Thursday 22 June 2017

Bill C-6 Provides Significant Changes to Citizenship Act

Bill C-6 has now received Royal Assent and has been passed into law. Some of the ammedments to the Citizenship Act have significant effect on permanent residents who are seeking to become Canadian Citizens, namely:

  • Applicants must be physically present in Canada for three out of five years before applying for citizenship. (Used to be 4 years our of 6)
  • Applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days. (Previously, time spent in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident did not count towards the physical presence requirement for citizenship.)
  • Applicants between 18 and 54 years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship. (Previously this applied to applicants between the ages of 14 and 64).

The complete breakdown of amendments that Bill C-6 provides to the Citizenship Act can be found here:

Thursday 15 June 2017

Faster Processing Times Announced for High-Skilled Workers

This is great news for businesses looking to add high-skilled workers to their work force. Two-week processing time for work permits and temporary resident visas, for both the worker and their accompanying dependents.

Fast application processing, enhanced customer service now available for companies   

June 12, 2017—Toronto, ON – When companies in Canada can thrive and grow, they create more jobs. The Government of Canada’s new Global Skills Strategy will give employers a faster and more predictable process for attracting top talent and new skills to Canada, creating economic growth and more middle-class jobs for Canadians. 
Today, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains and Rodger Cuzner, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that employers and highly-skilled workers can now benefit from the Global Skills Strategy.
As part of the Strategy, which includes four pillars, high-skilled workers coming to Canada on a temporary basis are now able to benefit from two-week processing of applications for work permits and, when necessary, temporary resident visas. Open work permits for spouses and study permits for dependants will also be processed in two weeks when applicable.
Employers can now benefit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s new dedicated service channel and the new Global Talent Stream. This will help them access temporary, high-skilled, global talent, scale up or expand their knowledge of specialized skills so that they can be more innovative and build their expertise.
Two new work permit exemptions have also taken effect today. Highly-skilled workers who need to come to Canada for a very short-term assignment and researchers taking part in short-duration research projects being conducted in Canada will not require a work permit. 
First announced in November 2016, the Global Skills Strategy helps promote global investment in Canada and supports the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan. It recognizes that by facilitating the faster entry of top talent with specialized skill sets and global experience to Canada, we can help innovative companies grow, flourish and create jobs for Canadians. 

  • Companies applying for workers through the Global Talent Stream now have access to a new streamlined process that provides eligible employers with:
    • priority processing of applications and a client-focused service for the development of the Labour Market Benefits Plan, with a service standard of 10 business days; and
    • flexible recruitment requirements.
  • Two-week work permit processing will be available to workers applying from overseas whose employers have been approved to hire a foreign worker through Global Talent Stream, as well as foreign nationals with jobs at skill type 0 (executive, managerial) or skill level A (professional) of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) applying through the International Mobility Program. The two-week service standard would also apply to immediate family members accompanying high-skilled workers to Canada.
  • The new work permit exemption for highly-skilled workers applies to all NOC 0 and NOC A workers. Eligible workers will be allowed one 15-day work permit-exempt stay in Canada every six months, or one 30-day work permit-exempt stay every 12 months. 
  • Researchers coming to Canada will be permitted one 120-day stay every 12 months without requiring a work permit when they are working on a research project at a publicly-funded degree-granting institution or affiliated research institution. 
  • Agreements have been reached with a range of partners who will be able to refer companies to IRCC’s new dedicated service channel and to ESDC’s Global Talent Stream; discussions are continuing with many other potential partners. The goal is to have referral partners in all parts of the country with the significant knowledge and insight needed to refer companies to the dedicated service channel. 

Tuesday 13 June 2017

New Express Entry Rules Benefit Candidates with Siblings In Canada, and More...

Additional Points for Siblings in Canada
The Express Entry system will begin awarding 15 points to candidates with siblings in Canada. To get these points, candidates will need to show that the sibling is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is living in Canada and is 18 years of age or older.
The sibling in Canada must share a mother or father with the principal Express Entry applicant or their spouse or common-law partner. This relationship can be through blood, marriage, common-law partnership or adoption.
Studies have shown that as newcomers build a new life in Canada, those with siblings benefit by having improved integration into Canadian society.

Additional Points for Strong French Language Skills
Express Entry candidates with strong French language skills, with or without English language skills, will be awarded additional points by the CRS. A total of 15 additional points will be awarded for test results of the Niveaux de comp├ętence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) at level 7 or higher in all four language skills in French (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and an English test result of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 or lower, or no English test at all.
A total of 30 additional points will be awarded for test results of the NCLC at level 7 or higher in all four skills in French and test results of CLB 5 or higher in all four language skills in English.
French-speaking newcomers contribute to the growth, vitality and prosperity of Francophone minority communities across Canada.

Job Bank Registration is Now Voluntary, Not Mandatory
Job Bank registration for Express Entry candidates becomes voluntary for all candidates. Candidates who meet the minimum entry criteria for Express Entry will be automatically placed into the pool and immediately eligible for invitation rounds.
All Express Entry Candidates who would like to start their job search can register for Job Bank. Employers will still be able to use all of their existing recruiting methods, including Job Bank, to find Express Entry candidates.

Candidates Ranked By Their CRS Score
The Express Entry system will rank candidates in the pool by their CRS score.  Where a CRS tie exists, all tied candidates will then be ranked based on the date and time of their profile submission.
Candidates who update their profile with any new information will keep their original date and time stamp.
A new time and date stamp will be issued to candidates:
  • who choose to withdraw their profile  to complete a new one instead of updating their original profile, and,
  • whose profile has expired and they complete and submit a new one.