A New Cabinet, a New Era for Business Immigration?

November 6th, 2015

Newsletter from our business immigration team

JULIE LESSARD, partner and lawyer & ELSA AGOSTINHO, lawyer

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled the members of his new cabinet, on Wednesday November 4th. Nominations related to immigration and workers’ mobility are the following:

John McCallum (Ontario) - Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees (CIC)

Ralph Goodale (Saskatchewan) - Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (CBSA)

MaryAnn Mihychuk (Manitoba) - Employment Workforce Development and Labour (ESDC)

While no major significant changes are announced for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program, we hope that the new government will be open to facilitate the mobility of workers, give more flexibility to employers and adopt clear policies for more predictability and consistency in the application of rules. In that regard, we will participate in different panels to convey the business perspective. Our team of experts at BCF will closely monitor any upcoming change and keep its clientele informed of any future announcement.

Until then, here are the main points of the liberal immigration platform, as presented during the electoral campaign.

On Family Class Sponsorship

  • Nearly doubling the budget for family class immigration processing, in order to restore better processing times.

  • Doubling the number of new applications allowed each year, for parents and grandparents, from 5,000 to 10,000.

  • Providing greater access to applicants with Canadian siblings, by granting additional points under the Express Entry system.

  • Restoring the maximum age for dependents to 22 instead of 19, allowing Canadians to bring their children to Canada.

  • Granting immediate permanent residency to new spouses entering Canada, rather than imposing a two-year conditional status that puts spouses in a position of extreme vulnerability.

On The Refugee Crisis Issue

  • Expand Canada’s intake to 25,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq through immediate, direct sponsorship by the government of Canada.

  • Invest an additional $200 million over this fiscal year and next to increase – without reducing health and safety standards – refugee processing, as well as sponsorship and settlement services capacity in Canada.

  • Provide an immediate $100 million new contribution to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to support the critical relief activities in the region.

  • Fully restoring the Interim Federal Health Program.

  • Establishing an Expert Human Rights Panel for determination of designated countries of origin and to provide a right to appeal refugee decisions for citizens from these countries. This panel will include representatives from international human rights groups.

  • Ending the practice of appointing individuals without subject matter expertise to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.


  • Repeal the elements of Bill C-24 that create second-class citizens and make it more difficult for immigrants to become Canadian citizens.

  • Restore the residency time credit for foreign students and other temporary residents applying to become Canadian citizens.

  • Eliminate the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee for families seeking caregivers to care for family members with physical or mental disabilities.

For more information on the Liberal Party’s engagements regarding immigration, you can read their platform online.

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