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1st group of applicants invited to appy for Express Entry immigration

Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) has made its first draw and invited 779 applicants to apply for immigration through the new Express Entry selection system.  On Saturday January 31st, 2015 779 skilled workers who submitted their Express Entry were invited to apply for permanent residence.  The lowest ranking candidate scored a total of 886 points, out of a total 1200. 

This indicates that each candidate that was invited to apply was either working in Canada on an LMIA-based work permit, or had an arranged employment offer from a Canadian employer.  The first set of 600 points are based on factors such as age, education, work experience, language ability, and whether they have a spouse or applying as single individuals.  The remaining 600 points are awarded automatically if the candidate has secured a job offer in Canada (approved with an LMIA) or is already in Canada working with an LMIA-based work permit.

Under the new Express Entry selection system, skilled workers who want to apply for permanent residence must meet the minimum requirements of the current economic programs; Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class, or Provincial Nominee.  Candidates who are accepted into the Express Entry pool are ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System which includes factors such as; age, education, work history, language proficiency and other factors which determine the likelihood of integrating into the Canadian society and making an optimal contribution to the economy.

Citizenship & Immigration Canada will continue to make invitations and select applicants for permanent residence. Those candidates who are in Canada on work permits, or have secured job offers will receive priority when it comes to their selection.  However, candidates who are not in Canada, may still qualify.

Express Entry – Now LIVE and accepting applications

Express Entry, Canada’s newest immigrant selection system is now is now live and accepting applications from all over the world.  Click here to learn more about the program and how we can help.  You may also call our office at +416-665-3939 or Toll-free in North America 1-888-808-7338.


New Immigration Program: Canada Express Entry – New Points System

Canada Express Entry (EE) Program

As of January 1st, 2015 Canada will only accept applications for permanent residence through the Express Entry program.  Candidates who would otherwise qualify through any of the following 3 programs will be eligible to submit an application to show their interest in obtaining permanent residence in Canada:

  • Federal Skilled Workers

  • Canadian Experience Class

  • Provincial Nominees

The Canada Express Entry program is points based, and is incredibly confusing. There are many variables, and candidates may apply as single, or with dependents to ensure they are awarded the highest number of points.  Candidates will have to pass an English language test and have their educational credentials assessed and possess at least 12 months of full time paid skilled work experience.

Candidates who have previously worked or studied in Canada will be awarded additional points.  Those candidates who have arranged employment offers or have been nominated through a Provincial Nominee Program will be among those who are selected as priority.

How it Works

Candidates create an Express Entry profile.  The candidate will receive an automatic score which will be used by Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) to determine which candidates, compared to others within the ‘pool’ will be invited to apply.  Since candidates will be ‘competing’ with other candidates in the ‘pool’ it is important that your profile is created with the most accurate and appropriate information.

CIC will begin “inviting” applicants to apply with the first invitations being sent out in the last two weeks of January.

Arranged Job Offers and Provincial Nominations

Candidates who will apply through Canada Express Entry program with arranged job offers or provincial nominations will be selected first before those who have not secured a job in Canada nor have a provincial nomination. Citizenship & Immigration will be able to control the ‘dial’ on how many applicants they will be bring to Canada, and ensure that only the most qualified, skilled, and those who can contribute to Canada’s economy the most will be invited to apply. Candidates who do not have arranged employment offers will need to register with the national job bank which is designed to assist them in finding an employer.

Receiving an Invitation to Apply

Candidates will be invited to apply as per Canada’s needs and requirements at the time.  Applicants who receive an Invitation to Apply (IOA) will be required to submit their supporting documentation within 60 days of receiving the IOA. It is important to note that your Express Entry profile must be accurate and consistent with the documentation provided, otherwise applicants could be considered to have misrepresented their circumstances and be banned from the program.

Processing Times

Citizenship & Immigration Canada is committed to processing applicants who have received an invitation to apply within 6 months from the time they submit all requirements. Thereby, speeding up the process for potential immigrants.

No Guarantees – Like a Lottery

While the Canada Express Entry program is open to anyone, there are no guarantees that a candidate will be invited to apply.  This is similar to a lottery, with the exception that the more points you are awarded, the higher your chances are to be invited. We strongly recommend that candidates consult a professional before entering in the program to ensure the highest number of points will be awarded.

Contact our office to speak with a professional regulated consultant

We encourage you to call our office for any further information or to discuss your chances of becoming a permanent resident of Canada.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program faces legal challenge

Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program is now facing a legal challenge by a Labrador business couple.

The program, introduced in its reformed version in June by Employment and Social Development Minister Jason Kenney, includes the Labour Market Opinion clause which forces employers to obtain government permission to hire foreign workers. Non-compliance of this rule can lead to a $100,000 fine and possible blacklisting for business owners (which means they cannot apply for work permits for new foreign employees).

The Labrador couple, owners of several franchises, have recently found themselves on the government blacklist, which has sparked the legal challenge.

Their complaint includes several accusations against the policies of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, including lack of reasons as to why their company was blacklisted, no warning that their company name would be listed in the public domain and not giving the couple a chance to defend their case. The couple also claims the changes were not announced in due time to allow them to adjust their procedures.

Concern is growing that Kenney’s changes may deter would-be immigrants from using the program, thus reducing responses to the government’s efforts to fill an ever-increasing skills shortage in the country.

Foreign credential recognition for 10 new jobs

Following Friday’s announcement by minister of employment Jason Kenney and citizenship and immigration minister Chris Alexander, the federal government will be improving foreign credential recognition for 10 priority occupations including those in the fields of skilled trades and health care.

The new priority occupations include: geoscientists, carpenters, electricians, heavy duty equipment technicians, heavy equipment operators, welders, audiologists and speech language pathologists, midwives, psychologists and lawyers.

Kenney said that occupations in the skilled trades were selected because they’re in demand in certain regions of the country. Occupations in health care were emphasized because they help address shortages in skills and improve the quality of life of Canadians.

“Skilled newcomers help fill shortages in key occupations and make an important contribution to Canada’s economy. That is why we are speeding up foreign credential recognition for 10 more occupations, including jobs in the skilled trades and health care. This means that even more new Canadians can put their skills to work sooner across Canada,” said Kenney.

These occupations are part of a national framework that aims to streamline foreign credential recognition for priority occupations. For these jobs, service standards are established so internationally trained professionals can have their qualifications assessed within one year, anywhere in Canada.

The government is building a more flexible immigration system to attract newcomers who can contribute to their communities and the economy, said Alexander. This includes the launch of Express Entry next January, “which will revolutionize the way we attract skilled immigrants and get them working here faster.”

Foreign credential recognition to be improved

Employment Minister Jason Kenney will announce an agreement with the provinces today to recognize 10 new occupations, including welders, carpenters and electricians, to improve foreign credential recognition.

The precise occupations include several skilled trades, a government official has said.

Kenney will provide the details this afternoon in Vancouver, while Immigration Minister Chris Alexander will make an announcement in Toronto.

Foreign Worker Change 20140620

The news was discussed at a meeting with provincial and territorial labour ministers last week in Charlottetown.

At the meeting, Kenney said he sought a clear commitment on apprenticeships and a specific timeline to facilitate labour mobility between provinces for skilled tradespeople.

The discussions in Charlottetown were a success and the provinces were “very positive,” a government official noted.

Last fall, there was little interest by the provinces and territories to move forward with a national approach on apprenticeships, but Kenney has been able to convince them otherwise by relaying what he learned during his trip to Germany and the UK earlier this year.


Kenney announced a major overhaul of the government’s temporary foreign worker program last month, but western premiers have complained the crackdown is unduly hurting their provinces, where there is a shortage of skilled workers in some industries.

First Start-up Visa applicants welcomed

On July 16, Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, welcomed the first two successful applicants under the Start-up Visa Program, which is designed to attract more entrepreneurs and create jobs for Canadians.

Minister Alexander met with the entrepreneurs at GrowLab Ventures Inc. of Vancouver, the Canadian business incubator that is supporting Stanislav Korsei and Oleksandr Zadorozhnyi, formerly of Ukraine, in the development of their company, Zeetl Inc.

“As part of our government’s focus on job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity, it is critical for Canada to attract the best entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world. Our government is proud to welcome the first successful applicants of the Start-up Visa Program and we look forward to the success of their venture and other opportunities that will help create more jobs for Canadians,” said Minister Alexander.

“We are very proud and excited for the founders of Zeetl as they enter this new chapter in their life here in Canada. The Start-up Visa Program enables talented foreign entrepreneurs like Stanislav and Oleksandr to grow their businesses, and is a great way for Canada to build a strong, vibrant economy.”

The Start-up Visa Program, launched in October 2013, is the first of its kind in the world. It brings together Canadian venture capital funds, angel investors and business incubators with entrepreneurs from abroad. Entrepreneurs present their business plan to Canadian private-sector firms and, if they receive support, they can apply for permanent residence in Canada.

With the Start-up Visa, Canada is targeting a new type of immigrant entrepreneur who has the potential to build innovative companies that can create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale. The program is part of the government’s plan to build a fast and flexible economic immigration system.

Minister Alexander said the government aims to persuade talented business people from India, Latin America and Europe to move to Canada.

“Our doors are open, our programs have integrity and we’re focusing immigration as never before on our economic needs as a country. And our reputation in the world for doing immigration well, for choosing incredible people and for helping them create successful lives in Canada … has never been stronger.”

Support Foreign Workers’ Future in Canada

Although it is clearly for political purposes, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party have provided a voice to speak out against Jason Kenney by supporting the Liberal Party’s call for a fair opportunity for foreign workers in Canada to obtain permanent residence.

At present, Jason Kenney, who moved from Immigration Canada to the department governing foreign workers, is in the process of (a) closing the door to foreign workers in Canada and (b) preventing Canadian employers from importing foreign workers.  (He has already begun his smear campaign on imported nannies, who are the next target in his sights.).

Please express yourself on the issue by (a) signing the petition by clicking the link below, and (b) requesting your friends, colleagues and family members to sign the petition too.  If you do not have a Canadian postal code, you could use Jason Kenney’s postal code: T2J-6T6.

Make your voice heard!

BREAKING NEWS: Overhaul of the Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The temporary foreign worker program in Canada has been in question and debated on for the last several months, if not the last few years.  While large and small companies in Canada were able to employ foreign workers to fill labour shortages, the program has come under major scrutiny as there have been major allegations against large employers who have taken advantage of, and abused the program.  For this reason, the Canadian government has made major change to overhaul the temporary foreign worker program.

Effective immediately, the temporary foreign worker program has been reorganized into two major groups;

  1. Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and
  2. International Mobility Program

Employment and Social Development Canada has phased out the Labour Market Opinion application, and will now be calling the application a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).  To better protect Canadians, and to give Canadians and permanent residents the first opportunity to fill available positions, ESDC will assess an employers’ application on the basis of the median wage in the province, and the unemployment rate in the area for which the job is offered.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Fee

As part of the significant changes, the Labour Market Impact Assessment application fee has increased significantly to $1000, from the previous $275.  Employers will be required to pay this fee per position offered.  Between 1973 and 2013 there was no fee for employers applying.  In July of 2013 a fee of $275 was imposed.  It is possible that more fees will be levied on the program, which Canada believes will ensure that employers will not be taking advantage of the program.

Using wages to determine whether an employer should be approved

The Canadian government believes that it would be more accurate to assess whether an employer should be allowed to hire a foreign worker, and not base the determination on the job or skill level itself.  Therefore, temporary workers who will be paid more than the median wage in the specific province or territory will be considered in the ‘low-wage’ category, and those paid higher than the median wage will be considered in the ‘high-wage’ category.

Click Here for Median Hourly Wages by Province/Territory
Province/Territory Wage ($/hr)
Newfoundland and Labrador $ 20.19
Prince Edward Island $ 17.26
Nova Scotia $ 18.00
New Brunswick $ 17.79
Quebec $ 20.00
Ontario $ 21.00
Manitoba $ 19.00
Saskatchewan $ 21.63
Alberta $ 24.23
British Columbia $ 21.79
Yukon $ 27.93
Northwest Territories $ 32.53
Nunavut $ 29.96

Primary Categories under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program


These are positions at or above the provincial/territorial median wage.  This would be similar to the skilled worker category previously.  These include managerial, scientific, professional and technical positions as well as the skilled trades.


These are positions below the provincial/territorial median wage.  This would be similar to the previous low skilled category.  Includes general labourers, food counter attendants, and sales and service personnel.

Primary Agricultural Stream

These include positions related to on-farm primary agriculture such as general farm workers, nursery and greenhouse workers, feed lot workers and harvesting labourers, including under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, which enables the entry of foreign workers from Mexico and a number of Caribbean countries to meet the temporary, seasonal needs of agricultural producers.

Highest-demand, highest-paid or shortest-duration

This includes in-demand occupations (skilled trades), highly paid occupations (top 10%) or short-duration (120 days or less).  Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) applications for this category are to be processed within 10 business days.

Live-in Caregiver Program

No change.  This program allows qualified employers to hire caregivers to provide unsupervised and full-time care for children, seniors or people with disabilities in the private residence of those employers.

International Mobility Program

Unlike the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the International Mobility Program (IMP) is not based on employer demand.  It is rather based largely on the multilateral and bilateral agreements with other countries (ie;  NAFTA, GATS).

Just as it was previously, employers are not required to obtain an approval to employ the foreign worker, and therefore are not subject the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

New immigration program for International Students in Nova Scotia

As of June 1, 2014

There is a new immigration program for International Students in Nova Scotia. The province of Nova Scotia has opened a new immigration program allowing international students an option to apply for permanent residence in Canada.  Beginning on June 1, 2014 students who have graduated from a Canadian college or university and have a job offer from an employer in Nova Scotia may now qualify to apply for permanent residence.

The new pathway to Canadian permanent residency is an excellent option as it will allow graduates to think about their future in Canada so they may contribute to the Canadian economy.

Students must have completed a college or university study program, but there is no requirement for them to have studied in the province of Nova Scotia.  Ultimately, allowing students from all over Canada to relocate to Nova Scotia, assuming they have a job offer.  Similar to all other skilled worker streams, the job offer must be in a skilled occupation (level O, A or B of the National Occupation Classification).  Once nominated by Nova Scotia, an application to the federal government made as a skilled worker must be submitted.

Applying for nomination and permanent residence through the new Nova Scotia program

If you have graduated (or will graduate soon), and you have a job offered to you, we highly recommend to contact our office for a free consultation and assessment to determine your eligibility for this program.  While the Nova Scotia program may approve and nominate you for permanent residence, the federal government of Canada, Citizenship & Immigration Canada will make the final decision to grant the visa.  Call our offices to speak with an immigration representative at no charge or obligation.

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