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CIC

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 35 rounds of ITAs.

 

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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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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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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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CIC begins issuing work permits to applicants under the spouse or common law partner class

On December 22, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced a one-year pilot program to issue open work permits to applicants under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class before they have received approval in principle.

 

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Update on Express Entry

Since Express Entry began on January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has issued four rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”). However, the total number of ITAs being issued is still relatively small. Also, even though the last round included ITAs issued to applicants having a minimum Comprehensive Ranking Score of 735, this is still too high for an applicant who does not have arranged employment or a nomination certificate issued under a PNP Express Entry stream.

 

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CIC begins sending invitations to apply under Express Entry

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) implemented its Express Entry system on January 1, 2015. Since that date, CIC has issued two rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”), which invite selected Express Entry applicants to submit applications for permanent residence. However, it only issued 779 ITAs during each round. In addition, it established a minimum Comprehensive Ranking Score of 886 for the first round and 818 for the second round. This ensured that only Express Entry applicants who had either arranged employment or a nomination under the Express Entry Stream of a Provincial Nomination Program could be considered.

 

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Government of Canada announces immigrant investor venture capital pilot program

On December 16, 2014, the Government of Canada announced that it will unveil its Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program (the “IIVC”) at the end of January 2015. The IIVC is designed to attract experienced business immigrants who will actively invest in the Canadian economy and will be available to approximately 50 investors and their families (presumably each year).

 

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CIC Issues ministerial instructions relating to express entry

On December 1, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada published Ministerial Instructions relating to its proposed Express Entry System. Express Entry will come into effect on January 1, 2015, at 12:00 noon EST, and will apply to: (1) the Federal Skilled Worker class, (2) the Canadian Experience Class, (3) the Federal Skilled Trades Class, and (4) the Express Entry Stream of a Provincial Nominee Program.

 

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The Government of Canada introduces legislation to prevent barbaric cultural practices in Canada

On November 5, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced that the Government of Canada had tabled its proposed Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act. The proposed Act is intended to amend the current Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Civil Marriage Act and the Criminal Code for the purpose of preventing barbaric cultural practices from taking place in Canada.

 

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Canadian citizenship amendments receive Royal Assent

As previously reported, on February 6, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander unveiled Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, which proposed significant amendments to the Canadian Citizenship Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-29). On June 19, 2014, the Bill C-24 received Royal Assent and became law.

 

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Citizenship and Immigration Canada announces change to definition of dependent children

On June 23, 2014, CIC announced that the new definition of “dependent child” became effective as of August 1, 2014. It reduces the maximum age from “under 22” to “under 19” and eliminates the exception for children 19 or older who are financially dependent on their parents and are enrolled in full-time studies.

 

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