And so it begins. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has begun sending letters to Federal Skilled Worker Applicants who applied prior to February 27, 2008, that their applications will not be processed, and that they will soon be contacted regarding a refund.
Regardless of what one thinks of the merits of cancelling the backlog (I am sympathetic to both sides’ arguments), the way in which the Government of Canada is executing its decision to cancel the applications is problematic. Indeed, I believe that the government is acting in a way that will lead to court intervention.
In brief, the government is cancelling these applications without having yet passed any legislative changes permitting them to do. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its Regulations still state that the affected applicants are eligible to immigrate to Canada.
From what I can tell, the Minister is currently governing through press release. Ironically, the press release notes that the cancellation and refund of the above applications will occur as a result of “proposed legislation”.
The proposed legislation has not yet been introduced either in the House of Commons or in the Canada Gazette. Despite that, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is already cancelling applications.
Press releases cannot trump statute, and I predict an upcoming wave of successful litigation.
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The Bill C-11 Regulations have been releasedRead more ›
On Saturday, August 14, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“) released Ministers Instructions regarding proposed changes to the Immigrations and Refugee Protection Regulations (the “Regulations“) that will correspond to changes to humanitarian & compassionate (“H&C“) applications under s. 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA“) that resulted from the Balanced Refugee Reform Act (“Bill C-11“).
The changes will impact H&C applications under IRPA s. 25, which provides that an individual who does not meet the eligibility requirements to apply within an immigration class may be granted permanent resident status or an exemption from any criteria under humanitarian and compassionate or public policy grounds. Prior to Bill C-11, s. 25 stated:
25. (1) The Minister shall, upon request of a foreign national in Canada who is inadmissible or who does not meet the requirements of this Act, and may, on the Minister’s own initiative or on request of a foreign national outside Canada, examine the circumstances concerning the foreign national and may grant the foreign national permanent resident status or an exemption from any applicable criteria or obligation of this Act if the Minister is of the opinion that it is justified by humanitarian and compassionate considerations relating to them, taking into account the best interests of a child directly affected, or by public policy considerations.
(2) The Minister may not grant permanent resident status to a foreign national referred to in subsection 9(1) if the foreign national does not meet the province’s selection criteria applicable to that foreign national.2001, c. 27, s. 25; 2008, c. 28, s. 117.
As a result of Bill C-11, s. 25 will now read:
25.Read more ›