The New Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Filed in Articles by on July 25, 2013

The new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to come into effect June 28, 2002 aims to modernize the selection process for skilled workers.The changes are intended to facilitate the entry of skilled individuals who can readily adapt to the ever-changing Canadian labour market.The Government of Canada wants to select people who can demonstrate their
flexibility rather than their skill in one intended occupation.
The new point system has been improved to meet the dynamic nature of the Canadian labour market.


The new law is also “retroactive”, meaning it may affect applications for permanent residency filed before June 28, 2002, in circumstances where no interview or selection decision has been made.


The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada has yet to set a passing mark for the selection point system.  However, the department has published the new selection grid and factors.Selection for permanent residency will be based upon an assessment of an applicant’s age, education, relevant work experience, language abilities, validated employment offer and adaptability features.  The new selection system gives more weight to an applicant’s education, experience and proficiency in one of Canada’s official
languages, English or French.  Applicants can be awarded additional points if they can demonstrate previous full-time study or work in Canada, an informal job offer from a Canadian employer, establish they have a close family member in Canada.In addition, the new selection process recognises and rewards an applicant on the educational level of their spouse. 

 The major changes in the new Immigration Act are as follows:-

 Skilled Workers:

Transferable skills- The new legislation will modernise the selection
system for skilled workers, selecting skilled workers based on their flexible
skills rather than intended occupations. It will also emphasise experience in
any skilled occupation rather than designating particular occupations.

No Occupation List- There will be no Occupation List as mentioned above,
however, a restricted list may be introduced that will not allow people, who
have work experience only in a specific occupation on the restricted list.

Pass mark – There is no pass mark that been declared as of yet. Under the
new legislation, the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, Elinor Caplan,
will have the authority to determine the pass mark and is also authorised to
raise or lower the pass mark from time to time as seen necessary.

Specific occupation- In accordance with the new legislation, the
applicant has to designate which occupation he/she wants to be considered in and
they will only be assessed under that occupation. The Immigration Officer no
longer undertakes the responsibility of considering other suitable occupations
that the applicant might qualify under. The applicant either qualifies under the
proposed occupation or if refused, must reapply under a new occupation and pay
new processing fees. Therefore, it will be important to choose the right
occupation, in the new selection system.

Principal applicant- The applicant must clearly state which spouse will
be the  principal applicant. Under
the new legislation, the Immigration Officer will no longer be taking into
consideration both spouses and/or assessing the qualifications of both spouses.

Education- The legislation will highlight the importance of selecting
skilled technical workers and tradespersons with good human capital attributes
as well as university educated professionals. Therefore, placing a higher
emphasis on advanced education.

Adaptability – There are additional points to be earned under the factor
‘Adaptability’ which allots points for education of spouse, previous study in
Canada, one-year full-time work experience in Canada and informal job offers in

Informal job offers- The new
legislation will recognise the importance of informal job offers from Canadian
employers, including family and small businesses, as an element of adaptability
(however, an applicant who receives 10 points for a validated job offer will not
also receive points for an informal job offer).

Language- The points awarded to language proficiency have increased and
applicants who do not speak one of Canada’s official languages, English or
French fluently, will stand to lose considerable points thereby reducing their
total score.

To learn more about Canadian immigration, please visit the Canadian Legal Services site at Canadian Legal Services is a law firm specialized in Canadian Immigration headquartered in Dubai, UAE with offices in Canada (Toronto) and associate offices in Montreal and Vancouver as well as several other parts of the world.

© Sam Bayat. All
rights reserved.

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