The Department of State has released the April 2015 Visa Bulletin, a monthly report detailing the current cutoff dates for the filing or approval of green card applications in the various U.S. permanent visa categories. A person who is otherwise eligible to apply for or be granted a green card in the U.S., must have a current priority date as specified in the Visa Bulletin.
The April 2015 Visa Bulletin shows continued forward movement, especially for nationals of India and China. As of April 1, 2015, the priority date in the employment-based second (EB-2) preference category for Chinese nationals will advance seven months to April 1, 2011, while the priority date in the EB-2 category for Indian nationals will advance eight months to September 1, 2007.
Similarly, the priority dates in the employment-based third (EB-3) preference advanced four months to October 1, 2014, except for EB-3 India, which advanced one week to January 8, 2004. There is a bit of bad news for nationals of China as the EB-3 priority date moved backward to January 1, 2011, due to continued heavy demand.
Finally, most family-based preference categories will advance at least a few weeks.
You can view the visa bulletin in its entirety below. Please contact us with any questions.
This is a guest post by our friend Jacqueline Bart of BartLAW Canadian Immigration Barristers and Solicitors, a Toronto law firm specializing exclusively in Canadian immigration law. Sign up for their immigration newsletter here.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has unveiled a new employer compliance form under the International Mobility Program. Based on the new regulations, employers are now required to file employment confirmation information prior to filing a foreign worker work permit application.
As of February 21, 2015, applying for a work permit requires a two-step application process:
This new employer work permit compliance filing process will require employers to provide employment information directly to CIC when hiring foreign nationals under the International Mobility Program. The information provided by employers will form the basis of future compliance assessments when employers are inspected.
Specifically, employers will be required to provide the following information:
The $230 fee and employment information must be submitted by the employer before a foreign national makes an application for a work permit. If employers do not meet the above requirements when hiring foreign nationals under employer-specific LMIA-exemptions, officers will refuse the work permit application by the foreign national.
Aside from the government revenue generation of this new program, it is designed to ensure that the government receives information directly from the employer regarding the employment position. This will enable the government to verify compliance with the International Mobility Program regulatory requirements. The Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement from the government indicates that the information will be utilized for government employer compliance processes. The government seeks to bolster their enforcement authority in employer compliance inspections. These regulations will enhance CIC’s legislative authority to inspect employers. The government will conduct on-site inspections without a warrant.
At employer on-site inspections, CIC will require employers to provide documents that demonstrate compliance with the job offer, including payroll and taxation documentation, time sheets, foreign worker activities and responsibilities, location of employment and other types of government and non-government documentation. CIC may also interview foreign workers or Canadian employees to determine employer compliance.
The regulatory penalties for employer non-compliance with immigration filings can include jail terms and fines for the officers and directors of the employer.
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