We have been busy!

  • February 08, 2024

Gabriella Ramo

It is hard to believe that we are in February and that we are almost halfway through the 2023-2024 CBA year! The past few months have been busy and challenging, as we have grappled with a myriad of issues.

As expected, the only constant in immigration has been change. The Minister and the department have introduced numerous regulatory and policy changes to address a wide range of difficult domestic and international issues. And the Section has, through the tireless work of many, many dedicated volunteers and CBA staff members, kept up with the changes, drafting submissions and providing our insight and recommendations to government.

Immigration will continue to play a crucial role in Canadian society, and there is lots of work to be done in shaping the future of immigration policy in Canada. There are many opportunities to volunteer and be part of this important work – and we invite you all take up the challenge and join us.

CBA Annual General Meeting – February 8, 2024 (Today – 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET)

Our Section has put forward three key resolutions on immigration issues for consideration at this year’s CBA Annual General Meeting:

  1. Transparency and Public Accountability at IRCC
  2. Pathways from Temporary to Permanent Residence
  3. Use of Artificial Intelligence in Immigration Law and Delivery

Passing these resolutions is very important to the work of the Section. If they are approved, they become the position of the CBA and will allow us to comment on these key issues publicly more quickly and effectively. Please make every effort to register and vote at the AGM taking place virtually today, February 8, 2024 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.

National Conference – May 9-11, 2024 (Montreal, QC)

The 2024 CBA Immigration Law Conference is set for May 9-11 at “Le Westin” in Montreal. Registration is open and we anticipate that the conference will sell out, so make sure that you secure your place.

The Conference Planning Committee has done an amazing job of putting together an impactful agenda with excellent speakers who will share their insights and knowledge and engage in lively policy discussions. The agenda offers something for everyone: thoughtful plenaries, concurrent sessions on technical topics, and the very popular “hot topics” sessions. New this year is a litigation and refugee law stream, featuring complex issues, such as cessation, and cutting-edge conversations on topics like the impact of climate change on refugee movements.

We also heard from many of you that last year you felt there wasn’t enough time for catching up with your colleagues, so this year we have built in lots of opportunities to do so – with longer breaks between sessions and lunches without speakers. We are also very excited about our Gala, at a beautiful and fun Montreal venue where you can dance the night away.

We recognize that we live in a challenging and complex world, and the past few months have been especially difficult for many in our bar. Our focus on wellness at the conference includes a candid discussion on mental health issues with a panel of experts, increased opportunities to join in physical activities, and ways to incorporate wellness breaks into your day.

So please join us in Montreal for a valuable opportunity to learn, share insights, and connect with colleagues nationwide. We can’t wait to see you!


And for those who like to plan…we are thrilled to announce that our 2025 conference will be held in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia from June 5 to 7, 2025. Be on the lookout for more details soon!


We encourage you to keep an eye out for Working Groups being formed regularly and to contribute to written submissions whenever you can. Our advocacy work can only happen if we have dedicated volunteers willing to share their collective knowledge and ideas for innovation.

Continuing Professional Development

Our Professional Development Coordinators have been hard at work, developing and delivering a series of free monthly Lunch/Brunch webinars on a variety of topics:

  • In October, our panel on “LGBTQ2+ in Immigration Law – Tips for best representing your clients in immigration and refugee law” provided strategies and tips to assist our members in better serving the needs of the LGBTQ2+ community.
  • In November, during our panel discussion on LMIAs, ESDC and Service Canada officials provided information on upcoming programs and valuable tips and insights.
  • During our January session focused on mental health and welfare, panelists engaged in a candid discussion on a variety of mental health topics, shared their own personal wellness journeys, as well as provided tips and strategies that have helped them maintain wellness.
  • We hope that you will join us for our next panel discussion on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at 12:30 pm ET, when our panel will focus on issues of racism and data from the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers.

Member Engagement

  • Our first cohort in our new Sponsored Mentorship Program, matching mentors who are leaders in the profession with new members of the immigration bar, are now well into their mentorship relationship. Launched as a pilot project, we will use feedback and lessons learned from this year to help us finalize plans for a permanent program.
  • In November, CBA Quebec, with support from our Section, hosted an Immigration Law event for law students and young lawyers at the McGill Law Faculty. Over 50 students and young lawyers attended a fabulous evening of conversation and networking.
  • Building on the success of the event in Quebec, we are planning another joint event with the OBA Citizen and Immigration Law Section and the OBA Young Lawyers Division. We will be hosting a free Immigration Law networking event for early career lawyers on March 20, 2024 at the OBA conference facility in downtown Toronto.
  • On March 11, we will hold a virtual and free Speed-Advice Session on Immigration Law. Senior lawyers who are members of the immigration bar will make themselves available to share insights and tips with lawyers who are newly embarking on immigration law careers and law students interested in immigration law.

Get Involved

There is much work to be done, and we can only do it with your help. We invite you to:

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or to discuss ways to become more involved. We gladly welcome your emails and calls.


Gabriela Ramo
Chair, CBA Immigration Law Section 2023-2024