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Nico

Class Action against CIC

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Nico

URGENT: Class Action Fed Court just granted injunction against CIC!!

Kindly be advised that an injunction has been granted by Mr. Justice Gibson.

No files in the economic class (skilled workers) submitted prior to January

1, 2002 may be refused by CIC effective today.

Nico :lol:

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Guest Girlwithnoname

WHAT? Could you elaborate? No applications submitted before Jan 1, 02 can be REFUSED?

in other words, if you applied before Jan 1, 2002, they HAVE to approve you??

you say this is for economic classes. i assume that would mean self-employed and entrepreneurs too? they are economic classes.

this can't possibly be correct.

please elaborate, or point towards a link that will show us the news article!!

thanks again

GWNN

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Guest Barbara

Yes PLEASE!!!! elaborate. We need to know more.

Regards

Barbara

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Kolla

Barbara dit het iets hiermee te doen. Hierdie is n artikel iewers anders op die site wat jou dalk die lig sal laat sien. Hoop dit help. En onderaan is die nuutste 'nuus' hieroor in vandag se Globe and Mail.

Ottawa — Immigration lawyers have started a $400-million class-action lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that tens of thousands of potential immigrants are being cheated out of a chance to come to Canada.

The case asks the Federal Court of Canada to make the Immigration Department change its plan to apply new, stricter immigrant-selection criteria to people who applied more than a year ago. Failing that, they want Ottawa to refund their fees and cover their legal costs.

Last month, Ottawa lost a similar case, and was ordered to process 102 applications before yesterday's March 31 deadline for assessing them under the old criteria. The class action seeks a similar order for the 30,000 to 40,000 similar cases.

"This is an effort to convert that and to extend the results of the [earlier] case to all of the people that are in the same situation," said Toronto lawyer Ronald Foerster, who filed two applications yesterday as the first step toward a class-action suit.

The case stems from Ottawa's decision in December, 2001, to move to tougher selection criteria. Instead of applying the new criteria only to new applicants, the Immigration Department decided that existing applicants would face the new rules if their cases had not been processed by yesterday.

Two teams of lawyers filed applications yesterday on behalf of three potential immigrants who were hit by the retroactive rule change. They will seek to have those cases broadened into a class-action suit for all immigrants in the same situation.

A spokesman for the Immigration Department had no immediate comment late yesterday afternoon, after the suits were filed.

Toronto immigration lawyer Lorne Waldman said he filed an application on behalf of Prem Samuel Sathya Dass, a plaintiff from New Delhi who applied to come in Canada in 1999.

Under the old rules, Mr. Dass had 72 points, enough to get into Canada. Under the new rules, which will be applied because Ottawa has not processed his case after almost four years, Mr. Dass has a failing grade of 64 points.

"I think he's representative of a lot of cases in the backlog," Mr. Waldman said. "He doesn't want his money back. He doesn't want damages. He wants to come to Canada."

In last month's case, Mr. Justice Michael Kelen took the department to task for misleading Parliament by suggesting that most of those who had applied under the old rules would be processed before the March 31 deadline, and for failing to make efforts to treat the applicants fairly.

Immigration Minister Denis Coderre later insisted his officials did not mislead Parliament, and the government appealed the decision.

In the new case, the potential immigrants are asking the Federal Court to order the Immigration Department to process them under the old criteria even though the March 31 deadline is past. Failing that, they want the government to refund the applicants' fees — $500 to $2,000 depending on the size of the family — and other costs, including legal fees, that could be thousands of dollars per applicant.

Mr. Foerster said the total sum is estimated at $400-million in the court application, and would almost certainly be more than $100-million.

Globe & Mail- Saturday, June 21, 2003

Hope for would-be immigrants

Applications valid until class-action suit settled, federal court judge rules

Ottawa cannot bar 300,000 prospective immigrants from Canada using new, strict rules imposed after they applied to come to the country, a federal court judge has ruled.

The judgment, released yesterday in the Federal Court of Canada, says the government cannot reject these applications until a class-action lawsuit challenging the new selection criteria has been decided by the courts.

The decision gives new hope to 300,000 skilled workers, entrepreneurs and their families who want to immigrate to Canada and have already waited years for their applications to be processed.

A class-action suit seeking $400-million in damages has been launched on their behalf, arguing that the retroactive application of the new immigration law is unfair. They applied under guidelines in use before January 2002, and are considered backlog cases.

"This is a big victory and an important decision," said Ron Foerster, who is arguing the class-action lawsuit with Toronto immigration lawyers Dan Miller and Lorne Waldman.

Mr. Waldman added: "This is unprecedented. The government has never been told not to process applications on this large scale. Now these people still have a chance to immigrate to Canada."

Many backlog applicants would qualify under the old rules, which stressed education, age, language ability and Canada's labour market needs. The new rules favour those with firm job offers and are so strict that even a single person with fluent English and a PhD would fail to qualify. A blue-collar worker with a technical diploma married to someone with a university degree would not be accepted either.

Late Friday, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada said it would comply with the order.

"We will take a careful look at the order and evaluate its implications," Susan Scarlett said. "For those people that don't meet the new criteria, we will hold off refusing them until the lawsuit is resolved."

She added that the department will still be able to welcome skilled immigrants and business people to Canada.

"We can assess and approve people who meet the new criteria," she said. "These transition measures were designed to strike a balance."

Immigration lawyers believe the new rules were implemented to get rid of an embarrassing backlog of overseas applicants.

Some people had waited as long as five years for an interview with Canadian officials to obtain a visa.

"The government came up with retroactivity rules to get rid of the backlog with a minimum of fuss because they cannot handle the workload," said Ben Trister, past president of the Canadian Bar Association's immigration section.

"Now the judge's decision has levelled the playing field. It may encourage the parties to come together and reach a common-sense decision and avoid litigation."

The ruling orders the government to provide written notice to the hundreds of thousands of people in the backlog. The majority are from India and China, but they come from dozens of different countries. The government must also advise applicants about the class-action lawsuit and the damages lawyers are seeking on their behalf.

"The government will have to sit on these files for potentially years because the courts will take years to decide the case," predicted Mr. Waldman.

The new rules were part of the government's new Immigration Act, which became law in June 2002.

The decision to apply the new rules retroactively was announced six months earlier.

Initially, the government believed only 30,000 people were in the backlog.

Some Liberal MPs were angry that the changes would disqualify skilled tradespeople without firm job offers from immigrating to Canada.

Edited by Kolla

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Nico

I apologize for the criptic message - I was just eager to get the message accros.

In a nut shell - All applications filed before January 1, 2002 have to be accessed according to the "Old Immigration Act".

If an applicant has a better chance under IRPA (the "New Act") I would suggest that you send a fax informing CItizenship & Immigration of your intention.

Nico

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Guest Girlwithnoname

actually, this doesn't say that they must be assessed under the old rules at all. It SAYS that they must stop issuing REFUSALS. Which means anyone that might otherwise be refused will be "frozen" until they can resolve what to do with them.

sigh... yet another barrier...

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Guest fjalbuena
URGENT: Class Action Fed Court just granted injunction against CIC!!

Kindly be advised that an injunction has been granted by Mr. Justice Gibson.

No files in the economic class (skilled workers) submitted prior to January

1, 2002 may be refused by CIC effective today.

Nico :P

:o what will happen if your qualify under both old and new cirteria? which criteria will they use to assess your file? will my application, file before 1 jan 2002 be FROZEN?

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Nico

Hi,

Citizenship & Immigration will definitely try and force the file to be processed undet IRPA (the New Act).

The question you should ask - is IRPA requiring more of me - e.g. as Entrepreneur - higher nett worth, etc. If you easily qualify under the new Act. go for it and complete new forms and send it to the post handling your file.

Nico

Edited by Nico

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Guest fjalbuena

i qualify under both. as a matter of fact, my score increased by 2 points under irpa. i already submitted irpa forms and ielts result to update my file and recieved notice from embassy that i will be interviewed. i hope they won't use this injunction as another excuse to delay my interview schedule more. i have been hearing rumors that they descriminate against certain applicants from certain countries/regions.

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steve

We applied in January 2002 (skilled worker class) using the old forms in the old law. We qualify under both laws. Do we have to re-do the new forms under the IRPA law?

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Nico

Steve,

To save time - I would suggest you send new forms. Remember the language requirements. You will eventually receive a request for new forms.

Regards.

Nico

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Nico

Hi,

I do not believe that CIC will only ask for an interview to merely delay the process.

It is also true that IRPA's (the New Immigration Act) intention is to do away with interviews.

A valuable tool for you is to do an Access to Information Act request. That will give you the details of the notes on your file to prepare yourself. Send me an e-mail if you need any assistance with the request.

Nico

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steve
Steve,

To save time - I would suggest you send new forms. Remember the language requirements. You will eventually receive a request for new forms.

Regards.

Nico

Nico,

Is this a definite? I mean, does the other +- 1000 ?? odd people that applied under the old law but are having their cases reviewed under the IRPA also have to re-do all their forms?

I'm assuming (and praying) that it's only the application forms that we have to re-do, not police clearances, funds etc. ? What about re-doing photos?

Also, a couple of things has now changed since I applied (marital status (I did forward the marriage certificate etc.), and working experience (which actually gives me more points anyway)). Is this ok to fill it in as "present" status and not what my status was back in Jan 2002?

Thanks

Steve

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Nico

Steve,

That is the joke about the New Act - it is creating more and more paperwork for the already over worked Visa Officers to review.

Your application will be assessed under the New Act. You will have to fulfill all the requirements of the New Act. You will not be required to send new police sertificates now, but in 15 months time (my time frame) they may ask for updated police clearance.

Make sure you photos do meet the requirements. If you are unsure - send new ones.

No - your funds will be used as you have paid it. If you only paid CDN $ 500 for the Processing fee the will ask for $50 more. You can just as well send it now.

NB Include your fiance in the new form as a dependant.

Nico

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steve

Thanks for the quick response Nico.

Sorry to get more detailed here but we have just gone though the check list for the new act and are getting a bit worried. Everything's become so complicated now.

Do we only submit the documents from the checklist which have changed since our original application? Eg. Language Proficiency, work experience

I don't see a need to re-submit everything that's on the checklist for things that haven't changed.

To get even more detailed, do we actually send the checklist and only tick what we will send to them now? (cause then what if they say "where's everything else?")

This must complicate the cases so much now as they will have to go back and forth between documents. It also makes it quite difficult for us to try and explain to them that half the supporting documentaion is attached to the original application forms dated ......... and that this document is supported by this document that was sent blah de blah de blah !! I can imagine the overhead now!

Anyway, thanks in advance.

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Nico

Steve,

Yes - only send documents that was not send before.

Regarding Lanuage Proficiency - if English is not your home lanuage I suggest you write the test. If it is your home language, submit your Grade 12 Certificate showing that you passed English as first lanuage. In a cover letter referthem also to the fact that you wnet to an Englsh School

Nico

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Guest Guest
URGENT: Class Action Fed Court just granted injunction against CIC!!

Kindly be advised that an injunction has been granted by Mr. Justice Gibson.

No files in the economic class (skilled workers) submitted prior to January

1, 2002 may be refused by CIC effective today.

Nico :angry:

could you provide latest information regarding a decision by federal court or immigratin department for those who applied before January 2002?

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Guest Guest
Yes PLEASE!!!! elaborate.  We need to know more.

Regards

Barbara

Could you pls provide me the lastest information about the fedral court decision on class action suit??

Hari

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Nico

Steve,

Only submit the forms and the documents that you have not already submitted. Yes - send the check list and only mark the ones you submit now. Write on the check list - "Already Submitted" at the other documents on the check list.

Nico

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Guest abc

if you are an old applicant (pre-2002) and you still qualify under the new (irpa) regulations and you submitted the necessary forms and documents to update your file, they will still continue processing your application (using the new selection criteria). however, if you are an old applicant and you do not qualify under the new regulations. they can't refuse you whether you submit updates or not. this is the purpose of the injunction. the problem is, the court did not order cic to use the old criteria for those affected by the irpa. until they decide on this, all applications affected by the rule change will be effectively frozen. do you know how long it will take for the courts to resolve this issue? it could take years. i guess cic won after all. that was their purpose wasn't it? to get rid of the back-log.

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ly1

I qualify under both rules too. I sent the updated IRPA forms and IELTS results as well after i got a letter from CHC London. I sent these updated forms and documents in April 2003 and have been waiting since then. I know of other too who are in the same boat as me and havent heard from CHC London.

The court order is to not refuse the applicanst in the old rules right, but what about other who qualify or interview required canditates. Will these applications also be frozen till the class action suit is finalised. i haven't heard of anybody in skilled class who has heard anything from London after submitting the IRPA forms.What can we do other than just waiting ??? Any replies

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Nico

Hi,

Yes, unfortunately my assessment of the situation is that all applications filed Nov 2001 till June 2002 are on hold because of the uncertainty of the court actions.

The court actions is positive for those who may be denied under the new Act, but it has slowed down the process even more for all the applications.

Nico

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Guest abc

if you are one of those whos file is frozen and if you qualify under both, maybe you can withdraw your old application and reapply again under the new rules and hope they will waive your interview. you will forfeit your fees paid and have to pay new again though.

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steve
Yes, unfortunately my assessment of the situation is that all applications filed Nov 2001 till June 2002 are on hold because of the uncertainty of the court actions.

We applied Jan 2002. We qualify under both laws and have submitted the new IRPA forms and requirements. How long approximately will our case be frozen? Does this mean that they are going to skip Nov 2001 to June 2002 and then carry on with July 2002. Seems totally unfair to me.

We qualify under both laws why should they freeze our case and how long do we wait?

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Nico

Steve,

No - they will process your file if you have submitted the requirements under the new Act. Remember I am also just trying to make an intelligent guess.

Nico

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