June 10, 2014 – In an operational bulletin released
yesterday, the Government of Canada provided new guidance to
officers processing work permit applications for Intra-Company
Transfers (ICTs) in the Specialized Knowledge category.
Effective immediately, applicants will be required to demonstrate
both proprietary knowledge and advanced expertise in order to
qualify for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) exemption. The bulletin
also introduces a wage-floor, requiring for the first time that
most transferees be paid above the prevailing wage in Canada. Taken
together, these changes are expected to impact industries that rely
on transfers of Specialized Knowledge workers in order to grow
their business in Canada.
Who is affected?
All Intra-Company transfers under the Specialized Knowledge
category are affected except where the transferee is from a country
with whom Canada has a bilateral or multilateral free trade
agreement, such as NAFTA, that provides for a different definition
of "Specialized Knowledge".
In addition, countries with bilateral or multilateral free trade
agreements are exempted from the wage floor requirement.
ICTs under the Executive and Senior Management Category are not
How has the definition of Specialized Knowledge changed?
Specialized Knowledge is now defined as possessing both
proprietary knowledge and advanced expertise. Such knowledge
must now be both unique and uncommon, not only within the context
of the industry but also within the context of the company itself.
In addition, such knowledge must not likely be available in the
Canadian labour market.
Previously, the presence of such Specialized Knowledge in Canada
was not germane to the test of whether or not the applicant
possessed such knowledge.
What industries are likely to be affected?
Industries that rely heavily on proprietary knowledge but whose
advanced knowledge is shared on an industry-wide basis, such as
Information Technology and Telecommunications, will be
significantly impacted. Because the knowledge requirement is
now being read against not only the industry at large, but also the
Company and Canada, previously eligible ICTs may now, in some
cases, no longer be LMO exempt.
What are the Wage-Floor Requirements?
The wage-floor requirement is new, and will only be applied to
LMO exempt ICTs in the "Specialized Knowledge" category
if the transfer is not governed by a bilateral or multilateral free
trade agreement (e.g., NAFTA).
The operational bulletin instructs officers to determine the
Canadian prevailing wage for the specific occupation and region of
work using the Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC)
"Working in Canada" tool. Applicants subject to the
wage-floor requirement must now, in most circumstances, be paid at
an above average salary that is consistent with their specialized
knowledge. This means that the prevailing wage as determined
by ESDC constitutes the absolute minimum that such a transferee may
be paid in Canada. In practice it appears that such
transferees will now need to be paid well above the prevailing wage
in order to qualify for an LMO-exempt work permit in this
Information for Employers
As the guidelines take immediate effect, employers in the
process of transferring employees to Canada under the Specialized
Knowledge category should immediately review transferee
qualifications against the new guidelines, ensuring that both the
knowledge requirements and wage-floor requirements are met.
In some cases, employees that would have qualified for an
LMO-exempt work permit under the old guidelines may now be required
to apply as a High Skilled Temporary Foreign Worker pursuant to a
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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.
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