There is no doubt that Canada has become one of the most diverse, rich and peaceful countries in the world today. There are various causes for this and one of them is the strong immigration policy which has been passed lately. It is true that the dependence on foreign workers is going to intensify more in the coming years. There is already a labour shortage in some parts of the country in selected occupations such as architects, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, crane operators, specialist physicians etc. The prosperity of Canada depends a lot on availability and supply of in-demand professionals to the economy and the Canadian labor market. Below we will address some important recent changes and encourage you to seek legal advice from an experienced immigration lawyer should your case fall within the following recent changes.
Pre February 2008 Applications
In order to keep up with the labour market demand for particular professionals and to address the labour shortage, the Canadian government has recently announced that they will stop processing pre-February 2008 applications – during which time there was very little focus and restrictions on the specific type of occupations that were in demand in Canada. Prior to February 2008 virtually all occupations were open to potential applicants and the immigration system did not focus on the particular occupations for which there was acute labour shortage in Canada. After 2008, the Canadian government began posting a list of the specific occupations which qualify for immigration to Canada.
We are therefore notifying the public and our clientele that if they had submitted their skilled worker application before February 2008, according to the recent public announcement by Minister Jason Kenney, and they have not heard any selection decision by end of March 2012, their files will be essentially closed. In this way, the Minister suggests, the CIC can focus their efforts on attracting professionals whose expertise and experience is in demand in Canada. Clients now have the option of challenging the Minister’s/Department’s refusal to process their applications through the Federal Court.
Parents and Grandparents
The Canadian government has put a stop to sponsorship visa for parents and grandparents due to the heavy backlog. Instead they are offering the Super Visa, which is for 10 years and it is a multiple entry visa. This particular (the Super Visa program) Canada sponsorship program is new and, generally speaking, the application outcomes under the Super Visa program have so far been positive overall. According to announcements released by Immigration Canada, roughly 77% of applications received so far have been accepted and only 23% refused.
Medical Insurance for Super Visa
Super Visas require medical insurance coverage; the Super Visa program requires the applicants to apply for and secure medical insurance coverage for their family members who are applying as a Super Visa applicant. In other words, the insurance policy must be in place as a pre-requisite to the application. Citizenship and Immigration Centre is closely working with reliable insurance brokers who can assist you and guide you in the right path and obtain the exact medical coverage that is needed for the Super Visa program. The monthly premiums typically fall (for a male aged 57) in the range of $1700 per year of coverage. Should you purchase the policy and your parents’ application for visa is rejected, the brokers with whom we are in touch make sure that you obtain a refund of the premiums paid.
Another question commonly asked for Super Visas is “What if my parents come here and only stay 3 months – what will happen to the rest of the insurance premiums I paid?” Once again, the professional insurance brokers with whom we are working make sure that appropriate refund is made.
Changes to Sponsoring Spouse
The new/changes for spousal sponsorship application proposed in regulations pre-published in Canada Gazette on March 10, 2012, establish that spouses, common law partners and conjugal partners that are married (or living with their common law partners) for 2 years or less than two years, will be given a conditional permanent resident visa for two years after becoming permanent resident. During this period of two years, the sponsored spouse must remain in the relationship. In other words, the sponsored spouse must be living in Canada with his/her husband or wife for two years before he or she can become permanent resident under the new Spouse Immigration program.
This proposed changed was put in place due to perceived widespread abuse of Canada’s generous immigration policy relating to the Canadian spousal sponsorship or Family Class program. In this way, for example, a non-genuine husband whose intention was to abuse the trust of his wife and to take advantage of her love and affection, essentially using the Sponsor as a ticket to Canada, will not be able to do so. Honest Canadian citizens who genuinely fall in love will be less prone to being taken advantage of when they try to bring wife or bring husband to Canada as permanent residents.
This new immigration sponsorship for wife or husband, of course, has its downsides too. Critics have questioned the new spousal sponsorship program for potential abuse (by the Sponsor wife or Sponsor husband) of the Sponsored wife or Sponsored husband who feels he or she is now stuck in the abusive relationship because they would otherwise lose their Canadian immigration status under the spousal program. For example, the Sponsored wife may suffer and put up with the abusive husband because she fears that she would lose her status and be deported back to her home if she walks out of the union and makes a complaint against the abusive husband (or vice versa). In short, Immigration Canada’s new spousal sponsorship program is not entirely perfect.
Another point worth mentioning is that in order to apply for immigration Canada sponsorship for family members, where the Sponsor is living outside Canada, s/he has to be a Canadian citizen and be able to financially support the sponsored person (for 3 years after arrival) and be above 18 years of age, have no criminal background such as offences against family members, and not be an un-discharged bankrupt, according to Canadian immigration sponsorship laws. Canadian citizens sponsoring spouses or family members must show proof of their intention to return to Canada once the family member is granted PR status. Canadian citizenship, however, is not a prerequisite for family sponsorship where the Sponsor lives in Canada. In the latter case, needless to say, the Sponsor must of course be a permanent resident of Canada.
There are also tourists from all over the world who come every year on invitation to visit Canada. These visas to Canada allow them to see the beautiful places and experience the diverse cultures, which have become a part of this country. Tourists typically come to Canada experience some of the fabulous festivals, especially, the Celebration of Light in the city of Vancouver, which is famous throughout the world. Invitation letters also need proper preparation, including adherence to some particular conditions and being in a financially sound position, along with all the required documents.
Generally, a family member, friend and/or acquaintance must invite you to Canada for a visit; you must know the approximate duration of your stay here in Canada and must provide all details of your passport to the person inviting you so that the same can be included for identification purposes in the invitation letter. The invitee’s employment letter is of crucial importance so as to show ties and connections to country of origin. Ownership of property is also an important factor.
Citizenship laws are also subject to proposed changes; applicants will be required to take an English language test and submit the results as part of the citizenship application.
The bottom line of all various immigration programs is that they eventually lead to Canadian citizenship. Once you are in Canada and need to apply for citizenship, it is very vital to have a reputed citizenship and immigration lawyer by your side to guide you through the process and the intricate procedure and if need be guide you through the immigration appeal and/or citizenship appeal procedure as the case may be. This is so because Canadian immigration law (and regulations) is one of the most complex and lengthy pieces of legislation and the process is a rather tedious, long, detailed, and time-consuming by nature and therefore very prone to errors if done without the help of some of the more experienced immigration lawyers in Toronto. The real problem is finding a reputable immigration lawyer in Toronto who has the experience to deal with all kinds of immigration processes, whether it is for a skilled worker application, family sponsorship, or for appeal purposes. The lawyer will make sure that you have all the required documents and properly completed application forms to apply for immigration to Canada. Selection of appropriate documents in support of your immigration appeal is also a crucial decision. Your lawyer will, given the research conducted, guide you and ask you for the particular supporting evidence that is required to advance the particular legal argument in best possible way.