2018 Immigration Changes Year In Review

13 December 2018

Here are some of the key changes and news about Canada immigration during 2018:

  1. Ackah Business Immigration Law Voted 2018 Top Immigration Law Firm in Calgary, January 2018
    Ackah Law is proud to announce that we have been voted the top Immigration Business Law firm 2018 in the Calgary Region by the B2B Top Choice Awards.

  2. Live-in Caregiver Program Ending November 29, 2019, February 2018
    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced on February 2, 2018 that they will stop accepting applications for the Live-in Caregiver Permanent Residence program on November 29, 2019. If a caregiver does not have two years of full-time work experience as a caregiver before the program closes, they will not be eligible to apply.

  3. Canada 2018 Budget Funds $440 Million For Immigration, March 2018
    Canada's 2018 budget earmarks over $440 million to support their 3-year goal to welcome 1,000,000 new immigrants from 2018 - 2020. 

  4. Government Of Canada Facilitates Access To Canadian Citizenship For Minors, March 2018
    Minors now have an incentive to apply for Canadian citizenship: on February 16, 2018 the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced changes to the fee schedule set out in the Citizenship Regulations to lower the processing fees for minors applying under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act from $530 to $100.

  5. Canada Shortens Wait Times For Immigrant's Spouses, March 2018
    Canada's backlog of immigrants wanting to sponsor their spouses from abroad has dropped to 15,000 from 75,000 in 2016. The Family Class Application (Spousal Sponsorship path) is a way for a permanent resident or citizen of Canada to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner (including same-sex partner) to immigrate to Canada. 

  6. Canada Tech Companies Receiving More US Applicants, April 2018
    A new study by tech company MaRS reports that 53% of surveyed tech companies in Toronto experienced increased interest from US applicants in 2017. Canada has been actively recruiting skilled and educated immigrants to help build the Canadian economy and create jobs. Recent changes to United States immigration policies have made Canada a very attractive option for high-tech immigrants, said Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah. 

  7. Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program Introduces Formal Reconsideration Process, April 2018
    Effective March 1, 2018 the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program has introduced a new Request for Consideration for candidates who have had their Alberta Provincial Nominee application rejected.

  8. Canada Border Agency Restricts Flagpoling for Canadian Residents, May 2018
    Canada Border Service Agency has begun restricting legal flagpoling at land points of entry for Canadian residents who need to validate a Confirmation of Permanent Residence or a permanent resident visa. 

  9. Canada Attracts Tech Conferences Away From US, May 2018 
    Some big tech conferences will be held in Canada instead of the U.S. in 2018 and 2019 due to Trump administration policies. Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah says Canada is a desirable destination for tech and tech immigrants. 

  10. Changes to Canada’s Medical Inadmissibility Policies, May 2018
    On April 16, 2018 the Liberal Government announced that there would be significant changes to the medical inadmissibility rules in Canada. The changes will take effect on June 1, 2018 to significantly increase the cost threshold for a condition to be considered excessive demand on the Canadian healthcare system. As a result, many individuals and families, especially those with disabilities, may no longer be considered medically inadmissible to Canada.

  11. Ackah Law Expands to Include Canadian Refugee Law, June 2018
    Ackah Business Immigration Law is pleased to announce that our law practice is expanding to include Canadian Refugee Law for individuals from both inside Canada and outside Canada. Immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah, founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law is a longtime refugee advocate. 

  12. Artificial Intelligence and Immigration, June 2018
    As part of a new pilot program, the Federal Government is hoping to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to assist with issues in the immigration system.

  13. Faster processing of Study Permit applications for some international students under the Student Direct Stream, June 2018
    International students legally resident in China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam may be eligible for faster processing of their Study Permit applications using the new Student Direct Stream. 

  14. Canada Biometrics Requirements Could Cause Delays for Business Travelers, International Students and Visitors, July 2018
    Canadian lawyers are concerned the new biometrics requirements can create delays and confusion for those coming into Canada on business or international students who are coming to study in Canada as well as tourists, and there are potential privacy concerns for clients as the information is being shared with four other partner countries.

  15. Soaring Temporary Resident Visa refusal rates, July 2018
    The rate at which Canada rejects Foreign Nationals applying for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Visitor Visa has increased to more than one-in-four in 2018, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This has a concerning impact for the tourism industry and the economy, as this deters people from wanting to come to Canada as visitors.

  16. New US Tax Laws Hit Canadian Citizens AGAIN - Double Taxation? August 2018
    Newly proposed tax regulations by U.S. Treasury Department may violate a Canada-U.S. tax treaty that is supposed to prevent double taxation - and will hit many Canadian residents already impacted by December's new retroactive taxes that go back to 1986. 

  17. New method of calculating processing times for some permanent residence applications, August 2018
    On August 9, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that as of July 31, 2018 they will be using an improved method to calculate processing times for some new Permanent Residence Applications. The new method of calculating processing times is based on a forward-looking approach rather than estimates based on historical data.

  18. Canadian Government ends the lottery system for Parental and Grandparental Sponsorship and increases number of applications accepted, August 2018
    On August 20, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that it will be ending the lottery system for the Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Sponsorship Program and will be increasing the number of accepted applications per year to 20,500 in 2019.

  19. How Canada’s New Marijuana Laws May Impact Your US Travel, September 2018
    Prevent Being Banned for Life From Entering the United States: Immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah advises Canadians who have used or invested in a marijuana business or service to consult an immigration lawyer before they try to cross the Canada / U.S. border starting October 1, 2018. 

  20. US Customs Revises Policy for Canada Marijuana Growers, October 2018
    Immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah is concerned about the impact Canada's new marijuana laws will have on cross-border business. "The US border agency's revision to their marijuana policy is good for Canadians and good for cross-border business. However, Canadians who legally invest in or use marijuana in Canada still face problems crossing the border for business or personal travel."

  21. USMCA and Cross-Border Business: NAFTA 2.0, October 2018
    Commonly dubbed NAFTA 2.0, Canada's new trade agreement with the United States and Mexico, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, USMCA, was signed literally hours before the deadline on September 30, 2018. Expected to be ratified by each country by late November, initially little was know about the agreement.

  22. Canada Is Boosting Immigration to 350,000 in 2020, November 2018
    The Canada government announced on October 31, 2018, that it is increasing immigration to 350,000 in 2021, primarily in economic programs to address skills shortages and gaps in the labour market.  

  23. Young Australians Up to 35 Can Work in Canada with Working Holiday Visa,  November 2018
    Canada announced updates to the Youth Mobility Arrangement between Canada and Australia that allow young professionals to gain international work experience. Now, Australians aged 18 to 35 can apply to work and travel in Canada, and Canadians aged 18 to 35 can work and travel to Australia through the IEC program

  24. Vancouver BC Announces Immigrant Entrepreneur Pilot Program, November 2018
    BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration - Regional Pilot is a 2-year program that will launch in early 2019 to attract entrepreneurs with a desire to start businesses, create jobs and settle in regional centres, and contribute to their local economy.

We will see what additional immigration changes will be unveiled in 2019 – stay tuned!

 


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