Impact on Immigration Applications for Expectant Parents

June 25, 2008

From time to time, our married Canadian Immigration clients become expecting parents prior to the issuance of their Canadian immigration visas. A pregnancy during an application for permanent residence, or prior to filing an application to sponsor a wife can create delays in processing. When the medical examination is conducted, a chest x-ray is required. Since x-rays cannot be performed safely on pregnant women, completion of medical examinations must occur after the child is born, and usually require the addition of the child to the application for permanent residence unless one parent is already a Canadian citizen or unless the child is born in Canada. Since processing times are long enough already, couples should be aware of further delays in the event they are expecting a baby within the time frame in which medical examinations will be conducted.

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New Immigration Legislation Will be Slow to Impact Skilled Workers

June 21, 2008

Prior to the last major change in legislation that took place in June of 2002, Canadian immigration applicants in the skilled worker category had an Education and Training Factor (ETF) and Occupational Demand with specific points for each of those two areas assigned to every profession. In that way, it was clear that immigrants to Canada with certain professions had an easier time in meeting the pass mark. With the proposed legislation, the Minister is really turning back the clock as she will be announcing a list of professions that will receive priority, resulting in the others having to wait longer in the line before they are processed. Since these changes only affect applications recently received, it will be some time before the current changes make a dent in the current Canadian Immigration applicant backlog, if at all.

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New Immigration Legislation Receiving Final Reading

June 16, 2008

On Monday, June 16, 2008, the proposed immigration changes received the third and final reading in the House of Commons. Despite objections to the contents of the proposed legislation, the opposition did not vote against the Conservative government’s bill in order to avoid triggering an unwanted election. Consequently, the proposed changes appear destined to become law in the foreseeable future. The Minister will then be able to dictate which professions in the skilled worker category in the Canadian Immigration process can receive faster processing regardless of when the applications were received. Once the Minister has announced which professions will be processed faster, we will have a clearer picture of the impact the new legislation will have on processing applications for Canadian Immigration as a whole.

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First Anniversary of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office

June 9, 2008

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, marked the first anniversary of the launch of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) by announcing new funding as well as plans to expand its overseas services.

To date, more than 2,000 people have participated in the overseas orientation sessions and more than 3,000 are registered in these countries. These sessions help individuals selected under the federal skilled worker category to understand the requirements of the labour market in Canada, including the foreign credential recognition processes, while they are still overseas. The sessions are currently delivered by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges’ Canadian Immigration Integration Project.

The expansion of FCRO services is part of a broader effort to assist newcomers as early as practical in the immigration process. Plans are under way to offer in-person services overseas to more prospective immigrants, including skilled workers, and to provide them earlier in the process so that people can settle more quickly once they arrive in Canada.

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Canada and Yukon Announce New Agreement on Immigration

June 2, 2008

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for Canada and the Honourable Patrick Rouble, Minister of Education for Yukon, announced in May the new Agreement for Canada Yukon Cooperation on Immigration and launched a new immigration Web portal for the territory.

The new agreement helps strengthen the partnership between the two governments to encourage immigration to Yukon. The immigration agreement enhances cooperation between Canada and Yukon in overseas promotion and recruitment activities to help attract skilled immigrants, temporary workers and students; allows Yukon to nominate more immigrants, like with many provinces, with specific skills to respond to the territory’s labour market needs, for quicker processing by the federal government; commits the two governments to working together to secure better recognition of foreign qualifications and faster integration of immigrants into the labour market.

The new territorial Web portal complements the agreement by enhancing online content, tools and services for newcomers. The portal will serve to promote the territory as a destination of choice, and help immigrants settle and prosper in the region.

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