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Changes to Canada's Immigration Act and Regulations

The following is a summary of the Regulations which were published in Part I of the Canada Gazette on December 15 2001. This document is not comprehensive, but will be updated on a regular basis as we read, and re-read the various subsections.

Skilled Worker Class
Applicants under this class must have at least one year of work experience in the past 10 years in any skilled occupation. The new selection system presently requires a pass mark of 80.

Officers' Discretion
Given the high passing mark of 80 in the Skilled Worker Points Grid, some applicants will have to rely upon the positive discretion of the Visa Officer in order to succeed. Positive discretion may be used when the Visa Officer believes that the total points awarded do not properly reflect the applicant's ability to establish in Canada from an economic perspective. In such circumstances, the Visa Officer may approve an application that scores less than 80 points. Conversely, a Visa Officer has the discretion to refuse an applicant with more than 80 points.

Where to Submit Visa Applications
After June 28, 2002, an application for a Permanent Resident Visa or a Temporary Resident Visa must be made at the visa office outside Canada that serve the applicant's place of habitual residence.

Financial Establishment
Skilled Worker applicants must have sufficient funds to support themselves during their period of initial establishment. The applicant's funds will be assessed against the most current annual "Low Income Cut-Off" published by Statistics Canada, established for the size of the applicant's accompanying family. At present, a single applicant will need to demonstrate funds of $17,866 CAD and a family of 3 must show $27,805 CAD.

Residency Requirements
A permanent resident must comply with a residency obligation with respect to every five-year period. The permanent resident complies with the residency obligation provisions if, for at least 730 days (2 years) in that 5 year period the permanent resident is physically present in Canada or is:

  • Outside Canada accompanying a Canadian citizen who is his or her spouse or common-law partner or a child accompanying a parent
  • Outside Canada employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business
  • Is an accompanying spouse, common-law partner or child of a permanent resident who is outside Canada and is employed as a full-time basis by a Canadian business


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