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CANADA: Changes in Immigration

The following is a 10-point summary of recent Canadian immigration changes.

1. The Federal Entrepreneur Program is closed. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is designing a new program with the goal of implementation by the end of 2012.

2. The Investor Program has been suspended and the current program has backlogs with wait times of up to nine years. CIC is considering pilot programs to complement the existing program.

3. Provincial Nominee Programs now require minimum language standards for immigrants.

4. The Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship category was suspended in November 2011 and there is no substantive news on whether the new redesign will be as facilitative as the previous program. Online consultations for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship concluded on May 25, 2012, and policy options are being considered. Details will likely remain unknown until CIC pre-publishes the regulations in 2013. The redesign is to be implemented in November 2013.

5. The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program is under official review and CIC is working with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to examine the feasibility of a low-skilled pathway to permanent residence.

6. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) has been suspended. CIC is redesigning the program for the third time in the same number of years and is pre-publishing new regulations within the next few months.

Changes will likely include:

  • minimum language standards for all applicants;
  • education credential assessments by third parties;
  • changes to the points grid to emphasize language ability, employment in Canada, and age; and
  • inclusion of skill trades.

7. The Canada Experience Class categories (Student and Worker) will also be amended and regulations will be pre-published within the next few months. The federal goal is to have the new design in place by the end of 2012.

8. The Canadian consulate in Buffalo, New York, is closed. Canadian consulates in the United States that issue visas to Canada include:

a) United States of America - East of the Mississippi

  • New York
  • for visitor visas only: Detroit and Seattle
  • for Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs), Rehabilitation and Authority to Return to Canada (ARC) only: Washington, DC

b) United States of America - West of the Mississippi

  • Los Angeles
  • for visitor visas only: Detroit and Seattle

9. CIC has opened a new processing center for temporary residents currently in Canada with valid student or temporary foreign worker status. All such in-Canada students or workers must submit their application for a new temporary resident visa to the Case Processing Pilot Office in Ottawa, or at the visa office that serves their country of nationality.

10. The government intends to close the Arranged Employment Skilled Worker Category, which is conditional on obtaining an Arranged Employment Opinion from Service Canada. This anticipated change will prevent access to Canada by many potential immigrants.

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