December 06, 2012

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced a new, two-year conditional permanent residence status for certain foreign nationals. In addition, the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles has ceased in-person return of original passports and all other original documents submitted to the Consulate. Documentation filed with this consulate will now be returned by mail.

Currently, the Canadian Consulate in New York is the only visa office in the United States that currently accepts in-person filing and pick up of documents.

What’s Changed?

Two-Year Conditional Permanent Residence as a Member of Family Class

On November 7, 2012, the Canadian Government published a revision for family-based sponsorship for Canadian permanent residence

http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2012/2012-11-07/html/sor-dors227-eng.html

Effective October 25, 2012, foreign national applicants who are in a relationship of less than two years and having no children in common with their Canadian sponsor will, at the time their permanent residence application is made, be granted a conditional permanent residence status of two years.

In order to remove these conditions, the applicant and Canadian sponsor must prove they have maintained a qualified relationship during the two-year conditional permanent residence period.

Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles Changes Return of Passports

Since May 2012, the Canadian Government has taken steps to reduce consular posts located in the continental United States and other countries.

All Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) applications filed in all U.S. states and territories west of the Mississippi River may continue to be filed either by mail or personal appearance with the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles.

However, as of November 19th, the Consulate will no longer permit in person appearance to request the status of an application or request return of documents. All original documents will be returned by U.S. mail, thus increasing overall processing times to receive business or tourist TRV’s and the processing of work authorization applications filed with the Consulate.

Further instructions can be found at the following:

http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/los_angeles/visas/index.aspx?lang=eng&view=d

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

In light of the recent change by the CIC to reduce the incidence of fraudulent marriage-based applications, foreign nationals considering applying for Canadian permanent residence must review the status of their relationship with a Canadian immigration lawyer or certified immigration consultant.

Companies and employees based in the United States are advised to allow adequate time for processing all manner of visa applications filed with the high-volume consular posts in Los Angeles and New York, particularly now at the beginning of the December 2012 holiday season.

Companies and employees intending to file business visitor and work authorization TRV applications should work closely with their global immigration suppliers to confirm best options for hand-filing visa applications with the U.S.-based Canadian consular posts.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management.