Canada – Winter Immigration Update

Elimination of the Four (4) Year Cap

What has Changed

On December 13, 2016, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that the ‘4 Year Cap’ previously implemented for certain categories of temporary foreign workers (“TFWs”) in 2011 would be eliminated. This rule provided that TFWs under certain work permit categories, (such as LMIA/LMO based workers in non-managerial or non-high-skilled occupations), would be limited to a four (4) year cap, after which they could no longer remain in Canada as a worker, and would have leave for an additional four (4) years before they could return for employment reasons.

Who is affected?

  • All clients who employ Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

What to expect

The four (4) year cap presented several challenges for employers who required TFWs to remain in Canada beyond the four (4) year restriction. The IRCC announced that going-forward, this cap would no longer be applicable.

TFWs can now remain in Canada beyond the four (4) year limitation, provided that they continue to meet eligibility requirements under their respective work permit authorizations. The IRCC stated that for applications where a final decision was reached before December 13, 2016, the cumulative duration would continue to apply. Closed files would not be re-opened for reconsideration; however, applications previously refused solely on the basis of the cap could submit a new work permit application if all other requirements are met.

Additionally, applicants who departed Canada because they had previously met the four (4) year cumulative duration limit are eligible to apply for a new work permit without having to remain outside Canada for four (4) years.

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.

Changes to the Spousal Sponsorship Program

What has Changed

On December 15, 2016, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced several upcoming changes to redesign the application process for spousal sponsorship.

Who is affected?

  • Applicants who wish to being their spouse to Canada

What to expect

Below are some highlights of the upcoming changes to the spousal sponsorship process:

  • There will be new simplified and streamlined guides, kits and forms;
  • There will be four (4) new checklists (one (1) for each type of applicant);
  • Under the redesigned process, clients will have to submit complete and fully documented applications upfront, or else the applications will be returned as incomplete;
  • Spouses and common-law partners will not be required to undergo an up-front medical examination. Medical instructions will be issued during the processing of the application;
  • Applications for permanent residence of a spouse, partner or dependent child will no longer require police certificates to be submitted up-front as part of the application package. IRCC will send them a request to submit them shortly after they receive their application and applicants will have thirty (30) days to comply.

In addition, after filing the submissions, applicants will be sent a request to create an online account and link their application to their online account within seven (7) calendar days. This will help expedite the application process and allow the IRCC to correspond with applicants through online communication.

The Ministerial Instructions provide for a transition period during which applications made using the old forms and kits will continue to be accepted. This period ends on January 31, 2017.

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.

Update on Parent Sponsorship

What has Changed

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented upcoming changes to facilitate the process of parent and grandparent sponsorship.

Who is affected?

  • Applicants who wish to bring their parents or grandparents to Canada

What to expect

Applicants wanting to bring their parents or grandparents to Canada will now have thirty (30) days to fill out an online form to indicate their interest (rather than rushing to submit the paper applications in January, as previously done). IRCC will then randomly choose 10,000 individuals from those who filled out the form, and those individuals will be invited to send in their complete application package.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • The online form for parent sponsorship will be available starting January 3, 2017 and sponsors will have thirty (30) days to submit the form.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.