Skip to main content

Posts

The end of an era - the closure of the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville

If you have not already heard, the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Vegreville, Alberta, is now closed. All applications that were previously processed at CPC-V will now be processed in nearby Edmonton, AB. It is vitally important to ensure your application is being submitted to the correct office. The consequences of not doing so could be catastrophic in terms of maintaining your status.

You can check the new mailing address information here.

As always, I'm happy to assist with any immigration matters if you need!

Recent posts

Asylum Seekers Tooklit

The Canadian Bar Association, Immigration Law Section, has put together a resource for navigating the Canadian refugee system. The Toolkit provides brief, high-level guidance on Canadian refugee law and procedure, and other options for legally entering the country. The Toolkit breaks down the exceptions to the Safe Third-Country Agreement, talks about inland protection claims, and explains the refugee determination process.  You can access the Toolkit here.  The Refugee process is a very complex and legally challenging. It is important to understand whether your situation makes you a "refugee". Seek legal assistance early before embarking on this path. Contact me if this is something you are considering!

Changes to Parents/Grandparents sponsorships

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced today that they have increased the number of applications that will be accepted for processing under the Parent and Grandparent sponsorship program. Starting in 2019, the government will accept 20,000 applications!  The other big change will be the intake process. At present, this is a lottery system, whereby all interested sponsors enter the 'draw' at the beginning of each calendar year. From there, IRCC randomly selects sponsors. As a result, sponsors face the possibility of never being selected. This will change in 2019 when the government will revert back to a first-in, first-picked rule. It will be interesting to see how it will all work, with IRCC's system limitations and its ability to handle hundreds of thousands of sponsors all keen to be the first 20,000 to get their name in! You can read the full release here. As always, I am happy to help with any of your immigration needs! Just contact me!

Permanent Residence for under 22 children - Temporary Public Policy

This post follows up on our last post announcing the coming into force the change to the age of dependent children. 
You might be wondering how to gain permanent residence for a child who wasn't eligible prior to October 24, 2017. CIC has a temporary public policy in place which provides guidance on how to get this done.
The government announced the change to the age of dependency on May 3, 2017, even though it only came into force a few days ago. As such, this public policy only applies to those applications made by the parents of these children between May 3, 2017, and October 23, 2017. 
The Policy provides the following guidance for eligibility:


Based on public policy considerations, delegated officers may grant an exemption from the provisions of the Regulations listed below to foreign nationals who meet the following eligibility criteria and conditions: A permanent residence application for a child can be made if the: Child was 19, 20, or 21 as of May 3, 2017 (the date of fina…

Age of Dependent Child - now 'under 22'

Today is the day! The age of dependent children is to revert back to 'under 22'. You can read the original release here. The previous changes had lowered the age of dependent children to under 19 and removed the exception for those enrolled in post-secondary education. Going forward, a "dependent child" is any biological or adopted child of the parent, who is in one of the following situations of dependency: Is under 22 and not a spouse or common-law partner;is 22 or older but has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before the age of 22 and is unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition  Those who have pending permanent residence applications can now add their under 22 children to their application, if they were formerly prevented from doing so when the age limit was under 19. Those whose permanent residence applications have been finalized may be in a position to sponsor their under 22 child

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) - 2018 program changes

AINP has announced some significant changes to the way it will intake applications from 2018. Here are some insights from their recent release:
Key changes
Effective Jan. 2, 2018, the AINP will consolidate the Employer-Driven and Strategic Recruitment Streams and 11 sub-categories under one new Alberta Opportunity Stream.The Alberta Opportunity Stream will have one single set of eligibility criteria, ensuring a simpler application process and shorter processing times.Beginning in 2018, the AINP will have the ability to place yearly caps on the number of applications accepted and nominations issued for certain sectors and occupations, ensuring equitable distribution of workers and fairness across all sectors and industries in Alberta.Alberta will add an Express Entry Stream allowing the AINP to select candidates from the federal Express Entry pool. This will be operational in January 2018. Alberta labour anticipates shortages in the following areas: nurse supervisors and registered nurse…

HUGE decision by SCC - Conditional Sentences & Serious Criminality for Permanent Residents

The Supreme Court of Canada just released its decision in the Tran case. At issue in the case was the interpretation to be given to section 36(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which reads:
36 (1) A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality for (a) having been convicted in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years, or of an offence under an Act of Parliament for which a term of imprisonment of more than six months has been imposed;
Any permanent residents found to be inadmissible for "serious criminality" lost their right of appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) pursuant to section 64 of IRPA:
64 (1) No appeal may be made to the Immigration Appeal Division by a foreign national or their sponsor or by a permanent resident if the foreign national or permanent resident has been found to be inadmissible on grounds of securi…

Citizenship changes - October 11, 2017

Minister Hussein spoke in Brampton, ON (broadcast via Facebook Live) this morning on the issue of upcoming changes to the Citizenship Act. Here is a summary of those changes:

1. Residency Requirement At present, a Permanent Resident ("PR") is required to physically reside in Canada for 4 years out of the last 6 years, as well as physical presence for 6 months (183) days for four of those years.

The changes coming next week will change this requirement to physical residence for 3 years in the last 5.

2. Filing Income Taxes The requirement to file taxes continues and must be demonstrated for the relevant 3 year period to correspond to the changes to the residency requirement.
3. Lawful physical presence as a Temporary Resident ("TR") It used to be that time spent in Canada as a legal TR could be counted for 1/2 time towards citizenship residency. So, someone here on a work permit for 4 years prior to getting PR could have counted 1 year towards their citizenship time…

Law at Your Library: Immigration Law - Overseas Family Sponsorships

Want to learn more about overseas family sponsorships? I'm presenting at a free workshop presented by the Calgary Public Library and Calgary Legal Guidance. Come have a listen if this is something that interests you!

Click here to register.

Location: Central library (Calgary)
Date: Monday October 2, 2018
Time: 6-7:30pm

Hope to see you there!
Rekha

Refugee (Asylum) Claims - Understanding the Process

There has been a lot of news coverage about the influx of refugees (asylum seekers) into Canada via the United States, particularly into Quebec. This post is meant to explore who is entitled to make such a claim in Canada and what claimants can expect.

Eligibility to make the claimCanada and the US have entered into what's called a "safe third country agreement". Essentially, both countries consider the other to be relatively equal in terms of refugee protection and the refugee process. As such, there is an expectation for claimants to make their refugee claim in the first of these two countries. 
The practical consequence of this agreement is that it prevents individuals crossing from the US into Canada at a land border from making a claim in Canada. 
There are exceptions to this agreement: If the claimant has family in CanadaIf the claim is made at an in-land officeIf the claim is made at an airportThere are other eligibility factors as well, but this is the main issue aff…