2000 – Right of Landing Fee (now Right of PR fee) is eliminated for refugees.
2001 –250,000 immigrants came to Canada: – 66,000 family class -140,000 skilled workers, 15,000 entrepreneurs, investors, or self-employed and 27,094 refugees.
June 2002 – The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) comes into effect. The Act employs “framework” legislation and leaves details to the Regulations. Many substantive changes from prior Immigration Act, including s.97 which expands definition for protected persons. The Act recognises same sex and common law sponsorships and introduces the Permanent Resident Card.
December 2003 – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is created and amalgamates Canada Customs with border enforcement from CIC and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The agency was created in response to the security concerns raised by the September 11 terrorist attacks.
December 2003 –The Permanent Resident Card introduced in IRPA is now required for permanent residents leaving and re-entering Canada. It is designed to increase border security.
2004 – Changes are introduced for the selection of process for making new appointments to the IRB.
2006 – Right of landing fee (now right of Permanent Residence fee) is reduced from 975 to $490.00
2006 –20 percent of Canada’s population is born outside of Canada. China and Hong Kong, India, and the Philippines are the top three sources for Canadian immigrants.
May 2007 – Canada launches first phase of the Foreign Credential Referral Office which assists potential immigrants assess what steps must be taken in order to have their credentials accepted in Canada.
May 2007 – amendments to IPRA provide authority to immigration officers to deny work permits to individuals, including exotic dancers, who could be subjected to humiliating and degrading treatment, including sexual exploitation, in Canada
December 2007 changes to the Citizenship Act allow children adopted abroad by Canadian citizens to obtain Canadian citizenship without first having to become permanent residents. Adopted children now able to acquire Canadian citizenship as soon as the adoption process is completed.
April 2008 -For the first time International students are able to obtain an open work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, with no restrictions on the type of employment and no requirement for a job offer. In addition, the duration of the work permit is extended to three years for those who studied 2 years or longer. The intention is to create opportunities for students to gain work experience they can use under the Canadian Experience Class.
June 2008 – Bill C-50 introduces measures to stop the skilled worker backlog from growing. Under the old law the government was required to make a final decision in every case. The obligation is now removed but applies to cases received after February 2008.
September 2008 —CIC introduces an on-line application system making it easier for foreign students to apply for off-campus work permits.
September 2008 – IRPA amended to create Canadian Experience Class (CEC) which allows certain students and temporary workers in Canada to apply for permanent residence from within Canada.
December 2008 – Professionals seeking to work temporarily in Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) can now receive work permits for up to three years. Previously, NAFTA workers were required to renew their work permit every 12 months.
July 2009 – Canada imposes visa requirement on Mexico and Czech Republic
July 2009 – Temporary Suspension Removals (TSR) are no longer exempted from the Third Safe Country Agreement.
October 2009 – 76 Sir Lankan migrants arrive off the coast of B.C. in rusty cargo ship.
October 2009 – regulatory amendments to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program including a more rigorous assessment of the genuineness of the job offer; limits to the length of a worker’s stay in Canada before returning home; and a two-year prohibition from hiring a temporary foreign worker for employers found to have provided significantly different wages, working conditions or occupations than promised.
December 2009 – Temporary residents seeking work permits or an extension of their visit in Canada can apply online.
March 2010 – proposal to improve asylum system with “balanced reform” by for example designating safe countries, implementation of the Refugee Appeal Division and radically decreasing processing time of refugee claims.
August 2010 – MV Sun Sea arrives off the coast of B.C. carrying nearly 500 emigrants from Sri Lanka, all of whom made refugee claims. All are detained and some are alleged to be smugglers and terrorists.
October 2010 – Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act, making easier to prosecute human smugglers; imposing mandatory prison sentences on convicted human smugglers; and holding ship owners and operators to account for use of their ships in human smuggling operations
November 2010 – Government introduces the Preventing Trafficking, Abuse and Exploitation of Vulnerable Immigrants Act, giving Immigration officers greater flexibility to deny work visas to vulnerable workers such as exotic dancers who are being brought into Canada and being exploited.
January 2011 – ‘Brain gain’ pilot project launched in Ontario, with the objective of attracting permanent residents and citizens working abroad back to Canada by allowing family members returning to work in Ontario in the health care and academic sectors have been able to get temporary work permits immediately upon arriving in Cana
July 2011 – Ten-year multiple-entry visa: Now that passports in some countries permit 10 year passports Canada will issue Visas for the same duration often used by parents whose sponsorships are in process.
July 2011 – Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act, came into force.
November 2011 – Starting November 2011, many international PhD students will be eligible to submit applications for processing as federal skilled workers. To be eligible, they must have completed at least two years of study toward the attainment of a PhD and remain in good academic standing at a provincially recognized post-secondary educational institution in Canada.
November 2011 – Government of Canada to cut backlog and wait times for family reunification –a) The Government of Canada will increase by over 60 percent the number of sponsored parents and grandparents Canada will admit next year, from nearly 15,500 in 2010 to 25,000 in 2012 – the highest level in nearly two decades. b) – The government is introducing the new “Parent and Grandparent Super Visa,” which will be valid for up to 10 years. The multiple-entry visa will allow an applicant to remain in Canada for up to 24 months at a time without the need for renewal of their status. The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa will come into effect on December 1, 2011, and CIC will be able to issue the visas, on average, within eight weeks of the application. This means that instead of waiting for eight years, a parent or a grandparent can come to Canada within eight weeks. Parent and Grandparent Super Visa applicants will be required to obtain private Canadian health-care insurance for their stay in Canada. c) – The government will redesign the parents and grandparents program to avoid future backlogs.d) – To prevent the build-up of an unmanageable number of new applications during these consultations and to further reduce the 165,000-strong backlog of parent and grandparent applicants, CIC is putting in place a temporary pause of up to 24 months on the acceptance of new sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents. The pause comes into effect on November 5, 2011.
December 2011 – Too many live-in caregivers have completed their work obligations but must continue living in the home of their employer, waiting for their application for permanent residence to be reviewed,” said the Minister. “This is understandably frustrating. That’s why we have started issuing open work permits to live-in caregivers as soon as they have completed their obligations and submitted an application for permanent residence.”
February 2012 – government introduces the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System ActThe proposed measures include further reforms to the asylum system to make it faster and fairer, measures to address human smuggling, and the authority to make it mandatory to provide biometric data with a temporary resident visa application.
March 2012 – Conditional permanent residence proposed to deter marriages of convenience
March 2012 – the Government of Canada will eliminate the backlog in the main federal economic immigration program. Government indicates the Federal Skilled Worker Program backlog is seen as a major problem by having to process applications that are as many as eight years out of date which reduces the ability to focus on new applicants with skills and talents that economy needs.
April 10, 2012 — To fill Canada’s growing labour shortages in construction, natural resources and similar industries, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced plans today to make it easier for skilled tradespersons to immigrate to Canada.
April 2012 – This “start-up” visa initiative is an example of the type of small-scale programs that would allow CIC to try innovative approaches to economic immigration. Under the proposed changes, the Government could create new, short-term programs under the Economic Immigration Class. These programs would be limited to no more than 2,750 applications per year and would end after five years. If a program proves successful during the five-year trial period and the Department wishes to maintain it, CIC would be required to formally introduce the new economic class in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
May 2012 – Amendments to the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act – includes applying the PRRA one year bar as soon as the Act gains Royal Assent.
June 2012 – Legislation to Protect Canada’s Immigration System Receives Royal Assent