Canada: The HR Space: More Changes In The Canadian Immigration System

Last Updated: February 6 2013
Article by Louise Béchamp, Karen Sargeant and Brian P. Smeenk

Winds of change keep blowing on Canadian immigration lands. In July 2012, we discussed several steps taken by the Federal government relating to the rules and processes applicable to temporary and permanent immigration applications. More changes have been announced in the recent months.  These changes aim to allow more foreigners into Canada to meet growing labour shortages.

New Bridging Open Work Permits for certain Permanent Residence ("PR") applicants

Since December 15, 2012, foreign nationals currently in Canada with a valid work permit and a PR application in process in one of the Federal Economic Programs, are now eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit that will allow them to maintain their status and continue working in Canada until a final decision on their PR application is made.

This benefit was already in place for some foreign workers nominated under a Provincial Nominee Program and for applicants under one of the In-Canada Classes (such as Live-in Care Givers or Spouses and Common law partners of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident). In June 2012, it was extended to applicants destined for Québec and holding a Québec selection certificate.

With this recent change, all applicants can now benefit for this Open Work Permit allowing them to work for any employer in Canada and exempting their Canadian employer from the standard Labour Market Opinion process. Such permits will be valid for a period of one year, within which the PR applications should normally be finalized. They will be granted only if an application is filed (1) while the foreign national is in Canada, (2) he or she has a valid work permit expiring within four months and (3) a positive eligibility decision on the PR application has been issued.

Global Launch of Electronic Applications for Temporary Residents

Since December 15, 2012, applicants around the world have the option of submitting their application for temporary status online. This applies to temporary resident visas, study or work permits and visitor extensions, whether the applicant is already present in Canada or residing abroad. At present, the new "e-Apps" system is not mandatory. Until further notice, paper applications will still be accepted at the In-land Processing Center or at Canadian visa offices abroad.

In case an applicant does not meet the requirements to use the new system, he or she will be directed to a paper application at the time of preparation. At present, the system does not allow filing of Temporary Resident Permit applications (a special permit granted to overcome a medical or criminal inadmissibility ground).

This change should hopefully reduce processing times.  But it is still too early to tell.

Permanent Residence: New Requirements for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC):

The relentless Jason Kenney, Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, is also leading major reforms on the Permanent Residence front. On January 2, 2013, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program became more facilitative and is now open to foreign workers with only 12 months of Canadian work experience, rather than 24 months under the former program. In addition, foreign students graduating in Canada can now earn the required one year of work experience over a period of 36 months, rather than 24 months.

This increased flexibility has been well received by skilled worker applicants who now become eligible for permanent residence at an earlier date. We understand that the Federal Government is planning to accept an increasing number of permanent residents under this program that selects individuals with valuable Canadian work experience and skills to benefit Canada's current labour market needs.

Permanent Residence: New Federal Skilled Trades Program:

On January 2, 2013 a newFederal Skilled TradesProgram was launched, aiming at addressing serious labour shortages in some Canadian regions and meeting the pressing needs of many industries in specific trades. Applicants qualified in one of the 43 occupations listed under the program will be eligible for permanent residency if they:

  • meet the language proficiency requirements in English or French,
  • have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer or are nominated by a province in a qualifying skilled trade,
  • possess a minimum of two years of experience in the listed occupation, acquired during the last five years,
  • meet the requirements of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) for this occupation.

For 17 of the 43 jobs, applications are capped at 100 applications per job.  These are considered jobs with a "moderate labour market need" and include contractors and supervisors in electrical, telecommunications, carpentry, construction, mechanic, mining and agricultural trades. There are no caps for the other 26 jobs. These are considered "in demand" jobs and include machinists, welders, electricians, plumbers, heavy-duty equipment mechanics, crane operators and oil and gas well drillers.

Permanent Residence: New Federal Skilled Worker Program:

On May 4, 2013, a new Federal Skilled Worker Program will be in place after the former program was put on hold in July 2012. The new selection system to take effect aims to better identify applicants with the most promising potential to respond to Canada's economic needs.  Language proficiency will become the most important factor in the selection decision. The assessment of education credentials will be refined to better reflect the applicant's background, compared to Canadian standards. The applicant's (young) age, the availability of a job offer and prior Canadian work experience will also be given more weight. More details about the new system and its ambitious objectives to process cases in only a few months will follow in a coming article on this blog. Stay tuned!

The HR Space is edited by Louise Béchamp, Karen M. Sargeant and Brian P. Smeenk

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Dale & Lessmann LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Dale & Lessmann LLP
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions