What We Do
Capelle Kane represents both Canadian and foreign employers in their efforts to have international hires gain entry to the Canadian labour market. We counsel on employer compliance obligations, audits, and inspections. We advise employers and foreign nationals on short and long-term immigration strategies and offer support to employers, employees and their families throughout the preparation, submission and adjudication phases of temporary and permanent immigration applications.
Our services include assisting individuals and employers seeking work authorization in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (which is akin to the H1B or H2B non-immigrant worker visa in the USA). We assist employers throughout the advertising, recruitment and hiring process and guide them as they navigate the steps involved in applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (formerly known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). We also assist employers in recruiting under the new Global Talent Stream and guide them through the preparation of Labour Market Benefit Plans.
We also facilitate the movement of professionals into Canada under the International Mobility Program to enable qualified professionals to obtain work permits under international free trade agreements (FTA) including the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) and the new Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) (similar to TN visas in the USA). Our lawyers have over 25 years of experience arranging intra-company transfers for executives, managers and employees with specialized knowledge including those seeking to launch a new branch or subsidiary in Canada or a start-up (similar to L1A and L1B visas in the USA). We are mindful that may multinationals are looking to Canada to expand their operations given increasingly tighter access to work visas in other countries such as in the USA. Canada operates many immigrant programs that are similar in requirements to the USA’s EB 1, EB-2, EB-3 and EB-5 immigrant visa categories.
Our experience also extends to assisting with work permits in the significant economic and social benefits to Canada category that grants entry to Canada for people with exceptional skills, experience or expertise in their respective areas (similar to the EB1 and 0-1 visas in the USA). Employers and individuals who will be involved in job creation or job retention in Canada are able to access this special work visa category.
We also guide employers outside of Quebec on the opportunities to meet their human resource needs by utilizing the new Mobilité Francophone Program that allows for work visas to be issued for up to five (5) years to people who habitually speak French. Where applicable, we leverage the many youth and cultural exchange programs, such as the International Experience Class (IEC), which allow Canadians employers to recruit younger workers through the Working Holiday, Young Professionals and Student Work Abroad (SWAP) programs (similar to the J visa category in the USA). Canada offers a host of work visa options, including reciprocal employment and self-employed categories, that do not require the Canadian employer to first advertise the position across Canada or offer the job to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
There are many categories where international workers are permitted to enter Canada without first having to apply for or hold a work visa. Canada maintains broad and varied business visitor categories that allow international talent to access the Canadian labour market. Our new Global Talent Strategy includes a Global Talent Stream that allows certain high skilled professionals to work in Canada without a work permit for a short-term work assignment of 15 days (once every six months) or 30 days (once every twelve months). Even those who need a visa to enter Canada can access these new work visa exemptions when submitting their application for a visitor visa. This is a new initiative that aims to assist Canadian businesses, publicly funded post-secondary academic institutions and affiliated research entities access international talent quickly. For those in the academic sector, IRCC now allows short-term researchers, including self-funded academics, to conduct their research activities in Canada for up to four 4 months per year without requiring a work visa. These work visa exemptions require that workers obtain Visitor Records to have proof of prior entries and to be eligible for a social insurance identification number SIN for payroll administration purposes.
Where work visas are needed for the long-term, Canada maintains a welcoming environment for internationally trained academics seeking to join Canadian universities and research facilities. Canada offers a multitude of work visas for academics, depending on the type of position that is being offered. Canada competes for academics destined to the USA under the EB-1 category. The need for academics in Canada is great. In an effort to retain Canadian trained international students at the graduate level, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (ONIP) operates a unique permanent residency program for Masters and Ph.D. graduates who obtain their degrees in Ontario.
Canada has recognized that Information Technology workers are in demand globally. In a push to attract workers and prospective immigrants with high technology skills, Canada has recently developed a Global Talent occupations list (to be modified over time), which allows employers to sponsor work permits more easily for those in certain occupations where a demonstrated skills shortage exists. For these positions, advertising requirements imposed on employers have been relaxed, provided the employer is making a genuine job offer where the wages are in line with the prevailing wage for the position in Canada. The high-demand occupations currently identified by Canada’s Department of Employment and Skills Development Canada ESDC, include:
- NOC 0213: Computer and information systems managers
- NOC 2147: Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
- NOC 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants
- NOC 2172: Database analysts and data administrators
- NOC 2173: Software engineers and designers
- NOC 2174: Computer programmers and interactive media developers
- NOC 2175: Web designers and developers
- NOC 2241: Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
- NOC 2283: Information systems testing technicians
- NOC 5241: Digital media designers
Similarly, the Ontario Immigrant Nomination Program has recently made efforts to attract skilled IT workers to Ontario. Ontario targeted 14 occupations in demand in the province and modified their eligibility criteria, thereby making it easier for those with employment experience in those occupations to qualify for selection as an immigrant to Ontario. The province of Ontario also operates corporate investment and entrepreneur steams and is seeking to attract investors in the ICT/Digital Communications sector. These programs require a large amount of investment capital and business commitments to Ontario. They have some similarities to the EB-5 visa category in the USA.
Canada also offers open work visas that allow spouses and common-law partners* (*meaning they have cohabitated for one year or more like a married couple) of workers or international students in Canada to work in any capacity for the same duration as the principal applicant.
One of our core services is to offer pathways to permanent resident status in Canada (similar to Green Card status in the USA). We also assist with family reunification (spouses, dependent children, parent and grandparent sponsorship) and economic immigration applications for permanent residence.
Canada offers a myriad of federal and provincial immigration options which include the federal and provincial skilled worker and skilled trade programs such as Express Entry, the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Ontario Human Capital Stream. Canada’s new Start-Up Visa program and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program are other avenues available to skilled workers and international graduates to gain access to permanent residence status in Canada.
Those applicants who are fluent in French or bilingual are seen as contributing to the vitality, development and prosperity of Francophone minority communities in Canada. As such there are a number of unique programs available to Francophones, including under the Ontario Provincial Nomination Program Human Capital Stream, the Francophone Mobilité program as well as the availability of additional points under Express Entry.
Where clients encounter the added hurdle of overcoming barriers related to their past non-compliance with Canadian immigration law, existing or past health conditions or criminal charges or convictions, we address these by assessing and accessing the legal options to address admissibility issues.
On August 15 2017, the Ontario Provincial Nomination Program launched its first ever program directed at candidates in the lower skilled NOC C and D occupations called the Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream. Under this new program, Ontario is specifically targeting immigrants in the agricultural and construction sectors who have acquired at least one year experience with employer(s) in Ontario in the 36 months prior to filing the application. The skills currently being sourced are:
- NOC 7441 – Residential and commercial installers and servicers;
- NOC 7521 – Heavy equipment operators (except crane);
- NOC 8431 – General farm workers;
- NOC 8432 – Nursery and greenhouse workers;
- NOC 8611 – Harvesting labourers;
- NOC 7611 – Construction trades helpers and labourers;
- NOC 9462 – Industrial butchers, meat cutters, poultry preparers, related workers.
Both the federal government and Ontario operate skilled trades programs to facilitate the permanent residence of those with experience working in skilled trades.
The final stage of integrating into Canada is in becoming a citizen. We advise on and prepare applications for Canadian citizenship or proof of citizenship, where eligibility for citizenship is available by descent. Where necessary, we have experience in making representations on waivers of the mandatory requirements to undergo the naturalization process.
Our firm is dedicated to ensuring that all applications are prepared and filed with the utmost of care and attention to detail. We uphold our Government’s commitment to program integrity in the delivery of Canadian immigration legal advice and services. We are passionate about our role in welcoming newcomers to Canada.