Canada – Immigration Alerts – June 2015

Important Recent and Upcoming Changes to Canadian Immigration Policies and Legislation – June 2015

  • Expansion of Work Permit Eligibility Criteria for Out-of-Warranty Repair and Service Personnel
  • Canada Announces Planned Expansion of Biometric Screening for Visa and Temporary Residence Applicants
  • Changes to Residency Requirements for Canadian Citizenship to Take Effect June 11, 2015

 

Expansion of Work Permit Eligibility Criteria for Out-of-Warranty Repair and Service Personnel

What has changed

Canada has expanded Work Permit eligibility criteria for service personnel seeking to enter Canada for short-term work assignments. Repair personnel will be eligible to apply for a Work Permit for the purpose of repairing industrial or commercial equipment that is no longer under warranty or under an after-sales agreement. Applicants seeking to carry out non-emergency repairs will no longer be required to obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) as part of an onerous and costly labor market certification process, therefore allowing employers to respond more quickly to client service needs with minimal to no application processing times.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Companies sending service personnel to Canada on short-term work assignments

Applicants under this category must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • There is a need for specific knowledge, not consisting of solely hands-on manual labor.
  • The company that originally manufactured the product does not have a commercial presence in Canada.
  • Canadian jobs would be affected if the equipment is not repaired or serviced on a timely basis.

The expansion of these criteria will greatly assist client corporations who need to provide maintenance or repair personnel to Canadian clients on a non-emergency basis, but are unable to provide warranty or after-sales agreements to qualify applicants as Work Permit-exempt Business Visitors.  These policy changes will also greatly benefit client corporations whose business needs could not be met through the lengthy processing times and high cost of the LMIA process that were required previously.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • If your company has a need to provide repair and service personnel to clients in Canada please do not hesitate to contact Emigra Worldwide for more information on how we may be able to assist.

Canada Announces Planned Expansion of Biometric Screening for Visa and Temporary Residence Applicants

What has changed

Canada has announced that biometric screening requirements will be expanded to all visa required countries. All individuals applying for Work or Study Permits (including persons from all non-visa required countries except the United States) will also be required to provide biometric data. These requirements are scheduled to come into effect in 2018-2019 after necessary regulatory and legislative amendments are finalized.

Canada already requires the collection of biometric data for Visa and Work and Study Permit applicants from thirty (30) visa required countries.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Nationals of visa required countries and all individuals applying for Work or Study permits

The Canadian government claims that the expanded requirements will provide increased measures to identify and deny entry to applicants who are failed refugee claimants or are inadmissible because of criminal convictions.

These changes will add significantly to requirements for employees who require Work Permits to carry out work in Canada.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • More details on these important changes will be provided as they become available.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your clients.

Changes to Residency Requirements for Canadian Citizenship to Take Effect June 11, 2015

What has changed

Effective June 11, 2015, permanent residents seeking to apply for a grant of Canadian citizenship will now be required to meet increased and more stringent residency requirements. These changes will be implemented further to Bill C-24, the “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act”, which was passed by Canadian Parliament in June 2014.

Applicants must now demonstrate at least four years (1460 days) of physical presence in the six years preceding the date of application and, in addition, must also be physically present in Canada for at least 183 days in each of four calendar years within the six-year qualifying period. Previously, applicants were only required to demonstrate three years (1095 days) of residence in the four years preceding the date of application.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Permanent residence seeking to apply for Canadian citizenship

Applicants will no longer be able to establish residence through qualitative connection to Canada as under the previous application regime.  Only periods of physical presence in Canada may now count towards the residency requirement.  Applicants will also no longer be credited for any residence in Canada under a Work or Study Permit prior to obtaining permanent residence under the new requirements.

Amongst other additional requirements, applicants will now be required to provide proof that income tax returns were filed for four taxation years that are fully or partially within the six year period that immediately precedes the date of application, and must also intend to reside in Canada following the attainment of citizenship.

The implementation of the new residency requirements follows closely on the heels of the implementation of provisions which provide for the revocation of citizenship in instances of fraud, misrepresentation, and serious convictions involving national security and crimes against humanity.  Those provisions came into effect on May 28, 2015.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Frequent business travelers who are permanent residents of Canada and may be particularly affected, as travel schedules may have an impact on the ability to meet the new and more stringent physical presence requirements for Canadian citizenship.
  • For more information on how these changes may affect you or your business, please do not hesitate to contact Emigra’s Canada office.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.

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