On April 1, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
announced that subject to various exceptions, work permits in
Canada would be capped at four years. Thereafter, workers would
need to be absent for a further four years before they might work
in Canada again. CIC said at that time that the provision was not
retrospective; as such, the first possible date that someone could
hit the four year cap was April 1, 2015. There are therefore people
at this moment who are starting to be caught by this provision, and
whose work permits will not be renewable.
What Has Changed
In what seems like a 'common sense revolution', however,
CIC has recognized that there needs to be some adjustment to this
pronouncement, and has made some modification.
Specifically, CIC has recognized that there are many
well-qualified foreign workers who have applied for permanent
residence under the Alberta Provincial Nominee Program (AINP).
However, the AINP is currently taking some 29 months to process
applications. Therefore, it may well come to pass that a foreign
worker in Alberta who has applied under the AINP will need to leave
in the interim, caught between the four year cap and the 29 month
CIC has therefore allowed an exception to the four year cap, and
announced the 'AINP Pre-Nomination Initiative Work Permit'
(AINP-PNIWP). This will allow some people to bridge the gap to
permanent residence finalization, even though they are in Canada
beyond four years.
To qualify for this kind of work permit, the following
conditions must be met.
The worker must:
be working on an International Mobility Worker work permit
(i.e. not based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment)
have applied to the AINP before July 1, 2014
be currently in Canada with a valid work permit set to expire
in the 2015 calendar year (caution must be exercised in that if an
expiry period passes before the AINP-PNIWP application is made, the
person concerned will lose all right to use this program)
have applied for an "initiative" work permit for work
in Alberta with the same employer
have a letter from the AINP indicating that Alberta intends to
nominate the worker, and
have created an Express Entry profile if they have a NOC B
No further guidance has been provided, but if the logic follows
through, it may be reasonable to believe that such a program would
be renewed into the following year or years.
Since 2011, Canadian immigration laws, regulations, and policies
have been changed on countless occasions – and always to make
them harsher and more restrictive. This seems to be the first
recognition that sometimes, CIC may need to relax or at least
review some elements of its program. Failure to do so in reality
leads to harm to foreign workers, to their employers, and indeed to
Canada. Hopefully this philosophy may take root, but for now, at
least some foreign workers who have applied for permanent residence
under the AINP, will be able to secure a kind of 'bridge'
work permit, mitigating the impact that the 4 year cap that could
have been be harmful to all involved.
The information in this article is for general purposes
only, and not intended as legal advice for any particular
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October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
October 19th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 22nd round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 45th overall, inviting 1804 applicants for permanent residence, the largest number ever. The lowest CRS score was 475, a decline from the previous draw.
September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
A unique feature of the new Canada express entry immigration system is that candidates can improve their comprehensive ranking score while in the express entry pool, without submitting a new application. We review important strategies.
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