I read editor John Harding's April 17 editorial
(Filipinos Welcome) with a combination of delight and relief.
Having practiced immigration law for nearly 25 years, it has
been my observation that our foreign worker program is largely
misunderstood and, sadly, the foreign workers take the brunt of our
wrath when issues such as the current concerns about foreign
workers at McDonald's are raised. In reality, the
Filipinos working at McDonald's may very likely not have come
through the foreign worker program and may not even be temporary
workers but actual permanent residents or citizens of Canada.
When reference is made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
(TFWP), this is generally describing the process of bringing
workers to Canada by way of an employer obtaining a Labour Market
Opinion (LMO) from Service Canada. Service Canada is essentially
Canada's own human resources department and it is their mandate
to ensure that Canadians have first crack at jobs in Canada.
Service Canada will only issue an LMO to an employer who has made
an application and demonstrated that they have made the necessary
recruitment efforts to hire local Canadian citizens or permanent
residents. Currently, the necessary period of advertising is for a
minimum of four weeks in a minimum of three different sources. For
lower-skilled workers such as food counter attendants and kitchen
helpers, the advertising requirements are more stringent than this.
Once Service Canada reviews the employer's application, which
includes proof of the advertising, an LMO will be issued only when
the officer is satisfied there were no suitable Canadian
It is with the LMO that an individual applies for a work permit
to come to Canada. This application for a work permit must be made
overseas and cannot initially be made from within Canada. It is not
a process that employers turn to lightly as it is expensive and
However, there are many other ways that people may be working in
Canada and the LMO process is only one facet of the TFWP. Canada is
party to several bi-lateral trade agreements which allow for the
exchange of youth between member nations. We also allow for the
exchange of workers between corporate branch offices under
the Inter-company transferee category. In addition, we have work
permit options within our Immigrant program. Persons who are
married to Canadians and are sponsored for permanent residence from
within Canada are eligible for open work permits.
Canada's Live-in-Caregiver program is also part of
Canada's economic immigration stream that allows individual
employers to bring foreign workers to live in their home and
provide care for children and elderly family members. There are few
such workers in Canada and this program is in high demand.
Live-in-Caregivers, who come to Canada on initial work permits
under the TFWP program, are eligible to apply for permanent
residence after two years of employment. Once their application is
approved in principle, they are also eligible for open work
permits. Given the lengthy processing times of the permanent
residence application process, individuals may remain on open work
permits for many years. The greatest number of Live-In-Caregivers
to Canada come from the Philippines. These people settle
permanently in Canada with their families and make Canada their
As a professional woman, I have had the good fortune to have had
several Filipino nannies help me in raising my children. Many of
these women are considered to be extended family members by my
They have embraced Canada and raised their children and
grandchildren here. So it was with relief that I read Harding's
editorial that recognizes their contribution to our communities. As
an immigration lawyer, I can also anticipate that many of the
workers at the McDonald's may not even be temporary foreign
workers but actual immigrants. Service Canada's policy of
requiring Canadian employers to place jobs with "Canadians
first" is a good one. There have been many recent changes to
enhance the TFW program and ensure that this policy is fulfilled.
However, in the current situation in our community, the individuals
involved may already be "Canadians".
Originally published in The Parksville Qualicum Beach News -
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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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