We just thought we made ourselves available and returned calls promptly. Apparently this is a loved commodity.


   

 

 

 

 

 















Oil Price Slump: Does your company have Western Canadian Relocations? Here are the Top 4 Reasons you should Review Your Relocation Policy Now.

December 3, 2014

Recent slump in oil prices have many people watching provincial economies like Alberta and Saskatchewan with concern. It is not known how long low oil prices will last and opinions vary. In a client note in the Huffington Post this past Friday, Doug Porter, BMO Chief Economist, said that current prices are below fundamental values and that these low prices won’t be sustained for long. Porter suggested that prices might remain at low levels for a few quarters. Whether this oil price slump is short-lived or not, All Points Relocation believes that if corporations with predominately western relocations have not recently reviewed and rewritten their relocation policies, then now is the time to do it. Working on your policies when there is possible softness ahead, combined with an inevitable rebound, gives you an excellent opportunity to analyse what your policy is doing well and where there is an opportunity for positive change.

Need a Roof Over Your Head? Show Me the Money Calgary!

November 10, 2014

There have recently been reports that some Calgary property managers are charging prospective tenants viewing fees to see their rental units.

Service Canada Pilot Project at Toronto and Vancouver Airports: Social Insurance Numbers

November 5, 2014

All Points Relocation has recently learned that Service Canada has issued Social Insurance Numbers at Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport to some, but not all, foreign nationals on global assignment to Canada, concurrently with their Work Permits.

Negative Changes to Dependent Child Eligibility Might Require Fast Action by Human Resources

July 7, 2014

The Canadian Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is revising the definition of a dependent child.  This change will have negative impacts on those companies that have global assignees inbound to Canada with older dependent children.  

Three top highlights from Major Overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program

June 27, 2014

A number of excellent alerts and information pieces have been released with regards to the government’s major overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. This article focuses on just three important points that are most pertinent to those Canadian companies that support global assignees with comprehensive relocation benefits.

Bulletin 575 and its effect on Specialized Knowledge ICT’s

June 20, 2014

Those responsible for global mobility to Canada should be aware that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) released Operational Bulletin 575 on June 9, 2014, which provides expanded guidance to officers who process work permit applications for Intra-Company Transferees (ICT) applying under the Specialized Knowledge Labour Market Opinion (LMO) exemption category.

Foreign Students’ new automatic work authorizations can benefit employers and assignees

June 12, 2014

Just two weeks ago on June 1, 2014, study permit holders in Canada who are enrolled in academic, vocational or professional training programs of six months or longer will be automatically authorized to work.  This does create benefits for employers with global mobility programs bringing assignees or permanent transfers to Canada, as well as at a local level.

Santa Fe Reports Random Checks by Shanghai Police Enforcing Residence Registration

April 23, 2014

The Santa Fe Group has reported that Shanghai local police are ramping up stricter enforcement on residential registration of foreign nationals and All Points recommends that HR’s communicate this within their organizations.

Quebec and Real Estate Appraisals – Keep Calm and Carry On

March 24, 2014

Relocation professionals and Human Resources departments responsible for domestic Canadian mobility should be aware that some appraisers are making negative forecasting adjustments on properties in predominately Anglophone real estate markets in the Greater Montreal area, due to the possibility of a PQ majority government after the election next month.

First, it should be noted that a PQ majority government is far from a foregone conclusion, but markets do not like uncertainty, and this includes real estate markets.

Changes to LMO Process Means Canadian Corporations should Centralize Immigration Compliance

February 4, 2014

On December 31, 2013, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)’s previously announced amendments were implemented.  Compliance obligations have been increased substantially.  While many of these obligations were in place before, these have been made stricter and of longer duration.  In addition, immigration officials have been provided with considerable power to investigate and penalize employers if found non-compliant.

Bubble or Schmubble – Canadian Real Estate Market and what you should do with your relocation policy

November 26, 2013

In recent weeks there have been conflicting reports about the strength of and/or risks to the Canadian real estate market.  The Globe and Mail has reported that economists have noted that the housing market looks resilient, if not downright strong.  Then the Financial Times quoted economist David Madani of Capital Economics, who said that “Canada's housing market teeters precariously.”  Just days ago Fitch agency estimated that home prices in Canada are 26% over-valued, but still feels that any correction will have a soft landing.

Michael Deane receives the Worldwide ERC’s Meritorious Service Award

November 4, 2013

All Points Relocation Service, a Canadian full-service relocation management and destination service firm, is pleased to announce that Michael Deane, Vice President of Client Services, and All Points’ Co-owner, was recently honored with the Worldwide ERC®’s Meritorious Service Award, at the 2013 Global Workforce Symposium in Dallas, Texas. 

Shanghai considers criminal report requirement on permit applications

October 18, 2013

All Points Relocation’s Asian partner, Santa Fe Relocation has learned that the The Shanghai Labour Bureau are considering requiring a non-criminal record certificate in filing employment license, work permit and expert permit applications.

So how is the US federal shutdown affecting relocation?

October 3, 2013

Canadian companies should be aware that the impacts of the US federal shutdown are both immediate in some cases and may be lingering in other cases if it drags on.

Foreign service workers reach tentative agreement

October 2, 2013

After staging the longest strike in public service history, Canada’s diplomats have signed a tentative agreement with the Canadian government, thereby settling their dispute and ending their work-to-rule campaign.

Form C required for immigration applications by Chennai Immigration office

September 13, 2013

As reported by the Santa Fe Group, Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Chennai India has announced that immigration applications now must be accompanied with a Form C submission.

All Points’ Recommendations due to LMO Application Procedural Changes

August 15, 2013

All Points Relocation’s recommendations as a result of recent changes to Labour Market Opinion (LMO) application procedures.  Employers should review recruiting exercises, immigration procedural practices, and consider greater centralization.

Canadian Immigration Services Abroad affected by Foreign Service Officer Strike

July 18, 2013

Relocations and global assignments into Canada are likely to be affected by strike action at multiple visa offices abroad as a result of unsuccessful labour negotiations between Canada’s Professional Association of Foreign Services Officers (“PAFSO”) and the Canadian Government.

Extremely Low Vacancy Rates In Calgary, Alberta

June 27, 2013

Due to the extreme flooding in Alberta, temporary accommodation, both corporate suites and hotels, are virtually unavailable in the Calgary area.

New Rules for Temporary Foreign Workers

June 13, 2013

 

The fallout from the Temporary Foreign Workers scandal that first broke in April of this year continues.  The Globe and Mail reports that recent changes, just published allow HRSDC or CIC officers to walk in on businesses as part of a random audit or because they suspect a company of fraudulently using the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.  

 

Birth Certificates Required for Work and Residence Visa Applications

June 6, 2013

 

Under a new Brazilian government policy, all applicants for Brazilian work and residence visas will eventually be required to present their birth certificate as part of the consular filing. This new requirement is being gradually rolled out, being already in effect at some consulates.

HRSDC Changes Minimum Advertising Requirements

May 15, 2013

Earlier this month, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) updated the minimum advertising requirements for NOC level ‘0’ (Executives/Managers) and ‘A’ (Professional) positions. These requirements must now be followed for eligible labour market opinions (LMOs).

Changes to Canadian Foreign Skilled Workers Program Take Effect May 4th, 2013

May 3, 2013

In April, the Canadian Federal Government announced changes to the Foreign Skilled Workers Program (FSW) which take effect May 4th, 2013. Among these changes include an updated eligibility list, new minimum language proficiency requirements, and a list of organizations designated to perform assessments of educational credentials.

Harper Government Announces Reforms to Temporary Foreign Worker Program

May 1, 2013

Earlier this week, the Canadian government announced new restrictions for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Several of these changes are effective immediately, while more details are expected in the coming days.

Visa Regulations in Flux in China

April 17, 2013

Effective 1 July 2013, new regulations will be implemented for foreigners visiting, residing and working in China as a result of the new Exit-Entry Administration Law.

Federal Budget Changes make Temporary Foreign Worker programs harder on employers

April 2, 2013

The Canadian federal government’s 2013 budget had outlined several reforms to the temporary foreign worker program, which are expected to come in the following months.

Payroll Challenges Posed By International Assignments

March 22, 2013

The Global Tax Network (GTN) has recently published an article regarding pay delivery. In general, there are three different delivery methods: home, host and split.

In-Person Visit Now Required for Employment License Filings in Beijing, China.

February 7, 2013

Effective February 1, 2013, a local HR representative of the Beijing sponsoring company will be required to be present at the Beijing Labor Bureau at the time of submission of an employment license application.

US H-1B Cap Filing Season to begin April 1, 2013

January 28, 2013

On Monday, April 1, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin to accept H-1B cap petitions for the FY 2014 annual quota of 85,000.

UKBA Clarifies Rules for Tier 2 General and ICT Categories

January 14, 2013

Beginning December 13, 2012, the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) will enforce new changes to Tier 2 applications as part of an effort to improve and clarify rules for Tiers 1 to 5. These changes include longer maximum stay for high earning ICTs, an increase in time Tier 2 visa holders can spend outside of the UK before applying for permanent residence and greater clarity regarding cooling off period prior to subsequent Tier 2 stays.

Potential Processing Delays for Work Permit, Visa Applications Due to Government Holiday Closures

December 14, 2012

Numerous government offices worldwide will be closed or work under reduced staff and/or hours of operation during the holiday season. This will likely result in processing delays o work permits, residence permits, and visas into the New Year.

Shanghai Labor Bureau Eliminates Expedited Services for Work Permits

December 6, 2012

With immediate effect on 1 November 2012, the Shanghai Labor Bureau stopped the expedited service for Work Permit applications in Shanghai.

Canada, India Sign Totalization Agreement

November 21, 2012

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, witnessed the signing of the Canada-India Social Security Agreement. 

Canadian Housing Resales Stable in 2013, Housing Starts Moderating

November 15, 2012

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation announces that activity in existing home market expected to stabilize, causing house price growth to fall in line with or slightly below inflation. 

Belgium Begins Accepting EU Blue Card Applications

November 6, 2012

Introduced on September 10, Belgium is now accepting applications for its version of the EU Blue Card. 

CIC Announces Changes to Qualifications for Canadian Permanent Residence Application for Skilled Workers

November 1, 2012

Earlier in September, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada had proposed legislative regulations for the following:

  • Easier access to the Canada Experience Class (CEC);
  • Changes to selection criteria for the Foreign Skilled Worker (FSW) Class;
  • The creation of the new visa category for Foreign Skilled Trades Class (FSTC); and
  • The creation of a new startup entrepreneur visa program.

Portugal Introduces Blue Card

September 27, 2012

In a new law that was put into effect on September 9, 2012, Portugal has introduced its version of the EU Blue Card. 

CBP to Eliminate I-94 Card, to Be Replaced with Automated Arrival System

September 21, 2012

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has accelerated a plan to stop issuing I-94 arrival-departure cards to non-immigrants entering the U.S. and replace it with an automated arrival system.

Prime Properties See Strongest Growth since 2010, Looks to Asia

September 11, 2012

Back in July, Knight Frank had released their Q2 Prime Global Cities Index, indicating that the world’s key urban centers had experienced its greatest growth since 2010, despite cooling measures that inhibited growth at the start of 2012.

Italy Introduces EU Blue Card

September 5, 2012

After Germany had recently started issuing the EU Blue Card, Italy has now released its version of the Blue Card.

China Introduces Stricter Enforcement Against Unlawful Entry, Stay and Work

August 30, 2012

 

As a reminder, new legislation in China was passed in June to introduce stiffer penalties against unlawful entry, stay and work. 

Temporary Accommodation Challenges in Toronto

August 7, 2012

Yes, it is that time again – the Toronto International Film Festival will be running from September 6th to September 16th. As a result, temporary accommodation will be virtually unavailable in the Toronto area for the first two weeks of September. Given the high demand, the price for any available accommodation will escalate upwards making what is available out of the reach of most relocation programs and Transferees’ budgets.

Rental Vacancy Rate Decreases in Canada

July 31, 2012

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) spring Rental Market Survey, the average rental vacancy rate in Canada’s 35 major centres decreased from 2.5% in April 2011 to 2.3% in April 2012. In the survey, several observations were made.

Back to Basics: Making International Assignments Easier

July 19, 2012

Global Tax Network (GTN) has released a list of ten (10) measures that firms’ HR departments should consider implementing to ease the pain associated with administering international assignments.

Canadian Housing Market Expected to Moderate

July 16, 2012

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) second quarter Canadian housing market outlook, both new and current housing markets are expected to moderate.

Stampede Demand Limits Temp Accom Options and Affordability

June 29, 2012

Due to the 100th Anniversary of Calgary Stampede and the recent huge Petroleum Show, temporary accommodation is virtually unavailable in the Calgary area until after July 31st. Given the high demand, the price for any available accommodation has escalated upwards to $300 - $500 per night, which is unrealistic for most relocation programs and Transferees’ budgets.

Further Measures Announced to Strengthen Canada’s Housing Market

June 21, 2012

As announced by the Department of Finance the government has introduced four additional measures to strengthen Canada’s housing market.

These measures apply to new government-backed insured mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of more than 80 per cent:

  1. Reduce the maximum amortization period to 25 years from 30 years.
  2. Lower the maximum amount Canadians can borrow when refinancing to 80 per cent from 85 per cent of the value of their homes.
  3. Fix the maximum gross debt service ratio at 39 per cent and the maximum total debt service ratio at 44 per cent.
  4. Limit the availability of government-backed insured mortgages to homes with a purchase price of less than $1 million.

Making Sense of Recent Canadian Immigration Changes

June 7, 2012

Making Sense of Recent Canadian Immigration Changes

Christopher Garrah’s article Doing Business in Canada: Immigration provides great insight into four recent developments in Canadian business immigration law. In it he looks at:

Mike “relocationgeek” Deane is on a mission!

May 31, 2012

Check out his blog this week for the first in a series on the top five things that you should be doing to your relocation policy NOW.

WARNING – acting on the relocationgeek’s advice will keep you ahead of the relocation curve.

Have you claimed your 2011 EU Vat refund yet?

May 17, 2012

The June 2012 deadline is fast approaching.  For more information on receiving the full refund your non-EU company is entitled to check out this article from Ernst & Young's T Magazine.

Accelerated Labour Market Opinion Process Launched

April 25, 2012

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada announced today the launch of the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (ALMO) program. As we reported on April 10th, the ALMO program is expected to reduce the HRSDC / Service Canada processing time. If the employer meets all the eligibility criteria to participate in the A-LMO Initiative, HRSDC/Service Canada will then verify if the employer has agreed to all of the attestations and issue a positive A-LMO within 10 business days.

European Commission to Examine Taxation of Cross-Border Workers

April 17, 2012

As reported by KPMG, the European Commission announced recently that it will examine the taxation of cross-border workers. Throughout 2012, the EC will assess the direct tax systems of EU Member States to determine whether they create unfair disadvantages for workers that live in one Member State and work in another.

Accelerated LMO Process Coming Soon

April 10, 2012

As reported by Greenberg Turner in its latest alert, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) will imminently announce the launch of an Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (ALMO) program. Under the new program, HRSDC expects to process LMO applications within 10 days from the date of submission for eligible employers seeking LMOs for managerial and high skilled occupations.

New Simplified LMO Process in Quebec

April 2, 2012

The province of Quebec has implemented a new simplified Labour Market Opinion (LMO) process.  The new process no longer requires employers hiring foreign workers to provide proof of recruitment efforts in 44 occupations in a variety of fields.

This news is of particular interest for employers that were using the now defunct IT Worker Program.

US Citizen and Immigration Services Accepting H-1B Visa Petitions for Fiscal Year 2013

March 26, 2012

On Monday, April 2, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting FY 2013 H-1B cap-subject petitions for employment starting on October 1, 2012.

Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Compliance Audits Increase

March 21, 2012

Recently there has been an increase in compliance audits, including assessments, to ensure TFWs are working under Subtantially the Same (STS) terms and conditions of employment set out in the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) confirmation letter and annex.

It has been almost a year since Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) announced new rules for employers hiring foreign nationals under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program . These new rules are aimed at ensuring that employers meet their responsibilities under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Stricter Enforcement of Japanese Import Regulations

March 15, 2012

As reported on March 8, 2012 by Santa Fe Relocation, Japan Import Regulations for air shipments are being more strictly enforced at the Narita Airport.

Business Leaders Want Action

March 11, 2012

Canadian business leaders were asked to rank a number of key issues that should be addressed in the upcoming federal budget. Their responses clearly show that the gap between available jobs and the skill set of available workers is of key concern.

Detailed Valuations for Household Goods, Trend or Anomaly?

February 28, 2012

Recently we have seen an increase in the incidences of employees being asked for additional information when crossing the border in advance of their household goods shipment.

When transporting household goods into Canada from the United States the employee is required to provide a listing of goods accompanying them as well as a listing of goods that will follow at a later date. Both of these lists are to indicate the value of the items shipped.

UK Announces New Independent Border Agency

February 24, 2012

In response to a report from the Independent Chief Inspector for the UK Border Agency, the UKBA has announced that it will be establishing an independent agency, the UK Border Force. The new agency will be created in early March 2012 and will be responsible for border controls and inspection services.

View the full Fragomen report here.

The US has New L-1 Visa Rule

February 16, 2012

As reported by Fragomen, the US Department of State announced a new rule that allows L-1 visas to be issued for up to five years.

Canada's Rental Vacancy Rate Decreases

February 6, 2012

As reported by CMHC the average rental apartment vacancy rate in 35 of Canada's major centres showed a slight year over year decrease.

Canada’s Housing Market

January 12, 2012

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has released its Housing Market Outlook. 



 

 


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