Changes in Canadian Immigration policies coming 2015

Immigration Minister John McCallum

Immigration Minister John McCallum

Just days into the new Canadian Government, immigration and citizenship issues have arisen as one of, if not the most pressing concerns of the Justin Trudeau lead administration. To many, it may not be at all surprising that a Liberal government, that is traditionally regarded as subscribing to more immigrant-friendly immigration policies, relative to the Conservatives, would take a much different approach towards immigration. However, few would have expected that immigration would have been the most challenging policy concern of the new administration.

Many observers feel that the new Government, at least in part, owes its election victory to its more aggressive policy, relative to that of its rival. One may recall, that during the campaign leading up to the election, the major parties desperately sought to position themselves as the party best able to handle the immigration and citizenship portfolio that has no doubt become one of the more sensitive portfolios.

An important part of the immigration discourse centers around the role Canada has played, or should be playing, in what has been described as the Syrian refugee crisis. The new Government has indicated that it is committed to following through with its campaign promise to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada by the end of 2015. To this end, Prime Minister Trudeau immediately established a committee, led by senior cabinet ministers to implement its policy in order to ensure that the target is met. However, it remains to be seen what, if any impact, the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and the apparent link to Syria, will have on the Canadian government’s refugee policy.

Changes to Canadian Immigration

In terms of what has been proposed and may be expected on Canada’s immigration and citizenship landscape, the government has indicated a commitment to the following:

  • A substantial allocation of funds and resources geared to the resettlement of refugees, primarily from Syrian.
  • Fully restoring the Interim Federal Health Program, for refugee claimants.
  • Ending the practice of appointing members to the Immigration and Refugee Board who lack subject-matter expertise.
  • Increasing the emphasis on family reunification, by doubling the budget allocated to immigration processing, in an effort to reduce processing time and increasing number of applications processed.
  • Doubling the number of new applications accepted under the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship category.
  • Restoring the dependent child age to under 22 from the current under 19.
  • Abolishing the policy of conditional permanent residency for newly sponsored spouses and common-law partners.
  • Repealing elements of the Citizenship Act that would allow the government to seek to rescind the citizenship of dual citizens who are convicted of certain serious offences.
  • Reviewing the new Express Entry system to ensure that it operates in an efficient manner in order to meet the stated objectives.

Prospective immigrants, prospective citizens, dual-citizens, and immigration practitioners, all anxiously wait to see how the policy announcements will translated into practices, and what the real impact will be on those concerned. We will continue to monitor all developments on behalf of our clients, and would be happy to answer your questions and concerns, and to help you navigate the process towards your immigration and citizenship goals.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more



    I have received my PR on 21 November 2009 and expire on 10 December 2014. I applied for my PR card renewal on 27 June 2014. According to CIC advice, I applied on the humanitarian and compassionate ground. In December 2015, I have received a letter from CIC which mentioned that I have to take travel document from nearest Canadian embassy (Singapore) and faced interview. However, the letter is signed on 26 November, but inside the letter they mentioned date is open until 15 November 2015. I have written CIC by mentioned wrong date and waiting for their reply.

  • Adrian slater

    I will like to know if there will be changes in spouse sponsor with in canada and what would it be

  • Sifelani. Mzambi

    I am a 67 year old Canadian Zimbabwean citizen and still working. My sons are refugees in South Africa with their families. My elder son is a welder boiler maker , his wife a child development practitioner , their first born is an electrical engineer and her brother is in school doing boiler making t younger children are in grade 11 and nie respectively. I am trying to get my son to come or the older children without success. My church has expressed an interest to sponsor them but in which stream do this family qualify? Family or provincial nominee or accelerated or work related. My son did your online assessment and qualified. Which way and what can I do.? I live in Saskatchwan.

  • Rajwinder

    Hi my all family members in canada permanent residanse..i am 25 years old. Single (not married). But i am also in canada as forgien worker. I have only one years work permit and i can’t apply for permanent residanxe yet! So can my perants sponser me for PR here!

  • Bilal Ahmed Paracha

    what time it will take, if i want to sponsor my wife she is living in Pakistan…. we dont have any dependent child, i am not earning that much…. what will be the possibilities that my wife can easily arrive here in Canada and how much time it will take after this new policy?

  • kurda

    Hi there my wife and 2 children’s are in Toronto canada my application has been submitted last 20 months ago around still I’m waiting to hear from embassy in amman Jordan I contact my solicitor in Toronto thay sead is no any update so can you tel me how long more do I have to wait please many thanks .

  • Dean

    Will the LMIA process change and how ?
    I was going to send $1000 with lmia application, but have heard the fee might be eliminated. I badly need a caregiver.

  • Jay

    If they abolish the policy of conditional permanent residences for newly sponsored spouses, would that be retroactive?

  • Jay

    Hi, I was wondering if you could expand on what the policy of conditional permanent residency for newly sponsored spouses and common-law partners was?

    I couldnt find info online to what was meant by “conditional” and what change could be sought.

  • Jamie

    Will the government make any plan in favor of international students who wish to remain in Canada after they graduate? I know that many students apply for work permit or permanent residency after graduation and get denied (especially in Ontario).

  • shivcharn sharma

    hye my fully family in bc canada but my age 40 year am married in india how to proseess in cannada my entry

    • Vahe Mirzoyan

      Thank you for your inquiry Shivcharn. I am really glad that you contacted us.

      There are many factors that need to be considered in determining which visa is best suited for you.

      Please Schvcharn, complete this form for me it is just a quick and easy way for me to learn more details about you and your situation so that I will be able to advise you accurately and determine the best avenue for us to take to get you in Canada.


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