Bill C-6 Amending Canadian Citizenship Legislation Passes Senate

Bill C-6 Amending Canadian Citizenship Legislation Passes Senate

Bill C-6 Amending Canadian Citizenship Legislation Passes Senate

Bill C-6 Amending Canadian Citizenship Legislation Passes Senate

A bill to change Canada’s Citizenship Act has finally been passed by the Senate with amendments, bringing the legislation closer than ever to becoming law. As a result of this bill, immigrants to Canada would be able to apply for Canadian citizenship earlier and more easily than before.

In a vote of 45 for, 29 against, and zero abstentions, Bill C-6 passed the Senate at around 4 p.m. on May 3, 2017. Senators in Ottawa have asked their colleagues in the House of Commons to review the bill, including amendments added by the Senate after the draft bill was previously passed by the House of Commons in June of last year. The bill must receive royal assent before becoming law.

C-6 reduces the amount of time permanent residents have to live in Canada in order to become eligible to apply for citizenship, from four out of six years to three out five years. In addition, applicants who spent time in Canada on temporary statuses — such as on a work or study permit — would be able to count a portion of this time towards the three-year requirement.

The wide-ranging bill would repeal many parts of the former Conservative government’s citizenship legislation, including a provision that revoked citizenship from dual Canadian citizens convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage.

C-6 would also repeal the government’s authority — introduced by the previous Conservative government — to revoke citizenship for certain acts against the national interest of Canada. These grounds include convictions of terrorism, high treason, treason or spying offenses, depending on the sentence received, or for membership in an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada.

The bill also removes the intent to provide the provision, and an increased number of applicants would be exempt from language proficiency requirements. The bill passed by the House of Commons last year placed an age range of 18 to 54 for language testing, but this was amended to 18 to 60 in the Senate following an amendment tabled by Independent Senator Diane Griffin.

While being read in the Senate, Senators passed a number of other amendments to the bill. Among these were a provision requiring the Immigration Minister to inform individuals who have their citizenship revoked due to fraud or misrepresentation that they have the right to appeal the decision in Federal Court. Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act introduced by the previous Conservative government, removed the right to a Federal Court hearing for individuals subject to revocation of citizenship in cases where it was found that citizenship was obtained by fraud. Since C-24 came into effect, affected individuals have 60 days to respond in writing after being informed that their citizenship will be revoked.

Another amendment, tabled by Conservative Senator Victor Oh, would allow minors to apply for citizenship without assistance from their parents. Under existing laws, parents and children are treated as one unit when applying. If the parent’s citizenship application is rejected, the children or child included on the file can’t get citizenship either. In such a case, the child has to wait until the age of 18 to make another application.

“While it took almost a year to be passed by the Senate, that institution has stepped up to be one of sober second thought by giving the bill three readings and bringing in some important amendments,” says Attorney David Cohen.

“The spirit of the bill remains intact, however, and, if and when it becomes law, immigrants to Canada will have a quicker and smoother pathway to Canadian citizenship.

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BC Invites 364 Workers and Graduates to Apply for Provincial Nomination

BC Invites 364 Workers and Graduates to Apply for Provincial Nomination

BC Invites 364 Workers and Graduates to Apply for Provincial Nomination

BC Invites 364 Workers and Graduates to Apply for Provincial Nomination

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) invited 364 workers and graduates to apply for a provincial nomination certificate. This represents an increase of 77 percent in the number of candidates invited in five sub-categories managed through the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS), compared to the previous draw on April 19. These individuals have received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from BC and are now in a position to submit an application for a provincial nomination certificate, with which they may then apply to the federal government for Canadian permanent resident status.

The SIRS is a points-based system that ranks and selects eligible candidates across a range of sub-categories. When an eligible candidate registers through SIRS, he or she is assigned a points score and enters a selection pool for the category in which he or she has registered (candidates may register under one category only). Top-ranking candidates have issued ITAs in periodic draws conducted by the province.

The draw on May 10 saw the minimum score a candidate needs in order to receive an ITA drop in the Skills Immigration — Skilled Worker and Skills Immigration — International graduate sub-categories, compared to the last draw.

It is important to note that the ITA with respect to the BC PNP is different to the ITA issued at the federal level in a federal Express Entry draw.

Express Entry BC Stream

This stream of the BC PNP is aligned with the Express Entry system, and applications under this stream may receive priority processing at the provincial and federal levels. Consequently, individuals in this stream must be eligible for one of the three Federal economic programs — Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) — in order to enter the federal Express Entry pool. Individuals in the Express Entry pool who have a provincial nomination certificate from BC receive 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which means the individual will receive an ITA in a subsequent Express Entry draw.

Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker

The Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker category is for international skilled workers who have post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a professional, management, technical, trade or other skilled occupation. Candidates must be eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool. This category is aligned with the federal Express Entry system.

Express Entry BC – International Graduate

International graduates who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within the past two years may be eligible to apply under the Express Entry BC – International Graduate category. Interestingly, this category is open to eligible graduates who graduated from a university or college in any location in Canada; it is not restricted to graduates from BC universities and colleges. This category is also aligned with the federal Express Entry system.

Skills Immigration – Skilled Worker

This base category is open to workers with post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a skilled occupation. A job offer is required.

Skills Immigration – International Graduate

This category is for international students who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within two years of applying to the BC PNP. While applicants do not necessarily need prior work experience, applicants are required to obtain a job offer from a B.C. employer.

Skills Immigration – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled

This category is open to candidates who may not be eligible for other Canadian immigration programs, as it allows certain non-skilled workers to apply for permanent residence. Candidates must work in an eligible occupation within the tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking, or food processing industries, or in an NOC skill level C or D occupation in the Northeast Development Region of the province.

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Canadian Immigration Application Refusal

Canadian Immigration Application Refusal

Canadian Immigration Application Refusal

Canadian Immigration Application Refusal

It can be devastating to learn that your application to reside in Canada has been refused.

Fortunately, you may have recourse. A Canada immigration officer’€™s decision to refuse an application may be challenged if that decision was wrong in fact or in law, or if that decision is not in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness.

Family Class sponsors have an additional recourse. They can ask that a refusal is reversed by raising humanitarian and compassionate considerations.

You may retain our law firm to provide you with a detailed analysis of the refusal decision. We will also advise you as to which remedies may be available to reverse the refusal decision.

If warranted in your particular situation, we can do the following:

Reconsideration letters. If the refusal was based on an error in fact or in law, and/or if that decision was not in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness, we will write to the Program Manager of the Canadian Visa Office to point out the errors and to request a reconsideration of the refusal decision.

Appeal.€“ Wrongful refusals may, in certain instances, be appealed to the Federal Court of Canada or to the appropriate provincial court or, in the case of family sponsorship, to the Immigration Appeal Division.

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