By Isabelle Dongier
Winds of change keep blowing on Canadian immigration lands. The federal government has recently taken several steps to rationalize and centralize its operations. Here are the latest changes, announced in May and June, of interest to companies employing foreign workers in Canada:
Restructuring of the visa office network: This includes the closure of the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo, New York. It’s been a major processing center for applications for visas, work permits, student permits, and permanent residence status. Permanent residence applications are now sent to the Case Processing Pilot Office in Ottawa (CPP-O). Resident visa processing is now shared between other Canadian consulates in the United States (New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Seattle). Only two visa offices (New York and Los Angeles) will deal with all new study and work permit applications originating in the United States. Washington, D.C., will process applications for temporary resident permits and rehabilitation applications to overcome inadmissibility based on health or criminal grounds. Another significant change allows holders of a work permit who are from visa-required countries, but who reside in Canada, to apply for their new visa by mail or courier at the CPP-O. They will no longer have to deal with a visa office outside of Canada.