Immigration

Immigration Updates

Documentation in support of Implied Status

As soon as a foreign academic has made their application for a new work permit please ensure that a copy of Confirmation of Receipt Letter issued by Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is provided to Faculty Relations/Human Resources.  If the application for a new work permit is made in paper format a copy of the payment receipt as well as proof that the application is delivered (e.g. Canada post tracking information) must be provided.  We have updated our website to reflect this.  Please remember that as soon as the foreign academic receives a reply from IRCC a copy of the work permit or communique must be forwarded to Faculty Relations/Human Resources right away.

Travel outside Canada while on Implied Status

In order for the University to continue paying a faculty member who has implied status they should not leave Canada.  If they do leave Canada they must inform the University and we must cease paying them until a new work permit is issued.  Individuals in this circumstance may be allowed to re-enter Canada as a temporary resident, pending a decision on the renewal of their application to work in Canada, provided they are temporary resident visa (TRV)-exempt.  However, they may NOT resume work in Canada until their application for renewal has been granted.  Further information is found on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

Visiting Foreign Academics – Clarification on which authorization is required

Administrators are likely familiar with the process to invite foreign faculty members under IRCC’s Academic Exchange exemption, but there are other categories of visitors where the process is not as straight-forward and it’s not clear what IRCC authorization is required.  Housing & Relocation Services has created a handy chart that provides a breakdown of the most common IRCC Authorizations.

IRCC Offers of Employment Submitted by Departments

As necessary Department Administrators are able to submit Offers of Employment through the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) portal for certain faculty positions These positions are Postdoctoral Fellows (NOC 4011), Clinical Fellows (NOC 3111) & Visiting Faculty (NOC 4011).. Any other appointments that require an IRCC Offer of Employment are to be submitted by Faculty Relations. When completing the online information please refer to the How to Complete Guide found on the Faculty Relations site and ensure that you are providing information that is up-to-date and consistent with the guide.

If you have questions about how to complete the form please email Faculty Relations Admin or HR Immigration Help.

Expiring Work Permits & December Break

Faculty members at UBC on a work permit and whose appointments will continue must renew their work permits in advance of the expiry date of their current permit. This is particularly important for those members on work permits that are expiring near the end of the year and who are considering leaving Canada during the December break.  Individuals who apply for an extension of their work permit prior to the expiry of the current one will normally have implied status. This means that UBC may continue to pay salary while the individual awaits their new work permit – note that implied status remains in place only if the individual remains in Canada. A faculty member leaving Canada while they do not have a valid work permit will not have implied status for work purposes and UBC will have to cease their salary and they must cease working until a positive decision on their application has been made.

Note that the current IRCC processing times for a new work permit for the same employer is 68 business days (approx. 3 months).

Should a faculty member leave Canada before they receive their new work permit they will no longer have implied status for work purposes, and UBC must cease paying them and the faculty member must cease working until a positive decision on their application has been made.  This will result in an interruption of pay until a new work permit is processed and approved and may impact their inability to return to Canada.  Administrators need to inform Faculty Relations/Human Resources immediately of such cases.

Questions regarding implied status and what happens should a foreign academic leave Canada should be directed to contact Immigration.help@ubc.ca.

We ask that administrators run HRMS Query #208 (EE_VISA_EXPIRATION_INFO) to view the work permit expiry information for their faculty members.

Further information on work permit renewal and implied status is found on the Faculty Relations immigration webpage.

LMIA requirements for tenure stream reappointments

We are pleased to let you know that Service Canada no longer requires that tenure stream positions be advertised again when subsequent LMIA submissions are required. While this eases the administrative burden, the expectation is still that tenure stream faculty members should apply for permanent resident status in their first few years at UBC.

Immigration update – IRCC Portal Guide for Offers of Employment

The How to Complete an Offer of Employment Guide created by Faculty Relations has recently been updated.  Administrators should refer to the updated version of the guide before they complete their next Offer of Employment on the Immigration, Citizenship & Refugees Canada (IRCC) Employer Portal.

In particular we would like to draw your attention to the Academic Exchange exemption for Visiting Faculty.  This exemption is applicable to individuals who hold a faculty appointment at another academic institution and the title provided to them at UBC, and reflected in the IRCC Offer of Employment should match that of their home institution. In some cases, for example that of Senior Lecturer, there is not a one to one match, but in most cases there should be.  Note that the title Visiting Scientist is not recognized by IRCC and does not normally fall under the Visiting Faculty exemption.  If you are inviting a researcher/scientist who does not hold an academic appointment elsewhere please contact Faculty Relations to discuss.

Service Canada Changes for Foreign Academic Hires

Changes to Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): Service Canada made a change last year to the LMIA application forms and employers are no longer required to provide a completed a Foreign Academic Recruitment Summary (FARS).  Previously, when a foreign academic was hired, Departments had to complete a FARS. Instead, the information has been incorporated into the LMIA application itself, which Faculty Relations/Human Resources completes.  The list of required documents that must be provided to Faculty Relations/Human Resources is found on the Faculty Relations website.  Please be sure to use the forms found on our website to ensure you are using an up-to-date version.

Changes to Advertising Requirements Under an LMIA: Service Canada made changes last year to the rules regarding advertising for foreign academics, and they now require employers to advertise on the National Job Bank.  Faculty Relations contacted Service Canada regarding this change and were informed that employers can opt not use the National Job Bank, but if they do so a rationale must be provided to Service Canada.

As a result of these changes the Foreign Academic Form will be updated.  The updated form should be loaded in the coming weeks.

Immigration Update

The Government of Canada announced the launch of the two-year Global Skills Strategy pilot project, effective June 12, 2017. The new Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been created to help employers recruit highly specialized and skilled talent more quickly. While it is not yet clear how these changes will impact UBC, there are three major components in particular that may affect our recruitment of foreign faculty members and other academics:

  • Two-week processing of work permits – Foreign academics, if newly applying from outside Canada, will be eligible for priority two-week processing of their work permits. Spouses and dependents of the worker will also be eligible for two-week processing.
  • Work permit exemption for short-term researchers – Researchers coming to perform research at the invitation of UBC will be eligible for a work permit exemption if they are coming for 120 days or less. This exemption applies once within a 12-month period. The University’s process has generally enabled such researchers to arrive under the work permit-exempt Business Visitor stream, so it is not yet clear how this new exemption might apply differently.
  • Dedicated service channel – A new dedicated service channel for certain employers and Universities has been announced. This dedicated service channel has not yet been formalized, but from all indications, Universities will be provided with a dedicated account manager who will answer questions and provide guidance on the process.

More details on these changes and how they will affect UBC faculty should emerge in the next few months as the Global Skills Strategy is implemented. Further information may be found in the IRCC News Release.

Immigration Update – Permanent Residence Applications

Effective November 19th, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated the Express Entry System. The most significant changes involve points allocations for job offers and Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs). Changes that affect UBC faculty are as follows:

  • LMIA points reduced: Now only 50 points will be given for job offers in the NOC O, A, or B occupation in which most faculty positions can be found. Prior to the change express entry candidates were provided with 600 points for an LMIA.
  • 600 Points for provincial nomination: 600 points will be given for anyone who is nominated under the BC Provincial Nomination Program (PNP).
  • LMIA Exemption: For those who have obtained a work permit under an LMIA exemption (e.g. NAFTA, Research Award Recipient) they will receive points as long as the job offer is a minimum of 1 year.
  • Study in Canada: Points will be awarded for study in Canada above the high school level. 30 CRS points are now granted for completing a 3-year post-secondary program in Canada or a Master’s, professional, or doctoral degree of more than one academic year.
  • Number of days to apply: Applicants who have received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) now have 90 days rather than 60 days to apply for permanent residence.

Candidates in the express entry system are ranked against others in the pool using a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and if an individual has enough points they are provided with an ITA.  The number of points will vary between rounds of applications. Information on the draws for each round is found on the IRCC website.

Immigration Update

Electronic Authorization & Travel Outside of Canada

As we informed readers in our last newsletter, starting March 15, 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires visa-exempt nationals who arrive or transit through Canada by air to have an Electric Travel Authorization (eTA), as well as appropriate travel documentation and identification, prior to entry. Currently, there is a leniency period that runs until September 29, 2016 where travelers can still arrive or transit through Canada without an eTA provided that they have the appropriate travel documents and identification. The required travel documents and identification can be found at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/apply-who.asp.

Individuals who have permanent resident status will need to ensure that they have proof of permanent residence when they are travelling by air.  Anyone who does not have a permanent residence card should ensure they apply for and obtain one prior to travelling.  Individuals who are not able to provide proof of permanent resident status will be required to apply for an eTA. To determine if you require an eTA, please visit www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp.

Invitation for Foreign Fellows and Visiting Faculty

A reminder to administrators that when hiring foreign nationals who are eligible to obtain a  work permit without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), that you must submit information about the University (Offer of Employment) and pay a $230 Employer Compliance Fee to IRCC through the IRCC Employer Portal. Department administrators must retain copies of the Offer of Employment details and the confirmation of payment of the Compliance Fee for record keeping purposes.

Please see www.hr.ubc.ca/faculty-relations/immigration/letters-of-invitation/ for further details regarding this process.

Advertising Guidelines

In order to comply with minimum advertising requirements as set out by Service Canada, departments are advised that all employment advertisements posted in specific publications/websites (e.g. University Affairs, National Job Bank, or WorkBC) relating to the same position must include all the job specific information (e.g. title, rank, requirements, etc.). Moreover, the advertisements cannot have conflicting details (e.g. if one ad cites 4 years of experience and another citing 5). Should a department wish to place a truncated version of an ad, they must include all the job-specific information. Superfluous information such as information about the University, the city, and the area’s attractions do not have to be included in a truncated advertisement.

For more information regarding further advertising requirements, please visit www.hr.ubc.ca/faculty-relations/recruitment/advertising-guidelines/.

Immigration Update

CIC changes to IRCC

With the change in federal government, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has changed their name to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The Faculty Relations website will be updated as soon as possible. During this time of transition, you may see CIC and IRCC used interchangeably.

IRCC Processing Times

IRCC is currently experiencing long delays of up to 5 months in processing work permits applications. Departments are advised to begin working with faculty members to apply for new work permits as early as possible. For more information on processing times, please refer to the Processing Times on IRCC’s website.

Administrators should run HRMS Query 208 every few month for a list of foreign nationals in their unit and the corresponding work permit expiry dates.

Implied Status, MSP Coverage & Leaving Canada

A faculty member who applies for a new work permit prior to expiration of their current permit will have implied status upon the expiry of their current work permit until their new permit arrives. Implied status allows the faculty member to work under the same conditions pending a determination of their application for a new work permit. This allows UBC to continue paying the individual. However, implied status has implications for travel outside of Canada and for continued coverage under the Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Should a faculty member with Implied Status leave Canada they will be without status. Administrators need to inform Faculty Relations right away so that an unpaid leave can be processed. Faculty members need to be aware that upon their return to Canada they may not be permitted to resume work until the new work permit is issued. In regards to MSP coverage will cease effective the work permit expiry date unless a copy of proof of Implied Status is provided to Faculty Relations (UBCV)/Human Resources (UBCO) and Payroll.  Note that proof of Implied Status must be provided at least one month in advance of the work permit expiry date to ensure that there is enough time for MSP to process the continuation of benefits.

Further information on Implied Status is found at Work Permit Renewal information on the Faculty Relation’s website or the IRCC’s website – Temporary Resident: Validity, Extensions, and Restoration of Status.

Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada Electronic Travel Authorization

Starting March 15, 2016, IRCC requires visa-exempt nationals who arrive or transit through Canada by air to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) prior to entry in Canada in addition to acceptable travel documents and identification. By entering a name, passport number, email address, and credit card and answering a few simple questions, IRCC can screen travelers prior to entry to Canada. The cost is $7 CAD per person and in most cases, an eTA will be approved within minutes of applying. Once approved, an eTA is valid for five years or upon passport expiry, whichever comes first.

A visa-exempt national is a foreign national who does not normally need a visa to enter Canada. Please refer to IRCC’s website for a list of countries whose citizens will be required to apply for an eTA. Exceptions include citizens of the United States and foreign nationals with a valid visa – those who require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) do not have to apply for a separate eTA, it will be part of the TRV process.

Offer of Employment and Compliance Fee

A reminder to administrators that after you have submitted an Offer of Employment and paid the Compliance Fee you should print a copy of the Transaction Receipt. Additionally you can also print a copy of the submission queue with all other names redacted. Provide a copy of this to the postdoc or visitor along with the Offer of Employment confirmation number so that the individual can attach to their work permit application as proof that UBC has supplied the necessary information and fee to IRCC. We have unfortunately had a few cases recently where the immigration officer denied a work permit application because there was no proof that UBC had submitted the required information.  Note also that you have the option to print each section as you complete the Offer of Employment; you may want to do this if you want to keep a record of the information submitted to IRCC.

BC Provincial Nominee Program

The Province has recently announced a new intake system, the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS), for British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). SIRS is a points-based system that gives candidates a registration score to determine whether candidates are invited to apply. Scores are based on an individual’s ability to succeed in the labour market, such as level of education, years of direct work experience, and a BC employment offer. The introduction of SIRS aims to provide a more transparent and efficient system to facilitate skilled immigrants applying to PNP. For more information, contact Faculty Relations at UBC’s Vancouver campus, or Human Resources at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Each province has an annual limit on how many nominees it may put forward. The provincial nominee programs are very popular and in 2015, British Columbia reached its limit by late August. Faculty members who are interested in applying for permanent residency through the BC PNP should submit their registration early in the year to maximize their chance of being nominated.