Author Archives: Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association.

Processing times LMIA

LMIA Processing Time: Temporary Foreign Worker Program 2019 Changes

The Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been under intense media coverage over the last few months.

The Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) is one of the changes still in effect in 2019.

In most cases,  employers require government approval before hiring a foreign worker now called a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), formerly known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). An LMIA is issued by Service Canada in cases where a Canadian employer is unable to fill the position with a local Canadian worker. The main means of demonstrating this is though advertising the jobs in Canada and making efforts to hire Canadians, proving that the applicants are not qualified for the position offered.

Visaplace Can Help You with Your Application for LMIA

Applying for LMIA in Canada can be tricky and confusing if you are not completely sure what you are doing. Visaplace has been helping clients complete their LMIA applications with ease. Our immigration professionals are standing by to assist with your LMIA and Temporary Work Permit Applications. If you are an employer or a Temporary Foreign Worker, you can contact us directly by filling out a FREE online assessment and we will get back to you within 24 hours. You may also book a consultation if you know you would like our guidance through the LMIA process.

The LMIA Letter

Once an employer applies for the LMIA, he or she will await a document of approval from Employment and Social Development Canada. This document is known as a positive LMIA (sometimes referred to as a confirmation letter) confirming there is a need to hire a foreign worker for the job in question, and that there are no Canadians to fill the position. Once the employer receives the LMIA, the potential employee can apply for a work permit as long as he or she has a job offer letter, a contract, a copy of the LMIA, and the LMIA number.

More Details about LMIAs and the Recent Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The application fee for LMIA requests is now $1000 per worker, an increase from the $275 per worker fee for LMOs.

Under the new LMIA system job positions are to be be divided into just two categories: high-wage and low-wage. Jobs are considered high wage if the salary meets or exceeds the median wage in the province where the job will be performed, and low-wage if the salary is below the median.

How Long is the Processing Time for LMIAs and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program?

LMIA processing times can be somewhat unpredictable, and the LMIA process can range from a couple of weeks, to a few months. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has pledged to process certain LMIA applications within 10 business days. The following categories will now be processed with a 10-business-day service standard:

  • All LMIA applications for the highest-demand occupations (skilled trades)
  • Highest-paid (top 10%) occupations
  • Short-duration work periods (120 days or less)

Types of LMIAs Needed When Applying for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

High-Wage LMIAs:

For high-wage positions, the LMIA process is much like that of the old LMO. However, a few major changes have been made:

  • The application forms have changed from the old LMOs and are more extensive
  • Employers must complete a ‘transition plan’ that will explain how they intend to permanently fill the job being held by the temporary foreign worker
  • Employers are required to keep more detailed records during the foreign worker’s stay in Canada
  • Certain applications will be processed more quickly. Foreign workers in skilled trades, high paid workers with salaries in the top 10% of Canadian earnings, and workers coming for 120 days or less will all receive LMIA decisions in 10 business days
  • A new time limit for high-wage work permits may be imposed, but has not yet been announced

Low-Wage LMIAs:
The procedures and criteria involved for Low-Wage LMIAs are somewhat different than for High-Wage LMIAs.  More restrictions are imposed on low-wage job offers than on high-wage, as shown by the following:

  • Positive LMIAs for low-wage jobs will now allow employers to hire a foreign worker for only one year at a time
  • For organizations with more than 10 employees, low-wage foreign workers can make up no more than 10% of the work force
  • Transitional measures will apply to employers whose work forces do not comply with this new rule
  • Employers in the accommodation and food service sector as well as the retail trade sector will no longer be allowed to apply for LMIAs for jobs in 10 lower-skill occupations
  • As with high-wage LMIA applications, employers must now pay a higher application fee, complete longer application forms, and keep detailed records about their recruitment practices

Do All Job Offers to TFWP Applicants Require an LMIA?

As in the case of the old LMOs, Canadian employers can recruit some TFWs without an LMIA. The following are categories where work permits are LMIA exempt:

  • Workers covered under the NAFTA agreement [NAFTA is under revision. NAFTA will most likely turn into the USMCA (United States Mexico Canada Agreement). USMCA is expected to be approved in the beginning of 2019. Until then NAFTA will remain active and the visas under NAFTA are still available. Learn more about how to work under USMCA. ]
  • Intra-Company Transferees
  • International Experience Canada participants (also known as Working Holiday permit holders)
  • Post-Graduate work permit holders
  • Bridging Open Work Permit holders
  • Participants in certain academic exchanges such as post-doctoral fellows and visiting professors
  • Programs such as those above have now been reclassified as ‘International Mobility Programs’

In addition, beginning in summer 2015 employers hiring through some International Mobility Programs must have their job offers approved by a Canadian visa office before their hired employees can request a work permit. The processing fee for the job offer approval application will be $230.

Do You Need Help With an LMIA or Temporary Work Permit Application?

Our immigration professionals are standing by to assist with your LMIA and Temporary Work Permit Applications. If you are an employer or a Temporary Foreign Worker, you can contact us directly by filling out a FREE online assessment and we will get back to you within 24 hours. You may also book a consultation if you know you would like our guidance through the LMIA process.

Published on: May 3rd, 2018Published by: Michael Niren

Why Are People Denied Entry to the US?

Many travelers are surprised to find out that people can be denied entry to the United States and are even more surprised when it happens to them. But the truth is, people are denied entry to the United States every single day and for a variety of different reasons.

When someone is denied entry to the United States, they cannot enter the country and must leave immediately. If they are at the border, they must turn around. If they flew to an airport, they will be put on the next flight home.

Reasons Someone May Be Denied Entry to the United States

Reasons someone would be denied entry to the United States are primarily criminal, financial, health-related or immigration related.

Criminal Inadmissibility

Most commonly, people are denied entry to the United States because they have a criminal record that would render them inadmissible, and while not all criminal records will render you inadmissible to the United States, many will. Convictions such as common assault, mischief, and DUI are normally not of concern. However, Crimes of Moral Turpitude (crimes of dishonesty and crimes of violence where harm was intended) and Drug Offences will almost always make you inadmissible.  There are exceptions.

The USA does not recognize Pardons or Record Suspensions. Conditional and Absolute Discharges are treated like convictions and may still render you inadmissible even if no conviction resulted. You may also be denied for offences you admit to having committed even if no conviction resulted. Youth offences may make you excludable if you were tried as an adult for felony violence or felony drugs.

Once a conviction makes you inadmissible, it always makes you inadmissible. However, remember, not all convictions will get you banned from entering the USA–either because they are not excludable or the exception rule applies.

A United States Waiver allows you legal entry into the United States if you are inadmissible. Inadmissibility could arise due to a number of factors, including criminal inadmissibility and other factors described below.

Funds and Illegal Work in the USA

If it is determined that you do not have enough funds to support your stay in the USA and/or you do not have a return ticket or job to the country you came from, you could be denied entry if it is suspected that you intend to work illegally in the USA.

You are allowed to enter the United States without a work visa for work purposes such as attending a business meeting or conference, to negotiate a contract or even to take orders for goods manufactured abroad on behalf of a Canadian or foreign company. If you are not sure if the work-related tasks you are performing require you to get a work visa.

Medical Inadmissibility

Health issues that can pose a threat to the safety of Americans are also on the list, including substance abuse issues, a history of drug addiction, a communicable disease or mental health disorders that pose a danger to others.

Multiple driving-related offences may make you inadmissible to the USA for medical reasons. You can also be denied for other medical reasons based upon your appearance or any prescription-related drugs you may have in your possession.

Though medical insurance is no guarantee that you will be let in, having proof of medical insurance may assure the border guard that you have the resources to pay for your medical expenses should you encounter medical issues in the United States.  If you are denied entry to the USA for medical reasons, you may be given an opportunity to get a medical test done to prove that your medical issues will not be a burden to the USA.

Improper Documentation

If you are not a Canadian (this includes Permanent Residents of Canada) you may require a visitor visa from the USA Consulate in order to visit the USA. If you fail to travel with the proper visa, you can be denied entry. Other visa requirements include Work Visa and Study Visa.

Traveling with an Unadmissable Alien

You could be denied entry to the USA if you are traveling with someone who is inadmissible to the USA. If you do it knowingly, you could be charged with harboring an illegal alien.

 

Previous immigration violations can also cause you to be denied entry, including overstays.

Are you concerned that you will be denied entry to the United States? Give our immigration law firm a call. We can help you determine whether or not you will be inadmissible, as well as help you explore your options.

Published on: April 25th, 2018Published by: Michael Niren

What If My Canadian Study Permit is Refused in 2019?

Options for Those Facing Student Visa Rejection in Canada

Typically, when you apply for a study permit, you have to show that you qualify for the course of study. If you’re going to a university or college, you have to show that you have been accepted. A letter of acceptance is usually the best way to demonstrate your acceptance. You have to show you have financial support during your course of study and that your stay is temporary. Study permit is a non-immigrant visa.

Reason for Study Permit Application Denied 2019

There could be a number of reasons for a student visa rejection. For example, you don’t have the financial means or the immigration officer reviewing your case does not believe that you intend to stay only temporarily or that you qualify for the program of study. There’s a whole host of reasons that you may be refused. However, there are some ways to avoid being denied a study permit, including:

1. Showing that you are financially stable and can support yourself while you are studying in Canada.

2. Showing that you will leave Canada after you have finished studying. This can be whether you want to work in another country, you have a plane ticket out of Canada, or you have a stable home in another country.

3. Choosing a program that you can clearly connect to your past experiences or future goals. For example if you live in India and have been involved in the medical field and interned at a doctors office but then apply for a graphic design program in Canada you may be refused due to the program not fitting the education path you have already started. However, if you are in the same situation and clearly explain in your personal statement that you plan to work in graphic design for a hospital or another part of the medical field, you may not face an application refusal or return.

4. Showing that you have been accepted to a college, university or institute in Canada. The IRCC will be reviewing your credibility with the school that you indicated on your application. Unfortunately, sometimes fake institutions will falsely advertise or falsely accept international students to make money, who later find this out when their application is denied. To avoid this, make sure the programs to which you apply are designated institutionby the government of Canada.

What Happens If You Are Refused?

Usually there is a refusal letter from the immigration officer that outlines the reasons for refusal and goes deep into the case. You must carefully consult the refusal letter to see the areas that the immigration officer found questionable. Then, review your application in depth and make changes and improvements. In many cases, what you should do is reapply.

Before you reapply, you must take time to figure out what about your application could be causing ref flags for an immigration officer. For example, let’s say that you wish to bring a spouse or children with you on your study permit. In this case, the immigration officer may think you’re not showing sufficient ties to your home country. In this case, when re-submitting your application you would want to show that you have extended family in your home country and sufficient reason to move back home after the end of your program.

Appealing Your Study Permit Refusal

There’s also a possibility of formally appealing a refusal to the federal court. That’s a very serious approach to take and is often very costly. And unless the immigration officer makes an error in law and/or fact, you’re not going to win and it’s very very tough to win on a study permit refusal at the federal court. Generally speaking, this is not often the most effective route, and we recommend reapplying.

What Happens Once Your Study Permit is Approved?

Now if you are approved, essentially what happens is that you apply at the embassy and then you’ll be issued what is called the study permit, which will be valid for a certain period of time. Then you come to the port of entry in Canada, and you will be issued a permit for entry. Sometimes that’s multiple entry, sometimes it’s single entry, it really depends on the case.

Did Your Study Permit get Rejected? We can Help!

Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for Niren and Associates an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Ready for the next step? Book your 1 on 1 consultation now or call us at 1-888-317-5770.

Have a Question related to your Immigration Needs?

Click here to fill out the FREE Immigration Assessment form below and get a response within 24 hours to see if you’re eligible.

The assessment form should take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. We will get back to you within one business day to let you know if we are able to help.

Published on: April 25th, 2018Published by: Michael Niren
Canadian visitor visa

Secrets to a Successful Canadian Visitor Visa Application 2019

Secrets to a successful visitor visa application. A lot of people who are applying for a Canadian visitor visa are nervous whether or not they will succeed. Will they get a visa? Will they get refused? After all, applying for a visitor visa can be nerve-wracking.

What You Need to Know About Canadian Visitor Visas

When an immigration officer is processing a visa application, all of them actually have one big question in their mind, “Will this applicant go back to their home country after they’ve finished their visit to Canada?” This will be our main concern especially if the applicant is from developing or underdeveloped countries because many of the visitors from those countries don’t go back.

Cover Letter for Canadian Visa Application

A cover letter is a key part of applying for a Canadian visitor visa. A cover letter for a Canadian visitor visa application should contain the following important pieces of information:

  • The purpose of travel to the destination
  • Explanation of how you will manage your travel expenses and proof of said funds
  • Describe source of income
  • Describe if you have any sponsor from Canada – explain your relationship with your sponsor and the reason for sponsorship
  • Give an overview of your flight itinerary, you should mention your flight schedule and also the schedule of your main planned activities in Canada
  • Explain why you chose this specific country (Canada)
  • If you are not submitting some documents, you should explain why are you not submitting that document and explain if you are providing any alternative document.
  • Explain what documents you are going to submit with your visa application.
  • Your intentions to return to your home country, you should make the visa officer believe that you will be back to your home country within the correct time.

 

Canadian Visitor Visa: How to Improve Your Application

So how do you convince the officer that you are a true visitor who will play by the rules? There are several factors that may help you to succeed. The first factor will be to show you have a strong establishment in your country. This includes your employment stability, any school attendance if that’s applicable to you, and assets you own, and marital status, children and family, and any other responsibilities that require your return to your home country. The more you show the better chance you will have to convince the officer.

The second factor will be to be clear of the reason for your visit. You have to specify why you’re visiting the country. Whether it’s a family celebration or family emergency or work-related matter or pleasure visit, you have to make your reason clear. You can include your accommodation arrangement, invitation letter, and documents such as arranged registration to validate your client. Rule of thumb, try to include as much proof as possible. Factor three will be your financial arrangement. If there is no proof of sufficient funds for your visit, unfortunately, your application is likely to get refused. Therefore, you should show sufficient funds available for your trip, no matter who’s covering the cost.

Now, once you come to Canada, if you decide to stay longer there may be options. Consult with an immigration professional for help. I hope your application is successful and your visit is enjoyable. If you liked my video please click like and subscribe for more Canadian immigration videos. Thank you.

Below we have provided a list, to sum up the positive and negative aspects in assessing an application:

Positive Factors:

The following factors are positive aspects in assessing an application:

  • citizen in his/her country of usual residence;
  • country of usual residence is politically stable;
  • stable, well-paid employment (proof is required in the form of a letter from the employer stating salary, position, date when employment commenced and vacation granted);
  • spouse and/or children not accompanying applicant;
  • owner of a substantial business (registration of business and, if necessary, financial statements);
  • good financial situation (as proved by bank statements);
  • previous trips to Canada;
  • previous trips to countries as attractive to illegals as Canada (United States, France, United Kingdom, etc.);
  • property in the country of usual residence;
  • host (particularly in family visit cases) with legal status in Canada (citizen, permanent resident, a student with student authorization, etc.)

Negative Factors

The following factors are negative aspects in assessing an application:

  • host remained in Canada on a visitor visa or student authorization or entered illegally (based on the record of landing or previous files) — experience shows that where the host has already abused the system, it is highly likely that his/her guests will do the same;
  • unmarried (particularly if young and chances of successful establishment in the country of usual residence are poor);
  • poor financial situation;
  • poorly paid employment, or unemployed;
  • the host is a friend or distant family member with whom the applicant has had little contact;
  • no previous travel abroad;
  • has previously been denied a visitor visa (or student or employment authorization);
  • has been denied a visa by another country;
  • owns no property;
  • wants to visit his/her fiance’ or spouse who is residing in Canada;
  • listed in FOSS (national immigration database containing entries on all applicants who have violated the Act or regarding whom a report has been written).

 

How Do I Know if My Canadian Visitor Visa Was Approved?

Your application will be checked to make sure you have all the documents you need.

If it’s incomplete,  your application will be returned without processing it.

The IRCC may also ask you to:

 

 

Most applications are processed in a few weeks or less. Processing times depend on the visa office and if you need to do any extra steps (listed above).

Your passport will be returned and other original documents to you after we process your application. Your original bank statements or any documents found to be fake will be returned.

If your application is approved, the visa will be stamped inside your passport.

If your application is refused,  you will receive an explanation.

Are You Interested in Applying for a Canadian Visitor Visa? 

While the procedures for applying for a Canadian visitor visa may seem uncomplicated, some applicants apply without seeking any help from an immigration lawyer, thinking that they can do it themselves. For Canadian visitor visa applications, there is actually a higher risk of refusal in cases where the application is not properly prepared. Therefore, your best bet would be to hire an immigration professional. We at VisaPlace have helped thousands of people successfully visit Canada on a visitor visa and we can help you too.

Getting started is easy.  Just fill out our FREE immigration assessment form here and we’ll get back to you (within 24 hours) to discuss your eligibility and options.

 

Published on: April 24th, 2018Published by: Michael Niren

Important Changes to the Express Entry Program 2016


The government of Canada has introduced a major change in its express entry category. As you know, express entry is a key category for the applicant who would like to immigrate to Canada. Its requirements are based on your skill, experience, and education, and it has attracted many applicants around the world. Many have been successfully able to immigrate to Canada under this category.

Since the introduction of express entry in January 2015, the government has been constantly updating and improving to attract to global talent around the world. There will be three major changes.

Changes to Express Entry Program

  1. There are no longer an extra 600 points for the LMIA. In the past, if you received an LMIA that has been assessed by the FCC, you would receive an extra 600 points. Now there is going to be 200 points for managerial occupations that fall under NOC code 0, and any other job description that falls under NOC code A or B will be awarded only 50 extra points.  The government realizes that there are many extremely qualified people who do not have an LMIA.
  2.  There is no longer a requirement that you have to have LMIA to get extra points. If you have received a work permit under LMIA exempt categories, you will receive extra points, equal to LMIA. This is beneficial to students who have studied in Canada and completed their post-secondary education. If you have completed your schooling in Canada, you would receive up to 30 points. Previously, whether you have completed your school in Canada or outside, there was no difference in terms of points. Students who have been educated in Canada will have a better chance to successfully settle down in the country. I think it’s a great move on the government’s part to encourage people who are already here.
  3. You have 90 days to complete your application. You used to have two months to complete your application and submit it to the government for your permanent residence. The previous timeline was pretty tight for many clients, and now you have an extra 30 days, which gives more room for you to collect your documents.

These are really good changes and I think it will encourage other eligible and skilled applicants to apply. Stay tuned for further changes.

Are You Planning to Apply for Express Entry?

If you have an express entry application in progress and would like to know where your score is, or if you are planning to apply under express entry category, we would be happy to help you.

All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals and consultants who work for Niren and Associates an award winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Published on: December 2nd, 2016Published by: Michael Niren
L-1 Visa Rejection

3 Reasons Why Your L-1 Visa Could Get Rejected in 2019

Does your company need the specialized knowledge of one of its employees from a branch outside of the US? An L-1 visa enables you to bring just such an employee over. However, just because you’ve got a compelling case for bringing over an employee doesn’t mean that the US government will accept your application. Read on to learn about the top three reasons for L-1 rejections.

1. Inability to Prove Specialized Knowledge

Immigration lawyers have seen a recent rise in L-1 rejections because employers aren’t proving that the employee in question has the necessary specialized knowledge that’s invaluable to the American branch of the company.

Unless you can prove that the employee has specialized knowledge that no other American employee possesses, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will deny the request for an L-1 visa.

It’s a good idea to spend plenty of time training your employees to provide them with the specialized knowledge that they need before applying for an L-1 visa so they have the strongest application possible.

2. Not Enough Evidence

In March 2015, the US government released a memorandum clarifying what adjudicators should look for when handling L-1 visa requests. The release of the memorandum coincided with the government’s publication of L-1 rejection rates.

One of the points the memorandum makes is that adjudicators need a “preponderance” of evidence that the employee in question meets eligibility standards. What does “preponderance” of evidence mean?

The government defines the term as meaning that the applicant has to show that his or her claims are more likely true than not. It doesn’t mean that you have to remove all doubt from the adjudicator’s mind – you just have to convince him or her that your evidence is probably true.

3. The Effect of Politics

Although adjudicators are supposed to decide cases purely on their merits, critics of the federal government complain that politics has crept into the L-1 visa decision-making process.

L-1 rejection rates tell an interesting tale. In 2006, the rejection rate of L-1 visa applications was 6%. Eight years later, it was 35%. Immigration advocates point to the effect of the global recession in 2008, which hit the US especially hard. The economic downturn created what these advocates refer to as a “protectionist” culture at USCIS. As a result, the agency was less likely approve L-1 visas because officials were worried foreign workers would take jobs away from Americans.

It doesn’t help that politicians have been some of the loudest critics of visa programs designed to bring over skilled foreign workers. They claim that these programs are an excuse for companies to fill empty positions with cheaper labour from outside of the US.

What Can You Do If Your L-1 Visa Application Is Rejected?

Given the current rejection rates of L-1 visa applicants as well as the political climate, you have to explore the possibility that your application might not be successful.

That being said, a rejection doesn’t mean you’ve run out of options. You can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). Keep in mind that the AAO can take months to respond to requests for appeals, though.

What other options do you have? You could appeal USCIS’ decision in federal district court. While it might sound a bit drastic, appealing to this court might be your best option. For a start, you have the right to appeal under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Secondly, you might get a fairer hearing from a judge and have the ability to present all of the facts of the case to him or her. And there’s a chance your request might be granted; the federal courts don’t always have a strong interest in litigating visa issues.

Another option is to consider if you’re a better fit for other visa categories. Perhaps you don’t meet the qualifications of an L-1 visa, but you might be eminently eligible for another type of visa for entrepreneurs.

The process can be long, arduous, and ultimately disappointing if you’re rejected. However, becoming discouraged and giving up completely isn’t the answer. Do your research to figure out a way to get into the US, and your persistence will pay off.

Turn to an Immigration Law Expert for Help with L-1 Visa Applications

If you’re interested in applying for an L-1 visa or you’ve recently been turned down for such a work permit, talk to an experienced immigration lawyer specializing in employment issues. Applying to enter the US even on a temporary basis is a complicated and frequently frustrating undertaking. An immigration law expert can help you find a way to come to the US legally.

Are you interested in immigrating to the U.S. or moving to Canada? Contact VisaPlace today.

All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals and consultants who work for Niren and Associates an award winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Published on: November 21st, 2016Published by: Michael Niren

Your Complete List of Truck Driver Visa Requirements in Canada 2019

What if there was a job that enabled you to travel all over the country with a good salary? You might say, “That sounds great, but I bet it’s a scam.” It’s not. The Canadian trucking industry needs drivers as the workforce ages or seeks employment opportunities closer to home. Newcomers to Canada with clean driving records are in demand. Learn what you need to know about truck driver visa requirements in Canada so you can find a steady, well-paying job in this field.

What Should You Know about Truck Driver Visa Requirements?

At this point in time, truck driving is still considered an unskilled occupation. There isn’t a particular visa for truck drivers. As such, if you’re interested in obtaining a job as a trucker in Canada, you’ll need to apply through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

The TFWP allows Canadian employers to hire people from outside of Canada to fill temporary jobs and skills shortages when Canadian citizens aren’t available to do so.

Are You Eligible for the TFWP?

While you might be interested in becoming a truck driver in Canada, it doesn’t matter if you’re not eligible for the TFWP.

It’s important to remember that a critical part of the TFWP is that workers stay in Canada temporarily. Even if you intend to stay in Canada in the long term, you must be able to prove to immigration officials that you’re ready, willing, and able to leave the country once the period of your authorized stay ends. You’ll have to show that you have strong ties to your home country and that you’re not simply enrolling in the TFWP to come to Canada through a “back door.”

Another criteria of eligibility for the TFWP is that you can support yourself or that someone else can support you while in Canada. If you can’t show that you have means of support and it seems likely to immigration officials that you’ll wind up on social assistance, your application will most likely be denied.

Furthermore, your health plays a role in whether you’re approved to participate in the TFWP. People with serious health problems have trouble working full time, and they tend to be a drain on the public health system.

Do you have a criminal record? Depending on the type of offense you’ve committed, you might be ineligible to come to Canada through the TFWP (or any other immigration program, for that matter). In addition, if you’ve ever been denied entry to Canada or removed from Canada or another country, that could prevent you from being hired under the TFWP.

Employer Requirements under TFWP

Potential employees aren’t the only ones who have to meet strict criteria under the TFWP. Employers must also fulfil certain obligations in order to bring over foreign workers on a temporary basis.

Here’s a little background about the TFWP that will help you understand what employers’ obligations are under this program. The TFWP is managed by two government agencies: Human  Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). HRSDC requires a labour market opinion (LMO) for Canadian companies to hire foreign truck drivers. An LMO shows that the firm has made good faith efforts to fill the job with a Canadian employee, but hasn’t succeeded. Furthermore, the job offer must be genuine, and the business must prove that it has fulfilled its obligations to temporary foreign workers in the past. The employer pays the cost of the LMO.

Once the employer has obtained an LMO that says that a foreign worker is absolutely necessary for this job, the employee applies for a work permit through the CIC. The employer must include the LMO in the permit application.

When the employee has the work permit, it’s the employer’s responsibility to arrange Worker’s Compensation benefits and medical coverage. The employer is also responsible for ensuring the employee has a Social Insurance Number and that the work permit’s conditions are respected.

Turn to a Trusted Source for Immigration and Employment Questions

Whether you run a trucking company and you’re looking to hire foreign workers or you’re looking for a job driving a truck in Canada, you need to talk to an immigration law expert who specializes in employment issues. Bringing over a temporary foreign worker requires a great deal of paperwork, and it’s easy to make a mistake that could prevent an application from being approved. An experienced immigration lawyer who’s familiar with employment law can help you whether you’re an employer or an employee.

Are you interested in immigrating to the U.S. or moving to Canada? Contact VisaPlace today.

All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals and consultants who work for Niren and Associates an award winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Published on: November 20th, 2016Published by: Michael Niren

Trump and the Future of Immigration Under NAFTA

Uncertainty and confusion continue to fill the air following Donald Trump’s win of the 2016 US Presidential Election last week. One area quite inflated with such air is immigration. In addition to pursuing massive deportation of undocumented aliens and building the ‘wall’, Trump has pledged to scrap or at least “re-negotiate” the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA “).

[NAFTA is under revision. NAFTA will most likely turn into the USMCA (United States Mexico Canada Agreement). USMCA is expected to be approved in the beginning of 2019. Until then NAFTA will remain active and the visas under NAFTA are still available. Learn more about about the USMCA. ]

What is NAFTA?

NAFTA is a comprehensive trade treaty between the United States, Canada and Mexico, which allows for tariff-free trade between the three nations.

An additional benefit stemming from the creation of NAFTA and directly relating to immigration is the creation of  the Trade-NAFTA (TN) visa for Canadian and Mexican nationals entering the United States to pursue employment, and the NAFTA work permit for American and Mexican nations entering Canada to pursue employment.

TN Visas

The TN Visa is available to citizens of Canada and Mexico who qualify as professionals under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  This visa allows professional to enter the United States and engage in employment based on their educational credentials or work experience. A TN visa is granted to a Canadian or Mexican citizen where:

  • Their profession is on the NAFTA list;
  • The Canadian or Mexican citizen possesses specific credentials and/or experience;
  • The prospective employment opportunity requires someone with such credentials or experience; and
  • There is an offer of employment from a U.S. employer

TN Visas: How they benefit Canadians

The TN visa is a popular option for many Canadian professionals seeking to relocate into the U.S. as a result of a new job opportunity. The reasons for its favorability are that it allows the Canadian professional to apply for the visa right at the border – meaning no lengthy wait times for the visa to be approved, nor is a visa interview at a U.S. consulate office required. Furthermore, the TN visa is valid for a three-year period, after which the professional can renew their TN status for an additional three years, and the key factor is that the visa can be renewed an indefinite amount of times without having to return to Canada. Lastly, no sponsorship is needed from the U.S. employer and as such, minimal amount of effort needs to be exerted on the part of the U.S. employer to hire-on the Canadian professional. These benefits are the reason why many American companies and employers turn to Canada when they are in need of qualified applicants, especially when they cannot find such applicants within their borders.

NAFTA Work Visas for Canada

Very similar to the TN visa in the US is the availability of NAFTA work permits in Canada. Also granted to nationals of signatory countries to NAFTA, work permits under NAFTA are available to designated professionals, intra-company transferees, and traders and investors. Just like the TN visa, no additional labor certifications are needed, eligible persons can apply right at the Canadian border, and can be granted for up to three years with no fixed limit on the number of extensions. As a result, many Canadian employers favour the NAFTA work permit program and use it extensively to bring in the professionals they otherwise cannot find within Canada.

Immigration Consequences if NAFTA ends

What would happen if Donald Trump went through with his promise of eliminating NAFTA? Well, in addition to potential price increases on everyday product and the relocation of North American manufacturers, the widely sought after TN visa will be no more.

With the TN visa option gone, Canadian citizens who would otherwise obtain a U.S. job offer and relocate with ease, would have to look into other visa options to pursue employment in the United States. Majority of the other employment-related immigration routes require a lot more of the U.S. employer, where they would have to sponsor the foreign employee and work additional parties like the Department of Labor to obtain wage determinations and/or labor certifications.  As a result, both Canadian professionals and U.S. employers may be deterred from engaging in the process. It is already difficult for many U.S. companies and employers to obtain the professionals they need, as the common U.S. employment visas exceed their annual cap year after year.

But Don’t Worry!

With all this being said, there is little to be alarmed about. Although Trump has continuously mentioned how he desires to eliminate what he refers to as “the worst trade deal in history”, it is more likely that he will attempt to renegotiate the agreement with the treaty countries and/or put another trade agreement in place rather than completely eliminate any treaty trade deal between Canada, U.S. and Mexico.

Donald Trump is to be sworn into the White House on January 20, 2017. Only time will tell whether he will steer ahead with his campaign promises, or take an unexpected turn.

Need Help with a Work Visa?

If so, Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals and consultants who work for Niren and Associates an award winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Ready for the next step? Book your 1 on 1 consultation now or call us at 1-888-317-5770.

Have a Question Related to Your Immigration Needs?

Click here to fill out the FREE Immigration Assessment form below and get a response within 24 hours to see if you’re eligible.

The assessment form should take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. We will get back to you within one business day to let you know if we are able to help.

Published on: November 18th, 2016Published by: Michael Niren

What Are the LMIA Application Fees and Wait Times?

 

If you’re planning on hiring foreign workers under Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), you most likely need a labour market impact assessment (LMIA). And if you’ve never applied for one before, you most likely have a number of questions about the LMIA requirements as well as the process. How much does it cost? How long will an LMIA take? Read on to learn more about processing your LMIA request.

What Does an LMIA Cost to Process?

You will have to pay $1,000 to the Canadian government per LMIA application. Let’s say you need to hire three foreign workers. You’ll need to pay Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) $3,000.

The processing fee is in Canadian dollars. You can pay by certified cheque, money order, Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

What happens if your LMIA is denied (that is to say, there are Canadian citizens or permanent residents able, ready and willing to work in the position you’re trying to fill)? You won’t get your money back. If you want to appeal the ESDC’s decision, you’ll have to submit a new LMIA… and pay another $1,000 per position. The only way you’ll get refunded is if the ESDC didn’t process the correct amount.

Let’s say the LMIA said that there aren’t Canadians that can fill this position. You’ve gotten the go-ahead to hire foreign workers. However, you’ve still paid quite a bit of money to go through this process, and you believe you should be compensated for it. Don’t plan on trying to recover the fee from the foreign workers. ESDC has a policy prohibiting employers from doing so.

How Long Will It Take to Process an LMIA?

LMIA requirements stipulate that you must submit your LMIA application six months in advance of the job’s anticipated start date.

There are exceptions to this rule. If a position is in an industry with incredibly high demand, or the position is very high-paying, the waiting period is a mere ten days. Applicants to jobs with very short durations can also be fast-tracked.

You’re probably reading that and thinking, “Six months is a long time if my employee doesn’t fall into the categories, which can be fast-tracked. I need to fill these positions right now.” And after reading about the cost, you may also begin to sour on the idea of bringing a foreign worker to Canada. The situation wasn’t always this way, though.

How the Government Changed the TFWP

Sometimes, change is good. It makes things better. In the case of the TFWP, many would argue that the changes the government made to the program had the opposite effect.

At the end of 2014, the Harper government made changes to the TFWP. The application fee rose from $275 to $1,000. In addition, the number of applications accepted dropped dramatically.

Many temporary foreign workers and advocacy groups were upset about these changes. In addition, many employers who rely on foreign workers made their displeasure known to the government. Justin Trudeau’s government has stated it will review the program and make changes to it, though as of October 2016, a year after the Liberal party’s rise to power, nothing has happened. One of the Liberal party’s policies is to change the $1,000 LMIA fee for live-in caregiver positions. Immigration minister John McCallum has gone on the record as saying he’d like to do away with LMIAs entirely.

The government made it more difficult to bring foreign workers into Canada because of criticism that these workers were taking jobs away from Canadians. Foreign workers and their advocates don’t buy into that argument, though. They believe the government simply doesn’t want more foreign workers in the country, regardless of how many jobs they take that Canadians genuinely don’t want. To wit, the federal government exempted provinces in Atlantic Canada from some of the TFWP’s rules so that seafood processing companies could bring in an unlimited number of foreign workers to meet constant labour shortages in that industry.

As long as Canadian citizens and permanent residents refuse to fill certain jobs, the need for foreign workers will remain. At the same time, there will always be Canadians (be they politicians, labour union members, or average Joes) who will argue vociferously that these people are taking jobs away from Canadians. Any decisions the government makes will have to appease both of these groups, which is, of course, an impossibility.

Turn to a Trusted Immigration Law Expert to Bring Foreign Workers to Canada

If you’re looking to bring foreign workers to Canada, you need an experienced immigration lawyer to help you navigate the complex set of laws and regulations governing this type of employment. One mistake on your part could destroy your chances of successfully filling an urgent position with a foreign worker.

Are you interested in immigrating to the U.S. or moving to Canada? Contact VisaPlace today.

All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals and consultants who work for Niren and Associates an award winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Published on: November 12th, 2016Published by: Michael Niren

Need Immigration Help? Make sure you do your homework first.

imigrationBy Whitney Luna

With the news of Donald  Trump winning the US election, our office has received an influx of calls from Americans considering their options for  immigration to Canada.  The day after the election, our intake staff booked many consultations with American citizens within the first hour of business.  Many were claiming that they didn’t care about the legal costs and that they urgently needed to speak with someone to discuss their immigration options.

Be careful who you hire

In normal times, we receive numerous calls and emails from people who claim they have been “scammed” out of hundreds, and sometimes even thousands of dollars by allegedly fraudulent immigration professionals and law firms.  Due to the increased numbers of Americans considering immigration to Canada during this election cycle, the stakes are even higher for ensuring that people get credible advice and are not mislead.

It is therefore essential that Americans and others considering immigration, do their research and speak to multiple representatives before choosing a law firm that they feel can best handle their immigration matter. It is also essential to ensure the law firm they choose have licenced immigration professionals ready to help

What immigration professionals can represent you?

The Canadian government regulates who can practice immigration law and be your representative:  They are:

  • lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society;
  • notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec; and
  • citizenship or immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council.

If you’ve found a representative to help you, make sure they keep you up to date with your application status.  It is also important that you provide them with proper documentation because any false information could result in a refused application or worse, criminal charges.

If you require immigration assistance feel to complete our free online assessment form. And be careful out there!

Published on: November 10th, 2016Published by: Michael Niren

The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly.