The last few months have seen several Canada immigration developments that may have an impact on:
- Canadian permanent residents;
- Canada Citizenship;
- Criminal inadmissibility/impaired driving offences, and
- Quebec Immigration programs.
In the latest immigration.ca livestream video, Immigration Lawyer Colin Singer provides a round-up of the developments, and some analysis on the impact they will have.
Watch the video here:
Singer on the impact of Bill C-46 and Canadian Citizenship
“When the government came into power in 2015, one of their platforms was a new Citizenship Act, and we’re already seeing the affects of these new rules.
“In a sense it has become easier to become a Canadian citizen.
“In the last year 152,000 permanent residents have become citizens, compared to just over 100,000 previously.
“Primarily it’s the physical presence rule, meaning you have to be in Canada for three years in the prior five years. Under the old citizenship rules, it was four years in six.
Other changes include language and knowledge testing requirements. A full explanation can be found on our website under the citizenship menu.”
Singer on changes to impaired driving convictions and criminal admissibility rules in Canada
“This is important because perhaps people aren’t aware of the implications of what is called Bill C-46.
“Bill C-46 was passed in June 2018, and the rules are going to take effect on December 18, 2018.
“Anyone with an impaired driving conviction – for alcohol or drugs – as a Canadian permanent resident can lose their status, no matter what the sentence is.
“You can face deportation for a first-time conviction with a very light sentence.
“If you are an applicant to Canada with an impaired driving conviction, you need to be very careful. You need to speak with an immigration lawyer to understand the implications of a prior conviction, no matter how many years back it took place.
“If you have a recent conviction for impaired driving, you will be inadmissible to Canada. If your dependent is convicted, that can render you inadmissible.
“If you are sponsoring a dependent or a de facto spouse, you have to be aware of the very serious consequences of an impaired driving conviction.”
Singer on how the new Quebec government will affect immigration policies
“On October 1, a new government was elected in the province of Quebec, which has autonomy over its immigration system, unlike the other provinces.
“The new leader, Francois Legault of the Coalition Avenir du Québec, or CAQ, campaigned to reduce immigration levels. Currently Quebec brings in 50,000 immigrations on an annual basis, 30,000 in the economic class. The new premier campaigned on reducing those levels by 10,000 per year.
“We’re going to watch carefully how he’s going to do this, bearing in mind employers are relying on the government to assist with a shortage of workers in all regions of the province.
“It is going to be a balancing act for this new government on how it is going to cut immigration levels in the face of Quebec doing so well economically and the need for workers.
“It has the lowest levels of unemployment in decades and the job creation front cannot be ignored.
“We are watching carefully how they are going to reduce levels, or if they are going to do it at all. It would only start in 2019.”
Singer on how French language tests may be applied to new Quebec immigrants
“This is really controversial. In Canada we have division of powers on what the provinces can do when it comes to immigration. The federal government has exclusive authority to patrol the borders, issue passports and issue Canadian permanent residence.
“There are also Canadian Charter considerations. There are restrictions on what kinds of legislation can be put into force.
“Clearly there will be challenges if the Quebec government tries to add conditions on maintaining Canadian permanent residence. Ottawa will have concerns and individuals will have arguments that will question the authority of this government to put in future language tests as a condition to qualifying for permanent residence.
“It’s interesting, but not overly realistic, particularly in the short term.”
Singer on the new Quebec Expression of Interest System
“Quebec has implemented in the last few months a system very similar to federal Express Entry.
“No more first-come, first-served in Quebec. You will be applying into a pool.
“What we’re waiting for is to find out how you get out of the pool. When will the first period of invitation take place? We haven’t seen that yet. We’re watching and waiting to see exactly what kind of candidates are going to be given invitations to apply.
“To go into the pool, the requirements are very low. Remember that just going into the pool doesn’t mean you qualify. You have to make sure to have the right scores to get out of the pool.
“Don’t be fooled by anyone telling you they are going to apply for you and put you into the system. You may be in the system, but have zero chance of qualifying. Working with a professional who knows these areas and understands these distinctions will put you in good standing.
“If you are a candidate you need to be very careful and understand what it takes to go into the system. Without a doubt, if you have a sponsoring employer, that is the gold standard.
“Priority is being given to people with a job offer. We can’t overstate the importance of having a sponsoring employer.
“However, it is not required. If you have the right credentials, just like on the federal side, you may not need an employer.
“If you are an employer, the Quebec system will allow you to retain your foreign staff members. The new Expression of Interest in Quebec will really help employers and if you are in need of candidates, immigration.ca is well positioned to help employers find top talent through Global Recruiters of Montreal and skilledworker.com. These are two excellent enterprises very active in sourcing foreign workers for Canadian and Quebec employers.”