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.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
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.
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).