Despite the numerous media reports, which claim (truthfully) that moving to Canada is difficult, there are still many temporary options available to Americans. Any one of these temporary options could allow a disillusioned U.S. citizen to wait out Donald Trump’s presidential term from the comfort of Canada.
Many Canadian companies face ongoing labour shortages in a variety of positions. The frustration of their recruiters and HR professionals is palpable, for despite offering above average wages, group benefits and other perquisites of employment, finding quality personnel to fill vacancies is harder than ever for some professions. One possible solution is often overlooked.
On June 9, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada issued Operational Bulletin 575 (“OB 575”), which provides expanded guidance for intra-company transferee (“ICT”) work permits issued to specialized knowledge workers under the general ICT (C12) category. This guidance imposes a more rigorous definition of “specialized knowledge” as well as a mandatory wage requirement for some ICTs. However, OB 575 makes clear that this expanded guidance does not apply to specialized knowledge ICTs entering Canada pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement or to any future or current Free Trade Agreements.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada recently updated its Foreign Worker Manual, which provides guidance to CIC and Canada Border Services Agency officers who adjudicate work permit applications. The updated version includes revisions to sections that describe the C12 and NAFTA intracompany transferee exemptions.
On September 19, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada published Operational Bulletin 346, which authorized the recapture of unused time that would otherwise count against the time limits that are normally imposed on intracompany transferees. As a result of Operational Bulletin 346, now only periods of physical presence in Canada while holding an intracompany transferee work permit will count towards the time limits.
The Ontario Bar Association Citizenship and Immigration Section recently met with representatives of Opportunities Ontario, the province’s Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP”). During this meeting, they provided insight into the level of recruitment activities that would be expected from an employer who files a PNP application on behalf of a prospective employee.
On occasion, Canadian HR professionals will be asked if one of their employees requires a work permit to enter the United States. The answer to this question depends on whether the proposed activity falls within the scope of the B-1 business visitor category. The problem lies in the lack of clear guidelines for B-1 business visitors and the considerable amount of discretion given to USCBP officers, who inspect foreign travelers seeking admission to the United States.