Reshaping Canada’s Immigration System – Changes to Temporary and Permanent Resident Immigration Categories

Earlier this year Canada’s Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, conducted nationwide consultations with the purpose of improving Canada’s current immigration system. As a result, Citizenship & Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has enacted multiple new programs intended to make immigration to Canada easier, faster and more responsive.

Some of the more notable changes include: 

  • An increased number of skilled workers will be admitted to Canada under the Federal Skilled Workers Program in 2012;   
  • An increased number of Provincial nominees will be admitted to Canada under Canada’s various Provincial Nominee Programs (“PNP”) in 2012;   
  • A two year moratorium on sponsorship of parents and grandparents; 
  • The introduction of a new “Super Visa”, tailored towards parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents; and
  • Creation of a new PhD eligibility stream which will allow up to 1,000 international PhD students/holders per year to apply for permanent residence in Canada via the Federal    Skilled Worker Program.

Public opinion on the impact these changes may have on potential applicants, the economy and job creation has been mixed. Altough it may be too early to speculate as to what effects these changes may have, there has been a large consensus supporting the idea that the current policy change is aimed more towards economic growth as opposed to individual immigration or family integration. The Conservative Government has certainly been quick to vocalize that the changes will benefit all classes of immigration; however, such is to be expected when entertaining political rhetoric.

In the next coming weeks, we will be exploring each individual category in order to give our readership a more in-depth look at the changes to each individual category and how they may affect their situation both from an individual and business type perspective. In the interim, we suggest that any information regarding the changes to the Canadian immigration system derived from the general media be taken with a considerable amount of salt as any changes in policy and interpretation should be considered by qualified, experienced counsel.