Swine Flu and Immigration to Canada

Posted by Marwah Serag|Canada Immigration
Apr 09
30


Canadian Immigration officials have instituted a pre-departure screening process in Mexico City for Mexican workers travelling to Canada.  The procedures include a fever-check by two doctors, completing a questionnaire, and undergoing a physical exam.  All Mexican workers are subject to these procedures prior to receiving their work permits. 


Posted by Marwah Serag » No Comments »

H-1B Countdown Continues

Posted by Marwah Serag|US Immigration
Apr 09
30


U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated the number of H-1B Visa petitions received for the H-1B cap to approximately 45,000.  As of April 27, 2009, USCIS is continuing to accept H-1B petitions for the FY2010 regular H-1B cap and the advanced degree cap.


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Canadian Work Permits: Elimination of the Foreign Worker Application to Extend a Labour Market Opinion

Posted by Janet Bomza|Canada Immigration
Apr 09
28


Effective April 27, 2009, all employers participating in the Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower-Levels of Formal Education (NOC C and D), Exotic Dancer, and high-skilled Program streams will be required to submit a new Labour Market Opinion (LMO) application. The application to extend a LMO will be removed from circulation and all references to LMO extensions will be removed from communications and outreach materials.

In cases where employers anticipate that their human resource needs will continue beyond the period covered the temporary foreign worker’s work permit, employers are requested to apply for a new LMO four months prior to the expiry to ensure that ample time exists for the processing of the new LMO and, if authorized, the subsequent work permit request. Upon the submission of a new LMO application, a return employer participating in the Live-In Caregiver Program, the Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower-Levels of Formal Education (NOC C and D), Exotic Dancer, and high-skilled Program streams may be asked to demonstrate proof of past compliance with the terms of previous offers of employment to temporary foreign workers (e.g. wages and working conditions). Unless requested by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)/Service Canada (SC), employers are not required to submit proof of compliance with their LMO application. Information about compliance with the terms of previous offers of employment to temporary foreign workers can assist the Service Canada officer in determining whether the new offer of employment will be respected.

A negative LMO could be issued if a return employer refuses to demonstrate proof of compliance with terms of previous offers of employment. In cases where it appears that a return employer has not fully respected the terms of a previous offer of employment to a temporary foreign worker, the Service Canada officer will work with the employer to help them understand and uphold their responsibilities by suggesting appropriate corrective measures.

A negative LMO can be issued if a return employer is not willing to undertake and demonstrate that the necessary corrective measures requested by Service Canada were carried-out.


Posted by Janet Bomza » No Comments »

US Suspends Visa Appointments in Mexico City

Posted by Karen|US Immigration
Apr 09
28


The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and all U.S. Consulates throughout the country have suspended all non-essential services to the public until May 6. Consular services for U.S. citizens will be limited to emergency assistance and to citizenship applications (passports and consular reports of birth abroad, or CRBA). Notarial and other routine services will not be available; anyone with passport or CRBA appointments is encouraged but not required to reschedule to a later date.

Additionally, Federal Benefits Units are requesting all persons to postpone interviews on Social Security claims. The Embassy will monitor this situation continuously during the week and advise before May 6 if this suspension needs to be extended.


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Online Services Expanded for International Students holding Study Permits in Canada

Posted by Veronica Zanfir|Canada Immigration
Apr 09
27


As of April 7, 2009, international students holding study permits in Canada have been able to extend these study permits by applying online. The e-Services system is an efficient way for international students who hold a study permit in Canada to apply off-campus work permits, extend their permits, and more. Utilizing the e-Services system, international students at over 200 participating educational institutions can submit applications for off-campus work permits and confirm their eligibility online.

To secure a student permit in Canada, applicants may submit an application at a visa post abroad, in their country of nationality, or contact our law firm at pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com or 1-800-993-9971. Once in Canada, international students may work on-campus or secure off-campus work permits that will allow them to gain employment experience and an income while completing their studies in Canada.

Persons who hold study permits for Canada and have a spouse may bring their spouse into Canada by applying for a visitor visa or a spousal work permit. International students may also qualify for a Post-Graduate Work Permit and secured skilled work experience after graduation in Canada. Thereafter, these individuals may qualify for Permanent Residence in Canada under the Canadian Experience Class or the Ministerial Guidelines for Federal Skilled Workers. For further information in this respect please contact our Canadian immigration lawyers at pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com or 1-800-993-9971.


Posted by Veronica Zanfir » 1 Comment »

Canada’s New Enhanced Driver’s Licences May Be Used for Entry to the U.S.

Posted by Melodie Hughes|US Immigration
Apr 09
21


Planning to travel to the United States in the near future?  In order to ensure your seamless entry, it is important to have the right documents, including the appropriate identification. Beginning June 1, 2009, the United States will implement the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), requiring all travellers – including Canadian and U.S. citizens – to present a valid passport or other approved secure document when entering the United States from within the Western Hemisphere, regardless of mode of travel.

Even if you don’t have a valid passport, however, you may still travel to the United States with an approved secure document. When travelling by air, this can include a government-issued NEXUS card. When travelling by land or sea, approved documents include a NEXUS card, FAST card, or Enhanced Driver’s Licence/Enhanced Identity Card.

In April 2009, British Columbia began implementing a program to issue enhanced driver’s licences to Canadian citizens born in B.C. To date, these licences are available in beta format, with 500 issued; however, depending on the program’s success, all Canadian citizen residents currently holding valid driver’s licences for B.C. will also be issued these new licences.

When presenting the enhanced licence at the border, customs officials will be able to scan the card to access a database that includes information about the cardholder, including address, birth date, and Canadian citizenship. The benefits to such a licence? Not only will individuals be able to travel to the United States by land or sea without having to first obtain a passport, the enhanced driver’s licence may also speed up otherwise long wait times at the border.

While British Columbia is currently the only province issuing these “smart” licences, several others have passed legislation to launch similar programs, including Quebec, Manitoba, and Ontario. Be sure to contact your PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP professional for further details regarding the enhanced driver’s licence for these and other provinces. In the meantime, it is important to ensure that when travelling to the United States by land, sea or air, that you have the appropriate documentation.


Posted by Melodie Hughes » No Comments »

H-1B Countdown (April 20th Alert)

Posted by Karen|US Immigration
Apr 09
21


It was announced on Monday that USCIS has received approximately 44,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the Congressionally-mandated 65,000  cap.  The agency will continue to accept petitions subject to the general cap.

There is still time to apply for an H-1B visa for the 2010 fiscal year (start date October 1, 2009).  Contact one of our lawyers to discuss your options!

 


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Visa Office in Beirut, Lebanon, is Now a Full-Service Office

Posted by Veronica Zanfir|Global Immigration
Apr 09
21


Starting March 31, 2009 Lebanese nationals may apply to immigrate to Canada directly through their home visa post in Beirut (Lebanon). Until that time, the Beirut visa office processed only temporary residence applications (ie: visitor visas, work permits and study permits).

Commencing on March 31st, Lebanese citizens and other permanent residents of Lebanon have been able to choose whether they wish to be served by the visa office in Beirut, (Lebanon) or in Damascus (Syria) for the processing of their temporary or permanent visa applications. This change should have a significant positive impact, as independent permanent residence applicants having their applications processed at the visa post in Damascus (Syria) have experienced extremely lengthy processing times. It is anticipated that the new services offered by the visa post in Beirut are the result of additional staffing and funding, which will relieve the overburdened Damascus visa post and hopefully increase the pace at which applications are processed in this global region.

It is important that applicants remain mindful of the fact that, pursuant to the new Ministerial Guidelines and the processes put in place to support those guidelines, Federal Skilled Worker applications still have to be submitted to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. This is now the process for all applicants in the Federal Skilled Worker class.

For further information on this topic contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP at 1-800-993-9971 or  pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com Our experienced immigration lawyers and knowledgeable immigration consultants will respond quickly to provide you with further clarification or address your options for coming to Canada.


Posted by Veronica Zanfir » No Comments »