Newsletter - December 18, 2015

18 December 2015

Hello from all of us at Ackah Business Immigration Law!  Welcome to the December 2015 edition of the Ackah Law Newsletter. 

If you happened to receive this newsletter and have not yet signed up to directly consent to receiving future newsletters, please email Kim Pryhitko – or sign up through the newsletter.  We encourage you to like our Facebook page and join our LinkedIn and Twitter groups; you can find us under Ackah Business Immigration Law. For more information on immigration matters and on the exciting work we do, please see the link below for our blog  and follow us on twitter @ackahlaw.  


Office Closure Dates

Please note that our office will be closed at noon on December 24, 2015, we will reopen again on Monday, January 4, 2016. 

*Please be sure to flip your Ackah Law 2-year calendar to begin the 2016 year!


Bridging Open Work Permits

The Bridging Open Work Permit (“BOWP”) is issued to those who have applied for Permanent Residence and are waiting for the application to be processed.  This applies to applicants who meet the program eligibility requirements and need to “bridge” the gap between the expiration of their Work Permit and the issuance of their Permanent Residence Visa.  In order to qualify, applications for Canadian Permanent Residence must have been submitted under one of the following classes:

  • Federal Skilled Worker class;
  • Canadian Experience class:
  • Federal Skilled Trades class;
  • Caring for Children class or caring for people with high medical needs class;
  • Provincial Nominee Class (applicants who have no employer restrictions only)

Further information on the BOWP

Labour Market Impact Assessment Exempt Employer Portal Update

As noted in our previous newsletter, CIC has implemented an Employer Portal as part of the International Mobility Program. Over the last few weeks, the Employer Portal has experienced significant technical difficulties that have delayed submissions of the Offer of Employment forms.  CIC has now made available a physical form to be used by Employer’s in the event the Employer Portal is not available, however, the employer may need to wait 5 days before they receive access to the form.  As such, we urge all employers to prepare for potential workers entering Canada under the International Mobility Program well in advance of the expected travel date of the worker in case of portal problems. 

Review the notice on the Employer Portal page.

Immigration Year in Review

As the year comes to an end, let’s reflect on some of the significant changes that have occurred this past year with respect to immigration law:

  1. January 2015 - the introduction of Express Entry.  A portal which allows applicants to apply for Permanent Residence if they qualify under Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class. This new system, allows applications for Permanent Residence to be completed within 6 months Express Entry Information
  2. February 2015 - the introduction of the Offer of Employment for all non-labour market impact assessment work permits. Essentially, for any work permit that falls under international mobility (NAFTA, International Experience Class, Intra Company Transfer) are required to have completed the Offer of Employment and paid the $230 employer compliance fee.
  3. June 2015 – The Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act came into effect. The new residency requirements of living in Canada for at least 4 out of 6 years (1,460 days) and the requirement to be physically present in Canada for 183 days per year for each of the 4 years out 6.  As well, applicants between the ages of 14-64 must meet the language requirements and pass the citizenship test Strengthening Citizenship Act
  4. October 2015 - the introduction of the new Employer Portal, which allows employers to directly submit their offer of employments for their employees Employer Portal link
  5. December 2015 -  the International Experience Class (IEC) program has moved into a portal format, similar to that of Express Entry. Applicants must apply via the IEC portal. They will need to have all their documents uploaded for example, police certificates for every country the applicant has lived in since the age of 18+ for 6 months or more. Previously, the IEC program worked as first in, first out now it appears that portal will review the application and if it meets all the requirements, applicants will receive an Invitation to Apply through International Experience Class
  6. December 2015 - CIC announced that the Pilot program for open work permits issued for In-Canada Spousal Sponsorships has been extended for an additional year Pilot Project

We will see what additional immigration changes will be unveiled in 2016 – stay tuned!


December 4, 2015 - Foreign Nationals (“FN”) who were assigned a total of 461 points or more under the CRS were provided an invitation to apply (“ITA”). The number of ITAs released was 1,451.latest 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!


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.

Contact us:


   Calgary: (403) 452‑9515
   Vancouver: (604) 985‑9512
   Toronto: (416) 643‑7177

   North America: 1 (800) 932‑1190

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