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Canada Immigration Update

Canada has a new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and a new Minister of Public Safety 

On October 26, 2021 Prime Minister Trudeau announced his new Cabinet. We have a new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship - The Honourable Sean Fraser. Who also happens to be from Canada's East Coast, where the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program has been a great success.

We also have a new (but familiar face) in the role of Minister of Public Safety - Minister Marco Mendicino.

Minister Mendicino is the outgoing Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and is now responsible for the ministry that overseas the Canada Border Services Agency. So he's not completely out of the Immigration world!

We look forward to good things to come in Canadian immigration during their mandate.

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US Immigration Update 

Travel Restrictions will be lifted and a Vaccine mandate will be imposed for air travelers to the US on November 8, 2021 

Starting on November 8, 2021, non-citizen, non-immigrant air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to fly to the U.S., with only limited exceptions. 

The updated travel guidelines also include new protocols around testing, and will require unvaccinated travelers (including US citizens, lawful permanent residents and foreign nationals) to test within one day of departure to the U.S. 

This new plan will replace the existing regional and country based bans on travel to the US for foreign nationals and will move to an individual assessment of the traveler and their vaccination status. There are currently regional travel bans in place for the UK, Ireland, the Schengen area, China, India, Iran, South African and Brazil.

What does this mean for Canadians?

  • Non-essential travel by land border continues to be limited
  • Proof of vaccination will be required for air travel
  • Negative COVID-19 test will be required prior to air travel

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US Land border with Canada remains restricted

Despite the announcements from the Canadian government to allow U.S. citizen and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated to enter Canada for discretionary purposes, the U.S. government has not made a reciprocal announcement and the land border with Canada remains restricted to 'essential travel,' regardless of vaccination status.  The U.S. land Border remains closed to non-essential travel.

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Express Entry Update October 2021 
October has seen only two rounds of invitation to apply for permanent residence under Express Entry - both of which are under the Provincial Nominee Programs. The last round of invitations issued under the Canadian Experience Class was on September 14, 2021, more than 6 weeks ago. 

The impact of this lack of invitation rounds for CEC applicants means that the pool of candidates is swelling, with nearly 45,000 candidates in the pool with highly competitive scores (450 +). The question will be when can we expect another round of invitations for the CEC and will that round be large enough to address the demand of candidates waiting for an invitation, and also to meet the government's immigration targets for 2021. 

On October 13, 681 invitations were issued to candidates in the PNP streams with CRS scores of 744or higher, followed by a draw on October 13, in which 681 invitations were issued to candidates in the PNP streams with CRS scores of 720 or higher.

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Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Holds significant draws from multiple programs 
On October 20, 2021, the Ontario Immigration Nominee Program issued invitations to Masters and PhD student applicants as well as under the federal Economic Mobility Pathways Project and the Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream. Additionally, on October 27, 2021 the OINP had a Tech Draw - issuing invitations to apply to candidates under the Ontario Express Entry Human Capital Priorities stream with CRS scores of between 455 and 467 and how have work experience as Computer and information systems managers, computer engineers, database analysts and data administrators, software engineers and designers, computer programmer and interactive media developers and web designers and developers. 

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