The Canadian province of Saskatchewan has introduced certain changes to their Immigrant Nominee Program. This program would bring changes to the family, student and the entrepreneur categories. Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) helps to speed up the immigration process to get permanent resident cards. Through this program Saskatchewan nominates applicants who are qualified under the provincially constituted norms, for Permanent Resident Status.
Under SINP, applications can be made under eight different categories, where the changes are brought about in three of its categories, family, student and entrepreneur categories.
Minister Rob Norris, who is the Saskatchewan’s Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister, announced that the family category nominees will be able to submit one petition per household until the primary applicant has settled with his family in the Canadian province. These changes would result in creating more justice in the Canadian immigration application process. According to the new change, the immediate family members can immigrate together. Previously, immigrants who settled in the Canadian province were able to apply for visas for unlimited family members, but the new change has also altered the process of bringing extended family members to the province.
Previously the applicants who wished to enter the province were not required to have a job offer but were required to intend to get a job, to get a visa but now the candidates who wish to enter the province will require a job offer, to get a visa.
This change in the Immigrant nominee program, requires the nominees to have a job offer, in order to reduce the stress. People who wish to bring the family members to the province do have a financial commitment. That increases more stress to support the family member while the new family member tries to settle in the province and find a job there. Hence, if the new family member has a job offer, that stress will be reduced, there by making the settlement process easier.
In addition to that, students graduating from a Canadian University outside the province must be employed in Saskatchewan for a year, before they apply for a visa in the Immigrant Nominee Program, where only six months of employment in the Canadian province was required previously.
Applicants who file a petition under the entrepreneur category will be required to provide evidence of their funds checked by an independent third party. The independent third party must be approved by the Canadian government. This verification must be done before the entrepreneur submits an application and before receiving a visa.
These changes are considered to be important as it aims at boosting the integrity of the Immigrant Nominee program. It also plans to increase the Saskatchewan immigration cap to 6,000 which is now 4.000. Processing of the applications submitted before the 2nd of May will follow the previous rules and the applications filed after 2nd May will be processed under the new rules.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has supported the idea of making biometric IDs an important requirement for permanent residents and also plans to consider an amendment to the present immigration bill. He also added that the country should be doing everything that it reasonably can in order to identify visitors or immigrants and ensure that they do not threaten the security of Canada.
Presently, with biometrics being a good technical tool, it should be applied to both temporary and permanent residents, he said and added that the government was considering amending the bill to ensure it covers permanent residents too. The Bill C-31 would grant citizenship and Immigration the legal authority to collect fingerprints and digital photographs next year, only applies to those entering Canada on a visitor visa, work permit or study visa.
The Bill C-31 would seek to deport refugee claimants, human smugglers and would require some visa holders to turn over biometric data. It would also fast track refugee applications from countries deemed unlikely to produce bonafide asylum claimants and bar those who receive a negative decision from filing an appeal.
People are also of the opinion that the proposed legislation has put too much power in the hands of the minister and raised some concerns. But Kenney put a rest to these concerns stating that the provision will aim to streamline the current two-step process for revoking the status of those found to have obtained their refugee status using fraudulent means and that he is open to amendments that could clarify the situation.
Detaining individuals who entered Canada through illegal smuggling operations and barring bonafide refugees among them from obtaining permanent resident status for five years, were some of the suggestions he rejected. Recently minister Kenney has come under fire for various reasons. Apart from the biometric issue, he also wants more immigration reforms like involving enterpreneurs in choosing new immigrants. Though he insists that this could be a good reform, there are several sceptics who do not agree. Many think this proposal could go against the better interests of Canada.
Under the Provincial Nominee Programme the minister has promised to transform Canada’s economic immigration programme into a fast and flexible system focused on jobs, growth and prosperity. The PNP has also been a major success in spreading the benefits of immigration across the country. For example as many as 5,354 immigrants entered the Saskatchewan province in 2010 when compared to a meagre 173 in 2003.
Once you become a Permanent Resident, you are authorized to live and work in Canada for the rest of your life. It is pretty tough to lose this status once you’ve acquired it. In fact, there are only two ways that you can lose Permanent Resident Status: (1) If you commit a serious crime; and (2) if you fail to maintain physical residence.
Although it is unusual for Permanent Residents to lose status, all should be aware that certain acts could result in deportation. The only way to ensure that you can remain in Canada permanently, without condition, is to become a Canadian Citizen.
Commission of a serious crime has become one of the most common reasons for deporting a non-citizen from Canada. What constitutes a crime that is worthy of deportation varies on a case-by-case basis. It is strongly suggested that any non citizen who has been sentenced to time in jail seek the counsel of an immigration attorney. The consequences of committing a crime as a non-citizen are serious, and require prudent legal advice from a qualified representative.
The Residency Obligation
In order to meet the Canadian residency obligation, you must be physically present in Canada for at least half of the last five years. If you haven’t been a Permanent Resident of Canada for five years, then you need to show that you can meet the residence requirement at the five-year mark.
For practical purposes, you only need to show that you meet the physical presence requirement at the time that you apply for a new Permanent Resident Card – but it is something that you should be thinking about each time you take a trip outside of Canada. You need to be careful that you spend at least half of your time living in Canada, or you risk losing your Permanent Resident Status.
If you are someone who spends a lot of time outside Canada, then you should be aware of some exceptions that might help you meet the Residency Requirement. Specifically, time spent outside the country while accompanying a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident, or while working for a Canadian organization, may count as time spent inside Canada, in certain circumstances.
Accompanying a Canadian Citizen Outside of Canada
This limited exception allows you to count days spent outside Canada as fulfilling the residency requirement, but only if you are accompanying your spouse or common-law partner, or if you are a child under 22 years of age and you are accompanying your parent.
Accompanying a Permanent Resident Outside of Canada
This exception is even more limited. It allows you to count days spent outside Canada as fulfilling the residency requirement if you are accompanying your spouse or common law partner, or if you are a child under 22 years of age and you are accompanying your parent, but only if your Permanent Resident relative was employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the public service of Canada or of a province during the period you accompanied him or her. In addition, you must be able to show that your Permanent Resident relative meets his or her own residency obligation.
Let’s break this down: You can count days spent outside of Canada in order to meet the residence requirement if you are accompanying your Permanent Resident spouse or parent, but only if your spouse or parent is employed by a Canadian organization during the specified travel, and only if your spouse or parent meets his or her own residency requirement.
In practice, it is hard to see how this exception could be helpful, unless you’ve spent so much time out of the country that every extra day counts.
Employment Outside of Canada
You may count each day you worked outside Canada for a Canadian organization or affiliated organization or in the public service of Canada. You can also count time you spent outside the country as a client of a Canadian business or the Canadian public service.
To qualify, you must show that you worked in a full-time capacity, and you must be able to show an employment relationship or contract.
If you have not previously applied for Permanent Resident status, then applying for your first Permanent Resident Card will involve establishing your eligibility to immigrate to Canada based on grounds such as business or family sponsorship. The application requirements and process will depend upon the basis for your application.
If you were previously granted Permanent Resident status, but were never issued a Permanent Resident Card, then the application process may also vary, depending on the circumstances of your case.
If you became a Permanent Resident before June 28, 2002, then a Permanent Resident Card was not issued to you as part of your Immigration process, and you can apply for your first Permanent Resident Card by submitting Form 5444-E with supporting documents and $50 application fee to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
If you became a Permanent Resident after June 28, 2002 and you failed to pick up your Permanent Resident Card at your local CIC office, then you may apply for a new Permanent Resident Card by submitting Form 5444-E with supporting documents and $50 application fee to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
If you became a Permanent Resident after June 28, 2002 and you never received a letter from CIC informing you to pick up your card, despite the fact that the address you provided on your application was correct, then you can call the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 to obtain a new card.