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

HomeCategoryBlog Archives - 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.

Adam Smith is often considered the father of modern economics and a significant proponent of the law of supply and demand. This economic theory postulates that when supply of a good is in abundance prices will fall and when the supply is diminished that prices will rise. Applying the principles of supply and demand to Canada’s immigration program, the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is in the enviable position of being able to “set their price” by being choosy as to who, how and when they will select which applicants to be able to come to Canada. A quick review of a few of our current immigration programs demonstrates this reality.

On Monday April 29, 2024 Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Marc Miller, introduced dramatic changes to Canada’s two federal business immigration programs effective the next day, April 30, 2024. These changes limit the processing of Start-Up Visa (SUV) cases to a total of 10 start-ups per designated organization per year. Further, the Self-Employed (SE) category is completely suspended until the end of 2026 with no further applications being accepted while IRCC clears out the backlog of pending applications and determines how to re-vamp the program. Immigration professionals are scrambling to understand the rationale for such drastic and immediate changes. Let’s take a closer look at Canada’s two business programs - the SUV and the SE.

Predictability for obtaining permanent residency status in Canada changed dramatically on January 1, 2015 with the introduction of the Express Entry (EE) selection system for permanent residence to Canada. EE introduced a new points based Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) measurement for selecting the “best and brightest” applicants. Prospective immigrants need to register a profile which goes into a pool of applicants enabling the government to set a standard for selection and control their intake. This model has been replicated throughout Federal, Provincial and Territorial selection systems. Intake control is central to output management and has become the norm for immigration selection.

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. 

Many people are aware of the humanitarian and compassionate (H and C) application process for permanent residence to Canada which people can turn to when they are not able to access any other type of immigration application and when they can demonstrate compelling personal circumstances. H and C applications can be made from within Canada as well as from outside of Canada. However, the H and C statutory provisions exclude certain applicants, specifically persons found to be inadmissible to Canada pursuant to ss. 34, 35 and 37 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) on security grounds. If you have been found inadmissible to Canada on one of these grounds what are your possible options to overcome such a finding and either remain in or come to Canada?

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.

In response to public concerns raised about the impact of foreign students to the overall economy and housing, this past Monday, January 22, 2024, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), the Honourable Mark Miller, introduced sweeping changes to Canada’s international student program decreasing the overall number of applications to be accepted, introducing provincial and territorial caps and modifying the post-graduation work permit (PGWP) program. While the changes are set to take effect September 1, 2024, certain aspects of the program will be affected as of Monday, effectively suspending further study permit applications until the end of March.  

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