Name Changes and the Permanent Residence Card

April 28, 2008

A Canadian immigration client wrote to me this morning to ask about a name change for her children prior to arriving in Canada with the immigrant visas. It is important to realize that the name that appears in one’s passport is the name that will appear on the Canadian permanent resident card. Unless one also changes a name in the passport prior to landing, the name change will have no effect on the name as it appears on the Canadian permanent resident card. No matter how the name appears on the permanent resident card; however, one can always apply to amend the permanent resident card supplying the necessary proof of name change documents.

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Prime Minister Speaks on Canadian Immigration Fast-tracking

April 24, 2008

Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper spoke at an Indo-Canadian gala event held in downtown Toronto on Saturday, April 19, 2008. In his speech, he repeated his government’s desire to implement the proposed legislative changes to revise the Canadian immigration system. The changes would place highly coveted immigrants – like doctors or other skilled labourers – on the fast track through the Canadian Immigration system. But while their papers would get processed quickly, other immigrants would be forced to wait behind them in the queue. The new rules would apply only to those applications received on or after February 27, 2008. The opposition Liberals have allowed the changes to pass through the legislature so far to avoid triggering an election over the issue, however there may be opportunities for the Liberals to oppose the reforms to Canada’s immigration process later on. The backlog of applications must be dealt with and it remains to be seen whether the Conservative government’s proposal will enable more effective management of the Canadian immigration system.

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Expiration Guidelines for Canadian Immigration Visas

April 21, 2008

The expiration date on Canadian immigration visas is usually one year after the completion of the medical examination. Since medicals for spousal sponsorships are completed before the application for Canadian permanent residence is submitted, it is wise to have the examination completed just before filing the application to allow the most time possible for the processing of the application. Applicants who receive their Canadian immigration visas for other categories of Canadian immigration will note that the expiration date is one year after the medicals were done. Since it is easy to confuse the order of day/month on the immigrant visa, if one remembers that the expiration date is one year from the completion of the medical examination, the proper expiration date will be confirmed. As there have been cases where persons tried to enter Canada after the expiration date on their visas, having confused the order of the day/month, it is important to check the expiration date and one may use the timing of the Canadian immigration medical as a guide.

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Medical Examination Requirements for Canadian Immigration – Sponsored Spouses

April 17, 2008

The medical examination of a spouse being sponsored continues to frustrate some of our clients. A person being sponsored must go to a designated medical practitioner (“DMP”) whose name appears on the list of DMPs published by the Canadian government. The DMP forwards the results of the examination to the proper authorities but provides the potential Canadian immigrant with the IMM1017EFC form. This form is green in colour and must be submitted with the application to sponsor when submitted to the Mississauga Case Processing Centre. If a potential Canadian immigrant is having the examination completed by a DMP inside Canada, but is having processing of the spousal sponsorship completed outside of Canada, it is very important to advise the DMP before the examination to ensure that the DMP has the proper IMM1017EFC form to provide to the immigrant. Without the IMM1017EFC form, the Mississauga Case Processing Centre will return the application to sponsor and processing for Canadian immigration will not proceed.

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New Canadian Immigration Legislation Will Shorten Wait and Backlog

April 13, 2008

The governments response to the criticism of its negatively perceived new Canadian immigration legislation is that it believes these changes will shorten the wait and backlog. In truth they may be more interested in serving Canadian Business needs by trying to bring qualified business immigrants to Canada more quickly. Most Canadians, if asked would probably agree with the concept, but we believe they would not agree with amending the Regulations with significant policy changes whose manner of implementation is yet to be revealed, and making those changes retroactive to all applications received since February 27, 2008. The government has suggested that there will be an opportunity for Canadian immigration stakeholder groups to speak out about the proposed changes before the finance committee and they will have an opportunity to clarify some of what they call “misinformation” about the amendments to the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

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New Canadian Immigration Legislation Survives Key Vote

April 10, 2008

On April 9, 2008, the Conservative government’s new immigration legislation survived a key vote in the Canadian House of Commons, despite an attempt by the New Democrats to block the controversial reforms. Members of Parliament voted against the NDP motion that strove to block the Conservative budget implementation bill, which contains the new legislation to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. New Democrat and Bloc Quebecois MPs supported the confidence motion, while Conservatives and Liberals opposed it. An election would have been triggered if the motion had passed. Though the Liberals have slammed the reforms, calling them regressive and designed to attack immigrants, they were not expected to vote against them. But they have not ruled out doing so in future, as the budget bill is expected to face several more confidence votes, each of which could bring down the government. Once they become law, the proposed legislative amendments would give the government discretion to pick and choose which applicants to fast track or block, which critics argue gives the government too much power as there is the potential for discrimination.

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