January 2019 Newsletter

Canada: Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program – Cap of 27,000 Met in less than 10 Minutes Worldwide!

We had been closely awaiting Canada’s release of the Interest to Sponsor Form which was to allow Canadians to sponsor their parents and grandparents from abroad. This famous program has been gaining in popularity across the world in light of the backlogs of parental sponsorship lines in the USA. To give our readers a better sense, in the United States there is no specific stream to sponsor a parent/grandparent. Instead, they are grouped together with other relatives in the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative form and are not treated as the highest priority.

On January 28th, the long anticipated “interest to sponsor form” was released electronically by IRCC. The race was “on” as lawyers and applicants around the globe sat at their computers to upload their information onto the form and hope to have a chance to put their parents in line for Canadian sponsorship. We knew this would be a tight race, but no one expected what actually happened.

The form, to be released only once a year, was finally made public by IRCC around 12 pm on Monday, January 28th. Applicants raced to download the data onto the form, thinking that within a few hours, the cap of 27,000 applications would surely be met.

To everyone’s surprise, the program suddenly shut down within 9 minutes of the form’s release. IRCC announced that the cap had been met.

Those that were issued an invitation to apply must submit a complete parent/grandparent application within 60 days. While this is not a common occurrence, last year, the government of Canada issued another couple thousand invitations to apply.

Let’s be clear: 27,000 applications filed across the world in under 9 minutes? Is this really possible?

More than 100,000 individuals attempted to access the form when it went live. Canadian immigration lawyers and interested sponsors alike have been left totally disappointed with the system.

The IRCC twitter account received thousands of complaints within hours of the form closing, as to the unfairness of the system, while major Canadian news outlets covered the story. Some interested sponsors stated the form was not available for them immediately and by the time they were able to access the form the IRCC had already reached their cap.

CKR’s Canadian law Group takes the position that the government of Canada cannot leave this situation unaddressed. We predict that in under 9 minutes, many forms were filled out incorrectly. IRCC stated on its website that it may open the interest to sponsor form again in 2019 if more sponsors are required, and we anticipate that this will be the case.

CKR is continuing to monitor the situation, in line with its commitment to help Canadians bring their parents or grandparents to Canada where possible.

Canada named #1 Country for Quality of Life 4th year in a row

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, shared a DailyHive article that mirrored headlines making international news: Canada was named #1 country for quality of life. The results were based on a  U.S. News and World Report’s 2019 Best Countries Report, produced with the BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Canada ranked 3rd overall in the “Best Countries” report, after Switzerland (1) and Japan (2), and ranked highest for quality of life for the fourth year in a row. Attributes were grouped together in categories and judged, the groups included adventure, citizenship, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, movers, power, quality of life and open for business.

Canada scored high in “political stability” and its “well developed public education system”, where it was given a score of ten (the highest possible score), it scored a 9.6 for its public healthcare system.

Last year, the Canadian Government created the Student Direct Stream to expedite international student applications from four countries (India, Vietnam, Philippines, China). Canada also adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM). Its 2019-2021 multiyear immigration plan will progressively grow immigration levels to near almost one percent of the Canadian population by 2021 with a focus on high-skilled economic immigration.

Culturally alone, Canada’s landscape reflects a true melting pot of societies. We consistently hear from our relocated foreign clients that they feel so welcome in Canada. They are able to integrate into daily life much more easily than they had expected. For instance, the province of Ontario counts growing numbers of the following citizens: China, India, Syria and Brazil. Contact vmalka@ckrlaw.com to learn more about your immigration options and what Canada has to offer for you!

CKR Law Canada: Entrepreneur/Investor Series
Canadian Province of the Month: British Columbia

British Columbia (commonly known as “B.C.”) is Canada’s most Western province, bordering the Pacific Ocean. It lies just above the state of Washington in the US, and the drive from Seattle to Washington is a gorgeous 3-hour drive in the mountains.  The Peace Arch border crossing into BC from Washington State is also known as one of the stricter border crossings into Canada. Many cruise ships to Alaska dock in Vancouver, B.C. triggering the need for Canadian visas quite often, even if only for a few hours of transiting in Canada.

BC is world-renowned for its beautiful national parks, mountain ranges and never-ending coastline. Adventure seekers can ski or snowboard down Whistler Mountain, and also make in time to surf Canada’s best surf locale, Tofino, on Vancouver Island (Justin Trudeau approved!)

Vancouver is B.C.’s most metropolitan city with just over 650,000 people, while Victoria, on Vancouver Island, is known for its botanical gardens and historic buildings. Vancouver is a popular filming destination as it is nestled between mountains and beaches, colloquially called “Hollywood North”. Tourism is a thriving industry in B.C. and the city of Kelowna is a choice destination for wine tourism.

B.C. has a more temperate climate than Eastern Canada and it has become a choice destination for Canadian retirees. Vancouver remains B.C.’s business center while rental and property prices remain high due to foreign national buyers from Asia raising market values. Despite some complaints with regard to difficulty in finding affordable housing, residents of Vancouver enjoy a high standard of living.

Information technology (IT) workers from the U.S.A.’s Silicon Valley have been flocking to Vancouver and we are seeing a huge increase of IT companies looking to expand their operations north into BC. From an immigration perspective, US companies have been looking for ways to retain their foreign IT talent on North American shores by “benching” them in Canada to continue to work remotely. Microsoft led the initiative in this regard, expanding its operations from Seattle to Vancouver a few years back.

For information about the B.C. provincial entrepreneur program, please see the below chart for eligibility criteria:

*For full detailed program eligibility requirements please see: https://www.welcomebc.ca/getmedia/e86adbb5-e9ad-4181-b9a7-d604f4453a51/BC-PNP-Entrepreneur-Immigration-Program-Guide.pdf.aspx