New Canadian and US Immigration and Visa Regulations

PDAD&C #47, 2002-2003


TO:   Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
FROM:   Vivek Goel, Deputy Provost and Vice-Provost, Faculty
DATE:   March 14, 2003
RE:   New Canadian and U.S. Immigration and Visa Regulations

I would like to bring to your attention three URGENT issues that have arisen concerning cross-border travel for members of the University community. These issues will affect some Canadian faculty, staff and students, as well as all those who are Permanent Residents, and those who hold Work Permits or Study Permits.

  1. NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR VISITORS TO THE US FROM SOME COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES: Effective March 17, 2003, landed immigrants (Permanent Residents) of Canada from countries including India, Pakistan, South Africa, and Caribbean countries like Jamaica must possess a VALID PASSPORT AND a NON-IMMIGRANT VISA to enter the United States, even for a day.
  2. NEW REQUIREMENT FOR US VISA APPLICANTS: Effective immediately the following applicants for U.S. Visitor Visas must complete a Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-157) in addition to the Nonimmigrant Visa Application
    • Canadian Permanent Residents, holders of a Work Permit or Study Permit who are males between the ages of 16 to 45 years
    • all applicants (regardless of gender) from Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria
    STUDENTS, INDIVIDUALS IN THE U.S. ON EXTENDED BUSINESS TRAVEL OR INDIVIDUALS VISITING FAMILY MEMBERS FOR MORE THAN 30 DAYS AND/OR MORE THAN ONE YEAR: The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) require foreign visitors from 18 countries to register with the INS upon arrival or departure from the U.S. The new requirements of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) apply only to males 16 years and older from selected countries, or those who match "intelligence-based criteria". Temporary foreign visitors who are citizens or nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates or Yemen must register.
  3. NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR CANADIAN PERMANENT RESIDENTS TO OBTAIN A PHOTO-ID: As of June 28, 2002, Citizenship and Immigration Canada began to document all new Permanent Residents (Landed Immigrants) by issuing them a photo-identification card called a Permanent Resident Card. This Permanent Resident Card replaced the old format of Immigrant Visa. Those Permanent Residents whose visas were issued prior to June 28, 2002, are now required to apply for a Permanent Resident Card. AS OF JANUARY 1, 2004 ALL PERMANENT RESIDENTS OF CANADA SEEKING TO RE-ENTER CANADA WILL REQUIRE A PERMANENT RESIDENT CARD. It is therefore highly advisable to apply for and secure a Permanent Resident Card in order to avoid being refused re-entry to Canada. Please refer to Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website for current information concerning the Permanent Resident Card. We recommend that you apply for PR Cards EARLY as CIC will process applications for PR Cards according to a published schedule based on the applicant's year of landing. 

We will be developing a page on the Provost's website that will provide up to date links on these issues.