Immigration Corner: How do I get back to Canada?
Dear Ms Powell,
I worked in Canada last year on a contract as a skilled labourer. I was hoping that my employer would rehire me this year and I could get a work permit. He however said he can't do so this year as the Canadian government is not allowing him to hire any more temporary foreign workers. He said if I come back he would be happy to hire me, but he is having a hard time and can't help me to get the work permit this year. How can I get to go back?
I sympathise with you and your former employer, as many temporary foreign workers (TFW) and employers alike are up in arms about the recent changes under the Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Programme (TFWP). Most employers are limited to only 20% of their workers being temporary foreign workers especially in the food and accommodation sectors. That is because the government is focusing on reducing unemployment rate and ensuring that persons who are already in Canada can fill these positions.
Apply for Permanent Residence
All is not lost as you now have the opportunity to not just apply for a work permit, but to apply for permanent residence, provided that you qualify. You may apply on your own or with the support of your employer.
If you apply for a work permit, you will need a valid job offer from an authorized Canadian employer. This would be a temporary option, as the work permit will grant you a limited time to work in Canada and you would not have the full benefits of a permanent resident or citizen.
You can apply on your own through the Express Entry to become a permanent resident of Canada, provide that you can get cross the threshold for selection.
The express entry system which was introduced in January 2015, is opened to everyone who has a strong combination of skill, education, training, work experience and language skills. There is no restriction on who can apply under the express entry system. As long as you qualify as under one or more categories of the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) or Federal Skilled Trade (FST) or Canadian Experienced Class (CEC) and under some of the Provincial Nominee Programmes (PNP), you may apply.
The Express Entry system is based on the number of points or scores you can get. There is no cap on the number of applications that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will accept. Person like yourself who have Canadian work experience will get additional points for having worked in Canada. If your former employer has a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), he can assist you by providing you a job offer and the LMIA number. This would strongly improve your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system.
Canadian employers are being encouraged to seek workers from the Express Entry pool who are also entered into the job bank. Therefore, once you are in the pool, an employer will have access to information about your training and skills and can offer you a job. This means that you do not have to rely solely on your former employer to offer you a job.
Many provinces have Provincial Nominee Programmes opened to TFW. You may qualify if you have a valid trade certificate in a compulsory or optional trade category.
Find out if you qualify
You did not provide enough information about yourself and so I cannot tell you what your Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) would be and what would be your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
You may however, receive a free online assessment of whether or not you qualify by submitting information about yourself such as age, occupation, level of education, work experience, language proficiency and marital status on my website www.deidrepowell.com . Once you provide details about yourself and family, I will be able to advise you on whether or not you are a strong candidate and likely to receive and invitation to apply under the Express Entry system.
The key to having a successful application is to get a high score under the language examinations and having your educational credentials assessed by one of the institutions authorized to provide the educational credential assessment (ECA) report.
The good news is that recently, CIC released the first batch of invitation to apply for permanent residence to persons without job offers or provincial nomination. Persons interested in becoming permanent residents of Canada can feel optimistic, as the trend is that more persons are being selected with lower CRS scores and without a job offer.
So if you are serious about making Canada your new home, I strongly recommend that you consult privately with a CIC authorised, immigration lawyer who can discuss the details of your case and provide you with options based on your skills, education and family situation.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public, who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, commercial, personal injury, family and administration of estates. She is on the roster of Mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org subjectline: immigration. Tel: 613.695.8777/ 876.922.8899 Facebook: jamaicanlawyer.