Canada facilitates settlement of immigrants in Yukon communities

Foreign workers with a valid Yukon nomination and job offers from up to three employers in selected Yukon communities will be eligible for an open work permit.

The Government of Canada is helping Yukon communities to recruit and retain immigration candidates through open work permits.

The Yukon Community Pilot (YCP), a stream under the Yukon Nominee Program (YNP), was launched in January 2020 and is expected to run for three years. The pilot will help six targeted Yukon communities attract immigrants and facilitate their permanent settlement.

The Yukon is a sparsely populated territory in northwestern Canada, with an active and diverse labour market where employers often rely on seasonal workers.

Under the YCP stream, foreign nationals may be issued a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt open work permit for a specific community, instead of a single employer. These individuals will, therefore, be able to hold multiple jobs in the same community.

To qualify for an open work permit, candidates need to have a valid nomination for permanent residence from the Yukon and two or three job offers from up to three employers who are based in one the following participating Yukon Territory communities:

Dawson City
Haines Junction
Watson Lake
Eligibility criteria for the YCP
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) specified that all job offers for each foreign national must be in the same community but not necessarily from only one employer. In addition, a person working for the same employer in two different positions must have two job offers.

“Each job offer must reflect work in a single National Occupational Classification (NOC). For example, a person working part-time as a receptionist at a hotel and part-time as a waiter at the hotel bar should have two job offers, even if the employer is the same for both,” says IRCC.

The idea behind this approach is to allow for greater flexibility so that individuals can more easily accumulate 1,560 hours in a single year, or the equivalent of a full-time annual job.

If an employer is forced to withdraw from the agreement because they can no longer afford to provide the required number of hours of work, the Government of Yukon will actively support applicants in finding alternative work opportunities so that they can maintain full-time, year-round employment.

Further work permit details
IRCC will issue an open work permit to foreign nationals with a mandatory condition limiting the work location to the participating Yukon community. The work permits will be valid for 2 years from the date of the decision or the date of entry into Canada or until the expiry of the travel document, whichever comes first.

Work permit applications must be submitted electronically. Individuals may not apply for the YCP work permit at ports of entry.

The spouse or common-law partner of the principal applicant may also be issued an open work permit. This work permit will only be issued if the principal applicant is employed in at least one NOC Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B position, will be limited to the same community as the principal applicant’s place of employment, and will also be valid for a maximum of 2 years.

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Express Entry: 392 PNP candidates receive ITAs

Canada held another round of Express Entry invitations on June 24, inviting candidates who had provincial nominations.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued 392 invitations to candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores of 696 and above.

All these candidates had previously received provincial nominations and were awarded an additional 600 points toward their overall score. This means without the provincial nomination the candidate would have had a CRS of 96.

The CRS ranks human capital factors such as age, work experience, education, and official language proficiency to determine which Express Entry candidates would have a high likelihood of succeeding in the Canadian labour market.
Express Entry is Canada’s main pathway to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers and it manages the pool of candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.

The following is a hypothetical scenario of someone who may have been invited in the June 24 draw.

Ali is 34 with a Master’s degree and has been working as a database analyst for ten years. He wrote the IELTS and scored a 7.5 in listening and a 6.5 in every other category. He has never worked or studied in Canada. Ali entered the Express Entry pool in January 2020 and also submitted a profile to the Canadian province of Saskatchewan through the International Skilled Worker: Saskatchewan Express Entry stream. He entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 360. Shortly after submitting a profile to Saskatchewan, Ali was invited to apply for provincial nomination. After being nominated, his Express Entry CRS score increased to 960 and Ali obtain an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in the June 24 Express Entry draw.


Canada still accepting applications despite travel restrictions.

While Canada has imposed travel restrictions, candidates are still welcome to submit Express Entry profiles as well as their permanent and temporary residence applications. Canada continues to hold Express Entry draws and issue invitations to apply for permanent residence. Canada is also being more flexible in processing applications by providing candidates with more time to obtain and submit their documentation in case candidates are being affected by COVID-19 disruptions.

Who can come to Canada during coronavirus pandemic?
Canadian citizens and some foreign nationals are currently able to travel to Canada. However, foreign nationals may only travel to Canada for essential (non-discretionary) reasons (immediate family are able to come to Canada for non-essential reasons).

The following are among the people who may travel to Canada:

Canadian citizens
Permanent residents
Immediate family of Canadian citizens and permanent residents (spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, grandchildren, parent or step-parent, and guardian or tutor)
Permanent resident applicants who were approved for permanent residence before Canada announced its travel restrictions on March 16, 2020 but who had not yet travelled to Canada
Temporary foreign workers
International students who held a valid study permit or who had been approved for a study permit when Canada’s travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020
Click here to view the full list of people who will be exempted from the travel restrictions.

Canada’s travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020, and end on June 30, 2020, at noon EDT.

Four Canadian airports open to international travel
Effective March 18, 2020, only four Canadian airports will be open to international travel:

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
Montreal-Pierre Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Airline companies must screen passengers for coronavirus symptoms
Airline companies will be responsible for screening the health of individuals before they board a plane to Canada. Airlines have been instructed to prevent individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms from flying to Canada.

Canada has issued a statement indicating that passengers who display a fever of over 38°C, a cough, or breathing difficulties may be denied from boarding a plane unless they have a medical certificate that confirms the symptoms are not due to COVID-19.

Good to Know
People who can travel to Canada are listed here.
Express Entry draws continue and federal and provincial governments continue to issue invitations to apply for permanent residence.
Starting March 16th, all in-person landing appointments are cancelled and will be held by telephone. IRCC will contact you by email to let you know when your new telephone appointment will be.
Biometrics deadline extended to 90 days, rather than 30. There will be 90-day extensions for additional document requests on open applications.
It is mandatory for those entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days.
The travel restrictions are in place until June 30, 2020 at noon EDT.
The measures do not apply to trade or business.
International students may begin their program online at a Canadian designated learning institution in the fall of 2020 and still be eligible for a PGWP.

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President Donald Trump freezes immigration for rest of 2020.

President Donald Trump has signed a new Executive Order to limit immigration to the United States for the rest of this year. The Executive Order takes effect on June 24, 2020 at 12:01 AM EDT and expires on December 31, 2020.

The purpose of the Executive Order is to protect 525,000 jobs, according to the Trump administration. This figure represents the number of foreign nationals that the administration estimates will not be able to work in the country in 2020 as a result of the Executive Order.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused unemployment rates to spike around the world, including in the United States and Canada.

The Trump administration has long argued that welcoming immigrants hurts American workers. They believe limiting immigration during the pandemic will help American workers land on their feet.

On the other hand, Canada continues to argue that immigration creates jobs, and Canada remains committed to welcoming high levels of immigration.
Who is suspended from getting a U.S. work visa in 2020
For the remainder of this year, the U.S. will not issue new employment-based visas under the H-1B, H-2B, J, and L visa categories.

H-2B visas are for non-agricultural seasonal workers, J visas facilitate work and educational visitor exchange programs, while L visas are for intra-company transfers.

The suspension applies to people currently outside of the U.S. and who do not currently have a valid U.S. work visa.

The Executive Order provides the U.S. government with flexibility to exempt certain individuals from the suspension. Moreover, it does not apply to those seeking asylum in the U.S.

Trump announced a freeze on green cards in April but did not suspend employment-based visas at the time. Today’s Executive Order also extends the freeze on new green cards to the end of 2020.

Indian H-1B visa holders pivoting to Canada
The H-1B visa is very popular and is issued to up to 85,000 people per year. It allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge, mainly in the tech sector.

H-1B visa holders sometimes encounter challenges in obtaining a U.S. green card, resulting in them looking to the likes of Canada to obtain permanent residence.

Former H-1B visa holders are among the large number of Indian nationals who immigrate to Canada each year, often through the Express Entry system. In fact, residents of the U.S. were the third-leading source of successful Express Entry candidates in 2018, while Indian citizens were the number one source of talent. In other words, a significant share of those successful under Express Entry are Indian citizens who submit their Canadian immigration applications while living in the U.S.

Such individuals fare well under Express Entry due to their high levels of education, English language skills, and professional work experience.