The United States has implemented admission restrictions for inbound travel in an effort to contain COVID-19. Currently, no mandatory health screenings exist at ports of entry; however, immigration officers are reviewing travel history and checking for clear signs of flu-like symptoms. Officers may refer applicants for admission for health screenings. Further, airlines may take specific measures to prevent travelers from boarding flights if a traveler shows symptoms.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement came into force on December 30, 2018. As a result, the Canadian government has implemented new work permit categories that are exempt from labour market testing (i.e., LMIA-exempt). This will open up opportunities for Canadian businesses to employ certain foreign nationals in high skilled occupations and get those resources working in Canada faster.
On December 3, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed a rule that would change the current H-1B cap process. The proposed rule would require petitioners (employers) to electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period. Of registrations timely received, USCIS would then select a sufficient number to meet H-1B allocations. Only if selected, would a petitioner then file a complete H-1B petition in support of a specific beneficiary.
2018 has been a busy year from a Canadian immigration perspective, and we have seen a number of positive changes, as the Government has continued its focus on facilitating the entry of skilled foreign talent to Canada while safeguarding Canadian borders against security threats. We have highlighted below some key immigration developments for 2018.