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Canada Immigration Update

International Students can now work full time during the school term

On Friday, October 7, 2022, The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced that restrictions on eligible work hours for post-secondary students will be lifted from November 15, 2022, until December 31, 2023. This is a change allows students in Canada to work full-time (40 hours/week) during the school term. 

Students and their employers are reminded that it is critical to stay compliant with their status as a student, specifically to be engaged in full-time studies. While this change will allow students to gain valuable work experience in Canada, it is important to understand that work experience gained while a full-time student will not qualify an applicant to apply for Permanent Residence under the Canadian Experience Class (Express Entry).


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Artificial Intelligence Helping to Process Study Permit and Visitor Record Extensions

IRCC has launched a pilot program to process in-Canada study permit extensions using Artificial Intelligence. The pilot program is intended to allow for approvals but won't be used to refuse study permits (these will continue to be referred to an immigration officer). 

On October 12, 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada furthered these efforts by including advanced analytics to help officers better process visitor records. 

There are many benefits that come with a shift in technological advancements; however, it is important to remember that although artificial intelligence (AI) is intended to alleviate the strain on the system, IRCC officers will still make the final decision on approving or refusing an application. 

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Immigration Medical Examinations Are Now Valid for 5 Years- 

IRCC has announced a new temporary public policy extending the validity of foreign nationals medical examinations for five (5) years.

This exemption applies to foreign nationals who:

  • Have a new or pending application for permanent or temporary residence or permanent resident visa made from inside Canada.
  • Have Completed an immigration medical exam within the last 5 years and poses no risk to public health or safety.

Applicants eligible under this temporary policy must provide their unique medical identifier number from their previous exam when submitting their new application.

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US Immigration Update 

65,000 Additional  H2-B Visas For Fiscal Year 2023

On October 12, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labour announced that an additional 64,716 H-2B visas for temporary nonagricultural workers will be available to help address employers' need to fill positions in industries including hospitality, tourism, landscaping, and seafood processing who require seasonal workers to help meet the demands of their consumers.

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USCIS Extends COVID-19 Accommodations until January 24, 2023

On October 24, 2022, USCIS announced the extension of certain Covid-19 flexibilities until January 24, 2023, to support applicants, petitioners and requestors.

If a request or notice is issued between March 1, 2020, and January 23, 2023, an additional 60 days will be given to respond to requests for the following: 

  • Request for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Terminate Regional Centers
  • Notices of intent to Withdraw Temporary Protected Status and 
  • Motions to reopen an N-400

Responses to minimizing the strain caused by Covid-19 will continue to be a pivotal theme in how to better accommodate immigration procedures and system processes.

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Express Entry Update October 2022 - Return to Normal?

On October 12, 2022, 4250 invitations to apply were issued to candidates in the Express Entry pool with the minimum CRS score of 500 or higher in all categories (no program specified). On October 26, 2022, 4750 invitations to apply were issued to candidates in the Express Entry pool with the minimum CRS score of 496 or higher in all categories (no program specified). 

The number of invitations that are being issued in each draw is steadily climbing, with a correlated drop in the number of CRS points required to qualify. The points are still high, but we are getting closer to a range where many qualified candidates with Canadian experience could expect to be invited. 

As an alternative strategy to the Express Entry route, a number of Provincial Nominee Programs are actively issuing invitations and processing applications. In the month of October, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program ("OINP") issued invitations to apply to candidates with a qualified interest in the Master's Graduate stream who hold a score of 35 and above. While the BC Provincial Nominee Program ("BCPNP") issued 320 invitations to apply in their general draw on October 12, 2022.

Candidates waiting for invitations to apply or relying on a future Open Bridging Work Permit (filed after a PR application is submitted) are encouraged to maintain their temporary status while waiting to be invited to apply. 
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