Canada – Immigration Alerts

Amendments to Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

What has changed

1.Cohabitation Rules

Effective April 28, 2017, the Immigration and Refugee Protection regulations have been amended to eliminate the requirement for spouses or partners to cohabit with their sponsor for two (2) years in order to maintain their permanent residence status following their family sponsor application. Under the old regulation, a sponsored spouse had to live with their sponsor for two (2) years if, at the time they applied for sponsorship:

1) The relationship was less than two (2) years; and

2) The couple had no children in common.

The government noted for those sponsored applicants who received a Confirmation of Permanent Residence on or after April 18, 2017 and one which indicates that they “must cohabit in a conjugal relationship with your sponsor or partner for a continuous period of two (2) years after the day on which you became a PR”; this requirement is no longer applicable.

2. Age of Dependency

On April 28, 2017, the Canadian government announced changes which will enable young adult children between nineteen (19) and twenty-one (21) years to be eligible for sponsorship as a member of the family class. Prior to April 28, 2017, a “dependent child” was defined as “less than nineteen (19) years old, and one that depends substantially on the financial support of the parents.” A transitional provision will deal with a dependent child who has applied as a principal applicant for a permanent resident visa as a member of a family class on or before July 31, 2014. This amendment is expected to come into force in the fall of 2017.

It is anticipated that further details on the above changes will be published on May 3, 2017.

Who is affected?

  • Clients with young adult children between nineteen (19) and twenty-one (21)
  • Clients with spouses or partners seeking permanent residence status in Canada

What to expect

The amendments will remove some of the barriers faced by foreign workers while sponsoring dependent children.

What you need to do

Planning ahead

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

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Government Announces Launch of the “Global Skill Strategy”

What has changed

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, the Honorable Amed Hussen, discussed upcoming changes to the launch of the government’s “Global Skill Strategy” in June 2017. The new strategy will focus on three (3) aspects:

(1) Global Talent Stream – this will enable companies to source foreign talent by reducing and removing the onerous aspect of the labor market impact assessment and replacing it with a “labor market benefit plan,” with a particular focus on foreign nationals who will allow the company in Canada to grow and create more jobs for Canadians.

(2) The creation of a dedicated service channel for companies who wish to move their headquarters to Canada to facilitate the process by enabling the transition to occur in less than a month and to ensure that all employees’ work permits will be expedited.

(3) The introduction of short term work permit exemptions for foreign nationals who are coming to Canada in order to perform consultancy assignments that are fifteen (15) to thirty (30) days a year, or for highly skilled academics who wish to come to Canada for research for less than 120 days out of the year.

Who is affected?

  • Clients traveling to Canada to perform short-term consultancy assignments or highly skilled academics
  • Companies who wish to move their headquarters to Canada
  • Companies currently operating in Canada who wish to hire foreign nationals

What to expect

This will provide significant benefits to companies who wish to move their operations to Canada or employ workers who are required to travel through Canada on short term consulting assignments.

What you need to do

Planning ahead

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.