CBA Immigration Law Conference

Reunite: Canada's Immigration Law Conference 2023

June 1-3, 2023 | OTTAWA ON

Presented by the CBA Immigration Law Section

Canada’s premiere conference on immigration, refugee, and citizenship law is returning in person this spring!

Reunite: Canada's Immigration Law Conference 2023 is a must-attend event, featuring three days of key learning delivered by recognized lawyers, judges, and public employees at the front-line of immigration practice and policy.  With dynamic Asked and Answered Hot Topics Roundtables, in-depth reviews of key Federal Court cases, and panels on the latest developments in areas such as LMIAs, refugee law litigation and POE applications, this conference will provide a solid grounding in the current issues affecting immigration law and practice.

A welcome reception, Young Lawyers Social, and Gala dinner will present opportunities to network and reunite with friends and colleagues from across the country.

A welcome reception, Young Lawyers Social, and Gala dinner will present opportunities to network and reunite with friends and colleagues from across the country.

Lead Sponsor
National Bank


Agenda Subject to Change

Day 1: Thursday, June 1
TIME EVENT
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Pre-Registration

Westin Hotel, Ballroom Foyer

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Opening Reception

Ottawa Art Gallery, Alma Duncan Salon

Welcome and opening remarks with special guest speaker

7:30 pm

Young Lawyers Social

Joy on Sussex

Day 2: Friday, June 2
TIME EVENT
6:45 am – 7:15 am

Scenic Run/Walk - Ottawa Canal Loop

Starting location: The Westin Hotel Lobby.
Route is 5k or 30-minutes. All levels of experience welcome. No equipment required.
6:45 am – 7:15 am

Pilates/Yoga Session

Westin Hotel, Governor General III
All levels of experience welcome. Limited number of spots available; first come, first served. No equipment required.

7:15 am – 8:00 am

Registration and Breakfast

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom and Foyer

8:00 am – 8:15 am

Welcome Remarks

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom and Foyer

8:15 am – 8:55 am

Keynote Speaker

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom

9:00 am – 9:45 am

Opening Plenary – Immigration in a post pandemic world: A summary of the three Government department’s current priorities, what we can expect from each department in 2023 and onward.

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the processing of applications, both in-land and overseas. In this session, officials from the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will address the current state of operations out of the larger visa offices and will discuss how the Department has addressed the resulting backlog of applications. Officials from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will also discuss how the pandemic impacted its enforcement operations in terms of removals and at ports of entry. Lastly, a representative from the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) will discuss its current operations and caseload from across the country

9:45 am – 10:00 am

Break

The Westin Hotel, Ballroom Foyer

10:00 am – 11:30 am

Concurrent Sessions

1A: Labour Market Impact Assessments Overview and Current Trends

The Westin Hotel, Governor General I

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has seen a significant increase in the number of Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications submitted in the past year. As a result, officers are closing applications deemed incomplete rather than following up for missing materials. It is more important than ever to ensure that your LMIA applications meet all the current rules and include all necessary documents so that they are deemed complete from the outset. This session will review the basics of an LMIA application including business legitimacy documents, advertising requirements, proper vetting of applicants, and provincial registrations. It will also cover some of the most common pitfalls and provide helpful tips for success.

  • Review of low wage and high wage categories

  • Q & A with ESDC Representativesy

1B: Mandamus Applications

The Westin Hotel, Governor General II

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been major backlogs of applications at visa processing offices. Consequently, there has also been a significant increase in the number of mandamus applications before the Federal Court. This panel will cover the number of mandamus applications currently before the Federal Court, how IRCC is addressing these outstanding applications and current processing times, as well as recent jurisprudence involving mandamus applications.

In addition, the Panelists will address the following subjects:

  • Large Volume of Applications impeding process
  • When to file Mandamus
  • How to best manage client expectations
11:30 am – 11:45 am

Refreshment Break

The Westin Hotel, Ballroom Foyer

11:45 am – 12:55 pm

Concurrent Sessions

2A: The Complete PR Perspective: From PNP Portals to Spousal Portals

The Westin Hotel, Governor General I

This session will review the online application process for submitting permanent residence applications through the online PR portal, including PNPs and spousal sponsorship. Our speakers will provide practical tips for navigating the new portals successfully. IRCC speakers will address some of the most commonly asked questions about the PR portals and will provide the Dos and Don’ts for the process.

2B: Cases before the SCC: SCC Jurisprudence, Mason and Dleiow

The Westin Hotel, Governor General II

Lawyers and academics to review cases before the SCC, as well as top SCC decisions and an update on the STCA litigation. This session will be a must for all litigators.

12:55 pm – 2:10 pm

Lunch and Founders' Award Presentation

Lunch Sponsored by
visa business plans

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom

Lunch Panel: Mental Health, Wellness & Fitness for the Legal Profession in a Post Pandemic World

2:15 pm – 3:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions

This year, we offer a revisited version of the very popular “Asked & Answered” sessions in the form of “Hot Topics”. These sessions will take the form of a discussion and will allow participants to ask questions to senior practitioners regarding popular subjects in a more intimate setting. The time will be split in 2, so a participant can attend 2 hot topics of their choice during this time slot.

Eight (8) subjects will be running at the same time, 4 on the Solicitors’ side and 4 on the Litigation side. Speakers will run each of their sessions twice during this time slot.

3A: Hot Topics for Solicitors - GTS LMIAs
The Westin Hotel, Governor General III
Sponsored by
Startup Visa Services

3B: Hot Topics for Solicitors - PORTAL Pitfalls
The Westin Hotel, Provinces I

3C: Hot Topics for Litigators - Criminal inadmissibility - CBSA perspective re-entry at borders
The Westin Hotel, Governor General I

3D: Hot Topics for Litigators - Class applications to Federal Courts
The Westin Hotel, Quebec

3E: Hot Topics for for Solicitors - Start-up Visas
The Westin Hotel, Governor General II
Sponsored by
Startup Visa Services

3F: Hot Topics for Solicitors - IRCC/ESDC Inspections
The Westin Hotel, Provinces II

3G: Hot Topics for Litigators - Spousal Sponsorship Appeals to IRB – AD
The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom

3H: Hot Topics for Litigators - Motions for Stay of Removal before the Federal Court
The Westin Hotel, Nova Scotia & Newfoundland

3:45 pm – 3:55 pm

Refreshment Break and Transition

The Westin Hotel, Ballroom Foyer

3:55 pm – 5:25 pm

Updates on Anti-Racism Efforts in Canadian Immigration

The Westin Hotel, Governor General I

The Panel will provide updates from IRCC, the CBSA, and the CBA Anti-Racism Committee on recent Anti-Racism efforts undertaken and their impacts on racialized immigration clients.

5:25 pm – 6:25 pm

Bench and Bar Meeting

The Westin Hotel, room TBC

7:00 pm

Reception, Gala Dinner and Entertainment

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom and Foyer

This is a special ticketed event.Tickets can be purchased during the online registration process or anytime prior to the event until sellout. If you have already registered for the conference and would like to purchase a ticket(s), please email your request to pd@cba.org.

Day 3: Saturday, June 3
TIME EVENT
7:30 am – 8:00 am

Registration and Breakfast

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom and Foyer

8:00 am – 9:30 am

Morning Plenary – Panel discussion on Artificial intelligence and related technology issues

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom

The theme for this plenary is how has technology affected processing of immigration cases thus far? What improvements in technology can be made to help ensure there is no bias in decision making as well as ensuring fairness in delivery of immigration services? Is there a great role for AI to play in immigration processing? What about blockchain technology? Is there a place for blockchain in immigration processing?

9:40 am – 11:05 am

Concurrent Sessions

4A: LMIA-Exempt Work Permits Advanced Discussion

The Westin Hotel, Governor General I

With skilled work shortages at an all-time high across Canada, this session explores work permit categories that employers can use to support work permits without having to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment:

  • C20 Reciprocal Employment
  • C12/T24 ICT’S Intra-company transfers
  • FTA Professional categories

4B: Top 10 Federal Court Cases – A Year in Review

The Westin Hotel, Governor General II

This session is a year in review of federal court cases from different perspectives.

On one side, the DOJ lawyers will discuss their top 5 cases and identify how those cases will have or already had an influence in immigration processing.

On the other side, CBA lawyers will identify their top 5 cases and indicate how they have had or will have an influence in immigration processing.

11:05 am – 11:20 am

Refreshment Break

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom Foyer

11:20 am – 12:35 pm

Concurrent Sessions

5A: Port of Entry – Ask Away!

The Westin Hotel, Governor General I

With much of the world returning to business as usual, this session will be a Q & A session with practitioners and CBSA to address questions regarding procedures and applications at ports of entry post Covid-19. This Q & A session will explore various port of entry topics that will help practitioners prepare clients when entering Canada.

Topics may include:

  • Limited applications at various ports of entry for flag poling – when is flag poling permitted, when are notices for Entry for Examinations issued and the impact of such notices
  • Inadmissibility issues – TRP / Rehabilitation applications (impact of DUIs falling under serious criminality since Dec 18, 2018
  • Examination of PR on residency requirements / Renunciation of PR at POE
  • Any insights on how biometrics has impacted POE procedure
  • What is the role of CBSA Regional Program Manager?

5B: For the Well Seasoned Litigator and The Solicitor Who Wants to Know the Main Issues: E-Filing and Virtual Hearing Tips for Federal Court Cases

The Westin Hotel, Governor General II

Members of Canadian Bar Association, the Department of Justice and Federal Court Justices will discuss timelines, expectations for e-filing and virtual hearing etiquette as well as offer advice regarding oral advocacy.
12:40 pm – 2:10 pm

Luncheon – Refugee Settlement (Afghanistan/ Ukraine) – Guest Speaker

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom

2:15 pm – 3:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions

6A: Hot Topics for Solicitors - PNP discussion –West
The Westin Hotel, Governor General III

6B: Hot Topics for Solicitors - QC Skilled Program
The Westin Hotel, Provinces I

6C: Hot Topics for Litigators - Medical Inadmissibility
The Westin Hotel, Governor General I

6D: Hot Topics for Litigators - PNP discussion – Ontario
The Westin Hotel, Quebec

6E: Hot Topics for Solicitors - PNP discussion – Atlantic
The Westin Hotel, Governor General II

6F: Hot Topics for Solicitors - Study Permits & PGWPs
The Westin Hotel, Provinces II

6G: Hot Topics for Litigators - Refusals – Work Permits and Study Permits: What to Do and How to Strategize for Clients
The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom

6H: Hot Topics for Litigators - Refusals - ATIPs – Importance for future application submissions and litigation
The Westin Hotel, Nova Scotia & Newfoundland

3:55 pm – 4:10 pm

Volunteer Recognition Award Presentation

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom

4:10 pm  – 5:10 pm

The Top 60 Points of Advice from The Bench and Bar in 60 Minutes

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom

5:10 pm – 5:15 pm

Final Remarks and Draws

The Westin Hotel, Confederation Ballroom

5:15 pm – 6:30 pm

Farewell Reception

The Westin Hotel, Governor General II & III