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IMPORTANT bulletin for skill level C & C TFWs in British Columbia

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http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/2011/ob337.asp

Operational Bulletin 337 –
August 15, 2011

Pilot Program for Spouses/Common-law partners and Working-Age Dependent Children of select Temporary Foreign Workers Destined to British Columbia

Summary

This Operational Bulletin provides information on the fee-exempt events taking place in September and October 2011.

Purpose

The purpose of this Operational Bulletin is to advise officers of a pilot project under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Annex of the Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement, which provides the province of British Columbia (BC) with mechanisms to facilitate the entry of TFWs to meet its economic priorities and labour market objectives.

Background

In the TFW annex to the Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement signed on April 9, 2010, the parties agreed to the following:

“7.1 The Canada-British Columbia Working Group on TFWs, as referred to in section 8.1.3 of this annex, will initiate, where feasible, and subject to regulatory authority, the following pilot projects within twelve (12) months of this Annex coming into force:

b) allow eligible spouses/common-law partners of TFWs engaged in work within the NOC C and D skill categories in British Columbia to receive open work permits;
c) allow eligible dependents, aged 18-22, of all* TFWs in British Columbia to receive open work permits.”

Pilot parameters

This pilot will operate from August 15, 2011 to February 15, 2013. These dates refer only to the period in which qualifying work permit (WP) applications must be received, not to the duration of the WPs. The terms of the pilot will apply only to qualifying foreign nationals (described below) destined to work in the province of BC. A maximum of 1,800 open WPs will be issued under this pilot with progress against the cap being monitored by both Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Government of BC.

Section 7.1 (b) of the TFW Annex allows eligible spouses/common-law partners of TFWs engaged in work within the NOC C and D skill categories in BC to receive open WPs.

*Section 7.1 (c) of the TFW Annex allows eligible dependents, aged 18-22, of most TFWs in BC (subject to the exclusions listed under the section below entitled “Eligibility”) to receive open WPs.

Pilot parameters

A) Eligibility – Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
i.The applicant must be a spouse or common-law partner, or a dependent child, of a principal applicant described in sub-section ii below.
ii.The principal TFW (initial WP permit holder) must have been issued an employer-specific WP that is valid for at least six months for an employer located in BC.
iii.Dependent children (see Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), section 1, Interpretation) must be aged 18-22 at the date of application, and eligible to work in BC.
iv.Family members of seasonal agricultural workers (including the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program participants), Live-in-Caregivers (including non-LCP live-in caregivers) and TFWs in BC who have WPs issued under the International Experience Canada Program are NOT eligible for open WPs under this pilot.

B) Open WP issuance/extensions
i.A non job-specific open or open/restricted (depending on medical examination requirements, if applicable) WP may be issued to the eligible applicant accompanying a TFW principal applicant as described above, upon receipt of a WP application without requiring a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Service Canada.
ii.An applicant’s WP must not be issued before the principal applicant has been issued a WP.
iii.An applicant may apply for an open WP at the same time as the principal applicant or subsequently – at a mission, Port of Entry or in-land. If the applicant is applying on a significantly later date after the issuance of the principle TFW’s WP, an officer may wish to request the applicant provide proof that the principle TFW continues to be in good standing with the employer. Such proof can be in for the form of a letter from the employer, or a recent pay stub.
iv.The applicant must also meet all other admissibility requirements to be issued a WP under this pilot.
v.Verifications should be performed as per existing procedures, so that officers are satisfied that the relationship is bona fide.
vi.WPs issued under this pilot must be valid for the same period as the WP of the principal TFW.
vii.Should the principal applicant’s WP be extended, the WP of the spouse/common-law partner or dependent can be similarly extended upon application, provided that it does not exceed the duration of the principal applicant’s WP. The extension decision must be taken during the operating period of this pilot project.

C) System instructions
•LMO exemption code: T13
•Special program codes: Officers are requested to use the following special program codes in the Field Operations Support System (FOSS), Global Case Management System (GCMS), or, for in-land processing and at Case Processing Centre-Vegreville: a.Pilot 7.1(b) – LSS (for Low-Skilled Spouse)
b.Pilot 7.1(c) – WDP (for Working-Age Dependents of provincial TFWs)

IMPORTANT: All relevant WPs must be coded with the appropriate Special Program Code as indicated in order to monitor progress against the cap and to support an effective review of the pilot.

•The WP number of the principal applicant directly related to the applicant is also to be included in remarks for cross-reference purposes using the following wording, as applicable: a.Spouse – X-Ref –(WP#) U123456789
b.Dependent – X-Ref – (WP#) U123456789

•The applicant’s WP should specify in the Conditions fieldthat it is only valid for work with an employer located in BC. Where an employer has locations in more than one province, the employment should be with the BC office of that employer.
•For any applications originating at a visa office, any coding, conditions and/or remarks not downloaded from GCMS must be entered into FOSS before generating the WP.

D) FW 1 Manual (Foreign Worker Guidelines)

Section 5.25, “Applications for Spouses/dependent children” will be revised to include mention of this pilot.