Nearly every day, we post on Facebook and Twitter links to another article published about great community initiatives for new immigrants, current challenges plaguing the immigration system and the new changes proposed by the Harper government. When it comes to what’s new in Immigration, changes are frequent and it can be difficult to keep up to date. For example, less than a month ago, the government outlined a new bill that would change the refugee system, which included restricting appeal rights and improving the timing of removals. More recently, the government has announced immediate changes to permanent residency through spousal sponsorship and introduced upcoming changes to the federal point system. To keep you updated, here is a summary of key topics for 2012:
- Effective immediately, sponsored spouses or partners will have to wait five years from the day they are granted permanent residence status in Canada to sponsor a new spouse or partner.
- Introduction of language requirements under the Provincial Nominee Programs
- Changes to Federal Investor requirements, potentially an increase in the $800,000 investment
- Government committed to tackling applicant backlog
- Changes to the citizenship rules to target so-called birth tourism — where a foreign national comes to Canada to give birth so the baby can get Canadian citizenship.