24-11-A — Pathways from Temporary to Permanent Residence

WHEREAS the Canadian selection system for economic immigrants favours a two-step approach, requiring most individuals first to obtain temporary status as workers or students before qualifying for permanent residence;

WHEREAS the yearly target for new permanent residents is far less than the number of individuals entering Canada with temporary status, a significant portion of whom are unaware that they will be unable ever to qualify for permanent residence;

WHEREAS temporary residence programs for workers and students can create opportunities for abuse of foreign nationals, a disproportionate portion of whom are racialized and vulnerable individuals;

WHEREAS the Minister of Immigration recently admitted that some of Canada’s temporary foreign worker streams can create “perverse incentives” and, as suggested by the UN Special Rapporteur, certain categories of migrant workers are made vulnerable to abuse by policies that regulate their immigration status, employment and housing in Canada, which creates a dependency relationship between the employer and the foreign worker;

WHEREAS policies that financially incentivize education officials to increase foreign student admissions, lack of effective oversight of recruitment agents and Designated Learning Institutions, and lack of transparency as to the true likelihood of obtaining permanent residence create conditions for the proliferation of abuse and scams;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Canadian Bar Association:

  • urge the Minister of Immigration to conduct a complete review of programs leading to permanent residence, to increase transparency about the lack of pathways to permanent residence and protect program integrity;
  • urge federal, provincial and territorial governments to collaborate on a complete review and revamp of the international student and foreign worker programs to disincentivize exploitation, reduce opportunities for abuse, provide effective oversight of agents, recruiters and employers, and penalize bad actors;
  • urge IRCC to rationalize the number of temporary residents to better synchronize with permanent residence targets.

Moved by Immigration Law Section

Download the Resolution