Premium Processing Now Available for Certain R-1 Religious Worker Visas

Posted by Marwah Serag|US Immigration
Jul 09
30


Effective July 21, 2009, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed Premium Processing Service for nonimmigrant religious worker petitions filed by certain R-1 petitioners.  Only those petitioners who have successfully passed an on-site inspection are eligible to file under Premium Processing Service.  USCIS has implemented a site inspection requirement as part of the adjudication process for religious worker petitions.  Premium Processing Service guarantees that for an addition $1000 processing fee, USCIS will adjudicate the petition within 15 calendar days of receipt.  USCIS is only offering this expedited processing to those petitioners who have previously succesfully completed an onsite  inspection at the location where the beneficiary will be employed.  Feel free to contact our office to help you assess whether you can take advantage of the Premium Processing Service.


Posted by Marwah Serag » No Comments »

Processing Times at Vegreville on the Decline

Posted by Melodie Hughes|Global Immigration
Jul 09
16


For many temporary residents and employers in Canada, the recently increased processing times for extended work permits and visitor records through Vegreville have been a source of unwanted surprise and headache. With the onset of summer, Vegreville announced dramatically increased processing times, with waiting times for extended work permits rising from approximately 70 days to upwards of 109 days. For the past two months, those awaiting new visitor records have had to wait even longer. We are pleased to report, however, that CIC’s most recent figures indicate these processing times to be on the decline. As of today, Vegreville’s Case Processing Centre is reportedly issuing extended work permits (for the same employer) in 89 days.

While it is always advisable to apply for your extension early so as to ensure you are not caught by lengthy or increased processing times, this comes as welcome news for many and will hopefully be a trend that continues! Keep checking back regularly or contact a PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP Professional for updates and information on how and when it is best to apply for an extension of your temporary resident document.


Posted by Melodie Hughes » No Comments »

New Pilot Project Unveiled to Allow Dependent Children to Obtain Open Work Permits

Posted by Melodie Hughes|Canada Immigration
Jul 09
14


Effective July 1, 2009, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has unveiled a Pilot Project which will allow dependent children of temporary foreign workers in Ontario and Alberta to obtain an open work permit.

Normally, dependent children of temporary foreign workers would have to meet the same requirements of other foreign workers to obtain a work permit. This includes having an offer of employment and in most cases, obtaining a positive Labour Market Opinion from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (also known as Service Canada). With this Pilot Project, however, those residing in Alberta or Ontario may now apply for an open work permit on the basis of their parent’s work permit. The child need not have an offer of employment, and no LMO will need to be obtained.

Not everyone will qualify for this new work permit, however. In order for a dependent child to qualify for an open work permit under this Pilot Project, the following criteria must be met:

1. The dependent child’s parent must hold an employer-specific work permit valid for 6 months or longer;

2. The dependent child’s parent must be working in either Alberta or Ontario in a skilled occupation (classified as Skill Level O,A, or B under the National Occupational Classification);

3. The dependent child meets standard criteria to work in Canada; and

4. The dependent child meets the minimum age requirement for the province. Specifically, children in Alberta must be between the ages of 18-22 years old, while children in Ontario must be at least 14 years or older.

If all of the above criteria have been met, CIC will issue an open work valid for 1 year or for the duration of the parent or guardian’s work permit. The work permit will allow the dependent child to work for any employer in the province in which the parent or guardian works (Alberta or Ontario).

The Pilot Project is currently applicable to Alberta and Ontario only, and will be in effect from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 inclusive. For further information and updates regarding participation of other provinces or future extensions to the Pilot Project, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.


Posted by Melodie Hughes » 3 Comments »

Citizens of the Czech Republic Now Require a Visa to Enter Canada.

Posted by Karen|Global Immigration
Jul 09
13


Effective July 14, 2009, all citizens of the Czech Republic intending to visit Canada as a student, worker or tourist must apply for a visa through a Canadian visa post abroad before travelling to Canada.

Please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP if you have any questions or need a visa.


Posted by Karen » No Comments »

Mexican Nationals Now Require Visas to Enter Canada.

Posted by Karen|Global Immigration
Jul 09
13


Effective July 14, 2009, all Mexican nationals coming to Canada as visitors or workers will require a visa before entering Canada.  This means that all Mexican nationals intending to travel to Canada temporarily as visitors, students, or workers will now be required to apply for a Canadian visa at a Canadian visa post abroad prior to traveling to Canada.


Posted by Karen » No Comments »

ICE Shifting Enforcement Efforts to US Employers

Posted by Marwah Serag|US Immigration
Jul 09
9


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released its plan to focus its enforcement resources on US employers, which includes mass inspections of businesses accross the United States.  ICE is dedicating more resources to holding US employers accountable for their hiring records and compliance with employment eligibility and verification procedures.  This announcement has alerted employers that their Form I-9 retention procedures must be in order and in compliance with US immigration laws.  Although ICE has not identified the businesses being inspected, it has selected over 600 businesses who will receive Notices of Inspection as a result of agenecy leads and investigations.  These businesses can expect thorough inspections of their employment eligibility and identification verification policies and procedures.     


Posted by Marwah Serag » No Comments »