On September 21, 2023, the Indian government suspended the processing of visa applications in Canada. The Indian embassy in Ottawa and consulates in Toronto and Vancouver outsource visa operations to BLS International, a third-party provider of consular support services for diplomatic missions around the globe. According to a message posted on the BLS website
On July 18, 2023, Canada’s newly announced program offering open work permits to holders of U.S. H-1B visas closed after it reached the maximum number of applicants – less than two days after its launch. Under the Canadian government’s “Tech Talent Strategy,” ten thousand open work permits have been made available to foreign nationals who hold H-1B specialty occupation visas from the United States. The program is intended to improve the mobility of high-tech talent in North America by expanding the options for H-1B holders facing long waits for U.S. permanent residency (i.e., green cards). While the popularity of Canada’s program was widely expected, the speed with which the 10,000-permit limit was reached underscores the high demand for labor mobility in North America among employers and employees alike.Continue Reading Canada’s Work Permit Program for U.S. H-1B Visa Holders Maxes Out in 48 Hours, as U.S. Conducts Second H-1B Lottery
On June 27, 2023, the Canadian government announced a new “Tech Talent Strategy” aimed at increasing the country’s attractiveness to global talent. Central to the government’s strategy is a program that offers three-year open work permits to foreign nationals who hold H-1B specialty occupation visas in the United States. Spouses of US H-1B visa holders would also be eligible for work authorization in Canada, and children would be eligible for study permits. The Tech Talent Strategy also includes provisions that promote Canada as a destination for digital nomads, improve the allocation of visas to startup companies, and streamline work permit processes. The open work permit program for H-1B visa holders is set to go into effect on July 16, 2023.Continue Reading Canada Offers Open Work Permits to US H-1B Visa Holders as Part of “Tech Talent Strategy”
On December 2, 2022, the Canadian government announced a two-year expansion of work authorization to spouses and working-age children of temporary foreign workers at all skill levels. According to the announcement, the short-term measure is designed to address gaps in Canada’s labor market amid the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the announcement, the only family members eligible for work authorization were spouses of temporary workers in high-skill occupations. The government’s move is expected to extend work authorization to as many as 200,000 noncitizens beginning in January 2023.Continue Reading Canada Extends Work Authorization to Families of Temporary Foreign Workers
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, to take effect on September 26, 2022.
These amendments impact the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, and the International Mobility Program, placing greater responsibility on employers to protect the rights of foreign workers.
The regulatory amendments aim to protect foreign workers’ rights and to improve employer compliance by addressing gaps in worker protections, workplace conditions for foreign workers, and ensuring access to information on employment rights, as well as focusing on providing improved access to healthcare services for foreign workers.Continue Reading Foreign Workers’ Rights Enhanced in Canada Through New Regulatory Amendments
On March 17, 2022, the Canadian government announced that the country will end its pre-entry COVID-19 testing requirement for all fully vaccinated* travelers arriving via land, air, or water, beginning on April 1, 2022.
Canada’s Minister of Health, Jean Yves-Duclos, noted as part of the announcement that “as vaccination levels and healthcare system capacity…
Note: Originally published on March 4, 2022. The number of people departing Ukraine has been updated from over 1.2 million to over 2 million.
Over two million people have departed Ukraine for neighboring European countries since the Russia-Ukraine military conflict escalated on February 24, 2022, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data portal. A spokesperson for the UNHCR reported that as many as 4 million Ukrainians—nearly 10 percent of the country’s population—are expected to flee to other countries if the fighting continues.Continue Reading Ukraine: Two Weeks Into the War with Russia, Over Two Million Displaced
On March 3, 2022, the United States, Canada and European Union announced special protective measures for Ukrainian nationals fleeing the Russian-Ukrainian strife that began approximately a week ago.
Continue Reading Countries Around the World Offer Temporary Protection to Ukrainian Nationals
In response to the identification of the omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, several countries around the world have implemented new travel restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the disease. In the Americas region alone, several countries—including Brazil, Canada, Chile, and the United States—have announced new restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals. Other countries, such as Mexico, have insisted that such measures are of little use.
Continue Reading Countries Impose Travel Restrictions to Slow Spread of Omicron Variant
In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many countries have imposed both inbound and outbound restrictions on international travel. These restrictions can affect the ability of foreign national residents to reenter their host countries after even brief trips abroad. With the holidays approaching, resident foreign nationals who wish to travel outside their host countries must plan well in advance to ensure compliance with all departure and reentry requirements. Failure to do so could negatively affect their immigration status.
Continue Reading COVID-Related Departure and Reentry Requirements: Plan Ahead for International Travel