July 2020 - Y-Axis Australia Blog

Archive - July 2020

Canada to make OWPP permanent, to benefit foreign partners

Canada OWPP to be permanent

Canada OWPP to be permanent

Canada immigration’s OWPP (Open Work Permit Program) will now be made a permanent program. This will enable common-law partners and spouses of Canadians to work while waiting for their permanent resident (PR) status.

The OWPP began in December 2014. After its most recent extension, the program was set to expire on July 31, 2020. After the decision to make the program permanent, Canada is now extending the program. The extension will be until the completion of the regulatory changes.

IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) has written on its website that the Canadian government considers family reunion as a core immigration priority. The OWPP is applicable to applicants for an inland common-law and spousal sponsorship. They are already living together in Canada. The partner applying for immigration must have temporary status in Canada as a visitor, student, or worker.

The foreign partners of Canadian citizens can apply for the open work permit Canada offers whenever they want after applying for permanent residence (PR) via family-class sponsorship. Open work permits aren’t limited to a specific employer. Hence, such permits will allow foreign workers to work for any employer in Canada. The only condition is that they must meet the qualification requirements of the occupation.

Immigration candidates have to satisfy the following requirements to be eligible for an OWPP:

  • The candidate must submit an application under the Spouse Common-Law Partner Class for PR
  • The candidate must have a common-law partner or spouse who is a PR or citizen of Canada who has submitted a sponsorship application on the candidate’s behalf
  • The candidate must live at the sponsor’s address
  • The candidate must have valid temporary resident status in Canada or an approved application for restoration of status with authorization to work.

Those who apply under the OWPP can submit their applications simultaneously with their PR application. They could also submit the application for the OWPP separately in case the applicants have already submitted their PR applications.

They can apply for the OWPP online if they have already received approval in principle on their application for PR. Approval in principle is received when the spouse or common-law partner has received IRCC’s letter. It states that they meet the eligibility requirements for PR, but haven’t passed the background, security, and medical checks.

Those who havegot the OWPP must submit an application to extend their permits on time before the expiry date.

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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Canada works on making the country safe for foreign students

Canada lift int. student restriction

Canada has started considering the easing of travel restrictions for international students who have not been allowed to enter the country since March 18, 2020. Only students who come to study in Canada with a valid student permit that was valid as of that date were allowed entry.

A few days back, students from the US were included in the list of exemptions with conditions.

A letter signed by Marco Mendicino, Canada’s immigration minister, and Patty Hajdu, Canada’s health minister, was drafted lately. It communicated matters regarding bringing international students to Canada.

The letter attempted to initiate a dialogue between the two ministers and Canada’s territorial and provincial governments. This was about ways to ensure a safe welcome of international students to the country. The dialogue will also be conducted with DLIs (Designated Learning Institution). DLIs are educational institutions including universities and colleges. They have permission to welcome international students from federal and provincial governments.

Canada’s educational management is organized differently when compared with other countries. It doesn’t have a federal education department. Education comes under provincial and territorial jurisdiction as per the country’s constitution.

Canada’s policies for international students are spread across more than one department. For making any decision on international students, consultation with the provinces and territories for their inputs is necessary.

But this is different in the case of travel restrictions on students. The federal government has the say on that as it is a step taken to ensure the well-being of everyone in the country. The provinces and territories cannot supersede the decision and welcome international students.

In the letter, the ministers have expressed solidarity with the provinces and territories. They understand the importance of international students to their economy, society, and environment. The ministers stated that they are looking to strike a balance between provincial and territorial jurisdictions regarding education and preventive measures undertaken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

They called for a collective commitment and adherence. That must be directed to a clear, coordinated, and well-communicated approach and action plan. It will support the health and safety of students as well as the Canadian public.

To realize this, the federal government will issue public safety guidance. It will detail the ways the country can welcome more foreign students. The expectations for governments, DLIs, and students in supporting the objective is outlined in the safety guide. The Canadian provinces and territories, and the DLIs are to comply with it and the orders issued in its regard.

Mendicino and Hadju have sought for information from the letter’s recipients. This is to confirm if the particular jurisdiction is prepared to be host to a new group of international students. The students’ immediate family members will also be welcomed. The family members could be:

  • parents and step parents,
  • guardians,
  • dependent children,
  • common-law partners, and

The information they asked for includes:

  • A list of approved DLIs in each jurisdiction according to the public health requirements and plans to host students and resume business for operation
  • Confirmation of DLIs having protocols intact to actuate and monitor Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine to ensure that students have:
    • information on physical and mental health supports available to international students
    • quarantine accommodation will enable physical distancing with protocols for preventing infection put in place
    • no contact with vulnerable individuals
    • a proper place to quarantine (with access to food, prescriptions, supplies, and other necessary support)
    • appropriate transportation to the DLI
  • Each jurisdiction’s responsibility and readiness to comply with the requirements of provincial and local public health authorities
  • A risk mitigation plan that involves testing, tracing, and isolation of COVID-19 infection and preventing its spread
  • Report on active outreach and communication with DLIs and respective communities about roles, responsibilities, and expectations to enforce public health guidelines
  • A commitment for collaboration and sharing information between the two levels of government so that COVID-19 related risks of international students in Canada can be monitored and managed.

The ministers have also brought out a relevant point. They noted that the pandemic is evolving. Hence, the stakeholders involved will likely need to go on to adjust their approach. This will make sure that the health and safety of international students eligible to study in Canada and Canadian citizens are ensured.

The letter from Mendicino and Hadju communicates Canada’s determination to exempt more international students from the travel restrictions existing now. But it also prioritises the need to ensure that the beneficiaries are safe when they arrive in Canada after being exempted.

Canada will maintain its current travel restrictions till July 31, 2020.

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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New conclusions introduced by EU Council for safety from pandemic

EU Council conclusions new

The EU Council has come up with a new set of conclusions to ensure that cross-border travel, as with a visitor visa, is safe within the EU as migration is restored. The conclusions were adopted on July 24, 2020.

In the scope of the new conclusions are the measures to restore the confidence of workers and passengers. This will be done by bringing down the infection levels to the minimum in shared passenger transport across borders. These measures include steps taken for infection control and the promotion of basic hygiene.

These measures are an attempt at preserving and strengthening the single market. This will coincide with the EU will restore full connectivity among member states.

The Council has highlighted the implementation of certain basic hygiene and disease prevention rules. These are to be applied to all passenger transport services. It shall be implemented irrespective of the provisions that are in effect at the place of departure or arrival. The measures that the EU Council recommends the member states to promote with proper coordination include:

  • All travelers must maintain the required safety distance between them as much as possible. The only exceptions may be family members or members of a household.
  • Any option that helps to reduce or avoid physical contact must be applied, whenever possible. Such methods include the use of digital ticketing and digital ticket inspections.
  • Implement minimal contact between passengers and staff at border crossings.
  • Travelers should wear masks to cover their mouth and nose while using the means of transport operating for cross-border collective passenger services.
  • Satisfactory and regular supply of fresh air should be ensured on all means of transport.
  • Disinfection should be intensified on all means of transport used for cross-border travel.

The EU Council has also urged the cross-border transport operators to propagate the hygiene rules and guidance related to safety and hygiene on their websites and other forms of media they are present in.

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

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COVID-19 testing imposed in France for visitors from 16 nations

France COVID-19 test for 16 nations

COVID-19 testing will now be mandatory in France for all persons coming from 16 countries with a surging number of pandemic cases. This includes the US. These countries are considered high-risk, belonging to the red list for COVID-19 circulation.

France is making border checks more stringent to avoid a new wave of infections. COVID-19 testing will be compulsory for those coming from:

  • Oman
  • India
  • Madagascar
  • Turkey
  • Algeria
  • Serbia
  • Peru
  • Brazil
  • Israel
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • South Africa
  • Panama
  • Bahrein
  • United Arab Emirates
  • The US

Morocco is a country that may soon be added to this list depending on its epidemiological condition.

The tests will be administered on citizens of these 16 countries with a residence established in France or citizens of France living in these countries. The tests will be conducted across France by August 1, 2020. They will also be conducted at French ports.

Travelers can get tested at their home countries. Before boarding transport, the certificate of the test will have to be presented to the authorities. Upon arrival in France, they will have to get the COVID-19 test compulsorily in case they didn’t get it done in their home countries.

Voluntary testing is now available for arriving passengers in French airports of Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux.

Those who aren’t required to go through testing before entering France include those coming from:

  • The 12 countries currently on the safe list issued by the EU
  • The Schengen area
  • The UK
  • Europe

The citizens of the EU and Schengen area countries have been exempted from restrictions on non-essential travel to France in June 2020. International students needing to travel to France for study purposes were invited by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs on July 1, 2020. French consulates abroad have also started to process applications for residence permits on priority from the same date.

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

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The US makes new amend in its student policy for online courses

US rules for new online course students

A new announcement from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has come. It says that newly enrolled international students will be barred from entering the US if their classes are conducted in the online-only format.

Students will be permitted to enter the US to enroll in a US school for the fall semester to do hybrid coursework.

These new rules won’t apply to international students who have already secured enrollment at US universities or colleges in the last semester. It will be so for those who are coming back, even in case their school is conducted fully online.

In early July 2020, US President Donald Trump had announced the withdrawal of the policy that would prevent any international student from staying in the country in case they were attending completely online courses. This was the result of a lawsuit filed by 17 attorneys.

Due to a backlash of the prohibitive policy of the government, the White House is said to have now tweaked their policyto have the rule apply only to new students, and not on old enrolled students.

At this juncture, in the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, US universities and colleges began to move all their courses online. This caused great concern for international students.

The latest announcement states that non-immigrant students in new or initial status after March 9, 2020, cannot enter the US and enroll as a non-immigrant student for the fall term to do a full course totally online.

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

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Study reveals over 100 immigration paths leading to Canada

Pathways to Canada immigration

The number of pathways for economic immigration Canada has now is 104. The federal government and the provinces have been making their best efforts to create and maintain these pathways. They help bring in prospective immigrants from around the world.

The aim of having these diverse immigration pathways is to bring in potential immigrants. They will, with their skills and talents contribute their best to the economic growth of the country.

There are 3 main avenues that Canada employs to welcome permanent residents:

  • as economic immigrants who bring both labor skills and capital
  • as refugees who are welcomed into the country on humanitarian grounds
  • as members of family-sponsored under the family reunification program

In fact, the economic class immigrants make up the largest share of Canada immigration. 6 in 10 of those immigrants are chosen for their positive impact on the economy. These economic migrants are highly skilled workers from abroad. They also include international students or highly skilled temporary workers already residing in Canada.

When somebody is interested in becoming a permanent resident in Canada, that candidate submits a profile to the Express Entry pool. Those profiles are electronically screened for eligibility. They are bifurcated under one of the 3 main economic immigration programs namely:

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

The eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool are given rankings base on CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) score. The score is determined based on factors such as age, work experience, education, and proficiency in English or French language.

There are immigration pilot programs that the federal government is hosting under the economic category. These include:

  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
  • Agri-Food Immigration Pilot
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Another major pathway for immigrants into Canada is the PNP (Provincial Nominee Program). It was introduced in the 1990s. Today it is the second most important channel for skilled foreign workers to get Canadian permanent residence. The first position goes to Express Entry.

The growth of PNP can be well assessed from its numbers over the years. In 1996, only 233 people came to Canada via the program. Today, the program’s admission targets are set at more than 60,000 immigrants.

Through the PNP, Canadian provinces and territories can nominate a certain number of immigration candidates for permanent residence every year via its own unique program.

Each province that nominates immigrants consider the suitability and potential of the candidates in meeting the specific needs of their labor market and overall priorities for economic growth. This constitutes the major theme of economic immigration in Canada.

Every province or territory of Canada has a PNP stream that is enhanced and linked to the federal Express Entry system.

The Express Entry candidates who get provincial nomination have 600 extra point added to their original CRS scores. This in effect guarantees them an ITA (Invitation to Apply) for permanent residence in Canada.

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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Italian VACs start again in many parts of the world

Italy VACs resume work

As several EU member states are doing, Italy has also reopened many of its Visa Application Centers (VAC) around the world. Immigration services are resuming services fully or partially. For those seeking visas to Italy visit visa or other types of visas can now be processed at different parts of the world.

VFS Global, an outsourcing and technology services company made the announcement of the reopening. VFS serves governments and diplomatic missions all over the world. The Italian authorities have Italy’s visa services to VFS in various countries of the world.

The Italian VAC in Nairobi, Kenya, and the VAC in Amman, Jordan has resumed passport pass back services. There are other services delivered too.

Also, the Italian VACs have resumed operations in China in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing. The Being center is now accepting applications for cases that are exceptional. The one at Guangzhou is accepting applications for short-stay. The VAC in Shanghai is accepting applications for long-stay visas.

Other VACs accepting applications for long-stay Italian visas are located in:

  • Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Accra, Ghana
  • Hyderabad, India (limited operations)
  • Kochi, India (limited operations)
  • Chennai, India (limited operations)
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh (limited operations)

The Italian VAC in Dhaka is also accepting legalization applications.

The VAC center in Mumbai, India has resumed accepting short and long-stay visa applications in limited numbers. The VAC in New Delhi has resumed accepting visa applications for re-entry. The center is functional from 10 am to 2 pm.

In VACs at London and Manchester in the UK and Bangkok in Thailand have resumed accepting applications for short-stay visas.

Also in the UK, the VAC in Edinburgh has resumed operations at reduced hours.

The VAC in Melbourne, Australia is accepting applications for emergency cases only and operated between 9 am and 3 pm.

Among other Italian VACs that have resumed operations are the ones in Quito, Ecuador and Johannesburg, South Africa.

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French VACs now reopened at locations around the world

French VACs open

France has reopened its visa application centers (VAC) abroad in many locations around the world. At these centers, the French authorities have resumed consular services. Now, applications for visas including visitor visa can be submitted in French VACs in different countries of the world.

This was announced by VFS Global, an outsourcing and technology services company. It serves governments and diplomatic missions on a world scale. France has outsourced visa services in several countries to VFS.

VFS also reports that France visa application services have resumed in Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria. The centers are accepting only applications for long-stays for visa types including:

  • Return visas
  • French Spouse visa
  • Student visas

For French spouse visas, applications are accepted for long-stay and short-stay.

In Africa, French visa operations in Luanda, Ghana, Accra, and Angola have resumed.

Visa centers in Russia have resumed working at:

  • Yekaterinburg
  • Vladivostok
  • Perm
  • Novosibirsk
  • Krasnodar
  • Kazan

These centers are accepting applications for long-stay visas. Like them, the following centers are accepting applications for long-stay visas:

  • Ramallah in the Palestinian Territories
  • Tehran in Iran
  • Singapore
  • Dakar in Senegal

French visa centers in Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal in Canada have also resumed their operations. So have the visa centers in Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

The Los Angeles center is accepting only applications for long-stay visa.

Applications for both long-stay and short-stay visas are accepted at French VACs in:

  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
  • Abidjan, Ivory Coast
  • Suva, Fiji
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Algiers, Algeria

French visa centers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE are now accepting applications for medical and business visas. They are also accepting applications for long-stay visas for workers, students, and residence permits.

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Trump govt. asked to implement DACA, happy responses flow in

DACA judge order Trump

A month ago, the Supreme Court had blocked the attempt by the US President Donald Trump to scrap the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. Now, the Trump administration has been instructed to accept new applications to the DACA program. This has just opened a new chapter in US immigration.

The program had originated under the Obama administration. It aimed at protecting the rights of the undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children while protecting from them getting deported under USA immigration rules.

The ruling earlier itself had proved that the Trump administration had failed to give a satisfactory justification for its decision to scrap DACA.

The DACA program is to be restored to its status as it was before September 5, 2017, according to the latest order by Judge Paul Grimm. He is a judge of the US District Court for the District of Maryland. Restoring the status means that the program will take on the nature of how it was before President Trump attempted to terminate it. This will allow a lot of immigrants eligible for DACA to apply for the program.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services is reviewing the ruling. It’s part of the Department Homeland Security. They take up the task of administering DACA.

The existing DACA recipients could apply for renewal even when the legal proceeding related to the case of DACA was going on for years. But new immigrants who were eligible as per the criteria weren’t able to apply.

The eligible candidates under DACA program are those who:

  • Arrived in the US before 16 years of age
  • Have lived in the US since June 15, 2007

The Department pf Homeland Security had enacted the DACA policy in 2012. Recipients under the program must renew their protection from deportation every 2 years. The program is also not a pathway to US citizenship.

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

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Canada exempts foreign representatives from travel bar

Canada Foreign representatives exempt

Canada’s borders are still closed to travelers from abroad. But there are exemptions that are made for Canada immigration. Now, these include consular officers, foreign diplomats, officials, and their immediate family members.

The exemption is applicable to foreign nationals having passports with

  • a consular acceptance,
  • a diplomatic acceptance, or
  • an official acceptance

from the Chief of Protocol for Global Affairs Canada. The candidate must be:

  • a consular officer,
  • accredited diplomat,
  • official or representative

of a

  • foreign country,
  • the United Nations, or
  • any of its agencies, or
  • any international organization

of which Canada has a membership.

Foreign representatives are now permitted to enter Canada in order to resume their postings after getting accredited by Global Affairs Canada. They will need a temporary resident visa (TRV) prior to traveling to Canada with the current restrictions in place.

TRVs must be coded “O-1” or “D-1” to indicate to border officers that the holder of the passport is entitled to consular, diplomatic, or official privileges.

This news came after Canada resumed to process TRVs and eTAs (electronic Travel Authorization) on July 1, 2020.

The current travel restrictions in place in Canada do not apply to:

  • skilled workers coming to work in Canada
  • students who got approval before March 18, 2020, and are required to study in Canada
  • family members who are staying for more than 15 days

The travelers must also show proof to CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) that they are traveling to Canada for an essential reason. Only then they will be allowed into Canada.

With regard to immediate family, Canada has broadened the definition to include more members, during the COVID-19 crisis. The old list of members includes:

  • dependent children and grandchildren
  • common-law partners
  • spouses

The additions include:

  • a guardian or tutor
  • a parent’s or step-parent’s spouse or common-law partner
  • parents or step-parents

Self-quarantine is a must for those travelers who enter Canada unless they are:

  • people who regularly cross the border for work
  • people arriving in Canada within the boundaries of a trans-border community
  • people entering Canada on a fishing vessel
  • licensed healthcare professionals and students who are permitted to work in a health field, as long as they are not caring for people vulnerable to COVID-19 within a 14-day period
  • people arriving in Canada to receive medical services unrelated to COVID-19
  • people who deliver medical equipment or provide medical care
  • workers in emergency services
  • people arriving in Canada in the national interest as determined by the:
    • Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness,
    • Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, or
    • Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • people providing essential services as identified the Chief Public Health Officer
  • those serving in Canadian Forces
  • people who arrive in Canada to assist the coronavirus response team
  • airline crews

Canada’s border still remains closed to foreign travelers until July 31, 2020. The US-Canada border is now closed until August 21, 2020.

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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