Canada extends the application period for Post-Graduation Work Permits

application extension

The Government of Canada announced the changes on Thursday, February 14, along with other modifications to its popular Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program.

The extension doubles the amount of time recent graduates have to apply for a PGWP once their school issues their final marks, from 90 days to 180 days.

Another big change was the removal of the requirement that international graduates have a valid study permit when applying for a PGWP. By effectively removing the valid study permit requirement, students will now have adequate time to obtain the documents they need to apply without the extra stress of an expired permit.

According to David Cohen, senior partner at the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal, doubling the amount of time they have to apply and allowing them to do so beyond the expiration date on their study visa will make a world of a difference for students who want to stay and gain valuable Canadian work experience.

Should you be interested in studying or working in Canada, feel free to contact us.

Open Work Permit Pilot for sponsored spouses and common-law partners in Canada extended

open work permit

The Government of Canada is extending its Open Work Permit Pilot for sponsored spouses and common-law partners who are living in Canada and in the process of applying for permanent residence under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class.

The Open Work Permit Pilot was introduced first in 2014, and now it is going to be its fourth extension. Open Work Permit Pilot program, which was set to expire on January 31, 2019, will be extended until July 31, 2020.

An open work permit is one that is not tied to a specific job or employer. In order to be eligible, applicants must have valid temporary resident status, either as a visitor, student or worker, and live at the same address as their sponsor, among other criteria.
If you need assistance with the Open Work Permit application process, feel free to contact us.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

rural and northen immigration pilot

The government of Canada has announced a pilot program to attract newcomers to rural areas. The main idea of this program is to fill labour shortages and fuel economic growth in rural communities by matching them with prospective immigrants interested in settling outside of Canada’s big cities. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program requires rural communities to submit a thorough plan identifying available middle-class job opportunities and developing social support infrastructure to help the newcomers settle.

The government of Canada is currently looking for communities that are interested in participating in this pilot. In order to complete the application, the community must work with a local economic development organization that is actually the one to submit the application.

The information on the official source is currently only for communities interested in participating in the pilot. Information for permanent residence applicants will be available later in 2019.

Express Entry update: settlement funds requirement increases

express entry

The Government of Canada has introduced a slight increase to its settlement funds requirement. All Federal Skilled Worker Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Class candidates must show proof of funds. It is one of the main requirements to ensure the principal applicant and the accompanying family members would be able to support themselves financially upon landing in Canada as permanent residents.

The increase raises the required minimum settlement funds by just over 1.5 percent for each family level. For example, for a single person arriving unaccompanied in Canada, the increase would be from $12,474 to $12,669.

Canadian Experience Class candidates who are working in Canada on an eligible work permit don’t have to prove they have the minimum settlement funds. However, there are cases when Canadian Experience Class candidates invited to apply for Canadian PR through the Federal Skilled Worker Class. In this case, they will have to show proof of funds.

Family members include a spouse or partner, dependent children and the dependent children of a spouse or partner. IRCC considers a dependent child to be any family member under the age of 22.

For more information regarding family levels and required funds, and other details of the Express Entry process, feel free to contact us or order a private consultation with the Immigration Expert.

Travel Updates: ETIAS is set to commence in 2021

ETIAS

The ETIAS visa is an electronic authorization that allows visa-free nationals to travel to the Schengen Zone. The ETIAS visa is similar to the ESTA of the USA or the eTA of Canada. ETIAS is set to commence in 2021.

If you are planning a trip to Europe, there are countries that require ETIAS visas: Austria, Hungary, Norway, Belgium, Iceland, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Latvia, Slovakia, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Finland, Lithuania, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Germany, Malta, Switzerland, Greece, Netherlands, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City State.

Each citizen from the visa-free countries (including Canadian passport holders!) needs to apply for ETIAS prior to boarding. Once issued, a valid authorization will allow its holder to stay in 26 different countries in Europe for a period of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Travellers will be able to apply for the ETIAS visa online starting 2021. This visa will be valid for 3 years or until the ETIAS holder’s passport expires. Contact us for the requirements.

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program Opens on January 28, 2019

parents sponsorship 2019

Today, on January 11, 2019, it was announced that the Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Program interest to sponsor form will be available to potential sponsors starting at noon EST on January 28, 2019.

The launch of the 2019 PGP Program will include a new and improved intake process. The Government of Canada has listened to and addressed concerns from clients and stakeholders about the previous intake process and has taken steps to provide a first-in-first-served approach for 2019. This approach will further enhance the client experience by keeping the application process fair for all while remaining an easy-to-access electronic method for applicants.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will accept interest to sponsor submissions for a limited time and then invite potential sponsors to submit a complete application, in the order their submissions were received until the 2019 cap of 20,000 complete applications is reached. Interested potential sponsors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new intake process for 2019, as other improvements have been made. These include a requirement for potential sponsors to upload a copy of status in Canada document when submitting their interest to sponsor form.

Potential sponsors should submit interest to sponsor form as soon as possible once it’s available online, after confirming that they meet the necessary minimum income requirements.

New DUI laws in Canada will affect non-citizens

DUI laws

New changes the Canadian criminal code took effect on December 18, 2018. Impaired driving will lead to severe consequences for permanent residents and foreign nationals since it is considered now a serious criminal offence. First of all, the sentence was increased from five to 10 years, and second, this offence will affect the immigration status of Canadian permanent residents.

The elevation of impaired driving offences to serious criminality means permanent residents could be in jeopardy of losing their PR status and could potentially face deportation if they are convicted of an impaired driving offence committed after December 18, 2018, in Canada or overseas.

In addition, offences committed after December 18, individuals charged with impaired driving will never achieve what’s called “deemed rehabilitation.” (Deemed rehabilitation is a concept whereby people with a single, non-serious offence on their record will no longer be considered inadmissible to Canada after a period of 10 years has elapsed from the completion of their sentence.)

Because impaired driving will be considered serious criminality as of December 18, deemed rehabilitation will never take effect for those who are caught driving while impaired after this date. Such individuals will be obligated to apply for criminal rehabilitation if they hope to resolve the fact that they are considered inadmissible to Canada.

This matter is very new, complex and has many multiple implications for Permanent Residents. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to take an action and request a private consultation if deportation was not your New Year Resolution.

Working holidays visa as an option to work in Canada

working holidays

You are probably aware of the list of countries, citizens of which are allowed to apply for a Working Holidays Visa, but do you know that it is also a great opportunity to stay in Canada for good?

What is Working Holidays Visa?

This type of Work Visa may be your perfect solution if don’t have a job offer yet. The type of Work Permit a foreign worker gets for Working Holiday is an Open Work Permit. That will allow a foreign worker to work for more than one employer in Canada and/or in more than one location.

Who is eligible for Working Holidays Visa to Canada?

You are eligible for this type of visa if you are a citizen of one of the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic, Latvia Republic, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

How to transfer from Working Holidays Visa to Work Visa?

If you are already in Canada on a Working Holidays visa, you will have 6-12 months (depending on your citizenship). And here is your Step #1 – Be Smart and don’t waste your time on a non-essential stuff! Use the great opportunity to find a nice and reliable employer, who would want you to stay and work for the company longer. Then we will help you with Step #2 – to lead your employer through the complicated LMIA process. After that you will get our help with Step #3 – to switch your Working Holidays Visa to Work Visa. This strategy will allow you to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker, to continue your career here and make money, and last but not least – you will get a chance to build your new life in Canada!

Thailand Launches E-Visa on Arrival

thailand e-visa

Thailand officially launched e-visa on arrival for visitors, which is the latest attempt of the kingdom to ease the immigration process of foreign tourists.

According to the Thailand news, the Acting Commissioner of Thailand's Immigration Bureau said that the new e-visa on arrival was to deal with overcrowding in airports in Bangkok and other cities.

Now tourists have to wait for one to two hours to get their visa on arrival and pass the immigration at Thailand's airports. However, an early application online will dramatically shorten the immigration process to one minute! All you need to do is to apply for one at least 24 hours before arrival and at most 30 days before arrival at the kingdom. Check if you need a visa to Thailand here.

Japan is about to implement a new electronic visa system

japanese visa

The government of Japan will introduce an electronic system for tourist visa applications in April 2020. Japan has already eased visa requirements and increased the number of low-cost carriers and other flights in order to boost inbound tourism and reach the number of 60 million foreign visitors by 2030.

The first tourists who are going to be eligible for the new system will be Chinese passport holders applying for a single-entry visa. Later on, the system will be available for other nationalities, as well as for other types of visas.

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