• COVID-19 Immigration Pathways

    Last Updated on April 19, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

    On April 14, 2021 Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino, announced the creation of two new immigration programs that will allow approximately 90,000 individuals to apply for permanent residence between May 6, 2021 and November 5, 2021.  I say approximately because the programs have application caps except for those with upper-basic French language capability. The programs provide an immigration opportunity for many people who previously did not qualify to immigrate. While the application packages for the programs have yet to be released, and there are questions about some of the details, it is important that anyone who is currently in Canada and who wishes to immigrate check to see if they qualify based on the details that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) has released so far. There are also certain requirements (passing a language test, being employed) that prospective applicants may need to act on in order to qualify that they should do immediately as applicable. The programs in brief target foreign nationals who have one year of work experience in occupations that IRCC has deemed essential, those who have graduated from a qualifying Canadian post-secondary institution and French speakers. Program A – Permanent Residence for Foreign Nationals in Canada, outside of Quebec, with Recent Canadian Work Experience in Essential occupations This program targets foreign nationals with at least one year of work experience in Canada in an occupation that IRCC has deemed essential. To be eligible, the foreign national must have accumulated at least one year of full-time experience, or the equivalent in part-time experience (1,560 hours), in Canada, in an eligible occupation in the three years preceding the date when they apply for permanent residence.  The employment must have been one in which the foreign worker received wages or commission. Self-employment does not count, except for individuals working as a medical doctor in a fee-for-service arrangement with a health authority. The foreign national must also:
    • be employed in Canada in any occupation at the time that the application for permanent residence is received. It does not need to be in the same occupation or for the same employer as what qualified them for the program;
    • have taken the IELTS, CELPIP or TEF within the last two years and obtained a level of Canadian Language Benchmark 4 in either official language for each of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. For the IELTS this means a 4.0 in Speaking, a 4.5 in Listening, a 3.5 in Reading and a 4.0 in Writing;
    • reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status (or be eligible for restoration) and be physically present in Canada both when they apply and when the application is approved; and
    • intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec.
    IRCC has divided the eligible occupations into two Streams (also called Annexes). Annex A are most health care related occupations, with the exception of Veterinarians and Animal Health Technologists and Veterinary Technicians. The list of job titles and applicable National Occupational Classification (“NOC”) codes includes:
    • Professional Occupations in Nursing (3011, 3012)
    • Physicians, Dentists and Veterinarians (3111, 3112, 3113)
    • Optometrists, Chiropractors and other Health Diagnosing and Treating Professionals (3121, 3122, 3124, 3125)
    • Pharmacists, Dietitians and Nutritionists (3131, 3132)
    • Therapy and Assessment Professionals (3141, 3142, 3143, 3144)
    • Medical Technologists and Technicians (3211, 3212, 3214, 3215, 3216, 3217, 3219)
    • Technical Occupations in Dental Health Care (3221, 3222, 3223)
    • Opticians, Practitioners of Natural Healing, Licensed Practical Nurses, Paramedical Occupations, Massage Therapists and Other Technical Occupations in Therapy and Assessment (3231, 3232, 3233, 3234, 3236, 3237)
    • Dental Assistants (3411)
    • Nurse Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates (3413)
    • Other Assisting Occupations in Support of Health Services (3414)
    • Psychologists (4151)
    • Social Workers (4152)
    • Family, Marriage and other Related Counsellors (4153)
    • Health Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers (4165)
    • Social and Community Service Workers (4212)
    • Home Support Workers, Housekeepers and Related Occupations (4412)
    Annex B are other Essential Occupations. The list of job titles and applicable National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes includes:
    • Cashiers, Service Station Attendants, Store Shelf Stockers, Clerks and Order Fillers and other Sales Related Occupations (6611, 6621, 6622, 6623)
    • Contractors and Supervisors, Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades and Related Workers (7201, 7202, 7203, 7204, 7205)
    • Machining, Metal Forming, Shaping and Erecting Trades (7231, 7232, 7233, 7234, 7235, 7236, 7237)
    • Electrical Trades and Electrical Power Line and Telecommunications Workers (7241, 7242, 7243, 7244, 7245, 7246, 7247)
    • Plumbers, Pipefitters and Gas Fitters (7251, 7252, 7253)
    • Carpenters and Cabinetmakers (7271, 7272)
    • Masonry and Plastering Trades (7281, 7282, 7283, 7284)
    • Roofers and Shinglers, Glaziers, Insulators, Painters and Decorators, Floor Covering Installers (7291, 7292, 7293, 7294, 7295)
    • Other Installers, Repairers and Servicers (7441, 7442, 7444, 7445)
    • Longshore Workers (7451)
    • Material Handlers (7452)
    • Trades Helpers and Labourers (7611, 7612)
    • Public works and maintenance labourers (7621)
    • Railway and Motor Transport Labourers (7622)
    • Harvesting Labourers (8611)
    • Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Labourers (8612)
    • Aquaculture, Marine Harvest Labourers, Mine Labourers, Oil and Gas Drilling Labourers, Logging and Forestry Labourers (8611, 8612, 8613, 8614, 8615, 8616)
    • Mail and Message Distribution Occupations (1511, 1512, 1513)
    • Retail Salesperson (6421)
    • Cleaners (6421, 6731, 6732, 6733)
    • General Farm Workers (8431)
    • Nursery and Greenhouse Workers (8432)
    • Fishing Vessel Deckhands (8441)
    • Trappers and Hunters (8442)
    • Machine Operators and Related Workers in Food, Beverage and Associated Products Processing (9461, 9462, 9463, 9465)
    • Managers in Agriculture and Horticulture (0821, 0822)
    • French and French Immersion Teachers (4031, 4032)
    • Home Child Care Providers (4411)
    • Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants (4413)
    • Retail Butchers (6331)
    • Airline Ticket and Service Agents (6523)
    • Ground and Water Transport Ticket Agents, Cargo Service Representatives and Related Clerks (6524)
    • Security Guards and Related Security Service Occupations (6541)
    • Customer Service Representatives – Financial Institutions (6541)
    • Other Customer Service and Information Services Representatives (6552)
    • Agricultural Service Contractors, Farm Supervisors and Specialized Livestock Workers (8252)
    • Contractors and Supervisors, Landscaping, Grounds Maintenance and Horticulture Services (8255)
    • Labourers in Food and Beverage Processing (9617)
    • Labourers in Fish and Seafood Processing (9618)
    Stream A is capped at 20,000 applications. Stream B is capped at 30,000 applications. More details about this program can be found here. Program B – Permanent Residence for French-Speaking Foreign Nationals in Canada, outside of Quebec, with Recent Canadian Work Experience in Essential occupations This Program is essentially the same as the previous program, except that there is no application cap. To qualify, in addition to the requirements of Program A, an applicant must have attained a level of proficiency of at least Canadian Language Benchmark 4 in French for each of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. More details about this program can be found here. Program C – Permanent Residence for Foreign Nationals in Canada, Outside of Quebec, with a Recent Credential from a Canadian Post-Secondary Institution This program targets foreign nationals who have been granted an eligible Canadian credential and who are currently employed in Canada. To be eligible, the foreign national must have, prior to the date on which the application for permanent residence is received, and no earlier than January 2017, have completed a program of study at one of the following types of Designated Learning Institutions:
    • a public post-secondary institution, such as a college, trade/technical school, university or in Quebec CEGEP;
    • a private post-secondary school in Quebec that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions in Quebec;
    • a private or public post-secondary institution in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to a diploma of vocational studies (DVS) or an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS); or
    • a Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees under provincial law but only if the program of study completed was a degree as authorized by the province, which may not include all programs of study offered by the private institution.
    Those who are familiar with the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program will recognize that the types of education programs leading to eligibility in this immigration program are the same as those that lead to Post-Graduate Work Permits. However, unlike with the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program, there does not appear in this immigration program to be a requirement that the applicant have continuously studied full-time for the duration of their program. The foreign national must also have been granted one of the following credentials, following the completion of a program study from an eligible institution :
    • a degree (Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate) which must be a degree issued on completion of a program of at least 8 months in duration;
    • a degree, diploma, certificate, or attestation issued on completion of a program of any duration leading to an occupation in a skilled trade (the eligible skilled trades are listed below); or
    • a diploma, certificate or attestation where each program of study was at least eight months in duration and the combined length of the credential(s) is equivalent to a two-year credential (at least 16 month in duration)
    • for the DVS and AVS, each program of study must be at least 900 hours in duration and the combined program of study must be at least 1,800 hours in duration. When combining one AVS with one DVS, the length of the AVS may be less than 900 hours if the combined length is at least 1,800 hours.
    The applicant must also:
    • have been authorized to study during their studies;
    • be employed in Canada with a valid permit or authorization to work at the time the application for permanent residence is received. Self-employment does not acount (unless they are a doctor in a fee-for-service arrangement wth a health employment).
    • have within the last two years obtained through a designated language test a level of Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in either official language for each of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. For the IELTS this means a 5.0 in Speaking, a 5.0 in Listening, a 4.5 in Reading and a 5.0 in Writing;
    • reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status (or be eligible to restore their status) and be physically present in Canada at the time the application for permanent residence is received and when the application is approved;
    • intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec.
    For those who are qualified based on the completion of a degree, diploma, certificate or attestation issued on completion of a program of any duration leading to an occupation in a skilled trade, the qualifying skilled trades are:
    • Contractors and Supervisors, Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades and Related Workers (7201, 7202, 7203, 7204, 7205)
    • Machining, Metal Forming, Shaping and Erecting Trades (7231, 7232, 7233, 7234, 7235, 7236, 7237)
    • Electrical Trades and Electrical Power Line and Telecommunications Workers (7241, 7242, 7243, 7244, 7245, 7246, 7247)
    • Plumbers, Pipefitters and Gas Fitters (7251, 7252, 7253)
    • Carpenters and Cabinetmakers (7271, 7272)
    • Masonry and Plastering Trades (7281, 7282, 7283, 7284)
    • Roofers and Shinglers, Glaziers, Insulators, Painters and Decorators, Floor Covering Installers (7291, 7292, 7293, 7294, 7295)
    • Contractors and Supervisors, Maintenance Trades and Heavy Equipment and Transport Operators (7301, 7302, 7303, 7304, 7305)
    • Machinery and Transportation Equipment Mechanics (except motor vehicles) (7311, 7312, 7313, 7314, 7315, 7316, 7318)
    • Automotive Service Technicians (7321, 7322)
    • Other Mechanics and Related Repairers (7311, 7322, 7333, 7334, 7335)
    • Train Crew Operating Occupations (7361, 7362)
    • Crane Operators, Drillers and Blasters (7371, 7372, 7373)
    • Printing Press Operators (7381)
    • Other Trades and Related Occupations (7384)
    • Supervisors, Logging, Forestry, Mining, Quarrying (8211, 8221)
    • Contractors and Supervisors – Oil & Gas (8222)
    • Underground Production and Development Miners (8231)
    • Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers, Testers and Related Workers (8232)
    • Logging Machinery Operators (8241)
    • Supervisors and Specialized Livestock Workers (8252)
    • Contractors and Supervisors, Landscaping, Grounds Maintenance and Horticulture Services (8255)
    • Supervisors, Processing and Manufacturing Occupations (9211, 9212, 9213, 9214, 9215, 9217)
    • Supervisors, Assembly and Fabrication (9221, 9222, 9223, 9224, 9225, 9226, 9227)
    • Central Control and Process operators in Processing and Manufacturing (9231, 9232, 9235)
    • Utilities Equipment Operators and Controllers (9241, 9243)
    • Fishermen/Women (8262)
    • Chefs and Cooks (6321, 6322)
    • Butchers and Bakers (6331, 6332)
    This program is capped at 40,000 people. More details about this program can be found here. Program D – Permanent Residence for French-Speaking Foreign Nationals in Canada, outside of Quebec, with a Recent Credential from a Canadian Post-Secondary Institution This Program is essentially the same as the previous program, except that there is no application cap. To qualify, in addition to the requirements of Program C, an applicant must have attained a level of proficiency of at least Canadian Language Benchmark 4 in French for each of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. More details about this program can be found here. Unanswered Questions There are many aspects of the above programs that remain unclear. Are applicants under these programs eligible for open-bridging work permits? Is there a minimum amount of time that someone has to be employed prior to the submission of the application or can someone get a job the day before they apply and still qualify? The programs require that someone be working at the time of submission. Is part-time employment ok? IRCC has previously excluded Canadian work experience obtained when someone was a full-time student from counting towards immigration. Is such work included here? Will students who have recently graduated be able to rely on unofficial transcripts to show that they have completed their program of study? Can applicants apply under both programs? Can applicants apply if they have already applied under other immigration programs? How Quickly Will the Caps Be Reached It is difficult to predict how quickly the caps of these programs will be reached. The factors which suggest that they will fill up quickly include that the eligibility criteria is very broad, that people who did not qualify for Post-Graduate Work Permits because they did not continuosly study full-time are eligible and that people may apply to multiple programs. The factors which suggest that it might not be as fast as people think include that many of the people eligible for this program may have already applied for permanent residency through Express Entry or provincial nomination programs and that many people may have left Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic to return to their country of origin. Jurisprudence on Application Caps With the recent trend towards immigration programs that have application caps it is worth reviewing the jurisprudence around quotas. In Agama v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2013 FC 135 an applicant was denied permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Workers Class because her application fell outside the annual cap.  Those practicing at the time will remember that there were massive delays in IRCC’s website reflecting the actual state of whether the application cap had been met, such that thousands of people applied even though the programs were full.  Ms. Agama argued that IRCC’s failure to announce when the cap was reached was a breach of procedural fairness, and that she had a legitimate expectation that her application would be processed. Justice Phelan disagreed, and stated that there was nothing to suggest that the number of applications posted on the IRCC website was true, accurate and complete such as to create a legitimate expectation in the accuracy of the number. Her application for judicial review was accordingly unsuccessful. Hopefully IRCC has measures in place to avoid a similar debacle this time around.
  • Settlement Funds

    Last Updated on April 6, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

    Regulation 76(1)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provides that:

    For the purpose of determining whether a skilled worker, as a member of the federal skilled worker class, will be able to become economically established in Canada, they must be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

    (b) the skilled worker must

    (i) have in the form of transferable and available funds, unencumbered by debts or other obligations, an amount equal to one half of the minimum necessary income applicable in respect of the group of persons consisting of the skilled worker and their family members.

    Applicants are not required to have settlement funds if the applicant is authorized to work in Canada and has been awarded points for a qualifying offer of arranged employment under Express Entry or for arranged employment in Canada. The funds must be
    • available and transferable;
    • unencumbered by debts or other obligations; and
    • sufficient to support initial establishment in Canada.
    IRCC Questions and Answers The following are two questions that lawyers asked IRCC’s IMMrep department, and the response. Question – To what extent are people able to use funds within “investment accounts” to satisfy the proof of funds requirement? Question – To what extent are outstanding debts such as credit card debt, loans, mortgages, etc. assessed against the positive balance in bank and investment accounts for those required to provide Proof of Funds?
  • IAD Statistics

    Last Updated on April 6, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

    The Immigration Appeal Division has a webpage with useful statistics that can be found here. I have reproduced the data as of 2020 below in case the IRB for whatever reason moves the data.

    Appeals by Region – 2020 (January to December)​

    All Appeals Filed

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2020/12/31​)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 2,343 108 1,305 1,134 172 557 3,168 679 2,494
    Eastern 544 43 314 342 37 134 827 226 580
    Central 1,087 42 517 427 92 230 1,266 367 1,282
    Western 712 23 474 365 43 193 1,075 86 632

    Sponsorship appeals filed (subsection 63(1))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2020/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 1,244 0 852 570 122 471 2,015 0 1,234
    Eastern 251 0 160 155 21 107 443 0 214
    Central 540 0 326 197 67 192 782 0 639
    Western 453 0 366 218 34 172
    790
    0 381

    Removal order appeals filed (subsection 63(2), (3))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2020/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 410 108 262 197 30 38 527 679 514
    Eastern 109 43 111 96 9 14 230 226 146
    Central 220 42 104 56 18 14 192 367 287
    Western 81 23 47 45 3 10 105 86 81

    Residency obligation appeals filed (subsection 63(4))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2020/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 680 0 184 361 20 47 612 0 723
    Eastern 179 0 41 89 7 12 149 0 212
    Central 327 0 87 173 7 24 291 0 355
    Western 174 0 56 99 6 11 172 0 156

    Appeals filed by the Minister (subsection 63(5))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2020/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 9 0 7 6 0 1 14 0 23
    Eastern 5 0 2 2 0 1 5 0 8
    Central 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1
    Western 4 0 5 3 0 0 8 0 14

    Appeals by Region – 2019​

    All Appeals Filed

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2019/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 4,149 269 2,341 2,069 573 1,186 6,169 781 3,245
    Eastern 903 103 587 617 234 345 1,783 243 827
    Central 1,837 121 1,070 797 233 439 2,539 439 1,418
    Western 1,409 45 684 655 106 402 1,847 99 1,000

    Sponsorship appeals filed (subsection 63(1))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2019/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 2,746 0 1,552 1,026 304 965 3,847 0 2,012
    Eastern 523 0 273 238 90 248 849 0 393
    Central 1,219 0 765 433 142 377 1,717 0 902
    Western 1,004 0 514 355 72 340 1,281 0 717

    Removal order appeals filed (subsection 63(2), (3))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2019/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 579 269 494 415 175 127 1,211 781 539
    Eastern 202 103 223 201 110 76 610 243 252
    Central 213 121 187 122 43 20 372 439 186
    Western 164 45 84 92 22 31 229 99 101

    Residency obligation appeals filed (subsection 63(4))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2019/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 797 0 278 610 94 92 1,074 0 665
    Eastern 172 0 85 171 34 20 310 0 174
    Central 402 0 115 239 48 42 444 0 328
    Western 223 0 78 200 12 30 320 0 163

    Appeals filed by the Minister (subsection 63(5))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2019/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 27 0 17 18 0 2 37 0 29
    Eastern 6 0 6 7 0 1 14 0 8
    Central 3 0 3 3 0 0 6 0 2
    Western 18 0 8 8 0 1 17 0 19

    Appeals by Region – 2018​

    All Appeals Filed

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2018/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 4,353 264 2,734 2,004 925 1,483 7,146 761 5,333
    Eastern 1,069 90 587 553 400 507 2,047 220 1,753
    Central 1,868 133 1,354 975 440 580 3,349 455 2,128
    Western 1,416 41 793 476 85 396 1,750 86 1,452

    Sponsorship appeals filed (subsection 63(1))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2018/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 2,745 0 1,709 796 364 1,159 4,028 0 3,149
    Eastern 526 0 234 156 105 363 858 0 720
    Central 1,238 0 897 405 210 484 1,996 0 1,421
    Western 981 0 578 235 49 312 1,174 0 1,008

    Removal order appeals filed (subsection 63(2), (3))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2018/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 719 264 620 464 342 170 1,596 761 1,193
    Eastern 296 90 264 239 239 103 845 220 683
    Central 225 133 248 150 83 42 523 455 327
    Western 198 41 108 75 20 25 228 86 183

    Residency obligation appeals filed (subsection 63(4))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2018/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 862 0 384 734 219 151 1,488 0 953
    Eastern 237 0 86 158 56 41 341 0 334
    Central 404 0 206 417 147 53 823 0 375
    Western 221 0 92 159 16 57 324 0 244

    Appeals filed by the Minister (subsection 63(5))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2018/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 27 0 21 10 0 3 34 0 38
    Eastern 10 0 3 0 0 0 3 0 16
    Central 1 0 3 3 0 1 7 0 5
    Western 16 0 15 7 0 2 24 0 17

    Appeals by Region – 2017​

    All Appeals Filed

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2017/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 5,297 252 2,265 2,035 788 1,494 6,582 895 8,004
    Eastern 1,434 86 588 693 423 467 2,171 244 2,709
    Central 2,312 144 903 840 273 657 2,673 551 3,518
    Western 1,551 22 774 502 92 370 1,738 100 1,777

    Sponsorship appeals filed (subsection 63(1))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2017/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 3,376 0 1,402 902 339 1,088 3,731 0 4,434
    Eastern 819 0 241 201 116 283 841 0 1,050
    Central 1,468 0 560 411 161 520 1,652 0 2,181
    Western 1,089 0 601 290 62 285 1,238 0 1,203

    Removal order appeals filed (subsection 63(2), (3))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2017/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 979 252 559 547 332 252 1,690 894 1,944
    Eastern 399 86 267 288 246 151 952 243 1,213
    Central 370 144 197 185 68 50 500 551 530
    Western 210 22 95 74 18 51 238 100 201

    Residency obligation appeals filed (subsection 63(4))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2017/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 903 0 294 572 117 147 1,130 0 1,582
    Eastern 210 0 78 201 61 30 370 0 438
    Central 467 0 144 242 44 87 517 0 796
    Western 226 0 72 129 12 30 243 0 348

    Appeals filed by the Minister (subsection 63(5))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2017/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 39 0 10 14 0 7 31 1 44
    Eastern 6 0 2 3 0 3 8 1 8
    Central 7 0 2 2 0 0 4 0 11
    Western 26 0 6 9 0 4 19 0 25

    Appeals by Region – 2016​

    All Appeals Filed

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2016/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 5,739 292 2,089 1,978 811 1,469 6,347 1,014 9,181
    Eastern 1,527 122 527 454 372 476 1,829 248 3,446
    Central 2,456 134 805 947 331 616 2,699 630 3,803
    Western 1,756 36 757 577 108 377 1,819 136 1,932

    Sponsorship appeals filed (subsection 63(1))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2016/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 3,462 0 1,240 990 422 1,108 3,760 0 4,796
    Eastern 720 0 230 166 141 289 826 0 1,074
    Central 1,500 0 476 515 217 515 1,723 0 2,366
    Western 1,242 0 534 309 64 304 1,211 0 1,356

    Removal order appeals filed (subsection 63(2), (3))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2016/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 1,140 291 607 497 292 210 1,606 1,012 2,542
    Eastern 528 121 252 205 190 141 788 246 1,765
    Central 420 134 235 165 71 39 510 630 583
    Western 192 36 120 127 31 30 308 136 194

    Residency obligation appeals filed (subsection 63(4))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2016/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 1,113 0 227 485 97 147 956 1 1,807
    Eastern 276 0 38 80 41 44 203 1 597
    Central 530 0 94 265 43 62 464 0 846
    Western 307 0 95 140 13 41 289 0 364

    Appeals filed by the Minister (subsection 63(5))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2016/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 24 1 15 6 0 4 25 1 36
    Eastern 3 1 7 3 0 2 12 1 10
    Central 6 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 8
    Western 15 0 8 1 0 2 11 0 18

    Appeals by Region – 2015​

    All Appeals Filed

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2015/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 5,349 190 2,032 2,016 658 1,637 6,343 1,324 9,481
    Eastern 1,409 40 376 335 253 470 1,434 275 3,718
    Central 2,361 116 988 1,080 288 773 3,129 817 3,858
    Western 1,579 34 668 601 117 394 1,780 232 1,905

    Sponsorship appeals filed (subsection 63(1))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2015/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 3,351 0 1,178 1,082 330 1,246 3,836 0 5,095
    Eastern 645 0 158 164 100 299 721 0 1,181
    Central 1,582 0 579 550 161 633 1,923 0 2,589
    Western 1,124 0 441 368 69 314 1,192 0 1,325

    Removal order appeals filed (subsection 63(2), (3))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2015/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 1,092 190 626 374 224 227 1,451 1,320 2,701
    Eastern 596 40 188 118 122 142 570 273 1,994
    Central 304 116 287 165 74 53 579 815 487
    Western 192 34 151 91 28 32 302 232 220

    Residency obligation appeals filed (subsection 63(4))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2015/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 881 0 214 551 104 158 1,027 3 1,648
    Eastern 160 0 25 51 31 29 136 1 524
    Central 471 0 120 363 53 84 620 2 778
    Western 250 0 69 137 20 45 271 0 346

    Appeals filed by the Minister (subsection 63(5))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2015/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 25 0 14 9 0 6 29 1 37
    Eastern 8 0 5 2 0 0 7 1 19
    Central 4 0 2 2 0 3 7 0 4
    Western 13 0 7 5 0 3 15 0 14

    Appeals by Region – 2014​

    All Appeals Filed

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2014/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 5,804 129 1,838 1,857 445 1,582 5,722 1,667 10,131
    Eastern 1,427 17 312 388 163 515 1,378 329 3,690
    Central 2,693 95 935 948 201 665 2,749 1,036 4,405
    Western 1,684 17 591 521 81 402 1,595 302 2,036

    Sponsorship appeals filed (subsection 63(1))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2014/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 3,716 0 1,076 1,000 179 1,271 3,526 0 5,579
    Eastern 729 0 180 180 50 384 794 0 1,258
    Central 1,776 0 475 487 91 565 1,618 0 2,928
    Western 1,211 0 421 333 38 322 1,114 0 1,393

    Removal order appeals filed (subsection 63(2), (3))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2014/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 1,050 129 593 429 204 166 1,392 1,663 2,717
    Eastern 525 17 117 167 100 107 491 327 1,914
    Central 338 95 370 181 71 29 651 1,034 543
    Western 187 17 106 81 33 30 250 302 260

    Residency obligation appeals filed (subsection 63(4))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2014/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 1,017 0 159 425 62 139 785 3 1,794
    Eastern 168 0 12 40 13 23 88 1 500
    Central 575 0 86 280 39 70 475 2 927
    Western 274 0 61 105 10 46 222 0 367

    Appeals filed by the Minister (subsection 63(5))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2014/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 21 0 10 3 0 6 19 1 41
    Eastern 5 0 3 1 0 1 5 1 18
    Central 4 0 4 0 0 1 5 0 7
    Western 12 0 3 2 0 4 9 0 16

    Appeals by Region – 2013​

    All Appeals Filed

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2013/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 5,739 72 1,782 2,022 453 1,413 5,670 2,089 9,627
    Eastern 1,562 1 258 370 118 393 1,139 390 3,580
    Central 2,642 65 922 998 246 680 2,846 1,344 4,153
    Western 1,535 6 602 654 89 340 1,685 355 1,894

    Sponsorship appeals filed (subsection 63(1))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2013/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 3,440 0 1,061 1,152 220 1,149 3,582 0 5,389
    Eastern 708 0 136 155 46 299 636 0 1,322
    Central 1,680 0 493 547 130 568 1,738 0 2,771
    Western 1,052 0 432 450 44 282 1,208 0 1,296

    Removal order appeals filed (subsection 63(2), (3))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2013/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 1,308 72 544 393 177 152 1,266 2,087 2,635
    Eastern 691 1 97 153 65 65 380 388 1,820
    Central 377 65 321 161 80 59 621 1,344 545
    Western 240 6 126 79 32 28 265 355 270

    Residency obligation appeals filed (subsection 63(4))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2013/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 965 0 166 472 56 111 805 1 1,564
    Eastern 152 0 21 61 7 28 117 1 420
    Central 579 0 106 289 36 53 484 0 829
    Western 234 0 39 122 13 30 204 0 315

    Appeals filed by the Minister (subsection 63(5))

    Filed Stayed Finalized Pending (as of 2013/12/31)
    Allowed Dismissed Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total Stayed Non-Stayed
    National 26 0 11 5 0 1 17 1 39
    Eastern 11 0 4 1 0 1 6 1 18
    Central 6 0 2 1 0 0 3 0 8
    Western 9 0 5 3 0 0 8 0 13
  • C-20 Work Permits

    Last Updated on April 1, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

    Regulation 205(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provide that:

    205 – A work permit may be issued under section 200 to a foreign national who intends to perform work that

    (b) would create or maintain reciprocal employment of Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada in other countries.

    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) accordingly has a Labour Market Impact Assessment Confirmation Exemption Code C-20 which allows foreign workers to take up employment in Canada when Canadians have similar reciprocal opportunities abroad. As per the IRCC website, entry under reciprocal provisions should result in a neutral labour market impact. This provision also allows for admission of workers where reciprocity is demonstrated by the Canadian employer (or specific program administrator). The IRCC website further states:

    This could be indicated in the exchange agreement between the Canadian and foreign parties, a letter from the receiving Canadian institution, the work contract (if it provides evidence of reciprocity) and, if necessary, the officer can request documents and/or data to enable verification of reciprocal employment volumes. Bona fide evidence of reciprocity will allow the officer to issue a work permit.

    It is not necessary that there be exact reciprocity (i.e. one for one exchange), but the general order of magnitude of exchanges should be reasonably similar on an annual basis. In assessing reciprocity, one would consider the relative number and percentage. For example, for exchanges involving larger numbers of foreign nationals (e.g. greater than 25), officers could require a higher minimum proportion of Canadians employed abroad to foreign nationals employed in Canada (e.g. at least 75%) than for smaller exchanges.

    When the entities involved have no history of conducting reciprocal exchanges with Canada, it is reasonable to initially limit work permits to a small number of individuals and that subsequent work permits be issued only when reciprocity has been demonstrated. When organizations have a demonstrated history of reciprocal exchanges, they may be permitted some flexibility in the flow of exchange on an annual basis, as long as they are able to demonstrate that the exchanges are similar over a reasonable period of time (e.g. five years), there is a general neutral impact on the labour market.

    In assessing reciprocity, officers can consider not only the number of individuals working in Canada and abroad, but also employment duration and job level.

    If evidence of reciprocity is not presented to the satisfaction of the officer, the work permit may be refused, or the applicant may be notified that an LMO must be obtained for further consideration of a work permit.

    Internal Q&A One question that occassionally gets asked is whether a C-20 applicant must relocate to Canada or whether they can travel to Canada on an intermittent basis? The answer is that they can travel to Canada on an intermittent basis.
  • Humanitarian & Compassionate Applications

    Last updated on April 5th, 2021

    Last Updated on April 5, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

    People who would not normally be eligible to become permanent residents of Canada may be able to apply on humanitarian and compassionate (“H&C“) grounds. Humanitarian and compassionate grounds apply to people with exceptional cases. Here are 2020 approval statistics for humanitarian & compassionate class applications. 2A-2020-95301_Release package
    Sample Decisions Below are sample H&C decisions that were used in an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada training session. For each example, IRCC provided a chat to show a portion of the officer’s decision-making steps to describe context of the application. As can be seen, a big deficiency in many H&C applications is the applicant not providing documentary examples to substantiate their assertions in claim. The H&C requests were based on the following situations:
    • Domestic violence in Mexico from two former partners
    • Discrimination in Japan
    • Criminal gangs in Honduras
    • Members of a drug cartel
    • Land dispute
    • Adverse country conditions in Bulgaria
    • Membership in a political party
    • Adverse country conditions in China
    • Adverse country conditions in Fiji
    • Religious discrimination in Bangladesh
    Sample H&C
  • Statistics on Removals

    Last Updated on March 20, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

    The following PDF contains internal Canada Border Services Agency documentation regarding removals from 2012-2019. It includes removals broken down by inadmissibility, the number of administrative deferrals of removals, yearly removal priorities, breakdowns by top country, cost of removals, the number of outstanding removal orders and temporary suspensions of removal. Removals Statistics
  • Migration Office Overview – Berlin

    Last Updated on March 18, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

    The following is the 2018 Migration Office Overview for Berlin. Environmental Overview - Berlin
  • Tips on Hiring a Representative

    Last Updated on March 17, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) will often tell people that they do not need to hire a lawyer or consultant in order to immigrate to Canada.  They are right.   In 2018 IRCC approved 191,337 applications for permanent residence.   Of these, 7,334 were represented by a lawyer, 11,262 were represented by a regulated consultant, 52,066 were represented by a family member or friend, and 191,337 had no representative.   IRCC in 2018 also approved 17,678 applications in which there was a lawyer as representative, 17,554 in which there was a regulated consultant, 258,802 in which the representative was a family member or a friend, and 2,448,311 in which the person was unrepresented.   While the above statistics do not show approval rates or refusals, which are not publicly available nor do I possess, and it is possible that there is a prevalence of ghost representation that is not reflected in the statistics, the approval figures certainly demonstrate that it is not necessary to hire a representative to immigrate to Canada.   Do You Need a Lawyer   When someone asks whether they need a representative in their application I typically tell them to review the IRCC website, forms and document checklists and to then decide whether they are comfortable submitting an application on their own.  If they are not, then they should hire a representative, or at least schedule a consultation with one to discuss what is causing them to be uncomfortable.   For those individuals who are more or less comfortable with the material on the IRCC website, the decision of whether to hire a representative is a cost-benefits analysis.   The cost is usually the professional fee.  As well, if they hire an incompetent or unscrupulous representative it can also be an increased likelihood of refusal or a future misrepresentation issue should they have listened to a recommendation to lie in their application.   The benefits of hiring a representative can include reduced stress, less time spent researching the IRCC website and, possibly and depending on the circumstances, an increased likelihood of the application being both complete and approved.   The weight assigned to the costs and benefits is a personal decision that each individual will have to make.   Who to Hire   There is a seemingly never ending debate in marketing materials, on social media and in submissions to government as to whether it is better to hire a lawyer or a consultant.  It is a debate that I find uninteresting and do not participate in.  This is because when you hire a lawyer or consultant you are not hiring a profession, but an individual.   In my opinion, the best way to determine if the individual that you are considering hiring is competent would be to spend some time researching the area of immigration law that you are seeking representation in, and then to ask your prospective representative pointed questions about that area. You will quickly discover whether their representation would be helpful, or if you in fact know more than they do.   The recommendations of friends and other trusted individuals can also be helpful.   Flashy website testimonials, Google Reviews and “Whose Who” lists are, in my opinion, less useful, as they can be manipulated.  Some firms offer discounts in exchange for positive reviews and many of the Whose Who lists simply reflect who paid for them. These kind of practices do not always happen, but it has made me somewhat skeptical of the whole online review and list process.   Tips for Self-Represented   If you are going to submit an application on your own here are what I consider to be five key tips to avoid having your application rejected or possible misrepresentation issues down the road.  
    • Based on Access to Information results it seems like 10% of Express Entry applications are rejected for incompleteness, as are 20% of Family Class applications. It is imperative that you review checklists very carefully, and double check your application.
     
    • A mistake that people often make is declaring that they are “single” when they are in fact Common-Law. The definition of common-law in the immigration context is broader than other areas of law, and encompasses any scenario where someone has cohabited in a conjugal partnership for one year or more. Declaring that one is Single when they are in fact Common-Law constitutes misrepresentation.
     
    • It is necessary to disclose dismissed charges, arrests, etc. in an application even if they did not lead to a conviction. The failure to do so also constitutes misrepresentation.
     
    • One of the most common reasons for a misrepresentation finding is that someone did not disclose a refusal to another country, typically the United States.
     
    • It is important to remember that the onus is on you to demonstrate your purpose of visit, that you meet program requirements, etc. People often assume that IRCC will provide them with the opportunity to address any mistakes or shortcomings in their application. There is generally no such obligation.
      As the above should demonstrate, immigration law can be complicated and confusing.  The statistics show, however, that this does not mean that you must have a representative.  
  • Approaching Members of Parliament

    Last Updated on March 8, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

    A frequent question that people ask is what role their Member of Parliament can play in assisting them. Requests In my opinion, the biggest role an MP can play is getting a timely status update.  MPs typically can get an update in 48 hours, as opposed to 30 days for an Access to Information Act request or 14 days for a Case Specific Enquiry.     Letters MPs can also write letters on files. As Justice Ahmed noted in Nagarasa v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2018 FC 313, visa officers have to take these letters into consideration when assessing applications.
  • Borderlines Podcast Episode #46 – An Interview with Sergio Marchi, Canada’s Immigration Minister from 1993-1995

    Last Updated on February 19, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

    Sergio Marchi was Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from 1993-1995.
    3:00 – Does someone keep the Minister title their whole life? 4:50 – What was the political consensus regarding Canadian immigration at the end of the 1980s? How did the Reform Party impact things? 8:00 – The mix of immigrants between economic, family and humanitarian immigrants. 11:15 – What dictates whether IRCC meets its level targets? 14:30 – The Brian Mulroney government was considering moving immigration under Public Safety. Under Sergio Marchi it instead became it’s on Ministry. What prompted this? 17:30 – Canadian attitudes to refugee resettlements and misconceptions. 20:45 – Sources of resistance to refugee resettlement. Resettled refugees vs asylum seekers. 23:00 – Changes that Minister Marchi made to the refugee determination process. 25:00 – What was Minister Marchi’s approach to intervening on specific cases? When would Minister Marchi help Members of Parliament on constituent files? Did it matter which political party the MP was from? 32:00 – The impact of a police officer who was shot by an illegal immigrant on deportation policy. 36:00 – Whether the Canada Border Services Agency should be under the immigration umbrella. 37:30 – What Minister Marchi considers to be his main accomplishments and the implementation of the right of landing fee. 45:00 – Minister Marchi’s push to remove the Queen from the citizenship oath.