A recent town hall meeting with federal Canadian immigration Minister John McCallum’s chief of staff has the immigration law community talking about possible changes coming to the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Maynard Kischer Stojicevic partners Rudolf Kischer and Gordon Maynard spoke to host Zack Spencer of CISL 650’s The Law Show about some of the changes mentioned at the meeting.
Of the 17 potential changes noted at the town hall meeting, one of the first on the list is doing away with the four-year restriction imposed on temporary foreign workers who haven’t applied for permanent residency.
“The reason the conservatives brought this in was the idea that we don’t want to create a class of people that are forever here on work permits,” explains Rudolf. “And so the thought was, within four years, you apply for permanent residency, become a permanent resident, or go home.”
“It became a bureaucratic nightmare,” says Gordon. “First of all, they made a list of exemptions that the rule didn’t apply to…and then they said you count the four years only by actual work days in Canada, so it just became a nightmare to use.”
Video one: Changes to foreign worker program
Another change possibly coming down the pipe is that all spouses will go to six month processing for Canadian immigration.
“Right now, depending on when you apply and which program you apply under, spouses are sometimes waiting two years before they get processed and that’s ridiculous,” says Gordon.
“You can imagine how upsetting it is as a Canadian, where you’re waiting two years to have your wife, probably the most important person in your life, come to Canada,” says Rudolf. “Meanwhile, the chef that’s working down the street at Milestones is able to immigrate within 12 months under the express entry system. To me, it’s unfair and they’re doing the right thing by fixing it.”
Video two: Faster processing for spouses
The federal government is also looking at removing deportation targets for Canadian Border Services.
“Canada is the only country in the world that has a policy of enforcing these cessation rules on successful refugee claimants who are now permanent residents, and going back and kicking them out of Canada,” says Rudolf. “The Conservatives started this and it was shocking when we started seeing it.”
Video three: Temporary resident visas and the CBSA
Reducing long processing times and improving service is another area where the ministry is looking to make improvements.
“If we want the best and the brightest…the best and the brightest, they’re trying to get their lives done, they’re trying to move places and do things, they’re not going to sit and wait around,” says Rudolf. “If somebody wants to immigrate and you’re saying it’s going to take two or three years, they’re going to go someplace else.”
Video four: Website updates and service standards
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The Law Show airs every Sunday at 11:00 am on CISL 690.
To listen to the complete audio interview, click the play button below left.
To view and listen to the complete Canadian Immigration and Citizenship Law audiomack channel click here