“Silly Rules” of Immigration Law

Our beloved Minister McCallum is on yet another tour, meeting with employers and stakeholders in the Atlantic provinces to boost a pilot project: Atlantic Growth Strategy. During the presentation, our Minister indicated, “We are committed to streamlining things, to getting rid of silly rules […]” I supposed I am still shell-shocked from the rhetoric of our previous government but I cannot overstate the change in perspective from our current Minister compared to past Ministers.

Minister McCallum did not elaborate on which of our current immigration rules are the “silly” rules. Based on conversations with clients, I regularly hear, “and why do we have to do that?” Then I do my best to explain the history of the rules & procedures and the lengthy development of why the forms ask what they ask. Married to a historian, I try to be aware of the history behind the (many, many) amendments to rules and forms over the years.

Notwithstanding the historical reasons, here are some situations clients have found to be “silly”:

  • Americans (and British, etc) with college degrees (including Masters and PhDs) must take an English exam for a PR application.
  • Workers have 90 days of implied status to apply for a Work Permit extension but processing times are 110 – 130 days. If the application is refused for any reason (sometimes trivial), the application is sent back and the worker is up a creek.
  • Applicants must provide new Police Clearance Certificates (PCCs) from countries where they have not returned (this is getting better).
  • Letters requesting additional information can give the clients 90 days to reply and then refuse the application after 60 days (this is rare but it happens).
  • Renewing a PR Card takes longer than applying for a new one.

Those of some of the silly situations off the top of my head. Some days it can be difficult to explain the reasons behind the situation; other times I am reminded of the historical reasons for the rules and it all makes sense. If you think of more “silly rules”, leave them in the comments below.

Comments

  1. Workers have 90 days of implied status to apply for a Work Permit extension but processing times are 110 – 130 days. If the application is refused for any reason (sometimes trivial), the application is sent back and the worker is up a creek.

    This is false, 183(5) of Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provides:
    “Subject to subsection (5.1), if a temporary resident has applied for an extension of the period authorized for their stay and a decision is not made on the application by the end of the period authorized for their stay, the period is extended until
    (a) the day on which a decision is made, if the application is refused; or
    (b) the end of the new period authorized for their stay, if the application is allowed.”

    The 90 day period you speak of for “Restoration of Temporary Resident Status” is for people who do not apply prior to the expiration of their status (see 182 (1) of IRPR).

    Diligence on the part of the permit holder can avoid worrying about the 90 days period required for restoration.