Parent-Grandparent Sponsorship 2024

Over the course of two (2) weeks, starting on May 21, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) will invite 35,700 potential sponsors to apply to sponsor their parents or grandparents. However, only those who submitted an interest to sponsor form in 2020 are eligible to be invited. The intake for new expressions of interest to sponsor is still closed.

Those who wish to sponsor their parents or grandparents for permanent residence in Canada but did not previously submit an interest to sponsor form in 2020 remain unable to do so, and IRCC has not given any timeline as to when they will open interests to sponsor in the future.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents who wish to reunite with their parents or grandparents can still apply for Super Visas. While a Super Visa does not allow one to remain in Canada permanently and does not confer the rights and privileges of Canadian permanent resident status, it does allow for a stay in Canada of up to five (5) years on each entry. Super Visas are also valid for up to ten (10) years. For those who did not submit an interest to sponsor form in 2020 or who are not invited to apply in the upcoming 2024 draw, a Super Visa may be the most viable option.

If you are interested in reuniting with your parents or grandparents in Canada or would like further information on the requirements of any of these programs, reach out to one of our professionals today for a consultation. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416-368-1111) or via email:;;;;;

Stop Work Order for International Students

End of Policy Allowing Work Over 20 Hours Per Week

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government implemented a public policy allowing full-time international students to work off-campus for over 20 hours a week during regular academic sessions. This policy was intended to alleviate labour shortages and facilitate the staffing of many low-wage, low-skilled jobs during the pandemic without corresponding increases in wages. Most of these jobs were considered essential as per Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada’s Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Outbreak, and at the time, the government was seeking ways to keep these positions occupied.

As Canada and the rest of the world were recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian economy continued to face significant labour shortages. To address Canada’s labour market needs temporarily, the Government implemented a public policy in 2022 to allow all eligible study permit holders, to work more than 20 hours per week during academic sessions. The increase in the number of hours students could work also allowed students to offset rising costs of living. This policy was due to expire on December 31, 2023, but the expiry date was extended until April 30, 2024.

Public sentiment has changed against international students, who are now perceived by some as having contributed to the housing shortage. The government has also indicated that the economy has recovered from the pandemic and labour shortages are not acute.  Consequently, the government is now reverting to some of the pre-pandemic requirements for study permit holders as it considers the primary purpose of the International Student Program to be for students to study in Canada. Considering this, the government has rolled back multiple measures for international students, one of them being that it will not extend the public policy allowing international students to work over 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions.

  • As of May 1st, 2024, full-time international students will only be allowed to work 20 hours per week off-campus during regular academic sessions.
  • There is no limit to the number of hours an international student can work off-campus during a regularly scheduled break, such as the summer break.
  • Part-time international students cannot work off-campus unless they were studying full-time during all previous semesters but are now studying part-time in their final semester.
  • On-campus work is not affected, and international students can work an unlimited number of hours on the campus of their institution.

24 Hours Per Week in Fall 2024

The government also announced that in fall 2024, full-time international students will be able to work up to 24 hours per week off-campus. The government has settled on this number to strike a balance between allowing students to pay for their studies and living expenses, and to focus on their studies as the purpose of their stay in Canada.

Is this a Good Thing of a Bad Thing?

The policy to allow students to work beyond 20 hours per week was viewed by some as potentially detrimental to international students that might have struggled to keep up their full-time studies and full-time work at the same time. In some instances, international students may have jeopardized their ability to secure a post graduation work permit (“PGWP”) if they were forced to drop courses and were unable to maintain full-time studies. Although this change may not be welcomed by students and businesses that have relied on students working full time while attending school full time, in the end it may be in the students’ best interest to focus on their studies and ensure they are able to be qualify for a PGWP.

In the past this policy has primarily relied on voluntary compliance. There is a risk that some employers and students dependent on the extra hours of work, will chose not to abide by the new policy. This could have consequences for both, since it is an offence to employ someone unauthorized to work in Canada or to work without authorization. There are also potential immigration consequences to students that do not follow the conditions of their study permits. It remains to be seen whether the government intends to or will need to take extra measures to ensure the policy is followed.

If you or any of your employees will be affected or have questions about these announced changes, reach out to one of our professionals today for a consultation. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416-368-1111) or via email:;;;;;

Temporary Foreign Worker Program Updates – End of Workforce Solutions Road Map Special Measures and Recognized Employer Pilot

End of Workforce Solutions Road Map Special Measures

As part of the government’s continuing efforts to limit the number of temporary residents coming to Canada due to increased pressures from the housing and cost-of-living crises, as of May 1, 2024, the following changes will occur:

  • Labour Market Impact Assessments (“LMIAs”) will only be valid for six months; reduced from 12 months. This means that a work permit application will need to be filed or presented at a port of entry within six months of receiving a positive LMIA.
  • Employers previously identified in the 2022 Workforce Solutions Road Map will no longer to be able to have 30% of their total workforce come in through the low wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”). All employers will only be able to have 20% of their workers come in from low wage stream LMIAs. An exception is made for employers in the construction and health care sectors.
  • In addition to regular LMIA job advertising and recruitment requirements, employers will need to recruit asylum seekers in Canada with valid open work permits before they can apply for an LMIA.

These measures are in addition to the requirement for employers to review the wages of foreign workers on LMIA-based work permits on an annual basis to ensure that they continue to reflect the prevailing wage in the region of employment. Prevailing wages are updated annually, and usually increase at the time of the update.

Recognized Employer Pilot

The Recognized Employer Pilot (“REP”) is a three-year pilot project designed to help meet the demand for certain in-demand occupations from employers with a history of compliance with the TFWP, high standards for working conditions and worker protection based on the employer’s history with the TFWP. The employer must have received three positive LMIA decisions in the last five years, or one positive LMIA decision in 2022 or 2023 and two other positive LMIA decisions as far back as 2016. REP eligibility is assessed when an LMIA is submitted. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (“SAWP”) LMIAs cannot be considered for the REP. Importantly, Service Canada will stop accrediting employers to the REP in September 2024, and the REP is scheduled to end in fall 2026.

The REP’s in-demand occupations list includes engineering managers, agricultural labourers, machine fitters, welders, seafood plant workers, loggers, metal fabrication labourers, psychologists, dental assistants, practical nurses, paramedics, medical laboratory technologists, veterinary technicians, physiotherapists, architects, land surveyors, chefs and cooks, butchers, food and beverage servers, carpenters, and welders. The full list can be viewed here:

Employers who are part of the REP will receive LMIAs that are valid for up to 36 months, compared to the six month validity of regular LMIAs.  Should an employer be approved for the REP, they will have access to a simplified LMIA application.

If you or your employee will be affected by any of the announced changes, or you are interested in the REP, reach out to one of our professionals today for a consultation. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416-368-1111) or via email:;;;;;

March Immigration Madness – Multiple Immigration Developments

Update to Public-Private College Partnerships for Students

The government previously announced that it would cancel the eligibility for post-graduation work permits (“PGWPs”) for students attending programs at private colleges that are subject to public-private curriculum licensing agreements. As part of the its ongoing efforts to limit the number of international students amidst increasing public opposition to more newcomers as a result of the housing and cost-of-living crises, it has now announced an update. Those who start their program at a private college that is part of a public-private curriculum arrangement after May 15, 2024, will not be eligible for a PGWP. The date has been moved forward from the previously announced date of September 1, 2024.

Temporary Resident Cap

Due to increased pressures from the housing and cost-of-living crises, the government is looking for ways to reduce the number of newcomers to Canada. In addition to students, it is now targeting the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”), and in particular, low-wage workers. As of May 1, 2024, the percentage of low-wage foreign workers who can make up a company’s workforce will be 20%; reduced from 30%. The healthcare and construction sectors will be exempt, and they will still be allowed to have foreign workers make up to 30% of their employees. Additionally, the validity of Labour Market Impact Assessments (“LMIAs”) will be 6 months; reduced from 12 months. Employers will also need to consider asylum seekers with valid open work permits before they can consider temporary foreign workers.

Iran – Measures for Temporary Residence

The government has announced the extension of the public policy to February 28, 2025, which exempts Iranian temporary residents (workers, students, visitors) from having to pay application and biometrics fees. Fees are also waived for Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Iran when applying for limited validity Canadian passports, citizenship certificates, and permanent resident travel documents.

Ukraine – Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (“CUAET”)

March 31, 2024, will be the last day that Ukrainians and their family members can enter Canada under the CUAET public policy. This public policy allows for the issuance of open work permits, study permits, or visitor status for up to 3 years to all Ukrainian citizens and their family members. Those in Canada have until March 31, 2024 to extend their status under the CUAET for up to 3 years, and settlement services will be available to them until March 31, 2025. After March 31, 2024, they will need to qualify and apply for temporary resident status under an existing category, and/or transition to permanent residence.

New Immigration Pilots to Support Rural and Francophone Communities

In fall 2024, the government is set to implement the Rural Community Immigration Pilot to bolster local businesses in rural communities and address labour shortages. It will provide a path to permanent residence. Details are yet to be finalized, but it is likely to be based on the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. Eventually, the government wishes to establish the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot as a permanent program.

Also in fall 2024, the Francophone Immigration Policy is set to be implemented. The government intends to increase the number of French-speaking newcomers to Francophone minority communities outside of Québec, and to restore the demographic weight of Francophones in Canada. The Francophone Immigration Policy will also provide a path to permanent residence and is yet to be finalized but will likely be based on the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.

Alberta Provincial Nominee Program – Tourism and Hospitality Stream

Alberta’s tourism industry is booming and the province is implementing a new stream to provide a path to permanent residence for workers in its tourism and hospitality industry, including many occupations that are considered “low-skilled” and were not previously eligible for permanent residence. Applicants will need a valid job offer from an employer in the industry with whom they have worked for at least 6 months. Eligible occupations within the tourism and hospitality sector include recreation, sport, and fitness instructions; restaurant managers; food service supervisors; chefs; cooks; food counter attendants and kitchen helpers; bartenders; food and beverage servers; maîtres d’hôtel and hosts/hostesses; accommodation service managers; hotel clerks; tour and travel guides; support occupations in accommodation, travel, and facilities set-up; light duty cleaners; specialized cleaners; janitors, caretakers, and heavy-duty cleaners; dry cleaning and laundry occupations; and outdoor sports and recreation guides.

If you or your employee are interested in one of the new programs, or will be affected by any of the announced changes, reach out to one of our professionals today for a consultation. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416-368-1111) or via email:;;;;;

The Pandemic Is Officially Over, or Is It?

Today, the Minister of Immigration Refugee Protection Canada (IRCC) announced that the federal government will aim to shrink the number of temporary residents in Canada over the next three years.  Temporary residents make up 6.2 percent of Canada’s population in 2023 and the government will seek to reduce that share to 5 percent by 2027.  IRCC has already announced changes to the foreign student program and now they are targeting the temporary workers.

Starting this fall, the Minister will for the first time include temporary residents in its annual immigration levels plan.  The premise is that the labour market has tightened since the pandemic ended and the Minister announced that Canadians and Permanent Residents are eager to return to work.  There was no mention of an aging work force or persons retiring earlier than in the past.  There was also no mention of temporary workers that do not relocate to Canada but cross the border to work on a regular basis, and whether these workers will be included in this reduction.  Further, it is unclear how future global events and humanitarian situations will factor into the levels plan for foreign workers.  In recent years special programs have been offered to facilitate persons fleeing these global situations to come to Canada.  Today’s announcement did not explain whether the new target will take into consideration existing and future humanitarian programs.

Other announcements included those that are targeting the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”) as of May 1, 2024:

  • Reduction of the percentage of foreign workers making up a company’s workforce from 30% to 20%, but health care and construction sectors will be exempted.
  • The LMIA will only be valid for 6 months, not the current 12 months.
  • Employers will have to consider asylum seekers with valid work permits for open positions before they can consider temporary foreign workers.

One must wonder if this announcement was necessary, and isn’t just political to address the growing public anti-immigration sentiments across Canada.  The significant reduction in foreign students announced earlier may be sufficient to meet this reduction in temporary residents. The Minister claims businesses have become addicted to temporary foreign workers and this arrangement seems to target them.  Unfortunately, the announcement did not include any relief for many Post Graduate Work Permit holders that have spent significant resources on a Canadian education and gained Canadian work experience and are running out of time to transition to permanent residence status.

The pandemic may be over, but the hangover from the pandemic persists and at CILF we witness every day real challenges companies are facing in hiring and maintaining skilled workers in many sectors, not just health and construction.

If you have any questions regarding these announcements, reach out to one of our professionals today for a consultation. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;

Restrictions on Work Permits for Spouses of Students

Recently, the federal government announced significant new limits to the international student program to reduce the intake of international students in Canada amidst increasing pressure during the housing and cost of living crises.

As part of further restrictions, beginning today, March 19th, 2024, the government is restricting the availability of open work permits to spouses of students in one of the following degree programs:

  • master’s or doctoral degree program in a university or polytechnic institution, or
  • one of the following professional degree programs at a university:
    • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS, DMD)
    • Bachelor of Law or Juris Doctor (LLB, JD, BCL)
    • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
    • Doctor of Optometry (OD)
    • Pharmacy (PharmD, BS, BSc, BPharm)
    • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN, BSN, BNSc)
    • Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.)
    • Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng., BE, BASc)

Previously, spouses of all full-time students at designated learning institutions who were eligible for post-graduation work permits, including college diploma and undergraduate degree students, could apply for open work permits. Spouses who had their open work permits issued under the previous policy will still be eligible to extend their work permits. However, spouses of new international students coming to Canada will only be eligible for an open work permit if the international student is studying for one of the above-listed degrees.

If you or your employee will be affected by this change, reach out to one of our professionals today for a consultation. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;

¡Atención queridos Mexicanos! Visa Requirement Re-Instated for Mexican Citizens

As of 11:30 p.m. on February 29, 2024, citizens of Mexico will be required to possess a temporary resident visa (TRV) to enter Canada with a few limited exemptions. The government is applying this requirement in response to the high number of asylum claims received from citizens of Mexico. Previously in 2016, the government had lifted the TRV requirement for citizens of Mexico but is now re-instating it.

A TRV is a document affixed to a traveller’s passport which allows them to enter Canada. They are separate from status documents such as work permits, study permits, and visitor records which denote one’s immigration status in Canada. Countries that do not require visas are typically those that are wealthy, have good diplomatic relations with Canada, and whose citizens the Canadian government feels are unlikely to make asylum claims if they travel to Canada.

One limited exemption to the requirement for TRVs for citizens of Mexico requires that the traveller previously held a Canadian TRV in the past 10 years or currently holds a United States non-immigrant visa, and they will be flying into Canada. If they meet the exemption, they can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead. The eTA is typically a quick online application that is approved within minutes, compared to a TRV which can take months to process and requires that the passport be sent to a Canadian visa office. However, given that TRVs have not been required for citizens of Mexico since 2016, this exemption will be very limited indeed.

Another limited exemption is for Mexican citizens who already have a work or study permit. If these individuals already have an eTA (highly likely as most will have flown to Canada), they can continue to use their eTAs for as long as they are valid. Upon the expiry of their eTAs however, they will need to apply for a TRV or, if they meet the exemption listed above regarding holding a TRV in the past 10 years or a U.S. non-immigrant visa, a new eTA.

Those who are in Canada as visitors will have their eTAs cancelled. If they wish to enter Canada again, they will need to apply for a TRV or an eTA if they meet the exemption regarding holding a TRV in the past 10 years or a U.S. non-immigrant visa.

For Mexican citizens or employers with Mexican employees, the re-instatement of the visa requirement will likely affect them. If you have questions related to this requirement and how it will affect you or your employees, our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;

Offering a Job to a Refugee or Displaced Person Living Overseas? Consider the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot

The government has now implemented its Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot which provides a path to permanent residence for refugees and displaced persons living overseas, who have not been integrated permanently into their host country, and who have a job offer from a Canadian employer. While there is a very limited intake for those without job offers (only 150 applications accepted each year) and those who are eligible for the Provincial Nominee Program, Atlantic Immigration Program, or Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (only 500 total), there is no cap for those who have a job offer.

Importantly, this program lowers the usual language requirements for Economic Class applicants and allows those with high-basic to low-intermediate English or French skills to apply. It also allows for jobs offers for positions that only require the completion of high school. The pilot requires that the applicant have one year of previous work experience. This presents employers with opportunities to hire refugees or displaced persons in order to fill various labour shortages. Further, application fees are waived, medical examination costs are covered by the Interim Federal Health Program available to refugees, access to the Immigration Loans Program is provided to help with the right of permanent residence fee and travel costs, and settlement assistance is also provided. The government has said it will try to process these applications in 6 months or less.

Given this, employers who are looking to fill labour shortages may want to consider the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot. In addition to benefitting their business, they would be providing a humanitarian service to a refugee or displaced person in need and their family. If this is something you’re interested in, reach out to one of our professionals today for a permanent residence consultation. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;

Parlez-vous français ? Canada Wants You!

Canada has two official languages of equal status: French and English. In its commitment to maintaining and increasing the use of the French language, and to ensure that French language communities prosper throughout Canada, the federal government has modified and created immigration pathways for French speakers to settle outside the province of Québec, where most Francophones in Canada reside. While many French-speaking immigrants may wish to settle in Québec, it is worth considering other provinces and territories as well, since French speakers wishing to immigrate have a great advantage over non-French-speakers.

The government has been increasing its target for French-speaking immigrants. The target of 4.4% French speakers outside of Quebec in 2023 was surpassed, and for 2024 this target will be 6%, 7% in 2025, and 8% in 2026.

In the points-based Express Entry immigration system, people who are bilingual in French and English are awarded more points. Further, those with strong French skills but basic English skills get more points than those with strong English skills but basic French skills. If you are fluent in both, you have a big advantage.

Since 2023, the federal government has also performed targeted Express Entry draws just for Francophones. Francophones are very much in demand, as the government has performed these draws more than any other draw for in-demand occupations, such as skilled trades, healthcare, STEM, transportation, and agriculture.

Outside of Québec, almost all permanent residence programs by the provincial and territorial governments also favour Francophones. Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have targeted programs just for French speakers while the other provinces and territories award extra points for French speakers.

Additionally, for foreigners wishing to work or those wishing to hire workers, the Mobilité Francophone work permit is now easier to obtain than before. The language score requirement has been loosened so that those with an intermediate level of French may be eligible. A job offer is required, but now any job at any skill level outside of agriculture is eligible. Previously, only high-skilled jobs were eligible. With a Mobilité Francophone work permit, a person’s Canadian work experience can count for points towards their permanent residence, offering another pathway towards immigrating permanently to Canada.

If you would like to know more about the French immigration programs or would like to assess your or an employee’s eligibility, reach out to one of our Canadian immigration legal professionals today. We can be reached by phone (416-368-1111) or via email:;;;;;

Significant New Limits to the International Student Program

With increased pressure from the public amidst the cost of living and housing crises, the federal government has announced significant new limits to the international student program for at least 2 years.

Cap on International Students

In 2024, the number of study permits issued will be limited to 360,000. The cap will be distributed across the provinces and territories based on their populations. Since most international students opt for Ontario and British Columbia, these provinces are due to see the greatest decreases in new international students compared to previous years.

Students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees will not be affected by the cap. Neither will students renewing their study permits, or elementary and secondary school students.

As of January 22, 2024, study permit applications must be accompanied by an attestation letter from the government of the province or territory they will study in. However, the federal government has provided until March 31, 2024, for provincial and territorial governments to establish processes for issuing attestation letters. Without such a process, students may not be able to submit their applications until that time.

Post-Graduation Work Permit Eligibility

Further, the eligibility criteria for Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) is being changed. PGWPs offer a path to permanent residence for many graduates by allowing them to gain Canadian work experience, so they are much coveted by many graduates.

Starting September 1, 2024, students who graduate from a program under a Public College-Private Partnership will not be eligible for PGWPs. Agreements under Public College-Private Partnerships allow students to attend a private college that is licensed to deliver the curriculum of a publicly funded college.

Master’s degree graduates and graduates of other, short graduate-level programs will soon be eligible to apply for a 3-year PGWP. Currently, PGWPs are issued for the length of the program of study. With this change, graduate-level students will be eligible for a 3-year PGWP, even if their program length was less than 3 years.

Open Work Permits for Spouses of International Students

Soon, open work permits will only be available to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs. Spouses of those in undergraduate or college programs will no longer be eligible. Spousal open work permits allow the holder to work for any employer in Canada.

Other Recent Measures

This announcement is made in addition to other measures that the government is taking that will reduce the number of international students. These include an increase to the funds requirement for international students from $10,000 to $20,635, which took effect on January 1, 2024; a “trusted learning institution” system, details of which are yet to be announced; and a requirement for the verification of every letter of acceptance by the post-secondary institution that began on December 1, 2023.

As a way to offset its increase of the funds requirement to $20,635, the government has also announced that it will implement targeted pilots to help members of underrepresented groups study in Canada, but has yet to announce details.

Employers that have relied on foreign students to grow their work force in the past, may want to look at measures to retain existing temporary talent working for them by assisting these temporary workers with an application for permanent residence. Given the focus on international students, employers should also review their foreign student population employees to ensure compliance while they are working on a study permit. Reach out to one of our professionals today for a permanent residence consultation and/or consultation related to compliance. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;