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    CANADA IMMIGRATION NEWS

    15th April 2022

    Canada: Increase in permanent residence fees effective April 30, 2022

    On April 30, 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is increasing fees for all permanent residence applications. This includes economic, permit holder, family and humanitarian classes.

    For more details, please visit here https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship.html.

    Canada: The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) Update

    The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP), which came into force on January 1, 2022, is a pathway to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers and international graduates from a Canadian institution who want to work and live in 1 of the 4 Atlantic provinces.

    AIP replaced the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Programs (AIPP), which closed on December 31, 2021. IRCC stopped accepting AIPP applications on March 5, 2022, when the pilot Ministerial Instructions (MIs) expired. IRCC started accepting AIP applications on March 6, 2022.

    All applications for permanent residence under the AIP can be submitted online or by mail to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney.

    15th March 2022

    1. New Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) 2022

      The Government of Canada released details about the new Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) 2022 launch. Formally known as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), this pathway gives skilled foreign workers and international graduates the opportunity to get Canada PR. The program helps employers hire qualified candidates to fill labor shortages in the 4 Atlantic provinces:

      1. New Brunswick
      2. Nove Scotia
      3. Prince Edward Island, or
      4. Newfoundland and Labrador

      Canada announced the new permanent Atlantic Immigration Program to address labor shortages across Atlantic Canada.

    2. Canadian Work permit options without LMIA process:

      Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has a work permit program called the International Mobility Program (IMP), which helps employers to bring foreign employees to Canada without LMIA process. These work permits do not require LMIA approval to bring the foreign workers to Canada because the Canadian government eitherconsiders the foreign employee's work would be a “significant benefit” to Canada, or the exemption falls under a reciprocal agreement between Canada and the foreign employee’s country.

      Employers in Quebec do not require a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) in order to hire through the International Mobility Program.

      Some of Canada’s LMIA-exempt work permit exempt programs:

      • Intra Company Transfer (ICT)
      • CUSMA
      • CETA
    3. Canada's Express Entry Application process will go back to normal:

      Canada’s immigration minister has announced that Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applications will be accepted soon. This is great news for those applying to Express Entry through the Canadian Experience Class stream.

      The minister emphasized in his announcement that the Canadian Government is looking at resuming draws in the near term on the Canadian Experience Class for federal skilled workers.

      243150 Skilled workers are projected to be invited over the next 3 years:

    15th February 2022

    1. NOC Codes Changing in 2022 for Canada Immigration

      In a recent indication by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Statistics Canada, National Occupation Classification (NOC) list is going to be revised and a new code and name will be generated for each of the occupation.

      The new NOC codes will be implemented in late 2022 and will mostly affect Express Entry and PNP candidates, especially those with NOC Skill Level B jobs.

      The new NOC codes for 2022 include a new classification for each occupation’s TEER category, which refers to the degree of Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER).

      Under the prior 2016 NOC, the “TEER Category” will take the place of the “Skill Level” categorization. Instead of being classified as Skill Level A, B, C, or D, jobs will be classified as TEER Category 0 to 5 under the new NOC codes.

      As per the IRCC, the new NOC Codes will be changing later this year.

    2. Opportunity to Change Temporary Resident Visa to Canadian PR

      If you hold a temporary resident visa like a work permit or study permit you may be able to turn from TR to PR and become a Canadian Permanent Resident.

      If all of the following you meet, you may be able to apply for permanent residence as members of the permit holder:

      • You have not become inadmissible for any reason other than the ones for which the TRP was given in the first place.
      • You must have a valid TRP.
      • Depending on the nature of your original inadmissibility, you have lived in Canada as a TR for three to five years.
      • You must also fulfil the Act’s and Regulations’ additional conditions.
      • If you satisfy the appropriate conditions, there is no discretion involved in awarding permanent resident status.

    15th January 2022

    Atlantic Immigration Pilot Programs (AIPP)

    The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Programs (AIPP) closed on December 31, 2021 with the expiration of the pilot bilateral agreements. The Ministerial Instructions will expire on March 5, 2022. These grant IRCC the authority to continue accepting pilot applications until March 5, 2022 (processing may continue beyond this date, as long as the complete applications were received by March 5, 2022). Any pilot applications received as of March 6, 2022, should be rejected by CIO.

    IRCC will start accepting PR applications under the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) as of March 6, 2022.

    The Atlantic high-skilled, intermediate-skilled and international graduate programs are three economic pilot programs targeted to foreign nationals with job offers in the Atlantic region, who have received an endorsement by an Atlantic province and who meet minimum education, work experience and language proficiency requirements.

    15th December 2021

    CANADA ANNOUNCES ADJUSTMENTS TO ITS BORDERS MEASURES

    The Government of Canada is also announcing that as of January 15, 2022, certain groups of travellers, who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada. These groups include:

    • individuals travelling to reunite with family (unvaccinated children under 18 years of age will retain exemption if travelling to reunite with an immediate or extended family member who is a Canadian, permanent resident, or person registered under the Indian Act);
    • international students who are 18 years old and older;
    • professional and amateur athletes;
    • individuals with a valid work permit, including temporary foreign workers (outside of those in agriculture and food processing); and
    • essential service providers, including truck drivers.

    After January 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will only be allowed to enter Canada if they meet the criteria for limited exceptions, which apply to certain groups such as agricultural and food processing workers, marine crew members, those entering on compassionate grounds, new permanent residents, resettling refugees and some children under the age of 18. Exempt unvaccinated travellers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine, and other entry requirements. Non-exempt unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will be prohibited entry into Canada.

    3rd Apr 2021

    Canada breaks record as it issued 44,124 invitations in the first 3 months of 2021

    Canada issued invitations to 44,124 immigration candidates in the first 3 months of 2021. It is the largest since the Express Entry program was launched in 2015. It is the highest invitation record ever since.

    In the first 3 months of 2021, IRCC has been alternating between Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Express Entry draws and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) draws. Canada held 10 Express Entry draws in the first quarter. Six of them were PNP-only, and four of them only invited CEC candidates. A total of 41,708 went to CEC candidates and 2,416 went to PNP candidates.

    Express Entry is the main program through which Canada welcomes economic class immigrants. It is a two-step process. In step one, candidates must meet the eligibility criteria of one of the three skilled worker programs that are managed under Express Entry. Eligible candidates upload their profiles onto the Canadian government’s website and obtain a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on their human capital characteristics such as their age, education, language skills, and work experience.

    In step two, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) holds Express Entry draws inviting successful candidates to apply for permanent residence. Generally, IRCC holds draws every two weeks and invites candidates with the highest CRS scores, but it has temporarily departed from this approach due to the pandemic. Now, IRCC is focusing on inviting Express Entry candidates most likely residing in Canada during the pandemic.

    Every province or territory has a PNP except for Nunavut and Quebec. The provinces look to welcome skilled workers to promote economic development. The CEC is a popular immigration pathway for those who studied or worked in Canada. Candidates need to have at least one year of Canadian work experience and meet minimum language requirements.

    Program delivery update: COVID-19 – public policy exempting certain visitors in Canada from immigration requirements:

    The temporary public policy that allows certain temporary residents in Canada with visitor status to apply for a work permit from within Canada has been extended until August 31, 2021. While all visitors in Canada can apply for an employer-specific work permit under the public policy, only those who held a work permit in the last 12 months may request interim authorization to work. This public policy has also been expanded to allow any visitor who has a valid job offer to apply for an employer-specific work permit, regardless of the date they initially entered Canada.

    1st Apr 2021

    Visitors have more time to apply for work permits within Canada

    A temporary public policy that allows visitors to apply for and receive a work permit without having to leave Canada will be extended to August 31, 2021. The criteria will also be modified to allow any visitor who has a valid job offer to apply for an employer-specific work permit, regardless of the date they initially entered Canada.

    Effective April 1, 2021, an applicant looking to benefit from this temporary public policy must

    • have valid status in Canada as a visitor on the day they apply
    • have remained in Canada with valid status
    • have a valid job offer
    • submit an in-Canada application for an employer-specific work permit that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment, no later than August 31, 2021
    • meet all other standard admissibility criteria

    This temporary public policy also provides the opportunity for applicants who meet these criteria and who had a valid work permit in the past 12 months to begin working for their new employer before their work permit application has been fully approved. To do so, they need to follow the steps on how to get authorization to work while they wait for approval.

    More than 1,000 people with visitor status have applied for a work permit through this public policy since it was launched in August 2020.

    Since March 2020, visitors have been prohibited from coming to Canada unless they are exempt for a specific reason, like reuniting with a family member.

    Program delivery update: Business visitors: Authorization to work without a work permit – International Mobility Program (IMP)

    The after-sales and leasing section was merged with the warranty section, since these instructions were essentially the same. Some sections were reformatted, and minor grammatical changes were made to other sections for easier reading.

    In addition, the Cooperative Waterfowl Survey and Banding Program was moved from Canada–International Non-Trade Agreements [R204(a) – T11].

    Program delivery update: Full and partial exemptions to the biometric collection requirements

    The instructions have been updated to provide direction specific to exempting a person from the requirement to provide biometric information if collection of one or both pieces of biometric information is impossible or not feasible.

    Program delivery update: COVID-19 – Medical Examination validity date

    A note on medical examination validity has been added to the temporary resident program delivery instructions. Some foreign nationals may be unable to travel before the expiry of their medical examination. Until the letter of introduction is changed to include the medical examination expiry date, officers may use the port of entry facilitation letter and include the expiry date as a means of informing applicants of their medical examination expiry date.

    30th Mar 2021

    Immigration Canada provides processing timelines during COVID-19

    As per IRCC website, it says that people who are trying to access immigration services may experience processing delays, due to COVID-19. The department is prioritizing applications from people who are exempt from travel restrictions.

    But Canada’s Immigration department recently updated its processing timelines to reflect its operational capacity during the pandemic.

    For Permanent Residency, IRCC says it is working at full capacity to process permanent residency applications. However, COVID-19 caused a backlog in applications, so you may experience some delays. It is also finalizing most of the Canadian Experience Class applications they received between May 24 and May 30, 2020. It means decision-makers are working on applications that they received about 10 months ago.

    For Temporary Workers, IRCC says it is finalizing most of the Work Permit applications (Inside, Outside, Asylum claimants, extensions, changes, initial) they received between September 20 and December 12, 2020.

    For Students, IRCC is finalizing most study permit applications received between December 13 and December 19, 2020. This includes applications for study permits, study permit extensions, and work permits for students. Complex applications may take longer to process. Under the current travel restrictions, study permit holders can only come to Canada if they are going to a Designated Learning Institution with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan, or if they had their study permit approved before March 18, 2020.

    For Visitors, if you are applying for an eTA you can check your status online. If you applied for a Visitor Visa online, you can sign in to your account to check your application status. Click “check status and messages” under the “View my submitted applications or profiles” section. If you have applied for the visa on paper, you can link your application to an online account where you can see the status of your application. You can also receive messages about your application from IRCC.

    12th Mar 2021

    Update 1. Program delivery update: COVID-19 – Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP)

    Additional facilitative measures have been added to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program. The measures extend and expand on temporary measures put in place earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.

    For all programs undertaken and ongoing between March 2020 and the fall 2021 semester,

    • time spent studying outside Canada up to December 31, 2021 will count towards the eligibility for and length of a future PGWP
    • students can complete up to 100% of their program online from outside Canada while remaining eligible for a PGWP

    Temporary policy changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program

    Given the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on international students and the post-secondary sector, temporary policy changes have been made to post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligibility requirements for the following groups of students:

    • students enrolled in PGWP-eligible programs in progress in March 2020
    • students who began or will begin PGWP-eligible programs between spring 2020 and fall 2021

    To be eligible for the temporary PGWP policy changes, these students must either

    • have a study permit
    • have been approved for a study permit
    • submit a study permit application prior to beginning their program and eventually be approved
    Update 2. Program delivery update: COVID-19 – New instructions to facilitate paper-based Quebec skilled worker (QSW) applications

    New instructions are available to assist officers in managing the intake process for Quebec skilled worker (QSW) applications.

    Officers are asked not to reject incomplete Quebec skilled worker (QSW) applications that meet certain criteria. Missing documentation should be requested from the client. For these applications, officers will accept further submissions of all missing documents, provided that a valid Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) is present upon receipt of the application. If the applicant’s documents are not received in the requested timeframe, the application may be returned as incomplete.

    The following conditions apply:

    • The QSW application is deemed incomplete (for reasons that are not already addressed through a COVID-19 facilitation measure).
    • There was a valid CSQ present when the application was received (the CSQ may or may not have since expired).
    • Any documents requested through this facilitation measure must be received at the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) (or by the relevant office) by the date determined by the officer.
    Update 3. Program delivery update: COVID-19 – Facilitative measures for paper-based Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applications

    The facilitative measures for paper-based Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applications have been updated with new dates. Previously, requests for holds could be made from September 17, 2020 to November 17, 2020. These dates have been updated.

    Until March 10, 2021, provincial and territorial jurisdictions may request that a PNP application be placed on hold in cases where an applicant has experienced a job loss in Canada as a result of the pandemic.

    Facilitative measures for paper-based Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applications

    From September 17, 2020 to March 10, 2021, provincial and territorial jurisdictions may request that paper-based Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applications be placed on hold in cases where an applicant has experienced a job loss in Canada as a result of the pandemic, and their application was received prior to March 18, 2020. The processing of these applications will be put on hold until September 10, 2021, until the province or territory confirms that it continues to support the nomination, or until a new job offer is received along with a confirmation from the province or territory, whichever comes first.

    This processing pause also applies to applicants nominated in a provincial or territorial business, entrepreneur, or self-employed stream. For these streams, the province or territory will issue a confirmation that the nomination on file is maintained or issue a new nomination.

    Provinces and territories are responsible for advising the applicant that IRCC will put their PNP application on hold. Following the province or territory’s request, the applicant will be contacted via email by IRCC and provided with additional instructions on how to submit additional documentation. In the event an applicant contacts IRCC directly to request that their application be put on hold, IRCC will redirect the applicant to the nominating jurisdiction.