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Immigration Update

Express Entry Update: Federal Skilled Trades Draw

Today, October 16th 2019, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued another round of invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system. Invitations were only issued to candidates who meet the eligibility requirements under the Federal Skilled Trades Class. IRCC issued a total of 500 invitations. The minimum score selected in today’s draw was 357.

This is the second draw in the 2019 year targeting Federal Skilled Trades Class applicants. The previous Skilled Trades draw was held on May 15th 2019.

Canada Announces VAC Service Changes in the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East

On October 7, 2019, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced changes to various Visa Application Centres (VACs) across the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

New Visa Applications Centres (VACs)

On October 9, 2019 a new VAC was opened in Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and is scheduled to be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays only. On October 10, 2019, a new VAC was also opened in Castries, St Lucia and will be open from Monday to Friday.
IRCC has also announced that on November 2, 2019, new VACs will also be opening in various locations, including:

• Manama, Bahrain
• Helsinki, Finland;
• Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan;
• The Hague, Netherlands;
• Novosibirsk, Russia;
• Rostov-on-Don, Russia; and
• Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Changes and Closures to Existing VACs

Effective November 2, 2019, VACs in Europe, Africa and the Middle East will require foreign nationals to pay a separate fee to submit paper applications, and to send documents to and from the visa office. In addition, biometrics services at these locations will be provided by appointment only, which must be booked through the respective VAC websites.

On November 29, 2019, the VACs in Sofia, Bulgaria and Podgorica, Montenegro will be permanently closing. The last day that applications and biometrics will be accepted at these locations is November 1, 2019. Documents (including passports) may be collected from these VACS in person from November 4 to November 29, 2019. After November 29, 2019, documents will be returned to applicants directly.