In this interview, Pace immigration lawyer Andy Semotiuk answers questions on Canadian immigration news from the past week.
Temporary Foreign Workers
Q: Andy, the Liberal government has said that they may hold off on the restrictions put in place by the Conservative government on Canadian companies using foreign workers. Starting July 1, employers were supposed to cap their use of low-skilled foreign employees at 10% of their workforce. Now that may be delayed due to staffing shortages. What do you think?
AS: At least there is some reasonable flexibility in the way the new Liberal government is applying the rules. In this instance, the new government is willing to retreat from the four-year maximum time that foreign workers are allowed to be here on work permits because there is a need for these types of workers. It makes sense to give them a break for the benefit of Canada. They need the work and Canadian companies need their experienced help. Where’s the problem? Arbitrary criteria like “4 years” and “ten percent” do not always match realities on the ground. It’s nice to see a reasonable accommodation is being made.
29-Year-Old Man Attends High School
Q: It was revealed that a Windsor high school student is actually a 29-year-old man from Sudan who is here illegally. How did this happen?
AS: A problem with immigration today is that it’s a lot of paperwork and not a lot of face time. Clearly this situation involved security risks for Canadian students. No matter how well-intentioned you are in terms of bettering yourself, you shouldn’t be able to lie to get into the country and hang around with children as young as 14. The case illustrates how careful Canadian immigration officials need to be and why interviews are a significant way of minimizing immigration problems. Any Canadian visa official worth their salt would have found this man’s story suspicious from the moment he sat down across the desk. Unfortunately, such interviews are largely a thing of the past.
Compassionate Grounds For Entry
Q: You recently wrote a post about a former permanent resident and convicted criminal who was seeking to come to Canada for cancer treatment. The route taken was by spousal sponsorship. His visa was approved. What’s your take?
AS: While the decision to allow the applicant into Canada was a compassionate one, I would not have made the same decision. My previous blog explained why. Now the challenge is that the decision to grant him entry will unrealistically inflate the hopes of others. They will expect to be granted permission to come to Canada on humanitarian grounds. Meanwhile, they will pose the challenge of burdening Canada’s health care system at a time when Canadians themselves struggle to get immediate and effective health care. To make the extreme case, every person who is ill in the world and who has any relative in Canada could see this decision as a green light for applying to come to Canada for medical treatment on a humanitarian basis. While no Canadian should want to see anyone suffer, it should be obvious that we cannot possibly treat every patient who applies. This case sets a dangerous precedent.