In June, Citizenship and Immigration Canada introduced a number
of "updates" to their Foreign Worker manual. The Foreign
Worker manual is usually the first resource immigration officers
consult when making an immigration decision regarding work permits
and, as a result, any "updates" made to this publication
can result in significant changes to how immigration eligibility is
assessed. Some of the more significant "updates" deal
with the qualifications of intra-company transferees who wish to
work in Canada.
Intra-company transferees (ICTs) are employees of multinational
companies seeking to work in Canada for a related company. There
are three types of ICTs – executives, managers and
specialized knowledge workers. While most of the basic requirements
that companies and employees must meet have not been changed, the
following are some of the more significant changes:
First, in order to qualify as an ICT, the transferring employee
must be a current employee of the foreign transferring company.
Previously, Citizenship and Immigration allowed former employees to
be ICTs as long as they were employed abroad for at least one year
in the three years immediately before the transfer.
Second, officers are now instructed to analyze whether an
ICT's proposed Canadian position will be at a similar or higher
level than his or her foreign position. If it is determined that
the ICT will not be making a lateral move or is being promoted, the
ICT will only be approved if he or she is able to establish that an
exceptional situation exists. In conducting this analysis, officers
will now review both the ICT's foreign and prospective Canadian
position against Canada's National Occupational
Finally, for specialized knowledge ICTs, specialized knowledge
can now be analyzed in relation to the knowledge base in the
ICT's company. Previously, specialized knowledge ICTs had to
prove that their knowledge was beyond what is commonly found in the
industry. This change should be of assistance to ICTs and companies
who do not have an in-depth knowledge of what is commonly found in
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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On February 6, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander unveiled Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, which will be the first significant amendment to the Canadian Citizenship Act1 since 1977.
Employers seeking to employ foreign workers must often obtain a
positive labour market opinion (LMO) from Human Resources and
Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) before a foreign worker will
receive a work permit.
In recent article in Canadian Lawyer Magazine, Green and Spiegel partner Stephen Green criticizes the new legislative amendments affecting the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and LMOs, arguing that they could impose a "big impediment to business".
The federal government’s February 11th, 2014 budget revealed the Economic Action Plan 2014 which includes the government’s intention to formally terminate the existing federal Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneur Programs.