Post-Graduate Work Permit Extensions - Finally we have a Policy!
In April 2022, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced that Canada was going to extend post-graduation work permits for recent international graduates and for those whose permits already have or will expire this year, and that the extension would provide for an additional open work permit for 18 months. At that time, the Minister indicated that details were going to be made available 'in the weeks ahead.' While it is much delayed, we now have a temporary public policy in place to address the impact on International Students and Post-Graduate Work Permit ("PGWP") holders from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lack of Invitations To Apply ("ITA") for permanent residence under the Express Entry system.
Key among the temporary public policy items is the ability for PGWP policy announcements is eligibility to apply for a new open work permit that would be valid for up to 18 months. This public policy will be in effect until December 31, 2022.
There are a number of requirements for eligibility and restrictions that applicants need to be aware of, however this measure is seen as very positive for foreign students and PGWP holders whose work permits are expiring or have already expired and whose ability to transition to permanent residents has been hampered by the lack of invitations under Express Entry.
To read more: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/service-delivery/coronavirus/temporary-residence/study-permit/pgwpp.html#sec6.2
US Immigration Update
September 2022 Visa Bulletin - No Movement in Most Employment Based Categories
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for September 2022. The bulletin reveals no movement on both the 'Dates for Filing' and 'Final Action Dates' charts for most employment based immigrant categories. Only the investor category, EB-5 Unreserved category for individuals born in China shows only a very modest movement forward from the August Visa Bulletin.
DOS does note that it expected to reach most "employment-based preference category limits and/or the overall employment-based preference limit" for the current fiscal year in September. Once this limit is reached for any preference category, that category will become "unavailable."
To read more: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2022/visa-bulletin-for-september-2022.html
I-9 remote verification proposal clears White House Review
On May 1, 2022 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE0 announced an extension of the flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19. This flexibility is currently set to expire on October 31, 2022.
A proposed rule that would allow DHS to provide optional alternatives to physical document review examination in the Form I-9 process has now cleared White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review.
The details of the proposed rule are not yet available, but if it is approved, it could bring about a permanent ability for USCIS and other agencies to do remote verification of I-9 status. DHS said that the proposed rule would "reduce burdens on employers and employees while maintaining the integrity of the employment verification process."
Express Entry Update August 2022 - Small rounds of invitation, but steadily growing
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 August 3, 2022,2000 invitations to apply were issued to candidates in the Express Entry pool with the minimum CRS score of 533 or higher in all categories (no program specified). On August 17, 2022, 2250 invitations to apply were issued to candidates in the Express Entry pool with the minimum CRS score of 525 or higher in all categories (no program specified).
As of August 23, 2022 there are just over 62,000 applicants in the pool with points between 451-500. The rounds of invitation have been steadily climbing in number from 1500 in the first invitation round on July 6 to 2250 on August 17. However, these are small numbers and if the Minister continues to invite smaller groups of applicants, it could still be a long time before many highly qualified candidates are invited to apply.
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/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/submit-profile/rounds-invitations.html