The changes, to come into effect December 15, 2017, will merge the "out of Canada" and the "in Canada" application processes. The government is promising a reduction in processing times - currently 26 months for In Canada and 18 months for out of Canada applications - to 12 months.
There will be new forms and guide. However, people in the middle of making an application have till January 2017 to submit applications using the old forms.
In related news, the "open work permit" program, which entitled in-Canada applicants to applly for a work permit while their application is being processed, is being extended for one year.
For details, go here.