A new Liberal plan to fix Canada’s immigration system – Summary of expected changes

October 22, 2015 (Mississauga, ON) – Now that the election is over and Liberal party of Canada has gained a majority in Federal parliament, here’s a look at their platform, specifically where it relates to Canadian Immigration and Economic Opportunity.

According the Plan, Liberals will make it easier for immigrants to build successful lives in Canada, and contribute to the economic success of all Canadians. Immediate steps will be taken to reopen Canada’s doors, and will make reuniting families a top priority.

“Immigration has always been an important part of Canada’s economic growth, but over the past decade, Stephen Harper has turned his back on welcoming those who want to contribute to our country’s success.” 

Here is the summary of Liberal Party’s Canadian Immigration and Economic Opportunity plan:

  • Doubling the number of new applications allowed each year, for parents and grandparents, from 5,000 to 10,000
  • Double the budget for processing family class sponsorship. Wait times will come down – which currently average almost four years for parent and grandparent applications
  • Provide more opportunities for applicants who have Canadian siblings by giving additional points under the Express Entry system
  • Restore the maximum age for dependents to 22 from 19, to allow more Canadians to bring their children to Canada
  • Grant immediate permanent residency to new spouses entering Canada, eliminating the two-year waiting period
  • Expand Canada’s intake to 25,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq through immediate, direct sponsorship by the government of Canada. Liberals will also work with private sponsors to intake even more
  • Establishing an Expert Human Rights Panel for determination of designated countries of origin and to provide a right to appeal refugee decisions for citizens from these countries. This panel will include representatives from international human rights groups
  • Restore the residency time credit for foreign students and other temporary residents applying to become Canadian citizens
  • Eliminate the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee for families seeking caregivers to care for family members with physical or mental disabilities
  • Make changes to the Canadian Experience Class to reduce the barriers to immigration that have been imposed on international students

Liberals will work with provincial and territorial governments to improve regulation of the remittance industry, so that residents of Canada who send money overseas to help family members are not gouged by high fees. This will include working with Canada’s banks to ensure low-cost access to transfer services, exploring ways for Canada Post to offer remittance services, and imposing tough new penalties on those who abuse the system and take advantage of vulnerable newcomers to Canada.

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