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Immigration, Processing Times

Will federal budget cuts impact immigration to Canada?

Thursday’s federal budget announced a number of upcoming policy changes to the immigration system. In addition, the budget announced cuts of over $5 billion to various government programs.

Two government entities, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency, are the ones that deal with immigration to Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada typically deals with the selection of immigrants and screens them for entry while the Canada Border Services Agency guards Canada’s borders and enforces Canada’s immigration laws.

In the last 12 months, Canada has announced numerous initiatives and changes to immigration laws. Initiatives include crackdowns on citizenship fraud, marriage fraud, and war criminals. Legislative and regulatory changes include new regulations for the hiring of foreign workers and changes to family based immigration.

By 2014-2015, $84.3 million will be cut from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and $687 million will be cut from Public Safety, the department that runs the Canada Border Services Agency. The question is: what will give?

Will we have more delays in the selection of economic immigrants to Canada? Will less family class members come to Canada? Will there be longer waiting times for businesses looking for skilled workers? Will more criminals and immigration violators fall through the cracks?

When he last round of massive cuts came in the 1990s, waiting times for immigration soared. With some wait times now measured in years, stay tuned to see if things will get better or worse.

The articles prepared on this blog is for general information purposes only and is intended to provide comments for the blog viewers. The contents should not be viewed as legal advice or opinion.

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About Reis Pagtakhan

Reis Pagtakhan is an immigration law partner with MLT Aikins LLP. His extensive experience includes assisting businesses obtain temporary entry to Canada and permanent residency for their executives, employees and contractors from all over the world. Reis has lectured on and written papers on immigration law for the Law Society of Manitoba, the Manitoba Bar Association, the Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, and the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba. He has presented position papers before the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Immigration Department officials and Manitoba Labour and Immigration. He has written articles on immigration for the CBC, the Winnipeg Free Press, trade, industry and ethnic publications.

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