On March 17, 2015, Justice Montigny in Ismail v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2015 FC 338 (“Ismail“), certified the following question:
For the purposes of determining its jurisdiction to hear an appeal pursuant to subsection 63(2) of the IRPA, shall the validity of the permanent resident visa be assessed by the IAD at the time of arrival in Canada or at the time the exclusion order is made?Read more ›
On February 28, 2015, the Government of Canada announced in the Canada Gazette that it would begin enhanced information sharing between Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) and the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA“). To many representatives who have been stunned at how many people can seemingly get away with reporting different information to the two government departments this is welcome news.Read more ›
The Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC“) in Canada (Attorney General) v. Federation of Law Societies of Canada, 2015 SCC 7, has affirmed that some provisions of Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing duties unreasonably impedes the lawyer’s duties to both keep their clients’ confidences and to act with the commitment to serving and protecting their clients’ legitimate interests. In doing so, the SCC has held that it should be recognized as a principle of fundamental justice that the state cannot impose duties on lawyers that undermine their duty of commitment to their clients’ causes.
The SCC’s decision contained the following key passages:
The duty of lawyers to avoid conflicting interests is at the heart of both the general legal framework defining the fiduciary duties of lawyers to their clients and of the ethical principles governing lawyers’ professional conduct. This duty aims to avoid two types of risks of harm to clients: the risk of misuse of confidential information and the risk of impairment of the lawyer’s representation of the client (see, e.g., Canadian National Railway Co. v. McKercher LLP, 2013 SCC 39,  2 S.C.R. 649, at para. 23).
The Court has recognized that aspects of these fiduciary and ethical duties have a constitutional dimension. I have already discussed at length one important example. The centrality to the administration of justice of preventing misuse of the client’s confidential information, reflected in solicitor-client privilege, led the Court to conclude that the privilege required constitutional protection in the context of law office searches and seizures: see Lavallee. Solicitor-client privilege is “essential to the effective operation of the legal system”: R. v. Gruenke,  3 S.C.R. 263, at p. 289. As Major J. put it in R. v. McClure, 2001 SCC 14,  1 S.C.R.Read more ›
On March 1, 2015, both the Ottawa Sun and the CBC reported that protesters demonstrated in front of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) building on Laurier Avenue in Ottawa. As the CBC reported:
Canadians who fall in love with someone of another nationality can face daunting obstacles to starting a life together in Canada. If their spouse is living here already, they face a 25-month waiting period for their application to be processed. That waiting period has grown longer over the past two years, leaving thousands of families in limbo.
It is not only spouses in Canada whose applications are experiencing processing delays.Read more ›
The following article appeared in the March 2015 edition of The Canadian Immigrant.
Canada’s government views itself as being a government that has reduced administrative burdens for Canadian businesses. Indeed, the House of Commons recently passed legislation that states that every new regulation that imposes a new administrative burden on Canadian business must result in an existing regulation being amended or repealed. Under its Red Tape Reduction Action Plan, the Canadian government has announced that it is committed to streamlining the regulatory approval processes and reducing reporting requirements and information demands.
Canadian employers of foreign nationals and prospective immigrants can be forgiven for viewing these proclamations and pronouncements with skepticism.
Administrative burden of the LMIA regime
Since 2013, the now-called Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has made the labour market impact assessment (LMIA) regime excessively administratively cumbersome.
ESDC has increased the LMIA application fee from $0 to $275 to $1,000. It has introduced exceedingly more stringent recruitment requirements on employers wishing to obtain LMIAs to permanently retain their foreign workers and help them transition to permanent residency. For reasons that I still don’t understand, ESDC has decided to not publicize some of its recruitment requirements, a decision which has resulted in many employers conducting recruitment and submitting applications that are guaranteed to fail.
In April 2014, ESDC imposed a moratorium on most LMIAs from the food services sector, and suspended existing LMIAs. In June 2014, it introduced LMIA foreign worker caps that took effect immediately. Since June 2014, ESDC has quietly changed numerous LMIA requirements by simply editing its website, and not providing any notice to employers that a change had been made.
Contrary to the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan, ESDC’s new compliance regime has greatly increased the documentation requirements of employers utilizing the LMIA system.Read more ›
In June 2014, the Government of Canada announced that Canadians could now participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC“) Business Travel Card (“ABTC“) program. I applied for and quickly obtained one. Indeed, when I went for my interview I was told by the United States Customs and Border Patrol officer that I was one of the first people to be interviewed. From what I can tell it appears that very few Canadians have applied for the ABTC.
Indeed, when I mention the very existence of the ABTC most people appear unaware that it even exists. This is unfortunate. If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and you’ve ever sat in frustration at the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver waiting for your visa that will only be valid for a few months, or stood in line gaping at the size of the crowds at the ShenZhen-Hong Kong border crossing, then the ABTC is for you.Read more ›
On February 17, 2015, the Province of British Columbia published the results of the following FOI request:
Specific fields of data, tabulated by year for the past four years, within the Performance Agreements for Business Immigration including: the number of agreements signed, investment amount committed and number of jobs committed as well as the agreements fulfilled, the actual investment amounts and actual number of jobs. Timeframe is 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2014.
The FOI results are embedded below. There are many things that one can conclude from the data. What is clear is that except for 2012, the “performance agreement success rate” is around 50%.Read more ›
The following article appeared in the December 2014 edition of The Canadian Immigrant magazine.
Are options for international students to immigrate permanently narrowing?
Each year, around 100,000 international students arrive in Canada to commence their studies. From 2005 to 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced many programs to make it easier for these students to obtain work experience in Canada after graduating and to transition to permanent resident status.
My May 2013 column for Canadian Immigrantdetailed the ways in which post-graduate work permit (PGWP) holders could stay in Canada beyond the expiry of their PGWPs. In that article I wrote “some graduates regretfully lose their employment (and consequently jeopardize their permanent residence applications) if the employers are unable or unwilling to pay the required prevailing wage rates required for LMOs [labour market opinions], or if Service Canada refuses the applications because of insufficient recruitment on the employer’s part. There is no reason for this to be happening.”
Unfortunately for international students, that “there is no reason for this to be happening” is no longer the case, and the road for recent graduates to obtain permanent residency is becoming increasing difficult.Read more ›
The following is a summary of the Environmental Overview of the immigration functions at the Canadian High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka (the “Environmental Overview”). The Environmental Overview was prepared as part of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada 2014-2015 planning exercise, and is current as of January 2014.
Areas in blockquote are direct passages from the Environmental Overview. If you would like to obtain a copy of the full Environmental Overview, please contact me.Read more ›
Earlier this year I published a partial reproduction of the Environmental Overview of the immigration functions at the Canadian Consulate in Chandigargh current to 2012. The post was quite popular, and the following is a summary of the most recent Environmental Overview of the immigration functions at the Canadian Consulate in Chandigarh (the “Environmental Overview”). The Environmental Overview was prepared as part of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada 2014-2015 planning exercise, and is current as of January 2014.
Areas in blockquote are direct passages from the Environmental Overview.
The Canadian Consulate in Chandigarh (“CIC Chandigarh“) provides temporary residence processing in northwest India.
Chandigarh is a non-immigrant processing office. However in 2013 we processed some family class files in order to assist Delhi with their targets and to provide a learning experience for officers in Chandigarh. Over 400 family class applications were interviewed and processed to conclusion in 2013.
SuperVisas continue to account for 15% of our total visitor intake.
Systemic fraud necessitates a careful review of applications in all lines of business.
Interestingly, CIC Chandigarh has been active in meeting with Punjab government officials to provide input on the new Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, a law which provides a registration system for those performing immigration consultant services and provides stiff penalties for those who operate without being registered or who commit fraud.
Two quality assurance exercises have been completed in the past year, one on the genuineness of WP applicant’s employment history and one on the genuineness of bank documents provided by TRV applicants. Significant fraud was detected within the WP program and processing changes have been made to include up-front verifications on all worker cases.Read more ›
Please note that none of the information on this website should be construed as being legal advice. As well, you should not rely on any of the information contained in this website when determining whether and how to apply to a given program. Canadian immigration law is constantly changing, and the information above may be dated. If you have a question about the contents of this blog, or any question about Canadian immigration law, please contact the Author.
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