Temporary Foreign Workers stand to benefit the most from November 19, 2016 Express Entry changes
Background: Changes to Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) announced recently
On November 19, 2016, then Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Minister John MacCallum had announced several changes in the form of Ministerial Instructions. A detailed account of all changes was posted in Dale & Lessmann’s blog article dated November 11. This account will focus on one of those changes, and why 2017 will prove to be the best year for Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency.
Do you currently hold a Canadian Work Permit?
One of the major Comprehensive Rank Score (CRS) redistributions has occurred with respect to offers of arranged employment. Previously, only those workers with work permits based on Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) could benefit from additional points for arrangement employment. However, out of all TFWs in Canada, LMIA-based work permits account for roughly only 30% of total work permits issued in Canada. The remainder is issued based on other various categories under the International Mobility Program (IMP).
The new definition of arranged employment will allow those applicants currently working in Canada on Intra-Company Transferee (ICT), for example, to receive additional points. These range in value from 50 additional points for those workers in NOC level 0, A or B, to 200 additional points for those TFWs working in NOC level 00 occupations. The conditions are that these TFWs must have worked for at least one year under these conditions in Canada and that they receive a new offer to be valid for at least one additional year. Such a condition is quite facilitative for long-term transfers to Canada and is as beneficial as obtaining an LMIA.
Benefits of applying in 2017 for Canadian Permanent Residency
In addition to these changes, IRCC has drastically reduced overall PR processing times. These were already low for Express Entry applicants, with applicants receiving answers sometimes in as quickly as four (4) months following the submission of a complete application. Thus, if TFWs do not benefit from the additional points stemming from having an offer of arrangement employment, at the very least certain categories of PR will now obtain quicker processing. For example, In-Canada Spousal Sponsorships will now be processed in about 12 months, down from the previous 26 months.
International students also stand to benefit, as they will now also be eligible to receive additional points. Specifically, IRCC is giving added consideration in the form of up to 30 points, to those applicants with Canadian educational credentials. This benefit, coupled with the work experience gained under Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP), make international students prime candidates to be invited to apply under Express Entry. Their score could be even higher. However, PGWP work permits do not qualify under the new definition of arrangement employment.
Lastly, 2017 is a great time to apply for Canadian PR as IRCC has set the quota for new immigrants to 300,000, the same level as 2016, but with an increased focus on economic applicants. As such, TFWs currently working in Canada under an employer-specific work permit should seriously consider applying for PR status. English and French language test results continue to play an important factor for economic streams, and will also be instrumental in the success of such applicants.
Immigration law in Canada continues to remain dynamic, with ministerial instructions and bulletin upgrades consistently being issued and changing the landscape for both TFWs and PR applicants. Recent changes appear to facilitate and create a more even and balanced application method. Younger applicants such as international students benefit from higher point averages for age and Canadian educational credentials, while more senior and specialised applicants gain more points for seniority of positions occupied and previous work experience. In light of the lower processing times, and higher immigration quotas, 2017 will prove to be a perfect timeframe to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency.
Dale & Lessmann LLP invites you to contact our experienced Immigration Practice Group for assistance in determining whether your current work permit could qualify for additional points or with help determining the NOC of your current occupation.