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Corporate Immigration

CIC establishes LMIA exemptions for television and film production workers and performing artists

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has announced two new categories of work permits exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment requirement, pursuant to Section 205 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. These work permits apply to: (1) foreign nationals whose work is essential to a television or film production and would create and maintain significant economic benefits and opportunities for Canadians and permanent residents; and (2) foreign nationals working in dance (i.e. ballet, contemporary), opera, orchestra, and live theatre, whose work contributes to competitive advantages and reciprocal benefits for all Canadians. CIC has also clarified its business visitor guidance to confirm that foreign nationals who are employed as film producers, essential personnel for commercial (i.e. advertising) shoots, and film and recording studio users may now seek admission under the business visitor category.

 

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Zika virus – To panic

There has been a lot of stories coming out in the news about the Zika virus. To be clear, as of right now the chances of contracting this virus in Canada is extremely low and there has only been 9 confirmed cases in Canada (and rising); all cases have involved travel to countries that are known to have mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. At this time, stay calm, Canada is at minimal risk levels.

 

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Canada implements leniency period for Electronic Travel Authorization until Fall 2016

On April 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada published regulations implementing its Electronic Travel Authorization (“eTA”) program. The regulations initially required eTAs to be mandatory as of March 15, 2016. Fortunately, the new Liberal Government has decided to delay the enforcement of the eTA requirement until Fall 2016 (no exact end date has been announced) by implementing a “leniency period.” During the leniency period, visa-exempt foreign nationals who do not have an eTA will still be permitted to enter Canada as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. Nevertheless, visa-exempt foreign nationals are encouraged to obtain an eTA as soon as possible.

 

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Update on Express Entry

Since Express Entry began on January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has issued several rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”). As of the date of this article, CIC has issued a total of 26 rounds of ITAs. The last two rounds (rounds 25 and 26) have required minimum CRS scores (453 points and 457 points) that have approached the levels used in rounds 17 and 18 (450 points).

 

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Legislative changes in Ontario to protect foreign workers

As of November 20, 2015, changes to Ontario’s employment laws came into effect with the aim of better protecting precarious and foreign workers.

 

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Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program announces details of its Entrepreneur and Corporate Streams

When the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (“OINP”) announced the termination of its Investor Stream on October 29, 2015, it promised that it would create new Entrepreneur and Corporate Streams to replace it. On December 18, 2015, the OINP published complete eligibility criteria and application guidelines for these two new business streams.

 

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Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program announces temporary pause on OINP “base” stream applications

On November 16, 2015, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (“OINP”), formerly known as the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program, announced that it has exhausted its base stream allocation for 2015. Between November 16th, 2015 and January 3, 2016, the program will not accept any new employer pre-screen applications or applications under the Master’s Stream or PhD Stream. Any applications received during this time period will be returned to the applicant. The OINP will begin accepting new applications under all these streams on January 4, 2016.

 

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Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program announces closure of its Investor Stream

On October 29, 2015, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (“OINP”), formerly the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program, announced that the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade is redesigning its OINP business streams. As a result, it has terminated its existing Investor Stream. However, applications for its redesigned Corporate Stream and Entrepreneur Stream will be accepted in the Fall of 2015.

 

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Update on Express Entry

Since Express Entry began on January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has issued several rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”). As of the date of this article, CIC has issued a total of 20 rounds of ITAs. Although the lowest Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”) score eligible to receive an ITA has been 450 points (which occurred in rounds 17 and 18, the minimum CRS score has risen to over 480 in the last two rounds (rounds 19 and 20).

 

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TFW program administrative monetary penalties for employer non-compliance

Background As was previously mentioned, Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker (“TFW”) program on June 20, 2014.  Among these changes was a proposal to impose fines of up to $100,000 on employers who violated the TFW program.  The […]

 

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Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program establishes two express entry streams

When Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Express Entry Program began on January 1, 2015, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (the “OINP”), formerly known as the Ontario PNP, still did not have an Express Entry Stream in place. However, the OINP has now announced two Express Entry Streams: (1) the Human Capital Priorities Stream, and (2) the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream.

 

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How foreign franchisors can expand into the United States using foreign franchisees

Foreign-based franchisors may wonder how difficult it would be to expand their businesses into the United States. One possible solution is for the foreign-based franchisor to initially sell its U.S. franchises to citizens of its home country, or citizens of other countries where it may already have an established presence. Fortunately, in most cases, a foreign franchisee will be eligible to own and operate a franchised business under the E-2 treaty investor category.

 

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“Virtual slave” awarded $50,000 for injury to dignity

Human Rights Tribunal found nanny was sexually assaulted, isolated and underfed by employer.

 

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Salary increases and temporary foreign workers — are you compliant?

There have been many changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) over the last year, with an emphasis on employer compliance, including respect of actual salaries paid.

 

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Update on express entry stream

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has now issued six rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”) under Express Entry. CIC is clearly increasing the number of ITAs that it issues in each round and is also lowering the minimum CRS score that applies in each round.

 

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