Agreement Reached For Striking Visa Officers

Posted by Vian Sulevani|Canada Immigration
Sep 13
30


On September 26, 2013, an agreement was reached between the union representing Foreign Service officers and the Treasury Board, effectively ending one of the longest strikes in the federal public service history.  The agreement, which still needs to be ratified by union members before it can be put in place, moves the union members much closer to salaries equal to other civil servants who do similar work and who sometimes take the place of Foreign Service officers on postings abroad.

The president of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) indicated that the agreement meant that all strike measures would cease immediately.  This is definitely welcome news!  However this public service strike has left a significant backlog of work and the PAFSO also stated it will take months to clear.

For more information on this alert or other Canadian or US immigration matters, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP – Immigration Lawyers at 1-800-993-9971 or pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com.


Posted by Vian Sulevani » No Comments »

Changes to AINP Post-Graduate Worker Category Announced

Posted by Donna Habsha|Canada Immigration, Permanent residence
Sep 13
30


The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has made an important change to the eligibility criteria of the Strategic Recruitment Stream, Post-Graduate Worker Category. Effective September 27, 2013, only applicants who have completed an eligible program of study in Alberta http://www.albertacanada.com/immigration/immigrating/ainp-srs-postgrad-worker-eligible-institutions.aspx may apply under this category.

Applicants who have completed an eligible program of study outside of Alberta, still have the option to apply for permanent residence under the AINP with an Alberta employer under the Employer-Driven Stream, International Graduate Category.


Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

Bridging Open Work Permits – When is your Spouse/Common-law Partner Eligible

Sep 13
23


Bridging Open Work Permits were introduced in December of 2012.  This type of work permit application allows for an individual who has applied for Permanent Residence (PR) in Canada to remain in Canada with an open work permit until they receive a decision on their PR application.   Citizenship and Immigration Canada has finally clarified a point about Bridging Open Work Permit applicants and their spouses/partners.

Spouses/common-law partner are not automatically eligible to apply for an open work permits, based on their spouse/partner’s Bridging Open Work Permit application.  There are certain conditions that are required to be met by the holder of a Bridging Open Work Permit, in order for their spouse to also be eligible for an open Work Permit.  Eligibility for a spouse/common-law partner will depend on the type of PR application made.

  • For spouses of Federal Skilled Worker Class applicants: the Bridging Work Permit holder must be performing work which is at a level that falls within National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Levels 0, A or B.
  • For spouses of Provincial Nomination (PNP) applicants: the spouse is eligible for an open work permit for the duration of the work permit held by the principal PNP applicant, irrespective of the skill level of the principal PN applicant’s occupation.
  • For spouses of Federal Skilled Trades applicants: the Bridging Work Permit holder must be performing work which is within one of the qualifying occupations in NOC Skill Level B.
  • For spouses of Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applicants: there are no set preconditions to be met by the principal CEC applicant.

Dependent children of a PR applicant in any of these Economic Classes, must obtain a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) or have a LMO exemption based on their specific situation in order to apply for a Work Permit.

For more information on this alert or other Canadian or US immigration matters, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP – Immigration Lawyers at 1-800-993-9971 or pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com.


Posted by Vian Sulevani » 1 Comment »

2015 Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery

Sep 13
20


The United States Department of State (DOS) recently released the instructions for the 2015 Diversity Visa Lottery.  This is a lottery that awards 50,000 green card (US permanent residency) numbers to selected winners.  The lottery is only open to individuals born in certain countries that traditionally have a low immigration rate to the US, and requires that the applicants have completed high school or its equivalent, or have two years of qualifying work experience. 

Individuals born in the following countries are not eligible for the lottery: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

Registration for the 2015 Diversity Visa Lottery must be done between Noon Eastern Daylight Time October 1, 2013 and Noon Eastern Daylight Time November 2, 2013, and those selected will be notified on May 1, 2014.
For more information on U.S. or Canadian immigration, please contact our offices at 1-800-993-9971 or pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com.


Posted by Mark Dey » No Comments »

Foreign Service Officers Strike Continues

Sep 13
19


On September 13, 2013, the Public Service Labour Relations Board (“PSLRB”) ruled that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) is bargaining with the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (“PAFSO”) in bad faith. CIC has filed a judicial review (appeal) application of the PSLRB decision.

PAFSo is entering its fifth month of strike action. Pending court proceedings likely mean the strike action will extend into 2014. While applications continue to process overseas, decisions are being delayed.

Our office has had great success using new on-line processing systems and Visa Application Centres around the world in order to avoid the application backlog at Canadian consulates in particular regions. For advice on using the best options for submission of your visa and temporary or permanent resident applications, contact our office to speak with one of our experienced Canadian immigration lawyers.


Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments »

Speeding up citizenship decisions by clearing dormant cases

Sep 13
16


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced it is taking action to reduce citizenship grant wait times by decreasing its inventory of dormant applications.

Measures are being taken for applicants who do not show up for their scheduled citizenship test or interview.  After a missed test or interview, applicants will be reminded in a final notice to contact CIC to provide a reasonable cause for not showing up. If the applicant provides a reasonable cause for missing their appointment, CIC will reschedule their test or interview. They will be given two opportunities over three months to provide a reasonable cause. Otherwise, their application will be closed.

Applicants whose files have been closed will have to re-submit a new application if they are still interested in obtaining Canadian citizenship.

For more information on this alert or other Canadian or US immigration matters, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP – Immigration Lawyers at 1-800-993-9971 or pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com.


Posted by Vian Sulevani » No Comments »

New Biometric Requirement

Sep 13
6


As of September 4th, 2013, biometrics are now required for nationals of Colombia, Haiti, and Jamaica applying for temporary resident visas to Canada. Biometrics will include electronic scanning of fingerprints and digital photos.

Those exempt from the biometric requirement are:

  • under 14 years old or 80 years old and over;
  • diplomat, consular officer, representative, or official travelling to Canada on official business;
  • applying for a visa to transit through Canada for less than 48 hours, directly to or from the United States and you hold a valid United States entry visa; or
  • already in Canada and are eligible to apply for a visitor (temporary resident) visa, study permit or work permit to an office in Canada.

There will be also be an additional fee required for biometrics of $85 CAD per person and families applying together pay a maximum biometric fee of up to $170 CAD, unless the application is made at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).

Nationals of 27 more countries will be required to provide biometrics with their temporary resident visa applications by the end of 2013.

For more information on this alert or other Canadian or US immigration matters, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP – Immigration Lawyers at 1-800-993-9971 or pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com.


Posted by Vian Sulevani » No Comments »

International Experience Canada moving to Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Sep 13
3


Effective August 31, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will assume responsibility for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. The program was previously administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

The IEC program provides opportunities for young Canadians and foreign nationals, aged 18-35, to gain travel and work experience in each other’s countries for up to two years.

The program will continue to operate as usual, meaning that the application process will be the same for IEC participants. Applicants will not face an interruption in service as a result of the transfer.  CIC will utilize its centralized electronic processing for these work permits.  CIC will now become the one-stop shop for applicants by streamlining the application process for IEC participants at one federal government department.

For more information on this alert or other Canadian or US immigration matters, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP – Immigration Lawyers at 1-800-993-9971 or pwcimmigrationlaw-info@ca.pwc.com.


Posted by Vian Sulevani » No Comments »