September 7, 2008

Chronicle of Changes in the Canadian Immigration Rules and Regulations

Immigration rules change. The longer you delay your decision to apply, the more you are risking your eligibility.

Let us examine the changes in the Canadian immigration rules and regulation. It will explain why you need to file your application NOW!

1992 up to 2001. The pass mark for the immigration program was 70 points. Singles could qualify without having a relative in Canada. However, Canada only opened limited occupations.

December 15, 2001 until March 2002. The Canadian Minister announced the proposed regulations. Before publishing the regulations, there was a public review done in two phases before it was implemented.

March 21, 2002. The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration proposed (as revised on February 26, 2002) that skilled workers who applied before December 17, 2001 and who have not received a selection decision before June 28, 2002 will still be selected under the current criteria until the end of 2002. Those who have not received a selection decision by that time will be assessed under the new criteria with a proposed pass mark of 70. This recognizes the fact that some applicants who probably would have been accepted under the current system may not be accepted under the new one. The Department also announced that those who applied before December 17 may, if they wish, have their application fees refunded if their files have not been paper-screened.

June 11, 2002. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration released the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). It was implemented on June 28, 2002.

June 28, 2002. The passing mark for skilled workers went up to 75 points retroactive from January 01, 2002 including changes in points system for education, training and language where hardly anybody could qualify.

First quarter of 2003. Those with pending applications were asked to re-file their case, submit additional requirements, take English Test (i.e. IELTS Examination) as basis for points in language, and submit new application forms. Refusal to comply is tantamount to refusal of their application.

September 18, 2003. As a result of massive worldwide protest, pass mark was changed from 75 to 67 points for those applying to immigrate to Canada as skilled workers (to all provinces except Quebec), effective immediately. All skilled worker and business immigration applicants who applied before January 01, 2002 will be assessed under the selection criteria of the former Immigration Act. Applicants who do not qualify under the former Act would then be assessed under the current IRPA.

September 1, 2006. Canadian Visa Office implemented Simplified Application Process With the implimentation of this new system, word has it that there would be changes in the immigration regulations - passmark may be increased and or some job classification will be restricted.

March 14, 2008
. The Government of Canada introduced legislative amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to modernize the immigration system, to ensure that families are reunited faster and skilled workers arrive sooner. Those who filed after February 27, 2008 will be affected by the new regulations.

June 18, 2008. After a long debate at the Parliament, the proposed amendements was passed into law. 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.

July 7, 2008-August 15, 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.

As of this writing, the list of immigration priorities is yet to be released by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Considering that there is an immigration quota and a first-in-first-out policy might be implemented per occupation, the best time to file your application is now.

For more information about the new regulations, read: Modernized Immigration System: What's in it for you?