Immigration & Citizenship

New immigration application intake rules

March 29, 2018 – New rules regarding applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate) that can be received by the Ministère will be in effect from April 1, 2018 to August 15, 2018, inclusive. These new rules pertain to applications submitted by economic immigration candidates (skilled workers, investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed workers), as well as applications submitted under the Collective Sponsorship Program.

Note that the rules regarding the maximum number of applications received by the Ministère do not change Québec’s immigration objectives. Consequently, for 2018, Québec expects to admit between 49,000 and 53,000 immigrants.

Skilled workers

The new application intake rules for the 2017-2018 Regular Skilled Worker Program will be maintained and extended until August 15, 2018. Consequently, for this Program, the Ministère can receive up to a maximum of 5,000 applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate) by August 15. Other details relating to this will be announced at a later date.

Reminder — Candidates who can submit an application at any time

Candidates with an employment offer validated by the Ministère or who are temporary residents of Québec and authorized to submit an application for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate) can do so at any time by using the Mon projet Québec secure space.

Those who wish to submit an application under the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec Experience Program) can also do so at any time by following the instructions related to the PEQ.

Investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed workers

For the period from April 1, 2018 to August 15, 2018, no applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate) will be received under the Investors Program, the Entrepreneurs Program and the Self-Employed Workers Program.

Collective sponsorship

Given the large number of refugees whose applications are still being processed, the Ministère has decided to extend the suspension of intake of new sponsorship applications already in effect until June 30, 2018. Consequently, no collective sponsorship applications will be received on or before August 15, 2018.

Modernization of the immigration system

Remember that the Ministère is currently working on modernizing the Québec immigration system in order to select the persons who have the best chances of integrating into the Québec labour market. Candidates under the Regular Skilled Worker Program will be the first to benefit from this new system based on the declaration of interest.

For more details on the new immigration application intake rules, please consult the page Immigration rules and procedures and the page Collective sponsorship.


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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, March 21, 2018 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Team Unity-led Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to find and employ innovative measures that will improve and strengthen the integrity of the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, widely regarded as the platinum brand of the economic citizenship industry.


Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris gave that assurance during a national address to announce the introduction of two new options under the CBI programme.


“To date, our programme has been a success,” Prime Minister stated. “This success is due to the hard work that we have invested in improving the programme since Team Unity took office about three years ago. We have improved the efficiency, enhanced its good governance and insisted on high standards of due diligence. As a result, the St. Kitts and Nevis CBI programme is recognised throughout the world as the platinum standard.”


The Honourable Prime Minister continued, “We stand for integrity, rigour and robust due diligence. In fact, we continue to improve our due diligence process and in the near future we will be introducing biometrics, starting with applicants from high risk countries.”


The two new options announced by the prime minister are a revised real estate offering and a Sustainable Growth Fund, which will succeed the Hurricane Relief Fund (HRF) that is set to expire at the end of March 2018.


Under the Sustainable Growth Fund, a single applicant will require a contribution of US$150,000, inclusive of Government fees. The contribution for a family of up to four will be US$195,000 following incremental steps.


Secondly, a real estate offering that requires a US$400,000 investment may attract two applicants at US$200,000 each plus government fees. However, this can only be resold after a period of 7 years.


It must be noted that this offering is separate and distinct from the existing real estate investment option at US$400,000, which can still be resold after five years.


Prime Minister Harris said while the Cabinet is confident these new offerings will further invigorate the country’s CBI programme, his government, through the Citizenship by Investment Unit, will maintain its very high standards of integrity, rigour and robust due diligence procedures which are ranked among the highest in the world.


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USCIS Updates Webpage to Share More Accurate Processing Times

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today launched a pilot to test a redesigned processing times webpage that displays the data for all forms in an easier-to-read format and also tests a new way of collecting data and calculating the processing times for some forms.

The pilot will test four forms using a new automated methodology for calculating processing times. The four forms are:

  • Form N-400, Application for Naturalization;
  • Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card;
  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; and
  • Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

The new webpage makes it easier for anyone to see approximately how long it will take USCIS to process a form, which will help users determine when it is necessary to contact USCIS to make an inquiry if their case is outside the normal processing time.

For the four pilot forms, the information on the webpage reflects a new methodology for collecting and calculating processing times. The new methodology is automated, more accurate, and allows USCIS to post data on processing times within two weeks, compared to six weeks under the old methodology.

The updated page displays processing times in a range for each form based on the date USCIS receives it. The low end of the range for pilot forms shows the time it takes to complete 50 percent of cases, and the high end shows the time it takes to complete 93 percent of cases.  The high end for the non-pilot forms will be adjusted by 30 percent above current cycle times to reflect the time it takes to complete a majority of the cases.

Applicants, petitioners, and requestors can create an online account at to track the status of their cases. They may make an “outside normal processing time” case inquiry for any cases pending longer than the time listed for the high end of the range by submitting a service request online or calling the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283.

USCIS will continue to seek user feedback during the test phase and expand this methodology to additional forms in the future.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis).

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Processing of online applications – update

February 27, 2018 – Processing of applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec selection certificate), submitted through Mon projet Québec under the Regular Skilled Worker Program, began in June 2017. Since then, Québec selection certificates have been issued to several candidates.

We are aware of the longer processing times for certain applications. However, there are several factors that can affect processing times from one file to the next, in particular:

  • Selection objectives
  • Volume of applications received
  • International context
  • Conformity of the documents submitted
  • The time it takes for you to respond to any request from the Ministère
  • Waiting for proof of your French proficiency
  • A notice of appointment for a selection interview


For the year 2017, the processing time for applications for a selection certificate under the Regular Skilled Worker Program was 32 months.

With the introduction of the new immigration system based on the declaration of interest, only candidates that meet the needs of Québec will be invited to submit an application for a selection certificate. This new system will make it possible to put an end to the principle of first come first serve, currently in effect for processing applications, and to considerably reduced average processing times.


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Australia’s business, tax and superannuation systems for visa holders

Clients may ask their RMA for advice on a variety of topics, including how to enter into the business, tax and superannuation (super) systems in Australia. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) advises that for the most up to date information, you should direct your client to the relevant Government website detailed below, or to get into contact with a registered tax agent.

If your client has been asked to get an Australian Business Number (ABN) for a job, they should check if they qualify for an ABN before applying, as not everyone is entitled. If your client wants to find out more information, they should use the ABN entitlement tool.

To get an ABN, the individual must be carrying on a business or be in the process of setting up a business in Australia. Your client won’t need an ABN if they are an employee, for example working for a business that is not their own, or using the tools or equipment of an employer.

ABN holders have their own reporting obligations, including: lodging and declaring income, contributing to their own super and registering for GST where necessary.

Your client may also ask you if they’re entitled to super. You should direct them to the ATO’s Am I entitled to super tool to check if they’re eligible. Temporary residents may be able to claim their super as a departing Australia superannuation payment once they have left the country. They can check the requirements for making a claim at

It is important to note, that only tax practitioners registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) can provide tax agent services for a fee or other reward.

More information about working in Australia, including how to apply for work visas and other useful information can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website. To find out more about what the ATO is doing to combat misuse of ABNs, visit the Australian Business Register website. Together, the ATO and the Department of Home Affairs are working to protect the rights of visa holders.

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BREXIT – European Commission Notices on the legal and practical implications of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union

The European Commission issues Notices on the legal and practical implications of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. These Notices aim at preparing citizens and stakeholders for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom and set out the consequences in a range of policy areas.

The European Commission publishes these Notices at the following website:

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2018 customs compliance priorities

The Australian Border Force (ABF) is an operationally independent, frontline body in the newly created Home Affairs portfolio. Working alongside us in the portfolio are our colleagues from the Department of Home Affairs, Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Intelligence Commission, and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation will also form part of the portfolio following the passage of legislation.

The ABF is and will remain Australia’s customs service, with trade facilitation a key priority. Keeping trade facilitation and traditional customs functions together, alongside Australia’s national security agencies, has enhanced our ability to identify and focus our efforts on those consignments and people who represent the highest risk. This, in turn, has meant we are able to ensure the seamless facilitation of legitimate people and goods, particularly with record numbers of trade and travellers crossing the border last year and projected to continue into 2018.

Throughout 2018, we will continue to work closely with industry to facilitate trade and reduce illegitimate and non-compliant imports and exports. The ABF will identify and address non-compliance issues and undertake education and enforcement action where necessary to improve voluntary compliance. We encourage businesses to codify their compliance processes and to take advantage of the benefits of becoming a Trusted Trader.

The ABF will maintain its intelligence-led, risk-based approach to the broad spectrum of non-compliance across supply chain integrity, regulated and restricted goods, and economic harm. Throughout the year, particular areas of focus may arise based on intelligence we receive at the time or through analysis of information, incidents and behaviours, but our overall approach of risk assessing all importations and prioritising intervention against highest threats remains the same.

While we’ll focus broadly on supply chain integrity, this year, all customs licences will be ready for renewal, so we’ll be checking that our licensees are compliant with their licence conditions and continue to be eligible to hold their licence. We have increased resources allocated to this important task.

Our continued focus on regulated and restricted goods aims to protect the Australian community from items that pose a risk—preventing the importation of illicit firearms and weapon parts, asbestos and illicit tobacco, alongside emerging threats in prohibited substances such as opioid drugs.

In relation to the protection against economic harm, we will be looking carefully at revenue evasion through misclassification, undervaluation and non-declaration of goods; false claims for GST exemptions; or improper application for preferential treatment under free trade agreements or duty refunds and concessions.

Businesses that have worked closely with us to become Trusted Traders will continue to reap tangible benefits as we welcome new Mutual Recognition Arrangements, and adopt their suggestions for improvements to the programme. Last year we signed an exciting arrangement with China, which gives Trusted Traders a competitive edge with better access and speed to market. We also launched consolidated cargo clearance reporting, which allows Trusted Trader importers to lodge a single import declaration for consolidated cargo for all sea cargo types and for air cargo, which is already saving business an average of 10 per cent in import charges at the border.

While we will continue to work with Trusted Traders to help ensure their supply chain security remains strong, our focus continues to be on trade that is not accredited and poses an unknown risk.

Increased compliance by industry, brokers and the whole supply chain facilitates legitimate trade, ensures a level playing field for industry, and contributes to the protection of Australia’s border. As we progress this important work in 2018, we will continue to work closely with industry to achieve better outcomes for you and the Australian community as a whole.

We acknowledge there is more we can do to improve the ways we work together. For example, we are currently assisting with the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s own motion investigation into our use of legislated powers under the Customs Act 1901 in relation to the processing of inbound containerised sea cargo. We have welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate our operational processes in relation to trade and goods border facilitation and intervention and look forward to the findings of the review.

It is a shared responsibility to protect the border and facilitate legitimate trade with minimal intervention. In the near term, we will look to how our processes can be further streamlined and how voluntary compliance can be more readily achieved so that interventions are minimised. In the longer term, initiatives within the expansive trade modernisation agenda will deliver higher levels of automation and pre-importation compliance that will greatly enhance facilitation and strengthen border protection measures.

For more information visit Trade and goods compliance or contact


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Questions and Answers – the rights of EU27 and UK citizens post-Brexit, as outlined in the Joint Report from the Negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government


Κατεβάστε το αρχείο Acrobat 2017-12-12_qa_citizens_rights_1.pdf


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Points based system: Tier 1 (Investor)

Modernised guidance for how UK Visas and Immigration considers applications in the Tier 1 (Investor) category of the points-based system.

Published 7 March 2014
Last updated 19 January 2018 — see all updates


PDF, 866KB, 73 pages

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.


UK Visas and Immigration modernised guidance for how it considers applications on the Tier 1 (Investor) category of the points-based system.

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Points-based system: Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

Guidance for how UK Visas and Immigration considers applications in the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category of the points-based system (PBS).


PDF, 1.24MB, 141 pages

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.


UK Visas and Immigration guidance for how it considers applications in the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category of the PBS.

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