We immigration professionals used to call our Canadian immigration ministry, “Citizenship and Immigration Canada”. It has not been changed for years. Oh, well, now it has a new name, which, I guess, better represents what that governmental department does, namely processing immigrants, refugees and permanent residents with their applications for Canadian citizenship. So, we welcome the new name, “Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada” (IRCC). Because of the political changes in the federal government, we will now return to the old idea that every Canadian citizen is equal before the law. What does this mean? It means that regardless of whether a Canadian citizen is born in Canada, became a citizen after immigrating to this country, or holds a dual citizenship, they will be responsible for any criminal actions committed, through the Canadian justice system. One will not be stripped of their citizenship and sent to their country of origin just because their Citizenship was acquired through naturalization. The time a permanent resident must spend in Canada before they are eligible to apply for a citizenship will be reduced to one year and the language test requirement for those who are older than 54 or younger than 18 will be waived. However, if a citizen committed fraud charges on residency or identify as to conceal facts that lead to inadmissibility, their citizenship can still be revoked. The Interim Federal Health Program would be restored to cover refugee claimants’ health coverage while they are waiting for their cases to be finalized. Except for citizenship changes, there will be more affecting new immigrants. Canada will accept more applications each year from children who want their parents to be sponsored into the country; the age of a dependent child would be increased from 19 to 22; employers who wish to bring foreign workers would not be required to pay $1000 for the application before Service Canada. For my refugee clients, I have good news too: the Minister of IRCC will not be the sole decision maker in regards to what countries are “safe” in refugee determination; there will be a human rights panel which will be brought in to assist the government in their decisions to designate certain countries of source for refugees from time to time. Refugee claimants from designated countries that are refused will have the right to appeal the negative decision. Another very important change, which we expect in the nearest future, will affect spousal sponsorship. The government intends to waive the conditional permanent residency for foreign spouses who will receive their PRs with no conditional period right upon landing in Canada. In short, Canada will again turn its smiling friendly face to the world.

Liberals bring changes into immigration laws and policies

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