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Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah discusses the many immigration changes Canada made in May and June 2023 on the Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast.
On the podcast, Evelyn Ackah discusses the following Canada immigration updates:
- 18-month extension for open work permits:
The government has offered an 18-month extension on open work permits for people who are already in Canada under the spousal and family class applications. This is to address labor shortages and to keep people in the workforce while their permanent residence process is being completed.
- Pro bono legal consultation day:
Evelyn Ackah will be hosting a pro bono legal consultation day on July 18th to celebrate her birthday. This is an opportunity to get some initial legal advice for 15-minute increments.
- New express entry options:
The government has created a new express entry category for skilled workers in healthcare, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as trades, transport, and agriculture and agrifood industries.
- Verified traveler program:
The government is launching a new verified traveler program that will allow eligible people to move faster through security at major airports in Canada.
- Nexus pass:
The government has reopened Nexus interviews, so if you have a Nexus pass that's been approved, you can now apply for an appointment to get your new card.
- Importance of working with a legal professional:
Evelyn Ackah emphasizes the importance of working with a legal professional when it comes to immigration. She warns against using agents and consultants who may not be qualified or who may be involved in fraudulent activity.
- New electronic travel authorization (eTA) countries:
The government has added 13 new countries to the list of countries whose citizens can apply for an eTA instead of a visa to enter Canada.
About Evelyn Ackah
Evelyn Ackah is the Founder and Managing Lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. With offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, we work with individuals and business owners from all over the world who want to cross borders seamlessly. For more information on immigration to Canada or the United States, Ask Evelyn Ackah at Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email Evelyn directly at email@example.com.
The Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast by Calgary Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah was named #1 Best Canada Immigration Podcast in 2022 by Feedspot.
Welcome to the Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Podcast as well as our LinkedIn live today. Thank you so much for joining. I wanted to get this done before I leave on vacation because there have been so many updates on immigration law in the last four to six weeks, and I want to make sure that you are fully aware of the latest and greatest news and information that's available so that if you need assistance, you can contact our office at Ackah Business Immigration Law for assistance. So let's get started with all the changes. So one of the first major changes is that Canada has offered an 18-month extension on open work permits as a way to address labor shortages. This is really, really huge for people who are already here under the spousal and family class applications. They can now extend their open work permits for a further 18 months. One because of the extensive delays with immigration, but also because they want to keep people in the workforce here.
We're hearing from employers every day how hard it is to find good, skilled workers, so this is another way for people to stay employed and remain in Canada while their permanent residence process is being completed. So if you want to find out more about it, give us a call. Again, this is the 18-month extension for open work permits that the government announced earlier in the year. The next one I want to talk about is, in case you haven't heard because my birthday is July 14th which is Bastille Day, I'm going to be doing a pro bono free legal consultation day for a six-hour period on July 18th. So if you're interested and want to get some initial legal advice for 15-minute increments, that's all we can do to help is get as many people as we can initially to find out if they have a legal issue we can assist with, I'd love it if you would sign up, contact our office, and hopefully there's still space available.
But we're doing a pro bono free legal consultation day that day to celebrate my birthday and to give back, again, in different ways to our community. Look forward to talking to you soon. Of course, you can always pay for our consultation if you can't get in, and our team can help you with that as well. One of the other things that's occurred is that the government has announced new express entry options to deal with labor shortages and to deal with the areas where we need the most people. So Canada has created this new express entry category, things like people working in healthcare, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, so STEM. They're looking for STEM professionals, healthcare professionals, people in the trades, carpenters, plumbers, contractors, people in transport and agriculture and agrifood industries.
So if you are interested in those areas, if you work in those areas, if you have experience in those areas, they have created a priority category for express entry for those skilled workers who match these categories I've already outlined. So if you'd like to learn more, give us a call. We'll want to find out if you're eligible before we begin. But this is another way the government is having to deal with the labor shortages here in Canada in specific industries. Again, those are healthcare, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, trades such as carpenters, plumbers, contractors, transport, which I'm assuming is truck drivers, movement of food and supplies, as well as agriculture and agrifood.
The government also announced that they are launching a new verified traveler program that will be starting June 7th approximately. And it is basically going to allow people that are already eligible to benefit at a security screening. They're going to be able to move faster through security because of this new verified traveler program that's launching in Canada. It's going to be at the major airports in Canada, so that'll be Vancouver Airport, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal. And this is a way to expedite travel, especially during the busy travel season this summer. And if you want to learn more, you can look online and then give us a call to see if you qualify for this program to make the screening process more efficient.
So, something else that's really close to me is the idea of the Nexus pass. During COVID, nobody was getting interviews for Nexus, including me and my family. And we applied, got approved. Now, the government has opened the Nexus interviews, and so if you have a Nexus pass that's been approved, you can now apply for an appointment so that you can book it at the airports or the port of entry that are qualified to do Nexus extensions and go and get your new picture taken and get your new Nexus card if you qualify for Nexus. If you don't qualify for Nexus or you don't have one, we can assist you at Ackah Law. So give us a call and let's see if we can make something happen for you. I love personally having Nexus because it allows us to move through the airport faster. There's a special line. We don't have to get to the airport as early as everybody else because we know we all have Nexus as a family, and we can move quickly through the screening process. It's definitely worth it. It's only like 50 bucks if you do it yourself. If you need help, we can help you with that as well.
The other thing I want to talk about is the importance of working with a legal professional. More and more these days, we're hearing that people who are using agents and consultants are having more troubles and are finding themselves caught in some fraudulent activity. The most recent has to do with the schools that many people from India and other countries think that they're registered for, and they come to Canada only to find out that the school is fraudulent, or it's not a legal school, or it's not a designated learning institution. People's lives are being impacted. If you are at all concerned and you're not sure where to go, you need to work with a lawyer. Whether it's me or some other immigration lawyer with good experience and good reviews, please take the time and contact a lawyer to make sure you're doing everything right. It's so difficult to fix a problem after the fact.
Another thing I want to talk to you about today that is new and the newest and greatest has to do with the fact that now, immigration in terms of electronic travel authorization, they have made it so that certain countries no longer need to get a visa. And instead they are going to get the benefits of an electronic travel authorization instead. So that list is long. It's 13 countries. So it's Antigua, Barbados, Argentina, Costa Rica, Morocco, Panama, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. These countries now can benefit from having to apply for an electronic travel authorization and no longer need a visa to come to Canada.
So these are really big changes in immigration. It's a lot of news. It's a lot of information. Immigration never slows down. So if you have questions about any of the things we've talked about, extensions to post-graduate work permits, extensions to open spousal work permits, anything to do with all these changes we've discussed, give me a call at Ackah Business Immigration Law at the number below or send us an email, and me or my team would love to assist you. Thanks so much, and please, if you are joining us on our podcast, please give us a five star review and share our podcast with your friends and family and your colleagues. Take care. Bye-bye.