Victor Ing, Author at Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre
 

HomeAuthorVictor Ing, Author at Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre

I am proud to say that I have been serving immigration clients for over a decade since I was called to the British Columbia bar in 2011. A year earlier in 2010, I had my first opportunity as an articled student to help prepare written legal submissions for a Federal Court matter concerning a family whose application for permanent residence was refused because they had a child with a disability. It was an exhilarating experience to advocate for our client’s rights and to experience firsthand how the Court oversees the immigration decision-making process to ensure that it is transparent and fair. I was instantly hooked on this work. Fast forward to 2024 and I see a rapidly changing landscape where the Court is so bogged down with cases that it can no longer effectively serve this essential role.

Last week on March 19, 2024, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) announced significant upcoming changes to its International Post-Graduate (IPG) stream that will make it more difficult for many international students who have graduated in BC with master’s degrees in natural, applied and health sciences to obtain a coveted provincial nomination to qualify for Canadian permanent residence. Post-graduate students already enrolled in these programs bristled at the news as they gathered in downtown Vancouver this past weekend to protest the proposed changes to the IPG stream that will take effect as of January 2025. They argue that these changes come without warning and will unfairly affect them since they made the important (and expensive) decision years ago to study in BC based on promises that will no longer be kept.

On Thursday, February 29, 2024 at 11:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Honourable Marc Miller, re-imposed a visa requirement on all Mexican nationals seeking to come to Canada temporarily as visitors, students and workers. For many Mexicans currently in Canada, their Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs) were immediately canceled. For those seeking to enter Canada, it put an immediate hold on travel plans while the new rules are sorted out and visas obtained. 

On January 22, 2024, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Marc Miller made the seismic announcement that Canada will set caps to limit the number of new international students coming to Canada, with a goal to reduce overall levels by a whopping 35% over two years.  Minister Miller did not mince words during his January press conference when describing the institutional wrongs he intends to right, citing the existence of “diploma mills” whose sole purpose is to turn a profit from international students, rather than ensuring they receive a quality education and experience in Canada.  It has now been a month since Minister Miller's announcement was made, and we are now seeing trickle down effects in the ways that provinces and territories are adapting to these changes.

On December 7, 2023, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced that, starting January 1, 2024, international students will be required to have more funds to be granted a student visa to ensure they can afford the costs of living in Canada. Speaking to reporters, the Minister acknowledged that there may be unintended consequences arising from the increase in financial requirements, which are more than doubling from $10,000 to $20,635 to cover the first year of living expenses in Canada, but he felt it was necessary so that students will not feel forced to work to make ends meet. There is already a debate about whether the Minister’s announcement will lead to a noticeable decrease in the number of international students in Canada and whether those who meet the higher financial requirements will truly benefit from this change. In this blog post we will review some of the experiences we have had at our law firm working closely with international students.

At our immigration law office we frequently consult with clients about spousal sponsorships, which involves an application by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner for permanent residence in Canada. These applications are quite commonplace and represent a large proportion of approvals each year. To illustrate, in 2021 over 69,000 foreign nationals were admitted to Canada as permanent residents under a spousal sponsorship and this represented about 17% of the total admissions approved for the entire year.

There is a constant discussion in mainstream media about the need for foreign workers to maintain and support the Canadian economy. Practically, however, it is not that easy for employers to bring foreign workers to Canada in a timely fashion. At our immigration law firm, we find that employers are often surprised at the numerous steps that they need to take to bring foreign workers to Canada to assist them with their business obligations. What does an employer need to know to be able to streamline the process of bringing workers to Canada?

The term “digital nomad” has been in use for over 25 years to describe a person who supports themselves by working remotely, rather than at a fixed location, which allows them to freely travel the globe. With ongoing technological advances and a rise in digital nomadism due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the term has gone mainstream and has made its way into the vocabulary of Canadian immigration law ever since a June 2023 announcement by our government that they are actively marketing Canada as an attractive destination for digital nomads. In this article, we will review the government’s latest policy announcement and discuss the pros and cons of coming to Canada as a digital nomad.

As immigration lawyers we are frequently consulted by Canadian employers about how they can hire foreign workers to fill job vacancies. The generic answer without knowing anything about the employer or the foreign worker is that all Canadian employers can hire foreign workers through the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process, which requires an employer to demonstrate that it has a job vacancy and that there are no qualified Canadians or permanent residents who are available to fill it.

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