Canada has announced that it has entered into yet another free
trade agreement - this time with South Korea, and this time, with
some 'new and improved' immigration provisions. These
beneficial provisions, detailed below, could have significant
impact on the ability of Canadian companies to retain skilled
workers for positions which cannot be filled by Canadians or
workers from other countries. Among other features of the agreement
(and as also detailed below), enhanced professional categories
means that Canadian companies can now seek foreign workers in areas
that would typically not be allowed to work in Canada, without a
Labour Market Impact Assessment ("LMIA"). [The LMIA
process is used to prove that no Canadian is available for a
position – it is a long, expensive, and cumbersome
Canada has in place free trade agreements (that include enhanced
immigration provisions), with:
The United States
Canada is also party to the General Agreement on Trade in
Services ("GATS") which also has enhanced immigration
provisions for signatory countries.
Further still, Canada is finalizing implementation of yet
another free trade agreement with the European Union, and
negotiations are in process for free trade agreements with other
countries as well.
Each of these bilateral agreements or international instruments
has provisions that allow for eased entry for various types of
scenarios. Each agreement is different, but if relevant, each
agreement can be referenced as a legal tool to get needed foreign
workers to Canada.
New Provisions and Benefits
The new Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement calls for
enhanced immigration considerations for:
Traders and Investors, and
Though each of these may have benefit for Canadian companies
seeking to fill positions, the categories of consideration are
similar to provisions in existing free trade agreements. (Counsel
should be sought to ensure compliance in the use of any free trade
agreement, given that there are indeed differences in between the
However, there are important new features and/or nuances in this
agreement which are different from other agreements, and which may
greatly benefit Canadian businesses in their need to fill positions
in Canada. These are some highlights of the agreement:
The 'ordinary' professionals
include various scientists and business professionals similar to
other agreements, however, there appear to be two unique categories
which may be very important, and which are much more difficult for
workers from other countries. They are:
Whereas other agreements may provide
for systems analysts (also allowed here), this expansion is a
welcome addition for the IT industry.
There is a new type of
'professional'; that is, "Independent
Professionals". These professionals can be engaged to provide
service in Canada on their own. The categories for such
Management Consultant, and
The intra-company transfer provisions
specifically provide for management trainees. This seems to be a
(welcome) departure from recent pronouncements that in
intra-company applications generally, people who require training
are not qualified as intra-company transferees.
Professionals, and Business Visitors do not require labour
certification tests (e.g. licensing)
For seemingly the first time, the
agreement indicates that Canada will normally accept oral
declarations from business persons as to the place of business and
accrual of profits, and that if further proof is required, a letter
from the employer should normally be sufficient proof.
There are certainly many further issues and nuances which need
to be canvassed if an organization wishes to benefit from the
agreement, but the above factors are important advances in the
nature of temporary immigration entry. If a Canadian company has
close ties with South Korea, OR if a Canadian
company wants to fill positions which may be hard to fill from
other countries, the Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement is a
welcome new legal tool.
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.
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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.
Canada received more than 320,000 immigrants in the last 12 months, approaching levels not seen since the early 20th century. The per capital immigration rate at .88%, is consistent with previous Liberal government policies.
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.
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