Permanent residence

US: New USCIS regulation eases job portability for employer-sponsored foreign workers

USCIS is set to publish a new regulation that is intended to ease restrictions on job mobility for foreign workers awaiting employment-based permanent residence.  The new rule, which takes effect on January 17, 2017, also establishes grace periods for nonimmigrant workers before and after their employment and provides automatic work authorization extensions to adjustment applicants and certain other classes of foreign nationals who have timely filed for renewal of an employment authorization document (EAD).

Canada: More invitations issued in latest Express Entry draw

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducted its 42nd Express Entry draw.

IRCC issued 1,000 invitations to those who submitted an Expression of Interest to apply for permanent residence. This is a significant increase from the 750 invitations issued in the last draw.

The minimum qualifying score for this draw was 491. This score is in line with scores in recent months.

Canada: Latest Express Entry draw remains low with higher qualifying score

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is conducting its 41st Express Entry draw today.

IRCC will issue 750 invitations to those who have submitted an Expression of Interest to apply for permanent residence.

The minimum qualifying score for this draw is 538, a substantial increase from the last draw’s qualifying score of 490.

China: Relaxed immigration rules and procedures implemented

New immigration policies are being piloted in Guangdong Province that should make it easier for four main categories of foreign nationals to obtain Permanent Residence status and should simplify various application procedures, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Public Security. There are also plans to extend the visa-free policy from 72 hours to 144 hours.

UK: Home Office announcement clarifies rights of EU nationals in the United Kingdom

A joint statement by the Cabinet Office, Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office has revealed that the government “fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected”.  

Mexico: Exemptions for visa nationals expanded

A new law exempts visa nationals with a Canadian, Japanese, Schengen or UK visa from business, tourist and transit visa requirements for up to 180 days, effective immediately. This policy expands the current exemption available to visa nationals who hold a U.S. visa. 

Additionally, visa nationals who are permanent residents of Chile, Colombia or Peru will be exempt from business, tourist and transit visa requirements for up to 180 days on or after July 1, 2016. The current exemption is available to visa nationals with permanent residence in Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States or the Schengen Area countries

Costa Rica: Local identification card issuance subject to delays

Due to technical issues, foreign nationals seeking initial or renewed local identification cards (cédulas) should expect processing to take over a month after their cédula appointment, instead of the usual two weeks.

Foreign nationals should therefore carry their passport and processing receipt to use local services, and the approval notice of their respective category (e.g. Temporary or Permanent Residence, Stay Visa) if they travel. There is currently no estimate for the resolution of system issues.

US: March 2016 Visa Bulletin: EB-2 India and China final action dates will advance again

According to the State Department’s March Visa Bulletin, the cutoff date for final issuance of an immigrant visa will advance by five months for EB-2 China, to August 1, 2012, and by six weeks for EB-2 India, to October 15, 2008. 

Final action cut-off dates for EB-3 professionals and skilled workers will advance by eight months for China, to June 1, 2013; by one month for India, to July 15, 2004; by just over two months for the Philippines, to March 15, 2008; and by three months for all other countries, to January 1, 2016.  Final action cut-off dates for EB-5 China, in both the Regional Centre and non-Regional Centre programs, will advance by one week, to January 22, 2014.

Australia – Current visa processing times

We have noticed a gradual increase in processing times for decisions to be made by the Australian Department of Immigration so we are sending you the current published processing times to enable you to make the best informed decision about the time frame involved in your expatriate movements to Australia.

Canada: Provincial nomination intake re-opened for Alberta and British Columbia

The provincial governments of Alberta and British Colombia have re-opened the nomination streams and categories under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee (AINP) and British Columbia Nominee Programs (BC PNP), respectively, after the programs’ quotas were reached for 2015.

The programs offer foreign nationals and their spouses or common law partners and dependent children permanent residence.

China: Relaxed immigration rules and procedures forthcoming for foreign nationals in Beijing

New immigration policies that will be piloted starting March 1, 2016 should make it easier for four main categories of foreign nationals to obtain Permanent Residence status and should simplify various application procedures, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Public Security. There are also plans to extend the visa-free policy from 72 hours to 144 hours.