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Canada Immigration Update

Canadian Travel Ban from 7 southern African countries  

On November 26, 2021, Canada implemented a travel ban on foreign nationals who have travelled through 7 south African countries in the past 14 days. The list of countries impacted include South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

This move is in response to the WHO designation of a new Variant of Concern - called Omicron, which was first identified in this region.

Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents who have travelled to one of the listed countries can return home, but will require additional testing and isolation. 

It is not yet known whether additional countries may be added to the travel ban, or the ban could be replaced with additional screening and test pre-and post arrival. Other countries, including Israel and the United States, have introduced similar travel restrictions. 

To read more:


PCR Test no longer required for short trips out of Canada for vaccinated Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents 

Effective today, November 30, 2021, fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents and individuals registered under the Indian Act, who depart and re-enter Canada within 72 hours will not have to present a pre-entry molecular PCR COVID-19 test. 

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Canada to recognize WHO approved vaccines 

Effective today, November 30, 20121, Canada has expanded the list of acceptable vaccines to confirm full vaccination status for travelers. The new list includes the Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN vaccines and aligns recognition of vaccine status with the WHO Emergency Use List of vaccines, globally. 

To read more:

US Immigration Update 

Non-essential travel permitted at the U.S. land border for vaccinated individuals 

Effective November 8, 2021, and for the first time since March 2020, travelers who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents are permitted to enter the United States through a land Port of Entry or ferry terminal for a non-essential reason (e.g. tourism) provided they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and can present proof of COVID-19 vaccination status, in accordance with guidelines from the Centres for Disease Control ("CDC"). 

Unvaccinated travelers may continue to enter the United States for essential travel only. 

To read more:

Express Entry Update November 2021 
Another month has passed without an Express Entry draw that includes the largest group of skilled immigrant applicants - the Canadian Experience Class. This is now the lonest period of time since the introduction of the Express Entry system, without a draw to invite candidates who are currently working in Canada to apply for permanent residence.

The impact of this lengthy period without an invitation is being felt by many, as foreign students are concerned about their Post-Graduate Work Permits expiring, and Canadian employers consider further extensions to employer-specific work permits to keep their key talent in valid status while waiting for an opportunity to apply for permanent residence.

We are hopeful that there could be a large draw before the end of 2021 as there are nearly 90,000 highly qualified applicants in the pool with high CRS scores. It is important to remember that we have not had any invitations issued to Federal Skilled Workers or Federal Skills Trades candidates since March 2020, and we have now gone from September to November 2021 without any invitations being issued to the largest group of skilled permanent resident candidates - the Canadian Experience Class.

It is challenging to imagine how IRCC will meet its 2021 and 2022 immigration targets if they don't start issuing large numbers of invitations to apply, as well as increasing the speed at which permanent residence applications are processed.

On November 24, 613 invitations were issued to candidates in the PNP streams with CRS scores of 613 or higher. On November 10, 2021, 775 invitations were issued to candidates in the PNP streams with CRS scores of 685 or higher.

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