Welcome to the January 2017 edition of the Ackah Law Newsletter!
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UPCOMING ACKAH LAW SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
NEW IMMIGRATION MINISTER ANNOUNCED
On January 10, 2016, the Canadian Government introduced Ahmed Hussen as the new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Minister Hussen, who is the Member of Parliament for York South-Western Ontario, brings a unique perspective to this role. Not only is he the first Somali-Canadian to hold a Cabinet position, but he is also the first immigration minister to have both first-hand personal and professional knowledge of Canada’s immigration system.
In 1993, when Minister Hussen was 16 years old, he and his family fled the Somali civil war and claimed refugee status in Canada. His family resettled in Regent Park, Ontario, and he quickly gravitated towards a life of community service and activism.
In 2002, he completed his Bachelor of Arts (History) degree at York University and spent the next several years involved in various political and community interest organizations. He went on to obtain a Law Degree from the University of Ottawa in 2011, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2012. He practiced criminal, immigration and refugee, and human rights law in Toronto until December 2014, when he left private practice to pursue a life of public service full-time.
As official attitudes shift south of the border, the appointment of Minister Hussen signals that Canada will continue with its open and welcoming approach towards immigrants and asylum-seekers, and newcomers can take comfort in the fact that the new Minister is someone who will understand and represent the interests of vulnerable and minority communities. He takes over this role from John McCallum, who resigned to take an appointment as the Canadian ambassador to China, after serving as Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship since November 2015.
You can read more about the new Minister on IRCC’s Website.
UPDATES IN IMMIGRATION LAW
Does the removal of the cumulative duration affect you?
On December 13, 2016 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada repealed the cumulative duration rule (i.e. four year maximum). This rule, which was brought in under the previous government, determined that any Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) working under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (LMO/LMIA) could only remain in Canada as a TFW for a period of four years in total. After working for four years, the TFW would be required to leave Canada for a period of four years before qualifying for a Work Permit again under the TFW program. With the removal of this rule, TFWs who have an employer with a valid LMIA may remain as workers in Canada beyond four years. Read the Program Delivery Update here.
This so called “4 in 4 out” rule only applied to the TFW program. The International Mobility Program (IMP) was exempt from the rule. However, under the IMP, there are rules on the duration of time that a Foreign National (FN) may remain in Canada under certain categories. Depending on the category the FN applies under, there could be a limit of 5 or 7 years for the duration they may work under that category. IMP commonly used programs.
Update on Express Entry and Invitations to Apply – Permanent Residence
January 11, 2017 – FNs who were assigned a total of 459 points or more under the Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”) were provided an invitation to apply (“ITA”). The number of ITAs released was 3,334.
We are seeing the CRS scores slowly coming down and more ITAs being released, this is good news for FNs who have been waiting to get an ITA.
Please don’t keep our boutique law firm a secret! We are very appreciative of any referrals and recommendations you send our way. Thank you very much!
FROM ALL OF US AT ACKAH BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAW
We hope that you have found this newsletter both helpful and informative. We look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions about the content. Please let us know how we may be of assistance and how you can leverage our expertise in helping to meet your business needs. Should you wish to discuss further the impact of any of the above-referenced policy changes, we encourage you to contact our office.
*Please note that this immigration newsletter has been created for informational purposes only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.