Canadian Immigration Alert: Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Re-Opens

Jan 18
18


In brief:
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (“OINP”) announced today, January 18, 2018, that the federal government has increased Ontario’s 2018 allocation to a total of 6,600 nominations, and is once again accepting applications in most streams.

Discussion:
The increase of 600 nominations for a total of 6,600 nominations for 2018 follows the federal government’s recognition of the OINP’s past success, and its present and future importance to Ontario’s and Canada’s economy.

The OINP is currently accepting applications in the following streams:

  • Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream, International Student Stream, and In-Demand Skills Stream;
  • Ontario’s Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream, French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream, and Skilled Trades Stream;
  • Corporate Stream; and
  • Entrepreneur Stream.

The OINP advises all potential applicants to carefully review the recently updated OINP – Application Guides as processes may have changed since the coming into force of the new Ontario Immigration Act, 2015 (Bill 49).

The OINP will be monitoring the intake of applications for 2018, and once the intake limits have been reached, the OINP will provide an update. Programs are expected to pause and reopen until the nomination quota is reached, as was done in 2017. The OINP will also provide an update as soon as it begins accepting applications for the Masters Graduate and PhD Graduate Streams, respectively.

Impact:
The reopening of the online application system, and the allocation increase of 600 nominations for a total of 6,600 for 2018, are both positive developments. This will help individuals and employers alike, as well as Ontario and the country as a whole, to advance our economy forward.

For more information on Immigration to Ontario or any other immigration matter, please contact PwC LLP.


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Canada: Parents and Grandparents Program reopening in 2018

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Dec 17
22


In brief:

On December 22, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the reopening of the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program in 2018.

Discussion:

In 2017, IRCC introduced updates to the application intake process for the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program. Under this new process, individuals who want to sponsor their parents and grandparents to reside in Canada have to first complete an “Interest to Sponsor” form and join a pool of applicants from which they may be randomly selected.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister responsible for IRCC, announced that the “Interest to Sponsor” form will once again be available at noon EST on January 2, 2018, until noon EST on February 1, 2018.

Those who wish to be eligible to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents in 2018 must complete the online form as a preliminary step in the application process. In an effort to ensure efficiency, additional questions have been added to the 2018 version of the “Interest to Sponsor” form to help potential sponsors more accurately determine whether they are eligible to sponsor.

Impact:

The Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program should help keep families together, enable a more successful integration, and to assist in building stronger ties in Canada.

For more information on sponsorship applications under the Parent and Grandparent Program, or any other immigration related matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.


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Canada: Work permit pilot extended to 2019 for spouses and common-law partners applying for permanent residence from within Canada

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Dec 17
15


In brief

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced today, December 15, 2017, that the Government of Canada is extending the open work permit pilot for spouses and common-law partners applying for permanent residence (PR) under the the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada (SCLPC) class, until January 31, 2019.

Discussion

This initiative was initially launched by the Government of Canada on December 22, 2014, as a one-year pilot project with the key objective being to prioritize family reunification while applications under the SCLPC class are being processed. This initiative would allow families to live and work together in Canada, while improving the outcomes of successful integration into Canadian society once they obtain PR.

On December 17, 2015, the pilot project was extended for another year, until December 21, 2016, and on December 7, 2016, the Government of Canada announced that the pilot program would be extended again until December 21, 2017.

Impact

Sponsored spouses and common-law partners, who are inside Canada and living at the same Canadian address as their sponsor, may be able to apply for and obtain an open work permit that will authorize them to work anywhere in Canada while their PR application is being processed.

For more information on obtaining permanent residence or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.


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Canada: Visa Requirement Lifted for Romanians and Bulgarians

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Dec 17
1


In Brief  

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that effective December 1, 2017, citizens of Romania and Bulgaria are no longer required to hold a valid Canadian temporary resident visa (TRV) to lawfully enter Canada.

Discussion

Romanian and Bulgarian citizens were previously required to hold a valid Canadian TRV to lawfully enter Canada. Since IRCC has announced that it will no longer require these citizens to hold a valid Canadian TRV to lawfully enter Canada, they will now instead be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada.

Impact

Citizens of Romania and Bulgaria are now able to travel to Canada with a valid eTA and apply for a Canadian work permit at a Canadian port-of-entry (e.g. international airport), if there are no medical or criminal inadmissibility concerns. Therefore, if you have any current or prospective employees who are citizens of Romania or Bulgaria, and who are required to travel to Canada, they will be able to travel to Canada more expeditiously as a result of the removal of visa requirements for these individuals.

For more information on Immigration to Canada or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.


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Canada: Coming into force of the new Ontario Immigration Act, 2015 (Bill 49)

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Nov 17
24


In brief:

The Ontario Immigration Act (“the Act”), which received Royal Assent on May 28, 2015, will come into force on January 1, 2018.

Discussion:

The Ontario government passed the Act through Bill 49 in an effort to implement its vision for Ontario’s future immigration needs through the following goals, as stated in its preamble:

  – To collaborate with the Government of Canada on the recruitment, selection and admission, to Ontario, of immigrants and foreign nationals on a temporary basis.
  – To collaborate with all partners, including municipalities and employers, to address the short-term and long-term labour market needs of Ontario.
  – To collaborate with all partners, including the not-for-profit sector, to enable immigrants to settle in Ontario and to integrate quickly into and to participate fully in Ontario society.
  – To enable all communities across Ontario, including Franco-Ontarian communities, to attract, welcome and integrate immigrants.

The Act is intended to reinforce the commitment to protecting foreign workers in Canada through the grant of an on-site inspection authority to designated inspectors and investigators. The Act also outlines penalties for contravention, which may include administrative monetary penalties of up to CAD$50,000 per instance.  

Impact:

The coming into force of the Act may have several implications, including but not limited to, new compliance obligations created by virtue of programs created under the Act. Additionally, the imposition of administrative penalties on a person or organization that is found in contravention of the Act emphasizes the importance to employers of maintaining a compliant Global Mobility Program, and ensuring all foreign workers under their employ are properly documented.

For more information on Immigration to Ontario or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at
PwC Law LLP.


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Canada: Invitation to Land via Telephone Interview

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Nov 17
21


In brief:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a new initiative to provide some permanent resident (PR) applicants with an opportunity to complete the landing process via telephone.

Discussion:

Commencing mid-November, IRCC rolled out a short-term pilot project which gives some PR applicants an opportunity to complete their landing process via telephone. This initiative has been extended to a select group of PR applicants via e-mail, with an option to provide their availability and preferred contact information. Telephone interviews may offer an efficient alternative to flag-poling at a Canada-U.S. land border, or scheduling an in-person landing interview with IRCC. This pilot project is expected to last for approximately three months. This landing alternative is not available for applicants who reside outside Canada.

Impact:

This initiative will enable certain PR applicants to land as PRs in an efficient manner, which will especially benefit individuals who are in rural areas, far from a land border or an IRCC office.

For more information on Canadian permanent residency and/or the landing process, please contact a member of our team at
PwC Law LLP.


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Canada: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada releases new immigration figures for upcoming three years

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Nov 17
2


In brief:

On November 1, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) released new immigration targets for 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively. These figures represent an increase from previous years, and demonstrate IRCC’s heightened commitment to strengthen Canada’s long-term economic outlook by way of immigration.

Discussion:

Announced by the Honourable Minister Ahmed Hussen, the newly released immigration targets are as follows:

– 2018: 310,000 new permanent residents, including 177,500 economic migrants;
– 2019: 330,000 new permanent residents, including 191,600 economic migrants; and
– 2020: 340,000 new permanent residents, including 195,800 economic migrants.

These immigration targets are structured to gradually reach 1% of Canada’s current population over the three year period. The majority will be allocated for economic immigration streams while the remainder will be reserved for the family, humanitarian, and refugee classes. These numbers are designed to help guard against the negative economic effects of Canada’s aging population by providing an increased supply of skilled workers to take up employment in various higher-skilled employment sectors. In recognition of meeting provincial needs in addition to the federal government’s economic goals, the figures continue to allocate just under one half of all economic migration to provincial nominee programs.

Impact:

As these new figures represent an increase from previous annual targets, hopeful Express Entry candidates should have a better chance of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Similarly, as provinces will be authorized to accept more economic immigrants through their respective provincial nominee programs, qualifying applicants intending to reside in specific provinces may wish to consider submitting an application under one of these programs.

IRCC has also noted that the increased numbers allocated to family class immigration – including spouses, partners and children, as well as the parent and grandparent class – will “create the space needed to reduce backlogs and decrease processing times for families sponsoring spouses, children, parents, grandparents, and caregivers.” Accordingly, those who have submitted applications to sponsor an eligible member of the family class may expect to receive a response on their application sooner than anticipated, although the efficacy of this commitment remains to be seen. Overall, the increase in target levels is a welcome announcement from IRCC, one that is expected to strengthen Canada’s short- and long-term economic and social goals.

For more information about immigrating to Canada, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.


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Canada: Changes to the maximum age of dependent children

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Oct 17
26


In brief:

Effective October 24, 2017, the maximum age of a dependent child is increased to 22 years of age. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has now updated its website to reflect this change.

Discussion:

As of October 24, 2017, the definition of a dependent child has changed to a child who depends on their parent for financial and other support and who is both: 

– under 22 years old; and
– without a spouse or common-law partner.

Children 22 years of age or older will qualify as dependents if they meet both of the following requirements:

– They have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22; and
– They are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition.

For more information on the increase in the maximum age of dependent child that was previously provided when the proposed increase was announced in November 2016, please see PwC Law LLP’s client alert here:

https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/law/immigration-law/resource-centre/immigration-alerts/several-immigration-developments-announced-this-week.html

Impact:

This amended definition will now allow individuals seeking permanent residence to include their children who are under the age of 22, and in some circumstances over the age of 22, within their application for Canadian permanent residence. By widening the scope of the age requirement, it allows more flexibility to include children that are dependent, but who were otherwise not permitted to be included prior to this change, as they were over the age of 19.

For more information about these changes or obtaining Canadian permanent residency, please contact PwC Law LLP.


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