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Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I heard that the former immigration minister quit because of allegations that she gave preferential treatment to a select few when others have been waiting months for their own cases. Will the new minister change the rules and have applications processed in a timely manner?

A. As a way of background to our readers, the former Federal Immigration Minister, Judy Sgro, quit her post this month amid allegations that she fast tracked the visa of a Romanian stripper who volunteered at the office during the election. The newly appointed minister is Joe Volpe who is no stranger to immigration issues.

Will he change the laws? It is not known yet but given the fact that the immigration system is in dire need of an overhaul it would not surprise me.

If the laws do change, it is not going to be “easier” to immigrate, in my opinion. If anything, the minister will tighten the rules in order to have less people immigrate and ease the backlog.

As well, there is some talk that Canada will implement a quota system (like the USA) and/or eliminate sponsorship of parents/grandparents in order to ease the backlog.

For those who are qualified now, the rule is the same as it has always been – ” apply now” while the laws are in your favor. If you wait , do not be surprised if the regulations are amended resulting in harsher rules.

*** Update on Current Laws ***

The following are some important changes in the way immigration applications are being processed:

Live in Caregiver Applications – as of February 1, 2005 generic advertising will no longer be accepted. Therefore it is important to submit complete applications that include recruitment efforts and specific details in the ads.

Refugee Claims – While it has been said over and over that the Philippines is not a refugee producing country this item does not apply to most Filipinos except those who are tricked to file a bogus refugee claim just in order to ” stay in Canada”. As of January 1, 2005 the ” Safe Third Country Agreement” was implemented. That is, if you are entering Canada from a safe third country (i.e. USA) you cannot claim refugee status in Canada and must go back and apply in the USA. You will be sent back at the border.

Applicants without status and married to Canadians – current laws prevent applicants with no status in Canada to be sponsored from within Canada. The immigration department has held that just because you are married to a Canadian is not sufficient humanitarian and compassionate of a reason to stay. It appears that this may change and the department is reviewing their policy.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed Immigration Lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions in confidence to Balita or to Attorney Moyal by fax, mail or email