FEBRUARY 23, 2019: GOOD NEWS FOR CAREGIVERS

FEBRUARY 23, 2019: GOOD NEWS FOR CAREGIVERS

Immigration Minister, Mr. Ahmed Hussen has just announced the immediate launch of two new five-year pilot programs that will allow those in the caregivers category to settle with their entire family in Canada if they receive a work permit and then file an application for permanent residence after working for two years on the basis of that permit.

These programs are designed to replace the current ones Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs which cannot serve as a starting point for obtaining permanent residence except for the nurses who meet the very drastic criteria imposed by the Express Entry system. Other temporary foreign workers that are included in this second category, i.e. home support workers, do not meet the criteria of the Express Entry system because they occupy positions  Level C of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

While waiting for the two new pilot programs to be launched, Minister Hussen announced the launch of an interim program starting March 4, 2019, whereby those currently in a situation where they cannot ask for permanent residence will have three months (so a very short interval) to prepare and submit applications for permanent residence based on “public policy” grounds. The conditions to be fulfilled by applicants are as follows:

1) Being in Canada on the basis of a valid work permit, or waiting for an extension.
2) Have at least 12 months of full-time experience (at least 30 hours per week) starting from November 30, 2014, either as a “home child provider” (as defined in NOC 4411, but with the exclusion of so-called “foster parents” ) or as a “home support worker” (as defined in NOC 4412, but excluding “hosekeepers”).
3) Present the results of an English or French test at least at the level of CLB 5 (beginner-advanced) at all four tested abilities. CLICK HERE to find out what this level means for the different tests that IRCC (Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada) accepts.
4) Provide evidence of having a secondary school diploma in Canada or its equivalent confirmed by an IRCC-accredited institution (CLICK HERE to peruse their list).

As you can see, candidates who want to take advantage of these three months within which they can apply for permanent residence have to collect a lot of documents, not to mention that they must immediately enroll in a language test to pass within the short range available to them.

It goes without saying that such circumstances call for qualified professional assistance.
We will come back with details when we know more about the new pilot programs.

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JANUARY 28, 2019-THE DATE THE NEW PROCEDURE FOR SPONSORING PARENTS IS TO BE LAUNCHED!

JANUARY 28, 2019-THE DATE THE NEW PROCEDURE FOR SPONSORING PARENTS IS TO BE LAUNCHED!

On January 11, 2019, IRCC (Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada) posted the rules that will govern this procedure that will allow 20,000 Canadians (permanent residents and citizens) to sponsor their parents and grandparents. Basically, unlike the previous intake process, in 2019 the Government will provide a first-in-first-served approach, but will maintain the on-line registration of the candidates’ interest to sponsor forms.

Please click on the link below to read the details:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/family-sponsorship/sponsor-parents-grandparents/selected.html

Since the last year more than 80 thousand potential sponsors could not file their applications because they didn’t win the lottery, it is expected that all of them and perhaps many more will rush to file on-line their  interest to sponsor forms immediately after noon, on January 28, 2019.  We still don’t have any indication as to how will IRCC prevent the system from crashing, and, more importantly, how is it going to establish the order in which those forms have been filed when almost 100,000 candidates have clicked “submit” in the very same moment.

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SOON TO COME: IRCC INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE 2019 PARENTAL SPONSORSHIP PROCEDURE

SOON TO COME: IRCC INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE 2019 PARENTAL SPONSORSHIP PROCEDURE

As we have already indicated a couple of months ago, the Trudeau government announced in August that it would be dropping a contentious lottery system in favour of quotas, and admit up to 20,500 parents and grandparents in 2019, selected on the basis of the order they registered their on-line declarations of intention.

For the last few years the critical moment when the potential Canadian sponsors were expected to act in order to be included in the IRCC annual quotas, was the first working day of January.  It is understandable then why everybody grew more and more frustrated seeing that the end of 2018 was closing and IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada ) gave no sign of posting the new instructions.

Finally, a spokesperson for IRCC said the department issued a social media post on the last day of 2018 saying that applications would be accepted again soon; this is how the tweet in question looks:

IRCC‏Verified account @CitImmCanada 31 Dec 2018

“We understand there is much excitement about the re-opening of the Parents and Grandparents Program. Please be advised that the program will be opening in late January, not on the 2nd, but rest assured we will give you advance notice before it opens.”

We encourage you to keep watching our site for news to be posted in the very near future.

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THE NEW SELECTION SYSTEM OF ECONOMIC IMMIGRANTS FOR QUEBEC

THE NEW   SELECTION SYSTEM OF ECONOMIC IMMIGRANTS FOR QUEBEC

During the last week of August 2018, MIDI (Quebec Ministry of Immigration) organized a webinar  for authorized immigration representatives to explain how the new system works.

As we have already announced, the selection will be based on on-line declarations of interest, based on which MIDI will establish the list of candidates with the highest scores to be invited to submit their actual applications. So, no more “first come, first served” system: invitations to apply will get not those who expressed first their interest, but those who obtain the highest scores.

Therefore, the declarations of interest should contain all the information needed to calculate the points according to the Quebec “grille de selection”.  It goes without saying that the manner of completing the declaration will be decisive in determining the score. Therefore, the fact that MIDI has created a separate “space” for authorized representatives can provide a substantial advantage to those who benefit from the services of such a representative.

Regarding the actual selection system, it seems to have been inspired by both the federal Express Entry and the  Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream. Unlike those systems though, the Quebec’s one does not impose the evaluation of the candidate’s degrees and diplomas by a Canadian institution, and will not use multiple point systems to consecutively assess the applicants. Those who prefer to do it by themselves will see however that it is not easy to correctly formulate  the answers to the numerous and sophisticated questions that the new Arrima portal poses, not to mention the technical difficulties raised by the uploading of the supporting documentation.

We are at your disposal for the free evaluation of your chances of success.

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A more convenient way to validate permanent residence from within Canada thanks to pilot project

A more convenient way to validate permanent residence from within Canada thanks to pilot project

(from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada)

Ottawa, March 19, 2018 — As part of our initiatives to improve client service, we will be testing an option for clients to have their permanent residence (PR) validated at an IRCC office without needing to make an appointment.

This pilot project benefits clients as it offers a more flexible and convenient landing process. Clients will not need to reach out to book an appointment in advance and will have the confidence of knowing they will be able to confirm their PR during their visit.

Between March 19 and April 20, 2018, IRCC will be emailing selected clients in the Montreal, Fredericton and Halifax areas who have received their Confirmation of PR document. The email will be from an address ending in “@cic.gc.ca” and will list dates and times when clients can visit their local IRCC office to be confirmed as a PR.

Typically in order to validate your PR status you need to make an appointment at one of our offices near where you live in Canada. If you are not able to make an appointment, you may leave Canada and return through an international airport or a Canadian land border. When you arrive, an IRCC officer will interview you, and grant you entry into Canada based on the information in your visa.

Clients cannot request to be included in this pilot project. However, IRCC will determine if this landing process should be expanded to become part of the normal process for all clients based on the results of this pilot project.

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SPONSORING PARENTS AND GRANDPARENT IN 2018

SPONSORING PARENTS AND GRANDPARENT IN 2018

(From Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada)

December 22, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – Canadian citizens and permanent residents will soon be able to take the first step in applying to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada, when the Parents and Grandparents Program reopens in 2018.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a new process in 2017 for application intake for sponsoring parents and grandparents to make it fairer and more transparent for applicants. Now, potential sponsors must first notify IRCC that they are interested in sponsoring their parents and grandparents by submitting an “Interest to Sponsor” form. Using a random selection process, IRCC will then invite potential sponsors to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that the “Interest to Sponsor” form will be available at noon EST on January 2, 2018. Those who wish to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents in 2018 must first fill out this online form. It will be available until noon February 1, 2018.

To help ensure the efficiency of the system and to allow as many eligible sponsors as possible to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada, it is important that only those who meet the sponsorship eligibility requirements submit an “Interest to Sponsor” form. Additional questions have been added to the 2018 version of the “Interest to Sponsor” form to help potential sponsors self-assess whether they are eligible to sponsor.”

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NEW RULES RAISING THE AGE LIMIT UNTIL A CHILD IS REGARDED AS DEPENDENT

NEW RULES RAISING THE AGE LIMIT UNTIL A CHILD IS REGARDED AS DEPENDENT.

The Government of Canada has changed the definition of the age of dependants from “under 19” to “under 22,” fulfilling a key mandate commitment of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. This change will help more immigrant families stay together.  Under the new rules, children are still perceived as dependents beyond the age of 22 if they rely on their parents’ support due to physical or mental disabilities.  However, the new rules have not reactivated the old provision according to which they remain dependents until they finish their studies.

This change applies to all new applications received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on or after October 24, 2017.

To help even more families stay together, the government has introduced a public policy that would allow for the addition or sponsorship of some children whose parents had existing applications in process on May 3, 2017, or who have applied since that time.  Based on public policy consideration sa permanent residence application for a child can be made if the:

  1. Child was 19, 20, or 21 as of May 3, 2017 (the date of final publication of the regulatory amendment) or as of date the parent’s permanent residence application was made, if received on or after May 3, 2017 and before October 24, 2017;
  2. Parent or child had a permanent residence application that was either pending on May 3, 2017 or was received on or after May 3, 2017 and before October 24, 2017 (the child must have been previously identified as “additional family” on their parent’s application);
  3. Child is not a spouse/common-law partner; and,
  4. Child is not otherwise inadmissible.

The child can be:

  1. Processed or added to an application (as a dependent child) if the permanent resident visa or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) had not been issued at the time the Department was notified of the intention to add the child; OR
  2. Sponsored as a member of the Family Class once the parent is granted permanent residence.

Refugees and protected persons may add a child who was 19, 20, or 21 on May 3, 2017 and (not a spouse/common-law partner) as an accompanying or non-accompanying dependant on a pending application; non-accompanying dependants would be able to apply for permanent residence within the one-year window.

An application to sponsor a child who is eligible under this public and is 22 or over at time of sponsorship, must be received by the Department within one year after their parent is granted permanent residence. Children who are under 22 at time of sponsorship will be processed under the regular sponsorship regulations.

Parents who wish to apply for their child to come to Canada must notify the Department of their intention to do so by January 31, 2018, in accordance with instructions provided by the department.

For the purposes of this public policy, an application is considered to be pending up until the applicant’s departure for Canada if they are outside Canada OR until permanent residence has been granted if the applicant is in Canada.

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Government of Canada implements new legislative changes to the Citizenship Act

Government of Canada implements new legislative changes to the Citizenship Act

October 4, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to provide greater flexibility in meeting requirements for those who wish to obtain Canadian citizenship, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today a significant milestone in implementing changes to the Citizenship Act through the adoption of Bill C-6.

Changes to take effect as of October 11, 2017
Previous Citizenship Act Citizenship Act with Bill C-6 Amendments
Applicants had to be physically present in Canada for four out of six years before applying for citizenship. Applicants must be physically present in Canada for three out of five years before applying for citizenship.
Applicants had to file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for four out of six years, matching the physical presence requirement. Applicants must file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for three out of five years, matching the new physical presence requirement.
Applicants had to be physically present in Canada for 183 days in four out of the six years preceding their application. This provision is repealed. Applicants no longer have to meet this requirement.
Time spent in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident did not count towards the physical presence requirement for citizenship. Applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person, before becoming a permanent resident, as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days, within five years preceding the date of application.
Applicants between 14 and 64 years had to meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship. Applicants between 18 and 54 years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship.

 

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SECOND ROUND OF APPLICATION INTAKE

PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS: SECOND ROUND OF APPLICATION INTAKE

(from the IRCC website)

Ottawa, September 1, 2017— This year, the Government of Canada introduced a new application intake process for the Parents and Grandparents Program. This change improves access to the application process and makes it more fair and transparent.

Under this new process, people who want to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada first have to complete an online form. Earlier this year, 10,000 individuals were randomly selected from the forms received and invited to submit an application to sponsor their parents and grandparents. They were given 90 calendar days to submit their applications, meaning that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) needed to receive complete applications by August 4, 2017.

IRCC did not receive 10,000 complete applications by August 4, 2017. A second round of emails will be sent to invite additional potential sponsors to submit an application. These additional potential sponsors will be selected using the same randomized list that was prepared to identify the first 10,000 potential sponsors invited to submit an application.

Emails will be sent to the additional potential sponsors inviting them to submit an application to sponsor their parents and grandparents. These potential sponsors will have until December 8, 2017, to submit their complete sponsorship applications to IRCC. The second round of invitations will mean a second chance for many potential sponsors who were not invited in the first round.

The potential sponsors who were invited in the first round, but did not submit applications, will not have another chance to apply in 2017.

Those who are not selected to submit applications in 2017 will have the opportunity to show their interest to sponsor their parents and grandparents again in early 2018.

It is important to note that:

  • invitations will be sent to potential sponsors beginning on September 6, 2017
  • this process will continue over a few days. Check your email and junk mail carefully throughout that week
  • in this second round of invitations, only those who have been randomly selected to submit an application will receive an email

As of September 6, potential sponsors can confirm whether or not they have been selected by looking up their unique Confirmation Number to compare it with the list of numbers that were randomly selected.

  • if their number appears, they have been invited to submit their sponsorship application
  • if their number doesn’t appear, they have not been selected

If potential sponsors are not sure what their unique confirmation number is, and want to confirm whether or not they were selected to submit an application, they can complete the Check If You Were Selected web form – we’ll respond to potential sponsors within 10 business days to let them know if they were selected or not.

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Citizenship Bill Receives Royal Assent

Citizenship Bill Receives Royal Assent

As of June 19, 2017, applicants are no longer required to intend to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship, providing more flexibility to Canadians who may need to live outside of Canada for work or personal reasons. Immediate changes also include repealing the ability to revoke citizenship from dual citizens convicted of crimes against the national interest. Dual citizens living in Canada who are convicted of these crimes will face the Canadian justice system, like other Canadian citizens who break the law.

Some of the changes that are expected to take effect later this fall will give more flexibility to both younger and older eligible immigrants to obtain citizenship. These changes include reducing the time permanent residents must be physically present in Canada to three out of five years, instead of four out of six years, before applying for citizenship; amending the age range for people to meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship from 14-64 years to 18-54 years; and counting some of the time applicants spend in Canada as temporary residents or protected persons toward their physical presence requirements for citizenship.

Other changes that are expected to take effect next year include strengthening the citizenship revocation process by having the Federal Court as the decision-maker on most cases, thereby enhancing the procedural fairness of the process. See below a complete list of changes made to the Citizenship Act and when they take effect:

Changes that take effect immediately upon Royal Assent on June 19, 2017

Previous Citizenship Act Citizenship Act with Bill C-6 Amendments
Citizenship could be revoked from dual citizens convicted of treason, spying and terrorism offences, depending on the sentence received, or who were a part of an armed force of a country or organized group engaged in conflict with Canada. This provision is repealed. Dual citizens living in Canada who are convicted of these crimes will face the Canadian justice system, like other Canadian citizens who break the law.
Applicants were required to intend to continue to live in Canada if granted citizenship. This provision is repealed. Applicants are no longer required to intend to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship. This provides more flexibility to Canadians who may need to live outside of Canada for work or personal reasons.
The Minister had the discretion to waive certain requirements under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act so a minor could obtain citizenship without a Canadian parent. Minors can now apply for citizenship without a Canadian parent, as the age requirement for citizenship has been removed under subsection 5(1). A person having custody of the minor or empowered to act on their behalf by court order, written agreement or operation of law, can now apply for citizenship on behalf of the minor, unless that requirement is waived by the Minister.
No provision existed to prevent individuals serving a sentence in the community (a conditional sentence order) from being granted citizenship, taking the Oath of Citizenship or counting this time towards meeting the physical presence requirements for citizenship. Individuals serving a conditional sentence will not be granted citizenship, take the Oath of Citizenship, or be able to count this time towards meeting the physical presence requirements for citizenship.
The Minister has the discretion to grant citizenship to a person to alleviate cases of special and unusual hardship, or to reward services of an exceptional value to Canada. Statelessness has been added as a stand-alone ground that can be considered for a discretionary grant of citizenship.
The Department has reasonable measures to accommodate the needs of citizenship applicants. However, there was no explicit reference to accommodate persons with disabilities in the Citizenship Act. The requirement to take into consideration reasonable measures to accommodate the needs of a citizenship applicant who is a disabled person is now included in the Citizenship Act.
The requirement for applicants to maintain the requirements for citizenship from the time they apply for citizenship until taking the Oath of Citizenship only applied to applications received on or after June 11, 2015. This requirement now also applies to all applications, including those received before June 11, 2015.

Changes expected to take effect in fall 2017

Previous Citizenship Act Citizenship Act with Bill C-6 Amendments
Applicants had to be physically present in Canada for four out of six years before applying for citizenship. Applicants must be physically present in Canada for three out of five years before applying for citizenship.
Applicants had to file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for four out of six years, matching the physical presence requirement. Applicants must file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for three out of five years, matching the new physical presence requirement.
Applicants had to be physically present in Canada for 183 days in four out of the six years preceding their application. This provision is repealed. Applicants no longer have to meet this requirement.
Time spent in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident did not count towards the physical presence requirement for citizenship. Applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.
Applicants between 14 and 64 years had to meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship. Applicants between 18 and 54 years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship.

 Changes expected to take effect in early 2018

Previous Citizenship Act Citizenship Act with Bill C-6 Amendments
The Minister was the decision-maker for most cases of citizenship revocation on the grounds of false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances. The Federal Court was the decision-maker for citizenship revocation cases involving false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances related to security, human or international right violations, and organized criminality. The Federal Court is the decision-maker in all revocation cases, unless the individual requests that the Minister make the decision.
There was no clear authority for Citizenship Officers to seize fraudulent or suspected fraudulent documents provided under the Citizenship Act. Clear authority for Citizenship Officers to seize fraudulent or suspected fraudulent documents is provided under the Citizenship Act.

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