Tue | Jul 16, 2019

Immigration Corner | Will Canada election affect immigration?

Published:Tuesday | June 18, 2019 | 12:37 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

I hear that Canada is having elections this year and this could affect whether or not immigrants are allowed into Canada. Is this so? Do you think they will scrap the express entry system? A friend said she was qualified sometime ago and then they changed the system and so she had to give up on her dreams to go to Canada. I want to go to Canada but just making sure I tidy up my affairs before I apply. What do you recommend?

PA

Dear PA,

Canada’s immigration policy is usually based on the goals, policies and objectives of the ruling party. The Liberal Party has been the ruling party since 2015. Since then, the Liberals implemented many changes to Canada’s Immigration Policy.

The liberals campaigned on improvements to immigration system, a general focus on family reunification, family sponsorship and changes to the Citizenship rules. These changes led to more immigrants entering Canada and becoming citizens than any other period.

The first recognisable change was that of the name to the department of immigration from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This name change signalled the general focus of the Liberal government. Their immigration target was the highest on the record. The number of persons qualifying for permanent residence and citizenship more than doubled within the last four years.

Faster Processing of Applications

One of the most significant and positive change was that the backlog of applications was reduced and there was the implementation of faster processing time for most immigration applications.

The most noteworthy was the changes made under the express entry system that manages most applications under the economic classes of Federal Skilled Worker Programme, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class and some Provincial Nominee Programmes.

Under the express entry system, qualified individuals who were able to demonstrate the education, work experience, language skills and other factors, were able to obtain permanent residence in as little as six months after they submitted their application. The emphasis was changed from job offers and arranged employment to human capital factors that led to more individuals becoming qualified to receive permanent residence.

We know that Canada’s population is ageing, and the number of persons being born in Canada is down. The government has looked to immigration to bolster the economy and to increase population. The policies relating to Temporary Foreign Workers have also seen an increase in low skilled workers to fill the gaps in the labour market.

Many provinces recognise the need to deal with the labour shortage and have implemented their own provincial nominee programmes, thereby recommending that qualified individuals be granted permanent residence and so that these individuals can contribute to the province.

Election November 2019

Canada’s federal election is scheduled to take place on November 5, 2019. Justine Trudeau’s Liberal party is up against the Conservative Party led by Andrew Scheer, The New Democratic Party, led by Jagmeet Singh and the Green Party led by Elizabeth May.

We do not know what the future may bring. Although the election is “around the corner”, the public has no clear sense of the immigration policies and proposals of the parties. There is even talk that the Liberals may even change their own immigration policies.

What we do know is that the Conservatives appear to be leading in the polls. Their immigration platform is vague, but history reveal that they took a more conservative approach to immigration and they are focused on “safeguarding and emphasising economic immigration”.

Recommendations

When opportunities present themselves, seize them! Make hay when the sun shines! The sun is shining on Canada’s immigration system now. Therefore, if you qualify, then do not wait to submit your application. Also, age is a factor that cannot be ignored.

The application process will take time to complete. My recommendation is that you apply and continue with your 'tidying up' while your application is being processed. It is highly unlikely that policy changes would affect those who have already applied. Furthermore, you will have up to 12 months after you have been granted permanent residence, to move to Canada. If you have additional questions or concerns consult with an authorised immigration lawyer.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Submit your questions and comments to: Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subjectline: Immigration. Tel: 613-695-8777. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram