Immigration News – May 2024

News RoomMay 24, 20240

Immigration News – May 2024

At Brown Immigration Law, we strive to be your company’s partner in growth and innovation, on a global scale. We continue our commitment to demystifying the complex immigration laws of the United States and Canada to provide efficient and effective immigration and global mobility support. Please find this month’s business immigration news below.


USCIS Asylum Fee Explained

On April 1, 2024, USCIS’s updated fee schedule went into effect. As we previously reported, many fees increased across the board, containing a requirement that employment-based petitioners include an Asylum Program Fee of either $600 or $300 (small employers) with I-129 and I-140 cases. According to USCIS, this fee “helps fund the asylum program… All the work at USCIS is connected – when we have a more fully funded corps of asylum officers, our non-asylum officers can concentrate more exclusively on adjudicating cases from employers and other filers, bringing down processing times for everyone.”

According to reports, the backlog of asylum cases continues to grow, with well over 700,000 applications received by USCIS in FY2023, and nearly 2 million asylum application filed with the immigration courts (EOIR) from FY2021 to FY2023. Apart from the asylum backlog, both USCIS and the Department of Labor continue to face historic delays in processing employment-based benefits, including the ETA 9089 PERM application, which now processes in over a year, when originally DOL anticipated a 60 day turnaround.

Given that USCIS is a fee funded agency, we hope that these increases lead to quicker and more efficient processing of cases across the board. We will continue to monitor for updates to the fees and processing times generally.

Note: USCIS Erroneous Delays and Rejections

After these updates on April 1, 2024, the American Immigration Lawyers Association has consistently reported an increase in the number of improper rejections and delays from USCIS after the changes in fees and filing locations. We are continuing to monitor this situation. If your case is impacted by an improper rejection, we will assess and seek to refile the case as soon as possible, noting the error to the Service for processing.

June Visa Bulletin

The June 2024 Visa Bulletin has been released. For employment-based adjustment of status applicants, USCIS has confirmed that it will continue to accept applications current under the “Final Action Dates” chart. Largely, there were no changes, with EB-3 India advancing from August 15, 2012 to August 22, 2012.


Open Work Permits for Hong Kong Residents in Canada

On May 7th, 2024, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a new temporary public policy for Hong Kong residents currently in Canada who have applied for Canadian Permanent Residence (PR). Effective May 27th, 2024, this policy allows eligible Hong Kong residents to apply for an Open Work Permit (OWP) while awaiting a decision on their PR application.

To qualify, applicants must meet both of these criteria:

  • They must have applied for permanent residence under the 2021 temporary policy for Hong Kong residents (details below).
  • They must have held a work or study permit in the three years prior to their PR application being received by IRCC.

The 2021 temporary policy for permanent residence, effective June 1st, 2021, and set to expire on August 31st, 2026, was updated in 2023. Hong Kong residents can now apply for PR under one of the following two streams:

Stream A: Applicants must have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution within the three years before their application was received by IRCC, completing at least 50% of the program while physically present in Canada.

Stream B: Applicants must have completed at least one year of full-time Canadian work experience, or the part-time equivalent, within the three years before their application was received by IRCC, excluding self-employed work and work done while holding full-time student status.

This new OWP policy addresses the high volume of PR applications from Hong Kong residents under the 2021 public policy, which has led to processing delays. It allows eligible Hong Kong residents to extend their stay and work in Canada while their PR applications are processed. The policy is valid for five years from its effective date, with no cap currently set on the number of applicants.

For more information on how this policy may benefit you and to discuss your options for temporary and permanent residence in Canada, please contact our office.

Canada’s Citizenship Act to be Updated to Benefit “Lost Canadians.”

On December 19, 2023, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in the landmark case of Bjorkquist et al. v. Attorney General of Canada that the “second-generation cut-off” rule in section 3(3)(a) of the Canadian Citizenship Act is unconstitutional. In response, on May 23, 2024, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, introduced Bill C-71, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act (2024), to address the Bjorkquist decision and restore citizenship rights to “lost Canadians.”

The new legislation, which passed its first reading in the House of Commons today, proposes implementing a Substantial Connection test. This test requires Canadian parents born abroad, who acquired citizenship by descent, to have spent at least 1,095 days in Canada before the birth or adoption of their child in order to pass their citizenship to their children born abroad. If this requirement is met, the child will be eligible to apply for a grant of citizenship.

Minister Marc Miller described this bill as the government’s effort to “extend citizenship by descent beyond the first generation in a way that is inclusive and upholds the value of our citizenship.” Although Bill C-71 has yet to receive royal assent, the new criteria are expected to provide a pathway to citizenship for many individuals previously affected by the 2009 amendments that implemented the second-generation cut-off. Once passed, IRCC is expected to release updated guidance on the application process, including acceptable evidence to demonstrate a parent’s substantial connection to Canada. Given the June 19th deadline, further information should be available soon.

For more details on the various immigration options available to you or your family, please contact our office.

Express Entry- Monthly Summary

IRCC has not held an Express Entry draw since April 24, 2024, which will result in an increase of the number of candidates in the Express Entry pool and likely result in even higher CRS cut-offs for each round of invitations.


Labour Market Impact Assessments: Avoiding Pitfalls and Improving Your Success Rates

Join us as we unpack the essentials of hiring foreign talent in Canada, focusing on LMIA procedures, available streams, and overcoming key challenges. In a discussion lead by Clinton Green, Canadian Practice Leader, here’s what you can expect:

  • Gain clarity on the purpose and impact of using LMIAs to support the hiring of global talent in Canada.
  • Understand the different LMIA streams and associated re processing times, including expedited options like the Global Talent Stream.
  • Explore strategies for navigating common LMIA obstacles, ensuring successful recruitment of foreign talent.
  • Learn about LMIA compliance requirements, including the new mandatory annual wage rate review.

Clinton is happy to entertain real life questions on LMIAs you’ve filed or plan to file and help point the audience in the right direction.

PERM Best Practices – What You Need to Know to Have a Successful Outcome

We have continued to witness a lot of change in the PERM process, most significantly the time it takes to get a decision now that DOL has debuted a new format for the PERM form. Managing Partner, David Zaritzky Brown, will discuss how both the changed form and significant delays play into how you set up your PERM and approach filing challenges. David will dissect the PERM process and highlight some of the approaches we take to ensure success. He’ll also walk you through the advertising process in the era of Employee Pay Transparency and the need to publicly state wages in certain markets, including California and New York. As always David will spend time answering specific questions on PERM issues facing attendees.

The Future of Immigration in Canada

Over the past several months, Canada has made numerous notable changes to its temporary and permanent immigration programs and policies that have far reaching implications. Many of these not only impact individual, but businesses as well. Managing Attorney, Clinton Green join Managing Partner, David Zaritzky Brown, to delve into these updates, explore their impact on policies, procedures, and provide insight into changes that are yet to come. Afterwards, they will open it up to questions from the audience.

The North American Hiring Strategy – How to Flex Immigration to Create an Engaged Culture

This talk will borrow themes from Managing Partner, David Zaritzky Brown’s MasterClass at the Collision Conference in Toronto where he talked about building worldclass North American teams by leveraging immigration programs to find key talent globally. David will compare and contrast elements of the Canadian system with the U.S. model and highlight how employers can create a dedicated funnel of opportunities to one or both countries and leverage the differences in each system to full advantage. For over a decade the U.S. and Canada have maintained the top two spots in global rankings for interest in immigration, and this session will highlight how to turn that interest into a strategic corporate advantage in hiring key talent. Whether it is employee directed intracompany transfer opportunities to Canada or the U.S. – or special opportunities specific to a country, now is the time to consider a North American immigration strategy to manage your staff and keep them fully engaged. These approaches support both large and small employers in different ways. After walking through a variety of scenarios and best practices David will throw it open to questions so you can better understand how these ideas may work for your recruiting needs.

Once registered, you will receive an email with a link to use to join the video chat on the day of the event. Please note: This link should not be shared with others; it is unique to you. If you ever misplace the invitation link, simply visit the webinar schedule on our website.

If you have colleagues who may benefit from our talks, you are welcome to invite them to join by sharing our webinar schedule where they can subscribe for further information.

Don’t miss these opportunities to increase your knowledge on important immigration issues!

Thank you and we look forward to having you at the event.

Best Regards,

The Team at Brown Immigration Law

** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **


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