This week’s newsletter provides an overview of notable changes in Canadian and American immigration over the month of May, including all measures directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is the latest news as of June 1, 2021.
Canada-U.S. border closure extended until at least June 21st, 2021
Canada’s international and U.S. border restrictions have been extended for another month for all non-essential travel, until at least June 21st, 2021. Essential travel remains exempt, including travel for trade shipments, essential workers, approved temporary foreign workers and family reunification. Please confirm with one of our lawyers to find out whether these exemptions apply to you!
COVID testing and strict quarantine requirements for people entering Canada on flights, including a minimum three (3) day stay in a quarantine hotel and 14-day total quarantine, will continue until at least June 21st.
Extended ban on flights from India and Pakistan
The Canadian government has extended its ban on flights from India and Pakistan until June 21, 2021 in a move to prevent and control the spread of the novel coronavirus and its variants.
Changes to the International Mobility Program for certain CSQ holders
On May 27, 2021, Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) announced that applicants whose status is maintained or who are eligible for restoration as a worker are now eligible for an exemption that allows them to submit an application to renew or extend their work authorization in Canada without the employer having to obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMI).
Nonimmigrant travelers currently restricted from travelling to the U.S. from India
On May 4, the entry into the United States of certain nonimmigrant travelers who have been physically present in India was suspended as the country sees more than 200,000 new coronavirus cases per day.
U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPR), and immigrants are not subject to the proclamation. The proclamation does not apply for family reunification of non-U.S. citizen spouses or children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.
Biden administration has begun reuniting families separated under Trump
At the beginning of May, the Biden administration announced that it had started reuniting families that were separated under Trump’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy. This follows the February executive order that created the “Task Force on the Reunification of Families”, one of Biden’s campaign promises.
Update on travel of U.S. citizens with expired passports
On May 22, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued guidance to the Carrier Liaison Program allowing U.S. citizens whose passports expired on or after January 1, 2020 to use this passport to return to the United States through December 31, 2021.
USCIS temporarily suspends biometrics requirement for certain Form I-539 applicants
As of May 17, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended the biometrics submission requirement for certain applicants filing Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, requesting an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2, and E nonimmigrant status.
Adjudications for those specific categories will proceed based on biographic information and related background checks, without capturing fingerprints and a photograph through May 17, 2023.
Compliments of EXEO Attorneys – a member of the EACCNY.