US: US Supreme Court allows enforcement of travel ban

Posted by Immigration Law Team|US Immigration
Dec 17
4


In brief

On Monday, December 4, 2017, the US Supreme Court issued orders allowing the third version of President Trump’s travel ban (see prior alert) to take effect until the appeals process has been completed. The orders stayed the prior October preliminary injunctions, which temporarily blocked the implementation of the travel ban.

Discussion

On September 24, 2017, President Trump signed a Proclamation imposing indefinite travel restrictions on citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and North Korea, and barring entry into the US by certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate families. In October, Federal District Courts in Hawaii and Maryland issued nationwide orders against enforcement of the Presidential Proclamation. Today’s Supreme Court orders stayed the preliminary injunctions, thereby allowing the travel ban to be enforced.

The orders do not address the merits of the legal challenges to the travel ban, which will be addressed when two US Courts of Appeals hear arguments later this week. Specifically, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments on December 6, 2017 and the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will hear oral arguments on December 8, 2017.

Impact and Recommendations

Citizens of impacted countries who are already present in the US and are in valid immigrant or nonimmigrant status are advised to seek US immigration counsel prior to departing the US, since there may be restrictions from re-entering the US.

The country specific restrictions listed in the September 24 Presidential Proclamation are as follows:

 

            Country Nonimmigrant Visas    Immigrant and Diversity  Visas
            Chad No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas    No immigrant or diversity visas
            Iran No nonimmigrant visas except F, M, and J student visas    No immigrant or diversity visas
            Libya No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas    No immigrant or diversity visas
            North Korea No nonimmigrant visas    No immigrant or diversity visas
            Syria No nonimmigrant visas    No immigrant or diversity visas
            Venezuela No B-1, B-2, or B-1/B-2 visas of any kind for officials of the following government agencies: Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration; the Corps of Scientific Investigations, Judicial and Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate family members    No restrictions
            Yemen No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas    No immigrant or diversity visas
            Somalia Subject to additional scrutiny    No immigrant or diversity visas

Please note that there may still be additional scrutiny imposed on citizens of Iraq.

Waivers may be granted on a case-by-case basis. US immigration counsel should be sought for assessment of waiver eligibility.

PwC continues to monitor this matter and will be sure to update you as changes occur.

For further details regarding the Proclamation, or any other immigration matters, please contact a member of our team.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada: Visa Requirement Lifted for Romanians and Bulgarians

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Dec 17
1


In Brief  

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that effective December 1, 2017, citizens of Romania and Bulgaria are no longer required to hold a valid Canadian temporary resident visa (TRV) to lawfully enter Canada.

Discussion

Romanian and Bulgarian citizens were previously required to hold a valid Canadian TRV to lawfully enter Canada. Since IRCC has announced that it will no longer require these citizens to hold a valid Canadian TRV to lawfully enter Canada, they will now instead be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada.

Impact

Citizens of Romania and Bulgaria are now able to travel to Canada with a valid eTA and apply for a Canadian work permit at a Canadian port-of-entry (e.g. international airport), if there are no medical or criminal inadmissibility concerns. Therefore, if you have any current or prospective employees who are citizens of Romania or Bulgaria, and who are required to travel to Canada, they will be able to travel to Canada more expeditiously as a result of the removal of visa requirements for these individuals.

For more information on Immigration to Canada or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada: Coming into force of the new Ontario Immigration Act, 2015 (Bill 49)

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Nov 17
24


In brief:

The Ontario Immigration Act (“the Act”), which received Royal Assent on May 28, 2015, will come into force on January 1, 2018.

Discussion:

The Ontario government passed the Act through Bill 49 in an effort to implement its vision for Ontario’s future immigration needs through the following goals, as stated in its preamble:

  – To collaborate with the Government of Canada on the recruitment, selection and admission, to Ontario, of immigrants and foreign nationals on a temporary basis.
  – To collaborate with all partners, including municipalities and employers, to address the short-term and long-term labour market needs of Ontario.
  – To collaborate with all partners, including the not-for-profit sector, to enable immigrants to settle in Ontario and to integrate quickly into and to participate fully in Ontario society.
  – To enable all communities across Ontario, including Franco-Ontarian communities, to attract, welcome and integrate immigrants.

The Act is intended to reinforce the commitment to protecting foreign workers in Canada through the grant of an on-site inspection authority to designated inspectors and investigators. The Act also outlines penalties for contravention, which may include administrative monetary penalties of up to CAD$50,000 per instance.  

Impact:

The coming into force of the Act may have several implications, including but not limited to, new compliance obligations created by virtue of programs created under the Act. Additionally, the imposition of administrative penalties on a person or organization that is found in contravention of the Act emphasizes the importance to employers of maintaining a compliant Global Mobility Program, and ensuring all foreign workers under their employ are properly documented.

For more information on Immigration to Ontario or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at
PwC Law LLP.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada: Invitation to Land via Telephone Interview

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Nov 17
21


In brief:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a new initiative to provide some permanent resident (PR) applicants with an opportunity to complete the landing process via telephone.

Discussion:

Commencing mid-November, IRCC rolled out a short-term pilot project which gives some PR applicants an opportunity to complete their landing process via telephone. This initiative has been extended to a select group of PR applicants via e-mail, with an option to provide their availability and preferred contact information. Telephone interviews may offer an efficient alternative to flag-poling at a Canada-U.S. land border, or scheduling an in-person landing interview with IRCC. This pilot project is expected to last for approximately three months. This landing alternative is not available for applicants who reside outside Canada.

Impact:

This initiative will enable certain PR applicants to land as PRs in an efficient manner, which will especially benefit individuals who are in rural areas, far from a land border or an IRCC office.

For more information on Canadian permanent residency and/or the landing process, please contact a member of our team at
PwC Law LLP.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada releases new immigration figures for upcoming three years

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Nov 17
2


In brief:

On November 1, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) released new immigration targets for 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively. These figures represent an increase from previous years, and demonstrate IRCC’s heightened commitment to strengthen Canada’s long-term economic outlook by way of immigration.

Discussion:

Announced by the Honourable Minister Ahmed Hussen, the newly released immigration targets are as follows:

– 2018: 310,000 new permanent residents, including 177,500 economic migrants;
– 2019: 330,000 new permanent residents, including 191,600 economic migrants; and
– 2020: 340,000 new permanent residents, including 195,800 economic migrants.

These immigration targets are structured to gradually reach 1% of Canada’s current population over the three year period. The majority will be allocated for economic immigration streams while the remainder will be reserved for the family, humanitarian, and refugee classes. These numbers are designed to help guard against the negative economic effects of Canada’s aging population by providing an increased supply of skilled workers to take up employment in various higher-skilled employment sectors. In recognition of meeting provincial needs in addition to the federal government’s economic goals, the figures continue to allocate just under one half of all economic migration to provincial nominee programs.

Impact:

As these new figures represent an increase from previous annual targets, hopeful Express Entry candidates should have a better chance of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Similarly, as provinces will be authorized to accept more economic immigrants through their respective provincial nominee programs, qualifying applicants intending to reside in specific provinces may wish to consider submitting an application under one of these programs.

IRCC has also noted that the increased numbers allocated to family class immigration – including spouses, partners and children, as well as the parent and grandparent class – will “create the space needed to reduce backlogs and decrease processing times for families sponsoring spouses, children, parents, grandparents, and caregivers.” Accordingly, those who have submitted applications to sponsor an eligible member of the family class may expect to receive a response on their application sooner than anticipated, although the efficacy of this commitment remains to be seen. Overall, the increase in target levels is a welcome announcement from IRCC, one that is expected to strengthen Canada’s short- and long-term economic and social goals.

For more information about immigrating to Canada, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada: Changes to the maximum age of dependent children

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Oct 17
26


In brief:

Effective October 24, 2017, the maximum age of a dependent child is increased to 22 years of age. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has now updated its website to reflect this change.

Discussion:

As of October 24, 2017, the definition of a dependent child has changed to a child who depends on their parent for financial and other support and who is both: 

– under 22 years old; and
– without a spouse or common-law partner.

Children 22 years of age or older will qualify as dependents if they meet both of the following requirements:

– They have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22; and
– They are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition.

For more information on the increase in the maximum age of dependent child that was previously provided when the proposed increase was announced in November 2016, please see PwC Law LLP’s client alert here:

https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/law/immigration-law/resource-centre/immigration-alerts/several-immigration-developments-announced-this-week.html

Impact:

This amended definition will now allow individuals seeking permanent residence to include their children who are under the age of 22, and in some circumstances over the age of 22, within their application for Canadian permanent residence. By widening the scope of the age requirement, it allows more flexibility to include children that are dependent, but who were otherwise not permitted to be included prior to this change, as they were over the age of 19.

For more information about these changes or obtaining Canadian permanent residency, please contact PwC Law LLP.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

Canada: Changes and updates to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Oct 17
24


In brief:

Effective January 2, 2018, the Government of Alberta will reduce the number of streams available to applicants looking to apply for permanent residency under the AINP. The AINP will be implementing a new Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS) which will replace two of the current streams. In January 2018, the AINP will be updating its website to reflect these changes and provide intake and nomination guidelines that will set the maximum number of applications accepted and nominations issued each year.

Discussion:

Starting January 2, 2018, the AINP will make the following changes:

Streams on or before January 1, 2018Changes on or after January 2, 2018
Employer-Driven StreamReplaced by the new AOS
Strategic Recruitment StreamReplaced by the new AOS
Self-Employed Farmer StreamN/A

Complete applications for the Employer-Driven and Strategic Recruitment streams postmarked on or before January 1, 2018 will continue to be accepted, along with those applications which are currently in queue to be processed. As such, applications made under the AOS that are postmarked before January 2, 2018 will not be accepted.

In addition, the AINP will also have an Alberta Express Entry stream operational in January 2018, which will allow Alberta to nominate a limited number of qualified application from the Government of Canada’s Express Entry system.

Impact:

These planned changes are made in hopes to simplify the application process, reduce wait times, and make it fairer for applicants across all sectors and industries in Alberta to apply for permanent residency. In addition, the AINP hopes to be more responsive to emerging labour market needs while supporting the goal of building a skilled, permanent workforce and a more diversified economy.

For more information about these changes or obtaining Canadian permanent residencyplease contact a member of our team at
PwC Law LLP.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »

US: Presidential Proclamation on the Travel Ban – Courts temporarily block implementation

Posted by Immigration Law Team|US Immigration
Oct 17
18


In brief

Federal courts issue temporary restraining order blocking travel ban which would have restricted individuals from certain countries from entering the U.S.

Discussion

President Trump signed a Proclamation on 24 September 2017, imposing new indefinite travel restrictions on citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and North Korea.  The Proclamation also barred entry into the US by certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate families.  The travel restrictions were set to take effect in full on 18 October 2017.

On October 17, 2017, Federal District Courts in Hawaii and Maryland issued nationwide orders against enforcement of the Presidential Proclamation.  Both judges found that the challengers to the Proclamation were likely to win their claim that the restrictions exceeded the President’s power.

The travel restrictions on certain Venezuelan government officials and on nationals of North Korea remain in place.

To learn more about the Proclamation, please visit our prior alert.

Impact and Recommendations

Citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen can continue to apply for visas and apply for entry into the United States.  However, the Trump Administration is expected to appeal the District Court rulings which could lead to the restrictions being enforced.

Nationals of the countries listed still remain subject to higher scrutiny security checks under the Administration’s extreme vetting policies.

Caution is still advised to those from the affected countries, whether they are in the US and seek to travel internationally, or are currently outside the US and will be seeking re-entry.  US immigration counsel should be sought before any travel.

For further details, please contact a member of our team.


Posted by Immigration Law Team »