Immigration News


The Quebec Immigration Plan for 2023, released on December 8, shows that the province could admit up to 52,500 new permanent residents in 2023. This target is precisely the same as the immigration plan for 2022.

Most new admissions to Quebec in 2023 will come through the province’s economic immigration programs, including the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and the Québec experience program (PEQ).

Quebec is the only province in Canada that releases a yearly immigration levels plan. It is also the only province that has total control of its economic immigration admissions.

UAE / SEPT 2022

A significantly expanded Golden Visa scheme, the new five-year Green residency, a multiple-entry tourist visa and job hunting entry permits are among the several residency reforms that will take effect this month. These new visas and entry permits are part of the largest entry and residency reforms adopted in the UAE.

The new system will significantly benefit the expatriates living and working in the UAE as well as visitors. This will also make the Emirates an even more investor-friendly country for foreigners and high-net-worth individuals looking to have a long-term presence in the UAE.


Effective Sunday, June 12, those traveling to the U.S. will no longer need a negative COVID-19 test one day before their flight to the country.

Travelers who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa must still show proof of vaccination before boarding their flight.

Most countries in Europe — including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece and Italy — have dropped testing requirements to enter the country. But others, such as Japan and South Korea, still require proof of a negative test.


May 21, Spain has lifted the entry ban on non-vaccinated travellers from third countries, finally permitting them to enter its territory after over two years.

Travelling from third countries to Spain has so far been possible only for vaccinated travellers whose vaccination meets the criteria set by the Spanish authorities to enter the country.

Travellers who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 or whose vaccination is not accepted for travel to Spain can either enter the country by showing proof of recovery from the Coronavirus or negative test results.


The Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) is one of the many special measures the Government of Canada has introduced to support the people of Ukraine. It offers Ukrainians and their family members free, extended temporary status and allows them to work, study and stay in Canada until it is safe for them to return home.

Benefits and features of the CUAET

Ukrainians and their family members coming to Canada from overseas

  • can apply for a free visitor visa and may be allowed to stay in Canada for 3 years, as opposed to the standard 6-month authorized stay for regular visitors
  • have the option to apply, free of charge, for an open work permit with their visa application, enabling them to find work as quickly as possible
  • will have their electronic visa application processed within 14 days of receipt of a complete application, for standard, non-complex cases


Russian and Belarusian applicants have been barred from the Citizenship by Investment programs (CIP) of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St.Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada.

The Greek golden visa has also banned Russians. Malta and Portugal will not take applications as well.

Russian and Belarusian applicants are still welcomed under the CIPs of Turkey, Montengro, Saint Lucia and other countries, which is subject to certain changes and updates.


Australia is taking a “step-by-step approach” to reopening its borders, Prime Minister Scott Morrison explained last year.

Since 1 November 2021, Australian citizens, permanent residents and their family members have been allowed to return to the country. In December, Australia also reopened to overseas students and skilled migrant workers.

It also means that some international students will be able to complete the last year of their degrees in person, having studied online for nearly two years.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has recently confirmed that Australia’s borders will reopen to all fully vaccinated international tourists from 21 February. Currently, only tourists from New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Japan are allowed to enter.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted a bill that could simplify the process of acquiring citizenship for a wide range of people, including those who lived within the borders of the Soviet Union and their children.

The draft law proposes to make the procedure of becoming a Russian citizen easier for individuals falling into more than 20 categories.

Under the legislation, the path to obtaining Russian passports would be simplified for citizens of the former USSR and those living in its ex-republics. It would also apply to direct relatives of people who permanently resided on the territory of the old Russian Empire or Soviet Union.

Individuals who have close family who are citizens of the world’s largest country would also be eligible. Simplified citizenship for spouses will only be possible if they have conceived at least one child during their marriage, however.

Investors seeking to come to Russia are not on the list of those entitled to the simplified acquisition of citizenship.


British Columbia invited 318 immigration candidates through Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws held on December 7 2021. So far this year, B.C. has issued over 11,000 invitations through various BC PNP streams.

The BC PNP aims to attract foreign workers who are in high demand in the province and who wish to become permanent residents of Canada through the following streams.

  • Skills Immigration Stream;
  • Express Entry British Columbia Stream;
  • Entrepreneur Immigration.

British Columbia is participating in the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP), as a partner with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to allow skilled refugees to immigrate under the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).


IRCC’s backlog stands at almost 1.8 million immigration applications.

CIC News has received data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) showing the number of applications in IRCC’s inventory as of October 27, 2021. In an email to CIC News, an IRCC spokesperson explained “Ongoing international travel restrictions, border restrictions, limited operational capacity overseas and the inability on the part of clients to obtain documentation due to the effects of COVID-19 have created barriers within the processing continuum. This hinders IRCC’s ability to finalize applications, creating delays that are outside IRCC’s control.”

At the same time The country is currently pursuing its most ambitious Immigration Levels Plan in its history as it aims to welcome 401,000 immigrants in 2021, another 411,000 in 2022, and an additional 421,000 in 2023.


Russian citizens who would like to get a tourist visa to the US will henceforth be able to do it only outside Russia. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow stated that consular services for Russians have been suspended indefinitely.

At the moment it is impossible to obtain or extend a U.S. visa in Russia.

Applicants for non-immigrant visas can apply at the embassy or consulate in another country of their choice, as long as they are physically present in that country.

According to the official U.S. consular services website, at this point the embassy “will consider only immigration applications related to vital emergencies.”

USA / SEPT 2021

The Biden administration will lift travel restrictions starting in November for foreigners who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, reopening the country to thousands of people, including those who have been separated from family in the United States during the pandemic, and easing a major source of tension with Europe.

The halt to the 18-month ban on travel from 33 countries, including members of the European Union, China, Iran, South Africa, Brazil and India, will help rejuvenate a U.S. tourism industry that was left crippled by the pandemic.

In addition to requiring vaccination, the administration said it was taking other steps to mitigate spread of the virus in three other areas: testing, contact tracing and masking.

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals and American citizens returning to the United States from abroad will be required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test within three days of their flight, and show proof of a negative result before boarding. Unvaccinated Americans returning to the US will be “subject to stricter testing requirements,” including a test within one day of departure and an additional test when they return.Fully vaccinated passengers will not be subject to any quarantine mandates upon arrival in the US.

More detailed information should be released on the following government official website


Tourism in Europe is picking up again under somewhat strict rules in certain cases. Here is an overview of the latest rules and most important information.

Detailed information regarding quarantine rules, testing requirements and more in the EU’s 27 member states — along with non-EU Schengen countries Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland — can be accessed through the Reopen EU platform.

Please note that every member state maintains its own rules for granting entry to third country travelers already within the EU or Schengen zone. Member states may require a negative COVID test upon arrival, or mandate a quarantine period after entry. In addition, EU countries have implemented a wide variety of social distancing rules, curfews and mask-wearing rules.

To ease EU travel, the European Parliament approved a digital COVID certificate that has been rolled out across the entire bloc. It shows that individuals have either been fully vaccinated, tested negative for the virus or recovered from the disease. 

The document is issued by test centers and health authorities, and has been available in all EU member states since July 1 2021. At this stage, however, only COVID-19 vaccination records performed by an official, government-mandated body within the European Union can be logged on the certificate. Vaccinations from outside the EU are not accepted yet.

For more information, visit the COVID Certificate platform.


The 2021 CBI Index released this week by the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management (PWM) magazine has, for the first time, awarded St Kitts and Nevis as the best citizenship by investment (CBI) programme for 2021. Now in its fifth year, the CBI Index is an in-depth report that examines and evaluates CBI programmes offered by various countries in the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and beyond.

The nation was awarded perfect scores in five of the nine pillars, namely; Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Citizenship Timeline, Family, and Mandatory Travel or Residence. Again, the Programme received the highest score in the Citizenship Timeline pillar as a result of its Accelerated Application Process – St Kitts and Nevis is the only nation to offer this fast-tracked process with successful applicants being offered citizenship within 60 days.

“As the oldest and most established citizenship by investment programme we are pleased to have been recognised as the best by this prestigious report. We have long been industry leaders and our trusted programme reflects the importance of a stringent due diligence process,” said Prime Minister Timothy Harris.

According to the 2021 CBI Index, the high ranking of the St Kitts and Nevis CBI Programme “reflects St Kitts and Nevis’s ability to adapt to present need and to attract high numbers of investors.”


Border changes: Fully vaccinated foreign nationals will be allowed to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the following dates if they meet specific criteria:

  • August 9: American citizens and permanent residents of the United States, currently residing in and arriving from the United States, and who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveler exemption
  • September 7 (intended start date): All other foreign nationals who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveler exemption

Travelers are no longer required to book a 3-night hotel stopover when entering Canada.