3.3.16

Changes to Canadian Citizenship Act Will Allow Immigrants to Apply Earlier and More EasiChanges to Canadian Citizenship Act Will Allow Immigrants to Apply Earlier and More Easily

Changes to Canadian Citizenship Act Will Allow Immigrants to Apply Earlier and More EasiChanges to Canadian Citizenship Act Will Allow Immigrants to Apply Earlier and More Easily


In a move that is likely to be of great benefit to immigrants to Canada who ultimately wish to obtain Canadian citizenship, the Liberal government of Canada has proposed a range of sweeping amendments to the Citizenship Act. These changes will allow people who have made the decision to immigrate to Canada to apply for and obtain citizenship sooner and more easily than is now the case.

Among the proposed amendments is a reduction in 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. Moreover, certain applicants who spent time in Canada on temporary status would be able to count a portion of this time towards the three-year requirement. The proposed amendments would also repeal the intent to reside provision and remove language proficiency requirements for certain applicants.

In addition, the new legislation would repeal a contentious provision that revoked citizenship from dual Canadian citizens convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage. With a majority government in place, it is expected that the proposals will become law in the near future.

Background


In June, 2014, the previous Conservative government of Canada brought into law the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (also known as bill C-24). This controversial legislation allowed the government to revoke citizenship in certain cases, and made eligibility requirements for immigrants more onerous than had previously been the case.

The now-governing Liberal Party of Canada, which came into office last November, made a public pledge in its election manifesto to ‘repeal the unfair elements of Bill C-24 that create second-class citizens and the elements that make it more difficult for hard-working immigrants to become Canadian citizens.’

Only a few months into its term of office, the government is now acting on its word.
Canada encourages new immigrants to consider becoming naturalized citizens and join the Canadian family. With Canadian citizenship, an individual may obtain a Canadian passport, vote in elections, stand for public office, and leave and re-enter Canada freely without being beholden to the residency obligations faced by permanent residents.

What is changing?


The proposed changes to the Citizenship Act run the full gamut of the act, from how an individual may become eligible for citizenship to the rights bestowed once citizenship is conferred on the person.

Repeal of revocation provision

Current act: Authority to revoke citizenship for certain acts against the national interest of Canada. These grounds include convictions of terrorism, high treason, treason or spying offences, depending on the sentence received, or for membership in an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada.
Proposed amendment: Repeal national interest grounds for revocation.

Repeal of intention to reside provision

Current act: Applicants must have the intention to reside in Canada if granted citizenship.
Proposed amendment: Repeal intent to reside provision.

Physical presence in Canada

Current act: Physical presence for 4 out of 6 years before the date of application.
Proposed amendment: Physical presence for 3 out of 5 years before the date of application.

Counting temporary status

Current act: Time spent in Canada as a non-permanent resident may not be counted.
Proposed amendment: Applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum of one year of credited time.

Less burdensome annual physical presence requirement

Current act: Minimum of 183 days physical presence in 4 of the last 6 years.
Proposed amendment: Repeal the minimum 183 days physical presence in 4 of the last 6 years.

Fewer people need to prove language proficiency

Current act: Applicants aged 14-64 must meet language requirements and pass knowledge test.
Proposed amendment: Applicants aged 18-54 must meet language requirements and pass knowledge test.

Canadian income taxes

Current act: File Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for four taxation years out of six years, matching physical presence requirement.
Proposed amendment: File Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for three taxation years out of five years, matching proposed new physical presence requirement.

Conditional sentence now a bar

Current act: Time spent serving a conditional sentence order can be counted towards meeting physical presence requirements. Convicted individuals who are serving conditional sentence orders (sentences served in the community with certain conditions) are not prohibited from being granted citizenship or taking the oath of citizenship.

Proposed amendment: Time spent under a conditional sentence order cannot be counted towards meeting the physical presence requirements; and those serving a conditional sentence order are prohibited from being granted citizenship or taking the oath of citizenship.

Canadian citizenship oath

Current act: Provision prohibiting applicants from taking the oath of citizenship if they never met or no longer meet the requirements for the grant of citizenship, but does not apply to applications received before June 11, 2015.
Proposed amendment: Provision prohibiting applicants from taking the oath of citizenship if they never met or no longer meet the requirements for the grant of citizenship also applies to applications still in process that were received prior to June 11, 2015.

New provision to counter fraud

Current act: No explicit authority for citizenship officers to seize fraudulent documents related to the processing of applications.
Proposed amendment: Authority to seize documents provided during the administration of the Citizenship Act if there are reasonable grounds to believe they are fraudulent, or being used fraudulently.

Quebec Announces Two Future Intake Periods for Skilled Worker Immigration Program

Quebec Announces Two Future Intake Periods for Skilled Worker Immigration Program



The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), one of the few remaining Canadian immigration programs operating on a first-come, first-served basis, will have an application intake period this coming June. Following this, another intake period will take place. Both of these intakes will receive up to 5,000 applications from individuals interested in settling in one of Canada’s most vibrant and diverse provinces.

Through the QSWP, successful applicants and their families may obtain Canadian permanent resident status after receiving a Quebec Selection Certificate/certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ) from the government of the province of Quebec, home to the city of Montreal.

The announcement that two future intake periods will take place — with both intakes accepting a larger number of applications than expected — should benefit individuals who have already created an account in the secure online space Mon projet Québec, as well as those who did not create an account earlier this year.

The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), the government ministry overseeing immigration to Quebec, has announced the following updated schedule for the QSWP:

  • Up to 5,000 applications will be accepted from June 13 to June 20, 2016. This intake period will be restricted to the approximately 41,000 candidates who had created a Mon projet Québec account in January. Last month, thousands of individuals who had already created an account in the Mon projet Québec system attempted to log in to the system in order to submit their application, but the site was inaccessible due to server failure. Mon projet Québec is not scheduled to open for new registrations before the June intake period.

  • When this number is reached, applicants who do not currently have an account may create one with a view to applying to the QSWP during the next intake period, the dates of which will be established later. During this period, the MIDI will receive up to 5,000 applications.
According to the Quebec Minister of Immigration, Kathleen Weil, these measures send a clear message to people who have had to deal with the failures of the system.
“I think they will see that there is a willingness to recognize the difficulty they [the candidates] experienced . . .  My priority is the immigration candidates themselves,” said Ms. Weil.

How does the QSWP work?

The QSWP is a points-based immigration program, where points are awarded for an applicant’s area of training, work experience, age, language proficiency, prior relationship with Quebec (through visits or family), the human capital factors of the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner (if applicable), and whether or not the applicant has a validated job offer in Quebec.

If an individual satisfies the minimum point requirement based on these factors, he or she may then gain additional points for any accompanying dependent children and proof of financial self-sufficiency. Candidates should be aware that a job offer is not required for eligibility under the QSWP.

Applicants should also note that they may be awarded points for French proficiency, though it is not an eligibility requirement for the program. Applicants who do not have knowledge of French, but who have strong credentials in other areas, may still be eligible to apply.

From first-come, first-served to a new Expression of Interest system

For the time being, the QSWP operates on a first-come, first-served 
basis, and this will remain the case for the June intake period.
Quebec’s Minister of Immigration recently tabled a bill that, if passed, would likely result in Quebec implementing an economic immigration system similar to the Express Entry system currently used by the government of Canada, whereby candidates must make an ‘Expression of Interest’ before being invited to apply based on their credentials. Once, as is expected, this bill becomes law, economic immigrants to Quebec will not be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Rather, they will need to be invited to apply to the program based on labour market needs, having already made an ‘Expression of Interest’ in immigrating to the Canadian province of Quebec.

Accordingly, the upcoming application intake periods may be the last of their kind — a way to apply for immigration to Canada through an economic immigration program without having to first be invited to apply.

Preparation is key

“I am glad that the Quebec Minister of Immigration has instructed her department to reschedule the application intake period for the Skilled Worker Program for this June. This should give them the time they need to sort out the teething issues that have plagued the Mon projet Québec system since its inception. Moreover, the fact that more applications may be accepted for processing than was initially planned is only right and proper, given the circumstances,” says Attorney David Cohen.

“There is also positive news for individuals who did not manage to create an account earlier this year. These individuals may have thought that their chance at applying to this program had passed, but now we know that the MIDI plans on reopening the system for the second intake period. On this basis, individuals interested in immigrating to Canada who do not wish to be at the whim of immigration programs that involve expressions of interest and invitations to apply, and who also wish to have everything done online, should look seriously at preparing an application for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.”

17.2.16

Quebec Skilled Worker Program for Immigration to Canada to Reopen This Summer

Quebec Skilled Worker Program for Immigration to Canada to Reopen This Summer



The Canadian province of Quebec has confirmed that its flagship immigration program, the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), will have at least one more application intake period in 2016. An exact opening date has not yet been made public, but the government of Quebec has stated that it is scheduled for the summer months.
Through the QSWP, successful applicants and their families may obtain Canadian permanent resident status after receiving a Quebec Selection Certificate/certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ) from the government of Quebec.
The announcement that another intake period will take place in just a few months will give candidates who do not successfully submit an application over the course of the current intake period another opportunity to submit an application later in 2016.
Moreover, potential candidates who do not currently have an account in the government of Quebec’s secure online space Mon projet Québec — through which all applications for the QSWP must be submitted —are, at the time of writing, scheduled to be able to register an account as of February 18, 2016. Registration in Mon projet Québec has been closed since January 25 in anticipation of the current intake period, which was scheduled to open on February 16 but has been slightly delayed due to a technical issue. The current intake period may run until March 31 at the latest, but the 2,800 available spaces are widely expected to be filled soon after the system finally opens for the submission of new applications.

image: http://www.cicnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/av-qc-en-1.jpg
The QSWP: How does it work?


The QSWP uses a points-based system, where points are awarded for an applicant’s area of training, work experience, age, language proficiency, prior relationship with Quebec (through visits or family), the human capital factors of the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner (if applicable), and whether or not the applicant has a validated job offer in Quebec. If an individual satisfies the minimum points requirement for these factors, he or she may then gain additional points for any accompanying dependent children and proof of financial self-sufficiency. Candidates should note that a job offer is not required for the QSWP.
Applicants should also note that they may be awarded points for French proficiency, though it is not an eligibility requirement for the program. Applicants who do not have knowledge of French, but who have strong credentials in other areas, may still be eligible to apply.

Summer intake period may be the last of its kind

This latest immigration news from Quebec is perhaps the most significant to come from the province over recent months. The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), the government ministry overseeing immigration to Quebec, has made a number of changes to program procedures over the past year, including the removal of the time-consuming adaptability interview and modifications to the area of training factor.
Currently, the QSWP operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Quebec’s Minister of Immigration recently proposed a bill that, if passed, would likely result in Quebec implementing an economic immigration system similar to the Express Entry system currently used by the government of Canada, whereby candidates must make an ‘Expression of Interest’ before being invited to apply based on their credentials.
It is expected that the QSWP application intake period that opens this summer will operate on the same first-come, first-served basis that is currently in place. Consequently, the summer 2016 QSWP application intake period may be the last of its kind — a way to apply for immigration to Canada through an economic immigration program without having to first be invited to apply.
It is unknown exactly how many applications may be accepted during the planned summer intake period. However, the MIDI has said that up to 7,000 applications may be accepted for the period 2016-2017.

Old systems meeting new

“This calendar year may end up being the only year in which the province of Quebec offers a skilled worker program that is both first-come, first-served and managed online, namely through the Mon projet Québec application management system,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Individuals interested in immigrating to Canada who do not wish to be at the whim of immigration programs that involve expressions of interest and invitations to apply, and who also wish to have everything done online, may not have another opportunity like this down the line. For many potential candidates, this summer’s Quebec Skilled Worker intake period may provide the best of both worlds.”
Quebec profile

Population: 8,263,600
Largest city: Montreal
Capital city: Quebec City
Language: French is the most predominant language, though nearly half of all residents report having proficiency in both French and English.
Economy: While the province’s substantial natural resources have long been the mainstay of its economy, sectors of the knowledge economy such as aerospace, information and communication technologies, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical industry also play leading roles. These many industries have all contributed to helping Quebec become a highly influential province within Canada, second only to Ontario in economic output.

22.1.16

Quebec Skilled Worker Program: New Guidelines for Upcoming Submission Period

Quebec Skilled Worker Program: New Guidelines for Upcoming Submission Period


Candidates for immigration to Canada through popular Quebec program are required to create their own accounts by 8.30 a.m. EST on January 25, 2016

Candidates for Canadian immigration who wish to submit an application through the upcoming application cycle for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) are being advised to move quickly to complete the first step of a new online system, known as Mon projet Québec. The government of the Canadian province of Quebec recently posted new guidelines for the system, as well as a new date for the beginning of the submission period.

The QSWP is a popular Canadian immigration program, with successful applicants and their families becoming eligible to obtain Canadian permanent resident status after receiving a Quebec Selection Certificate/certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ).

New guidelines and dates for the QSWP

The original opening date for the next application intake period was set to be January 18, 2016. However, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), the government department overseeing immigration to Quebec, has allotted additional time.

The MIDI has issued the following guidelines:
Candidates now have until 25 January, 2016 to create their account. As of 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 25, 2016, it will no longer be possible to create a new account.
Between January 26 and February 15, 2016, candidates who have a Mon projet Québec account may access it to complete the application for a CSQ.

As of February 16, 2016, it will be possible to submit an application and pay the required fees. The application intake period will end on March 31, 2016 at the latest.

During the period from February 16 to March 31, the MIDI will receive a maximum of 2,800 applications for a CSQ under the QSWP through the Mon projet Québec. All applications under the QSWP must be submitted online through Mon projet Québec; the previous paper application system will no longer be in use. Due to technical maintenance, Mon projet Québec will be out of service on January 25, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

On January 21, 2016, the MIDI announced that it will be again be possible to create an online account as of February 18, 2016. However, candidates who wish to have a chance of submitting a successful application for the upcoming intake period must create an account before 8.30 a.m. EST on January 25.

Candidates have up to 90 days to submit supporting documentation in Mon projet Québec. Once the application has been submitted, candidates will have 30 days to pay the fees. If a candidate does not submit and pay the fees within the prescribed timeframe, the application will be deleted.

Candidates are required to create their own accounts

While other Canadian immigration programs that operate through an electronic system allow candidates to retain the services of an immigration lawyer or consultant in order to complete an online account on their behalf, the QSWP does not currently allow candidates to delegate the creation of their account to a representative. Consequently, candidates for the upcoming application cycle are required to create their own accounts. However, candidates may retain the services of a certified representative for the purposes of reviewing and preparing supporting documents and completing submission forms; this may be done before or after the account is created, but the actual creation of the account must be done by the candidate.

A time to be proactive

At the time of writing, there remains a matter of days before Mon projet Québec closes for new registrations. Individuals interested in submitting an application are therefore encouraged to create an account as soon as possible. It should be noted that the Mon projet Québec system allows a limited number of users to access the system simultaneously. Users who are unable to create an account the first time they attempt to register are advised to try again until they may do so.

The QSWP has undergone a series of changes over recent weeks and months. These changes, which include modifications to the area of training factor and the removal of the time-consuming adaptability interview, were summarized in the previous issue of CICNews, published earlier this month.
Individuals who are either ineligible for the QSWP or unable to create an account in Mon projet Québec should note that the QSWP is one of many Canadian immigration programs that lead to a permanent resident visa.

Quebec Skilled Worker: present and future

The upcoming application intake period may be the last application cycle where Quebec offers a first-come, first-served Skilled Worker Program. Quebec’s Minister of Immigration recently proposed a bill that, if passed, could result in Quebec implementing an economic immigration system similar to the Express Entry system currently used by the government of Canada, whereby candidates must make an ‘Expression of Interest’ before being invited to apply based on their credentials.

“The Quebec Skilled Worker Program may be an attractive option for individuals who wish to make an application to immigrate to Canada without first having to be invited to apply. Moreover, individuals in the Express Entry pool and who wish to increase their chances of successfully immigrating to Canada may be well served by looking to Quebec as a place to settle,” says Attorney David Cohen.

According to the governments of Quebec and Canada, candidates can apply under the QSWP and submit an Express Entry profile, as long as they withdraw one when either a CSQ or Invitation to Apply (ITA) is issued.

“Quebec remains an attractive immigration destination, particularly the Greater Montreal Area. Indeed, Montreal was recently named by The Economist magazine as the second-best city in the world in terms of living standards. I have had the good fortune to reside here for most of my life, and it is an exciting place with unique career opportunities, as well as a near-perfect place to raise a family. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the towns and cities of Quebec to any potential newcomer to Canada,” added Attorney Cohen.

Article Source :- http://www.cicnews.com/2016/01/quebec-skilled-worker-program-guidelines-upcoming-submission-period-017051.html#3ItJpKC0vbtBlu4q.

13.1.16

Quebec Skilled Worker Immigration Selection System Undergoes Significant Changes

Quebec Skilled Worker Immigration Selection System Undergoes Significant Changes


Modifications to area of training requirements loosen eligibility criteria


Mon projet Québec online management system is launched in anticipation of January 18 reopening


The first week of 2016 has been a busy one for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), a Canadian immigration program designed to select newcomers who are likely to become economically established upon arrival in the province of Quebec. Effective December 31, 2015, the government of Quebec has made the criteria for area of training far less onerous than previously. Meanwhile, the Mon projet Québec online application management system was launched on January 5, 2016.
The QSWP allows eligible applicants to immigrate to Canada after receiving a Quebec Selection Certificate / certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ) from the government of Quebec. The next application intake for the QSWP is scheduled to begin on January 18, 2016, and may run until March 31, 2016 at the latest. A maximum of 2,800 applications will be accepted for processing during this intake period, and demand is expected to exceed supply. Consequently, it is likely that the cap will be reached prior to March 31.
Changes to points system: Area of Training and Level of Education
The QSWP is a points-based program. Points are awarded for a candidate’s area of training, work experience, language proficiency, age, prior relationship with Quebec, the human capital factors of the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner (if applicable), and whether or not the applicant has a validated job offer from an employer in Quebec. If an individual satisfies the minimum point requirement for these factors, he or she may then gain additional points for any accompanying dependent children and proof of financial self-sufficiency.
One of the distinctive characteristics of the QSWP, compared with other Canadian immigration programs, is that candidates have the opportunity to be awarded a significant number of points through having earned a diploma, degree or certificate in an area of training that meets Quebec labour market needs. Up to 16 points are available for this factor, but until last week applicants who obtained their diploma, degree or certificate more than five years ago were required to show relevant work experience in the field in order to obtain these points.
However, this is no longer the case. As of December 31, 2015, applicants may receive points under the area of training factor for their diploma, degree or certificate regardless of when it was earned, provided that it was obtained before the application was submitted.
The changes announced on December 31, 2015, can also have an impact on whether a candidate’s degree, diploma or certificate is counted toward his or her point total. The level of education being assessed under the QSWP must have been completed prior to submission in order for points to be awarded.
“While many stakeholders may have been waiting anxiously to see what Quebec’s much-anticipated online system would look like, this news in relation to how points are awarded may have slipped under the radar to some extent,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Nonetheless, its importance should not be understated. In effect, Quebec is opening its doors to an increased number of potential newcomers. It is the latest welcome development to what was once a convoluted and drawn-out immigration process.”
The government of Quebec has made a number of changes to the QSWP over the past year, including the release of a new area of training list and the removal of the ‘adaptability’ factor/interview from the points-based program, which had the effect of lowering the pass mark required to obtain a CSQ. Taken together with the latest changes to the QSWP selection process, candidates who may not have been eligible during a previous application cycle of the program may now be eligible.
Mon projet Québec
Mon projet Québec is an online immigration application management system used by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) in order to process applications under the QSWP. It was launched on January 5, 2016 and, while some teething issues were encountered over the first two days of operation, the system appears to be functioning at an ever-improving level.
Mon projet Québec allows candidates to complete their application for a CSQ, make their payment online, follow the status of their application, make changes to their application, and access personal electronic messaging throughout the process. As of January, 2016, QSWP candidates must use the secure space Mon projet Québec in order to submit an application.
The Mon projet Québec system allows a limited number of users to access the system at any one time. When users access the system, they create a user name and password. An activation link is then sent to the user’s personal email address; this activation link must be activated within 72 hours, otherwise the user must start over.
Candidates have up to 90 days to submit an application from the time they started to complete the application in Mon projet Québec. Once the application has been submitted, candidates will have 30 days to pay government processing fees. If a candidate does not submit within the prescribed timeframe, the application will be deleted.
To learn more about Mon projet Québecclick here. A comprehensive Mon projet Québec FAQ page is also available.
Quebec Skilled Worker: present and future
Quebec’s Minister of Immigration recently proposed a bill that, if passed, could result in Quebec implementing an Expression of Interest system similar to the Express Entry system currently used by the government of Canada. The upcoming application intake period may be the last application cycle where Quebec uses a first-come, first-served Skilled Worker Program.
The QSWP may be an enticing option for individuals who wish to make an application to immigrate to Canada without having to be invited to apply, as well as individuals who are in the Express Entry pool and wish to increase their chances of successfully immigrating to Canada. According to the governments of Quebec and Canada, candidates can apply under the QSWP and submit an Express Entry profile, as long as they withdraw one when either a CSQ or Invitation to Apply (ITA) is issued.

14.12.15

Quebec Immigration Minister Proposes Expression of Interest System

Quebec Immigration Minister Proposes Expression of Interest System

January 18, 2016 may be the last time Quebec uses first-come, first-served Skilled Worker Program for Canadian immigration

On December 2, 2015, Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil proposed a new bill (Bill 77) to Quebec’s National assembly. Bill 77 proposes reforms to the current immigration laws. If adopted, the draft law would make it possible to implement a new immigration system.
Quebec’s immigration Act, adopted in 1968, has undergone amendments but has never been reformed. The proposed changes would involve a shift to a similar system that Australia and New Zealand offer, one that involves an expression of interest. The bill would also facilitate the implementation of pilot projects to address temporary and permanent needs and affirm Quebec’s commitment to promote full participation of immigrants in Quebec society.
Quebec has several immigration programs, and it will be interesting to see how the proposed changes would affect these programs.
The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), a popular, first come, first-served program, is one of Quebec’s immigration programs and is. A successful QSWP application results in a candidate obtaining a Quebec selection certificate, which can then be used in order to pursue Canadian permanent residence.
It remains to be seen if or when the proposed bill will become law. As of this time, Quebec has not yet adopted an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. As a result, the 2015-2016 Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) could be the last of its kind — a way to apply for and obtain Canadian permanent residence on a first-come, first-served basis. The next application cycle for the QSWP opens on January 18, 2016. Click here to learn more.
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