Face Covering to be Removed for Citizenship Oath Taking

Posted by Donna Habsha|Canada Immigration
Dec 11

On Monday December 12th, 2011 the Department of Citizenship and Immigration announced all candidates for citizenship must be seen taking the oath of citizenship at a citizenship ceremony. For candidates wearing full or partial face coverings, face coverings must be removed at the oath taking portion of the ceremony in order for CIC officials and the presiding official (Citizenship Judge) to ensure that the candidate has in fact taken the Oath of Citizenship.

Under this new directive the Department has refused to provide accommodation to allow individuals who must remove their face covering while taking the citizenship oath to do so in private and before a female official. The response from National Headquarters to the National Immigration Law Section Chair on December 13th, 2011 was:

“…there are no options for private oath taking or oath taking with a female official as all candidates for citizenship are to repeat the oath together with the presiding official.”

There are Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms at stake with the position currently being taken by the government which will have to be tested and balanced by the courts.

Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

Dep’t of Justice Initiates Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination Suit Against Medical Center

Dec 11

The Department of Justice (DOJ) made clear today, when it announced the filing of a lawsuit against the University of California, San Diego Medical Center, that foreign workers in the United States with proper work authorization have a right to work without encountering discrimination due to their immigration status or national origin. “[T]he medical center engaged in a pattern or practice of subjecting newly hired non-U.S. citizens to excessive demands for documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security in order to verify and re-verify their employment eligibility,” DOJ stated in today’s press release, “but did not require U.S. citizens to show any specific documentation.”

The complaint filed by DOJ seeks to prohibit future discrimination by the medical clinic, monetary damages to those who were affected, and civil penalties.

Posted by Immigration Law Team » No Comments »

CIC Ends the Printing and Mailing of Application Kits

Posted by Donna Habsha|Canada Immigration
Dec 11

As of December 1, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will no longer print and mail any application kits and forms except in the following circumstances:

  • Individuals requesting Braille or large print format.
  • Individuals who self identify as all of the following:
    • do not have access to the internet or who do not have a printer;
    • do not have family members or friends who can assist them; and
    • unable to access application kits via an organization or business due to a mobility disability.
  • Individuals who reside in remote areas where internet access is unavailable. This can be verified on the Industry Canada website at: www.ic.gc.ca/app/sitt/bbmap/hm.html?lng=eng.
  • Individuals requesting one of the following CIC forms:
    • Handling of Public Money payment receipt (IMM 5401);
    • Insufficient fee receipt (IMM 5412);
    • Supplementary Identification form (IMM 5455) for the Permanent Resident Card; or
    • Privately sponsored refugees requesting the Application for Permanent Residence in Canada: Convention refugees abroad and humanitarian-protected persons abroad (IMM 6000) [for missions only].


Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

Further Details Provided on the “Super Visa” for Parents and Grandparents

Posted by Melodie Hughes|Canada Immigration
Dec 11

On November 4, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that over the next two years, the government would no longer accept any new applications to sponsor parents or grandparents to Canada. To counter concerns about the potential impact of this decision, CIC announced its plan to introduce a “Super Visa”, which would allow qualifying parents and grandparents to remain in Canada under visitor status for an extended period of time.

Recently, the CIC provided some further details regarding the “Super Visa” and the criteria that applicants must meet. In a bulletin released December 1, 2011, the government confirmed that an applicant is eligible for a Super Visa if he or she has:

  • provided proof of the parent or grandparent relationship to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • undergone a medical examination and is admissible on health grounds;
  • provided satisfactory evidence of private medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company, valid for a minimum period of one year from the date of entry which:
    • covers the applicant for health care, hospitalization and repatriation;
    • provides a minimum of $100,000 coverage; and
    • is valid for each entry toCanadaand available for review by the examining officer upon request; and
  • provided a written and signed promise of financial support, e.g. a letter of invitation, from the host child or grandchild for the entire duration the applicant intends to stay inCanada. The letter must be accompanied by evidence of their means of providing such support.

Given the above criteria, it is evident that the “Super Visa” has almost identical eligibility and document requirements to the sponsorship application for permanent residence, including proof of relationship, evidence of financial support by the sponsoring family member, and the completion of a medical exam. Despite undergoing essentially the same process, however, there remains one key exception. While parents and grandparents who were previously able to be sponsored for permanent residence would benefit from all rights of permanent residency, including the right to work and have provincial healthcare coverage, Super Visa applicants will only be granted extended visitor status.

For further details on this announcement or information on how to sponsor a member of the Family Class to Canada, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Melodie Hughes » 2 Comments »

E Visa Processing for Mission Italy is Now Processed in Rome

Dec 11

Effective December 1, 2011, all E visa applications for Mission Italy are to be submitted and processed in Rome where all cases will be processed in accordance to the order received. All applications sent to Milan prior to the December 1, 2011 effective date will remain processed in Milan until conclusion.

E visas provide nonimmigrant visa status for a foreign national of any countries with which the U.S. has an appropriate treaty of commerce and navigation, who intends to enter into the U.S. to carry on substantial trade between the U.S. and the treaty country or to develop and direct the operations of a business in which the foreign national has invested or is in the process of investing in the U.S. For more information, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Immigration Law Team » No Comments »