November 24, 2014 – The Government of Canada is preparing to transform Canada’s immigration program with “Express Entry”, a new immigration recruitment model. With an expected launch in early 2015, many questions remain about how the new model will impact businesses and foreign workers currently in Canada.
What we do know is that the new model will replace the current applicant driven “first come, first serve” model with an active recruitment model. Canadian employers will be invited to identify priority applicants from a pool of candidates. It is expected that this will result in an immigration program that is more responsive to Canadian business needs while reducing processing times.
Participation in the Express Entry program will be mandatory for all economic immigrants, including those in the Canadian Experience Class, the Provincial Nominee Program, as well as the Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades programs.
Important Information for Foreign Nationals and their Employers
Participation in the Express Entry Program will be mandatory for all applicants seeking permanent status in Canada. This includes applicants already in Canada on temporary permits.
While full details are not yet known, what do know that all applications for permanent residency in Canada will involve a labour market test known as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to be given priority in the program. This includes applicants in Canada on temporary work permits that were not previously subject to an LMIA:
- NAFTA permits
- Intra-Company Transferees
- Foreign Nationals on Post-Graduate Work Permits
Foreign nationals currently in Canada, as well as their employers, should know that as a result of the new LMIA requirements, there is no guarantee that temporary workers currently in Canada will be eligible to transition to permanent status. Green and Spiegel strongly advises foreign nationals currently in Canada on a temporary work permit to apply for Permanent Residence if they are eligible before the coming into force of the new program.
If you have any questions about this update, or to speak with a lawyer about your current situation, please contact Green and Spiegel to schedule a consultation.