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COVID-19 Updates for International Students

In the past few years, the number of international students has ballooned at a rapid pace such that they now comprise a significant portion of the temporary resident population in Canada.  In the latest report of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Marco Mendicino to Parliament, he stated that as of December 31, 2018, there were more than 721,000 international study permit holders in Canada, or more than double the number of permanent residents (321,035) admitted that year.
Easing Work Restrictions
At this time of COVID-19 pandemic therefore, it comes as no surprise that international students are among those hardest hit by the ongoing lockdowns and their economic consequences. Since international student fees are often double or triple the domestic tuition fee rates, one can only imagine the enormous investment that these international students have made to finance their studies and living expenses in Canada.
Hence, it is a great help that study permit h…
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COVID-19, Temporary Residents and Removals

Filipiniana News-March 2020
About a month ago, the coronavirus fears focused on the Chinese based on the fact that the first reported cases originated from Wuhan, China.  Now, the disease referred to as COVID-19 has been labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization because it has affected almost every nation on the planet.
The very rapid acceleration of COVID-19 cases worldwide has made people realize that this is indeed an international problem and cannot be blamed on a single country or ethnicity.The ensuing lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed by various countries in efforts to prevent further spread of the virus will no doubt have a significant impact on immigration rules, in the near or distant future.
For those who might be trapped in Canada amidst the growing travel restrictions by other countries, it might help to revisit the Canadian immigration rules with respect to temporary residents.
Legal temporary residents of Canada are those who have valid status as student…

Coronavirus, Discrimination and IRCC Special Measures

Filipiniana News –February 2020 by Maria Deanna P. Santos
In the past few weeks, we have been inundated by news and other articles related to the coronavirus disease which started in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China and which has infected more than 45,000 and killed more than 1,000 people to date.In Canada, there were only a handful of persons who were confirmed to have contracted the disease (4 in BC and 3 in Ontario).Thankfully, all confirmed cases in Canada are on their way to recovery and there are no signs that the disease is spreading as rapidly as it is in Hubei province and surrounding areas in China.
Nonetheless, the relatively low number of affected cases in Canada had not prevented the spread of misleading information and/or discriminatory treatment of people who are from China or who are at least perceived to be Chinese.In fact, many Filipinos with perceived ‘Chinese physical features’ have also reportedly been the subject of discriminatory practices arising from the coronaviru…

Parental Sponsorship on Hold; 'Amnesty' for Construction Workers

Filipiniana News –January 2020 by Maria Deanna P. Santos
For the start of 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released the following updates on a couple of its immigration programs which had been much awaited by many and which could potentially have a significant impact on the lives of migrants in Canada.   
IRCC Postpones Reopening of Parent-Grandparent Sponsorship Program
Many prospective sponsors of parents and grandparents were very disappointed to learn that IRCC has put on hold the parent-grandparent sponsorship program for 2020 until the new ministerial instructions had been released. No specific date had been provided for their release.
In the past years, IRCC had been launching the online interest to sponsor forms at the start of each year to allow prospective sponsors to initiate the sponsorship application process.Due to various issues which arose from the previous attempts to revise the parental sponsorship application process, IRCC is once again reviewi…

Year-end IRCC Updates

Filipiniana News-December 2019
New IRCC Minister
As of November 2019, Marco Mendicino, member of parliament for Eglinton-Lawrence since 2015, is the new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).This was announced shortly after the Liberal party won a minority government at the last federal elections, when the Prime Minister reshuffled the members of his cabinet.Former IRCC Minister Ahmed Hussen is now Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
The official biography of IRCC Minister Mendicino in the Government of Canada website reads as follows:
“Minister Mendicino is a proud resident of Toronto and a passionate advocate for his community. During his first term, he championed local investments in public transit and in affordable housing and supported youth-driven programs aimed at creating more employment opportunities and safe spaces. Before entering politics, Minister Mendicino served as a federal prosecutor for nearly 10 years, helping to fight again…

The Misrepresentation Trap

Filipiniana News –November 2019 by Maria Deanna P. Santos
Some people are surprised to learn that even a seemingly 'innocent' act of misrepresentation in the immigration context can lead to a five-year bar from reapplying to enter or remain in Canada. 
In Canadian immigration law, misrepresentation is defined as “directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter that induces or could induce an error in the administration of the Act.”The "Act", for those who may not be aware, refers to the main source of Canada's immigration law and policy, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
The words, “directly or indirectly,” in the above definition imply that misrepresentation may be committed by the applicant, permanent resident or by other people.Direct misrepresentation is quite self-explanatory in that it commonly refers to a deliberate act of lying in one's immigration application.There may also be room for…

Implications of the Pilot Project on R117(9)d

Filipiniana News –October 2019 by Maria Deanna P. Santos
Regardless of the outcome of the Federal elections, we will most likely see further changes to Canada’s immigration policies in the months and years ahead. Among others, we hope that these changes will include further reforms that will facilitate family reunification and remove unjust laws such as section 117(9)d of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
For those who do not already know what section 117(9)d of the IRPA Regulations is all about, this law provides that if a person failed to declare an immediate family member or qualified dependent in their own permanent residence application, the undeclared family member can never be sponsored for permanent residence under the family class by the non-declarant.
Many prospective sponsors have been shocked to learn of the harsh impact of section 117(9)d, especially if the non-disclosure was inadvertent or was based on erroneous advice.Since this provision had resulted in…