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On September 8, 2023 Canada’s newest Minister of Immigration, Mark Miller, announced the re-opening of the Parents and Grandparents program (PGP) signifying the fourth consecutive year that the pool of sponsors would be selected from those who registered their Interest to Sponsor (ITS) in 2020. Practically this means that no new sponsors could even register for have their parents or grandparents immigrate to Canada for four years. What does this mean for permanent residents or citizens who are seeking to bring their parents or grandparents to live with them in Canada?

One of the most onerous, harsh and negative provisions in Canadian immigration law is a misrepresentation determination. A finding of misrepresentation comes with a five-year ban of applying to come to Canada. What options do you have when a misrepresentation determination has been made against you?

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.

The Canadian immigration law landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years. New programs and guidelines are being introduced at a fast and furious pace and many of the old rules that govern immigration processing have either been amended or discarded entirely. More than ever it is crucial to recognize the important role that immigration representatives play in our immigration system to advise clients on suitable immigration strategies based on the current legal landscape and to represent them in their applications and in their immigration hearings.

The introduction of the “Tech Talent Strategy” by Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) last month brought lots of good news for Start Up Visa (SUV) applicants including extending the work permit validity period from one year to three years, allowing for open work permits for individuals to work in Canada other than in their own businesses and also extending these perks to all the members of the SUV team rather than only for essential members. IRCC Minister Sean Fraser’s announcement is meant to alleviate situations of hardship for SUV applicants facing long processing times for their permanent residence applications and also enables Canadian employers to benefit from the skills of applicants already in Canada.

As immigration lawyers we are frequently told by clients “I don’t need a work permit - I’m just volunteering!” Understanding what is considered work and what is considered volunteering is vital to ensure that you maintain valid legal status while in Canada. For those in Canada on visitor status, it is important to know what you can and can’t do without a work permit. Providing services without receiving payment does not equal “volunteering” and in most cases will require a work permit.

On June 27, 2023 the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Sean Fraser, announced the creation of a new and groundbreaking “Tech Talent Strategy” that is intended to attract technology workers to Canada. While similar initiatives such as the Global Skills Strategy have been created in the past, the Tech Talent Strategy differs from its predecessors because it takes a holistic approach to improving our current immigration system when it comes to Canada’s ability to attract and retain technology workers. Employers working in the technology sector will want to familiarize themselves with the details of the Tech Talent Strategy.

Last week’s announcement by Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada (IRCC), the Honourable Sean Fraser, was indeed a welcome development for international students in Canada who have unknowingly fallen prey to unscrupulous immigration representatives.  But let’s be clear - this does not let all Canadian international students off the hook for transgressions while studying.  The onus on all foreign nationals seeking status in Canada is a very high standard and it is worth reviewing to remind students what their responsibilities are while studying in Canada.

Today, June 14, 2023, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Honorable Sean Fraser, did something truly honorable for international students in Canada who have been victims of immigration fraud by unscrupulous representatives - he introduced a policy directing immigration officers and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers to grant a temporary resident permit to students who have actually studied in Canada and were clearly unaware of the improper actions of their representatives.

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