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Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Once again, the Canadian Immigration department is about to announce news immigration laws. At the time of print, the official details were sketchy as the Federal Immigration Minister refused to divulge specifics until this week but her comments have indicated that the changes will affect skilled workers, family sponsorships and workers. It also seems that the processing times will be faster. “It is good news for newcomers. It’s going to get them, their family and their co-workers faster to Canada”, she stated.

As well, the minister reiterated that the primary concern for the changes was to eliminate the backlog of 800,000 applications that are currently in inventory at missions abroad. This is obviously great news as applicants have been waiting for years to have their applications processed.

However, we will have to wait and see if the changes will concentrate on processing economic class applications from skilled workers, entrepreneurs and investors at the expense of family reunification applications, which produce less than 30 per cent of the 250,000 newcomers to Canada each year.

Another concern is that the changes may concentrate too much on foreign workers who eventually cannot qualify for permanent residence. Currently, the only categories of workers that can automatically apply for permanent residence are live in caregivers. Other low skilled workers (such as customer service, cashiers, and housekeepers) who are being recruited to cities in Alberta, for example have little chance of using that work experience towards permanent residence. The current independent category requires applicants to have work experience in skilled occupations that require a college or university degree.

So time will tell and we will see if the minister will try to strengthen Canada and continue the “nation-building” focus of immigration policy or if the minister will create a pool of unqualified applicants who must return to their home country after their work permit expires.

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