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As an immigration lawyer I regularly speak with clients who are interested in applying for visas and permits to come to Canada. For many clients the first step of arriving in Canada represents an exciting new chapter; however, after arriving in Canada many clients are not fully aware about the conditions that are imposed on their stay, which can jeopardize their long-term future in Canada if they run afoul of Canadian immigration laws. In this article I will explore some of the ways that both immigration applicants and the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can reduce the likelihood that a person in Canada will unintentionally break immigration laws.

As immigration lawyers we are often consulted by individuals for a wide array of immigration processes where their current status is expiring imminently - like today or tomorrow! There are also people who come to us AFTER their status has already expired. There are ways of fixing most things, but not all things. Which raises the question….When is the best time to apply to renew my status?

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is operated by the provincial government of British Columbia in partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to address the labour market needs of the province. The program was originally established in 2001 and allows the province to nominate foreign workers, international students and entrepreneurs in British Columbia to apply for permanent residence through IRCC.

On April 4, 2022 the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”) announced sweeping new Temporary Foreign Worker Program ("TFWP") policies that will make it easier for Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers (“TFWs”) through the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) process. These policies come on the heels of strong economic reports showing that the Canadian economy has rebounded from the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and that there is currently a high job vacancy rate in the country. Let’s review the three major changes that every employer needs to know!

Caveat Emptor is a long-standing economic maxim meaning “Buyer Beware!’ It is all too applicable in the Canadian immigration process and applicants to Canada need to be fully aware of the risks they face in the midst of pervasive immigration fraud. March is Canada’s Fraud Prevention Month where efforts are made to both raise awareness of and curtail the incidence of fraud and abuse in Canada’s immigration program.

As we enter the third year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, there are no longer any doubts that the pandemic has wreaked havoc on Canadian immigration application processing times. With a reported backlog of nearly two million applications, many applicants are losing patience with the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and are looking for ways to expedite their applications. Facing extraordinary delays, these applicants are turning to the judicial remedy of ‘mandamus’, which is an order issued by the Federal Court to compel a government department such as IRCC to process their applications.

On February 24, 2022, the world witnessed a full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces - an aggression of this magnitude not seen in Europe since World War II. With the world's third largest population of Ukrainians, Canada is home to over 1.4 million people of Ukrainian ancestry. Given Canada’s significant connections to Ukraine, it was not surprising that the Government of Canada, through the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”), took immediate steps to facilitate the entry of Ukrainian citizens to Canada.

The Agri-Food Pilot (“AFP”) is a Canadian economic-class immigration program introduced in May 2020 that will remain in effect until May 2023. This 3-year pilot program was implemented to address the labor needs of Canadian employers in the agriculture sector. The AFP provides a direct pathway to Canadian permanent residence for skilled workers employed in agricultural industries across Canada.

Over Five years ago, on January 27, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) introduced a pilot project designed to enhance the economy of Atlantic Canada, which had been in steady decline due to a shrinking labour force and aging population. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project (“AIPP”) offered permanent residence to eligible applicants that intend to permanently settle in one of the four Atlantic provinces.

Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre LLP

A partnership between Catherine Sas Law Corporation and Victor Ing Law Corporation

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