The Government of Canada has announced the removal of all COVID-19 entry restrictions, as well as testing, quarantine and isolation requirements for anyone entering Canada, effective October 1, 2022. Specifically, starting on the first of October, all travelers, regardless of citizenship will no longer have to:
submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website
provide proof of vaccination
undergo pre- or on-arrival testing
carry out COVID-19 related quarantine or isolation
monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada
Additionally, masks are no longer required to be work on planes and trains in Canada. Individuals are reminded that they should not travel if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
To Read more: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2022/09/government-of-canada-to-remove-covid-19-border-and-travel-measures-effective-october-1.html
Ready, or not...We're going online!
The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced a plan to make online filing for certain permanent immigration programs mandatory. The role out of mandatory online filing started on September 23, 2022 with an initial group of applications type including:
Provincial Nominee program (non-Express Entry)
Quebec-selected skilled workers
Rural and northern Immigration Pilot
Sponsoring a spouse, partner, dependent child or other family
Sponsoring a parent or grandparent
Adopting a child through the immigration process
There are many benefits to filing applications online both from the applicant and IRCC perspective. However, the lack of clarity on filing processes and where to seek out technical support in case of a technical issue have created some concern for applicants and counsel. We are hopeful that the technical issues will be resolved, as online processing has many benefits including a paperless filing process, and the ability to move files to various processing centers across the IRCC network, which in turn can help to address our ever-increasing backlog of applications pending approval.
To Read more: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/how-to-apply-online.html
US Immigration Update
Diversity Visa 2024 Registration opens October 5, 2022
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) will open registration for the Diversity Visa (DV) 2024 lottery on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. Up to 55,000 diversity immigrant visas will be available to nationals of countries with historically low immigration to the U.S. To be considered for the lottery, applicants must register online by submitting the DV form that will be available on the DOS website for this program here: https://dvprogram.state.gov. There is no cost to register for the DV program.
Applicants are selected through a randomized computer drawing and will be given a confirmation number to check if they have been selected, starting on May 6, 2023.
To read more: https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Diversity-Visa/DV-Instructions-Translations/DV-2024-Instructions-Translations/DV-2024-Instructions.pdf
USCIS Extends Green Card Validity Extension to 24 Months for Green Card Renewals
USCIS announced on September 28, 2022 it will automatically extend the validity of Permanent Resident Cards (also known as Green Cards) to 24 months for lawful permanent residents who file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Prior to this announcement, extensions were granted for 12 months.
To read more: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-extends-green-card-validity-extension-to-24-months-for-green-card-renewals
Express Entry Update September 2022 - Return to Normal?
In July 2022, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship resumed draws from the Express Entry pool of candidates. Since then we have seem semi-regular draws from the pool for all categories - including Federal Skilled Workers, Canadian Experience Class, Provincial Nominees and Federal Skilled Trades. However, with the CRS Points remaining high, it is unlikely that many applicants in the Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades groups have been invited unless they are also in Canada with job offers from Canadian employers.
On September 28, 2022,3750 invitations to apply were issued to candidates in the Express Entry pool with the minimum CRS score of 504 or higher in all categories (no program specified). On September 14, 2022, 3250 invitations to apply were issued to candidates in the Express Entry pool with the minimum CRS score of 510 or higher in all categories (no program specified).
The numbers of invitations that are being issued in each draw is steadily climbing, with a correlated drop in the number of CRS points required to qualify. The points are still high, but we are getting closer to a range where many qualified candidates with Canadian experience could expect to be invited.
Candidates who are waiting for invitations to apply, or relying on a future Open Bridging Work Permit (filed after a PR application is submitted) are encouraged to maintain their temporary status while waiting to be invited to apply.
To read more: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/mandate/policies-operational-instructions-agreements/ministerial-instructions/express-entry-rounds.html