New Canadian language testing requirements "abusive" for Canadian Permanent Residence

New Canadian language testing requirements

The Canadian Bar Association said last week that the changes made to processing permanent residence applications in Canada are “underhanded and abusive” and even circumvent  the law.

Previously under Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, applicants had a choice between taking International English Testing System (IELTS) or Test d’evaluation de Francais when applying under the Canada Experience Class or the Federal Skilled Worker programs. Applicants also, by law, had the option to provide documentation that demonstrates language proficiency instead of scheduling, paying for, and waiting to take a test.

At the end of June, only applicants that have completed a standard language proficiency test will have their applications processed because Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said so, despite the law.

So those who don’t have testing results will not be processed, even if they are from a native French or English-speaking country and could prove their language capabilities without a test. Some immigrants from countries that speak English, such as the United States and United Kingdom, would understandably prefer to include copies of their degrees or employer recommendations as opposed to taking a test that costs a $325 fee, but that option is no longer available.

One woman, Dorit Robbins, a Harvard-educated lawyer from the United States, said in a sworn affidavit entered into court, “As an American-born citizen who has a sufficient amount of education, all of which has been completed in the English language, I am appalled with the fact that I have to take time away from my children to sit and pay for an English exam in order to have my immigration application processed.”

The law has essentially been circumvented, whereas normally a change such as this would have to be published in the Canada Gazette (which is a sort of newsletter about government goings on for the public) and which would allow for adequate public review.

Do you need more information on the new Canadian language testing requirements, or help preparing for a language test? Contact Niren and Associates immigration law firm today.

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Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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