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Free Movement Ensured for Immigrants in Canada

June 2018, 20
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The section 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms known as the Canadian Charter or the Constitution Act, 1982, contains a sequence of legislative acts. These relate to the birth of Canada in 1867. It has basic rights related to all levels of government, and is also binding to all territorial/provincial assemblies. It covers the federal legislature, and the Canadian Parliament. Section 6 gives Canadian citizens and permanent residents the right for living/working in any area of the country.

Section 6 says these facts on Mobility:

(1) Every Canadian citizen has the right of entering, remaining  and leaving Canada.
(2) Every Canadian citizen, and every person who is a permanent resident of Canada, has the right of moving to any province, and take up residence there; and also pursue livelihood in any province.

Ways to Apply Mobility Rights to Immigration

The implication of section 6 and mobility rights under the Charter is important in immigration matters. These rights do are not effective till the fact of permanent residency is established.

When a province selects applicants, I.R.C.C. oversees the admissibility health and security issues.  On arriving at a Port of Entry in the country, the Canada Border Services Agency will ensure admissibility, and there is a process of verification of the truth of an applicant, and intention to live in a province.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations gives a clarification that a foreign national is a member of the PN class, if he/she intends to live in a province which nominates him/her.

Following the receipt of a PR visa, and arriving at a port of entry, to seek admission in the country, after gaining the admission, there is no provision which comes in the way of mobility rights of an applicant, for living and working in any place in Canada. The provinces seeking such newcomers in their provincial programs must create the proper conditions so that the immigrants are attracted and retained there.

Provinces Used as a Back Door to Canada

Some of the provinces become a back door point of entry for prospective applicants in Canada. This presents a huge challenge. Certainly, it is a challenge for Quebec which collectively selects 50,000 fresh arrivals, signifying about 20% of all admissions. This is the highest percentage among the provinces.

Traditionally, as per confirmed data, Quebec is successful in retaining only a part of the applicants, which have its approval. Several applicants decide to give up their original intention to settle here and decide to settle in other provinces. This is particularly the case in the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program which is at the top of the Canadian market for immigration based on investments.

Similarly it is a challenge to retain immigrants in other provinces also like PEI, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia. These provinces support their own skilled worker programs.

Reason for Candidates to Show the Intention to Settle in a Province

All Applicants who apply through a PN must know the rules to comply with the program, and remain truthful in the application process. There must be a clear purpose to settle in a province in an immigration program, and it must be presented clearly upon arrival.

When individuals indicate at the POE are that they do not wish to live in the nominated territory /province, they should be reported under section A44 (1) for non-complying.

When it is evident that a person has no intention to reside in the nominated province or territory, it must be treated as a case of misrepresentation.

Fresh Canadians need to be Careful

Canada has a 730-day residence rule which is greatly flexible in the world. Applicants can leave Canada after becoming PRs for three years, but retain their Canadian PR status, during their period of absence.

Thus a Canadian PR gets the protection in section 6 of the Charter, to change the minds regarding the place of living and working in Canada. There is no obstacle or formality for a Canadian to change the province of residence after establishing permanent residence. The Government and the immigration officers at all levels are conscious of this  situation.

Provincial programs are becoming attractive as entry points for fresh arrivals. The provinces face a challenge to select and retain immigrants correctly.

Applicants who consider Immigration to canada in provincial programs must be careful to balance their legal rights in section 6 of the Charter as well as the legal responsibilities in the Immigration Act.

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