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IRCC speeding up processing for spousal applications

September 24, 2020—Ottawa—Today, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, is announcing action to speed up spousal application processing and help families build their lives together in Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has increased the number of decision makers on spousal applications in Canada by 66%, to process spousal applications more quickly and reduce couples’ wait times.

IRCC is leveraging new technology in a pilot to digitize paper applications so they can be processed more efficiently by IRCC employees working remotely and at various worksites. In addition to implementing facilitative biometrics measures, IRCC will be piloting, in the upcoming weeks, technology to conduct interviews with applicants remotely, in adherence with public health protocols.

With these initiatives, IRCC aims to accelerate, prioritize and finalize approximately 6,000 spousal applications each month from October until December 2020. Combined with processing to date, this rate will lead to about 49,000 decisions by the end of this year.

COVID-19 has created uncertainty for Canadians who are sponsoring spouses for permanent residence. We will continue to search for innovative and compassionate ways to reunite families, while following the advice of our public health experts to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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Increase in permanent residence fees effective April 30

Ottawa, April 30, 2020—In order to manage increasing program and service delivery costs, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is increasing permanent residence fees for most economic immigration programs, except caregivers, as of April 30, 2020.

Permanent residence fees have not increased since 2002. As such, they do not reflect the rise in inflation over the last 18 years and the increasing cost of permanent residence operations and processing.

The increase on April 30 will affect applicants to most economic permanent residence immigration programs, except caregivers. The fees will then be automatically adjusted for inflation every 2 years for all permanent residence applications, including the economic, family and humanitarian programs, beginning in 2022.

The Government of Canada supports a cost-effective approach to financing government programs, where most of the costs are borne by those who receive the services and benefit directly from them.

The changes ensure that Canada remains competitive and in line with fees charged by other immigrant-receiving countries. In most cases, Canada’s fees are considerably less expensive than countries with similar migration systems, such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

For more information on the fee increases, please see the regulations, which came into force April 30, 2020.


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Canada delays 2020 parents and grandparents immigration program

Canada is delaying the opening of its 2020 Parents and Grandparents Program due to its ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The launch of the call for expressions of interest to apply for the popular program was anticipated in the coming weeks, according to an Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) media release.

The temporary deferral of the call for applications is not expected to impact when parents and grandparents will arrive in Canada, and IRCC will still process these applications.

The Parents and Grandparents Program enables Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents to obtain permanent resident status.

The program is so popular that the federal government has sought various ways over the past decade to manage its intake since 2011. 


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New pilot for family members previously excluded from Canada will ‘right that wrong,’ immigration minister says

Sponsorship applications for some family members who were previously banned from obtaining permanent residence under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations will be allowed under a new two-year pilot, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, has announced. 

The pilot concerns non-accompanying family members who were not declared and therefore were not examined by immigration authorities when the sponsor applied for Canadian permanent residence.

These family members have been ineligible for a Family Class sponsorship under Section 117(9)(d) of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

This lifetime ban has long been a source of controversy, with the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) calling it “a significant barrier” to family reunification in Canada.

In a brief on the issue, the CCR said that 117(9)(d) “has a disproportionately negative effect on refugees and vulnerable migrants who fail to disclose a family member.”

Hussen said the federal government recognizes that the regulation was unfair.

“Newcomers who failed to declare immediate family members as they first came to Canada were barred to sponsor them. Today, we right that wrong,” he said.

IRCC defined sponsors covered by the pilot as resettled refugees, those conferred refugee protection in Canada or those who were themselves sponsored as a spouse, partner or dependent child.

The pilot will run from September 9, 2019, to September 9, 2021 and IRCC said applications that are already in process will benefit.

New measures for vulnerable workers and family members

Starting June 4, IRCC will allow migrant workers with an employer-specific work permit who are in an abusive job situation to apply for an open work permit.

“This will allow migrant workers to leave that employer immediately, maintain their status and find another job,” IRCC said.

IRCC will also introduce changes that will allow newcomers experiencing family violence to apply for a fee-exempt temporary resident permit starting July 26.

The permit will give these individuals legal status in Canada and provide them with a work permit and health care coverage.

IRCC will also expedite applications for permanent residence filed on humanitarian and compassionate grounds from those “in urgent situations of family violence.”

“No worker should fear losing their job when they are being mistreated in their place of work. No partner should be more fearful of losing their immigration status instead of escaping abuse,” Hussen said.

“Today we say, fear no more.”

source: © 2019 CICNews All Rights Reserved

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Definition of a dependent child

Definition of a dependent child is changed effective October 24,2017. According to the new definition of a dependent child, the child must meet the following qualifications:

1. The child must be under the age of 22. That means the lock in age should be before the child celebrates his/her 22nd  birth day.

2.By the time application is filed until the process is finalized, the child does not have to have a spouse or does not have to be in a common law relationshp.

3. If the child is over the age of 22 and still dependent on his/her parents and financially fully supported by his / her parents before the child turns 22 and continue to be supported after the child turn to 22

4. If the child is unable to support himselt/herself financially due to mental or physical condition and fully supported and dependent on the parent, they can also qualify as a dependent children.

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Stay tuned on Canada's Citizenship Act Changes

The major changes in the new Citizenship Act will be

1. You are not required to show your intent to live in Canada once you become a Canadian citizen.

2. Citizenship revocation provisions only applying to dual citizens are repealed.

3. Minors can qualify on their own .


We want you to stay tuned for the following expected changes:

1. Physical presence in Canada requirements will be reduced to 3 out of 5 years

2. Some number of days applicant stayed in Canada as a temporry resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident will be considered

3. Age range for langauge and knowledge requirements will be reduced to 18-54


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One Stop Immigration & Legal Services

Additional Services Poster

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Removing Conditional permanent residency for spuouses sponsored under the family class category

May 1, 2017 – Canada has abolished the family sponsorship immigration condition that required sponsored spouses and partners to live with their sponsor for two years to keep their Canada immigration status.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says the move is being taken to tackle concerns with many people choosing to remain in abusive relationships because they are afraid of losing their permanent resident status.

The rule change applies to any family sponsorship immigration candidate previously subjected to the previous requirement and all new spouses and partners being sponsored as permanent residents.
Basic Requirements For Family Sponsorship

To be a sponsor:

You must be 18 years of age or older.
You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide financial support for your relative, if necessary. This agreement also requires the person becoming a permanent resident must make every effort to support her or himself.
You must provide financial support for a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner for three years from the date they become a permanent resident.
You must provide financial support for a dependent child for 10 years, or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first.

Two-year Rule Abolished for Spousal Sponsorship in Canada immigration authorities say 100,000 immigrants have been subject to the rule since it was introduced by the former Conservative government in 2012.

“We’re doing away with a measure that could have made a bad situation worse by possibly making people feel they needed to stay in abusive situations just to keep their status in Canada,” said Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.

“Removing conditional permanent residence is another example of the government’s commitment for family reunification to make it easier for immigrants to build successful lives in Canada”.

The previous rule targeted couples who had been together for two years or less and had no children in common.
Canada Family Sponsorship: Who Can Be Sponsored?

Common law partner.
Conjugal partner.
Dependent children.
Grandparents – (Additional conditions apply)
Brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship.
Another relative of any age or relationship, but only under specific conditions.
Accompanying relatives of the above (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children).

The move was meant to deter people from using sham marriages or relationships to immigrate to Canada.

Although spouses and partners who were victims of abuse were on paper exempt from the rule, in reality many felt forced to stay in relationships to keep their status.

This imbalance in status left the sponsored person in a vulnerable position, many stakeholders said.

An IRCC statement said: “Even though there was an exception to the condition for people in such situations, it is possible a victim may not have been aware of it or may have chosen to stay in the abusive relationship for a number of reasons.

“Those could include the fear of coming forward, the perceived challenge of proving the abuse or neglect, fear of needing to continue to live with their alleged abuser, or fear of having their status revoked and being removed from Canada if the exception was not granted.”

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Changes to Regulations Will See Age Increased for Dependent Child

News Release

From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

May 3, 2017—Ottawa, ON – The Government of Canada has published regulatory changes to increase the maximum age of a dependent child which will allow more families to stay together. This change showcases the Government’s commitment to family reunification.

The new age limit of “under 22” will come into effect this fall, on October 24, 2017, raising it from the current “under 19” requirement. The increased age will apply to new applications for all immigration programs under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, including for refugees. Children who are 22 years of age or older and who rely on their parents due to a physical or mental health condition will continue to be considered dependent children.

A higher age limit will have more positive social and cultural impacts by keeping families together. It will also better address humanitarian and safety concerns by enabling more family members of refugees to qualify as dependants. Increasing the age limit will also help to enhance Canada’s economy by making it a destination of choice for skilled immigrants who want to keep their families together.

Family reunification is a key immigration commitment of the Government of Canada. The Government has made a number of important changes to uphold this commitment. Regulations were recently published to eliminate the conditional permanent residence measure in recognition that most marriages are genuine and to reduce the vulnerability of spouses in the immigration program. Access to the parent and grandparent program was improved with changes to the 2017 application process to make it fairer and more transparent. In 2016, the number of parent and grandparent sponsorship applications accepted each year for intake was doubled to 10 000 applications, and the Government announced processing times for most sponsored spouses and partners would be reduced to 12 months.


“Raising the age of dependants lets more families stay together. This will bring economic and social gains to our country as it enhances our attractiveness as a destination of choice for immigrants and refugees.”

– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

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Refusal to process a Labour Market Impact Assessment application

Ministerial instructions

As a result of public policy considerations as determined in Ministerial Instructions, we may refuse to process your Labour Market Impact Assessment application for:

Low-wage positions in accommodation and food services and retail trade sectors

Low-wage positions in Accommodation and Food Services and Retail Trade sectors (except for those with specific Yellowknife postal codes):

  • in an economic region with an unemployment rate of six percent or higher (as defined by the Program-specific Statistics Canada data used by Service Canada for the purposes of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program)
  • in the Accommodation and Food Services sector (North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 72) or Retail Trades sector (NAICS codes 44-45)
  • classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 6541, 6611, 6622, 6711, 6721, 6731, 6732, 6733, 7611 and 8612
Yellowknife postal codes

Low-wage positions at or above the current cap

Low-wage positions, if you are at or above the current cap on the proportion of low-wage temporary foreign workers for the same positions at the same work location.

High-wage occupations in the province of Alberta

If the position you are looking to fill with a temporary foreign worker is included in the list of occupations, we will not process your application. The Government of Alberta’s Employer Liaison Services helps employers learn about options for hiring Albertans and Canadians first. For more information and assistance, contact Alberta Labour.

List of occupations

Management occupations
NumberNational Occupational Classification CodeTitle
1 0112 Human resources managers
2 0211 Engineering managers
Business, finance, and administration occupations
NumberNational Occupational Classification CodeTitle
3 1225 Purchasing agents and officers
4 1523 Production logistics co-ordinators
Natural and applied sciences and related occupations
NumberNational Occupational Classification CodeTitle
5 2131 Civil engineers
6 2132 Mechanical engineers
7 2133 Electrical and electronic engineers
8 2212 Geological and mineral technologists and technicians
9 2231 Civil engineering technologists and technicians
10 2233 Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians
11 2261 Non-destructive testers and inspection technicians
Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations
NumberNational Occupational Classification CodeTitle
12 7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
13 7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
14 7237 Welders and related machine operators
15 7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)
16 7242 Industrial electricians
17 7251 Plumbers
18 7271 Carpenters
19 7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
20 7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
21 7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
22 7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
23 7322 Motor vehicle body repairers
24 7511 Transport truck drivers
Occupations in manufacturing and utilities
NumberNational Occupational Classification CodeTitle
25 8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services
26 8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
27 8412 Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators
28 8615 Oil and gas drilling, servicing and related labourers
29 9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators

In-home Caregiver positions

In-home Caregiver positions, where there is a live-in requirement, that:

  • are classified under the NAICS as a Private Household (NAICS 814)
  • are classified under the NOC codes 3012, 3233, 4411 or 4412
  • have been advertised and indicated on the Labour Market Impact Assessment application as being sought to fill positions, where there is a live-in requirement

Exceptions to this refusal to process

High medical needs clients

If you are seeking to hire an in-home caregiver with a mandatory live-in requirement for high medical needs clients (e.g. people with disabilities, seniors, individuals with chronic or terminal illnesses), you must submit either:

Exceptional circumstances

You must submit the completed Rationale For Possible Exemption for Exceptional Circumstances section of the Schedule G – In-home Caregivers (EMP5601). The rationale must include:

  • a clear explanation of why live-in care is required
  • how frequently the situation necessitating live-in care occurs
  • to what degree you can influence this frequency
  • a description of what other options were explored in order to meet the need for care and why they were deemed not viable
  • how you will ensure fair working conditions for the in-home caregiver, despite the live-in requirement

Previous revocation

We may refuse to process your Labour Market Impact Assessment application for any position if you have had an application revoked in the past two years for having provided false, misleading or inaccurate information.

Processing fee

You will not be charged the processing fee, if we had to refuse to process your Labour Market Impact Assessment application or if you are an ineligible employer. In addition, a letter will be sent to you with the reason why your application was not processed.

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Improvements to spousal sponsorship process: The New Application Kit

The Government of Canada is releasing a new spousal sponsorship application kit on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website on December 15, 2016. The new application kit will make it easier and faster to apply through the spousal sponsorship program at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Standard Time. As part of the new application process, applicants will not have to provide certain information up front, such as medical examination results.

The changes to the kit will include the following:

  • A new application kit for use by all spousal applicants. Applicants will no longer have to choose between two different kits depending on whether they live in Canada or outside Canada. All applicants will use the same application kit.

    Since some applicants may have already started filling out their application using the current kit, IRCC will continue to accept new applications using the current kit until January 31, 2017. After this date, only applications using the new kit will be accepted.

    Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin using the new kit, which is easier to use and understand, as soon as it is available on December 15, 2016.

  • To help clients through the application process, a brand new “Basic Guide” has been developed. This guide summarizes the applications process and gives clients a clear explanation of what they need to do to apply.

    If applicants need more detailed information, they can consult the “Complete Guide”, which has been improved. Right now, there are several different application guides for sponsors and applicants. These have been combined into one document that is shorter and easier to understand.

  • One new Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation form has been developed. Right now, the sponsor must complete a sponsorship evaluation form, and the sponsor and applicant may also complete either one or two additional relationship questionnaires, depending on whether the applicant lives in Canada or outside Canada. These will all be merged into one form to be completed by both the sponsor and the person they are sponsoring and will be the same for all spousal applicants.

  • To help clients make sure their application is complete, four new document checklists will be available, depending on who is being sponsored. These will replace the current 14 checklists. Applicants will select the appropriate checklist depending on who is being sponsored (i.e., a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child). The new checklists clearly summarize all the forms and documents that must be included with the application and will help applicants determine what specific information will be needed for their application.

    All new applications that are received using the new application kit must include all the required documents listed on the checklist. This will ensure more efficient and timely processing by eliminating the additional processing time that results from back-and-forth between IRCC and clients while the Department waits to receive required documents. If an application is received that does not have all the required forms and documents on the checklist, IRCC will not accept it for processing and will return the application to the applicant.

For a general overview of the changes, view this graphic.

Source: IRCC update

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Mexico will be added back to the lists of visa exempted countries starting

Liberals Lift Visa Requirement for Mexicans

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the removal of visa requirements for Mexican citizens entering Canada. Trudeau instructed Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion in a mandate letter made public last Friday to lift the Mexican visa requirement.  It is expected this to take effect in March 2016.

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto said that Trudeau confirmed the commitment during a recent meeting with Canada's new prime minister at the G20 summit in Turkey.

The policy was imposed by the Conservative government in 2009 to reduce the number of Mexicans seeking asylum in Canada. The requirement had become a source of tension between the two countries.

According to Trudeau's mandate letter to Dion it is essential to "support the minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship in lifting the Mexican visa requirement." Another top priority is to "work with relevant ministers, including the ministers of international trade and environment and climate change, to prepare for the North American Leaders Summit in Canada."

The Mexican president also said he and Trudeau discussed the trilateral annual summit between the prime minister of Canada, and the presidents of Mexico and the U.S., which Canada was set to host by year's end.

Originally scheduled for February 2015, the summit was postponed indefinitely by the Conservative government. The decision to push back the summit came due to the looming general elections in Canada as well as a decision by the U.S. president on the pending approval of TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

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2016 Immigration Levels Plan

Ottawa, March 8, 2016 — Following the tabling of the 2015 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration on March 8, 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is pleased to release details on its 2016 Immigration Levels Plan. Canada will welcome between 280,000 and 305,000 (target 300,000) new permanent residents in 2016.

Immigration CategoryCategoryLowHighTarget
Economic Federal Economic—High Skilled Footnote 1 54,000 59,000 58,400
Federal Economic—CaregiversFootnote 2 20,000 22,000 22,000
Federal Economic—BusinessFootnote 3 500 900 800
Provincial Nominee Program 46,000 48,000 47,800
Quebec Skilled Worker 25,500 27,000 26,200
Quebec Business 5,200 5,500 5,400
Economic Total 151,200 162,400 160,600
Family Spouses, Partners and Children 57,000 62,000 60,000
Parents and Grandparents 18,000 20,000 20,000
Family Total 75,000 82,000 80,000
Refugees and Protected Persons Protected Persons in Canada and Dependants Abroad 10,000 11,000 11,000
Resettled Refugees 41,000 46,000 44,800
Government-Assisted Refugees 24,000 25,000 24,600
Blended Visa Office-Referred 2,000 3,000 2,400
Privately Sponsored Refugees 15,000 18,000 17,800
Protected Persons and Refugees Total 51,000 57,000 55,800
Humanitarian and OtherFootnote 4 Humanitarian and Other 2,800 3,600 3,600
OVERALL 280,000 305,000 300,000
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Attracting newcomers to Canada's francophone communities outside Quebec


March 17, 2016—Ottawa, ON–Attracting skilled francophone workers to Canada and encouraging them to settle in communities outside of Quebec is the goal of a new International Mobility Program stream that will launch on the first day of June.

“We want francophone minority communities in Canada to continue to be vibrant and growing,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum said today. “That’s why we’re going to encourage skilled francophone workers to come to Canada and settle in communities outside of Quebec, and we’re going to encourage them to apply for permanent residence if they would like to stay.”

Starting June 1, 2016, the Mobilité Francophone stream will exempt employers from the Labour Market Impact Assessment process when they hire francophone workers in managerial, professional and technical/skilled trades occupations from abroad to work in francophone minority communities outside of Quebec.

“Canada’s diversity is enriched by our francophone minority communities all across the country,” said Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly. “We want to see these communities flourish across Canada and immigration is strategic to preserving their vitality and prosperity.”

Quick facts

  • The goal of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is to have francophone newcomers make up at least 4% of all economic immigrants settling outside of Quebec by 2018. The overall target for francophone immigration outside Quebec is 4.4% by 2023.
  • Since 2014, reforms to the International Mobility Program have ensured that it meets the objective of allowing temporary workers to come to Canada when they advance our economic and cultural interests.


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Bill C-24, Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act

The new Citizenship rules will be in force starting June 11/2015
The details are listed below:
Key changes include (in force June 11, 2015):

Adult applicants must now be physically present in Canada for at least 1,460 days (four years) during the six years before the date of their application, and they must be physically present in Canada for at least 183 days in each of four calendar years within the qualifying period. This is aimed at ensuring that citizenship applicants develop a strong attachment to Canada.
Applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 must meet basic knowledge and language requirements. This is aimed at ensuring that more new citizens are better prepared for life in Canada.
Citizenship will be automatically extended to additional “Lost Canadians” on June 11th, who were born before 1947, and did not become citizens on January 1, 1947 when the first Canadian Citizenship Act came into effect. This will also apply to their children born in the first generation outside Canada.
Adult applicants must declare their intent to reside in Canada once they become citizens and meet their personal income tax obligations in order to be eligible for citizenship.
To help improve program integrity, there are now stronger penalties for fraud and misrepresentation (to a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or up to five years in prison). This is aimed at deterring unscrupulous applicants who are prepared to misrepresent themselves, or advise others to do so.
The newly-designated Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) is the new regulatory body for citizenship consultants. Only members of the ICCRC, lawyers or notaries (including paralegals and students at law) can be paid to provide citizenship applicants with representation or advice.
New application forms, aligned with the new rules for eligibility, will be available on the CIC website as of June 11, 2015. Any applications received using the old forms received after June 10, 2015 will be returned to the applicant

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Federal government approves bridging measures for Alberta foreign workers

The federal government has quietly thrown a lifeline to Alberta temporary foreign workers facing a looming April 1 deadline to leave the country.

In a letter sent to Conservative MPs and obtained by the Herald, federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney says a series of transitional measures have been put in place to “help address legitimate concerns that have been raised by employers in Alberta.”

The new measures will help temporary foreign workers transition to permanent residency if they have already applied under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program but risk having their work permits expire before their applications are processed.

Under the new policy, Alberta temporary foreign workers who are affected by the federally imposed April 1 deadline — the date on which any TFW who arrived in 2011 or earlier will see their contract expire — will be eligible for a one-time, one-year bridging work permit, as long as they’ve already applied for immigration and are in the queue waiting for word on their status.

In addition, the federal government will provide a one-time exemption to these workers that will keep them from being counted under rules imposed last June, which require employers to ensure no more than 10 per cent of their workforce is made up of low-wage TFWs. The exemption will mean employers can continue to seek approvals to bring in new TFWs while their existing workers pursue permanent immigration.

Neither the federal government nor the province made an official announcement about the changes, though Ogho Ikhalo — spokeswoman for the provincial ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour — said in an interview that discussions have been underway since last fall and the new measures took effect Feb. 1.

Ikhalo cautioned that the bridging measures are not going to be applicable to every TFW looking for a way to extend their stay in the province. However, she estimated that more than 1,000 of the 10,000 individuals currently waiting in Alberta’s provincial nomination queue could be eligible to participate.

“We want the TFWs who are currently in our province to have a stronger chance at permanent residency. We want them to be able to call Alberta home, so that employers can also utilize that workforce,” Ikhalo said. “So this is good news for us.”

Last week, provincial Jobs Minister Ric McIver confirmed that “several thousand” foreign workers currently living in Alberta could see their work permits expire on April 1, a date imposed in 2011 when the federal government first imposed a four-year limit on the length of time TFWs may work in Canada.

While some of those workers are eligible to seek permanent residency through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program, a glut of applications means current processing times range from 12 to 25 months. Applicants must have an active work permit to apply for permanent residency, but the lengthy wait times mean that many workers could find themselves still in the queue when their permits expire on April 1.

That’s causing significant frustration for employers, many of whom are fearful of losing some of their best and most experienced employees, said Richard Truscott, Alberta director for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

“This is very much a looming issue for Alberta, with this April deadline coming up. Our members have been scrambling to find ways to keep these individuals,” Truscott said. “So we’re very happy to see these transitional measures implemented.”

Mark von Schellwitz, Western Canada vice-president for industry group Restaurants Canada, also praised the move.

“We do everything we can to hire Canadians first . . . But not everybody is cut out to work in the high-stress, high-pressure restaurant industry,” he said. “In many cases, these (TFWs) are workers who have worked here and established roots in Alberta communities. They’ll be very, very good Albertans, and it would be unfair to them to have their applications cut short because their work permit has expired.”

But TFW advocate Marco Luciano of Migrante Alberta said there is still too much uncertainty about what these changes will actually mean. He said he has questions about how many bridging permits will actually be available, and is concerned that a one-year extension won’t be enough considering that it could take up to two years to get an application through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program.

“We believe that there should not be any restrictions for all TFWs that have applied for AINP. These workers should be allowed to stay until they get the results of their application,” Luciano said. “They contributed to the economy of Alberta and have established their lives here. They should be allowed to stay.”

In his letter, Kenney says he’s confident the new measures will not “undermine” reforms to the TFW program instituted by the federal government in June. In addition to the cap on the number of low-wage foreign workers an employer can use, the reforms also limit access to foreign workers for employers in areas of high unemployment, and make the process of applying for temporary foreign workers more expensive.

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AINP new criteria for Semi-Skilled Worker In Alberta

Effective immediately, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has reduced the number of months a semi-skilled worker in the Food and Beverage Processing Industry needs to be employed in Alberta to qualify to apply to the AINP. Candidates who work in one of the eligible food and beverage processing occupations are now eligible to apply after being employed in Alberta for a minimum of three months. The eligible occupations are:

1. Food and Beverage Processing

2. Hotel and lodging

3. Manufacturing

4. Long - haul trucking industry

5. Foodservice industry

For further understanding of the Alberta Semi Skilled worker criteria, contact CIECSI at 4033987203 or

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Express Entry News

Inviting In-Demand, Skilled Immigrants to Canada


First round of Express Entry candidates invited to fill labour market needs and contribute to Canada’s economic growth

February 2, 2015 — Ottawa — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today announced that the first round of top-ranked candidates from Canada’s Express Entry system is already helping to fill demonstrated and verifiable gaps in Canada’s labour market.

On Saturday, January 31, 779 skilled workers, including professionals in natural and applied sciences, and industrial, electrical and construction trades, were invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada. Each of these candidates declared that they already have a valid job offer or provincial nomination.

Under Express Entry, skilled workers who want to apply to Canada’s key economic immigration programs are able to create an online profile and express their interest in coming to Canada permanently.

Candidates who are accepted into the pool are ranked according to various factors, including language proficiency, education and work experience. Each is a leading indicator of one’s likelihood of integrating fully and quickly into Canadian society and making an optimal contribution to the economy.

Canada will regularly invite the highest-ranking candidates from the pool to apply to immigrate. With most applications being processed in six months or less, candidates will be able to contribute to Canada’s economy and job market more quickly than ever before.

Quick facts

  • Express Entry will manage applications for three federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class.
  • Provinces and territories will be able to use the Express Entry system to select a portion of candidates for their Provincial Nominee Programs.
  • Once candidates have been invited to apply for permanent residence, they will need to submit a complete application and will have to meet eligibility and admissibility requirements such as health and security checks. Candidates will have up to 60 days to submit their application online.


“Express Entry is already getting impressive results in its first month. The fact that everyone who was invited to apply for permanent residence in this round of invitations already has a valid job offer or provincial nomination shows that Express Entry is working to fill Canada’s existing labour market gaps.”

“With Express Entry, highly skilled candidates with a high chance of success in Canada are invited to apply for permanent residence, bringing them to Canada more quickly and easily than ever before.”

Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister

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Express Entry

The new Express Entry system is being tested this month. It is expected that CIC may announce the first group of applicants selected from the express entry pool. Should you wish to know how the Express Entry system works or if you wish to creat your profile under the Express Entry system, you may contact us at 4033987203 or email us at so that our professional immigration consultants will walk with you step by step in the process.

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Express Entry candidates for jobs

Meetings are taking place across Canada, with more being planned, to make sure businesses and leading employers are ready for the country’s new Express Entry immigration programme which launches in the New Year.

Starting in January 2015, Canadian employers will be able to consider Express Entry candidates for jobs where there are no Canadians or permanent residents available for the positions.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander wants employers to be ready for the new programme and has been meeting on a regular basis with stakeholders and business leaders. More meetings will follow in the coming months.

Express Entry candidates are those who complete an online profile indicating their interest in immigrating to Canada and who meet the criteria of at least one of the three federal immigration programmes.

The programmes are the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, the Federal Skilled Trades Programme and Canadian Experience Class. Provinces and territories will also be able to nominate Express Entry candidates for their provincial nominee programmes.

Candidates are ranked against others within the Express Entry pool based on criteria that lead to economic success once in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will only invite the highest ranked candidates, including those with valid job offers or provincial or territorial nominations, to apply for permanent residence.

Alexander explained that jobs offered to Express Entry candidates will be subject to the Labour Market Impact Assessment in place at that time.Toronto

Meanwhile, Canada has welcomed the country’s one hundred and fifty thousandth new citizen of 2014, more than double the number of new Canadians sworn in over the same period last year.

The 150,000 new citizens who came to Canada from more than 200 countries were welcomed at approximately 1,500 citizenship ceremonies across the country.

Alexander said that the large number of new citizens who have joined the Canadian family so far this year shows that changes and improvements that have come into effect over the past year have already made the system more efficient.

He also pointed out that the backlog has been reduced, thereby helping more people realize their dream of becoming Canadian sooner.

Recent changes to the Citizenship Act will further reduce wait times by streamlining the decision making process for citizenship. It is expected that those changes will bring the average processing time for citizenship applications down to less than one year and that the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80% by 2015/2016.

Since 2006, Canada has welcomed over 1.3 million new Canadians. Canada has also enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history, an average of a quarter million newcomers each year.


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