2020 - Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre

Home2020 - Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre

Of all the various statutory weaponry in an immigration officer’s arsenal, there is perhaps none so lethal in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) as S. 40, the statutory provision which defines misrepresentation. A misrepresentation finding has dire consequences - generally a five-year ban on making any future immigration application, but in some cases, a permanent bar to ever being able to come to Canada.

Beginning on December 15, 2020, BC employers looking to hire foreign workers through the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) stream or caregivers through federal the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot will need to register online with the provincial government to receive a “certificate of registration”. Although there is no charge to obtain a certificate of registration, BC employers will no longer be able to access these immigration programs to hire foreign workers if they have not obtained one.

As we reach the end of 2020, the effects of COVID-19 on Canadian immigration levels has become apparent: the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has not processed and approved as many permanent residency applications as it expected to in 2020. In many cases, existing permanent residency applications will not be finalized in 2020 because of COVID-19 related shutdowns slowing down IRCC’s standard processing speed and preventing applicants from meeting basic immigration requirements such as obtaining police clearance results or completing biometrics (fingerprinting) enrolment.

It is rare in our blogs to provide case commentary upon court decisions as the vast majority of Canadian jurisprudence is mostly for consideration and contemplation by lawyers rather than the layperson. But from time to time a judicial conclusion provides significant guidance to the general public. The recent BC Supreme Court decision of He v. Guo is such a case providing considerable food for thought in the Canadian immigrant community.

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. A few COVID-19 cases had already been confirmed in Canada by late January 2020, but the declaration of March 11 reinforced the seriousness of the outbreak and the consequences that were likely to follow.

One of the most significant and consistent effects of COVID-19 to overall immigration processing can be distilled to a single word: delay. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) standard processing times have been obliterated and, in some cases, have ground to a stand-still.

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, made a welcome announcement on Monday October 5th that the parents and grandparents (PGP) sponsorship program will be re-opening on October 13, 2020. Interested sponsors will have three weeks from October 13, 2020 to November 3, 2020 to register an online interest to sponsor form for a chance to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada as permanent residents.

COVID-19 has dramatically transformed virtually all aspects of Canada’s immigration program but perhaps no sector has faced as much confusion and disruption as that for international students. Border closures have made it next to impossible for international students who have already commenced studying in Canada and have a valid study permit, to be able to return to Canada.

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced a new temporary policy on Monday, August 24, 2020 that will allow visitors currently in Canada to apply for employer-specific work permits without having to leave the country. This temporary policy takes effect immediately until further notice and is intended to get visitors with job offers working as soon as possible for the Canadian employers who need them.

Since March 11, 2020 when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, nearly all aspects of immigration processing have been negatively affected. The closure of many immigration visa offices, visa application centres, and biometrics collection points have exposed some of the flaws and limitations of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) current application processing system. Specifically, IRCC continues to rely on paper-based applications, which are not easily processed in the era of COVID-19 when much of its workforce is working from home. As a result, the processing of paper applications like those made under the Family Class to sponsor loved ones for Canadian permanent residency are expected to suffer from lengthy backlogs.

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