Immigration Minister Comments On Proposed Changes to Canadian Immigration Application Process

March 30, 2008

Immigration Minister Diane Finley defended her government’s proposed amendments to how the government will select new Canadians during a televised exchange on March 23, 2008.  The amendments came as part of the proposed federal budget tabled on March 14, 2008.  Critics argue that the changes will give the government unprecedented power over who  will be accepted  for immigration into Canada, however,  the Minister responded  be saying that the changes will enable the government to bring  potential Canadian immigrants with badly needed skills into Canada sooner by enabling Canada immigration visa officers  to accelerate the processing of some applications regardless of when they were received. A vote in Parliament is expected on this issue by mid April.

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Proposed Changes to Canadian Immigration Application Process

March 25, 2008

The proposed legislative changes to the way in which skilled worker applications for Canadian immigration are processed should have been enacted to take effect some time after the changes became law. Furthermore, it would have been preferable had the government published the types of applications it intends to fast track in advance of enacting the changes to provide more transparency to the selection system. Once the budget has passed, we hope to have more information regarding the nature of the proposed changes to the selection system for the applications for Canadian immigration, permanent residence in the skilled worker system.

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Canadian Immigration Applications Must Be Accurate When Submitted

March 20, 2008

A potential client  wishing to immigrate to Canada wrote to me recently indicating that he would be completing his university degree within six months.  As he had to submit the simplified application form, he wondered if he could submit the application right away and just indicate on the form that the degree had been completed, so that he could claim the points, knowing that documentary proof would not be requested  by the Canadian immigration office for at least a year, well after he actually completed the degree.  I advised him that he could not, as he must wait to finish the degree before indicating in a form he signs and dates that it is complete as of the date of signing the form.  It would be quite risky, in my opinion, to claim to have completed requirements for immigration  to Canada that have yet to been finished, especially where the completion is relevant to the approval of the application for Canadian permanent residence.

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New Canadian Immigration Legislation May Allow Fast-tracking of Applications

March 17, 2008

On March 14, 2008, legislative amendments were introduced by the Government of Canada which will change the way in which applications for Canadian immigration or permanent residence in the skilled worker category will be processed. The amendments have yet to be approved; however, the changes will give the Canadian government the ability to fast track some Canadian immigration applications at the government’s discretion. The changes were introduced in an attempt to streamline the system and eliminate the backlog. The changes once passed, will apply to all applications for immigration to Canada received on or after February 27, 2008.

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Canadian Immigration Application Refusals – What to Do Next

March 13, 2008

I received a phone call today from a fellow whose Canadian immigration application was refused a few days ago. He was distraught as according to him, there were details listed in the decision letter that were completely erroneous. He wondered whether it would be advisable to commence an appeal. I advised him that before starting the costly and time consuming application for leave and judicial review in the Federal Court, it would be beneficial to write to the Canadian immigration visa officer first. A nonconfrontational, matter-of-fact, polite request for a reconsideration of the negative decision can be most effective if one sets out the issues one believes the visa officer got wrong. There have been a few times when the visa officer does reconsider, realizing that a simple error was made and then the application for Canadian permanent residence will continue to be processed. If the request for reconsideration is not successful and one is still convinced that an error was made, then the only remedy left at that point is to go to the Federal Court within sixty days of receiving the negative decision.

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Accurate Documentation Necessary for Successful Canadian Immigration

March 11, 2008

I was recently contacted by a potential Canadian immigrant, whose application was refused when the visa officer did not award points for his Master’s degree. He lost his degree and submitted his application with a certificate from the university confirming that the degree was issued but that according to the recipient, the original degree had been lost. When the visa officer reviewing his application requested better evidence that the Master’s degree had been issued, he obtained a letter from his university confirming that the degree had in fact been issued. Despite receiving the letter, the Canadian Immigration visa officer was not convinced in the absence of the original degree. It remains to be seen whether the Canadian immigration applicant will appeal. This illustrates the need to provide the documents listed on the document checklist issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. In the absence of the listed documents, there is no guarantee that a Canadian immigration application will be approved as any alternate evidence is subjectively evaluated by the visa officer.

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