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Executive Summaries Mar 9, 2023

New Business Immigration Measures


Julie Lessard, Elsa Agostinho, Carolina Correa, Cécile Polté-Witdoeck

Every month, our Business Immigration and Mobility team keeps a watchful eye on important news that may impact your foreign workers. Check out the latest business immigration updates.


Canadian Business

List of Occupations Eligible for Simplified Processing

Effective February 24, 2023, the updated list of occupations eligible for simplified processing is now available to employers. All occupations and job titles on this list are considered high wage skilled positions.

A 30-day transition period is provided for employers or their representatives, period during which applications may be examined under the former list (2022) if the intended profession does not appear on the new list.

Learn more (in French only)

Some Eligibility Criteria for Temporary Resident Visas May Change

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Trudeau said that he was reviewing the assessment of the risk of visitors overstaying their short-term visas in an effort to speed up visa issuance. Specifically, with respect to family reunification, Ottawa is reviewing the way visas are issued to family members of people already in Canada. These announcements have sparked much debate about the need to maintain a reliable, predictable and fair system for all applicants.


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New English Language Test Approved for Canadian Economic Immigration

Pearson’s Pearson Test of English (PTE) joins IELTS and CELPIP on the list of designated language testing organizations. However, IRCC only expects to start accepting scores from PTE by late 2023.

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IRCC Expands Online Application Status Tracker to Express Entry and PNP Applications

Following the first online application status tracker in may 2021 for citizenship applications, IRCC has now expanded the popular tracking tool to Sponsorship, Express Entry and PNP applications. IRCC expects to continue expanding the tool to additional types of applications in the future.

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New Express Entry-Aligned PNP Opens for International Students in New Brunswick

International students who studied or are studying in New Brunswick may now be eligible for a fast-track to permanent residence through Express Entry.

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Good News for Hong Kong Residents who Want to Work in Canada

Canada is extending the deadline to apply and expanding eligibility to Hong Kong residents who have graduated within the past ten years from a post-secondary learning institution in Canada or abroad. Previously, applicants had to have graduated within the past five years.

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New Changes to Open Work Permit Eligibility for Family Members of Foreign Workers

Starting January 30, 2023, family members of most foreign workers can apply for an open work permit. However, a few exceptions may apply.

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Temporary Visa: Justin Trudeau Wants to Make it Easier

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to make it easier for applicants to obtain a temporary visa. He wants the migration system to be less concerned about the risk of a visitor staying in the country past the expiration date of the document.”

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The “Great Resignation” is Slowly becoming the “Great Regret”

HR experts Paychex found that 80% of people who quit their jobs in search of greener pastures end up regretting it.

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Biometrics Collection Resuming for Temporary Resident Applicants in Canada

Individuals applying for temporary residence from inside of Canada on or after February 23, 2023 will be required to provide biometrics. The requirement was temporarily lifted on July 15, 2020 as part of COVID-19 pandemic measures.

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Policy Facilitating Access to Permanent Resident Status for out-of-Status Construction Workers in the Greater Toronto Area Extended

The policy, originally launched on January 02, 2020, facilitates access to permanent resident status for out-of-status construction workers in the GTA. Applicants can apply whether or not they have previously been granted authorization to work in the construction industry in the GTA. It has been extended until January 2, 2024, or once 1,000 principal applicants (including their accompanying family members) have been granted permanent residence, whichever comes first.

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New Measures Announced to support Iranian Temporary Residents

Starting March 1, 2023, IRCC will prioritize and facilitate the process for Iranians wishing to extend their temporary status in Canada, allowing them to continue studying, working or visiting family by applying for a new permit from inside Canada. In addition, an open work permit pathway will be made available for Iranians already in Canada.

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American Business

Changes in E-Visa Eligibility:

The U.S. National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of December 15, 2022, for Fiscal Year 2023 contains two new rules regarding E-visas:

  • Portugal has been added to the list of U.S treaty countries for E-1 and E-2 visa purposes. All Portuguese citizens who meet the criteria can now apply for an E-visa (Trader or Investor).
  • New requirements for applicants whose citizenship of a Treaty country has been acquired through financial investment. Until now, some citizens of non-treaty countries used the citizenship by investment process in a treaty country to immediately qualify to an E-visa. To prevent this practice, all future applicants in this situation must have been “domiciled” in the treaty country for “a continuous period of not less than three years at any point before applying” for the E visa.

These provisions took effect on December 23, 2022, when President Biden signed the act into law.

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A New Tax on Canadians who Own Property in the U.S. might Apply

“Rep Brian Higgins, a Democrat who represents the U.S. border community of Buffalo, New York, said he's prepared to advocate for a new tax on Canadians who own property in the U.S. — unless Americans are offered more exemptions from Ottawa's new underused housing tax, which targets foreign property owners in Canada.”

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2023 State of the Union: 5 Things American Business Will Be Watching For

“Between high inflation, the threat of recession, and a bitter fight over the debt limit, this will be the most closely watched State of the Union address for business in recent memory.”

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