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Allen and Hodgman

   

Update on third Trump travel ban

As of October 24, 2017, all provisions of the second Trump travel ban (Travel Ban 2.0) have expired. Due to the federal court injunctions issued by federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland, many of these provisions were never enforced, at least against persons with significant ties to persons or organizations in the United States. Also on October 24, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed all appeals of the federal court orders on the grounds the cases no longer presented a live case or controversy. On September 24, 2017 President Trump issued a “proclamation” instituting a third travel…

Canada will raise age of dependent children to “under 22” beginning October 24, 2017

As of October 24, 2017, Canada’s definition of a “dependent child” will be changed from “under 19” to “under 22” for all of Canada’s immigration programs. This means that applicants for permanent residence under Express Entry as well as Family Class applicants can include their children who are under 22 as of the date of the application. For the last three years the age of dependency had been reduced to under 19.

Canada reduces residency time for citizenship

Beginning October 11, 2017, becoming a Canadian citizen got a lot easier. For applications filed on or after that date, the residency requirement has been reduced from four years out of the last six, to three years (1095 days) out of the last five.  In addition, the requirement to be present for 183 days in each year has been removed, as long as the total days are met. Also, applicants can now count one half the days spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident, up to a total of 365 days.  As a result, a person who has been…

Express Entry cutoff holding steady in 430’s

After the lowest ever Express Entry draw was held on May 31, 2017, with a cutoff of 413, recent draws have risen somewhat to the 430s, including a draw of 436 on October 18, 2017. These levels are still readily attainable by persons with strong language test results, a bachelor’s degree or better, and several years of work experience. The cutoff marks from recent draws appear to be designed to attain Canada’s immigration goals for the current year. Applications continue to be processed very rapidly. Immigration to Canada in as little as six months remains a realistic goal for many,…

USCIS resumes premium processing of all H-1B petition categories

On October 3, 2017, USCIS announced it would resume premium processing of all categories of H-1B petitions. Premium processing has been suspended for most categories of H-1B petitions since April 2017. For an additional filing fee of $1,225, USCIS will either approve, deny, or issue an RFE on H-1B petitions within 15 calendar days of filing. This is good news for “cap gap” beneficiaries and other persons in need of rapid processing of their H-1B petitions. Any pending H-1B petition can be upgraded to premium processing by filing the I-907 form and paying the premium processing fee.

Trump cancels DACA program to outrage of millions

On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be cancelled. Sessions’s announcement was a hate-filled blistering attack on Dreamers, referring to them as criminals, and accusing them of stealing the jobs of hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens. Opposition to the announcement was immediate and continues to grow across the country. We call on all decent minded Americans to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators to demand the passage of new legislation to restore the DACA program including a path to permanent status for DACA recipients. In a…

Move to Canada after Trump election? It’s easier than you think!

We are receiving many inquiries from U.S. citizens, H-1B visa holders, DACA recipients, and other persons living in the U.S. who want to move to Canada in response to the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The election was closely followed by the Muslim Travel Ban, DACA cancellation, and other anti-immigrant actions. Many are shocked by the dangerous actions of the Trump administration, including Trump’s support for white supremacists, banning transgendered persons from the military, and withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. By contrast, Canada is a welcoming, progressive and pluralistic society with no anti-immigrant sentiment….

Supreme Court leaves orders blocking travel ban in effect for most immigrants

On June 26, 2017 the Supreme Court of the United States issued an order agreeing to review the decisions of the Fourth Circuit and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Both of these courts had issued nation-wide orders blocking the Trump travel ban for nationals of Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yeman. The decision to review the cases was expected given the importance of these cases. In addition, the Supreme Court left in place the restraining orders blocking enforcement of the travel ban in most cases. The Supreme Court ruled that the travel ban could not be enforced against anyone…

Canada launches new “Global Skills Strategy”

On June 12, 2017, Canada announced a new “global skills strategy” that will make it easier and faster to get work permits for certain foreign workers. The strategy has four components (referred to as “pillars” in the government announcements). They are as follows: Workers coming to Canada for brief periods will be authorized to work without an LMIA or work permit. This provision applies to management and skilled employees classified as NOC 0 or NOC A. The employment will be permitted for one 30 day period every 12 months, or one 15 day period every six months. Certain university researchers…

Canada passes new citizenship law

On June 19, 2017, Canada’s new citizenship law receive Royal Assent, the final step in the legislative process. This is an amendment to existing Canadian citizenship law. The law, known as C-6, will make it easier for many people to attain Canadian citizenship. The law goes into effect in stages. As of June 19, persons applying for citizenship are no longer required to have the intent to live in Canada, making it easier for new Canadian citizens to live or work outside of Canada. Also, the age restrictions for applying for Canadian citizenship have been removed, so that minors can…