March 2020 - Y-Axis Australia Blog

Archive - March 2020

Manitoba’s latest PNP issues invites to 226 candidates

Manitoba issues 226 new invitations

Manitoba carried out its Provincial Nominee Program on March 26, 2020. It indicated Canada immigration coming back on track.

The MPNP (Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program) issued 226 new invitations. These were received by candidates eligible to submit an application for a nomination leading to Canadian permanent residence.

The MPNP is part of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program. It allows Manitoba to annually nominate a certain number of economic immigration candidates. This will be done through a variety of streams. These streams are designed to address the specific needs of the province’s labor market.

The global health crisis due to COVID-19 has transformed the international travel and immigration landscape. This came with the gradual closure of borders. The sudden economic downturn added to it.

However, the federal government made an announcement last week. It said that foreigners who have already committed themselves to study, work, or settling in Canada will be exempt from travel bans. These exemptions came into effect on March 26, 2020.

Canada immigration has shown a positive development through hard times. Many provinces continue to process immigration applications. They hold regular draws even when special immigration measures are implemented.

The latest MPNP draw invited 226 deserving candidates. They came from the MPNP’s streams including:

  • International Education
  • Skilled Workers Overseas
  • Skilled Workers in Manitoba

The invitations for each stream was as follows:

Skilled Workers in Manitoba 168
International Education 20
Skilled Workers Overseas 38

There’s a procedure for immigration candidates to be considered for a nomination that grants Canadian permanent residence. To be considered from the MPNP, they must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). They must provide the required information on their:

  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Skills in English or French
  • Connections to Manitoba

There may be other details to be submitted too.

Profiles found eligible are issued a score and admitted to the pool of candidates of the relevant streams. Those with the highest scores are issued a Letter of Advice to Apply. It helps them to apply for provincial nominations via regular draws.

Of the 226 Letters of Advice to Apply issued in this draw, 29 went to Express Entry candidates. Candidates who have a provincial nomination will get an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. It effectively guarantees an Invitation to Apply for Canadian permanent residence in an upcoming federal Express Entry draw.

The lowest point scored in the latest draw for Skilled Workers in Manitoba was 496. It was 714 for Skilled Workers Overseas candidates.

The Skilled Workers in Manitoba Stream is inviting even eligible temporary foreign workers. It’s also open for international student graduates who are currently working in Manitoba. These graduates have in hand an offer for a permanent job with their Manitoba employer.

The total invitations issued by the MPNP so far this year through these streams thus comes to 1,523.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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British Columbia PNP invites 311 candidates, fit for PR

B.C. issues 311 invitations

In the latest development in Canada Immigration, British Columbia held a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It happened on March 30, 2020. In this draw, 311 candidates were invited to submit an application for getting a provincial nomination. The nomination will lead to Canada PR (Permanent Residence).

The BC PNP (British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program) invited candidates under 2 immigration categories:

  • Skills Immigration
  • Express Entry BC

The candidates must have a valid profile in the federal Express Entry pool. Only then will they be selected via the Express Entry BC category. Express Entry is Canada’s main channel to source skilled immigrants. These immigrants will be those looking to apply for Canada PR.

Express Entry manages applications for Canada’s 3 main economic class immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program

Candidates who are eligible for Express Entry gets a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The score is based on human capital factors such as:

  • Work experience
  • Age
  • Official language skill
  • Education

Candidates nominated through the Express Entry BC PNP will get an additional 600 CRS points. This will effectively guarantee that they will get an ITA (Invitation to Apply) for permanent residence in an upcoming federal Express Entry draw.

The Skills Immigration Category is dedicated to semi-skilled and skilled workers. There’s a high demand for their jobs in the province. Both skill categories require candidates to register using British Columbia’s Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS). It provides eligible candidates with a score. The score is based on factors like the candidate’s offer of employment, wage, education, location in BC, and language ability.

In the latest selection round, the minimum score requirements were between 102 and 105.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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How British Columbia Tech Pilot PNP offers a better chance

British Columbia tech pilot

The tech professionals of the world have reason to be glad as British Columbia Tech pilot draw has been extended to June 2020. This is intended to provide tech employers the opportunity to keep up recruiting for a longer time. This will also help them retain international talent.

What is BC Tech Pilot?

The tech sector in British Columbia needs skilled workers with talent and experience in technology-based work. The tech employers in BC largely take in such professionally skilled tech talent through BC Tech Pilot Provincial Nominee Program. Through this, the employers get access to profiles of tech candidates who have submitted their details to a resource pool. From there, via programs like Express Entry, they are sent Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residence in the Canadian province.

How it benefits you today?

The whole COVID-19 episode may have put you in a state of doubt about your career chances in Canada. You must be glad to know that Canada’s immigration programs are very much running. With Express Entry programs, combined with Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), Canada is inviting skilled individuals to its various provinces. British Columbia is well known for its tech industry that needs international talents to work in.

Now that the BC Tech Pilot draw has been extended to June 2020, the applicants also have a better chance to win the tech job opportunities. All that in such grim times, giving you hope for tomorrow when the COVID-19 crisis settles.

More about BC PNP Tech Pilot

The British Columbia province derives a lot of drive from its tech sector. The rate of tech employment is at its highest in the province. This has naturally triggered the need for talented and skilled tech workers in BC.

The work towards establishing BC as a prominent player in the field of new and emerging technologies is underway. This is a major priority for the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness. Other priorities include:

  • Increasing the growth of domestic BC tech companies
  • Removing obstacles to attract skilled workers

It’s on the agenda of BC to develop the best quality tech talents from the local population. For this, the administration is introducing students to the early in their life. In post-secondary institutions, tech training and education is expanded. There’s also focus on creating the required work experience.

But depending entirely on local talent is an impossibility in BC. That would only leave many vacant positions and struggling tech industry. Hence, international tech workers who come in from outside Canada would be the best bet in developing the technology sector of British Columbia.

With the typical environment in BC, the province needs to attract talents from around the world. It’s the tech workers and entrepreneurs from beyond Canada who can help in the growth of the province’s growth. With that happening, even the local talents will get more job opportunities.

A Tech Pilot under the BC PNP ensures that the province has what it takes to attract and retain essential talent. The whole work goes towards sustaining and improving the growth of the tech sector.

The BC PNP Tech Pilot provides great help to employers to fulfill their talent needs. It provides a fast-tracked, permanent pathway for immigration to in-demand foreign workers and international students.

The features

Here are the salient features of a BC PNP Tech Pilot.

Service: A BC PNP concierge dedicated to tech employers is there to give the required services. The concierge provides tailored information and navigation assistance for immigration programs and processes.

Timeliness: The program has the system of sending weekly invitations. The invitations are to eligible candidates to apply for PR in British Columbia. The qualified skilled tech workers will respond to it sooner generally. That reduces the wait time for employers and their prospective employees to the least.

Prioritization: Tech applications are given priority during processing. This helps a lot in meeting the sector’s fast-paced demands.

Engagement: Proactive engagement activities and participation in key industry events ensure continuous support to tech sector employers.

Updates to the occupations eligible forBC PNP Tech Pilot occupations

The 2018 updates to the Tech Pilot occupations list focus on 29 tech jobs. These are jobs that have been recognized to be in high demand by the tech sector.

No matter the occupation, access to talent has been identified as the biggest problem. This was deduced from the research done by the BC Tech Association and the Vancouver Economic Commission. This problem poses the most significant roadblock to BC’s economy.

The research identified 32 in-demand tech occupations. They constitute the basis of eligibility for the BC PNP Tech Pilot. The pilot will continue with 29 of these occupations eligible under the pilot.

Technology companies may hire for occupations that aren’t eligible for the BC PNP Tech Pilot. Yet they are able to connect with the concierge service to attend to their specific needs.

One-year job offers to be included in tech pilot enhancements

There’s an enhancement of BC PNP Tech Pilot going on. It’s done by reducing the eligibility requirement for a permanent full-time job offer. It’s reduced to a one-year full-time job offer.

As of June 26, 2018, those who submit an application under a Skills Immigration category in a tech occupation must have a job offer. The job offer must be of at least one year in duration. It must also have a minimum of 120 days left while applying to the BC PNP.

Job offers with longer duration, which includes job offers that are indeterminate, will go on to be eligible.

Theprocess of BC PNP Tech Pilot

The BC PNP Tech Pilot isn’t a separate category or stream in BC PNP. Applicants need to apply to the BC PNP under any existing categories. They must ensure that they meet the general and category requirements.

Weekly invitations

Weekly invitations are issued to qualified registrants. These registrants have valid job offers in the 29 key technology occupations. These occupations with their NOC codes are:

  • Telecommunication carriers managers 0131
  • Computer and information systems managers 0213
  • Managers – publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts 0512
  • Civil engineers 2131
  • Mechanical engineers 2132
  • Electrical and electronics engineers 2133
  • Chemical engineers 2134
  • Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) 2147
  • Information systems analysts and consultants 2171
  • Database analysts and data administrators 2172
  • Software engineers and designers 2173
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers 2174
  • Web designers and developers 2175
  • Biological technologists and technicians 2221
  • Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians 2241
  • Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment) 2242
  • Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics 2243
  • Computer network technicians 2281
  • User support technicians 2282
  • Information systems testing technicians 2283
  • Authors and writers 5121
  • Editors 5122
  • Translators, terminologists and interpreters 5125
  • Broadcast technicians 5224
  • Audio and video recording technicians 5225
  • Other technical and coordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, and the performing arts 5226
  • Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts 5227
  • Graphic designers and illustrators 5241
  • Technical sales specialists – wholesale trade 6221

Processing by priority

The applications in the 29 key technology occupations are prioritized. First, an employee submits a complete application. Then a file is created. It will be assigned within the next business day to a dedicated Tech Pilot processing team.

Processing times for 80% of BC PNP applications is 2-3 months from the instance of receipt. Tech Pilot applications are processed in shorter timeframes.

Engagement and outreach

The proactive support to technology employers and industry stakeholders will be there from the Ministry of Jobs, Trade, and Technology continuously. Its staff will

  • speak at conferences and events
  • deliver presentations
  • provide individualized services to employers
  • exhibit at immigration or newcomers trade shows

Additional benefits from BC PNP tech Pilot are

  • pathways that don’t require a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
  • work permit support letters for approved individuals that allow them to apply for a new work permit. They may renew their present work permit. They may continue to work throughout the permanent residency process with the federal government
  • client support services through email, phone and in-person

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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Ontario’s nominee program 2019 indicates a bright future

Ontario immigration in demand

The performance of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) in 2019, assessed via the nomination numbers looks very impressive. The general assumption can be made that for those willing to work in Canada, Ontario is a highly recommended job destination.

It’s been observed that there’s a high demand for the OINP. In 2019, the province had a nomination allocation of 6,650 in 2019 from the federal government. After the province met the federal allocation completely, the federal government granted it 700 more nominations. They were also allocated before the year ended.

In 2019, along with the streams for high skilled workers, nominations were also made for the NOC C Pilot. NOC Level C indicates a job type that usually needs a secondary education or job-specific training. This stream works under a federal-provincial partnership. It’s meant to increase Permanent Residency opportunities for low-skilled workers in demand. The stream includes jobs like:

  • Long-haul truck drivers
  • Industrial butchers
  • Food and beverage servers

Under the NOC C Pilot, 41 applicants got nominated in 2019. The total principal applicants nominated, came to 7,391 last year. Adding the applications from their spouses and dependents, the number rose to 13,731. That many immigrants came to settle in Ontario.

Here’s a comprehensive table of data on the 2019 nominations:

Streams Number of nominations
Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream 1.347
Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream 1,195

 

Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream 19
Masters Graduate Stream 805
Ph.D. Graduate Stream 234
Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream 2,710
Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream 639
Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream 401
NOC C Pilot 41
Entrepreneur Stream 0
Grand total    7,391

The tech draws initiative began in 2019. In this category, a high number of nominations were made in technology-related occupations. Approximately 33% of total nominations were made to those who cited either work experience or a high-tech job offered. The high-tech jobs included:

  • IT systems analysts
  • Technology consultants
  • Computer programmers
  • Software engineers and designers
  • Interactive media developers

The following is a table that shows the number of nominations received by each tech category:

Top tech jobs Number of nominations
Computer programmers and interactive media developers 598
Software engineers and designers 935
Computer and information systems managers 260
Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) 121
Database analysts and data administrators 184
Web designers and developers 113

OINP also crossed its 5% target for francophone immigration. 452 nominations were issued to applicants with high proficiency in French. This comes to 6.1% of total nominations. Most francophone applicants got nominations under the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream and the Human Capital Priorities Stream.

No individual was nominated in the Entrepreneurship stream in 2019. Even then, there were 7 applicants in the last stage of the Entrepreneur stream’s process. This was of compliance monitoring. These Ontario residents have a Canada work permit visa to set up own business. They have good investment capacity. They are anticipated to make over 30 Million Dollars’ worth of investment. They could also hire 136 Ontarians by establishing their businesses in the province.

The top 10 countries that sourced the nominees in 2019 were:

  • India
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Brazil
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Morocco
  • Iran
  • Philippines
  • Ukraine

3,587 Indians received nominations in 2019. 1,351 Chinese received their nominations in the same year.

Almost 1,900 employers in Ontario issued job offers to the nominated individuals in 2019. These employers came from across every industry. Those among the nominees with a job offer before the nominations came to 35%. Those with a post-secondary degree were 96%.

Those with high language skills made up 53% of the total nominees. Their Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) scores were 7 or above.

The OINP aims to be responsive to employer needs. The program strives to be available all year round. But demand went beyond the annual allocation of nomination last year. Hence, intake to some of its popular streams was paused. These included:

  • The Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream
  • The Master’s Graduate Stream
  • The Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream

Even the Express Entry stream showed people’s increased interest in Ontario. They consider it as a destination for prospective PRs. This led to an increase in the CRS scores that are counted in issuing Notifications of Interests (NOI). Here’s a table that shows the number of days in 2019 in which each stream was open to immigrant intake.

Stream Days open
Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream 365
Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream 116
Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream 143
Masters Graduate Stream 2
Entrepreneur Stream 365
Ph.D. Graduate Stream 365

OINP’s commitment is to be available to Ontario’s employers. It’s keen to respond to the broader labor market requirements this year and in the future. Continuous improvements in the following aspects will facilitate the fulfillment of that commitment:

  • Customer service
  • Program delivery
  • Incorporating stakeholder feedback (to help address labor shortages in high-demand sectors)

The nomination allocation numbers for 2020 is much awaited. It will reflect the importance of the growth of Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Programs. The better it responds to the crucial labor market needs of the province’s employers, the better it will contribute to its economic development. It will also boost Ontario’s job creation.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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Get real about US immigration by marrying a US citizen

marriage based US green card

US immigration is a dream for many and there are many ways that they try to achieve it. Marriage is one such way. While the premise seems perfectly simple, the reality is not. Just being the spouse of a US citizen or resident will not make you an easy path to settle in the US.

It’s essential to learn the specifics of marriage-based US citizenship. Guidance of an experienced immigration attorney can help you go through the process pretty smoothly.

The marriage-based green card is a part of USA immigration. To get this green card, you have to go through an application process. The process will be followed to get a lawful permanent residence. It will be based on your marriage to a lawful permanent resident or a US citizen. The permanent residents of the USA have already gone through the process of green cards. US citizens get citizenship following a legal process that follows their birth.

Both these parties can petition US Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of their spouses. For this, they need to fill out a USCIS I-130 form. This will be the step to make a petition for immigrant visa classification. Upon getting approval, the immigrant spouse can apply for lawful permanent residency.

If one makes such an application, that applicant may face a delay in its processing. This is because the applicant may get into a waiting list. This is owing to a quota allotted to immigrant visas for spouses of permanent residents of the US.

The annual quotas are not applicable to spouses of US citizens. But that may not relieve them from the processing delay. Such delays could go up to many months.

Once the I-130 gets approved, the immigrant spouse may start with the immigrant visa process overseas. In case the immigrant spouse has already entered the US legally, the applicant can file USCIS form I-485. This is the Application to Adjust Status. In fact, the applicant can simultaneously fill the I-130 and I-485 forms.

Adjusting status is all about the change in the legal position from having a temporary visa to becoming a permanent resident of the US. The adjustment may occur even from a no visa classification too. The disqualification of the applicant may occur on the grounds of –

  • Prior immigration violations
  • Certain criminal convictions
  • Admitted criminal acts (even if they didn’t end in a conviction)
  • The likelihood that the immigrant may become a “public charge” (if they have any health or economic concerns)

This disqualification may happen even to the spouse of a US citizen from a green card. This can happen even if the I-130 is approved.

US Immigration law stipulates requirements that apply to an immigrant wanting to adjust status to a green cardholder. The immigrant must have legally entered the US, having gone through the inspection procedure. This applies to spouses of permanent residents and citizens. If the immigrant violates this stipulation, he/she would have to leave the US. Then they will have to apply for an immigrant visa via their home consulate.

Foreign nationals unlawfully present in the US for over 180 days may be denied permission to return to the US. This denial could be for a period of up to 10 years. The process of the green card is much different for those who entered the US having been granted asylum or taken in as refugees.

Requirements for the process

The spouse of either a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident must show that:

  • He/she has the legal capacity to enter into the marriage. This could involve clearing any pending divorce cases
  • The marriage is bona fide. This means the marriage has not been solemnized solely to gain immigration benefits
  • There are no criminal, economic or health reasons to not let them into the US as a lawful permanent resident

In case the marriage-based green card is allowed prior to the second anniversary of the marriage, a “conditional residence” is issued by USCIS. This means that the couple must file a joint petition seeking removal of the conditions (USCIS Form 1-751) within 90 days of the second anniversary of obtaining the green card. Failure to file the I-751 could result in loss of green card status and deportation.

Special circumstances

An immigrant could have been battered or subjected to other serious abuse by their legal permanent resident spouse or US citizen. If that happens, the immigrant may be eligible for the status of “special immigrant”. Under such circumstances, they can file a petition for themselves as a “special immigrant” (via USCIS Form I-360). If they have conditional status already, they may be eligible to file USCIS Form I-751. This way they can ask for the conditions on their lawful permanent resident status to be removed.

Help from an attorney

An immigration lawyer is the right person to advocate on behalf of individuals and families in such matters. They can take you through the complicated laws, regulations and governmental requirements to get the results needed. The present uncertainty around immigration makes it important to seek a licensed attorney’s advice. Take an attorney’s guidance to secure visa status for a family member or for helping a loved one to steer clear of deportation.

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Canada Express Entry – 3,232 CEC candidates get invite for PR

Canada issues 3,232 invitations in the latest CEC-specific draw

An Express Entry draw dedicatedly for Canada Experienced Class (CEC) was conducted in Canada on March 23, 2020. This is the second time it has so happened since 2015. The CEC is a stream in which candidates need at least a 1-year experience in a skilled job in Canada in the 3 years before applying for Permanent Residence. The specific job areas CEC considers include:

  • Technical jobs and skilled trades (skill type B)
  • Professional jobs (skill type A)
  • Managerial jobs (skill level 0)

The candidate can have work experience in one or more of these areas.

This time, Invitations to Apply (ITA) went to 3,232 candidates for them to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada. Through this draw, skilled applicants from a pool of talented workers are selected. They are offered a chance to apply for PR, which helps them and their families to settle down in Canada.

The candidates were to get a stipulated minimum Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) to qualify for ITAs. This score was 467 this time. In a point-based system that Canada follows, the CRS is very relevant. The CRS calculation is based on factors like:

  • Education
  • Age
  • Skill in English and French
  • Work experience

The latest draw’s cut-off score was 3 points lower than the lowest cut-off score of 2020 so far: 470. This is considering all-program Express Entry draw.

There are 3 federal high skilled immigration programs.

  • The Federal Skilled Trades Class
  • The Federal Skilled Worker Class
  • The Canada Experience Class

CEC is a category that reflects how Canada recognizes the best of the skilled workers already working in Canada. They have been adding to the country’s economy. The draw gives them an opportunity to get a Permanent Residency in Canada.

The tie-breaking rule applied to this draw was based on the profile status on November 25, 2019, at 14:00:35 UTC. As per this rule, if two or more candidates get the lowest score, the date and time they submitted their Express Entry profiles on will decide the cut-off. In the latest draw, CEC candidates with the following scores have received ITAs:

  • Candidates who scored above 467
  • Candidates who scored 467 and submitted profiles to Express Entry pool before November 25, 2019

Canada has set admission targets very high for all its Federal High Skilled immigration programs in 2020-2021. To meet them, the Immigration, Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will be holding larger draws frequently.

An Express Entry candidate with a provincial nomination will get an additional 600 CRS points. This will effectively ensure them receiving an ITA for Canadian Permanent Residence.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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Travelers need not panic if stuck in EU due to COVID-19

Stuck in EU what to do

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has created a tizzy among travelers worldwide. Those who are in other countries on a tourist visa may find themselves stuck. This happens when those countries resort to border closures and travel restrictions.

In the past few weeks, travel restrictions have become a norm in many countries. This is done to stop the further spread of COVID-19. Foreigners coming from the most affected countries are especially blocked from entry. Since COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, the travel restrictions have become even more stringent.

On March 17, all EU Member States unanimously decided to combat the COVID-19 crisis. They approved on a plan proposed by the EU Commission to close the external borders of the Schengen Area. This blocked foreigners from entering the Schengen Zone unless the purpose of travel is essential.

The preventive measure has great significance. This is because Europe is currently a hotspot of the pandemic. After China, Europe has the largest number of COVID-19 cases. Even many non-EU countries have imposed travel restrictions against European countries, especially Italy.

With such an active scenario, flight cancellations have gone high. It leaves foreign travelers in European countries in trouble. The situation escalates when the Schengen visas they have entered Europe with, are nearing expiry. Overstaying in Schengen nations invites penalties.

How to deal with the situation?

If you are a tourist stranded in a Schengen country owing to flight cancellation, you needn’t panic. The penalties you are worried about won’t be imposed in the current situation owing to COVID-19. The best thing to do is to apply for an extension of visa to the competent authorities of the area you are in. Article 33 of the EU Visa Code gives some important instructions to travelers in this regard. These travelers are visa holders already in a Member State territory, unable to leave before the expiry of his visa.

  • The inability for departure could be due to force majeure, serious personal reasons or humanitarian reasons
  • The traveler should make a request for extension of the visa
  • This request should be made to the competent authorities of the Member State where he/she is present. It does not matter if the particular Member State’s consulate hasn’t issued the visa

If you are unable to fly out due to COVID-19, the situation will be considered under force majeure. The situation is defined as “last-minute change of flight schedule by the airline (e.g. due to weather conditions, strike, etc.)”. In such a case, no charges will be imposed on you to extend your visa.

A visa extension approved will be granted for a stay to a maximum period of 90 days in any 180-day period. This stay will be allowed free of charge. The facility is provided to help you find enough time to arrange a means of commercial transport to exit the EU. This could be a flight too.

What if your Visa-Free stay in the EU is about to expire?

Certain countries are granted a visa-free stay in the EU. This means that a Schengen visa is not necessary to stay in the EU. If you are from such a country and are stuck in the EU for lack of flights, you have the same options as with force majeure.

For you, a general permit to stay in Schengen countries is valid for up to 90 days. If the 90 days period has expired, you can apply for a long-stay visa with the competent authorities of the Member State you are currently in.

What about flights canceled due to COVID-19?

If you are in the EU and your flight is canceled because of COVID-19, contact the airlines. Check for a rebooking or getting a refund. If you are traveling on an organized tour, you should travel to your travel agency. For help in case of emergencies abroad, you should contact your travel insurance provider too.

Are there ways across land borders to leave the EU?

If you have a means of transportation out of an EU nation, you can go if you are leaving the Schengen zone altogether. There are certain possibilities to consider though:

  • A neighboring Schengen country may not let a non-EU national to enter its territory
  • Even after exiting a highly infected Schengen country, you may reach a country that won’t accept you for that reason

Even after you arrive in your home country, you must self-quarantine for not less than 2 weeks. This is irrespective of whether you are having symptoms of COVID-19 or not.

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Traveling guidelines in hard times of COVID infection

COVID how to travel safe

With the global spread of COVID-19, travel, and migration overseas has become a hard choice to make. With more people concerned about the pandemic, booking cancellations have become rampant. On the other hand, world nations are restricting people from entering and leaving their borders. The efforts to minimize the effects of the pandemic is in full swing.

As unnerving as the situation is, all is not lost for the wanderlust or opportunity seeker in you looking to travel abroad. To keep up your travel plans, you need to know how to plan and go on your trip, staying safe from COVID-19.

How safe is it to travel with COVID-19 threat on?

There are certain factors you must consider so as not to get affected by the pandemic.

Age

It’s widely seen that elder people are more vulnerable to the disease. If you are above 70 years of age, you must be very cautious and take extra care and be sure of traveling. This is important as the mortality rate has been recorded more for infected people above 70 years of age.

Medical history

Do you already have cardiovascular disease, respiratory ailment, cancer, diabetes or hypertension? Then it’s advised that you reconsider your travel plan. Whatever your age, if you have a history of health complications or disease, you are more susceptible to the disease.

The country visited

The statistics of affected countries is changing very dynamically every day. The highest cases reported are in countries like China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea. Traveling to these countries must be avoided as much as possible. Even while traveling to other countries, you should be aware of the facilities they have to ensure that you remain safe. Even after returning from an affected country, it’s best for you to practice self-quarantine for 2 weeks. That will ensure that you don’t infect others. It will even help you to be sure about being infection-free yourself.

Should you plan a trip now?

With several countries taking drastic steps to counter the effects of COVID-19, you must think twice about planning a trip. Many countries that are tourist destinations have banned or restricted entry for foreigners. This is especially applied to travelers from China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea in many cases. This is because these countries are at present the majorly affected ones.

Italy has been completely quarantined. The US has closed its borders to foreigners. Canada has restricted its tourist visa for a month. These and more countries are also practicing internal restrictions. Hence your options for planning a trip are now way too less. You will have to travel only in extremely essential cases and avoid gatherings.

Safety measures if you are traveling at all

The things to do to keep yourself safe from the infection are quite simple and common sense. You only need to be particular about following these instructions issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). These are:

Wash hands frequently

COVID-19 can spread through touch. An unclean hand touching the face, eyes or mouth could make you or others infected. By washing your hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 to 30 seconds will minimize the chances of contracting the virus. This applies especially if you have been in a public place or traveled in public transport.

If you have traveled by flight, ensure that your hands are cleaned before you leave the airport. In the absence of soap, a sanitizer gel with at least 60% alcohol can be a second-best resort. Also, stay at a safe distance from people who are showing symptoms of flu or fever, like sneezing and coughing.

Clean the frequently touched objects more often with a disinfectant.

Avoid gatherings and crowds

It’s essential to stay away from large gatherings of people and closed spaces. If you ever develop any symptoms, wear a mask and definitely get medical help from hospitals. These symptoms can be fever, difficulty in breathing and coughing. By using masks and reporting at hospitals, you will help yourselves and others. You will save them from contracting the disease.

Insurance coverage for Coronavirus

Your travel health insurance cover will depend on

  • Where you travel to and
  • When you started the insurance plan.

Also, travel insurance plans could be trip insurance or health insurance.

Travel health insurance offers to cover incidents of accidents or sudden illness that occurs while you are abroad. The policy will cover your hospitalization, doctor visits, medicines prescribed and emergency services such as ambulances.

Trip insurance deals with none of the health-related concerns of the traveler. It mainly deals with issues like lost luggage and the flight and hotel expenses related to it. It facilitates partial or full reimbursement. Some trip insurance plans will even cover you if you cancel your trip.

So, what insurance plan works for COVID-19 coverage? A travel health insurance plan will cover your illness if

  • You are infected with COVID-19 in a foreign country where you arrived before there was an outbreak
  • You have not ignored any travel advisory warning against traveling to a certain place or country that is infected
  • You travel from a country with a high number of COVID-19 cases

And what if you cancel your trip because of COVID-19? Right now, only a “Cancel for any reason” travel insurance plan will cover your trip cancellation owing to COVID-19. In this case, the travel insurance company will cover your trip cancellation due to COVID-19 fear or outbreak. The plan will cover the losses incurred in expenses because of the trip cancellation.

Flight cancellations due to COVID-19

In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 across borders, many countries have already canceled flights. This is especially so for flights from China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. So, you will have to check and make sure which flights from and to your country are canceled. You should also conform to the advisories of airlines you are planning to travel with.

Consulting your airline before a booking will also help you learn about waivers and changes in flight fees.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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COVID-19 crisis meets Canada’s bold and high immigration levels

Canada needs immigrants

Surprisingly, Canada PR immigration plans are encouraging immigrant intake in large numbers. At a time of the escalating COVID-19 crisis, Canada has announced very ambitious immigration levels for 2020-2022. This came at a time when the social and economic scene is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada is suffering its share of economic hardships. The global price war between major oil producers following COVID-19 is affecting Canada. It’s almost pushing Canada towards a recession. The hit to Canada’s tourism and hospitality industry has weakened its economy.

Among the countermeasures taken by the country is the emergency cut in interest rates by the Bank of Canada. Still more cuts may be needed to revive the Canadian economy. This is what many financial analysts are forecasting.

In such hard times, Canada is realizing the need for more immigrants. They will help stabilize the country’s economy. Hence, the 2020-2022 immigration levels plan is to welcome between 300,000 and 400,000 newcomers. The COVID-19 crisis is not dampening Canada’s plans to improve immigration Canada.

There is a good possibility of Canada’s economy being affected in 2020. In such a time, the influx of newcomers could jolt and stress the labor market. This speculation can only be countered by simple observation. The fact is that since the late 1980s Canada has never decided the number of immigrants based on the current economic conditions.

Canada’s wisdom behind inviting a large number of newcomers is interesting. It plans to involve them as contributors to long-term economic growth. Hence, the perceived burden of these newcomers in the current economic situation is practically a short sight.

There’s an urgency of filling Canada’s labor force with younger skilled workers by the end of this decade. This is to tackle a crisis developing in the country. The country’s 9 million baby boomers will reach retirement age by this decade. The low birth rate of Canada will add to the necessity of inviting more immigrants.

Growing the labor force is a significant way to develop the economy. Using them more productively is equally important. The immigrants will find it hard to find deserving jobs with today’s economic crisis. But in time, in the absence of a crisis, their opportunities will be much better. The aging population will be playing a big part in this. The employers will then compete better for the immigrants’ services. This will create more fruitful job opportunities.

A renewed approach to immigration

Unlike the approach followed before 1980, Canada has a new approach today. It ensures sustained high levels of immigration. In the old approach, immigration was boosted when the economy was strong. Lesser immigrants were invited during recessions.

In the new approach, irrespective of economic condition, high immigration levels are maintained. The new approach ensures that the country can defend itself against economic and fiscal strain caused by an aging population.

Even in the short run, the immigrants arriving in Canada will contribute to the economy. They will be purchasing goods and services. Their purchasing power could help relieve some economic stress following the COVID-19 crisis.

With such a farsighted approach, Canada will eventually prove itself right about bringing in large numbers of newcomers in such hard times.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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IRCC tweets to deny reports on changes in visa validity

False news on Canada visa

In the wake of the pandemic COVID-19, carriers of fake news have been going rampant all over the media. Were you going ahead with your Canada immigration plans? Did you suddenly read that Canada is canceling all its visas? Worry not! There’s no need to panic.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has refuted misleading reports. The report said that changes have been made to Canada’s visa policies in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This included that all existing visas except diplomatic visas are canceled.

The false report was immediately countered and put to rest by IRCC. In a tweet, IRCC gave a statement which clarified that

  • There’s misinformation doing rounds on Government of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • There are false messages about changes announced on the validity of Canada visa
  • Official information on Canada’s COVID response is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-heal

It’s a clear trend that fake news and false flags are so easy to spread panic and confusion amongst people. But updates from the official websites and sources can lead you in the right direction. That’s why IRCC encourages people to visit the official page. This gives updated and truthful information.

According to the official info, Canada’s COVID-19 response activity includes:

  • Measures that are taken to respond to the outbreak
  • Fresh investments made to limit the spread of the virus in Canada
  • Measures that are taken to prepare for the potential impacts of the virus spread

The Government of Canada is continually assessing travel risks for Canadians. Travelers from Canada are recommended to avoid traveling to specific destinations. Canada has also advised travelers to leave by available commercial means from affected places.

Those who return to Canada will be inquired about their health and travel history. Canada has implemented this and many more measures at the airports of:

  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Toronto-Pearson International Airport
  • Calgary International Airport
  • Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
  • Winnipeg Richardson International Airport
  • Edmonton International Airport
  • Ottawa International Airport
  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport
  • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport

The measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus are effective in

  • Identifying ill travelers coming back to Canada
  • Raising awareness among travelers. They will be told of the steps they should follow if they fall sick

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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