Accounting for Law

Federal government delivers on its immigration promises

The new federal government has steered immigration law in a different direction during its first six months in charge, writes Toronto immigration lawyer Andrew Carvajal in the April 2016 edition of Latinos magazine.

“The Liberal Government has been delivering on the promises made during the election campaign last year,” writes Carvajal, a partner with Desloges Law Group, in the Spanish/English magazine.

“In doing so, it has initiated a number of reforms that constitute a clear rejection of the immigration policies put forward by the Conservative Government,” he adds.

Carvajal points to a number of recent moves, including a proposal to amend the Citizenship Act. The changes would remove controversial provisions that allow dual citizens to have their Canadian citizenship revoked for certain crimes, as well as the “intent to reside” undertaking that must be signed by applicants for citizenship.

“This undertaking can be problematic, as it is extremely difficult to demonstrate a genuine intention to reside in Canada when completing a citizenship application should, for example, an excellent job opportunity become available to the applicant after submitting her/his application,” Carvajal explains.

He also hails the plan to reform the conditional permanent residence status granted to spouses sponsored to Canada within two years of the start of the relationship. The policy requires the couple to live together for two years in Canada or risk losing their permanent residence.

Although this policy was introduced to prevent fraudulent sponsorships, the conditional permanent residence has forced some spouses to stay with abusive sponsors in fear of losing their residency rights in Canada, Carvajal writes.

In addition, he says the doubling of the number of parent and grandparent applications this year from 5,000 to 10,000 was a welcome move.

“We will have to wait and see how this increase, as well as the higher number of refugees welcomed this year, will affect the number of individuals entering the country under other immigration programs,” Carvajal writes. “Nonetheless, the new government has certainly brought forth great initiatives thus far in the realm of immigration.”

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