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News and Articles



NEWS AND ARTICLES

January 2018

What were the biggest changes to immigration programs in Canada in 2017? Here’s a list of the most important:

 

  1.   Canadian citizenship

Amendments to the Citizenship Act were made through Bill C-6  The main change was that permanent residents of Canada can now apply for citizenship with only three years of physical presence in Canada during the last five years. Some of the additional changes are: applicants can now use time spent in Canada as a temporary resident before (before they were granted permanent residence) towards their Citizenship application; and now only applicants between 18 and 54 years old need to complete language and citizenship knowledge testing (previously, applicants from 14 to 64 years old needed to complete the testing). Click the following link to find out more about these and other citizenship changes: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/canadian-citizenship/improvements/act-changes-2017.html

The Citizenship changes (Bill C-6) received Royal Assent on June 19, 2017, and later came into full force on October 11, 2017.

 

2. The European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement ("CETA")

This new trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, called “CETA” was created to bridge gaps in trade between the two regions. It came into force on September 21, 2017. Some of the provisions of the agreement allow for reduction in tariff and non-tariff barriers, and make the processing of goods, services, and labour easier to navigate. In terms of immigration, the provisions allow for temporary movement of Canadian and European workers, investors and business visitors. Click the following link to find out more about CETA: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/ceta-aecg/index.aspx?lang=eng

 

3. Change in the definition of "dependent child"

The definition of “dependent child” according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada changed from 18 years old and under to 21 years old and under. This has positive implications for families immigrating to Canada with post-secondary school age children. The government hopes that this will aid in keeping families together.  The new definition became effective on October 24, 2017. Click the following link to find out more about the change in age of dependents: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2017/05/changes_to_regulationswillseeageincreasedfordependentchild.html

 

4. Changes to the Express Entry system

The IRCC added some categories to the calculation of points under the Express Entry program. Now, persons who score high on French tests (approved by IRCC), may be eligible to receive extra Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points on top of their regular score for French language. Candidates with siblings who are living in Canada as citizens or permanent residents may also receive additional points.

Additionally, candidates are now ranked by their CRS score and the date and time their profile entered the pool, as opposed to previously, where they were only ranked by their CRS score alone.

These changes were implemented on June 6, 2017. Find out more about these changes and others at: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2017/03/express_entry_improvementsspring2017.html

 

5. The addition of the Global Skills Strategy

The Global Skills Strategy is a pilot program that allows Canadian employers to more easily access a pool of highly skilled and specialized foreign workers. The project is meant to help Canadian businesses obtain specialized and skilled foreign workers faster for short-term positions in Canada. One example is that highly skilled or specialized foreign workers who are coming to Canada for less than 30 days will be exempt from obtaining a work permit if they are coming through a Canadian company.

Another aspect of the program called, “Global Talent Stream” allows high-growth and innovative Canadian businesses to grow their business by adding highly skilled foreign workers more easily. This project also aims to help Canadian businesses who are looking for workers in “in-demand” occupations.

Learn more about this pilot program that came into effect on June 12, 2017: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/hire-foreign-worker/temporary/global-skills-strategy.html

 

6. Open work permit pilot project for spouses being sponsored from within Canada

In 2014, the IRCC started a pilot project that allowed spouses being sponsored for permanent residence from within Canada to apply for an open work permit while waiting for their sponsorship to be processed. This pilot project has now been confirmed to be extended until January 31, 2019. Candidates must already have valid temporary residence status to apply for this permit as an in-Canada sponsored spouse.

For more information on the extension this project, click on the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/notices/spousal-permit-extended.html

 

7. Changes to the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship program

In early 2017, IRCC implemented changes to the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program. The process was changed to an on-line form called an “expression of interest” to sponsor a parent or grandparent. There was a time limit on the ability to submit an on-line form. Over 95,000 expressions of interest were completed online in early 2017. After these expressions of interest were received, IRCC followed-up with 20,000 random invitations for candidates to submit applications to sponsor their parents and grandparents.

The program re-opened for 2018 on January 2nd with some changes to the “Interest to Sponsor” form which is available from January 2, 2018, until February 1, 2018. Click here for more information on the program and it’s changes: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2017/12/parents_and_grandparentsprogramreopeninginnewyear.html

 

8. Canadian government immigration plans for the future

The Annual Report to Parliament for 2017 from IRCC indicates plans for substantial increases in the total number of permanent residents to be admitted to Canada over the next three years (2018 – 2020). The government plans to increase the overall target of 300,000 new permanent residents to 340,000 by 2020. These increases will be seen in the following immigration categories: Provincial Nominees, Humanitarian and Compassionate cases, Federal Skilled Workers and Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class and sponsored spouses and children. 

Click on the following link to find out more about the Canadian government’s immigration plan for the next three years: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/annual-report-parliament-immigration-2017.html

 

 

June 19,  2017

 Long awaited changes to the requirements for Canadian citizenship are now here! New requirements to obtain Canadian citizenship came into force on June 19, 2017. If you want to apply for Canadian citizenship, here are the NEW rules:

  •  You must be a permanent resident of and physically reside in Canada for at least 1,095 days (3 years) during the five years before the date of your application
  • If you are between the ages of 18 and 54 you must meet the basic knowledge and language requirements. 
  • You no longer need to declare your intent to reside in Canada once you are granted Canadian citizenship
  • You can now use up to one year of time you were in Canada as a temporary resident (or non-permanent resident) towards the three years of time you are required to reside in Canada
  • You only need to have filed three years of income taxes (if required to file income taxes by Canada Revenue Agency)
  • Minors can now apply for citizenship without parents

 And there are more changes in the new Bill C-6 regarding citizenship. Call us at 613-386-3337 to find out more!

 

March 31st, 2017

 There are some small upcoming changes to the Express Entry system! Starting on June 6, 2017, if you are an Express Entry candidate and you speak French or have a sibling who already lives in Canada, you will get more points under the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).  

 In addition to these changes, registering with the Government of Canada job bank will become voluntary rather than mandatory.

 The government of Canada is continuing to tweak the Express Entry system so it is more user friendly and works well for both candidates and employers.

 Call us at 613-386-3337 if you would like to know more about immigration options to Canada!

 

 March 7, 2017

More reasons to immigrate to Eastern Ontario:  Interview with Mayor Tasso of Belleville, Ontario

Click here for the CBC news interview, "Immigration kickstart" :  http://www.cbc.ca/news/immigration-kickstart-1.4012725

 

Check out this Toronto Star article on immigrating to small towns in Ontario: 

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/03/05/for-small-towns-on-the-bay-of-quinte-the-future-is-immigration.html 

 

February 2017

Click on this link to read about immigration in Canada:  post from NPR news

 

CHANGES TO CANADIAN IMMIGRATION PROGRAMS 2017! CONTACT US – WE CAN HELP!

Very recently, the Canadian government (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) has made changes to several immigration programs. In December 2016, changes were made to family sponsorship including spousal/common-law, parental, dependent child and other family members.

For parental sponsorship, the following changes have been made (!!IMPORTANT!! If you are interested in this application, please contact Eastern Ontario Immigration Consulting for immediate assistance as the deadline for this application is quickly approaching!):

-          10,000 applications will be accepted in 2017 for parental sponsorship;

-          As a first step, sponsors must now complete an online profile between January 3 and February 2nd, 2017 by 12 noon. If the online profile is not completed, you will be ineligible for this program. Note that the profile is NOT an application; and

-          Online profiles will be chosen randomly by IRCC to complete an application for sponsorship. Only applicants chosen from the on-line profile will be able to apply for parental sponsorship.

PLEASE CONTACT Eastern Ontario Immigration Consulting if you are chosen to apply for parental sponsorship and would like assistance with the process!

For spousal/common-law partner, dependent child and other family member’s sponsorship, IRCC has made the following changes:

-          Decreased processing time to 12 months and increased the number of accepted sponsorship applications;

-          Combined the application packages into one package for all spousal sponsorships whether inside or outside of Canada;

-          Changed the timing of the medical exam. Medical exams are now to be submitted after the processing of the application has started;

-          Changed the requirements for police check certificates; and

-          Created a feature to access and link parts of the sponsorship application to an on-line account.

The Canadian government has made other changes to it’s programs, specifically the Express Entry program. Tomorrow we will post information about changes to that program.

Look for future posts on this page that discuss other possible changes to be made to immigration and citizenship programs in 2017. These will include: the age of dependents on all immigration applications, elimination of the conditional permanent residence rule for spousal sponsorship and changes to Citizenship program rules.  



 

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant  RCIC # 515290