Welcome to the October 2016 edition of the Ackah Law Newsletter!
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UPCOMING ACKAH LAW SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
On November 8, 2016, Evelyn Ackah will be hosting a webinar for the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta on NAFTA Requirements for Working in the United States. This presentation will provide detailed information for Engineers, Technologists and Geoscientists who are interested in moving to the United States to pursue employment opportunities. Presentation
On November 15, 2016, Evelyn Ackah and Janet Nystedt will be presenting on Immigration Law and Employment Law: Best Practices to Protect your Organization if Terminating TFWs in Alberta’s Current Economic Climate. This presentation will focus on the employer’s obligations and risks when terminating TFWs and other employees, ensuring compliance and record-keeping for the organization and how HR personnel can be proactive in mitigating risk for their organizations during the layoff of TFWs. Presentation
UPDATES IN IMMIGRATION LAW
The “Forward Regulatory Plan: 2016-2018”
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) has now released its Forward Regulatory Plan for 2016-2018. The plan discusses changes that the government would like to make in the next two years. Major reforms include changes to the age of a dependent child. Currently, the definition of a dependent child is “is less than 19 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner”. The government would like to increase the age of dependent children, however the Regulatory Plan has not stated what the ideal age would be. Update
Currently, there are conditions placed on sponsored spouses to live with their spouse for 2 years after they have arrived in Canada in order to maintain their PR status. Under the new Regulatory Plan, the government has suggested changing these provisions in order to protect the vulnerability of sponsored spouses. Update
Increasing the Validity Period of Work Permits Under the International Experience Canada Program
Currently, anyone who has received a work permit under the International Experience Class (“IEC”) program cannot obtain an extension on their work permit. However, IRCC recognizes there are some instances where an extension may be granted. For example, if the applicant was supposed to receive a two year work permit under the IEC program, but only received a one year work permit because the applicant’s passport was expiring. Update
Changes to the Post Graduation Work Permit
As of September 30, 2016, students who attend Canadian private institutions, who are authorized to confer degrees will now be eligible to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). Other changes include: the assessments made by an Immigration Officer when an applicant has taken distance or an online learning course in Canada at a designated learning institute and the removal of apprenticeship programs on the list of ineligible programs for the PGWP. Update
Students who applied for a PGWP between September 1, 2014 and March 15, 2016 and, who were denied may be eligible to re-apply for PGWP and have the application fees waived – if they completed their coursework by distance learning during their last year. Applications for restoration of status must be made by March 17, 2017. Update
Potential New Visa: Foreign Talent Workers Visa
The Canadian Government is considering the creation of a new program for “foreign talent”. This program may be another stream for high skilled workers to come to Canada. Creating this new program will assist in addressing the domestic labour shortages Canada faces in certain highly specialized fields. Update
Minimum Wage Increase
As of October 1, 2016, the Alberta government has increased the minimum wage to $12.20 per hour. In October 2017, there will be further increases to the minimum wage to $13.60 per hour and in October 2018 they will increase the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Update
Update on Express Entry and Invitations to Apply – Permanent Residence
October 19, 2016 – FN who were assigned a total of 475 points or more under the Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”) were provided an invitation to apply (“ITA”). The number of ITAs released was 1,804. Latest Draw This is the first drop in points we have seen since May 6, 2016.
Since May 6, 2016, the total number of CRS points have fluctuated between 480 – 538. On October 12, 2016 – CRS points – 484 number of ITAs released were 1,518.
Ackah Law Now Offers Employment Law Advisory Services!
To further assist our clients, we are now offering employment law advisory services to assist clients with workforce planning. Ackah Law can now assist our clients with full service employment law advice, including drafting employment and consulting agreements, implementing workplace policies and procedures and preparing for reorganization and terminations - we can help ensure you are compliant with workplace regulations and well protected in the event of workplace unrest. We are pleased to have on our team an experienced employment and labour lawyer that will be contracted with us to assist our clients with employment law matters. Contact us directly for more information at (403) 452-9515 ext. 100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.