What is the change? Citizenship and Immigration Canada continues to experience problems with its online immigration systems, including the Employer Portal that was launched in October to improve application processes for LMIA-exempt work permits.

What does the change mean? CIC’s immigration systems have experienced offline periods and other technical glitches. Last week, the Employer Portal was down for two days. Applicants should take note of the ongoing problems and prepare for the possibility of processing delays.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All online immigration services, including work permit applications made through the Employer Portal.
  • Who is affected: Anyone in need of accessing CIC’s online immigration systems.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times have been delayed for those seeking work permits, permanent residence and other services.
  • Business impact: Businesses may need to adjust timelines and start dates because of the delays.

Background: CIC launched the Employer Portal in October, and BAL reported in November that it was experiencing technical problems. The problems have persisted and, at times, have affected all of CIC’s online immigration systems. The portal is operating again after two days offline, but applicants are still advised to prepare their applications well ahead of any deadlines they may have.

BAL Analysis: The portal was designed to improve application processes for LMIA-exempt work permits filed through the International Mobility program, including application processes for intracompany transfers and free-trade agreement (e.g., NAFTA) work permits. The rollout has been plagued by ongoing technical problems, however. Applicants should plan ahead and anticipate delays. In some cases, “workarounds” may be available for permits that cannot be processed due to technical problems. Contact your BAL attorney to discuss case-specific options.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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