Canadian immigration is constantly changing its rules, regulations, process, waiting times, etc. In 2018, there were many huge changes to the Canadian Immigration program that may be affecting many people wishing to come to Canada. Here are a few key immigration changes that were implemented by the IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada) in the months of 2018 so far.
1. Biometric Requirements
Canada has had a Canadian Biometrics Program since 2013 but on July 31, 2018 the program was expanded to make traveling to Canada easier while also protecting national security.
As of July 31, 2018 visitors and newcomers will be required to provide biometrics to travel to Canada. Everyone who applies for the following visas will be required to provide fingerprints and a photo of their face as part of the application process:
- a visitor visa
- a work or study permit
- permanent residence
- refugee or asylum status
Upon arrival in Canada, an applicant’s biometric information will be used by the Canada Border Service Agency (“CBSA”) to confirm the individual’s identity. Fingerprint verification will be possible at 19 Canadian airports and 38 ports of entry (“POE”).
The cost of biometric collection will be C$85 per applicant, or a maximum of C$170 per family. Biometric information will be valid for a 10-year period.
2. Medically Inadmissible Policy Change
Known as “medical inadmissibility” allows Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to deny people permanent residency in. Canada because they or an immediate family member may have a disability or medical condition. The reason a disability or medical condition may cause a denied application is because if they become a permanent resident then the public will fund their health and social service programs.
The policy change on Monday explains that the government can no longer consider social service or health spending when deciding whether someone can immigrate to Canada or not. The decision to change the policy has been extremely meaningful to many families looking to immigrate to Canada for a better life, a job, or school.
This policy change was implemented on April 16, 2018.
3. Expansion of the Super Visa
The government increased the number of applications that will be accepted for processing for its Parents and Grandparents Super Visa in 2018. Previously, 10,000 applications were processed. Now, the government will allow 17,000. This change was brought about by a desire to see families reunited in Canada. The invitations issued will be done using a randomized selection process. If you are selected, you will have 60 days from the date the invitation is received to file a complete application.
4. LMIA Temporary Worker Program Application Price
The application fee for LMIA requests is now $1000 per worker, an increase from the $275 per worker fee for LMOs.
Under the new LMIA system job positions are to be be divided into just two categories: high-wage and low-wage. Jobs are considered high wage if the salary meets or exceeds the median wage in the province where the job will be performed, and low-wage if the salary is below the median.
5. Alberta PNP/Express Entry
As of June 2018, the Canadian province of Alberta has made official two new streams as part of the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). These are the Express Entry Stream, and the Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS), each offering new opportunities for immigrants to get permanent residence. Note that the AOS replaces the Employer-Driven Stream and Strategic Recruitment Stream, however applications to these two streams submitted before Jun 14 will still be accepted for processing. The Self-Employed Farmer Stream is still in effect.
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