10 most important immigration policy changes in 2011

December 29, 2011

 There are many changes, expected or unexpected, with respect to Canadian immigration in 2011. While some of the changes like super visa will facilitate some people’s entry to Canada, most are to fight immigration fraud and to limit immigration to Canada. “It is apparent that the Conservative Government is tightening immigration policy as a whole,” said Jeff Li, an immigration lawyer based in Toronto.

  1. April 1: Changes to the temporary foreign worker program was in force. The new program is intended to prevent fraudulent or problematic job offers. Service Canada is now required to conduct a genuiness test with respect to the position before approving a job offer to the foreign national. Also, employers who want to renew the employment of, or hire more, foreign workers will need to demonstrate that substantially the same conditions are followed as in the original job offers.
  2. July 1: CIC made important changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program. For the year between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, CIC imposed a cap of 500 applicants for each of the 29 “priority occupations,” and a cap of 10,000 for all occupations. Both caps were half of their respective counterparts in the year between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.
  3. July 1: CIC imposed a quota on the Federal Investor Program. Only 700 applications will be accepted and processed for the year between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. However, on July 4, 2011, the first working day after the announcement, CIC received more than 1000 applications in this category.
  4. July 1: Federal Entrepreneur Program stopped accepting applications.
  5. July 1: The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) replaced the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) as regulator of immigration consultants. CIC initiated this change for the reason that CSIC failed to effectively regulate its members. However, whether ICCRC will do a better job than CSIC remains to be seen.
  6. September 8: CIC opened a phone “tip line” and called on the public to report suspected citizenship fraud cases. As of December 2011, CIC has started process to revoke citizenship of up to 1800 citizens obtained by suspected fraud.
  7. November 4: CIC stopped accepting parental sponsorship applications, citing the need to cut backlog and wait times.
  8. November 8: CIC announced that Ph.D Students are eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, with certain conditions met.
  9. December 1: The Super Visa program for parents and grandparents was in force. Super visa allows sponsored parents and grandparents awaiting their permanent resident visas to travel to and stay in Canada for up to 2 years. Super visa applicants are required to purchase medical insurance to cover their period of visit in Canada.
  10. December 2011: Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) started prosecuting potential out-of-status permanent residents. Permanent residents returning toward the end of the 5-year validity period of their permanent resident cards may be criminally charged, often with misrepresentation, if they are unable to provide clear and convincing evidence that they meet the residence obligation required of permanent residents. People who are convicted may end up with a criminal record and deported.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Calendar

December 2011
« Nov   Jan »
%d bloggers like this: