Canadian Government is taking action to facilitate trade and travel with Mexico

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Yesterday, the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Canada announced a new program to facilitate trade and travel with Mexico.

Between January and April 2014, visitor visas, study and work permits issued to Mexican visitors, students and workers, are reaching a 20 percent increase from the same period last year. the Canadian Government is taking real action to make Canada’s close tourism ties with Mexico even closer.

CAN+ Program

Mexican nationals who have traveled to Canada or the United States within the last 10 years will be eligible for expedited visa processing named “Can+Program”. The Can+program will be a new option to make it easier for Mexican travelers to visit Canada.

A six-month pilot of the CAN+ program delivered real results: the CAN+ will reduce the Visa processing times for Mexican Travelers to 10 days or less.

Express Programs to Mexican Nationals

Citizenship and Immigration Canada also offers three “Express” programs that help Mexican business people, tourist groups and students come to Canada faster:

Business Express

This program allows business traveler from Mexico to apply for visas that will be issued within days with a near-perfect approval rate for applicants who registered in the program.

Travel Express 

This program offers a fast, simplified visa application process for tourists who use travel agencies registered with the Canadian Embassy.

Mexican Student Pilot

This pilot program designed for Mexican students, which fast-tracks the processing of study permits with a near-perfect approval rate for students who study at participating Canadian educational institutions.

Quotes:

“Our government is opening the door to economic growth while protecting the integrity of Canada’s immigration system. By making the CAN+ program permanent, our government is making it easier and faster for Mexican travellers to come to Canada to do business, visit family or friends, or bolster Canada’s tourism industry. This will further strengthen relations with our valued NAFTA partner and will help foster economic growth in both our countries.” Said Minister Alexander, Immigration and Citizenship Canada.

Original Announcement from CIC: http://goo.gl/GpGU7Y

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Canada’s Shift to Multiple-Entry Visas

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Visitors to Canada will be Automatically Considered for Multiple-Entry Visas

Visitors to Canada now will be automatically considered for a multiple-entry visa. Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced this change on February 6, 2014. Canada’s shift to multiple-entry visas allows qualified applicant to visit and stay in Canada for maximum six months each time, in an up to 10 years period  without having to reapply each time.

Processing fee for the a Multiple-Entry Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) will be dropped from $150 to $100. Besides the fee change to TRV, a number of other Government processing fees for Temporary Residency are increased in order to be competitive with peer countries. Below is a charting showing the fee changes to Canada and a Comparison with several peer countries:

ApplicationIncreased amountAmended Processing Fees
Study Permit$25$150
Work Permit$5$155
Extensions to remain in Canada as a Visitor$25$100
Maximum fee for a Family to apply for TRVSIncreased by $100 to $500
Maximum Work Permit fee for a group of performing artist and their staffsIncreased by $15 to $465

For more information about Temporary Residency in Canada, please contact us.

Find out if you qualify

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Labour Market Opinion (LMO) Facts – An Overview!

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Note: the Labour Market Opinion is now being transformed to the new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), to check out for more details regarding this change, see: New Labour Market Impact Assessment

If you’re looking for a job opportunity in Canada, you may have heard about the Labour Market Opinion (LMO). What exactly is a LMO? Do you and your employer need a LMO for your prospective job offer?  Let’s review the facts about the Labour Market Opinion.

 

A LMO is an application made by Canadian employers for an “Opinion” from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to confirm that “reasonable efforts” to recruit Canada citizens or permanent residents for the position(s) have been made and that there are no qualified, willing and able Canada citizens or permanent residents for the position(s).

 

The purpose of the LMO is to ensure that there really is a shortage of Canadians or permanent residents willing and able to do the job, and therefore that hiring a temporary foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market.

 

If the job offer is genuine and if the employment of the foreign national is likely to have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada. The Approval of a LMO comes in the form of a “Confirmation” from Service Canada. Although a foreign national may be identified on the Labour Market Opinion, the confirmation pertains to the Job position, not the foreign national. When the LMO application approved, employer will receive a positive LMO. This LMO is provided to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and communicated to the employer.

 

What if I got a “Neutral” LMO? HRSDC/Service Canada determine whether the entry of a TFW would likely have a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labour market. This wording was intended to emphasize the benefits to employers of having access to TFWs, in contrast to the former approach which emphasized the negative impact (e.g. the focus was on potential loss of job opportunities for Canadians). Whether a decision is based on an assessment that the impact is positive or neutral, the outcome is the same in practical terms: a positive LMO is issued.

 

Work permits exempt from an LMO

There are some regulatory authorities to issue a work permit to a worker who does not require an LMO. Including :

 

  • Workers covered under international agreements:Professionals, traders, investors and business people coming to Canada to work under certain international agreements.
  • Participants in exchange programs:People whose employment in Canada will provide similar employment to Canadians abroad, such as participants in youth exchange programs, teacher exchange programs or other reciprocal programs.
  • Spouses
    • Spouses and common-law partners of certain foreign students who are studying full-time.
    • Spouses and common-law partners of certain skilled foreign workers.
  • Workers, their spouses/common-law partners or their dependents who are eligible for a work permit through an active pilot project
  • Workers nominated by a province for permanent residence:A person who has been nominated by a province for permanent residence and has a job offer from an employer based in that province.
  • Entrepreneurs and intra-company transferees:Some types of entrepreneurs, workers transferring within a company, and other types of workers who will provide significant benefit to Canadians or permanent residents by working in Canada.
  • Academics and students: Certain academics and students.
  • Co-op students: Foreign students who are studying in Canada and who need to do co-op work placements as part of their program of study.
  • Religious workers: People doing charitable or religious work.
  • Others: Certain people who need to support themselves while they are in Canada for other reasons such as the refugee determination process.

As of April 29th 2013, the government introduced several changes to the Labour Market Opinion Process. Check our Blog to see Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program .

 

Tips for Applying for an LMO

If applying for an LMO, here are some tips:

  • Plan as far in advance as possible when hiring temporary foreign workers. Do a needs assessment to determine if you will need to hire in the next 6 to 12 months.
  • Apply for the LMO ASAP! Once you identify a need, even if it’s not for several months, start the LMO process. It can take 2-3 months for HRSDC to make a decision on an LMO.
  • Recruit more than the minimum. Employers must recruit for at least 14 days. Don’t just meet the minimum. Recruit longer and on more sites than what HRSDC requires.
  • Once an application is submitted, be prepared for a call from HRSDC. HRSDC will contact the employer in most cases and expect the employer to respond immediately to their voice message or email. If an employer fails to respond within days, HRSDC may refuse the application.

For more information and the application for a LMO, please contact us.

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New Super Visa Now Available

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As of December 1st, parents and grandparents can apply for the new Super Visa, allowing them to visit their families in  Canada for up to 2 years at a time. The Super Visa is available as a multiple entry visa approved for a period up to 10 years, and the expected processing time is approximately 8 weeks. There are conditions parents and grandparents must meet, which include:

  • Written commitment of financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada who meets a minimum income threshold
  • Canadian medical insurance for at least one year to cover the period of time that they will be in Canada, and
  • Completion of the Immigration Medical Examination
The Super Visa was instroduced as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification. Currently, processing times for sponsoring a parent or grandparent can be up to 8 years.
For more information, please go to www.cic.gc.ca or contact us.
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Important CIC Announcement affecting Family Reunificiation

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Minister Jason Kenney announced today that CIC will no longer accept applications for parent and grandparent sponsorship to Canada. For applications in process, CIC will increase the number of accepted to 25,000 per year. This is to tackle the 180,000 backlog that exists. A Super Visa will be available for 10 years that  allow parents and grandparents to stay in Canada for up to 2 years at a time. Find out more at: CIC News Release, November 4th, 2011

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