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Immigration News May 2016 - Russ Weninger Immigration Lawyer in Calgary, AB :: Russ Weninger Immigration Lawyer in Calgary, AB
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Private Refugee Sponsorship Slows

For those looking a participating in a private refugee sponsorship application, if you have not already submitted their application, you will be in for a long wait. The federal government has indicated that refugee sponsorship applications submitted prior to March 31, 2016 will not count towards the cap of 10,500 private refugee sponsorship applications that the government will accept this year.

However, even if you were lucky enough to get your private sponsorship application in before the end of March, there is a good chance that you will have to wait until the end of 2017 to have your application processed.


Greater Flexibility for Short-Term TFWs

Largely in response to the labour demands of the fisheries industry in Atlantic Canada, the federal government has eased cap restrictions on Labour Market Impact Assessments for seasonal industries employing low-skilled workers. Such eased restrictions may benefit employers in the tourism industry in Alberta.

However, it is not clear that this easing of restrictions will remain a permanent exception to the LMIA cap requirement.


Plan to End Conditional Permanent Residence

The federal government has indicated it plans to remove the requirement that a sponsored spouse must remain in a relationship with his or her partner for 2 years after obtaining permanent residence in order to maintain his or her status as a permanent resident. This requirement has been referred to as conditional permanent residence.

In theory, the rules dealing with conditional permanent residence are meant to deter so-called marriage fraud. That being said, the sponsorship application process is a fairly onerous process and the government has always had ample opportunity to question the bona fides of a relationship. As well, I would suggest that sponsors bear some of the responsibility for due diligence in a relationship, and shouldn’t be relying on the Canadian government to keep marriages from falling apart.

As such, I am supportive of this proposed change, since conditional permanent residence rules have encouraged sponsored spouses to remain in bad, and in some cases abusive, relationships. However, the proposed changes have not yet been implemented, so the conditional permanent residence rules are still in effect at this time.

It should be noted that sponsored spouses may keep their permanent resident status if they leave abusive relationships. That being said, I suspect that many sponsored spouses are unaware of their rights or may have legitimate concerns about being able to prove to IRCC that abuse has occurred in a relationship. Hopefully, the government will take steps to remove the requirement of conditional permanent residence as soon as possible.

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