July 15, 2008

Government of Canada announces consultations on immigration priorities

Following the passage of changes to Canada’s immigration legislation under Budget Bill C-50 on June 18, 2008, Citizenship and Immigration Canada started consultations with all provinces and territories, as well as key stakeholders, through a series of face-to-face meetings and video conferences since July 7, 2008.

The new immigration law gives the Minister the authority to issue instructions on which categories of applications are prioritized, returned with a refund or held for future consideration.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, this new law is intended to stop the growth of the backlog of applicants so that, ultimately, people who want to come to Canada receive a decision within 6 to 12 months instead of the 6 years it can take now.

Below is the schedule of consultation on immigration priorities
July 7: St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
July 9: Halifax, Nova Scotia
July 10: Fredericton, New Brunswick
July 11: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
July 15: Vancouver, British Columbia
July 16: Edmonton, Alberta
July 17-18: Winnipeg, Manitoba (and Saskatchewan)
July 21-22: Toronto, Ontario
TBD: Northwest Territories
TBD: Nunavut
TBD: Yukon
August 15: National roundtable

Representatives from business, labour, and academic and non-government organizations will be invited to these sessions.

After these consultations, we will know which occupations will be prioritized in processing immigrant visa application.