As many of you are aware, there have been significant and ongoing changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) over the past many months. As a result of the review, a number of changes have been introduced for foreign workers in Canada and the Canadian Employers who hire them.

Among the changes, Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt foreign workers will now be part of the newly named International Mobility Program (IMP). This will distinguish them from foreign workers who need an LMIA to enter Canada through the TFWP.

Here’s on overview of other anticipated changes which will ensure both programs continue to benefit Canadians:

  • Making employers of LMIA-exempt foreign nationals (with employer-specific work permits) more accountable by requiring them to submit their job offer to Citizenship and Immigration;
  • Implementing a robust employer monitoring system that will see thousands of employers of LMIA-exempt foreign nationals inspected each year, including the collection of new compliance fee per work permit;
  • Introducing new fees for LMIA-exempt employer-specific work permits and for most open work permit applicants; and
  • Adjusting the rules for several specific exemptions, such as the LMIA exemption for intra-company transferees with specialized knowledge, to ensure they continue to operate as intended and in Canada’s best interests.

Change in the Definition of a Dependent Child

As Zemp Law reported on May 13, 2013, the Government of Canada, as part of the Economic Action Plan 2013, proposed regulatory amendments to the age of dependent children for all immigration programs that would reduce the age limit to under 19 and would remove the exception for full-time students.

Effective August 1, 2014, the new definition of “dependent child” will now apply across all CIC lines of business, including permanent and temporary resident applications. Accordingly, please see the following amendments which narrow the previous definition and involve two key changes:

  • the basic age limit for a dependent child has been reduced from under 22 to under 19 years; and
  • the elimination of the eligibility for older children to be considered dependents on the basis that they are students.

As of August 1, 2014, this new definition will be applied to determine whether the accompanying child of a temporary resident applicant qualifies as a dependent. If children do not qualify to be processed as a dependent of a principal applicant based on the aforementioned criteria, officers will determine whether children 19 years of age or over are eligible for temporary resident status based on the child’s own merits.

Alberta Pilot for Occupation-Specific Work Permits – Not Extended

This pilot project, launched June 1, 2011 in the Province of Alberta, previously allowed foreign nationals to come to Canada to work temporarily in a specific occupation and to be issued a work permit that allowed them to move freely between employers without requiring an LMO from Service Canada, if specific requirements are met. While there have been extensions of this pilot project for the past couple of years, there have been no announcements that the pilot will be extended any further.

Accordingly, please monitor any candidates that may have intended to utilize this program in the future, and we can assist with alternative planning to better highlight options for extending their stay in Canada.

AINP Processing Times – Effective June 5, 2014

The AINP is authorized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to issue a maximum of 5,000 nomination certificates during the 2014 calendar year. The Alberta government has announced that as of the end of May, close to half of its maximum nomination certificates for 2014 have been issued.

While applications are still being accepted, AINP has warned that it may take between 8 to 12 months (from the date the application was received) for the AINP to complete assessments for any applications received since November 26, 2013. Once the AINP reaches the maximum nomination certificates it can issue in 2014, further certificates will be issued only in 2015.

We will continue to advise you of any updates we receive in regards to these important regulation changes. In the meantime, please contact us regarding any current or upcoming applications that may be affected, as we are here to continue to make every effort to meet the needs of our clientele.