Next month I will be speaking at the Canadian Bar Association’s National Immigration Law Section Annual Conference. Being asked to speak is an honour, however it comes with the requirement to submit a paper. Finding time to research and write was an issue – much of the paper was written between basketball games in the hallway of a high school in Markham, Ontario, where my son was playing in a weekend tournament.
The joy of practicing immigration law is that there is always something new. A few things to let you know about this month:
I do a lot of consultation appointments with individuals who want to know if they are eligible to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry.
The next question I’m always asked is ‘how long will it take until I get my permanent residency?’
The Ontario government has finally released information regarding its provincial nomination programs. 6,000 nominations are available for the 2017 year. This is a 500 increase from 2016.
Incredulously, I watched a video of a crowd of hundreds of protesters chanting, ‘Let them see their lawyers NOW!’ The video was taken at a US airport over this past weekend. Photographs taken in that same airport showed lawyers sitting in groups on the floor, hunched over their computers. They were drafting emergency court petitions in support of the individuals who were detained when their flights arrived – people who had been mid-air when Donald Trump’s Executive Order banned the entry into the US of individuals from seven predominately Muslim populated countries. I have never been as proud of my fellow immigration lawyers and human rights activists as I was this past weekend. And I have never felt more grateful for the rule of law, when those court petitions were successful.
My daughter just finished her first semester at the University of Ottawa. As a first year business student, she had no elective courses. Her best mark after her first semester? Philosophy. Her worst? Economics. It seems to me that it should be the other way around. But the problem is that although she’d probably do better in a social sciences or humanities program, she wants a job when she graduates. So she has chosen a program of study that she feels will lead to job opportunities.
The government has just announced changes to how it will accept parent and grandparent sponsorship applications for 2017. You can read their announcement here:
I’m sure you’re wondering, what on earth is a Clawbie? Sounds a bit like a Pokémon Go character, doesn’t it?
An early Christmas present arrived today from Immigration Canada.
In a major policy announcement, the government streamlined the methods by which it processes spousal sponsorship applications. Highlights of today’s announcements include:
- Processing times for the majority of applications will be 12 months. This will apply to future applications, and also those already submitted.
- New forms will be available as of December 15th. The same forms will be used for both inside and outside-Canada applicants. Only one questionnaire/sponsorship evaluation form will be needed. Old forms will be accepted until the end of January.
- The Instruction Guide will be simplified, and shortened, to make it easier to read.
- The Background/Declaration form (Schedule A) will not be required until requested.
- Medical examinations and police certificates will not be provided up front, but later when requested.
- The temporary policy allowing inland spousal applicants to receive an open work permit has been extended for another year.
- Update your Express Entry profile now to get additional points
- Finally, relief for international students: Changes to the Express Entry system announced
- How will the 2017 Canadian Immigration Levels Plan affect Express Entry Scores?
- That’s It… I’m Moving to Canada: Obtaining Canadian Citizenship by Descent