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On January 23, Canada's Conservative Party led by Stephen Harper won the Canadian national elections, which ended 13 years of Liberal rule. The victory is expected to move Canada rightward on social and economic issues and lead to improved ties with the United States. During the campaign, Harper pledged to cut the red tape in social welfare programs, lower the national sales tax from 7 percent to 5 percent and grant more autonomy and federal funding to Canada's 13 provinces and territories. Before the election, the Conservative Party promised that it will streamline the process of bringing skilled immigrants into the country and ensure their better integration into Canadian society. workpermit.com will continue to update you on changes in Canada's immigration policy as they happen.
This week it came to light that only five European Union member states have implemented key European immigration legislation aimed at giving rights to non-EU long-term residents. According to the European Commission, to acquire long-term resident status, third-country nationals have to prove that they have continuously and legally resided in an EU member state for at least five years. "Long-term residents enjoy reinforced protection against expulsion, they are guaranteed equal treatment with nationals of the EU in a wide range of economic and social matters and will also have the right to reside in another EU member state for employment, study or other purposes," noted a Commission statement. The legislation will affect up to 10 million people living in Europe. The 17 countries that have failed to adopt legislation could face hearings in the EU courts. The immigration legislation was agreed upon in November 2003, and the deadline for implementation ended this week. Out of 22 countries (Ireland, Denmark and the UK opt out of EU borders legislation) only Austria, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia, have confirmed that they have implemented the measures.
Relatedly, the EU ruled on 19 January that some of Germany's visa restrictions in its Immigration Act are illegal. Specifically, the Court of Justice said that visa restrictions forcing non-EU workers posted to Germany by European service companies to have worked a year at the firm prior to being sent are illegal.
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