generated and the outreach is ongoing until the expiry date of your chosen option and/or renewals.
If you are a business looking to hire people with a specific skill set and your regular search channels may not yield the right candidates, and/or you are applying for a Temporary Foreign Worker permit, or supporting a Permanent Resident Application, you will benefit from our CORe program:
Due to our linkages within the Calgary business community and our linkages with community organizations with access to hidden talent, we are in a unique position to liaise between the two and document those efforts on your behalf. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ackah law invited our guest contributor to share this information as we believe it would be of interest to many of our newsletter subscribers.
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.
*Please note that this immigration newsletter has been created for informational purposes only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.