Quebec Caps Economic Immigration

21st Mar 2012 Comments Off on Quebec Caps Economic Immigration

Last Updated on March 21, 2012 by Steven Meurrens

Quebec Caps Economic Immigration

On March 21, 2012, the Government of Quebec announced that it is capping the maximum number of applications that it will receive in its economic programs.  The programs that will be subject to a cap are the Quebec Investor Program, the Quebec Entrepreneur Program, the Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program, and the Quebec Skilled Worker Program .  The introduction of the caps follows a dramatic increase in applications to these programs following the implementation of caps to corresponding federal programs.

The caps will last from March 21, 2012 to March 31, 2013.

During this time, the maximum number of applicants that can apply to immigrate to Quebec in the business stream are:

  • Investors – 2700
  • Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Workers – 215

Meanwhile, for the purpose of determining the cap, the Quebec Skilled Worker Program has been divided into three groups.

There will be no limit on the number of people who can apply to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program – Group 1.  To be eligible for Group 1, an applicant must be (please note that most of the following requirements contain specific additional provisions that are beyond the scope of this bulletin):

  • A temporary foreign worker in Quebec who meets the requirements of the Quebec Experience Class (“PEQ”);
  • A foreign graduate in Quebec who meets the eligibility requirements of the PEQ;
  • A foreign student in Quebec who is eligible to apply for a selection certificate under the regular skilled workers program;
  • A participant in Quebec under an International Experience Canada program who is eligible to apply under the regular skilled worker program;

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Legislating Away the Immigration Backlog

16th Mar 2012 Comments Off on Legislating Away the Immigration Backlog

Last Updated on March 16, 2012 by Steven Meurrens

On March 7, 2012, Jason Kenney delivered a speech to the Economic Club of Canada which has generated considerable attention.  He implied that the Government of Canada was considering legislating an end to Canada’s immigration backlog.

His statements were:

New Zealandlegislated an end to its backlog in 2003 and put in place a system where prospective applicants can be selected from a pool made up of all persons who have applied. Rather than wasting time and energy processing old applications, their resources can now be put towards actively matching the best qualified applicants to current jobs and economic needs.

Now, in recent months, Prime Minister Harper has spoken about doing more in the economy of the future than just passively accepting applications. He has talked about the need to actively recruit people to come to Canadato fill specific skill shortages.

There are exciting possibilities before us when it comes to the future of immigration toCanada. But of course, the first step is to eliminate this huge unfair backlog as soon as we can. Again, we’re open to creative suggestions and we will continue to consult with Canadians about the best way forward in immigration reform.

Canada’s immigration backlog is not small.  According to a report by the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration titled Cutting the Queue: Reducing Canada’s Immigration Backlogs and Wait Times, as of July 1, 2011, the backlog was:



Number of People

Federal Skilled Workers

QuebecSkilled Workers

Federal Business (Investors and Entrepreneurs)


Provincial/Territorial Nominees

Canadian Experience Class

Live-in Caregiver

Spouses, Partners, and Children

Parents and Grandparents

Government-sponsored Refugees

Privately-sponsored refugees

This backlog translates into some very high processing times. 

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Significant Changes Coming to the Spousal-Sponsorship Program

9th Mar 2012 Comments Off on Significant Changes Coming to the Spousal-Sponsorship Program

Last Updated on March 9, 2012 by Steven Meurrens

Fresh off his efforts to crack down on crooked consultants, and having just introduced legislation to deter “bogus refugees,” Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, is now focusing his scopes on deterring sham marriages.  He has made (or is in the process of making) two significant changes to Canada’s spousal-sponsorship program.  While both of his reforms will have its critics, the changes are likely to have the overwhelming support of the Canadian public, and continue the Conservative government’s trend of harmonizingCanada’s immigration system with other Western democracies.

The first change is a five-year sponsorship bar for recently sponsored spouses.  A previously-sponsored spouse will now be barred from sponsoring a new spouse or partner for the first five years that the previously sponsored spouse is a permanent resident.  The government’s objective is to prevent an individual who has been sponsored from divorcing the sponsor and shortly thereafter getting married and sponsoring someone else.

This change took affect on March 2, 2012.  If you were in the process of preparing a spousal-sponsorship application, and this change applies to you, then I’m sorry toinform you that there was no grace period. You will (likely) have to wait until you have been in Canadafor five-years before you can sponsor your spouse.

The second change is the introduction of conditional residency for certain spouses.  Spouses or common-law or conjugal partners who are in a relationship of two years or less with their sponsor will soon be subject to a period of conditional permanent residence.  The condition would require the sponsored spouse or partner to cohabit in a conjugal relationship with their sponsor for a period of two years following the acquisition of permanent residence status. 

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Canadian Immigration Permanent Resident Application Approval Rates

7th Mar 2012 Comments Off on Canadian Immigration Permanent Resident Application Approval Rates

Last Updated on March 7, 2012 by Steven Meurrens

From the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration Report.  I assume the Applications Processed (excluding withdrawals) should read 336,407.









Applications received








Applications processed (excluding withdrawals)








Applications withdrawn








Applications approved








Applications denied








Approval rate









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Anatomy of a Misleading Press Release

4th Mar 2012 Comments Off on Anatomy of a Misleading Press Release

Last Updated on March 4, 2012 by Steven Meurrens

Some Twitter followers have asked me to explain my comments regarding a press release that I have described as extremely misleading.

On February 22, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada released a press release titled “Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act Earning Rave Reviews“.  The press release contains quotes from politicians, lawyers, the media, and interest groups.  After reading it, one would reasonably assume that everyone quoted supported Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act.

However, anyone remotely familiar with who some of the people quoted in the press release are will realize that something is amiss.

Lets start with Don Davies, the Opposition Critic for immigration.  Are we really supposed to believe that Mr. Davies supports Bill C-31?  Of course he doesn’t!  It’s basically his job not to!  A quick glance at his website and youtube confirm that he does not support the Bill, so why is he included as someone who is positively raving about Bill C-31?

Next.  Lets turn to some of the press release’s examples of the media “raving” about Bill C-31.

The press release quotes the Globe and Mail as saying:

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s refugee reforms, aimed at making the process more efficient and decisive, are generally good. If implemented, they will improve an unwieldy asylum program.

The legislation rightly focuses on weeding out claimants who are not genuine, and stemming the flow of asylum seekers from countries such as Mexico and Hungary that are democracies with respect for basic rights and freedoms.

Fast-tracking refugee claims from these countries, and ensuring failed claimants are promptly deported, is an excellent way to ensure Canada does not become a magnet for abuse.

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