Vol. 150, No. 24 — November 30, 2016


SOR/2016-298 November 18, 2016


Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Skilled Worker)

P.C. 2016-986 November 18, 2016

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, pursuant to subsections 5(1) and 14(1) and (2) (see footnote a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (see footnote b) makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Skilled Worker).

Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Skilled Worker)


1 The portion of subsection 50(1) of the French version of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (see footnote 1) before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

Documents : résidents permanents

50 (1) En plus du visa de résident permanent que doit détenir l’étranger membre d’une catégorie prévue au paragraphe 70(2), l’étranger qui cherche à devenir résident permanent doit détenir l’un des documents suivants :

2 The definition Canadian educational credential in subsection 73(1) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Canadian educational credential means any secondary school diploma or any post-secondary diploma, certificate or credential that is issued on the completion of a Canadian program of study or training at an educational or training institution that is recognized by the provincial authorities responsible for registering, accrediting, supervising and regulating such institutions. (diplôme canadien)

3 (1) Subsections 74(3) and (4) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

Evaluation of language proficiency

(3) The Minister may designate, for any period he or she specifies, any organization or institution to be responsible for evaluating language proficiency and approve the language test to be used to evaluate that proficiency if the organization or institution

Public notice

(4) The Minister shall make available to the public the names of the designated organizations or institutions and the approved language tests.

(2) Subsections 74(6) and (7) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:


(6) The Minister may revoke a designation of an organization or institution or the approval of a language test if

Conclusive evidence

(7) The results of an evaluation of language proficiency by a designated organization or institution using an approved language test are conclusive evidence of an applicant’s language proficiency in respect of the federal skilled worker class, the Canadian experience class or the federal skilled trades class, as the case may be.

4 Paragraph 75(2)(d) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

5 Subsections 79(1) and (2) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

Official languages

(1) A skilled worker must identify in their application for a permanent resident visa which language — English or French — is to be considered their first official language in Canada. They must have their proficiency in that language evaluated by an organization or institution that is designated under subsection 74(3) using a language test that is approved under that subsection.

Proficiency in second language

(2) If the skilled worker wishes to claim points for proficiency in their second official language, they must submit, in support of the application for a permanent resident visa, the results of a language test that is approved under subsection 74(3), which results must be provided by an organization or institution that is designated under that subsection and must be less than two years old on the date on which their application is made.

6 Section 82 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Definition of arranged employment

82 (1) In this section, arranged employment means an offer of employment that is made by a single employer other than an embassy, high commission or consulate in Canada or an employer who is referred to in any of subparagraphs 200(3)(h)(i) to (iii), that is for continuous full-time work in Canada having a duration of at least one year after the date on which a permanent resident visa is issued, and that is in an occupation that is listed in Skill Type 0 Management Occupations or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification matrix.

Arranged employment (10 points)

(2) Ten points shall be awarded to a skilled worker for arranged employment if they are able to perform and are likely to accept and carry out the employment and

7 Paragraph 83(1)(a) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

8 (1) Paragraph 87.1(2)(d) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(2) Paragraph 87.1(3)(c) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

9 (1) Paragraph 87.2(3)(a) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(2) Subparagraphs 87.2(3)(d)(i) to (v) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Coming into Force

10 These Regulations come into force on November 19, 2016.


(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)


The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) have been amended to make changes to the requirements for offers of employment in the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), as well as to improve clarity and consistency of regulations for these classes and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).


Express Entry (Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, Canadian Experience Class)

The Federal Skilled Worker Class is open to foreign nationals with one year of experience in an occupation at Skill Level A (Professional) or B (Technical/Trades/Paraprofessionals) or in Skill Type 0 (Management) of the National Occupational Classification. Foreign nationals are assessed against a points-based selection grid that takes into consideration the applicants’ official language ability, education, work experience, age, whether they have a job already arranged in Canada (arranged employment), and their overall adaptability (e.g. previous work or study in Canada, spouse’s language ability, relatives in Canada, etc.).

The Federal Skilled Trades Class emphasizes practical training and work experience, rather than formal academic education, by selecting foreign nationals on a pass/fail basis who will help meet Canada’s skilled trades labour needs. This class is open to foreign nationals with experience in specified skilled trade occupations. To be members of the class, foreign nationals must meet language requirements; must have either a one-year qualifying job offer or a provincial/territorial certificate of qualification in a skilled trade; must have at least two years of work experience as a qualified skilled tradesperson in the five years preceding the date of their permanent resident application; and must satisfy the employment requirement of that occupation as described in the National Occupational Classification.

The Canadian Experience Class is a pass/fail program with the objective of allowing skilled temporary foreign workers, including previous students, who have worked in a skilled occupation in Canada and who are proficient in either English or French, to remain in Canada as permanent residents.

On January 1, 2015, ministerial instructions were introduced to manage application intake for permanent residence in the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Class and prevent application backlog. This system, known as Express Entry, added a pre-application stage with its own requirements which enables the selection of the candidates who are most likely to succeed in economically establishing themselves in Canada.

Both the Federal Skilled Worker Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Class include provisions on offers of employment, which can help applicants meet the criteria and other requirements applicable to these classes. Section 82 of the Regulations sets out the circumstances under which a foreign national will receive points towards being selected in the Federal Skilled Worker Class for having received an offer of employment, and subsection 87.2(3)(d) of the Regulations sets out the circumstances under which a foreign national who does not hold a provincial certificate of qualification in a skilled trade application may use an offer of employment to meet the requirements of the Federal Skilled Trades Class. (see footnote 2)

Requirement for a Labour Market Impact Assessment

Typically, an offer of employment must be supported by a positive assessment, commonly known as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to the employer if ESDC determines that the foreign national’s employment will not adversely impact the Canadian labour market. This process is described in section 203 of the Regulations and is similar to the process for obtaining a work permit. It includes an assessment of the genuineness of the employer and the job offer, a consideration of labour market factors, and a review of the employer’s previous compliance. If the foreign national is already authorized to temporarily work for the employer issuing the job offer, there are two instances, under the Regulations, where the offer does not need to be supported by an LMIA: (1) the foreign national was initially hired by the employer based on a work permit for which they had obtained an LMIA (in which case that LMIA is considered sufficient); and (2) the foreign national’s work permit was LMIA-exempt because of an agreement between the Government of Canada and the government of another country or the government of a province or territory.

However, prior to these regulatory changes and concurrent revisions to the Express Entry Ministerial Instructions, the Ministerial Instructions required all candidates who wished to benefit from the arranged employment factor — either to be accepted in the Express Entry pool and to be eligible to receive an invitation to apply, or to obtain points under the Comprehensive Ranking System — to have had their employer obtain a positive LMIA, even those candidates who would otherwise have been exempt from this process under the Regulations. This LMIA could either have been obtained in support of a work permit application (i.e. temporary residence), or prior to an application for permanent residence.

By operation of both the Regulations and the Ministerial Instructions, where a foreign national, whose work permit was LMIA-exempt because the work was considered to serve Canadian interests (section 205) [and therefore did not require that the employer demonstrate that a Canadian was not available, as a requirement of the LMIA], wished to benefit from the arranged employment factor in connection with their permanent residence application, the job offer had to be supported by an LMIA. Those employers could be reluctant to undergo the LMIA process, putting foreign nationals on an LMIA-exempt work permit at a disadvantage, despite many of them having potential to economically establish in Canada.

Term of arranged employment offers

The prior requirement that offers of arranged employment be for an indeterminate (or permanent) length of time had also resulted in barriers to certain foreign nationals who otherwise have similarly demonstrated a strong potential for economic establishment. The contemporary job market, and the reality of highly skilled contract-based employment has meant that permanent job offers are no longer the standard hiring practice in many industries and occupations.


The objectives of these changes are

(1) to better align program requirements with program intent by ensuring job offer points are accessible to candidates who can demonstrate that they have an acceptable job offer, which contributes to the assessment of their likelihood of economic establishment; and

(2) to make other regulatory amendments to clarify policy intent or make the Regulations more consistent.


The definition of arranged employment in subsection 82(1) of the Regulations has been amended to require job offers to be for a minimum of one year rather than indeterminate.

Amendments to paragraph 82(2)(b) and subparagraph 87.2(3)(d)(iii) of the Regulations allow temporary foreign workers who are working in Canada under a work permit issued under paragraphs 204(a) or (c) or section 205 of the Regulations (which are exempt from the requirement to obtain a supporting LMIA) to qualify for arranged employment in the Federal Skilled Worker Class, and to meet the requirement outlined in paragraph 87.2(3)(d) for the Federal Skilled Trades Class, provided that they have accumulated one year of work experience with the employer issuing the offer of employment and for which they are currently working.

The following regulatory amendments will improve clarity and consistency of the Regulations. They do not change how applications are processed.

“One-for-One” Rule

It is expected that certain businesses will see some savings in administrative time and costs as a result of these regulatory changes. Specifically, it is estimated that some employers will no longer be required to request a LMIA from ESDC for their temporary foreign worker employees to qualify for arranged employment. It is estimated, based on the average number of temporary foreign workers with eligible work permits who transitioned to permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Worker Class or the Federal Skilled Worker Class in 2014 and 2015, that 1 367 of these temporary foreign workers who were previously authorized to work as a temporary foreign worker under section 205 of the Regulations will no longer require their employer to apply for an LMIA for the individual to benefit from arranged employment under either the Federal Skilled Worker Class or the Federal Skilled Trades Class.

While the LMIA to support a permanent residence application does not require a fee, a recent and focused consultation of employers was conducted to ascertain the level of effort required to obtain an LMIA. The employers consulted include a national network of organizations supporting francophone employers and employers looking to hire francophones, a national association representing 97 public and private not-for-profit Canadian universities and a multinational video game developer, all of which are likely to benefit from the LMIA exemption for holders of work permits delivered under section 205 of the Regulations. The monetary value of the reduction in administrative burden to employers is estimated to be $1.8 million annually, resulting from the 1 367 reduction in LMIA required of employers per year, with each LMIA costing employers $1,308 in administrative costs.

The “One-for-One” Rule applies only to administrative burdens imposed on enterprises that engage in commercial activities, and not to those imposed on organizations that engage in activities for a public purpose, such as colleges or universities. Out of the 1 367 temporary foreign workers who will no longer require an LMIA, it is estimated that 51 are university employees such as professors, lecturers and postdoctoral fellows. The monetary value of the reduction in administrative burden to employers other than universities is estimated to be $1.7 million dollars annually. For the purposes of the “One-for-One” Rule, this comprises an “OUT” of $1.2 million annualized administrative costs in constant 2012 dollars.

It should be noted that these estimates have been calculated based on recent patterns and any possible future changes to permanent residence program policy or admissions could affect the accuracy of these estimates.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there are no costs placed on small business.


The amendments to the Regulations were developed based on extensive consultations with stakeholders since the launch of Express Entry. Regular engagement activities took place through the federal/provincial/territorial economic and policy working groups, which hold teleconferences approximately on a monthly basis as well as face-to-face meetings twice a year. In addition, ongoing feedback is received through the Employer Liaison Network, which liaises with employers and stakeholders on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (the Department) held nine national and regional consultations in July and August 2016 to solicit feedback on the then proposed reforms. Provinces, territories, employer groups such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, francophone communities, academics, immigration lawyers, and other stakeholder groups were consulted.

Participants broadly endorsed the reduction of the job offer requirement to one year as well as the proposed LMIA exemptions for candidates who are exempt for temporary residence purposes. Stakeholders felt that these changes would enable employers in higher-skilled occupations and contract-based industries to access Express Entry candidates. They also noted that the LMIA exemptions would facilitate the pathway to permanent residence for high-value temporary residents already working in Canada. The Department will continue to seek feedback on Express Entry, including the impact of these reforms, through the Employer Liaison Network.


In the contemporary job market, contract-based or fixed-term employment is the standard hiring practice for many industries and occupations. Highly skilled occupations, including university professors, physicians and graphic artists, were disproportionately affected by the requirement for indeterminate job offers. This has resulted in highly skilled foreign nationals being at a disadvantage in the immigration system despite having the potential to establish economically in Canada.

Evidence also suggests that the benefits of a job offer as an indicator of likely economic establishment are concentrated in a relatively short period after landing and are less meaningful in the longer term. All else being equal, candidates with a fixed-term job offer are no less likely to establish economically than those with permanent job offers. A one-year job offer duration requirement enables the Department to identify applicants who are well positioned to establish economically, without unduly affecting contract-based workers and their employers.

Employers and foreign nationals have expressed concern with existing LMIA requirements related to permanent residence applications, particularly for foreign nationals who are working in Canada temporarily based on LMIA-exempt work permits to work for a specified employer who has offered them a long-term job. That same employer had to undergo the LMIA process in order to support the permanent residence application of the foreign national, which includes advertising and recruitment activities. In contrast, employers who employ foreign nationals temporarily, based on a work permit requiring an LMIA, were not required to obtain a new LMIA to support a permanent residence application, despite the LMIA only having a validity period of six months. Eliminating the LMIA requirement for certain LMIA-exempt foreign workers who have received a qualifying job offer from their current employer will enhance fairness around job offer requirements in the permanent residence application process.

Any potential concerns with the removal of the LMIA requirement with regard to the genuineness of the job offer are mitigated by the fact that there is an established employer-employee relationship authorized with a work permit and that the relationship is documented in a previous work permit application process.

A preliminary consideration of Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) implications did not highlight any significant impacts.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The coming-into-force date of the regulatory amendments is November 19, 2016.


Laurie Hunter
Economic Immigration Policy and Programs
Immigration Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1
Telephone: 613-437-6181
Fax: 613-941-9323
Email: selection@cic.gc.ca