With the demands on Canada's labour market increasing,
Canadian employers are frequently turning to the foreign labour
pool to find experienced and qualified candidates to take up
positions in Canada. While there can be challenges in obtaining an
initial work permit for a foreign worker, it is often more
difficult to keep a foreign worker in Canada as work permits cannot
be renewed indefinitely. Unless the employee plays out a scene from
the movie "Green Card" (which is not recommended) or
legitimately marries a Canadian, the employee may struggle to
obtain permanent residence in Canada before the expiry of a work
permit. As a result, the employer loses the investment it made in
training and developing the employee.
Currently, a foreign worker who wishes to apply for permanent
residence in Canada has to apply outside Canada. Applicants are
assessed based on a points system that takes into account the
individual's age, experience, language facility and education.
The emphasis under the points system on formal education, language
and the individual's age means that it is difficult for older,
skilled workers to qualify for permanent residence. In addition,
processing times for approval can be lengthy depending on where the
application is filed.
To respond to the challenges foreign workers face in obtaining
permanent residence, the Federal Government recently announced
proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Regulations that will create a new mechanism for temporary foreign
workers and students with post-graduate work permits to obtain
permanent residence in Canada. The Canadian Experience Class
("CEC") is designed to attract more foreign workers to
Canada and improve retention rates by speeding the transition from
temporary foreign worker to permanent resident.
I. Eligibility and Selection
The CEC stream recognizes that an individual who is working in
Canada has already demonstrated an ability to enter the Canadian
labour market. In order to qualify, the person must be working in a
management, professional or skilled trade occupation (as determined
under the National Occupation Classifications).
There are two types of foreign workers who can apply under the
CEC. The first is an individual who has worked in Canada for at
least twenty-four months in a thirty-six month period. The second
is a student who has: (a) studied in Canada for at least two years
and has graduated from a Canadian educational institution and, (b)
worked for at least twelve months post-graduation (a foreign
student will not be able to apply based on work experience gained
during school). In addition, both students and foreign workers must
demonstrate language proficiency (as determined by the occupation
skill level) in either English or French.
The CEC will not apply in the province of Quebec, which retains
responsibility for selecting its own economic immigrants.
Immigration Canada has announced that the stream will approve an
initial 12,000 to 18,000 immigrants once the CEC is formally put in
place. At the time of this writing, it is not known when
applications will be accepted under the CEC.
II. What This Means for Employers
Attracting and retaining qualified foreign workers is an
increasing challenge for Canadian employers. Obviously, an employer
looks to retain someone who has become integrated into its
organization and has demonstrated an ability to perform and adapt
to a company's culture. In addition, employers invest
significant costs in training employees and may have made
organizational decisions based on an employee's continued
employment. Because work permits cannot be renewed indefinitely, an
employer and its foreign worker can be faced with the loss of the
worker's services through no fault of the employee. It is
therefore important for an employer to plan for an employee's
transition from foreign worker to permanent resident.
The CEC stream will assist employers in retaining foreign
workers who wish to continue in their employment but who cannot
renew their work permits. It is anticipated that the CEC will
provide a more streamlined approach to immigration that will assist
qualified immigrants to stay in Canada.
We will monitor the proposed Regulations and advise once the new
law is in effect.
The foregoing provides only an overview. Readers are
cautioned against making any decisions based on this material
alone. Rather, a qualified lawyer should be consulted.
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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