Temporary Foreign Worker Program Overhauled

Posted on June 20, 2014

Today, the Government of Canada announced a comprehensive reform of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The following are some highlights of the reforms:

  • new Labour Market Impact Assessments introduced in place of Labour Market Opinions
  • new International Mobility Programs (IMPs) created for the those workers not subject to the LMIAs
  • access to the TFWP will be limited ensuring that Canadians are first in line for available jobs
  • wage levels will now replace National Occupation Classification as the main criteria for administering the TFWP
  • employers with 10 or more employees applying for a new LMIA are subject to a cap of 10% on the proportion of their workforce that can consist of low-wage temporary foreign workers
  • applications for the lowest wage, lowest-skill entry level occupations in the food services, accommodation and retail trade sectors will be barred from the TFWP in areas of high unemployment
  • LMIAs for low-wage temporary foreign workers will be reduced to one-year periods
  • employers seeking to hire higher wage temporary foreign workers will now be required to submit transition plans to demonstrate how they will increase efforts to hire Canadians
  • a new Job Matching Service for Canadians introduced
  • stronger enforcement and tougher penalties
  • LMIA fee is increased to $1000 for every temporary foreign worker position requested
  • moratorium on the food service sector ended immediately

For more information, please click here.

Changes to the Age of Dependency

Posted on June 19, 2014

As of August 1, 2014, the age of dependency is to be reduced to under 19 years or age and the exception for full-time students will be removed. Lock-in determinations will also be more clearly defined. These changes will effect numerous immigration programs.

For more information, please click here.

Royal Assent of Bill C-24 – Reforms to Citizenship Act

Posted on June 19, 2014

Minister Alexander announced today that reforms to the Citizenship Act received Royal Assent.

For more information, please click here.

Changes to the Intra-Company Transfer Program

Posted on June 9, 2014

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has recently announced changes to the specialized knowledge stream of the Intra-Company Transfer program (“ICT”). Through the ICT program, foreign companies with offices in Canada may transfer certain workers to their Canadian offices on a temporary basis by applying for a temporary work permit for these workers. Foreign companies transferring such workers do not need to apply for a Labour Market Opinion.

Specialized knowledge workers possess skills, expertise, and company knowledge that is essential to the functioning of a company. There are a couple of changes that have been made to the eligibility criteria of the specialized knowledge stream of he ICT program.

1. The knowledge requirements have been increased. Workers now have to demonstrate advanced proprietary knowledge and an advanced level of expertise. Advanced proprietary knowledge refers to an applicant’s ability to demonstrate that they know proprietary information of the company.  Advanced level of expertise refers to the applicant’s ability to demonstrate that their professional knowledge is more specific and higher than the average worker in their field. This knowledge should be unique and uncommon, and possessed by few employees in the company.

2. Specialized knowledge workers must now meet stricter salary requirements. Workers must be offered a salary in Canada that is equal to or higher than the prevailing wage for their occupation.

For more information, please click here.

Changes to International Student Program

Posted on June 1, 2014

New rules for the International Student Program have come into force on June 1, 2014. The new rules will:

  • limit the issuance of study permits to applicants who will be study at designated learning institutions
  • require students to actively pursue their studies while in Canada
  • allow full-time international students enrolled at designated institutions in certain programs to work part-time off campus and full-time during scheduled school breaks without a work permit

Under the new rules, students must make reasonable and timely progress towards completing their programs. Failing to do so could lead to their removal from Canada. Educational institutions will now report to Citizenship and Immigration Canada on students’ continued enrollment and academic status. Students may also be asked by immigration officers to provide evidence of their continued enrollment and academic status.

Under the new rules, study permits will become invalid 90 days after the student has completed his or her studies.

Under the new rules, the following foreign nationals may apply for a study permit from within Canada:

  • minor children studying at the primary or secondary level
  • exchange or visiting students
  • students who have completed a short-term course or program of study that is a condition for acceptance at a designated institution

For more information, please click here or visit our Canadian Temporary Residence page.

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