Press Room

Nine Changes Expected to Immigration This Year – Does One of Them Help you?

March 9, 2016 – The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum,  announced yesterday that Canada will welcome a greater number of immigrants in 2016.  The government’s plan for 2016 is to bring in between 280,000 and 305,000 new permanent residents to Canada which represents an overall 7.4% increase over the 2015 levels.  The number of economic class admissions will decrease approximately 11% this year and the number of individuals granted permanent residence status based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds will decrease 29% this year.  Family class admissions will increase approximately 17% and refugee admissions will increase 125%.  For a summary of the changes in levels of admission for 2016 compared to 2015, please click here

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has provided details of the changes that it plans on making but the timing of the implementation is uncertain.  In its Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, the government announced many of the details of the changes that it plans on implementing in hopes of strengthening Canada’s immigration system. 
The following are the 9 key changes to immigration that we can expect this year:

1.  Establishment of an expert human rights panel for determination of designated countries of origin, along with a right to appeal decisions for citizens from these countries who are in Canada and who are claiming refugee status.
2.  Providing additional points under the Express Entry application system for applicants who have Canadian siblings.
3.  The maximum age for dependent children will be increased to 22 from 19 years allowing more Canadians and permanent residents to bring their children to Canada.
4.  Removal of the two year condition  for sponsored spouses entering Canada.  Once a sponsored spouse receives permanent residence status, there are no conditions attached to the status; in the event of marriage breakdown within two years, the sponsored spouse remains a permanent resident.  
5.  Develop a system of regulated companies to hire caregivers on behalf of families to make it easier for Canadian families to hire foreign workers to take care of their loved ones. The changes will also protect caregivers from employer abuse and will eliminate the $1000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee for caregivers.
6.  Reform to the Canadian Experience Class Program to reduce barriers to international students.
7.  Restoration of the residence time credit given to international students and other temporary residents to make it easier to become a Canadian citizen.
8.  Removal of the current visa requirements imposed on Mexico.
9.  Implementation of the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for visa-exempt nationals (except U.S. citizens and other specified exempt travellers) who are travelling to Canada by air
At this point, we do not have a firm time frame for when these changes will be implemented.   We will provide any information regarding implementation of the changes as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Green and Spiegel.