A new year is here and we thought we would take some time to highlight expected changes that are likely to happen to the immigration system in 2017.
- It is projected that 300 000 immigrants will obtain permanent residency this year. This is the same as in 2016.
- Permanent Residence granted under the economic categories are expected to rise from 160 600 to 172 500. The number of people being accepted through the refugee program is expected to decrease to 40 000 from 55 800. Family sponsorships are expected to increase from 80 000 to 84 000.
- The government has proposed Bill C-6,which proposes major changes to the Citizenship Act. Bill C-6 has passed at the House of Commons and has completed second reading before the Senate. On December 15, 2016 it was referred to a Senate committee. We expect that this bill will soon become law.
- The changes announced to the parent and grandparent sponsorship program have now gone into effect. The online form can be filled out until February 2, 2017. The draw will be done after this date, at which point those that have been drawn will be able to apply.
- The changes announced to the spousal sponsorship program are now being implemented and as a result we are expecting faster processing of sponsorship applications this year both in-Canada and overseas.
- The government has stated that it will remove the requirement that those being sponsored must cohabit with their sponsor for two years to retain status.
- The government has stated that the definition of a dependent child will be restored to under 22 years of age.
- The changes announced to the express entry program last November drastically altered who received an Invitation to Apply. In the coming year the government has stated that it may once again make changes to the program by allocating Express Entry points to individuals that speak French and want to work outside Quebec, and also for individuals that have siblings in Canada. No announcements have been made as to when these changes may be implemented.
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
- The OINP has announced that the 2016 cap has been met and that all additional nominations for submitted applications will go towards the 2017 allocation. Since the program stopped accepting new applications many clients have sought out alternatives to the OINP program. No announcements have been made as to when they will re-open the program.
We are really excited for the up-coming year! Book a consultation with one of our lawyers to determine if these changes will affect you by contacting us at (416) 548-9101 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.