published on 9 May 2017 @ 1:32 pm · COMMENT
BartLAW’s Canadian Immigration Newsletter
Changes to Visa Requirements for Romanian, Brazilian and Bulgarian Citizens
As of May 1, 2017, citizens of Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania who have held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years, or who currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa, are eligible to apply for an eTA instead of a visitor visa in order to travel to Canada by air. Citizens of these countries who do not meet these criteria, or who are travelling to Canada by land or sea, are still required to obtain a visitor visa prior to entry.
IRCC will lift the visa requirements for all Romanian and Bulgarian citizens on December 1, 2017. As of this date, Romanian and Bulgarian citizens will no longer require a visitor visa to travel to Canada by any means, whether air, land or sea. However, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, they will be required to obtain an eTA in order to board their flight to Canada.
Two Significant Changes to Immigration Policy in Support of Commitment to Family Reunification:
1. Government of Canada Announces Forthcoming Increase to Maximum Age to Qualify as a Dependent Child
The Government of Canada has confirmed that as of October 24, 2017, the maximum age to qualify as a dependent child in new applications made under all Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship programs (including refugees) will increase to under 22 years old from the current age limit of under 19 years old.
This change supports the government’s commitment to family reunification. It is also in line with the global trend of young people continuing to stay dependent on their families for longer, in part to pursue their post-secondary education. This change will allow more applicants to include their dependent children in their applications and keep their families together. This in turn will make Canada a more desirable destination country for highly skilled applicants and will benefit the Canadian economy.
Children who rely on their parents due to a physical or mental health condition and are 22 years old or older will continue to be considered dependent children under their parent’s applications.
2. Conditional Permanent Residence for Sponsored Spouses and Partners Eliminated by Government of Canada
Effective April 18, 2017, the Government of Canada has removed the conditional permanent residence measure imposed on certain sponsored spouses and partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
This conditional permanent residence applied to those sponsored spouses and partners who had been in a relationship with their partner for two years or less and did not have children together. They were required to cohabitate with their sponsor for two years after they became permanent residents in order to keep their permanent resident status.
The government recognized that while the intent of this measure was to deter fraudulent applications, it caused serious concerns over spouses remaining in abusive relationships out of a fear of losing their immigration status in Canada. In light of this, the government has repealed this measure.
The repeal of conditional permanent residence applies to anyone currently subject to the requirement (including their accompanying and any sponsored family members), as well as to any new family class or spouse or common-law partner in Canada class applicants.
The repeal also applies to permanent residents who are subject to a section 44 report for failure to comply with the cohabitation requirement, both if they have or have not yet been referred for an admissibility hearing at the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (“IRB”), if they have not yet been issued a removal order. The repeal also applies to those who have been issued a removal order if they have filed an appeal at the Immigration Appeal Division of the IRB and a decision has not yet been made on their appeal.
For more information about these recent changes to Canada’s immigration system, and/or to assess your qualifications under the current requirements, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.
BartLAW shortlisted by ‘Global Law Experts Annual Awards 2017’ for the following award: Immigration Law Firm of the Year in Canada
Jacqueline Bart spoke about Canadian Corporate Compliance laws at the AILA RDC Spring Conference in Brussels, May 4, 2017