published on 18 September 2019 @ 4:25 pm · COMMENT
BARTLAW LLP, Canadian Immigration, Barristers and Solicitors Newsletter – Express Entry Draw and Excluded Family Members Policy Change
Express Entry Update
Today, September 18th 2019, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued another round of invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system. IRCC issued a total of 3,600 invitations. The minimum score selected in today’s draw was 462.
This is the 19th Express Entry draw held in the 2019 year to date. IRCC indicates there are 8,202 applicants in the pool with scores between 451-600 as of September 13th 2019. As such, we anticipate that selection will remain competitive as the 2019 year progresses.
Immigration Alert: Significant Changes to IRCC’s Policy on the Sponsorship of Undeclared Family Members
On September 6, 2019, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched a two-year pilot program that will enable the sponsorship of select undeclared family members under the Family Class or the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada Class.
The newly launched pilot program aims to facilitate the immigration of certain foreign nationals who are otherwise excluded from being sponsored to Canada due to the operation of paragraphs 117(9)(d) or 125(1)(d) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
Under the IRPR, applicants for permanent residence are required to declare all family members (e.g. dependent children, spouses, common-law partners), even if those family members are not accompanying the applicant to Canada. The relevant provisions of the IRPR effectively operate to exclude all family members, who are not declared by the principal applicant and not examined, from being sponsored for permanent residence at a later time.
In recognizing that there are numerous and valid reasons for not disclosing non-accompanying family members, and in light of the negative impact that a lifetime bar can have especially on dependent children, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has implemented this pilot program to exempt certain sponsors from the application of the lifetime ban provisions.
Details of IRCC’s Policy on Sponsorship of undeclared family members
Under the new pilot program, certain permanent residents may be able to sponsor their undeclared immediate family members.
In order to qualify under the pilot program, the sponsor must be one of the following:
- A person who became a permanent resident as a Convention refugee;
- A person who became a permanent resident after being determined to be a protected person;
- A person who was sponsored as a spouse, partner or dependent child themselves.
In order to qualify under the pilot program, the foreign national applicant has to:
- Be applying as a spouse, common-law partner or dependent child;
- Not have made their sponsor ineligible, had they been declared and examined at the time their sponsor immigrated to Canada;
- Satisfy all other admissibility provisions and eligibility requirements.
The public policy will apply to applications:
- that were pending on May 31, 2019;
- that are received between May 31, 2019 and September 9, 2021; and,
- that are pending reconsideration between May 31, 2019 and September 9, 2021.
IRCC’s new pilot program for excluded family members is a welcome development as it better facilitates the reunification of families in Canada, in a manner that is consistent with the objectives of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.