U.S. Customs & Border Protection (“CBP”), the agency responsible for securing the U.S. border and facilitating lawful international trade and travel, issued a Travel Advisory in anticipation of greatly increased travel between Canada and the United States over the Victoria Day weekend (Friday, May 17 to Victoria Day [Monday, May 20]).
Pursuant to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, U.S. and Canadian citizens age 16 and over entering the U.S. by land or sea are reminded that they must have a valid, acceptable travel document, such as a passport, U.S. passport card, trusted traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry or FAST/EXPRES), U.S. permanent resident card (“green card”) or enhanced driver’s license (denoting both identity and citizenship). Air travelers must have a passport.
Non-Canadian or U.S. citizens should be in possession of a valid visa to enter the U.S. unless they are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country whereby they are waived the visa requirement to visit the U.S. They must however register online with ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) at least 72 hours before their trip.
Travelers are advised to give themselves plenty of time at border crossing as delays are expected given the increased volume. Information on Border Wait Times for land crossing is available at: http://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/
For more information on U.S. or Canadian immigration, please contact our offices at 1-800-993-9971 or email@example.com.
Posted by Mark Dey » No Comments
Reports emerged over the weekend that 45 RBC employees in Toronto are losing their jobs next month after their employer contracted a number of technological services to iGate, a California-based firm which specializes in sending jobs offshore.
If true, the situation appears to contravene federal regulations that require companies to complete a labour market opinion (LMO) application demonstrating they are unable to fill the positions with Canadian employees before bringing in foreign workers.
In applying for an LMO, there are several conditions employers must follow, including proving the company made adequate recruitment efforts and offered wages in line with the market average. These requirements ensure that foreign workers are not more attractive because they would accept a lower wage. In our experience officers carefully scrutinize each LMO application strictly applying the advertising and wage requirements.
The media has painted a picture that the foreign employees, brought in on federally-approved LMO work permits, are filling positions which could have been filled by Canadians. This seems to oversimplify the situation. RBC has stated it has not broken any rules and affected employees have been redistributed to other parts of the company. Further, moving permanent Canadian employees to new departments will either have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian labour market by creating new jobs as required by federal regulations.
It appears RBC followed the process in place which allows them to hire foreign workers while at the same time serves to protect Canada’s labour market. Calls to boycott the company seem misplaced. Perhaps it is Human Resources Skills Development Canada, the department which evaluates employer LMO applications, who should be questioned on whether they are meeting their mandate.
For more information on any Canadian or US immigration matter, please contact the Bomza Law Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-993-9971.
Posted by Donna Habsha » No Comments
I’m a Canadian Citizen and I’ve Been Denied Entry to the USA Because I Have a Criminal Conviction. What Should I Do Now?
Canadian citizens who have been denied entry to the United States due to a past criminal conviction can apply for an I-192 Waiver of Inadmissibility. This waiver must be applied for, and in almost all cases received, prior to attempting another entry into the United States. The first thing you should do after being denied entry to the US is check your records for any documentation you may have regarding your past convictions, and to call a US Immigration Lawyer.
What Can A Lawyer do to Help Me?
One of the Bomza Law Group’s US Immigration lawyers will review your charges and convictions thoroughly to determine whether or not you require a waiver. If it is determined that a waiver is necessary, we will assist you in gathering the necessary documents and preparing a cogent application package to present to the US authorities. We will work with you to ensure that you meet the legal requirements necessary for a waiver to be granted and we will assist you in putting together the strongest application possible. Once the application has been submitted, we will follow-up on your application at regular intervals and continue to monitor its progress.
What Happens Next?
A waiver of inadmissibility can be granted for anywhere from 1-5 years. Initial waivers are generally only valid for one year, and must be renewed if you intend to enter the US.
To schedule a consultation or speak with one of our US Immigration lawyers, please contact the Bomza Law Group at 1-800-993-9971 or via the internet at email@example.com.
Posted by Karen Bingham » No Comments
Since January 1994, with the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals have enjoyed facilitated travel to and employment in the United States. In order to qualify for TN status, the proposed U.S. activity must be in a profession listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA and the applicant must be in possession of the required credentials to qualify. Eligible professionals may also work for Canadian or Mexican companies in the United States.
In most cases a Baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree or Licenciatura (the Mexican equivalent of a bachelor’s degree) is the principal requirement. Although not specifically stated in Appendix 1603.D.1, United States Customs & Border Protection (“USCBP”) has previously stated that it expects the degree to be clearly relevant to the proposed position. As such, an alien with a bachelor degree in Psychology will usually not qualify as a computer systems analyst. However, an alien with a mathematics degree should be able to qualify for TN status as a computer systems analyst, since it can be argued that systems analysis requires the application of mathematics principles. The list of eligible professions also includes occupations where a bachelor’s degree is not the minimum requirement. Specific outlined professions require a post-secondary diploma or certificate in addition to several years of experience.
Although the minimum requirements are similar for both Canadian and Mexican citizens, Canadians are permitted to apply for TN classification at a port-of-entry (land border) or pre-flight inspection, whereas Mexican citizens must first apply for a TN visa at a consular post.
A citizen of Canada may be admitted pursuant to TN status for a requested length of employment not to exceed three years. An approved visa classifying a citizen of Mexico a TN non-immigrant shall be valid for a period of up to one year.
In summary, professionals of Canada or Mexico may work in the U. S. under the following conditions:
- Applicant is a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
- Profession is on the NAFTA list;
- Position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional;
- Mexican or Canadian applicant is to work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job, for a U.S. employer; self employment is not permitted;
- Professional Canadian or Mexican citizen has the qualifications of the profession.
For more information on TN Visa or any other Canadian or US immigration matter, please contact the Bomza Law Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or 18009939971.
Posted by Ana Soares » No Comments
On July 11, 2012, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that with immediate effect they would lift the three year residency requirement for Canadian citizens to apply to NEXUS. This is an effort by the United States and Canada to deliver on key commitments under the Border Action Plan for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.
By amending the three year residency requirement, the CBSA is extending NEXUS membership eligibility to citizens of Canada currently residing abroad, or who have recently moved back to Canada. As pre-approved travelers, NEXUS members can expedite their travel across the Canada – US border at designated air, land and marine locations. The NEXUS program allows US and Canadian officers to concentrate their efforts on unknown and higher risk travelers and goods.
For more information on this and other US and Canadian Immigration matters, contact the Bomza Law Group at 416 598 8849.
Posted by Tahira Pandit » No Comments
A new proposal by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could limit the time American citizens are separated from their spouse and children, if an I-601 waiver is required. The changes proposed by USCIS outline its plan to reduce the time that U.S. citizens are separated from their spouses and children under certain circumstances while those family members go through the process of becoming legal immigrants to the United States. Currently, spouses and sons and daughters of U.S. citizens who have accrued periods of unlawful presence in the United States, and have to leave the country as part of the legal immigration process, are barred from returning to their families for as long as 3 or 10 years, having to apply for I-601 waiver relief to allow them re-entry into the United States. This proposal would streamline the processing of these individuals’ waiver applications based on unlawful presence; USCIS proposes to process their waiver applications in the United States before any American family faces separation. The process would only apply to immigrants who are eligible for an immigrant visa.
With the change outlined in the notice, individuals who currently qualify for an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility under the existing eligibility standards, and who can demonstrate that separation from their U.S. citizen spouse or parent would cause extreme hardship to that relative, would be allowed to apply for a waiver while still in the U.S. By allowing these individuals to apply for I-601 waivers in the U.S. and making a provisional determination of waiver eligibility before the individuals must depart the country for visa processing, USCIS would provide a more predictable and transparent process and improved processing times, minimizing the separation of U.S. citizens from their families. As a result, this change would encourage individuals who may be eligible for an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility to seek lawful readmission to the United States by limiting the amount of time they would need to spend away from their U.S. citizen spouse or parent.
USCIS will release further information on the processing change once it becomes official.
For further information on I-601 Immigrant Waivers and other Canadian and US Immigration matter, please contact the Bomza Law Group – Immigration Lawyers.
Posted by Ana Soares » No Comments