Hello from all of us at Ackah Business Immigration Law! Welcome to the November 2014 edition of the Ackah Law Newsletter – hard to believe the year is almost over! We hope you find it informative and insightful.
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Ackah Business Immigration Law Speaking Engagements
We frequently present on a wide range of immigration issues to firm clients, professional associations, community groups, institutions of higher education and many types of businesses. If you are interested in attending a presentation or inviting us to speak to your group, institution or business, please contact Evelyn Ackah directly to schedule and discuss topics of interest.
UPDATES IN IMMIGRATION LAW
THE PAINFUL NEW PROCESS OF LABOUR MARKET IMPACT ASSESSMENTS
Since the June 2014 changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, everyone has been experiencing the pain of increased rigidity, scrutiny and challenges relating to the TFWP and the LMIA application process. There also appears to be significant differences in the manner that LMIAs are being processed. For instance in Alberta, we have yet to truly see the 10 day processing time that was initiated for high wage (over $48 an hour) positions, whereas our experience in Ontario shows that they are able to meet the 10 day processing times.
Another issue of concern is the requirement for Transition Plans and how closely employers will be scrutinized in the future when they return to the TFWP for new LMIA applications. It is clear now that anything you document on the LMIA forms – MUST BE COMPLIED WITH, or you risk not being eligible for the program in the future. You must actively track all the activities you indicate you are going to undertake regarding the foreign worker and efforts to transition to Canadian or Permanent Residence workers, and you must do them. Employers must create a Compliance and Review Policy and Process that is assessed periodically – we suggest every 6 months at least.
LMIA COMPLIANCE AND INSPECTIONS
Given the increased focus by the Canadian government on compliance, Ackah Business Immigration Law is expanding our services to further support employers to ensure they are in full compliance before they are approached for an Employer Compliance Review by the TFWP or CIC
. Please contact us for assistance on developing a Compliance Review Policy within your organization
Some things that all employers of foreign workers should be keeping and documenting:
- Copies of Records of Employment
- Copies of all Exit Interviews
- Copies of all paystubs and payroll records
- Copies of all advertising efforts and recruitment – both the ads and all money paid for ads or recruitment
- Copies of interview notes of prospective candidates and reasons they may or may not have been suitable
- Copies of all LMIA applications submitted and fees paid to the government
- Copies of any changes to salary, position, organizational changes, benefits etc.
We suggest that there be two key contacts within your organization with full responsibility for immigration and TFWs in your organization- just in case someone is away or on vacation when the call comes for an ECR. These contacts should have access to both a physical file of all foreign worker files as well as an electronic file of all key documents in one repository. It is also very important that the immigration contacts stay up to date on the constant changes in the immigration laws so that your organization is not at risk of non-compliance. We also recommend that employers do regular SIN audits to confirm all the foreign workers you currently have – based on their SIN numbers starting with 9 and maintain accurate records.
CURRENT IMMIGRATION PROCESSING TIMES:
Labour Market Impact Assessments
LMIAs in Alberta are taking approximately 8 to 12 weeks for processing, unless you qualify for the high wage exemption, which brings the processing time to approximately 30 days.
Permanent Residence - see link http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/perm-ec.asp
Canadian Citizenship -
The table below shows the processing time from receipt of application to final decision
for 80% of cases processed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014:
|Routine citizenship applications
||Non-routine citizenship applications
See the link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/canada/cit-processing.asp
Work Permit Extension Processing Times
As of October 24, 2014, the processing times for work permit extension applications submitted inside Canada are as following:
|Type of Application
||Working on applications received on
||Working on applications submitted on
|Work Permit Extension
||August 16, 2014
||October 4, 2014
|Work Permit Extension
||August 15, 2014
||October 4, 2014
For more details, please visit the following link.
IN THE NEWS
On October 31, 2014 CIC announced the government’s annual immigration plan for 2015. The government is planning to welcome between 260,000 to 285,000 new permanent residents in 2015, an increase of approximately 19,000 planned admissions over 2014. Please see below link:
On October 31, 2014 CIC also announced reforms to end the live-in requirement, reduce family separation and provide more options to caregivers in Canada.
Please see below link:
Improving Canada's Caregiver Program
Please don’t keep our boutique law firm a secret! We are very appreciative of any referrals and recommendations you send our way. Thank you very much!
FROM ALL OF US AT ACKAH BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAW
We hope that you have found this newsletter both helpful and informative. We look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions about the content. Please let us know how we may be of assistance and how you can leverage our expertise in helping to meet your business needs. Should you wish to discuss further the impact of any of the above-referenced policy changes, we encourage you to contact our office.
*Please note that this immigration newsletter has been created for informational purposes only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.