Immigration and Multiculturalism
On April 29, 2013, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (“HRSDC”) and the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that they would be introducing numerous changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Employment and Social Development Canada, formerly known as HRSDC, has now announced changes to the Labour Market Opinion application process, which are effective as of July 31, 2013.
On January 24, 2013, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Citizen Jason Kenney announced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada would launch a Start-Up Visa Program to recruit innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and spur economic growth. This program differs from existing investor and entrepreneur options to the extent that the entrepreneur will not need to be the source of investment capital. Such a program will enable entrepreneurs who establish start-up businesses using capital contributed by third parties, such as venture capital firms or angel investors, to seek permanent residence in Canada. The Start-Up Visa Program begins on April 1, 2013.
On August 18, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) published proposed regulatory amendments in the Canada Gazette, which (once enacted) would create a Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP”). On January 2, 2013, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that CIC would begin accepting applications under the FSTP, effective immediately.
On September 28, 2012, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that citizenship applicants will now be required to provide up-front objective evidence of their language ability at the time of their citizenship application. This requirement applies to applications received as of November 1, 2012. After that date, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will return any citizenship application, filed by an applicant between the ages of 18 and 54, that does not include objective evidence of language ability.
On March 9, 2012, Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced additional measures to discourage marriage fraud. Under the new proposal, conditional permanent resident status would apply to all spouses in relationships of two years or less who have no children with their sponsor at the time of the sponsorship application. Although the Canadian Government’s desire to discourage immigration fraud is not unreasonable, the current Canadian proposal is problematic for a number of reasons.
During the recent Canadian Bar Association Citizenship and Immigration Conference in Gatineau, Quebec, representatives of the Central Intake Office (“CIO”) in Sydney, Nova Scotia, provided some helpful insight into its processing of Federal Skilled Worker (“FSW”) applications. The CIO screens all FSW applications in order to verify that submitted applications satisfy the Ministerial Instructions, which currently restrict who can apply under the FSW class.
On February 13, 2011, Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that, in 2010, Canada welcomed the highest number of legal immigrants in more than 50 years (280,636 permanent residents). A day later, New Democrat immigration critic Olivia Chow stated during a press conference that information obtained under an Access to Information Act request revealed that the federal government intends to further reduce the immigration targets for parents and grandparents from 15,300 in 2010 to 11,000.
Earlier this month, the QMI Agency reported that senior Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials had said illegal work experience could count towards a permanent residence application filed under a Provincial Nominee Program. Was this fact or fiction?