Executive Summaries May 17, 2023
IRCC Strike Ends with Tentative Agreement
IRCC employees are back to work, which will allow a return to normal operations for immigration and passport applications. Although some files have been backlogged, files filed during the strike will be processed and IRCC does not expect any significant additional delays due to the strike.
New Immigration Pathways to Alberta's Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
On April 3, AAIP announced that it has created a dedicated health care pathway that will allow health care workers easier access to permanent residency. Other facilitating measures are being introduced through membership in the Economic Mobility Pathways pilot project, which targets applicants who contribute to the local economy and those who settle in rural areas.
Canada Expands Definition of Dual Intent to Prevent Unnecessary Rejections
Canada has expanded the language around the concept of dual intent, which is that the existence of two different intents is legitimate. In other words, you can intend to work or study in Canada AND want permanent residence. Guidance available on IRCC’s website is now saying the two intents, “should be viewed as complementary, not contradictory.” Although the concept already existed, this clarification is welcome.
Sudanese Nationals Can Extend their Stay in Canada
As of April 30, 2023, Sudanese nationals in Canada can apply to extend their stay or change their status as a visitor, student or temporary worker free of charge.
Have your Say on Canada's Immigration System
IRCC is seeking input from everyone as part of its overall reflection on the future of immigration in Canada. Whether you are an individual or a company, you can participate in this online discussion.
NEXUS Canadian Centres Reopen
"NEXUS Canadian Centres are finally reopening at Pearson Airport and most other Canadian airports. Appointments can be made through the Trusted Traveler Programs system once interview slots are available."
"U.S. asks Canada to Reimpose Visa Requirements for Mexico”
While the U.S. is trying to convince Canada to reimpose visas for Mexican travelers, "The Trudeau government says there are no plans for Canada to change the visa-free status for Mexican visitors.”If the visa requirement is re-imposed, it would cause significant additional delays in bringing Mexican workers to Canada.
NIV Fee Increases Effective May 30, 2023
Effective May 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of State will increase the processing fees for certain nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applications:
- Business and tourist visitor visas (B1/B2s and BCCs) will increase from US$160 to US$185 (this decline also affects other non-petition based visas, such as student and exchange visitor visas);
- Certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from US$190 to US$205; and,
- E visas (E-1 treaty trader / E-2 treaty investor and E-3 treaty applicants in a specialty occupation) will increase from US$205 to US$315.
Other consular fees remain unchanged.
The Department of State announced this fee increase on March 28, 2023, citing the use of an activity-based costing methodology to annually calculate the cost of providing consular services, including visa services.
The last fee update for most NIVs was in 2012, and for certain other NIV in 2014.
Long Processing Times for U.S. Passports
"U.S. citizens are at risk of having their travel plans affected. The U.S. State Department is facing a significant increase in passport applications due to the upcoming summer season. Typical processing times can be as long as 10 to 13 weeks and are expected to continue to increase."
H-1B Visa: An Increase in Fraud?
"Multiple filings for the same applicants would account for much of the increase in applications to 781,000 this year. A new lottery may be on the table if enough illegally filed applications are rejected. The practice of filing multiple applications to increase the chances of being selected amounts to fraud."
“U.S. to End Vaccine Requirements for Canadians at Land Border, International Air Travelers”
"By the end of the day on May 11, international air travelers, federal employees and federal contractors will no longer be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the United States."
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