Blog > 2008

Canada Immigration Blogs by Attorney David Cohen

|

What was, What is, What’s next

December 23rd, 2008

Without a doubt, the Canadian immigration story of the past year has to do with the changes made to the Federal Skilled Worker category of immigration. Not only is qualifying now different than it was a year ago, but the application process itself has also changed significantly. Read More »

What if?

November 24th, 2008

In a few days from now, the waiting will be over.

Not only will we know the fate of the Federal Skilled Worker applications submitted to the Canadian Visa Offices after February 27, 2008, (now in a suspended state) but we will also find out what lies in store for Skilled Worker applications that will be submitted in the coming twelve months. More to the point, we expect to soon learn which of these applications are going to be processed quickly; which ones are to be held at the Visa Office for processing at a later date, and finally, which applications are going to be returned without any consideration at all. This information will come via publicized instructions that the new Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism (now, there’s a mouthful) will issue to the various Canadian Visa Offices. Read More »

Hey Ontario, Get in the Game

October 29th, 2008

Here’s what the Province of Ontario has to say about immigration on its official website.

“Immigration is a cornerstone of Ontario’s economic prosperity and social fabric”

“More than half of all newcomers to Canada have chosen to settle in Ontario each year since 1987.”

Maybe so, but that was then and this is now. Read More »

After the Election

September 29th, 2008

In two weeks from now, Canadians will go to the polls to select their federal members of Parliament, and unless we experience our own “Dewey Wins” moment, the Conservative Party of Canada will be called upon to form the next national government.

I had initially intended this blog to be a review of the immigration policies of the three major political parties (Conservative, Liberal and New Democrat), but it looks like the only real question now is whether or not the Conservatives will attract voters sufficient in number to gain a majority in the next sitting of the House of Commons. At the very least, the polls indicate a strong Conservative minority government. Either way, a victory for the Tories will have a huge impact on both the policy and pattern of Canadian immigration. Read More »

Canadian Immigration and the Coming Election

August 26th, 2008

It seems more probable by the day that Canadians will be going to the polls in the next couple of months to elect a new federal government. A snap election will likely be called by the minority Conservative government as early as September 5th for later in the Fall on the pretext that Parliament is now dysfunctional.

The election results could have a significant affect on Canadian immigration policy for years to come. Read More »

America’s Loss = Canada’s Gain

July 30th, 2008

The United States is fortunate. It attracts a seemingly endless supply of the best and brightest people from all parts of the globe as foreign guest workers. Most of these individuals enter on H-1B visas and all of them have a high-skilled job set aside for their arrival. These temporary workers include IT professionals, physical and social scientists, and engineers, to name but a few. They are the kind of human capital that most societies wish for. Read More »

Canadian Town Shows the Way

June 30th, 2008

It’s easy, in this day and age, to be cynical. Examples of greed and selfishness abound in most parts of the world, including Canada. I certainly have no trouble pointing out inequities in the Canadian immigration selection system, as readers of my previous blogs can attest. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that if you look hard enough you will find people who set an example for the rest of us to aspire to. Regular people who lead extraordinary lives. Read More »

Learning from our mistakes

May 28th, 2008

The Canadian government announced last week that it will create a 29 million dollar grant program as redress for various shameful incidents in Canada’s history, relating to the way Canada treated prospective and landed immigrants. For example, from 1885-1923 there was a Chinese head tax which was a fee charged for each person wishing to immigrate to Canada from China. There was also the Komagata Maru incident in 1914, when more than 350 prospective immigrants from India were held on a ship in Vancouver harbor because they would not be admitted to Canada. In addition, in 1939 more than 900 Jewish refugees trying to escape Nazi Germany on the steamship St. Louis were denied entry to Canada, among other countries, and were sent back to Nazi Germany, where it is estimated a third of the passengers were executed. Ten million dollars will go the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Schevchenko as compensation for discrimination and the internment of Ukrainians and other East European ethnic communities during the First World War. Read More »

Discretion can lead to discrimination

April 1st, 2008

The Conservative led minority government has recently introduced a bill in Parliament that contains significant changes to Canada’s immigration law. If passed, the proposed amendments will empower the immigration minister to instruct visa officers to take certain candidates quickly, hold some applications for consideration at a later date, and return others without any consideration at all. No clue is given in advance as to which type of applicants will be favoured and which will be spurned. Read More »

Government Gets It Wrong

March 18th, 2008

Since it’s inception in 2002, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) has stood for the principle that anyone is entitled to apply for permission to live in Canada and to have his or her admissibility considered fairly, according to purely objective criteria. This core value is now threatened. Read More »

Uneven Delays = Discrimination

February 26th, 2008

If you are a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident, and want to sponsor your dependent child who resides, say, in China or Turkey, you will likely wait about four months to be reunited. On the other hand, if your child happens to reside in Egypt, the same process will take 34 months. Why should that be?

Similarly, a Brazilian applicant for Canadian Permanent Residency under the Skilled Worker Category will wait, on average, 14 months for a visa; while a Skilled Worker applicant in Pakistan can wait more than five years. Again, what’s that about? Read More »

In the Interest of Children

January 23rd, 2008

In immigration law, we come across many situations where the decision taken greatly impacts the welfare of children. In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on a case (Baker v. Canada) which brought the interests of children to the forefront in immigration matters. In that case, a woman with 4 Canadian-born children was ordered deported from Canada despite the concerns for her own medical treatment in her country of origin and the effect her removal would have on her children. In the ruling, the Court specified that in making decisions on humanitarian and compassionate grounds for immigration, officials are required to pay “close attention to the interests and needs of children, since children’s rights and attention to their interests are central humanitarian and compassionate values in Canadian society”. The Baker decision is now nearly 10 years old and not nearly enough has been done to put its recommendations into practice. Read More »