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Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Government of Canada amends the Citizenship Act

Bill C-6 received royal assent on June 19, 2017 and eases many of the key eligibility requirements for citizenship, including the physical presence requirement and the requirement to demonstrate knowledge of Canada and its official languages. Bill C-6 also eliminates some of the more controversial elements of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, including the ability to revoke the Canadian citizenship of dual nationals based on national security grounds.

 

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Canada to lift visa requirements for Mexican citizens

On June 28, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally announced that the Temporary Resident Visa (“TRV”) requirement for citizens of Mexico travelling to Canada will be eliminated as of December 1, 2016. However, the existing TRV requirement will continue until November 30, 2016. Mexican citizens who wish to travel to Canada before December 1, 2016, will still need to obtain a TRV from a Canadian consular post.

 

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Update on Express Entry

Since Express Entry began on January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has issued several rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”). As of the date of this article, CIC has issued a total of 35 rounds of ITAs.

 

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CIC establishes LMIA exemptions for television and film production workers and performing artists

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has announced two new categories of work permits exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment requirement, pursuant to Section 205 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. These work permits apply to: (1) foreign nationals whose work is essential to a television or film production and would create and maintain significant economic benefits and opportunities for Canadians and permanent residents; and (2) foreign nationals working in dance (i.e. ballet, contemporary), opera, orchestra, and live theatre, whose work contributes to competitive advantages and reciprocal benefits for all Canadians. CIC has also clarified its business visitor guidance to confirm that foreign nationals who are employed as film producers, essential personnel for commercial (i.e. advertising) shoots, and film and recording studio users may now seek admission under the business visitor category.

 

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Canada implements leniency period for Electronic Travel Authorization until Fall 2016

On April 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada published regulations implementing its Electronic Travel Authorization (“eTA”) program. The regulations initially required eTAs to be mandatory as of March 15, 2016. Fortunately, the new Liberal Government has decided to delay the enforcement of the eTA requirement until Fall 2016 (no exact end date has been announced) by implementing a “leniency period.” During the leniency period, visa-exempt foreign nationals who do not have an eTA will still be permitted to enter Canada as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. Nevertheless, visa-exempt foreign nationals are encouraged to obtain an eTA as soon as possible.

 

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Update on Express Entry

Since Express Entry began on January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has issued several rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”). As of the date of this article, CIC has issued a total of 26 rounds of ITAs. The last two rounds (rounds 25 and 26) have required minimum CRS scores (453 points and 457 points) that have approached the levels used in rounds 17 and 18 (450 points).

 

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Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program announces details of its Entrepreneur and Corporate Streams

When the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (“OINP”) announced the termination of its Investor Stream on October 29, 2015, it promised that it would create new Entrepreneur and Corporate Streams to replace it. On December 18, 2015, the OINP published complete eligibility criteria and application guidelines for these two new business streams.

 

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Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program announces temporary pause on OINP “base” stream applications

On November 16, 2015, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (“OINP”), formerly known as the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program, announced that it has exhausted its base stream allocation for 2015. Between November 16th, 2015 and January 3, 2016, the program will not accept any new employer pre-screen applications or applications under the Master’s Stream or PhD Stream. Any applications received during this time period will be returned to the applicant. The OINP will begin accepting new applications under all these streams on January 4, 2016.

 

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Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program announces closure of its Investor Stream

On October 29, 2015, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (“OINP”), formerly the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program, announced that the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade is redesigning its OINP business streams. As a result, it has terminated its existing Investor Stream. However, applications for its redesigned Corporate Stream and Entrepreneur Stream will be accepted in the Fall of 2015.

 

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Update on Express Entry

Since Express Entry began on January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has issued several rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”). As of the date of this article, CIC has issued a total of 20 rounds of ITAs. Although the lowest Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”) score eligible to receive an ITA has been 450 points (which occurred in rounds 17 and 18, the minimum CRS score has risen to over 480 in the last two rounds (rounds 19 and 20).

 

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TFW program administrative monetary penalties for employer non-compliance

Background As was previously mentioned, Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker (“TFW”) program on June 20, 2014.  Among these changes was a proposal to impose fines of up to $100,000 on employers who violated the TFW program.  The […]

 

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Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program establishes two express entry streams

When Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Express Entry Program began on January 1, 2015, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (the “OINP”), formerly known as the Ontario PNP, still did not have an Express Entry Stream in place. However, the OINP has now announced two Express Entry Streams: (1) the Human Capital Priorities Stream, and (2) the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream.

 

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Update on express entry stream

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has now issued six rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”) under Express Entry. CIC is clearly increasing the number of ITAs that it issues in each round and is also lowering the minimum CRS score that applies in each round.

 

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CIC begins issuing work permits to applicants under the spouse or common law partner class

On December 22, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced a one-year pilot program to issue open work permits to applicants under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class before they have received approval in principle.

 

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Update on Express Entry

Since Express Entry began on January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has issued four rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”). However, the total number of ITAs being issued is still relatively small. Also, even though the last round included ITAs issued to applicants having a minimum Comprehensive Ranking Score of 735, this is still too high for an applicant who does not have arranged employment or a nomination certificate issued under a PNP Express Entry stream.

 

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