Presentation on Labour and Immigration

At the request of instructor Bill Mathieson in the School of Business, Alastair gave a presentation at BCIT in Vancouver on the intersection between labour laws and immigration, including LMIA applications and MPNP-BIS. In particular, the presentation focused on Charter rights and laws in Canada that intersect these different areas of law. Labour laws in Canada are complex and these laws have an impact on workers, businesses, employers and individuals. Each one of these categories may be subject to different laws and regulations.

labour

In particular, employers in Canada need to be aware of compliance issues and adhering to Charter rights. This was a presentation that was done spontaneously at the request of Bill and it was a pleasure to meet these students. The BCIT students were actively engaged with the topic and they are clearly well informed with some of the legal issues that they may face when they become HR Managers or other professionals in Human Resources.

If you or your company is seeking legal advice on the intersection between labour laws and immigration laws, please contact Clarke Immigration Law directly for assistance. 

Bill Mathieson is a senior lecturer with deep roots in Vancouver. He is one of Canada’s top labour negotiators and he has provided instruction to students at BCIT as well as SFU – School of Business.

Warning Chinese Nationals

Over the past 6 months, we have seen an increase in the numbers of Chinese citizens who have been victims of fraud and abuse. These are individuals who have submitted applications to the Canadian Embassy in Beijing and/or Hong Kong. In particular, there are a number of immigration consultants and shady firms that are taking advantage of Chinese citizens. We have seen many individuals and families pay fees +$10,000.00 and their applications have been mishandled.

NOTE: If you are aware of any individuals or families that are using Chinese consultants and/or firms and they are not receiving sounds legal advice, please contact our office immediately.

Currently, there are numerous ongoing investigations into large Chinese immigration firms, including criminal convictions. These unscrupulous individuals are taking advantage of the ignorance of their clients. They make false promises and, ultimately, we believe that many people are suffering.

As reported by CBC News, more than 1,200 clients have been negatively affected by NEW CAN CONSULTANTS and WELLONG INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT CO. This has led to an RCMP investigation in what has become the biggest immigration fraud in Canadian history.

According to CBC NEWS:

Wang pleaded guilty to offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in July 2015 after the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) raided his offices in Richmond and Vancouver and found fraudulent Chinese entry and exit passport stamps and dozens of passports.

He was caught holding a client’s passport with cut-and-paste alterations when he was arrested in October 2014, according to the civil action.

Wang was sentenced to almost seven years in prison but was released on parole after serving less than two years of his sentence.

In addition, the report includes details on how others may be affected:

Wang had 14 employees but some of them were part of a complex scheme that pretended clients were employees to meet immigration residency requirements in Canada while they lived in China.

“Mr. Wang did not report any of the income he earned from his fraudulent immigration consulting services to the Canada Revenue Agency.”

Based on our review of the situation and our meetings with Chinese clients in Winnipeg, we strongly urge all individuals to carefully choose their representatives.

Federal Court Success re MPNP and Misrepresentation

Congratulations to our client Ievgen Agapi, a truck driver from Ukraine, and all the supporting people who assisted with this case. Justice Ahmed of the Federal Court of Canada agreed with our arguments that the Visa Officer in Kiev failed to consider whether the alleged misrepresentation was honestly and reasonably made. Click here to read the full decision.

This is a significant decision in the jurisprudence of misrepresentation, as well as the processing of MPNP applications.

In the words of Justice Ahmed:

14]  The Applicant points out that section 40 of the IRPA does not apply to misrepresentations made honestly by an applicant who reasonably believes they did not withhold material information (Medel v Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration)[1990] 2 FC 345Baro v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)2007 FC 1299 (CanLII) at para 15, and Goudarzi v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)2012 FC 425 (CanLII) at para 33). The Applicant submits that his response to the procedural fairness letter provided evidence that this exception applies to his alleged misrepresentation; he explained that the knowledge of the potential fraud was beyond his control and in his view he reasonably and honestly believed that he was not misrepresenting any material facts. Despite his response to the procedural fairness letter, the Applicant submits the Manager failed to consider whether any alleged misrepresentation was honestly and reasonably made.

[15]  The Respondent submits that the Applicant is merely “blaming” a third party for his misrepresentation and argues that efforts to get the original results were not before the decision-maker. The Respondent acknowledges that there is a “narrow exception” for innocent misrepresentation, but reiterates that it only applies in exceptional and narrow circumstance. The Respondent cites a line of jurisprudence for the proposition that misrepresentation made by a non-party to an application, without the applicant’s knowledge, does not save an application from an inadmissibility finding under section 40 of the IRPA. The Respondent also takes the position that the Applicant’s response to the procedural fairness letter did not meet the high standard to warrant such an exception.

[16]  I agree with the Applicant that the Manager failed to consider whether the Applicant honestly and reasonably believed he was not withholding material information.

CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS POSITIVE DECISION!

CTV News: New Surge to Manitoba

Clarke Immigration Law was featured on CTV News yesterday in a story on the rescinding of Temporary Protected Status for citizens of El Salvador who are living in the United States. In our practice, we have assisted clients from many countries who have found their path to Manitoba. Many of these stories are horrendous. We are greatly concerned that the situation in the United States may force the +200,000 people from El Salvador to come north to Canada and for safety and security. Currently, the refugee determination system in Canada is suffering from long timeframes and inadequate resources for the refugee claimants in the system.

Here is an excerpt from Josh Crabb’s article on CTV News:

Salvadorans living with temporary protected status in the U.S. have until Sep., 2019 to leave the country or face

Temporary Protected Statusdeportation.

Winnipeg-based immigration lawyer Alastair Clarke said it’s reasonable to think some Salvadorans may look north when their temporary protection status in the U.S. ends.

“It’s reasonable to think many will come to Canada,” said Clarke. “We should expect a surge.”

The federal immigration minister said the department is monitoring the situation but downplayed concerns Tuesday in Ottawa that the move would result in an influx of asylum seekers coming to Canada.

“El Salvadorans have until September 2019 to either leave the United States or find a new way to obtain legal residency or regularize their status,” Ahmed Hussen told reporters in Ottawa. “It’s important to note until 2019 in September members of this community have the opportunity to regularize their status. They still have TPS (temporary protected status) until then.”

To watch the clip that was featured on CTV News, click on this link.

Clarke Immigration Law is currently assisting clients from various countries in Central and South America. Note that Alastair is fluent in Spanish and he can assist Spanish-speaking clients in their mother tongue. Each refugee claim is based on a case-by-case determination.

Temporary Protected Status

In the United States, more than 300,000 individuals from various countries have been protected by Temporary Protected Status. This status does not give them a “Green Card” or permanent status but it has meant that they can work and live in the United States without fear of being deported by ICE Officers.

The Trump administration has been repealing or withdrawing support from these communities. Haitians and Salvadoreans are not the only groups that will be affected. US Immigration attorneys Dawn M. Lurie and Alexander Madrak have outlined some of the legal consequences to TPS in this article.

Please contact our office for more information.

EB5 Vegas Presentation

Eb5

Speaker List

Alastair Clarke will be presenting at the EB5 Conference in Las Vegas, USA on January 26th 2018. He was invited to the conference based on his expertise with Canadian immigration applications for business and investors. The focus of his presentation will the “renewed” MPNP Business Investor Stream (BIS).

As noted, the MPNP program for business leaders is currently on hold. The province is processing the ~200 applications that were submitted before Nov 2017 and those will be processed according to the previous procedures.

New procedures will come into effect during the first quarter of 2018. Here are some details:

The renewed Business Investor Stream (BIS) will replace the current PNP-B business immigration category. BIS allows Manitoba to recruit and nominate qualified business investors and entrepreneurs from around the world who have the intent and ability to start or purchase businesses in Manitoba within the first 24 months of arrival in Canada on a temporary work permit. Applicants will no longer be required to submit a deposit of $100,000 to the Manitoba government.

We are advising clients to wait until the renewed BIS stream is launched before submitting an Expression of Interest. While some applicants may submit under the current system, those applicants will not receive an Invitation To Apply.

To prepare for this conference, Clarke Immigration Law has been coordinating the information with the Government of Manitoba, Department of Education and Training (Immigration and Economic Opportunities Division) to ensure the information is 100% correct and up to date. We have received statistics directly from the department which we will be sharing at the conference. Our goal is to provide our clients with the best information so they can make informed decisions for their future and the future of their families.

For more details, Alastair will be in Las Vegas for the EB5 conference ready to answer all your questions and address any concerns.

Changes to MPNP and Renewal

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program MPNP announced major changes to the program. The Conservative government has been working in consultation with immigration representatives from the province and they have unveiled significant developments to the program. Many of these changes will impact individuals and families who have plans to work and live in Manitoba. More information regarding the changes for the MPNP – Skilled Worker program will be announced in January 2018. The MPNP Renewal is part of the election promise when the Progressive Conservative party won the election in April 2016.

MPNP

MPNP Renewal

Staff at our office have spent much of the week answering questions about these changes. If you or your family is impacted please contact our office directly.

Also, please note that we will be meeting with Managers at the MPNP Office on 6 DEC 2017 to discuss how the changes will be impacting our clients.

The details of the MPNP Renewal are largely expected based on discussions that we have had with the Ministry. These changes, in addition to the campaign announcement of the $500.00 CAD application fee, are in line with the provincial goals to boost employment and economic benefit.

For full details of the changes to the MPNP Skilled Worker stream, click here.

For full details of the changes to the MPNP Business stream (now it is the “Business Investor Stream”), click here.

One major change includes the elimination of the $100,000.00 deposit.

The renewed Business Investor Stream (BIS) will replace the current PNP-B business immigration category. BIS allows Manitoba to recruit and nominate qualified business investors and entrepreneurs from around the world who have the intent and ability to start or purchase businesses in Manitoba within the first 24 months of arrival in Canada on a temporary work permit. Applicants will no longer be required to submit a deposit of $100,000 to the Manitoba government.

For questions and further details, please book a 1 hour consultation and we can do an assessment of the status of your application to make sure that your immigration goals are being met.

UPDATE: For more information, please download or listen online to the Canadian Immigration Podcast from 22 DEC 2018. Alastair was interviewed by Albertan immigration lawyer Mark Holthe on the changes to the MPNP Program.

MPNP Labour Market Update

The province of Manitoba has reviewed the gaps in the local economy and provided a labour market update. As previously notes, there are professions that are not being considered for Nomination Certificates. The province was granted 5,500 certificates from the federal government in 2017 and those certificates are being currently distributed based on the MPNP applications.

One of the questions that we regularly get from our clients is about “average processing times”. Please note, however, that MPNP does not operate on a first-in, first-out system. Therefore, unlike other immigration applications to Canada, we cannot predict the processing time for MPNP applications. We have seen applications selected after being in the system for a few days (less than 1 week) but we have also seen weak applications stay in the system for more than 12 months. If you have questions regarding your application, please contact us directly.

Currently, the MPNP program is seeking individuals from these professions:

  • Long Haul Transport Drivers (HGV Drivers)
  • Heavy Equipment Service Technicians
  • Furniture Sample Maker
  • Upholsterer

The National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes must match and individuals who are interested in applying under the above categories must demonstrate experience and/or education in the labour market to qualify.

Applicants in UK may benefit from meeting directly with MPNP staff. They will be in London, England from November 6 to 10, 2017. If you would like an appointment with MPNP staff, please contact our office and we can make arrangements.

For more information regarding labour market update and the selected professions please review:

Heavy Equipment Service Technician Automotive service technicians diagnose, repair and service mechanical, electrical and electronic systems and components of cars, buses, and light and commercial transport trucks. Primary duties of are adjust, repair or replace parts and components of commercial transport trucks, trailers and agricultural equipment. Review work orders and discuss work with supervisor,  Inspect motor in operation, road test motor vehicle, and test automotive systems and components using computerized diagnostic and other testing devices to diagnose and isolate faults.  Adjust, repair or replace parts and components of automotive systems including fuel system, brakes, steering and suspension, engine and drive train, emission control and exhaust, cooling and climate control, and electrical and electronic systems using hand tools and other specialized automotive repair equipment.  Test and adjust repaired systems to manufacturer’s performance specifications.  Perform scheduled maintenance service, such as oil changes, lubrications and tune ups.  Advise customers on work performed, general vehicle condition and future repair requirements.

Furniture Sample Maker  A Furniture Sample Maker performs some or all of the following duties which include production of first build upholstered samples including all upholstery patterns and pattern labeling. Ensure new product can be manufactured effectively and efficiently. Generation of support documentation which includes Upholstery specs and Bill of Material, Prototype sewing book, Photos if required.  They focus on quality of product and maintenance of upholstery standards while working with team members to ensure target costs are met in the build process.   Is responsible to generate innovative ideas to reduce costs and improve quality. Interaction with frame technicians to ensure consistency and correct design to meet upholstery requirements and standards as well as with sewers to ensure consistent sewing standards are met.  Re-engineering of existing product for the implementation of changes to improve manufacturing efficiencies or cost reductions.  Assist manufacturing, when requested to do by management.  Assist in the development of a sample makers. Help improve pattern making standards when necessary.  Identify process improvements and provide suggestions on how to decrease development times and how to improve the quality of our designs and data.

Upholsterer An Upholsterer performs some or all of the following duties which include Discuss upholstery fabric, colour, and style with customers and provide cost estimate for upholstering furniture or other items, they Lay out, measure and cut upholstery materials according to sketches or design specifications. Replace worn-out webbing, springs and other furniture parts using hand and power tools, operate sewing machines or sew upholstery materials by hand to seam cushions and join sections of covering materials.  Install padding and underlays and fasten covering materials to furniture frames. Tack, glue or sew ornamental trim, braids or buttons on upholstered items, repair furniture frames and refinish wood surfaces, make upholstery patterns from sketches, customer descriptions or blueprints and install, fabricate, maintain and repair interior components of aircraft, such as seats, coverings, drapes, cargo nets, flooring, closets, bins and panels.

MPNP’s Labour Market update is based on conversations with Manitoba businesses to ensure that the economy has workers to meet the needs of the local business. We work with those businesses to secure LMIAs so that they can hire the best workers and ensure that businesses have the necessary skills and talent for success.