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Immigration is a key driving force that allows Canada to supplement its shrinking labor market, supplement an aging population and provide safe haven for those in need. It’s the foundation for Canada’s tradition of shielding those fleeing persecution and welcoming others with talents and skills that enhance life here.
But immigrating successfully requires a clear understanding of the procedures and documents required for specific immigration programs. Knowing where you fit in and what you need to prepare are important if you are going to succeed.
Which Immigration Category Applies Best to You?
Different immigration categories have varying individual requirements and each classification is distinct. Are you a student, a business professional, a skilled or semi-skilled worker, a caregiver or someone who is self-employed? Your status will determine the category under which you apply and whether your application is accepted. Most importantly, thorough preparation is essential to ensure a smooth transition.
Let’s examine some of the application options so you can decide which immigration program is best for you.
Family Sponsorship: If you’re a Canadian citizen, are registered under the Canadian Indian Act, or a permanent resident, you’re eligible to sponsor relatives or adopted children. Required documents may vary, depending upon the country where the relative to be sponsored resides. Spouses, partners, children; parents or grandparents; and adopted children and other relatives may be eligible. Fees range from $150 for a child to $1,050 for a spouse.
Caregivers: The Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot are two ways you can apply for permanent residence if you meet eligibility requirements and have a job offer. These programs enable applicants to work in Canada temporarily, are occupation-specific and do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Fees range from $1,050 per application and $150 per child.
Express Entry (Canadian Experience Class): If you want to live permanently in Canada and apply for a skilled job, you may be eligible to apply under Express Entry, which offers three immigration options. To find out if you are eligible, you will have to answer questions about nationality, age, language ability, family members, education, work experience and any details on a job offer. Required documents may include a passport, language test results, a written job offer or a provincial nomination. The Federal Skilled Trades Program oversees the issuance of Skilled Trade Certificates.
Fees range from $1,325 per application, $825 to add a spouse and $225 per child.
Provincial Nominees: This program is for workers with the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory. A medical exam and police check are required for all applicants. The application process may be paper-based or online, depending on the province. Fees range from $1,325 per application, $825 to add a spouse and $225 per child.
Atlantic Immigration Pilot: Atlantic Canada includes the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Employers in Atlantic Canada hire foreign skilled workers who want to immigrate to Atlantic Canada and international graduates who want to stay in Atlantic Canada after they graduate through this program. A language test is required, as well as an Educational Credential Assessment. Fees range from $1,325 per application, $825 to add a spouse and $225 per child.
Start-Up Visa: This program targets innovative entrepreneurs who can create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale. A language test is required and to apply, your business must be supported by any of these three: venture capital funds, angel investor groups or business incubators. Fees range from $2,075 and higher.
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot: This program is for skilled foreigners who want to work and live in one of the participating communities. Participants must meet IIRC requirements and have one year work experience that includes all the essential duties listed in your National Occupational Classification (NOC). Other requirements focus on language and education, and may be community-specific.
Refugees: Asylum-seekers must have a legitimate claim or they will be removed from Canada. Refugees may seek protection in Canada if they are fleeing torture, risk to their life, or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. Eligibility is determined by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).
Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers: Skilled workers who want to become permanent residents of Canada and live in Quebec should consider this program, which has a two-stage application process. First, apply to the Government of Quebec for a Quebec Selection Certificate. If chosen, then apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for permanent residence. Fees range from $1,325 and higher.
Self-Employed: This program allows the self-employed to immigrate to Canada permanently. Applicants must have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and be willing to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada. Applicants are assessed on experience, education, age, language and adaptability. A medical exam and police certificate are required. Fees range from $2,075 and higher.
Agri-Food Pilot: This program helps address the labor needs of the Canadian agri-food sector. This program provides a pathway to permanent residency. Requirements include eligible Canadian work experience in an eligible occupation, a full-time job offer, language and educational requirements and the ability to maintain temporary residency status. A temporary residency permit costs $200, a work permit $155, among other fees.
Good Preparation Equals Immigration Success
Whether you’re a caregiver hoping to work as a nanny in Quebec or a lawyer hoping to practice elder law in Ontario, the success of your Canadian immigration journey hinges on planning and preparation.
Compile your documents carefully and have a clear understanding of your program’s specific requirements so you can successfully navigate your trek across the Canadian border to a new life.
One of the best ways to be sure you are prepared is to speak to an immigration consultant about your specific situation, qualifications, and goals when you immigrate. By working with a Canadian immigration expert, you greatly increase your chances of success.
Earlier in May, the Canadian government decided to increase the median hourly wage for the 2020 Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada.
The new adjusted median hourly wage is being used in a bid to keep the Canadian economy going and to help Canadian employers find workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Currently, the Canadian government has decided to continue it’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to support Canadian industries such as agriculture, agri-food, and food processing.
What Is Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program?
The TFWP is a program that allows Canadian employers who are facing labor shortages to recruit foreign workers after the businesses have made certain that Canadian residents and permanent residents were given the opportunity first to apply for said open positions.
Typically, to ensure that Canadian residents or permanent residents are considered for these positions first, employers are given a cap on how many low-wage temporary foreign workers they can employ.
In addition to employers offering a wage that satisfies LMIA requirements, other demands include the following:
- Pay for round-trip transportation for the temporary foreign worker
- Ensure affordable housing is available
- Pay for private health insurance until workers are eligible for provincial health coverage;
- Register the temporary foreign worker with the provincial/territorial workplace safety board
- Provide an employer-employee contract
Lastly, unlike other counties, Canadian businesses must receive permission from the government before they can hire or employ temporary foreign workers.
How Does The Median Hourly Wage Increase Affect Canadian Employers Who Are Participating In The Temporary Foreign Worker Program?
The new median hourly wage requirement for temporary foreign workers determines if Canadian employers will need to apply for Labor Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) under the high wage or low wage streams.
Canadian employers who are looking to hire temporary foreign workers will need to use the provincial and territorial median hourly wage to know what TFWP requirements they must satisfy.
The Updated Median Hourly Wage For Temporary Foreign Workers In Canada
The new median hourly wage increase went into effect on May 11, 2020.
|Province/Territories||Median Hourly Wages Before May 11, 2020||Median Hourly Wages After May 11, 2020|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$22.00||$23.00|
|Prince Edward Island||$19.49||$20.00|
The Canadian Government Focuses On Helping Employers And Temporary Workers Amid The Pandemic
While the Canadian government is still working to help employers navigate the challenges of hiring temporary foreign workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, Employment Social Development Canada (ESDC) has applied the following measures to both new and existing LMIA applications.
The new ESDC measures include:
- Employers do not need to submit minor administrative changes to the LMIA that would not change the terms and condition
- Recruitment requirements for LMIAs in agriculture and agri-food sectors are being waived until October 31, 2020
- LMIAs for occupations in the agriculture and agri-food sectors are being prioritized
- The maximum duration of employment under LMIAs has increased from one to two years for employers of workers in the low-wage stream as part of a three-year pilot
- Employers applying under the Agricultural stream or Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program can submit a previously valid Housing Inspection Report
- The name change process has been expedited for employers who need to put a different person’s name on the LMIA for reasons related to COVID-19
In addition to these new measures, Canada is also offering employers resources to help make their operations safer for new and existing temporary foreign workers, including a $50 million initiative which will allow workers to complete the mandatory self-isolation period after arriving in Canada.
The Government of Canada will provide employers with up to $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker, to ensure that public health requirements are being fully met. The government funding is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the 14-day self-quarantine protocols or any other additional public health orders. This program will be available to employers as long as the Quarantine Act is in force and the self-isolating protocol is followed.
Temporary workers who are being hired from abroad will only be allowed to cross the border if they are coming for what the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) deems as an essential reason. For example, if a foreign national is coming to work in an occupation that supports the critical infrastructure of the country, they will be likely admitted on the basis that they can prove that their position requires them to be physically present in Canada to complete their job and that they have an adequate coronavirus self-isolation period plan.