Canada Immigration News



    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.