The National Occupation Classification system has a new coding system in place after a long awaited update as at November 16th, 2022. The levels are referred to as SEER now instead of 0, A, B, C and D. SEER apparently stands for  Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities. There are now six levels. What is interesting is that long haul truck drivers used to fall within the low skill category but now they actually fall within the high skilled category. There is a five digit categorization as opposed to a four digit one. Along with the shake up in the NOC system, is that wages do go up for the median wage level which is what an employer needs to pay attention to if they desire to hire a foreign worker.  

It is therefore very important for employers to be familiar with the NOC system and to ensure they complete the labour market impact assessment (LMIA) application very carefully as there are so many requirements for them to pay attention to including wages and job duties and responsibilities. All of these go hand in hand to affect the process in hiring foreign workers.  

The LMIA process for all employers also utilizes an online portal format much like all other Canadian immigration law applications. The format works in such a way where you must fully complete one page before moving on to the next page. It is critical to ensure that all advertising requirements have been met for consecutive 30 day period of time and that the advertising continues until the application has been given a positive decision.  

The NAFTA was officially replaced on November 21, 2022 by CUSMA: the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement which essentially mirrors the old NAFTA as it equally involves four business categories, namely: business visitors professionals; intra-company transferees; traders; and, investors caregiver. 

The issue of what to do when a work permit is refused for a client. The process should involve the immediate submission of what is called an ATIP that seeks the disclosure of the notes made and prepared by the visa officer decision in question. Sometimes this process takes a lot longer than 60 days which is the length of time an applicant has to decide whether they wish to seek judicial review in the federal court following a decision made by a government official overseas. If the decision is made in land in Canada, then the length of time to decide whether to file an application for leave is only 15 days. A huge difference for sure, and one which all counsel should pay particular attention.  

The goal you are trying to achieve is to ensure that you collect and receive all notes prepared by an officer so that you can approach IRCC and ask for a review based on your written arguments that a principle of law was overlooked or perhaps some of the supporting documents were overlooked. This gives an opportunity to counsel to attempt to correct the possible miscommunication between counsel’s office and IRCC. There are so many thousands of applications that it is possible for a miscarriage of justice to have taken place whether by innocent human error or based on an issue of procedural fairness.           

David H. Davis is the founder and owner of Davis Immigration Law Office. He and his team can be reached by email at: on the web at or by phone at 204-956-2336 extension 208. David has over 33 years of legal experience in Canadian immigration legal matters.