Keeping Up With Changes in Canadian Immigration Law – What You Need to Know
As an individual who wants to immigrate to Canada, understanding our immigration laws can be challenging. It can be tricky to find the right information if you do not know where to look. There is complex legal language that is difficult to understand if you are not familiar with it. And, frustratingly, immigration law tends to change frequently.
Immigration law is unique to other areas of law because it is inherently very political. Where a person is on the political spectrum likely dictates at least some of their views on immigration. This means that immigration law can change drastically with a change in government or shift in public opinion. Sometimes these changes happen over time, but sometimes they happen quickly and with little to no warning.
Keeping up with these changes can be difficult. In this article, we will explain why immigration law changes so frequently and give you some simple ways to keep up with the changes and ensure you are getting the right information when you need it.
Immigration Law Changes With Politics
Canadian immigration law is predominantly controlled by the Federal Government. They set immigration targets for skilled workers, determine policies surrounding who can immigrate to Canada, and manage the administrative activities that are required to apply and be accepted.
However, governments in Canada can change every 4 years. A shift in government can lead to major changes in how many people are allowed to immigrate to Canada, what is required to qualify, or how applications are processed and handled. Larger changes that fundamentally change the law need to go through the House and Senate before being enshrined into law. Nevertheless smaller administrative changes can be done outside the legislative process.
For example, the Express Entry System for permanent residence uses a points based system which scores candidates to identify the top applications. A government can shift the weighting of these points to emphasize different criteria or to make it easier or more difficult to reach a certain threshold of points. These changes can take people who may have previously qualified to receive an Invitation to Apply and make them ineligible, or vice versa.
Compared to other areas of law, the general public tends to care about immigration. It is a subject that can evoke strong emotions and can be controversial. What this means for you, is that there is often conflicting, inaccurate, or outdated information available online. This makes it difficult to know what applies and what does not to your situation when choosing to immigrate to Canada.
How You Can Keep Up With Changes and Get the Right Information
There are many sources of information available online, but not all of these are accurate. As someone who is immigrating to Canada, you are in a vulnerable position to misinformation, whether intentional or otherwise. There are many businesses in Canada who offer immigration services, nevertheless, they are not always lawyers. This is something to be aware of.
The most trusted source of online information for anything to do with Canadian immigration law is the Government of Canada website. However, even this site can be difficult to understand, and finding the specific information you are looking for can be challenging.
A skilled, experienced, and licensed immigration lawyer will be able to provide you with accurate and up to date information. We understand the legal terminology and undergo regular professional training to ensure we are up to date with the most recent laws and polices. Lawyers are also the only people who can represent you in court, in the event your application to immigrate is unsuccessful.
Immigration Law Changes – Make Sure You Know How It Will Impact You
Everybody’s situation is unique, but changes to the immigration laws can leave you in a position you did not expect to be in. Compared to other types of law, immigration law changes relatively frequently due to shifts in governments and public opinion. Even minor, administrative changes that do not need to go through the legislative process can disqualify previously eligible candidates or qualify individuals who were previously ineligible.
Unfortunately, there are so many sources of information available online that not all of them are accurate. The Government of Canada website is the best place to find information, but a licensed immigration lawyer will be able to guide you through the entire process and understand how any laws or policies impact your specific case. Working with a trusted immigration lawyer should give you the comfort that you have not missed something, or prevent you from finding out that a sudden administrative/policy change has caused your application to be delayed or rejected.
Ashley Fisch B.A., J.D. is an Associate at Kaminker & Associates Immigration Law in Toronto, Ontario
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