Just a week after being formally sworn in, the new Canadian government has revealed proposed changes in its immigration policies, according to Mondaq.
Refugee policy announcements
- A committee will be composed of nine cabinet ministers led by Health Minister Jane Philpott with Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly serving as vice-chair which will oversee the task of bringing in 25,000 refugees from Syria by end of the year. The government, as confirmed by Immigration and Refugees Minister John McCallum, will coordinate with agencies on the selection and securing necessary permits for refugees. About 25,000 refugees will be sponsored by the government, with tax money used to cover first-year settlement costs.
- Invest $200 million over this fiscal year and next to increase refugee processing, as well as sponsorship and settlement services capacity in Canada.
- Provide an immediate $100 million new contribution to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to support the critical relief activities in the region.
- Fully restoring the Interim Federal Health Program.
- Establishing an Expert Human Rights Panel for determination of designated countries of origin and to provide a right to appeal refugee decisions for citizens from such countries.
- Ending the practice of appointing individuals without subject matter expertise to the immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
Family reunification announcements
- Almost double the budget for processing of family class immigration to speed up processing times to levels before the Harper administration.
- Increase the number of new applications accepted each year for parents and grandparents, from 5,000 to 10,000.
- Provide greater access to applicants with Canadian siblings, by granting additional points under the Express Entry system.
- Restoring the maximum age for dependents to 22 instead of 19, allowing Canadians – often live-in caregivers – to bring their children to Canada.
- Removing the two year conditional status of spouses coming to Canada. Instead they are granted immediate permanent residency status.
- Remove certain elements under Bill C-24 that create second-class citizens and the provisions that make it more difficult for immigrants to become Canadian citizens.
- Restoration of temporary residence time credit for foreign students and other temporary residents applying to become Canadian citizens.
Express Entry announcements
- Conduct a full review of the program to ensure processing times are efficient.
- Review of Canadian Experience Class to reduce barriers to immigration for international students.
Other Canadian immigration announcements
- Removal of the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee for families applying for caregivers.
- Removal of visa requirement imposed on Mexican and phasing out of visa requirements for several other countries.
- Coordinate with provincial and territorial governments and the banking industry to improve regulation of the foreign remittance industry and reduce transaction fees.
- Regulate providers serving in the caregiver industry.