Tag Archives: immigration law

In-Person Interviews Now Required for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications

Beginning on October 1, 2017, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will require all employer-sponsored applicants for adjustment of status to attend an in-person interview with a local Immigration Services Officer, before a decision is rendered in their Lawful Permanent Residence process. Highlights of this change to the law include:  All employment-based applications for adjustment of status will be subjected to the new in-person interview requirement. Previously, a small percentage of such applicants were subjected to an interview.

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Labour Market Impact Assessments – Employers Should Expect Delays In Receiving Decisions

Recent correspondence with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada Atlantic Region, suggests that the LMIA program has received an unexpectedly high number of applications and that its existing resources are unable to process LMIA applications in a timely manner.

Whether these delays are replicated at other ESDC offices throughout Canada remains to be seen but it would be prudent for employers and their representatives to anticipate delays and plan accordingly.

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Temporary Foreign Worker Inspections on the Increase

Whilst the Federal Government is contemplating changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to alleviate skill shortages employers are experiencing across Canada, it is also focusing on compliance through a significant increase in the number TFWP inspections it is carrying out.

An inspection can be triggered at random, by a whistleblower or, as is more often the case when an employer that has previously used the TFWP applies for a new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

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Canada To Lift Visa Requirements For Mexican Citizens

By John Soden

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to remove the requirement for Citizens of Mexico to be in possession of a visa to enter Canada. The intention is that, from December 1, 2016, Mexican Citizens will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead of a visa to visit Canada.

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New requirements for foreign employees returning to Canada

By John Soden

From September 1, 2016, it will be the policy of Clark Wilson to apply for Electronic Travel Authorizations (ETA’s) on behalf of all clients that require them.

Foreign nationals from visa exempt countries must have in their possession a valid ETA in order to be given permission to board any public carrier (air, rail, road and sea) to come to Canada. Failure to be in possession of a valid ETA will mean the foreign national will be refused boarding by the transport operator and their travel to Canada will be delayed until a valid ETA is obtained.

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Lengthy Delays for Permanent Residence Card Renewals

Background: Anecdotal evidence (http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/permanent-residence-card-delays-leave-thousands-without-id) suggest that potentially thousands of Permanent Residents are experiencing significant delays of between 3 months to 2 years in the processing of applications to renew their Permanent Residents (PR) cards.

Impact: Permanent Residents of Canada are required to have a valid PR card to enter Canada via a commercial carrier (airline, bus, train). If a Permanent Resident does not have a valid card he/she must apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) at a visa office when they are outside Canada.

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Canadian Employee Relocation Council calls for Sweeping Changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Background: The Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC) has written to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human resources, Skills and Social Development with recommendations for improving the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

CERC cites the results of a survey indicating that 77% of employer respondents said they had experienced inconsistencies in decisions made by officials managing the TFWP. (https://www.cerc.ca/news/292380/CERC-Calls-for-sweeping-overhaul-of-TFW-Program.htm)

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Federal Start –Up Visa Continues to Grow

Background: Launched in 2013 as a replacement for the much maligned Federal Investor Program, the Start-up visa aims to attract immigrant entrepreneurs to Canada.

Impact: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) itself recognizes that the program has been slow to make an impact. Currently 26 start-ups have been launched and 51 PR visa’s issued since the inception of the program in 2013. IRCC says there is a further 50 applications still in progress have been issued

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BCPNP Issues Entrepreneur Nominations

Background: The BCPNP Entrepreneur Program issued 16 nominations for Permanent Residence on 31 May 2016.

Impact: This latest round of nominations demonstrates the continued commitment of the BCPNP program to process Entrepreneur applications. The program has stringent eligibility criteria that must be met and is relevant to serious applicants that are able and willing to set up a new business or take over an existing one and to create jobs for Canadians and strengthen the community, reginal and provincial economies.

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Mobilite Francophone is Launched

Background: On June 1st 2016 Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched a Federal initiative to encourage skilled francophone workers to come to Canada to work and ultimately settle in communities outside of the province of Quebec.

Impact: Employers will be exempted from the need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before a francophone foreign worker can be hired. Eligibility criteria include:

  • living and working in a Francophone minority community outside Quebec
  •  Using French on a daily basis
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