Canadian Immigration Updates – Month in Review (July 2019)
This article contains a brief series of Canadian immigration updates, which occurred in July 2019.
Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs) – Additional guidance provided on July 5, 2019, regarding manual processing of eTAs. Specifically, it addresses the internal process of reviewing eTA requests that may be flagged. Flags results in eTA processing delays could include applications received from potential Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents, or those applicants with adverse information (i.e. admissibility concerns such as previous criminal records, arrests or convictions). Update also confirms that there are no set service standards for manually checked applications. This implies that there is no set processing time for such request, rather, assessment is performed on a case-by-case basis.
New instruction on addressing cases of abuse – Also on July 26, 2019, IRCC released additional instructions for its officers, when assessing cases of abuse. This update provides a good foundation on how immigration officers define various types of abuse, as well as the types of evidence officers look for to make their assessment. These instructions are especially salient, even more so in light of the new TRP category mentioned above.
Temporary (Visitors/Students/Workers) Residency Specific
Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs) – New instructions regarding issuance of a TRP and open work permit were released on July 26, 2019. This update is specifically targeted to out-of-status foreign nationals experiencing family violence, and are tied to the Ministerial Instructions (MI) issued on June 14, 2019. Individuals experiencing family violence are eligible to apply for such status documents for a minimum of 6 months, however longer periods of time can be requested taking into consideration certain factors.
Exemptions from mandatory e-application requirement – On July 11, 2019, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), updated its list of applications that can still be submitted via a paper-based application. These changes directly impact foreign nationals who are in Canada and seeking to extend their temporary resident status or change their temporary resident status. Considering processing times are currently 94 (online) and 120 days (mailed) for work permit extensions, the updated list is good news for those applicants that may be eligible to obtain a new document at the border.
Study Permits – IRCC announced the expansion of its Student Direct Stream (SDS) program to applicants from Pakistan, on July 26, 2019. The SDS is considered an option to study permit applicants from certain countries, aimed at providing expedited processing (under 3 weeks), provided certain conditions are met. Some of the most salient eligibility requirements are possessing English language level skills at a certain level, payment of tuition for the first year and the purchase of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000.
International Experience Canada – The Government of Canada and Luxembourg announced on July 3, 2019 the signing of a new international youth mobility agreement between the two nations. This new option will allow the issuance of a work permits without a job offer (under Working Holiday), with a job offer (Young Professionals), or those seeking to perform internships in Canada (under International Co-Op/Internship). Work permits can be issued for periods of up to 12 months.
Permanent Residency Specific
Interim Pathway for Caregivers – This temporary pathway to Canadian permanent residency has had its deadline to apply extended by an additional three (3) months, on July 8, 2019, making it open until October 8, 2019. This program is an excellent opportunity for those applicants that can demonstrate one (1) year of work experience in certain National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes (4411 and 4412).
Inland applications to sponsor family class members – Several updates to rules and procedures regarding inland applications to sponsor members of the family class have been published on July 19, 2019. These updates touch on application completeness requirements, sponsorship eligibility assessment, sponsorship bars and defaults, among others. Specific attention should be paid to the updated details concerning sponsorship bars for family class applications.
Express Entry Draws – During the month of July 2019, two (2) rounds of invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system were conducted. On July 10, 2019, a total number of 3,600 invitations were issued, to those applicants with a CRS score of at least 460 points. Similarly, on July 24, 2019, another 3,600 invitations were issued to applicants scoring at least 459 points.
If you have any questions regarding the above updates, please do not hesitate to contact us at Richard@RBICorp.ca .