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Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates May 6 – 12 2024

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A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present weekly news reviews, delivering the latest insights on Canadian immigration policies and procedures. Join us to stay on top of changes that could influence your immigration process.

Immigration Ministers Agreed To Improve The Immigration System Collaboratively 

On May 10, 2024, Canada’s Immigration Ministers discussed the country’s immigration plans for 2025-2027. The strategic meeting encompassed discussions around the economic and social benefits of immigration, levels of permanent and temporary residents, and the related capacity pressures. Ministers collectively agreed on the importance of a well-managed immigration system, emphasizing its critical role in distributing immigration benefits across the country. Nevertheless, provincial and territorial ministers continued to urge the federal government to reverse the $625M cuts to employment services under the labour market transfer agreements. This move threatens services for workers, newcomers, job seekers, and vulnerable Canadians.

The meeting also addressed the balance between temporary and permanent resident arrivals, including the federal government’s intention to include temporary residents in the annual levels plan for the first time this coming year and decrease the temporary resident population to 5% of Canada’s total population. Temporary residents encompass a diverse group, including individuals such as temporary foreign workers, international students, those seeking refuge through Canada’s responses to global crises, and asylum seekers. Like permanent residents, government officials have highlighted the significant contribution of temporary residents to Canada’s prosperity, labour force, and cultural vibrancy. They stress the necessity of adopting a data-driven strategy and closely monitoring the effects of recent federal initiatives to manage the influx of temporary residents.

IRCC Is Set To Reopen The Parents And Grandparents Program 

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is preparing to issue invitations to potential sponsors starting on May 21, 2024. The department aims to randomly choose 35,700 individuals from the pool of those who submitted an interest-to-sponsor form in 2020, expecting to receive 20,500 fully completed applications. This is a substantial increase from the previous year, with 5,500 more invitations being sent out compared to the 2023 intake. This increase reflects Canada’s growing demand for family reunification

For those who did not submit an interest-to-sponsor form in 2020, options are still available for their parents and grandparents to visit Canada. They can apply for a super visa, which allows for extended stays of up to five years. Furthermore, they can extend their visit while they are in Canada. This provides an excellent opportunity for families to spend quality time together, bridging the distance that may have kept them apart. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help you take the right steps to bring your loved ones to Canada. Contact us today to book an appointment.

IRCC Approved Manitoba’s Request To Extend Potential Nominees’ Temporary Resident Status Until 2024 

On May 8, 2024, IRCC approved Manitoba’s request to extend temporary resident status for potential nominees identified under the province’s Provincial Nominee Program. The individuals impacted by this decision are mainly post-graduation work permit holders currently in the Manitoba Skilled Worker Provincial Nominee Program Expression of Interest pool. They are skilled workers who are helping to fill critical job vacancies in Manitoba, contributing significantly to the province’s economy and cultural diversity. 

This interim measure allows 6,700 temporary workers in Manitoba to continue working while their Provincial Nominee Program applications are processed. Over the next two years, these eligible individuals are expected to receive Manitoba’s nomination and achieve permanent residency. This aligns with IRCC’s aim to stabilize permanent immigration, decrease the proportion of temporary residents, and meet labour market needs. Though specific to Manitoba, IRCC is open to options similar to those of other provinces to transition more temporary residents to permanent status.

New Brunswick Amended Legislation For Better Private Career College Oversight 

The provincial government in New Brunswick has proposed amendments designed to enhance student protection and increase accountability for private career colleges. Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Greg Turner stated that the goal is to ensure students receive quality education from reputable institutions. The amendments aim to modernize the process of regulating these institutions and strengthen standards in this rapidly evolving educational sector. 

The proposed amendments to the Private Occupational Training Act would establish a formal complaint registration system for students, authorize the government to set programming and service standards, and allow for the regulation of student record retention and sharing, among other student protection policies. These amendments will also change the registration requirements for training organizations from yearly to a one-time registration and introduce a compliance order system that offers more solutions than revoking registration.

Canadians Call For An Overhaul Of The Immigration System 

A recent Business Council of Alberta poll revealed a significant shift in public opinion on Canada’s immigration system. The survey found that 70% of Canadians believe changes to the system are necessary, a marked departure from the country’s historical support for immigration. Though immigration has been a significant factor in attracting skilled individuals who contribute to economic growth, recent issues such as population growth and economic weaknesses have caused a shift in perception. 

Despite less than half of the respondents believing that immigration benefits Canada’s economy, society, and global standing, 62% still favour prioritizing economic immigration. However, only 28% have confidence in the current system’s ability to select and support immigrants effectively. Respondents cited insufficient housing, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of credential recognition. As a result, a staggering 70% of Canadians call for reforms in credential recognition and the selection of immigrants with high economic potential, indicating a desire to improve living standards across the country.

Over 7,500 Canadians Applied For Gaza Visas, Surpassing The Government’s Initial Estimates 

A complex visa pathway launched in early 2021 led to over 7,500 Canadians applying to extract their family members from Gaza, a figure significantly overstepping the initial estimates by the Federal Government. The program, rolled out in January, was quickly inundated with applications despite being described as exceedingly difficult by lawyers and applicants alike. Out of the 7,549 applications submitted, a mere 179 visas had been issued by late April, leaving many applicants uncertain. 

The visa process, which involves multiple steps, including a challenging final security screening at the Egyptian border, has been the subject of widespread criticism. The Canadian government’s handling of the program, especially its lack of urgency and communication with applicants, has drawn significant backlash. Appeals have been made for the government to ease the visa security requirements and provide more transparency about the process. Many applicants who have paid significant amounts to participate in the program remain in limbo with no clear indication of the outcome.

Canada’s Plan To Detain Immigrants In Federal Prisons Faces Criticism 

Human rights groups are urging the Canadian government to reconsider a budget proposal that would allow for the detention of immigrants in federal prisons, citing concerns over potential exposure to harsh conditions. The proposal comes as provinces are opting out of housing immigrants in their local jails, leading the government to propose amendments that would allow high-risk detainees to be housed in federal facilities. Despite government assurances that immigrants will be kept in separate areas, critics argue that the proposal contradicts Canadian values and principles. 

Detainees, who may be barred from entering the country due to crimes or human rights violations, lack the same rights as regular criminals. Critics have raised concerns over potential human rights violations and the possibility of indefinite detention. They point out that federal holding facilities, which already can house almost 500 people, could be a feasible and more humanitarian alternative. The backlash against the proposal highlights the ongoing debate around immigration policies and human rights in Canada.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers provide expert guidance for those looking to make their journey to Canada as smooth as possible. With years of experience in immigration law, our team is ready to assist you with every step of the process. Do not leave your future to chance – contact us today for professional help with your immigration needs.

Ksenia Tchern

A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.