In an attempt to prevent foreign workers from displacing Canadian workers, the government is making some big changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. These changes will give Canadian citizens and permanent residents first shot at filling a position once it becomes available. Additionally, “these reforms will require that greater efforts be made to recruit and train Canadians to fill available jobs.” (Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism).
The main purpose of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is to fill positions which Canadian employers are unable to fill due to lack of education, training, or experience on the part of the Canadian workers; or perhaps the lack of Canadians interested in working in certain fields. Temporary foreign workers are brought in to do the jobs that Canadians are unable or unwilling to do. There are major shortages in some of Canada’s necessary occupations and temporary foreign workers are needed to fill these gaps. However, in order to prevent misuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the government has decided to implement changes to the program which may make it more difficult for Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers from here on out.
Following is a list of updates to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Some of these changes have already been put into effect, while a few of them will be put into effect soon:
- Employers must pay temporary foreign workers the prevailing wage. There will no longer be any flexibility in the wages of temporary foreign workers. This will prevent employers from seeking temporary foreign workers as a way to cut costs.
- The Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO) process has been put on hold indefinitely. Further review will assess whether the A-LMO process is beneficial to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and to the Canadian economy. The A-LMO allowed Canada employers who received a positive LMO in the past to apply for expedited processing of any additional LMOs, thus allowing them to hire more temporary foreign workers in a shorter period of time. With the suspension of the A-LMO process, employers must now wait months instead of days to receive an LMO each and every time they apply for one.
- The government will now have more authority to suspend and revoke work permits and LMOs if they believe that the employers and/or temporary foreign workers are misusing the program.
- Employers will now be required to pay a fee for processing an LMO; in the past, employers did not pay for LMO processing. Additionally, the fees for work permits will increase, making it more difficult for temporary foreign workers to find employment and obtain a work permit. Employers may be less likely to seek temporary foreign workers now that they will have to pay for the LMO and in many cases, employers who were willing to cover the costs for the temporary foreign worker to obtain a work permit may not want to pay the increased work permit fees on top of the LMO fee. This will ensure employers will try harder to find Canadians to fill the positions in their company instead of rushing into hiring temporary foreign workers.
- LMO applications will be updated to include more questions that will help prevent the misuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program by Canadian employers and their workers.
- English and French will be the only languages allowed to be used as a job requirement for temporary foreign workers.
The government asserts that these new regulations will strengthen and improve the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and prevent its misuse. As stated, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program was designed to temporarily fill the gaps in positions which could not be filled by Canadians and to help Canadian businesses train and eventually hire Canadians for these positions. By design, this program is only meant to employ temporary foreign workers for a finite period of time (as is implied by the name of the program). So temporary foreign workers who come to work in Canada must be willing to return to their home country once they have finished doing the temporary job that they came here to do. At the end of the day, what this all boils down to is preventing temporary foreign workers taking jobs away from Canadians.
Some Canadian workers may be thrilled by this news, but it could mean disaster for Canadian employers as well as temporary foreign workers who are in Canada or wishing to enter Canada on a work permit.
Canadian employers will need to make stronger efforts to hire Canadians before being allowed to hire temporary foreign workers, making the decision to hire temporary foreign workers much more difficult. And they must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have made the utmost efforts to recruit Canadian workers, that the temporary foreign worker is absolutely necessary for the success of the company, and that these temporary foreign workers will eventually lead to more jobs opening up for Canadians. Additionally, they must show that the temporary foreign worker is really being brought in to fill a temporary position and that they will leave Canada once this task has been completed. The decision to hire a temporary foreign worker is intended to be a last resort for employers. The changes made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program should prevent Canadian employers from choosing a temporary foreign worker when there are Canadians willing and qualified to do the job.
Further changes will continue to be made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program based on ongoing reviews by the government and the input provided by Canadians regarding this program. The changes being made are intended to strengthen the economy and help Canadian workers and businesses be successful.
If you are a temporary foreign worker or someone who wishes to apply for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, this news may be frightening to you. We urge you to share your thoughts and concerns with us here on our blog or by calling our office at 416-665-3939 (toll free at 1-888-808-7338).
Additionally, if you are wondering whether you are at risk of losing your work permit; or if you are waiting to get a response on an LMO application; or even if you just have questions about the changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program, please contact our office to speak with an immigration consultant. Canadian businesses who rely on foreign workers should also contact us to discuss these changes and how they may affect your business.
Whether you are a Canadian citizen, a temporary foreign worker, a Canadian employer, or any person interested in Canada immigration laws; we would love to hear your opinions on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program changes. If you have questions, your answers are just a mouse click or phone call away. We look forward to speaking with you soon.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program, one of Canada’s most sought-after immigration options, is now being re-opened to allow foreign workers, in 24 qualifying applications, to apply for immigration to Canada. This program, which allows immigrants to apply for permanent residence based on a points system, was closed to anyone that did not have a job offer or meet the criteria of the Ph.D. stream since July 1, 2012. New applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will be accepted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) beginning on May 4, 2013.
With the re-opening of the Federal Skilled Worker Program comes a new set of rules and requirements. Professionals who wish to apply for Canada immigration through the new Federal Skilled Worker Program must be sure that they meet the new criteria. Do not assume that you qualify now just because you may have qualified in the past. The points system that was previously in place has been amended to put more emphasis on language and age. But before you can assess your points, you must be sure that you fit into one of the following categories of the new Federal Skilled Worker Program:
- You are working in one of the 24 eligible occupations for a minimum of one (1) year;
- You have a job offer from a Canadian Employer;
- You are eligible to apply under the Ph.D. stream.
If you meet the criteria for one of these three options, you will then be required to meet the minimum eligibility requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Your eligibility will be assessed based on your language abilities, age, education, work experience, arranged employment, and adaptability. Points are awarded in each category with a maximum of 100 points available and a minimum of 67 points required in order to qualify for the program.
Another major update of the Federal Skilled Worker Program is in the way the points are assessed. With the new emphasis being on language and age, some people who qualified under the old Federal Skilled Worker Program may not qualify for the new program.
Research has shown that individuals adapt better in Canada if they are proficient in at least one of the country’s two official languages – English and French. As such, more points are now being awarded for language (the same is true for age as younger people have shown better adaptability as well as having more years to be in the workforce). In order to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must be able to prove your proficiency in one of the two languages. To do this, you must take and pass one of the following language tests:
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Test d’évaluation de français (TEF)
Each test will assess your language skills in reading, listening, speaking, and writing. You must obtain the required score for one of these tests in order to apply for immigration through the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
In addition to language skills, your education will be assessed using the new Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). If you wish to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program using educational credentials from an institution outside of Canada, you will be required to get an ECA. This process will assess that the foreign education you have is equivalent to the required education in Canada for your field of work. For example; if you are an engineer with an engineering degree from a foreign institution, your foreign engineering degree would have to be equivalent to the Canadian engineering degree in order for you to work as an engineer in Canada. In some countries, less education may be required for certain occupations. Therefore, you may be ineligible based on your education if you do not meet the minimum requirement for your occupation in Canada. Confused? You don’t have to be. Contact our office to speak to a qualified immigration consultant who can help you to understand the new system and determine whether you qualify to apply for the new Federal Skilled Worker Program.
For those applicants who are eager to get started, you may get a jump-start on your Federal Skilled Worker application by starting the process of getting an ECA now, as long as you meet all of the other requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program. CIC has designated organizations which can provide ECA reports for immigration purposes. If you would like to get started on this process and/or just get an idea of how your foreign credentials will be recognized in Canada, contact us today to get started. Our immigration consultants can assist you in obtaining an ECA and preparing your file early so that your application is ready to submit when the program opens. It is important to note that application forms for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will be updated upon the opening of the program so having an immigration consultant working on your case will prevent you from submitting outdated or incorrect forms.
Applicants for the Federal Skilled Worker Program should also note the cap of 5,000 applications – including a maximum of 300 applications for each of the 24 eligible occupations. With this cap in place, you do not want to risk having your application returned over a small clerical error as you may not have another chance to submit your application. With the CIC cracking down on even the tiniest of errors (not to mention large errors or missing information), it is always a good idea to have more than one pair of eyes reviewing your application. More than just another pair of eyes, our immigration consultants have a trained eye for even the most minute details. We have years of experience in dealing with these types of applications and the constant changes of the immigration system. With an immigration consultant by your side, you can rest assured that your application will be completed accurately and efficiently so that your time and money do not go to waste on a returned or refused application.
Don’t miss this opportunity to obtain your permanent residence in Canada. Applications are already being submitted and the doors may close on you if you do not act quickly. Contact us to get started right away and be ready when the new Federal Skilled Worker Program opens.
A new immigration program, the Skilled Trades Immigration program, for skilled workers interested in immigration to Canada, has been added this year, opening up the door for candidates in specific occupations which do not require university education (e.g. carpenters, electricians). The previous immigration program for skilled workers was the Federal Skilled Worker Program. This program requires work experience in an occupation which is of a higher level (usually requiring university-level education). With the Skilled Trades Program in place, workers who are certified in a specific trade may qualify to immigrate to Canada without the need for a university education. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has come up with a list of 43 skilled trades which are eligible for the Skilled Trades Immigration program.
While this new immigration program may provide an opportunity for those who previously had no options, there is a limit on how many applications will be accepted for the Skilled Trades program and only applications which are put together properly will be considered. If you qualify for the Skilled Trades Program, you must submit your application quickly and accurately as you may not get a second chance. Applications submitted with errors or missing information will be returned and will not be processed. Additionally, there is a cap of 3,000 applications for the Skilled Trades Program as a whole and in some trades, only 100 applications will be considered. So if you apply too late, you may miss your chance for this year. The Skilled Trades Program will be available again next year but we do not know which jobs will be on the list. Your job may be on the list for this year and not be on the list next year. So those who do not get their applications in on time may not have another opportunity to do so.
We recommend that you contact a licensed immigration consultant to discuss the qualifications and requirements of the Skilled Trades Program. If you have experience and training in one of the 43 listed occupations for the Skilled Trades Program, you should start the application process as soon as possible so as to not miss your chance to immigrate to Canada. Our knowledgeable immigration consultants can assess your situation and get the ball rolling quickly for your skilled trades immigration application. We can help you prepare your application properly so there is no risk of errors causing your application to be returned to you. Give us a call today to get started.
A new program has been introduced to allow skilled workers working in Canada to continue working as they wait for their permanent residence application to be processed. The new Bridging Open Work Permit will benefit skilled workers who have applied for permanent residence under one of the following Canada immigration options:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
This program will allow you to receive an open work permit should your current work permit expire before you receive permanent residence in Canada. The Bridging Open Work Permit will prevent skilled workers from losing status and being unable to work in Canada if their application for permanent residence is still in process and their work permit is about to expire.
Prior to the introduction of the Bridging Open Work Permit, Canadian employers would have to submit an application for a Labour Market Opinion and the skilled worker could submit a request for extension of their work permit only if the LMO was issued. The Bridging Open Work Permit will prevent “unnecessary disruption in the lives of newcomers who are already contributing and successfully integrating into the Canadian economy,” declares Minister Kenney. Open work permits are already available in other immigration streams and this new Bridging Open Work Permit gives foreign skilled workers a chance to apply for permanent residence with less worry of processing times.
If you are a skilled worker who is currently working for a Canadian employer and interested in submitting an application for permanent residence, you may take our free assessment to see which of the Canada immigration options will best meet your needs. If you have a work permit that is close to expiring and would like more information about the Bridging Open Work Permit, you should contact us to speak to a qualified immigration consultant.
Share your opinions on the new Bridging Open Work Permit by commenting on our blog or visit us on Facebook and Twitter to share, like, comment or tweet about the Bridging Open Work Permit.
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has announced new regulations for the Federal Skilled Worker Program which will begin taking new applications starting May 4, 2013. In an attempt to create jobs and promote economic growth, the government of Canada has made improvements to the Federal Skilled Worker Program. The majority of the changes made to the Federal Skilled Worker Program are based on research which has shown the two most important factors for successful adaptation into Canada to be language and age. As such, the following changes have been made to the Federal Skilled Worker Program in an attempt to ensure adaptability of new applicants:
- The minimum language proficiency requirement has been increased so that language is now the most important factor.
- Emphasis has been put on the age of new applicants and younger applicants will benefit from this update to the Federal Skilled Worker Program. It is known that younger applicants will adapt more easily in Canada and will spend more time working and aiding in Canada’s economic growth.
- The new Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) will ensure that points awarded for education will reflect the true value of the foreign credentials.
- Changes made to the arranged employment process will make it easier for Canadian employers to hire workers for in-demand occupations.
- Applicants for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will be able to obtain more adaptability points for the language ability and Canadian work experience of their spouse.
With all of the above changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, qualified applicants interested in Canada immigration will have the chance to apply and obtain status in Canada faster and easier. If you are interested in immigration to Canada, call our office for more information about the Federal Skilled Worker Program or any other Canada immigration program. Our qualified immigration consultants will answer any of your questions and assist you in deciding which immigration option is the right one for you.
Among the many program updates being made for the new year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is changing the requirements of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) to make it easier and faster for qualified applicants to obtain permanent residence in Canada. Changes to the program will allow skilled workers to apply for the Canadian Experience Class with only 12 months of Canadian work experience instead of the 24 months which was previously required. Skilled workers applying for Canada immigration through the Canadian Experience Class will therefore be able to become permanent residents of Canada a year sooner than before.
In addition to these changes for skilled workers, the Canadian Experience Class will now be easier for international students who are applying for permanent residence. Students applying for immigration to Canada through the Canadian Experience Class are required to earn one (1) year of work experience prior to their application for permanent residence. In the past, students were required to earn this experience within 24 months of graduating. Part of the changes to the Canadian Experience Class will now allow students 36 months in which to obtain their work experience.
With these changes to the Canadian Experience Class, CIC expects to accept close to 10,000 applications for permanent residents. This is a huge number compared to previous years. The Canadian Experience Class is growing quickly and the government is intent on making it easier for skilled workers to transition to permanent residence status. These changes will be put in place on January 2nd.
If you are a skilled worker or an international graduate who is interested in immigration to Canada, you may contact our office to speak with an immigration consultant about the Canadian Experience Class. You may also take our free assessment to find out if you qualify for this Canada immigration program. We urge you to share your thoughts with us and to spread the good news to any of your friends and family who may be affected by these changes. Call us today for more information on the Canadian Experience Class and/or to get answers to any of your Canada immigration questions.
In an ongoing effort to improve Canada’s economic health and fill gaps in skilled trades, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has developed a new program for foreign workers wishing to immigrate and work in Canada. The Federal Skilled Trades Program, which will be launched at the start of the new year, will “help address serious labour shortages in some regions of the country, and support economic growth,” according to Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. This new Federal Skilled Trades Program is designed to replace the outdated Federal Skilled Worker Program and make it easier for skilled workers to immigrate to Canada. Minister Kenney has added that “The Federal Skilled Trades Program will help transform Canada’s immigration system into a fast and flexible system focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.”
While the specifics of the Federal Skilled Trades Program have not yet been released, we do know that there will be minimum requirements that one must meet in order to be eligible for immigration to Canada under this new program. Applicants for the Federal Skilled Trades Program must show that they have the skills and experience required to be successful in Canada.
You may be eligible to apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program if you meet the following four requirements:
- You must have a job offer from a Canadian employer or a certificate of qualification from a province or territory which attests to the fact that you are qualified and available to work upon entry to Canada;
- You must meet the basic language requirements for Canada immigration;
- You must have a minimum of two years of work experience in your trade; and
- You must have the necessary skills and experience as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC B) system.
Applicants for the Federal Skilled Trades Program must be skilled in a trade which is in high demand and for which Canadian employers are unable to find Canadians to fill the gaps. Some of the occupations which will be included in the Federal Skilled Trades Program include electricians, welders, heavy-duty equipment mechanics, pipefitters, and others. More specific details regarding the Federal Skilled Trades Program – including a list of occupations that qualify for the program – will be made available at the launch of the program on January 2nd, 2013. We recommend that you contact our office after January 2nd to speak to an immigration consultant and get more information about the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Our consultants can assess your situation and tell you whether you qualify for this or any other Canada immigration program.
As always, we wish to hear from our readers about this new plan. Do you think the Federal Skilled Trades Program will benefit Canada’s economy? Are you a skilled tradesperson who is interested in immigration to Canada and would like to know if you qualify? We urge you to share your opinions on this new program and to share this news with your friends and family on Facebook, twitter, or any other social network. Comments posted on our blog are monitored closely but if you have specific questions, we recommend that you contact us directly or take our free assessment (after January 2nd) to see if you meet the eligibility requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. We look forward to hearing from you!
In an attempt to clear up the backlog of Federal Skilled Worker applications, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) issued a pause on all new Federal Skilled Worker applications as of July 2, 2012. This pause prevented thousands of federal skilled workers from applying for immigration to Canada as it requires foreign workers to have a qualifying job offer or to qualify under the PhD stream.
Many actions have been taken by the government in order to fix the backlog of Federal Skilled Worker applications and allow more federal skilled workers and their families to immigrate to Canada. The Action Plan for Faster Immigration of 2008 was the first step taken by CIC to limit the number of federal skilled worker applications to only occupations which were a priority. CIC took further action to limit the federal skilled worker applications in 2010 and again in 2012 with the Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act. The final step to put a stop to the backlog problem was to place a pause on all new federal skilled worker applications.
Now, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced a new plan which will allow for faster processing times for federal skilled worker applications as well as the possibility of faster processing times for additional immigration programs. In an effort to attract federal skilled workers from around the globe and promote economic growth, CIC will be introducing an Expression of Interest (EOI) system for federal skilled workers. With this system in place, federal skilled workers and their families will have the option of immigrating to Canada and having their immigration applications processed in a period of 12 months or less. This is a huge improvement over the old system which made federal skilled workers wait for years, some as long as eight years, to have their applications processed.
As a result of this new immigration program and the steps taken over the last few years, the backlog of federal skilled worker applications is expected to be cleared by the end of 2014 which will allow new applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program to be processed as they are received. This new system for processing applications – “a just in time system” – will bring between 53,500 and 55,300 Federal Skilled Workers and their families into Canada. Minister Kenney has stated that “Immigration plays a vital role in our country’s long-term prosperity. By improving our economic immigration system, we can ensure that Canada is competitive on the world stage.” Allowing federal skilled workers to enter the work field more easily and quickly will contribute to Canada’s economic growth and allow Canadian employers to fill shortages in high skill occupations. This new plan is excellent news both for Canada and for federal skilled workers wishing to immigrate to Canada.
More information regarding this new system along with the final regulatory changes and the new selection criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will become available later this year.
We would like to hear from you. Tell us what you think about this new immigration system for federal skilled workers and their families. If you are a federal skilled worker or you know anyone who may benefit from this new plan, we urge you to share, tweet, like, and comment on this issue.
For more information about immigration to Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, contact our office to speak with a certified immigration consultant and find out if you qualify as a federal skilled worker.
Last weekend in Dublin, an international job fair dubbed The Working Abroad Expo, attracted close to 80,000 people in search of work outside of Ireland. Canada has opened the doors to the Irish with a change in the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.
In an attempt to increase the numbers of educated Irish workers immigrating to Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to allow entrance to nearly double the number of young Irish, between ages 18 to 35, by the year 2014. Canada has seen a huge loss in Irish immigrants to Australia and New Zealand in the last few years; a loss that immigration minister Kenney would like to see reversed.
The IEC now allows young Irish workers to come to Canada with an open work permit for a period of up to a year. Currently, this program can be utilized twice, though the plan is to change it to a one-time 24 month program at the start of this coming year. The only downside to this plan is that there is no guarantee for these workers to remain in Canada once their open work permit expires. Those whose skill level does not allow for them to apply for permanent residency are left with no other options but to return home or find someone who can sponsor them in Canada (a spouse or common-law partner). On the other-hand, for those skilled workers who wish to leave their native land in search of better opportunities in Canada, this program gives them an opportunity to do just that.
To learn more about the International Experience Canada (IEC) program we encourage you to contact our office to speak with an immigration adviser. If you are already in Canada with an open work permit that was issued for only one (1) year, you may be eligible to extend. Those who are in Canada and would like to apply for permanent residence, contact our office today.
The Canadian government has been battling the courts and applicants of skilled worker permanent resident applications for the last year. Their goal is to reduce the large backlog of applications in the pipeline by simply canceling each and every single one of them.
This will affect all those who submitted Skilled Worker applications prior to February 27, 2008, and that has not yet received a decision. In numbers, we are talking about roughly 280,000 applicants (including dependents).
If you submitted your application prior to February 27, 2008 you will receive a letter indicating that the file is closed, with a refund for the processing fees paid.
Join the law suit to fight the Federal Government!
There is a law suit going on right now and you may join if you are an applicant that submitted your application prior to the date above. There is limited time to join the law suit and the deadline is this coming week. If you would like to join the law suit, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
*The name of the principle applicant*
*The country and city where the principle applicant is located now*
*The principle applicant*
*phone number and *
*the visa office file number*
*the date the application was filed*
*the job category under which you applied*
*the location of the visa office currently responsible for your application*
Please be advised there is a $400 donation required to join this law suit. This fee is to help stop the Minister, but only temporarily, until the court case is finalized. Our office is not part of the law suit therefore do not send the fees to us. We will forward your information to the lawyer handling the case and they will contact you directly.
For more information you may contact our office directly to speak with a senior immigration adviser.