International Mobility Program Plus: Open work permits for Quebec Selection Certificate holders outside Quebec
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced a new work permit category call the International Mobility Program Plus (IMP+). This is an open work permit category with a numerical cap of 14,700 for 2022.
The category allows applicants for permanent residence who intend to reside in Quebec to apply for an open work permit, which in turn will allow them to work for almost any employer in the province of Quebec. Applicants must not live in Quebec at the time of the application, and must hold a Certificate of Selection for Quebec (CSQ) for either the Regular Skilled Worker Program or the Permanent Immigration Pilot Program for workers in the artificial intelligence, information technologies and visual effects sectors.
The goal is to allow applicants for permanent residence in the province of Quebec to move to that province and start working sooner, and while waiting for their applications for permanent residence to be processed.
To read more: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/quebec-skilled-workers/international-mobility-program-plus-csq.html
Alberta lifts restrictions on hiring new temporary foreign workers
As of May 1, 2022, the Alberta government lifted restrictions on hiring new temporary foreign workers with job offers in the province. This change eliminates the 'refusal to process' list for new Labour Market Impact Assessments for certain identified occupations in the province. The move is understood to be in response to the need for skilled workers for sectors of the Alberta economy that are experience labour shortages.
To read more: https://www.alberta.ca/aaip-updates.aspx#jumplinks-0
US Immigration Update
USCIS to Implement Premium Processing for certain previously filed EB-1 and EB-2 immigrant applications
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that beginning on June 1, 2022, they will begin accepting requests for Premium Processing (Form I-907) for certain petitioners who have a pending I-140 petition under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications. The increased access to premium processing includes E13 multinational executives and managers and E21 professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver.
To read more: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-to-implement-premium-processing-for-certain-previously-filed-eb-1-and-eb-2-form-i-140
Temporary Protected Status for Afghanistan
On May 19, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an 18 month designation of Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States. The registration process began on May 20, 2022. Eligibility under the Afghanistan designation requires continuous residence in the United States since March 15, 2022 and continuous physical presence in the US since the designation (May 20, 2022).
To read more: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/dhs-announces-registration-process-for-temporary-protected-status-for-afghanistan
Express Entry Update May 2022
The Federal government's budget bill includes new authority for the Minister of Immigration to invite applicants to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system based on criteria not currently in use. The authority to issue Ministerial Instructions to select applicants with specific work experience is expected to bring significant change to the processing of Express Entry applications. This approach is familiar in the Provincial Nominee Programs, but is a departure from the Federal government approach for the main economic immigration categories (Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Worker Class). It is expected that experience in 'in-demand occupations' will become a factor for an invitation, and may displace the approach of inviting applicants with the highest Comprehensive Ranking System ("CRS") points to apply first.
Overall this will change the approach to Express Entry by introducing more control for the Minister and his office, as well as an element of subjectivity in the selection of which occupations are prioritized. At the same time it will likely take away some of the predictability for invitations that were based solely on points, which can be calculated objectively.
There have been no draws from the Express Entry pool for Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Workers or Federal Skilled Trades applicants in May 2022. This marks another month without draws from the main economic immigration categories. We expect that draws will resume in July 2022 at levels similar to the pre-pandemic approach to Express Entry between July-September 2022.
To read more: https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/budget-bill-gives-liberals-new-power-to-pick-immigrants-with-skills-that-are-in-demand