Canada Holds 15th Express Entry Draw

The fifteenth draw for Canadian permanent residence under the Express Entry selection system has been performed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on August 21, 2015.

A total of 1,523 invitations to apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence were issued to candidates with 456 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. Interestingly, this draw saw points drop significantly from the previous draw which had a 471 cut-off for CRA points.

This is the 6th draw in a row where the number of ITA’s issued exceeded 1400. This appears to signify an intention on the part of CIC to ramp-up overall ITA numbers in an attempt to meet their 2015 quota for total invitations extended.

What is Express Entry?

The government merged the existing federal immigration programs into a new, “Express Entry” program this January. Eligible candidates may submit a profile into the Express Entry pool, where they are ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System. CIC selects the top-ranked candidates on a priority basis when it performs one of its frequent draws from the pool. Candidates who are issued an invitation to apply for permanent residence then have 60 days to submit a complete an online application. CIC has committed to process such applications within 6 months of receipt. We have seen processing is less than 6 months in recent cases.

It is very important to note that under R-10 of the regulations, an online application which is incomplete, incorrect or not supported by the correct document or report will be categorically rejected with no opportunity to remedy the situation beforehand. It is critical for those considering Express Entry to consider retaining experienced and licensed immigration counsel to handle their case.

Tougher Rules Coming For Canadian Companies Hiring Foreign Workers

New consequences for employers that break the rules

On July 6, 2015, the Canadian Government announced stronger consequences for employers who violate conditions of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program (IMP).

These regulatory changes are designed to promote compliance and deter employers from misusing the programs and mistreating foreign workers. The new consequences provide proportionate responses to non-compliance by replacing the single two-year ban with a range of ban periods (one, two, five, ten years as well as permanent bans where applicable), warnings, and new financial penalties ($500 to $100,000 per violation). Employers found to have committed a violation may face a warning, an administrative monetary penalty and a ban.

These changes come into force on December 1, 2015, and will apply to any violations that occur on or after that date. For unjustified non-compliance with program conditions that occurs prior to December 1, 2015, the current regulatory framework which provides for a two-year ban will continue to apply.

Employers undergoing an inspection under the new rules should be aware of the following changes:

  • New consequences for violations that include:
    • warnings;
    • financial penalties ranging from $500 to $100,000 per violation, up to a maximum $1 million over one year, per employer;
    • a ban of one, two, five or ten years, or permanent bans for the most serious violations; and,
    • publication of the employer’s name on a public list with details of the violation(s) and sanction(s).
  • A new method of assessing consequences of non-compliance with conditions, based on a points system that considers:
    • the type of violation;
    • an employer’s compliance history;
    • the severity of non-compliance; and,
    • the size of the employer’s business (for financial penalties only).
  • A new opportunity for employers to voluntarily disclose non-compliance and potentially receive a reduced consequence, where applicable.
  • A new formal opportunity for employers to respond to a Notice of Preliminary Finding and have their case reviewed by a different officer before a final determination is made.

The Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement as well as the regulatory amendments can be read in full on the Canada Gazette web site.

 

These changes are further evidence of this government’s intent to crack down on immigration abuse of all forms.  Tougher criminal and civil sanctions for non-compliant employers should make it clear that retaining licensed, experienced immigration counsel to handle your company’s immigration cases is more important than ever before !

Canadian Express Entry System – Latest Draw Summaries

The tenth and eleventh Express Entry draws for Canadian permanent residence eligibility took place over the past month. Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points required for eligibility have decreased towards the mid-400’s which is welcome news for applicants in the pool who had been worried about previous draw CRS scores in the 700’s.

Interestingly, the eleventh and latest draw from the pool was the third in a row in which the number of Invitations to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence has increased. A greater number of candidates were invited to apply in June than in any month since March of this year, according to reports from the government.

*June 12th draw:   A total of 1,501 ITA’s were issued to candidates with 482 or more CRS points.

*June 26th draw:  A total of 1,575 invitations to apply were issued to candidate with 469 or more CRS points.

News of the most recent Express Entry draws both in terms of overall ITA’s issued and the decrease in CRS points was welcomed by candidates who have been awarded a considerable number of CRS points for their core human capital factors.  Such factors include education, age, work experience and language proficiency, as well as those who have secured a qualifying job offer or an enhanced provincial nomination approval.

Other recent encouraging news relates to the provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan, as well as the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick which have all introduced PNP Express Entry streams in recent weeks. These enhanced Provincial Nominee Program immigration streams offer additional permanent residence opportunities.

  • You can review more news and statistical summaries here:  http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/express-entry/rounds.asp

 

R10 – The perils of Express Entry Filing

The Canadian government is promoting the new “Express Entry” (EE) permanent residence filing to employers and individuals alike. The program is being touted as “user friendly”, “easy”, and “rapid” by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. What CIC is not telling people, however, is that an applicant that makes but even one mistake in the uploading of his/her forms or documents will have their case rejected under Regulation 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (R10).

R10 imposes absolute strict liability on the applicant. It is perhaps the harshest rule I have ever seen in 21 years of practice. Imagine the excitement of an EE applicant who has created a profile and then been accepted by CIC and invited to apply for PR. The opportunity to settle in Canada permanently is a life-changing event for most. This excitement can quickly turn into horror, however, if the applicant makes but one mistake in their case.

For example, an applicant can be refused under R10 if they upload a police certificate incorrectly or fail to account for each and every month of their recent work history properly. There is no chance to remedy the mistake. And if the applicant was invited to apply with a relatively low overall points score, they may forever lose the opportunity to apply again as points scores vary from round to round of invitation draws.

The moral of the story here, as always in immigration law, is to be careful. Don’t assume that your invitation to apply is reason to celebrate an EE victory !

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