New Occupations Eligible for Express Entry and Some Occupations Now Ineligible

On Wednesday November 16th, 2022, the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), announced the implementation of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 for immigration programs managed under the Express Entry system. The NOC system is used by IRCC to evaluate the occupational eligibility of applicants, breaking down the level of skill of each occupation to reflect their level of Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER). With this transition, 16 occupations will become eligible for Express Entry, while three occupations become ineligible. Below are the “Winners” and the “Losers”.

The occupations being added are:

  • Payroll administrators;
  • Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants;
  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates;
  • Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants;
  • Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants;
  • Sheriffs and bailiffs;
  • Correctional service officers;
  • By-law enforcement and other regulatory officers;
  • Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations;
  • Residential and commercial installers and servicers;
  • Pest controllers and fumigators;
  • Other repairers and servicers;
  • Transport truck drivers;
  • Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators;
  • Heavy equipment operators;
  • Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors;

The occupations being removed are:

  • Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness;
  • Tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners,
  • Other performers.

Those with a profile in the Express Entry pool will need to update it with the new code, as the Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades and Express Entry-linked PNP streams will all use the new system.

In explaining the purpose of these changes, Minister Fraser claimed that “We are better positioned to tackle labour shortages proactively and grow our economy with a stronger, skilled workforce”. Using the new NOC categories will allow Canada to bring in global talent in high-demand sectors like health care, construction, and transportation. This transition makes good on the Minister’s commitment to expand pathways to permanent residency for temporary workers as more jobs will become eligible for the programs managed under Express Entry.  However, it remains to be seen how this will impact those already in the Express Entry pool waiting to receive an invitation to apply. It can’t be good news that there will be more competition in the pool, especially for those that have already been waiting for an invitation during the pandemic when processing slowed and then paused.

If you would like to meet with one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss your Express Entry eligibility or existing profile, or any other immigration needs, we are happy to advise. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;

Parent and Grandparent Program to Resume Application Invitations This Week

Interested in bringing a parent or grandparent to Canada anytime soon? The wait might be longer than you think. On Tuesday October 13th, 2022, MP Sonia Sidhu, on behalf of the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, announced that the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) is starting up again this week and will run in almost identical fashion to how the intake program ran in 2021.

To account for the number of interest-to-sponsor forms remaining in the pool of submissions from 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will only be sending invitations to apply to PGP to 23,100 randomly selected potential sponsors from the 2020 pool, rather than opening a new interest-to-sponsor form. Of the 23,100 interested sponsors, the IRCC will accept up to 15,000 applications, which equates to the IRCCs sponsorship goal under the Parents and Grandparents Program this year.

With invitations being sent out over the course of 2 weeks, anyone who submitted an interest-to-sponsor form in 2020, but who did not receive an invitation to apply in January 2021 or September 2021, is encouraged to check the email account they provided when they submitted their interest.

As part of the IRCCs commitment to modernize Canada’s immigration system, all those invited to apply to PGP ought to submit their application through the new Permanent Residence Portal or the Representative Permanent Residence Portal. By allowing all applications to be submitted via an online application-based model, the IRCC hopes the new portal will speed up and simplify the application process.

Considering that many potential sponsors may have experienced financial difficulties over the past three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC will continue to use a lower income requirement for the sponsorship of parents and grandparents. This means that for the 2020 and 2021 tax years, the income requirement for sponsors will be the minimum necessary income—as opposed to the minimum necessary income plus 30%.

In conjunction with the sponsor’s usual yearly income, regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and temporary COVID-19 benefits (i.e., Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)) are allowed to be included towards the sponsor’s income. This interim measure is in place to ensure that sponsors and applicants are not unfairly penalized for temporary loss of sponsor’s income due to the pandemic.

If you are lucky enough to receive an invitation, it is strongly recommended you seek legal advice to ensure your application is prepared and filed correctly, since the opportunity to sponsor is unlikely to present itself again soon. This truly is a lottery.

If you are not invited to apply to PGP this year, but you wish to reunite with your parents and grandparents in Canada, you may want to consider having your parents or grandparents apply for a Super Visa—a multiple-entry visa that is valid for 10 years. As of July 4, 2022, the Super Visa was updated to allow super visa holders to stay in Canada for up to 5 years at a time, including the option to extend one’s visa by up to 2 years at a time without leaving the country.

Ultimately, we recognize that there’s no easy option for folks wishing to reunite with their parents or grandparents in Canada in a timely manner. The estimated 37 months processing time is not ideal; however, the Super Visa is another viable and promising option for many folks, which in many cases, is worth exploring. Given the strong interest in the program, the IRCC will hopefully re-assess its intake numbers to facilitate increased family reunification in the coming years.

If you would like assistance with a sponsorship application or super visa, please contact one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP), or any other immigration needs, we are happy to advise. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;

International Students Encouraged to Solve Canada’s Growing Labour Shortage

On Tuesday, October 7, 2022, the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), announced the temporary lifting of the 20-hour-per-week cap on the number of hours that eligible post-secondary students are allowed to work off-campus, while school is in session.

Beginning November 15, 2022, at 12:00am ET until December 31, 2023, at 11:59pm ET, international students who are residing in Canada and who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will no longer be restricted by the 20-hour-per-week rule. According to a news release posted by the office of the Minister, “Foreign nationals who have already submitted a study permit application, as of today, will also be able to benefit from this temporary change, provided their application is approved”.

Notably, the interim measure does not include a new limit on the maximum number of hours a student can work. With that being said, the Minister assured that this policy change is not a signal to students to compromise their studies by working more hours than they can commit; rather, students should continue to work as many hours as they are able to.

In explaining the purpose of this interim amendment, Minister Fraser claimed that the benefits are two-fold: the measure will allow international students to have greater opportunity to gain valuable work experience in Canada and will increase the availability of workers to sustain Canada’s post-pandemic economic growth. With more than 500,000 international students already in Canada available to potentially work additional hours, the IRCC claims that “this temporary change reflects the important role international students can play in addressing our labour shortage”.

Minister Fraser continued by stating that the IRCC is also beginning a pilot initiative this month to automate the processing of study permit extensions. The test will feature a select sample of candidates who may have their extended study permit processed much faster through the automated system. Since all applicants have previously been approved to study in Canada, the sorts of applications covered in this pilot have a consistently high acceptance rate. If the pilot program proves to be successful, it will be expanded to help reduce processing times and allow officers to focus on more complex applications.

While the amended policy may be very good news for employers seeking additional employees, there are many reasons to caution employers against hiring international students beyond 20-hours-per-week. First, one must ask who this policy benefits; is this amendment really in the best interest of the students? Or is it purely about combatting labour shortages and a fast and easy way for employers to tap into talent to address economic concerns caused by the pandemic?

With students working more hours, while taking a full-course load—as required by their study permit—students may be tempted to enroll in easier courses just to graduate and eventually apply for residency. With the cost of living and tuition for international students reaching unprecedented levels across Canada, international students may be led to offside their terms of study so that they can work more hours to meet their financial needs. In turn, this could place their future for immigration status in Canada at risk. This in turn could indirectly hurt employers who may have invested significant resources in training these students.

According to Statistics Canada, labour shortages are most acute in healthcare and social assistance industries, as both sectors currently have the largest need for labour of any sector in the country—representing 1 in 7 job vacancies in Canada. Considering these areas require years of education and specialized training, international students will not likely be able to meet this growing need. Healthcare employers are looking for graduates with high specialized skills and experience; meaning, there’s a mismatch in the labour needs and the labour opportunities created by the aforementioned interim measure.

Ultimately, the socio-economic structures in place may lead international students to fail; full-time jobs may detract students from their studies and make them less attractive to employers in the long-term. Make no mistake; this is not to say international students are at fault if they make the decision to take advantage of this interim measure by working more hours and dumbing down their courses. The onus is on the Canadian government to enact policy changes that serve Canadians, without creating more opportunities for abuse of vulnerable folks. Employers need to be mindful of relying on a student work force to meet their needs for full-time positions. The short-term benefits may not outweigh the long-term consequences.

If you would like to meet with one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss this new interim measure, or any other immigration needs, we are happy to advise. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;

It’s Official! Canadian COVID-19 Border and Travel Regulations to End Effective October 1

Today, the federal government announced the removal of all COVID-19 entry restrictions, including testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements for anyone entering Canada, effective October 1, 2022. The removal of COVID-19-related border regulations means that all travelers will no longer need to provide proof of vaccination when entering Canada, nor wear masks on planes and trains.

Beginning October 1, 2022, at 12:00am EST, all travelers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer be required to:

  • Submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website;
  • Provide proof of vaccination;
  • Undergo pre- or on-arrival COVID-19 testing;
  • Carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation;
  • Monitor or report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada;
  • Wear masks on planes and trains;
  • Provide pre-board tests, proof of vaccination, and submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website to board cruise ships.

Notably, this also means that all travelers who entered Canada in the 14 days prior to October 1, 2022, at 12:00am EST, will not be required to complete the remainder of their quarantine or isolation, or complete their testing requirements.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said Monday’s decision to drop the order-in-council regarding COVID-19 travel mandates is not a sign that the pandemic is over; rather, the decision was driven by modelling that indicates Canada has largely surpassed the peak of the Omicron wave, Canada’s high vaccination rates, lower hospitalization and death rates, as well as high availability and use of vaccine boosters, rapid tests, and treatments for COVID-19.

The upcoming COVID-19-related border and travel regulation changes will have a major impact on the Canadian economy as travel restrictions have a direct impact on the tourism industry, as well as the industries that produce inputs used by the tourism industry. For employers, these changes mean fewer cross-border staffing considerations with respect to applications. Employers will be able to send or relocate to Canada their best talent, as opposed to only sending talent that is vaccinated. Given labor shortages in so many industries, removing this barrier to entry to Canada is definitely good news.

Canada’s move to not renew the order-in-council regarding COVID-19 restrictions is a hopeful sign that the pandemic is nearing the end. However, for some, the move feels long awaited as the decision comes months after many other countries including the United Kingdom and Australia lifted such requirements. Looking forward, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is exploring the use of the ArriveCAN app as a tool for all travelers to use to simplify cross-border travel by providing travelers with easy access to information such as border wait times, and other self-serve functions.

If you would like to meet with one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss how these requirement changes impact your business, or any other immigration needs, we are happy to advise. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;

Employers Take Note – New Rules for Foreign Workers

Amendments to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to strengthen protections for temporary foreign workers during their period of employment in Canada are scheduled to come into force on September 26, 2022. Specifically, these amendments apply to those employers seeking employer specific work permits for foreign nationals via the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”), which relates to LMIA-based work permits, or the International Mobility Program (“IMP”) which relates to LMIA-exempt work permits.

Summarized below are highlights of the upcoming changes:

  • Employers will be required to provide a signed copy of the employment agreement to the foreign worker, which is drafted in the foreign national’s choice of either French or English, that is signed and dated by both the worker and the employer and that includes the same details of the occupation, wages and working conditions that will be provided to IRCC in connection with the work permit application. For IMP based work permit applications, this must be done before the employer provides the details of the occupation, wages and working conditions to IRCC via it’s Employer Portal.
  • Employers will be required to provide temporary foreign workers with information about their rights in Canada on or before their first day of work as well as making this information easily accessible to the foreign worker in the workplace throughout their period of employment without additional cost to the foreign worker and without them needing to go through the employer to obtain it. The information can be provided in a physical or virtual location such as a break room wall or the company website. Information on workers rights can be found at It is recommended that employers consider providing this information to the foreign worker when providing them with the employment agreement.
  • Employers must provide a workplace that is free of abuse, including reprisal. The definition of abuse in the regulations will be amended to encompass reprisal by or on behalf of an employer against a foreign worker because the foreign worker reported employer non-compliance or cooperated with an employer compliance inspection. Reprisal includes a disciplinary measure, a demotion, a dismissal, or any threat to take any such measures.
  • Employers are prohibited from charging or recovering, directly or indirectly, from the foreign worker, any fees related to recruitment either before or after the recruitment process. Employers must demonstrate that they have made best efforts to ensure any person acting on their behalf has not and will not charge or recover such fees by verifying this with the foreign worker
  • Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide access to health care services when the foreign worker is injured or becomes ill at the workplace.
  • Employers of LMIA based work permit holders will be required to obtain and pay for private health insurance that covers emergency medical care for their workers during any applicable provincial waiting period for eligibility.
  • IRCC will have expanded authority to receive information from third party institutions, and in the case of the IMP, to collect personal information from employers and employees.
  • An employer found to be noncompliant with one of the provisions will have a reduced period in which they must respond to the preliminary findings outlined by IRCC.
    • This provision is intended to encourage employers to resolve their noncompliant behavior in a timely manner, so they may avoid the possible penalties imposed by IRCC.
  • Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”) will be empowered to suspend LMIA processing requests for the employer found to be noncompliant with the program’s new requirements.

The recent pandemic has highlighted the precarious position of many individuals in the labour force, and especially that of Canada’s foreign workers who may be more vulnerable to potential exploitation due to their temporary status and their limited access to information on their workplace protections and rights under applicable federal, provincial, and territorial legislation. The amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations are intended to address gaps in worker protection, improve worker and employer awareness and strengthen program integrity.

Should employers have any questions regarding these changes, or any other immigration needs we are happy to advise. Our legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;

Foreign Students Return to School – In Person or Online?

It’s time to start thinking about back to school for many foreign students. Throughout the pandemic special measures were put in place to permit foreign students to study online remotely while maintaining their eligibility for a post graduate work permit (PGWP).

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is extending a transition period to international students applying for study permits who are affected by delays and backlogs. The IRCC has recognized that some students’ applications may not be processed in time to begin their in-person studies for the Fall 2022 semester.

International students studying online overseas or those that submit a study permit application by August 31, 2022, will be permitted to complete their entire program online without impacting their eligibility for a PGWP.

Foreign students that opt for online studies or are forced to study online because their study permit is not approved in time for the school year, need to beware that there could still be some consequences. Specifically, there are temporary distance learning measures affecting students starting programs from September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2023. These students will be subject to the following:

  • Beginning Sept 1, 2023, all remote study completed abroad will subtract from the length of a PGWP regardless of when studies were begun, and
  • A maximum of 50% of credits earned may be completed outside of Canada to stay eligible for a PGWP.

Therefore, students affected by delays will not be penalized for completing their course remotely while they wait for their applications to be approved.

As the world transitions to life after Covid-19, the above pre-pandemic study requirements will be reinstated. Online remote study was offered in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, lenience was extended to students on the path to permanent residence. During this time, students’ eligibility for a PGWP would not be affected by completing 100% of their program online and outside of Canada. This policy appears to strike a balance of fairness, but some may argue that foreign students paying significant tuition should not be penalized at all for IRCC’s backlog.

If you would like to meet with one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss post-graduation work permits, or any other immigration needs we are happy to advise. Our legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;;

Open Work Permits for Certain Current and Former Post Graduate Work Permit Holders and TR to Pathway Applicants

On August 2, 2022, IRCC announced it would be expanding work permit opportunities for certain former or current post graduate work permit holders, as well as Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (“TR to PR”) Pathway applicants. Beginning on August 8, 2022, individuals whose post graduate work permit expired on or after September 20, 2021, or will expire by December 31, 2022, will qualify to apply for an eighteen-month work permit by either extending their status or applying anew. Furthermore, IRCC will provide the opportunity for both groups to work in Canada while their application is being processed.

During the Covid-19 pandemic and in light of the resulting restrictions, many former international students found it extremely difficult to secure suitable employment in Canada before their post graduate work permits expired. They were therefore unable to gain the necessary Canadian work experience to qualify for permanent residence under Express Entry (Canadian Experience Class). IRCC has emphasized its commitment to easing the current labour shortage by allowing skilled foreign nationals to join the labour force. The new policy is intended to facilitate this goal and provide graduates with a fair opportunity to meet the Canadian Experience Class’s requirements. The transition from a post graduate work permit to permanent residence status is a commonly utilized pipeline, with 88,000 graduates gaining permanent residence in this fashion in 2021. Under this system, individuals who have recently graduated apply for a post graduate work permit in order to gain qualifying work experience so they become eligible for permanent residence under the Express Entry (Canadian Experience Class).

The date on which the international graduate’s current work permit expires will be key to the manner in which the measures will affect them. Some applicants will be required to formally apply for the work permit extension online whereas others, whose work permits expire between October 2, 2022 and December 31, 2022, will receive an email from IRCC which may necessitate some action on their part if their mailing address or passport information needs to be updated. Provided that they can comply with IRCC’s requirements, they will subsequently receive their extended work permit in the mail between October and November. Individuals with passports expiring before the 18 month extension date (April 2, 2024) will be required to submit an application online and will only receive an extension to the expiry date of their passport. This is a one-time only work permit which cannot be extended so to maximize the benefit of same, it is strongly recommended that applicants whose passports are nearing expiry try to renew their passports before applying. Qualifying individuals residing in Canada whose temporary status has expired must apply online to restore their status at the same time as applying for their work permit. Under these special measures, applicants whose status expired more than 90 days ago will be eligible to apply for restoration of status. Starting August 8, 2022, qualified international graduates will receive an email from IRCC indicating that they may continue to work in the interim while their renewal application is underway; however, this privilege will expire on May 31, 2023. Furthermore, IRCC has emphasized that all applicants must apply for this work permit online on or before December 31, 2022 and will not be allowed to do so at a port of entry. The open work permit fee of $100 will not apply to this work permit. Applicants are only required to pay the work permit processing fee of $155.

IRCC has additionally announced that temporary residents with pending permanent residence applications under the TR to PR Pathway may receive an email informing them that they qualify for an open work permit valid to December 31, 2024, subject to passport validity. This provision is intended to allow such temporary residents to retain valid temporary status in Canada while they wait for their permanent residence application to be finalized. The previous measure which existed in this regard permitted the issuance of a work permit valid to December 31, 2022.

If you would like to meet with one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss post-graduation work permits, or any other immigration needs we are happy to advise. Our legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;;;

What is a NEXUS Card and Why You Need One

After finally arriving in Canada or the United States, have you ever waited hours in line at the port of entry just to cross the border? If you are tired of this, the solution may be the Nexus card— designed for the low-risk, frequent traveler seeking expedited border crossing.

Membership in the NEXUS program can significantly reduce wait times by granting privileges for 5 years that regular travelers do not have: dedicated processing lanes at land border crossings including designated preclearance security check lanes, access to NEXUS kiosks when entering Canada, access to the U.S Global Entry kiosk, the ability to call a marine telephone reporting center to report a marine entry in Canada or the U.S.

For almost all travel between Canada and the U.S, citizens of the two countries may travel without a passport and just a Nexus card. However, for travel by air from Canada to the U.S, travelling with just the Nexus card is only accepted at the 8 major Canadian airports (YYZ, YVR, YYC, YUL, YEG, YWG, YOW, YHZ) with a U.S preclearance area.

So, who is eligible to apply? What are the prerequisites?

  • Canadian and American citizens, and Mexican citizens who are members of the Viajero Confiable (Trusted Traveler) program
  • Permanent Residents of Canada and the U.S are eligible for application after residing in their respective country for at least 3 years
  • Those admissible to Canada or the U.S under immigration laws
  • Those who can pass risk assessments by both countries- those convicted of a serious criminal offence in any country without pardon may be disqualified

Permanent Residents exempt from the 3-year rule are individuals in the Canadian or American armed forces serving in a foreign country and their family members, or individuals serving at a Canadian or American diplomatic mission or consular post in a foreign country and their family members.

Applicants will require proof of birth, identification, citizenship or residency documents, and a $50 USD processing fee. Children under 18 are free.

Upon conditional approval, individuals will be contacted to schedule an interview at a NEXUS Enrolment Center, where they will be interviewed by a Canadian Border Services Agent and/or a U.S Customs and Border Protection officer. They will verify the accuracy of the information on the application, check identity and review original documents, and take fingerprints.

Anyone that has been arrested, charged or convicted of an offence in the past, should seek legal advice before attempting to enroll in NEXUS. Similarly, if you have had a customs violation this could disqualify you.  Finally, there are also immigration implications to enrolment and individuals that travel on business or for work should consult an immigration professional before proceeding.

If accepted into NEXUS, the officer will take photos of the new member’s irises for identification with the Canadian self-serve kiosks, a headshot for the Nexus card, and explain the terms and conditions.

Unfortunately, as of July 8, 2022, Canadian NEXUS Enrolment centers remain closed, however, interviews at U.S NEXUS Enrolment centers have resumed, so there is promise that others will soon be able to enroll and take advantage of this program.  All Canadian applicants are advised to schedule their appointment at the nearest U.S Enrolment center.

If you would like to meet with one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss the NEXUS process, or any other immigration needs we are happy to advise. Our legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;;;

On Your Mark Get Set – All Express Entry Program Draws Set to Resume July 6

The Canadian Minister of Immigration, the Honourable Sean Fraser, announced on June 21, 2022, that the Canadian government would be resuming Express Entry invitations for all program categories. The Express Entry program was initiated in 2015 and provides a platform for foreign nationals to apply for permanent residence in Canada. There are three applicant categories included in the program. The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) category involves individuals with foreign work experience who have no connection to the country. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) contains foreign nationals who have recently worked in Canada and wish to reside there permanently. Finally, the Federally Skilled Trades (FST) group is similar to the FSW category, however it is made up of tradespeople.

The candidates in each of the three programs upload their profile onto the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada website where they are rated based on a variety of factors including but not limited to work history, education, personal background, and spousal status. This score is known as a “CRS” score or “Comprehensive Ranking System” score. Individuals with a high CRS score are regularly invited to apply for permeant residence by the IRCC through a process called “draws” that historically occur approximately once every two weeks in the last seven years.

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, the IRCC paused the FSW programs in December of 2020 due to the rise in global travel restrictions. A year after this was implemented IRCC was facing an increasingly large backlog of immigration applications, primarily due an unprecedented draw in February 2021 where the CRS cut-off was far lower than any previous draw, and was designed to increase IRCC’s inventory so IRCC could meet immigration targets they had failed to meet in 2020 due to the pandemic.  A new Temporary Pathway to Permanent Resident Program introduced in May 2021 also significantly increased IRCC’s inventory. To alleviate this backlog, the Minister decided to pause CEC draws to allow IRCC resources to more effectively process pending permanent resident applications.

Following the pause on draws, any individuals whose applications were rejected could no longer easily reapply, leaving them in a precarious spot of having to renew their temporary status while awaiting another chance at an invitation to apply. Furthermore, many foreign workers who have become eligible to apply since last fall and were reasonable expecting an invitation to apply for permanent residence, were left sitting in the pool of potential candidates. These individuals had been counting on extending their status as foreign workers by applying for a bridging open work permit, which normally they would have become eligible for after applying for permanent residence in the Express Entry program. A great number of these individuals did not otherwise qualify for a work permit renewal and may have had their status in Canada expire, with no way to legally remain in Canada. Many of whom were foreign students that held post graduate work permits.

To address some of the hardship created by the pause in draws, the Minister announced that the IRCC would be implementing a post graduate work permit extension for international student graduates with work permits that expire between September 20, 2021, and December 2022 (over 95,000). Postgraduates were heavily impacted by the pandemic and the Express Entry pauses, both of which made extending their status difficult.  These individuals will qualify for an open work permit that will be valid for a period of eighteen months to allow them to gain the necessary work experience to facilitate their qualification for permanent residence and/or await an invitation to apply.

The renewal of the bi-weekly invitation process will be a boon to those who were impacted by the pandemic measures as well as to prospective applicants for permanent residence. Now that the Express Entry pool is reopening it is important that prospective applicants consult with an immigration lawyer to maximise their CRS points to be as competitive as possible. Furthermore, applicants should be conscious of the fact that their language test results may have expired since the entry pool was open in 2020, as the tests only remain valid for two years. An immigration lawyer can also ensure a candidate has sufficient evidence of past work experience to mitigate against a possible refusal.

If you would like to meet with one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss the Express Entry process, or any other immigration needs we are happy to advise. Our legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;;;;

United States Ending Covid-19 Testing Requirements For International Travelers

On Friday June 10th, an official at the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that they would be lifting the Covid-19 related requirements that are currently in place on international travelers coming into the U.S. The order was initiated on January 26, 2021, and requires international travelers to test negative on a Covid-19 viral (rapid) test, a maximum of 24 hours before flying. According to CNN who first reported the change in policy, restrictions are set to expire at 12:00 am on Sunday, June 12, 2022.

Covid requirements continue to remain in place in Canada however. These include the mandatory use of the “ArriveCAN” app in order to provide proof of full vaccination (two vaccines) within 72 hours before arriving to Canada. Failing to do so may result in a fine of $5,000 dollars and the requirement to quarantine. Furthermore, international travelers may be randomly selected to take an arrival test, even if they are fully vaccinated. With huge delays at airports in Canada, especially at Toronto Pearson, there is mounting pressure on the Canadian Government to drop these remaining restrictions before school is out for the summer and the busiest travel season commences.

If you are unclear of what travel restrictions are still in place, contact a professional at CILF.  Our legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;;;;