Individuals applying for business immigration to Prince Edward Island under PEI Work Permit Program must be prepared to obtain a Canadian work permit and work for a PEI business for a certain amount of time as designated in a Performance Agreement. After the Performance Agreement is fulfilled, the applicant must make a minimum $150,000 investment in the business and commit to managing the business on a daily basis from within PEI.
The applicant can choose to become a partial owner or full owner of the business. Once the investment is made, the applicant will be nominated for Canadian permanent residence by the government of PEI. All applications under the Work Permit Program will be assessed based on the applicant’s business proposal and business experience as well as the likelihood that the applicant’s business in PEI will be successful. This program is the only PEI business immigration program that does not make use of an escrow agreement.
PEI Work Permit Program Requirements:
Under the Work Permit program, an applicant must:
- Complete and submit all required immigration forms
- Submit all other required documents
- Apply to the Canadian government for a work permit that would allow the applicant to work for the business in which they will invest into and manage.
- Possess a minimum personal net worth of $600,000. This net worth must have been acquired legally and legitimately.
- Possess at least a high school education
- Have previous experience and significant talent in business management.
- Score a minimum of 4.0 on the IELTS within the last 2 years
- Provide a detailed business plan. The business must be eligible under PEI program requirements. For a general overview of PEI business immigration, click here.
- Provide active and on-going management of the business from within Prince Edward Island.
- Make a total investment in a PEI business of at least $150,000.
Applicants participating in this program must also sign a Performance Agreement. The Agreement details the terms and conditions that the applicant must fulfill while working in PEI under a work permit. Once these conditions are met, the applicant will be nominated for permanent residence. The Performance Agreement may include:
- An investment timeline
- The required amount of investment
- Reporting and monitoring guidelines
- Other requirements that the applicant most fulfill before and after nomination.
If an applicant under the Work Permit Program decides to purchase 100% of the business in which they previously worked, the applicant will also need to submit a Purchase and Sale Agreement. The Purchase and Sale Agreement must include:
- All relevant details of the proposed investment
- Confirmation that the business being acquired is not operated primarily for the purpose of acquiring investment income such as.
- Capital gains
- The purchase price for the business
- The number, class and conditions of the shares being purchased (if applicable).
- Confirmation that the investment does not include a redemption option.
- Confirmation that the applicant will provide active and ongoing management of the business from within PEI.
- Timelines for the purchase of the business
- Confirmation that the purchase price is for the whole business
- A detailed description of the activities and interests of the business.
If an applicant under the Work Permit Program decides to purchase only a portion of the business in which they previously worked, the applicant must also submit an Investment Agreement. The Investment Agreement must include:
- All relevant details of the proposed investment
- Confirmation that the business being acquired is not operated primarily for the purpose of acquiring investment income such as:
- Capital gains
- The purchase price of the business
- The number, class and conditions of the shares being purchased (if applicable).
- Confirmation that the investment does not include a redemption option.
- Confirmation that the investment is for at least 1/3rd of the equity of a Prince Edward Island business OR an equity investment in the business of at least $1,000,000.
- Confirmation that the applicant will provide active and ongoing management of the business from within Prince Edward Island.
- Timelines for the purchase of the business
- A detailed description of the activities and interests of the business.
The PEI government will give priority to applications that are in the following sectors.
- Export-oriented business
- Businesses that bring economic diversity to rural communities in PEI.
- Information technology
- Renewable energy.
PEI Work Permit Program Application Process:
Step 1: Complete and Submit All Relevant Documents
Required documents include:
- A business impact category self-assessment
- A business proposal
- A completed application guide from the PEI Immigration Office.
The application and supporting documents must be submitted to the PEI Office of Immigration.
Step 2: Interview
Applicants who meet the requirements for 100% Ownership program will be invited to PEI for an interview. While they are in PEI for the interview, it is recommended that applicants travel throughout the province and learn about the province’s social and economic landscape.
Step 3: Submission of Business and Settlement Plans
Following a successful interview, the applicant will be asked to submit a business plan to the PEI Immigration Office. The applicant will also be requested to provide a settlement plan describing how the applicant and family dependents plan to settle in PEI.
Step 4: Issuance of Letter of Support for a Work Permit
Once the applicant signs the performance agreement mentioned above, the government of PEI will issue a letter of support to the Canadian government allowing the applicant to apply for a work permit. This letter will only be issued if the performance agreement is signed and the business plan and settlement plan are approved. If the applicant meets all relevant criteria, a work permit will be issued on behalf of the applicant. Once the applicant receives the work permit, he/she will be required to take an active role in the operation and management.
Step 5: Compliance with the Performance Agreement
The applicant must comply with all the terms and conditions of the performance agreement.
Step 6: Nomination for Permanent Residence
If the applicant complies with the terms and conditions of the performance agreement, the applicant will receive a letter of nomination approval and a letter of instruction from the PEI government. The applicant must then use these documents to apply for permanent residence with the Canadian federal government. Note: being nominated for permanent residence by the PEI government DOES NOT guarantee that you will be accepted for permanent residence by the federal Canadian government. The Canadian government has its own set of immigration requirements, primarily related to health, security that must be met.
Step 7: Approval by the Canadian Government.
If all immigration requirements are met, the applicant and accompanying dependants will be granted Canadian permanent residence. Once the permanent residence visa is activated, the applicant will be able to start living in PEI.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
Long processing delays under Canada’s skilled worker program are pushing applicants to identify alternative options under provincial immigration programs. Most will likely face disappointment.
Acquiring permanent residence under Canada’s skilled worker program, the largest component of Canada’s immigration programs, falls under the federal domain. And with current backlogs of 800,000 applicants under all categories at Canadian missions abroad, processing delays often exceed the expectations and objectives of applicants and for Canada’s human resource managers. Delays to visa issuance at Canadian visa offices abroad in the leading source countries for immigrants to Canada including China, India, Pakistan and the Philippines routinely surpass five years in processing time under the skilled worker program.
Such realities are prompting potential applicants to explore provincial nominee programs as a possible answer to long processing delays to Canada.
Applying for admission to Canada as a permanent resident under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will follow a different and generally, a far more expedited process (12-18 months in most cases) than if the application is approved under the Federal skilled worker program. In some instances persons who are otherwise not qualified for admission under the Federal skilled worker program, may qualify for admission to Canada under a PNP and may even qualify for a temporary work permit in the interim, allowing for early entry to Canada for the applicant and their accompanying dependants.
But a few clarifications should be noted. First, most of the provincial programs require a sponsoring employer. The majority of employers are unwilling to offer qualified hiring packages to foreign nationals who are not able to attend a personal interview. Unless a potential employee is able to travel to Canada to attend a personal interview, or the employer is willing to include personnel recruitment as a part of their functions and travel to meet with potential employees in source countries, most applicants to Canada will not be able to qualify under the employer driven PNP programs.
For the provinces where immigration programs are not employer driven but are intended to increase population, such as Manitoba and Quebec, processing delays are routinely untenable.
Second, when faced with the option of applying for permanent residence under a PNP program or the Federal skilled worker program, the benefits of “expedited processing” all things being equal, do not outweigh the convenience to submit federally. This is often the case with clients of Immigration and Employment Attorney Colin R. Singer.
“The majority of human resource managers and individuals whom we assist, have a disdain for government and would readily prefer to avoid additional layers of bureaucracy unless the benefits are significant, which they are not. PNP programs in their own right have ongoing processing and resource issues that only add to this reality”, cautions Singer.
“And for employees with the right qualifications, a properly structured employment project will provide a foreign national with a work permit of up to 24 months and this is more than enough time to conclude the residence process under a federal submission without the employee having to leave the country”, explains Singer.
Perhaps the numbers will put matters in clearer perspective. Excluding the province of Quebec, Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs only account for approximately 4.5% of the number of applications filed each year for Canadian permanent residence under all categories. Last year some 13,329 newcomers, including applicants, spouses and children out of the total 251,511 who were admitted to Canada, were admitted under PNP programs.
Although the role of provincial immigration programs is expected to take on more prominence in the years ahead, such programs for the most part, are only intended to cater to individual employers wishing to hire low skilled workers in certain industries. Moreover, as experienced practitioners know all too well, the provinces impose an unwritten quota system when approving nominations for low skilled workers. “Politicians are uncomfortable with low skilled worker programs that offer permanent residence because such individuals are less likely to change vocations and more inclined to draw upon public assistance when the economy falters. In the Province of Alberta for example, the number of approvals for low skilled workers is only in the hundreds” warns Singer.
For the vast majority of the close to 800,000 would-be-immigrants currently undergoing the processing of their permanent residence applications at Canada’s visa offices as well as for new applicants intending to relocate to Canada in the future, Canada’s provincial nominee programs are not a viable option.
Interested readers are invited to contact Attorney Colin R. Singer, CHRP (Toll Free in North America 1-888-817-2011) or by email – firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any issue related to the foregoing.
On June 2nd, 2006, the Ontario Provincial government announced a new bill they plan to introduce to the Ontario Legislature that hopes to help internationally trained professionals gain access to work in their fields of expertise.
Entitled the “Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act 2006”, the bill hopes to effectively change and standardize the hiring rules in 34 regulated professions in Ontario, including physicians, accountants, lawyers, teachers, engineers, and social workers. These professions are all regulated independently of the government, and it is still unclear how the program would work in conjunction with the regulatory bodies to speed up the process.
According to Ontario Citizenship and Immigration Minister Mike Colle, “While maintaining the independence of regulatory bodies, we are going to ensure there is a clear, fair process that has common benchmarks right across the board”. Mr. Colle indicated that the program would make the difference between the current long, slow process and one that is focused and expeditious.
This piece of legislation is part of a larger plan by the Ontario government towards success for newcomers to the province. Other aspects include creating internship positions in ministries and Crown agencies to help professionals gain work experience in their field, investing money in training projects for immigrants, and increasing the training and assessment positions for internationally trained medical graduates.
Opposition critics reserved judgment until more details about the bill were released, but sentiment was generally positive and barriers to the bill should be limited. It remains to be seen just how comprehensive and effective the bill will be.
The Ontario announcement comes on the heels of a Quebec announcement in early May when it tabled Bill 14 – legislation that would shorten the process for foreign trained professionals, immigrating to Quebec, allowing them easier access to obtain work permits in their fields. The Quebec legislation, if passed, would affect 44 professional licensing bodies.
Critics of the Quebec legislation believe that the Quebec legislation, although a step in the right direction, will only help an infinitesimal number of immigrants. As well, nothing in the Quebec Bill compels the co-operation of the affected professional bodies. “Without their involvement, nothing will change”, says a critic.
With the recent developments in both Quebec and Ontario it seems that Canada’s two largest destinations for immigrants are finally taking the long-overdue initiatives to recognize the importance of the skills and training of foreign trained professionals. To do otherwise sells its current immigration programs well short of its stated objectives.
On November 28, 2008, the Government of Canada introduced substantive changes to the Economic Class.
Under the new rules the Minister of Citizenship Immigration and Multiculturalism will have greater flexibility in processing Economic Class applications by giving priority to applicants approved under Quebec or Provincial nominee programs.
To qualify for admission to Canada under a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), without an approved offer of employment, applicants must meet the following conditions:
- Eliminatory condition:
- Working in the USA for at least one-year with any of the following currently valid non-immigrant status: H-1B, H1-B1, H-1C, or E-3;
- Possess at least one year of applicable experience in one of the major high demand occupations (management, business, finance, administration, natural and applied sciences, health, social science, education, government service and religion, art culture, recreation and sport, sales and service, trades, transport and equipment operators, primary industry occupations, occupations in processing, manufacturing and utilities) listed in one of the National Occupational Classification categories referenced below.
- Essential selection conditions:
- Receive provincial nominee approval;
- Possess suitable settlement funding;
- Undergo a successful security background and medical examination.
Applicants, who meet the above conditions will be eligible to apply for admission to Canada under an applicable Provincial Nominee Program, where current processing times range from 6-18 months to approval.
High Demand Occupations
Canada Provincial Nominee Programs
(May 19, 2009)
|0212||Architecture and Science Managers|
|0213||Computer and Information systems Manager|
|0611||Sales, Marketing and Advertising Managers|
|0621||Retail Trade Managers|
|0721||Facility Operation and Maintenance Managers|
|0811||Primary Production Mgrs (Except Agric)|
Business, Finance and Administration Occupations
|1235||Assessors, Valuators and Appraisers|
Natural and Applied Sciences and Related Occupations
|2111||Physicists and Astronomers|
|2113||Geologists, Geochemists and Geophysicists|
|2133||Electrical and Electronics Engineers|
|2141||Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers|
|2142||Metallurgical and Materials Engineers|
|2147||Computer Engineers (Except Software Engineers)|
|2153||Urban and Land Use Planners|
|2212||Geological and Mineral Technologists and Technicians|
|2225||Landscape and Horticultural Technicians|
|2231||Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians|
|2232||Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians|
|2241||Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians|
|2242||Electronic Service Technicians (Household and Business Equipment)|
|2243||Industrial Instrument Technicians and Mechanics|
|2251||Architectural Technologists and Technicians|
|2253||Drafting Technologists & Technicians|
|2261||Nondestructive Testers and Inspectors|
|2271||Air pilots, flight engineers, flying instructors|
|3112||General Practitioners and Family Physicians|
|3141||Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists|
|3211||Medical Laboratory Technologists and Pathologists’ Assistants|
|3212||Medical Laboratory Technicians|
|3213||Veterinary and Animal Health Technologists and Technicians|
|3215||Medical Radiation Technologists|
|3223||Dental Technologists, Technicians and Laboratory Bench Workers|
|3232||Midwives and Practitioners of Natural Healing|
Occupations in Social Science, Education, Government Service and Religion
|4131||College & Other Vocational Instructors|
|4212||Community and Social Service Workers|
|4214||Early Childhood Educators|
Occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport
|5222||Film and Video Camera Operators|
|5223||Graphic Arts Technicians|
|5225||Audio and Video Recording Technicians|
|5226||Other Technical and Co-ordinating Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasters|
|5231||Announcers and Other Broadcasters|
Sales and Service Occupations
|6211||Retail Trade Supervisors|
|6212||Food Service Supervisors|
|6216||Other Service Supervisors|
|6221||Technical Sales Specialists – Wholesale Trade|
Occupations Unique To Primary Industry
|8232||Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers, Testers and Related Workers|
|8251||Farmers and Farm Managers|
|8253||Farm Supervisors and Specialized Livestock Workers|
Occupations unique to Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities
|9213||Supervisors, Food, Beverage and Tobacco Processing|
|9214||Supervisors, Plastic and Rubber Products Manufacturing|
|9231||Central Control and Process Operators, Mineral and Metal Processing|
|9232||Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Process Operators|
Canada will admit more than 250,000 immigrants for Canadian permanent residence in 2012, including approximately 150,000 economic class immigrants of which, 100,000 will qualify under the federal skilled worker program. The federal skilled worker program comprises the largest single stream of immigration to Canada with the Family Class being a close second. The federal skilled worker program uses a points based metric, where criteria such as education, work experience, age, language ability, and adaptability are used to evaluate the likelihood that an applicant will successfully settle in Canada. An applicant must score 67 points under the current points system in order to meet the threshold for admission.
However, a number of applicants, although eager to live and work in Canada on a permanent basis, cannot meet the current points’ threshold. For applicants who meet the federal skilled worker criteria, the growing inventory of applications for permanent residence (currently estimated at more than 300,000) result in lengthy processing delays that often exceed the expectations and objectives of applicants. Delays to visa issuance at Canadian visa offices abroad in the leading source countries for immigrants to Canada including China, India, Pakistan and the Philippines routinely surpass five years in processing time.
Canadian immigration policy provides for a number of programs that potential applicants may consider as a viable alternative to the federal skilled worker program.
What follows is a comprehensive review of Canada’s alternative immigration programs.
Immigrating to Canada under the Entrepreneur Class
This program provides permanent residence to those applicants who demonstrate an ability to become economically established in Canada on the basis of their business experience and significant personal net worth.
The centerpiece of the program is that the entrepreneur invests and becomes involved in the active management of a qualifying business operated in Canada that will contribute to the economy and create employment.
The basic criteria are:
- The applicant must have managed a qualifying business and have controlled an adequate percentage of equity of that business for at least two years in the period of five years preceding the application;
- Have a personal net worth of $300,000;
- And finally, undertake to control at least 33% of the equity of a qualifying Canadian business. Furthermore, the applicant must provide active and ongoing management of the qualifying Canadian business that will create at least one incremental full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Immigrating to Canada under the Federal Investment Class
Under this program, an applicant’s investment is remitted to provinces, which will be used to help finance small businesses or provincial infrastructure. As an investor, the applicant makes a prescribed investment of CDN $800,000. This investment is placed with the Receiver General of Canada.
Approximately five years after becoming a permanent resident, the Canadian government returns the investment, without interest, to the applicant.
To be considered an investor, the applicant must:
- have business experience;
- have legally obtained net worth of at least CDN $1.6M;
- and Indicate in writing to an officer that they intend to make or have made an investment.
There are certain criteria to be considered when evaluating business experience under the investment class. Precisely, the applicant must show that they have managed a qualifying business for at least two years in the five years preceding the application, and that the applicant has managed at least five full-time employees during this same time period.
This program differs slightly from the Entrepreneur Program, in that the Investor is not intended to become actively involved in the management of a qualifying Canadian Business.
Provincial Nominee Programs
All of the provinces have their own provincial immigration programs (known as Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)), in order to promote immigration policies suited to a province’s particular needs. As a result, the provinces are receiving an increasing role in the selection of economic immigrants intending to settle in a province. In 2012, approximately 90,000 economic immigrants will be nominated or selected by the provinces, with the Province of Quebec accounting for approximately 45,000 selections. Quebec is the only province with the right to select its own immigrants. All of the other provinces have the right to nominate immigrants. In 2012 and for the foreseeable future, the numbers of immigrants to be granted permanent residence under a PNP or selected by the Province of Quebec is expected to increase.
However, as is the case with all immigration programs in Canada, the issue of resource allocation and processing delays continues to play an important consideration in the decisions faced by the majority of policy specialists and program managers. Quite simply, Canada as a destination attracts considerable interest which far surpasses the processing capacity of most immigration programs.
Applying for admission to Canada as a permanent resident will follow a different and generally, yet far more expedited process (9-15 months in most cases) if the application is approved under a PNP compared to the federal skilled worker program. In some instances persons who are otherwise not qualified for admission under one of the Federal programs, may qualify for admission to Canada under a PNP and may even qualify for a temporary work permit in the interim, allowing for early entry to Canada for the applicant and their accompanying dependants.
Here is how the provincial programs typically work. Qualified employers nominate a prospective worker under an expedited process which, once approved by the province, enables an application for permanent residence to proceed under a processing stream that completely bypasses the lengthy federal immigration selection process. At the initial stages, qualified employer-sponsored applicants could receive temporary, renewable, work permits, processed at missions outside Canada, or in certain cases, at ports of entry, while their applications for permanent admission are processed by the provincial authorities and thereafter by the federal authorities for medical and security screening. In many instances, applicants can conclude these formalities without ever having to actually return to their former place of habitual residence.
The skilled worker based PNP’s with the exception of Quebec and Manitoba, generally require an employer to sponsor the application for admission to Canada. Without a government approved employer sponsorship, the application will either not be approved, or will be routinely passed over in favour of applications with an employer sponsored approval.
To qualify as a sponsoring employer, employers under most of the PNP’s must demonstrate sufficient efforts to hire local Canadians and offer competitive terms and conditions of employment that are relevant to a particular occupation. Between provinces, variations exist in the terms and conditions of employment to qualify to sponsor a foreign worker for an occupation.
To qualify as a sponsored employee under PNP, the position being filled must generally conform to a National Occupation Classification skill level of O, A, B; or alternatively, must meet the terms of a particular pilot project designed for a specific critical skill shortage identified by the province. Pilot programs within the provinces are designed for low skilled workers and are limited in scope. Most of the provinces have variations of pilot projects for low skilled occupations.
In many instances persons who are qualified for admission to Canada under a PNP and may also qualify for admission under a temporary work permit in the interim, allowing for early entry to Canada for the applicant and their accompanying dependants.
Under all of the PNP’s, it is important to first assess the advantages of either commencing the process with a work permit, or proceeding straight away under PNP. Work permits issued under the low skilled occupations are limited to 24 months duration and cannot be extended under current rules. Work permits issued for skilled workers can be extended. Discussions are ongoing between the provinces and the Federal government to allow for extensions of work permits issued under the low skilled occupations.
Clearly, this is an area where ongoing involvement, experience and familiarity with each of the programs, the specific industries and the relevant issues, is a major advantage to a prospective applicant. Accordingly, interested applicants may wish to contact Attorney Colin Singer at email@example.com for further information.
Additionally, please refer to the following (http://www.immigration.ca/permres-pnp-overview.asp) an overview of policies and procedures governing the acquisition of Canadian permanent residence under the more popular provincial nominee programs (PNP’s) in Canada.
Immigrating to Quebec
The Quebec government admits immigrants under a unique two-step points based system (pre-selection and selection) which favours applicants who have a strong knowledge of the French language, a sought after profession and who will adapt well to Quebec society. A successful applicant is issued a Quebec Selection Certificate. Once issued, the Federal government assumes sole responsibility for medical and security screening. In practical terms however, Quebec can only be considered a suitable destination for French speaking applicants from countries such as Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, West African French speaking countries, Haiti, Belgium and France with applicants from less than advanced French speaking abilities being unlikely unable to qualify under the Quebec program.
Temporary foreign worker program
Applications for permanent residence under Canada’s economic class including the skilled worker program entail lengthy processing delays that often exceed the expectations and objectives of applicants. Delays to visa issuance at Canadian visa offices abroad in the leading source countries for immigrants to Canada including China, India, Pakistan and the Philippines routinely surpass five years in processing time.
But with the demand for labour far exceeding the available supply in certain trades’ and other occupations in many regions of Canada, some immigrants to Canada may be readily employable even before the issuance of their permanent residence visas.
Alternative solutions promoting early entry may be available by way of temporary admissions to Canada though the Temporary Foreign Worker program (TFW).
As a general rule, the hiring of a temporary foreign worker requires the issuance of a positive Labour Market Opinion from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) which confirms that the job offer is genuine and that the hiring of a foreigner is likely to have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada.
For many employers who have hired a foreign worker, they are no doubt familiar with the labour market opinion process which can often be characterized as time consuming and bureaucratic as government authorities go to varying lengths to require employers to demonstrate substantive efforts to prove that no qualified Canadians are available, along with other formalities.
As outlined above, nomination under one of the Provincial Nominee Programs may also qualify for admission under a temporary work permit in the interim, allowing for early entry to Canada for the applicant and their accompanying dependants. Familiarity with this area of the law is a strong asset and even hiring managers often rely on the insight of competent immigration practitioners as the rules and procedures are frequently changing.
Certain sectors of the labour market, such as the Alberta oil sands and the construction sector in British Columbia are heavily reliant on this program as employers here have found it very difficult to fill labour market gaps while trying to remain competitive in Canada’s vibrant economy.
Typically the process to hire a temporary foreign worker is as follows:
- The foreign worker must receive a job offer and enter into an approved employment contract with a “qualified” employer in Canada.
- The foreign worker must prove that they meet the requirements for the position (education, licensing (where required) and requisite experience).
- The foreign worker must obtain a labour market opinion confirmation from Human Resources Development Canada (HRSDC). Processing delays vary greatly from a few days to six+ months depending on the type of occupation and location of the employer.
- The foreign worker must obtain a work visa. Processing delays vary greatly depending on the nationality of the applicant.
The accompanying dependent spouse of a successful applicant may also qualify for a work visa. Accompanying dependent children can attend public schools.
Low skilled pilot project worker program:
This temporary admission program follows a similar process to that of the Temporary Foreign Worker program but is considerably different in scope. The Low Skilled Pilot Project Worker Program was initially implemented to help alleviate a labour shortage in the Greater Toronto Area construction industry. It has since been expanded to other industries across Canada including the meat processing and hotel sectors in Alberta and other sectors elsewhere. Typically, the program caters to companies that require workers to fill positions that require minimal education and training and where the local labour market has been “certified” that there is an ongoing shortage of workers in a designated occupation. Work visas are issued on the basis of a contract of employment between a qualified employer and employee for a maximum period of 24 months and cannot be re-issued until the foreign worker has returned home for a period of at least four months.
The program has limited application because successful candidates will generally unlikely qualify for permanent admission to Canada due in large part to their lack of higher education. To qualify for work visa a successful candidate must demonstrate a likelihood that they will return to their home country before the expiry of their visa. The overwhelming majority of applicants to Canada are from “visa required” countries and cannot meet the arbitrary criteria used by visa officers to “gauge” this likelihood. Consequently, employers and prospective workers applying under this program who spend significant time and effort to apply are often left disillusioned by the process which often fails to bring the foreign worker to Canada.
Typically the process to hire a temporary foreign worker under the low skilled pilot project is as follows:
- The foreign worker must receive a job offer and enter into an approved employment contract with a “qualified” employer in Canada. Under the contract of employment the employer must provide for the return air fare of the foreign worker and in some instances, must also provide housing to the foreign worker.
- The foreign worker must obtain a labour market opinion confirmation from Human Resources Development Canada (HRSDC). Processing delays vary greatly and routinely surpass six+ months depending on the type of occupation and location of the employer.
- The foreign worker must obtain a work visa. Processing delays are generally very lengthy owing to the requirement to undergo a medical examination and follow other formalities.
The dependents of a successful applicant will not qualify for temporary admission to Canada.
Once admitted to Canada applicants can consider applying for permanent residence under an applicable Provincial Nominee Program. It is widely accepted however that low skilled workers are not considered as high priority for permanent admission by provincial immigration policy makers.
Interested readers with questions on the foregoing may contact Attorney Colin R. Singer by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Since August 23, 2010, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is no longer accepting new applications in the Family Stream and the U.S. Visa Holder category. The Government of Alberta has indicated that this change is temporary until further notice.
These programs were introduced in 2008 to help Alberta build a strong workforce of skilled immigrants.
The U.S Visa Holder category was a unique program destined to attract candidates legally working in the United States on a temporary skilled worker visa. Through this process, AINP was tapping into the temporary skilled worker labour force of the Unites States to strengthen Alberta’s permanent labour force.
The Family Stream category allowed family members of Alberta residents to immigrate to Canada through a program which was much broader than the federal Family Class sponsorship.
The Minister of Employment and Immigration, Thomas Lukaszuk said that their “focus needs to be on jobs for Albertans and Canadians first.” The federal government limits the number of people Alberta can nominate for permanent residence. In 2010 Alberta is allowed to nominate 5,000 people. With limited numbers, Alberta’s focus will be on nominating people who currently work in permanent jobs and those who have job offers in occupations that are in demand in Alberta.
However, Alberta will continue accepting immigration applications in the following areas: Skilled Workers, Semi-skilled Workers (in certain occupations), International Students, Compulsory Trades, Engineering Occupations, and Self-employed Farmers.