Operational Bulletin 146-B – July 17, 2013
- Immigration authorities have granted an extension to this pilot project for spouses and common-law partners of long-haul truck drivers working in the Alberta Pilot Project. This extension is in effect until July 31, 2014.
- The authorities also expect that henceforth, all immigration officers would need to code all the relevant work permits with the Special Program Code “LTD” as detailed subsequently in this Operational Bulletin (OB)
- By coding the relevant work permits with the Special Program Code of “LTD”, officers would be able to support an effective evaluation of the pilot – in accordance with the stipulated guidelines
- Coding the relevant work permits with the Special Program Code of “LTD” would also help officers when they need to review these applications – also in accordance with the stipulated guidelines
The parties concerned with the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration agreed to certain terms. These terms found mention in the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) annex to the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration. The parties signed this agreement on April 01, 2009.
According to Section 7.2:
“7.2 The Canada-Alberta Working Group on TFWs, defined in section 9.2, will initiate the following pilot projects within 12 months of signing this Annex: …
“b) Spouses [and common-law partners] of long-haul truck drivers operating out of Alberta being eligible to receive open work permits.”
In addition, section 7.3 of the Annex mentions that officers would need to provide an exemption to the spouses and common-law partners described in the above-mentioned excerpt. This waiver would ensure that spouses and common-law partners do not need to obtain a Labour Market Opinion (LMO).
Currently, the authorities concerned have extended this pilot program until July 31, 2014. Moreover, officers would need to code all relevant work permits with the Special Program Code “LTD” as indicated below. This code would help the authorities by:
- Supporting an effective evaluation of the pilot and,
- Assisting the officers at the time officers review these applications
Readers could view the entire text of the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration on the CIC website.
The New Pilot Program Parameters
The authorities concerned have extended this pilot from July 31, 2013 to July 31, 2014 – inclusively. These dates do not refer to the duration of the work permits. They only refer to the period during which officers would need to receive the qualifying work permit applications.
The terms of the pilot would only apply to qualifying foreign nationals as described subsequently. Moreover, the terms would only be applicable to qualifying foreign nationals destined to work in the province of Alberta. Officers would need to code all the relevant work permits as per the instructions given subsequently. This would help support an effective evaluation of the pilot program.
The Pilot Procedures
Applicants for this pilot program would need to refer to the Foreign Worker Manual (FW 1). This manual contains all the:
- General eligibility criteria
- Conditions specified by the work permit and,
- The processing procedures
All the above-mentioned details would continue to apply in conjunction with the procedures listed below.
- To become eligible for this pilot program, spouses and common-law partners of the principal applicants would need to meet all the following criteria
- They would need to:
- Be the spouses or common-law partners of the principal applicants, where the principal applicants:
- Must hold a work permit that authorises the principal applicants to work in Alberta as a truck driver (according to NOC 7411)
- Must possess a letter of offer that confirms their employment as long-haul truck drivers
Open Work Permit Issuance
- Officers could review the details for issuing open work permits from Section 10 of FW 1
- Officers could issue a non job-specific open or open / restricted work permit to spouses and common-law partners of a long-haul truck driver (who is the principal applicant) as described earlier, upon application by the spouses and / or common-law partners
- Officers would not need to check whether the applicant has an LMO from Service Canada accompanying the application
- In this situation, the dependent would need to apply for the work permit and pay the appropriate fees
- Officers could issue these work permits based on the medical examination requirements, if applicable.
- Officers can only issue a dependent’s work permit if they have found the principal applicant eligible for a work permit
- Spouses and common-law partners could apply for an open work permit at the same time as the principal applicant
- Alternatively, spouses and common-law partners could apply for an open work permit at:
- Overseas or,
- A port of entry
- Spouses or common-law partners could accompany the principal applicant into Canada merely as visitors before deciding to seek employment in Canada, once they have already entered Canada
- In this case, these spouses or common-law partners would need to apply to the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Vegreville for obtaining an open LMO-exempt work permit
- Officers would need to perform the necessary verification of marriage or common-law relationship checks as per existing procedures
- This would help them confirm that the relationship is bona fide
- Officers would need to enter the LMO exemption code as T13
- This is in accordance with section R204(c) of the IRPR, which states that this is “an agreement entered into by the Minister with a province or group of provinces under subsection 8(1) of the Act”
- Special Program Code
- Officers would need to use the NEW Special Program Code “LTD” (the long description is AB – Spouses Long-Haul Truck Drivers Open WP) for the spouse or common-law partner’s initial work permits and extensions for this pilot in the:
- Field Operations Support Systems (FOSS) or,
- CAIPS or,
- Drop-down menu in the CPC system under “Special Programs” (in situations requiring in-land processing)
- The use of this code would help the immigration and border services officers when they review these applications
- The use of this code would also help the authorities in areas like:
- Statistical research
- Evaluation and,
- Policy development purposes
- Officers would need to check that the spouse or common-law partner’s work permit specifies “ALBERTA NES” (Code 7999) as the Destination Code
- In this case, the fee would be $150
- In some situations, the applications could originate at a visa office
- In these circumstances, officers would need to enter any details not downloaded from CAIPS into FOSS, before they generate the work permit
- These details could include:
- Any coding
- Any conditions or,
- Any remarks
- Officers would also need to check that the Work Permit mentions the visible remark of “Pursuant to 7.2(b) / 7.3 of Canada/Alberta Annex B: Temporary Foreign Workers”
Duration and Extensions
- The duration of the dependent’s work permit must not exceed the expiry date of the principal applicant’s work permit
- Officers have the authority to extend the work permit of the spouse or common-law partners, in case the immigration authorities have extended the principal applicant’s work permit
This pilot project supports the agreements specified in the Temporary Foreign Worker Annex. This Annex forms a part of the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration. The concerned authorities and parties to this agreement negotiated this agreement for a specific purpose.
The objective underlying this agreement was to provide specific mechanisms to the province of Alberta. These mechanisms would enable Alberta to:
- Facilitate the entry of temporary foreign workers into the province and,
- Help the province of Alberta meet its:
- Labour market objectives and,
- Economic priorities
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)