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Processing changes for visas due to COVID-19

With the current travel restrictions in place, most foreign nationals are prevented from entering Canada, with some exemptions. With these restrictions, Canada is suspending processing of non-essential visitor visa applications. This allows Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to focus resources on critical services. This suspension also applies to some electronic travel authorization (eTA) applications.

Processing of visa and eTA applications for those who qualify for an exemption to the travel restrictions will continue. This includes all temporary foreign worker applications, with a particular focus on essential services, such as those in medical fields and food supply chains.

The processing of study permits for students will continue in anticipation of the fall study term. IRCC will continue to process applications to the extent possible. Study permit applications require biometrics, and many visa application centres that normally provide this service are closed. As a special measure, due to COVID-19, applicants are now being given 90 days instead of the standard 30 days to give biometrics. It should be noted that only students who have a valid study permit or were approved for a study permit before March 18, 2020, can currently travel to Canada.

Workers, students and visitors (who qualify for an exemption to travel restrictions) must apply online.

Permanent residence applications continue to be processed. Only permanent residents who received approval before March 18, 2020, can currently travel to Canada.

IRCC will continue to provide updates on any further changes, including when the suspension of processing is lifted.

Taken from

Latest News

Canadian Immigration News Update: 10 November 2019

Canadian Universities are trying to balance the diversity of international students

According to a recent observation by McLeans, 54.1% of 356,035 Canadian study permits issued to international students in 2018, went to students from only two countries: India and China. Such a situation puts Canadian universities and colleges in danger of uncertainty and dependence over geopolitical challenges. In order to overcome this problem, Canadian educational institutions are looking forward to recruiting students in as many countries as possible. As a result of a 2018 diplomatic scandal between Canada and Saudi Arabia, the latter ordered its students studying in Canada to leave their studies. After the Meng Wanzhou arrest, Canadian universities feared the same could happen with Chinese students. International students are an important source of income and human capital for Canada, and that’s why the government needs to protect its interests.

#international_students, #study_in_Canada, #India, #China

North Bay is ready for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

North Bay is a rural town in Northeastern Ontario and has a population of 51,553. In June 2018, North Bay was selected among the other eleven communities to participate in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP). The start of the program in North Bay is scheduled for January 1, 2020. The North Bay & District Chamber reported that it already received inquiries from over 1,100 candidates and 40 businesses. The local authorities stated that IRCC reduced the number of applicants to 100, from either 250 or 300. Nevertheless, even 100 immigrants will be a significant contribution to the community. The pilot will cover North Bay and 45 km of the surrounding areas outside the city.

#RNIP, #Rural_immgration, #Northern_immigration, #Rural_and_Northern_Pilot, #North_Bay, #Ontario

British Columbia: 67 Tech Pilot candidates have been invited

On November 5, 2019, British Columbia conducted a new round of invitations in the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Tech Pilot. In the first November round, BC issued 67 invitations to apply in four categories: Skills Immigration – Skilled Worker, Skills Immigration – International Graduate, Express Entry British Columbia – Skilled Worker, and Express Entry British Columbia – International Graduate. The lowest score in all four categories was 90 points. This year, British Columbia already invited 1,279 Tech Pilot candidates. In total, British Columbia invited 7,783 candidates to apply for the provincial nomination in the BCPNP in 2019.

#British_Columbia, #BCPNP, #Tech_Pilot, #PNP

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot has started!

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot was first announced in June 2019. As of now, the federal government has approved eleven communities for the pilot. Each community will have a quota of 100 applicants, which means a total of 1,100 prospective immigrants. On November 1, 2019, the pilot has already started in the first five communities – Sudbury, ON; Sault Ste. Marie, ON; Thunder Bay, ON; Brandon, MB; and Gretna-Rhineland-Altona-Plum Coulee, MB. In the other communities – North Bay, ON; Timmins, ON; Claresholm, AB; West Kootenay, BC; and Vernon, B.C., the pilot will officially start on January 1, 2020, while Moose Jaw, SK the launch is scheduled for April 1, 2020.

#Rural_immgration, #RNIP, #Northern_immigration, #Rural_and_Northern_Pilot

Spousal sponsorship: Rising number of interview calls

Many Canadian citizens and Permanent residents who submitted an application to sponsor their spouses or common-law partners complained in social media about the rising number of interview calls. Most of the candidates who have submitted their application under the inland spousal sponsorship category are receiving immigration interview calls. At the same time, the number of interview calls is a little lower for outside Canada candidates. As of August 31, 2019, Canada granted permanent residence to 43,705 spouses of Canadian citizens and PRs.

#Family_immigration, #Spousal_sponsorship, #PR

Canada admitted 33,890 refugees as permanent residents in 2019

According to the official data by IRCC, as of August 31, 2019, Canada already granted permanent residence to 33,890 refugees in 2019. More than half of them settled in Ontario – 19,060 (56.5%), Quebec admitted 5,160 refugees (15.2%), Alberta received 4,375 refugees (12.9%), another 2,250 new PRs settled in British Columbia (6.6%), 1,150 – in Manitoba (3.4%), and 755 in Saskatchewan (2.2%). Four Atlantic provinces combined admitted 1,125 refugees (3.3%). Three northern territories combined admitted only 15 refugees.

#refugees, #PR, #IRCC

ESDC issued 25,570 positive LMIAs in the second quarter of 2019

According to the data by the Open Government, the number of temporary foreign worker (TFW) positions on positive Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) is 25,570. This is 33% less compared to the first quarter when Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) issued 38,265 positive LMIAs. Most of LMIAs in the second quarter were issued in Ontario – 7,109 (28.9%), British Columbia – 6,562 (26.7%), Quebec – 6,137 (25%), and Alberta – 2,949 (12%). The share of all other provinces was only 7.4%. In total, Canada issued 63, 835 positive LMIAs in 2019. In 2018, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) issued 108,139 LMIAs.

#LMIA, #TFW, #Work_in_Canada, #ESDC

New Brunswick removed Truck drivers from the info session in Kyiv

On November 4, 2019, New Brunswick removed NOC 7511 – Transport truck drivers from the occupations list available for recruitment at the Job Fair in Kyiv, Ukraine that will take place on November 21-22, 2019. The only NOC that remains for these events is NOC 9614 – Labourers in wood, pulp and paper processing. New Brunswick did not provide any explanations on the change. Registrants to the event will have to prepare .jpg or .pdf copies of their passports photo pages, language test results, education credential reports, CV of the primary applicant and accompanying spouse. Registration is required to participate in the event.

#New_Brunswick, #NBPNP, #AIPP, #Truck_drivers, #Job_fair, #information_session

Most Canadians support the immigration of skilled and talented workers from Asia

According to a recent publication by Ming Pao, Asia Pacific Foundation’s latest national opinion poll looked at Canadian attitudes about the immigration of skilled and talented workers from Asia. In general, Canadians support the admission to the country of skilled workers from Asia, especially those whose primary background is STEM – science, technology, engineering or mathematics. 53% of Canadians think the international talent from Asia will bring benefits, while 36% are concerned. 58% of respondents believe that Canadians are less willing to accept talent from China given the current tensions between Canada and China. As of 2019, Asia, and China with India in particular, are the main source of immigration to Canada.

#skilled_workers, #Asia, #immigration, #STEM

Post-secondary education in Ontario

The application process is different for every post-secondary school in Canada. Ontario colleges have different requirements from those of other provinces. Canadian post-secondary institutions do not set an age limit for applicants. As long as they have graduated from high school, they can move on to their post-secondary studies at any point in their lives. In the entire application and study process, peers and professors will not treat you any differently because of your age. Ontario universities and colleges offer a variety of programs, including degree and certificate programs. Certificate programs are non-degree programs and are more commonly offered by colleges. They have a short enrolment period, which is suitable for most newcomers. If you already have many years of work experience and higher education from your country, non-degree certificate programs are a good option to touch upon your knowledge, improve your English proficiency, develop new skills, and can become a pathway for immigration. Hence, colleges always become the preferred option for international students.

#international_students, #non_degree_programs, #Ontario_colleges, #study_in_Canada

OINP clarified the criterion for the minimum business investment amount

On November 1, 2019, the government of Ontario published a clarification for the personal net worth criterion for applicants in the Entrepreneur Stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). According to the alert, a passive investment option is not permitted under the Entrepreneur Stream. Although passive investments such as mutual fund securities or pooled fund securities are legit to satisfy the requirements of the personal net worth criterion of the Entrepreneur Stream, they are not considered as eligible in an applicant’s minimum business investment amount. The OINP did not approve or endorse any foreign investment program or fund to facilitate the OINP’s nomination of foreign entrepreneurs for permanent residence in Canada.

#Ontario, #OINP, #entrepreneurs, #business_immigration

Who is an ideal candidate for Express Entry in 2019?

Given the rise of the CRS score required in the recent Express Entry draw, it is good to understand who is an ideal candidate for Express Entry? Canada prefers those who earned a Canadian degree or got Canadian work experience. In a sense, it makes foreign candidates who have never been in Canada harder to be invited to apply for permanent residence outside Canada. The government is focused on young talents. For that reason, age has been given high importance in the Express Entry system. A candidate between 20-29 years of age can get the maximum points for age. As for the language knowledge, to get a bonus adaptability points, one needs to score at least 8.0 for listening, and 7.0 for other bands of IELTS. The ideal candidate needs to have a master’s degree and three years of skilled work experience. Such a candidate (if he/she is single) scores 469 points and it could have been enough to get an ITA in 19 out of 22 rounds of Express Entry in 2019.

#Express_Entry #CRS, #ITA, #PR

Saskatchewan continues issuing a record high number of ITAs

On October 31, 2019, Saskatchewan conducted a new draw in the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). Since September 25, SINP held seven EOI invitations rounds in which the province invited 4,704 candidates. In the new round, Saskatchewan issued 858 ITA. In the Express Entry category, Saskatchewan issued 627 invitations and another 231 in the Occupations In-Demand category. The lowest score in both categories was 68 points, 1 point lower than in the previous round; however, SINP emphasized that candidates with 68 points had 10 years of work experience and a language level of CLB 7 or higher, while candidates with 69 points were invited under the regular conditions. SINP invited candidates in 64 different NOCs. In total, Saskatchewan invited 8,100 candidates in 2019.

#Saskatchewan, #SINP, #Express_Entry, #Occupations_in_demand, #PNP, #ITA

Manitoba updated guidelines for Truck Drivers and their Employers

On October 31, Manitoba released an update of guidelines for Employers and Long-Haul Truck Drivers under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). Manitoba authorities stated that the new regulation is aimed at ensuring Manitoba’s Trucking Industry can recruit qualified international truck drivers. All employers must obtain a positive LMIA in order to be permitted to recruit international truck drivers under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. The MPNP may consider requests from provincial trucking companies to hire a specific number of truck drivers directly through the MPNP if those employers can prove they are able to meet all the requirements indicated in the updated Guidelines.

#Maitoba, #MPNP, #TFWP, #LMIA, #Truck_drivers

International immigrants are behind the population increase in Canadian provinces

From the months of April to July, Canada saw the largest increase in its immigrant population. Canada’s population increased by 181,057 over these three months to reach a total of 37,589,262 on July 1, 2019. The flow of immigrants to the Yukon increased from April to July. Of the total 0.8% population increase, 78.4% was due to immigration. This increase was the largest of all the Canadian provinces. International immigration is responsible for 87.1% and 85.5% of population growth in Quebec and Ontario respectively. The figure is 78.2% in British Columbia and 61.1% in Alberta. Statistics Canada announced that international immigration produced a net-positive growth for Manitoba and Saskatchewan even though the provinces had interprovincial migratory losses. Likewise, in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, where natural population growth was negative, international immigration helped produce a 0.5% and 0.4% increase overall respectively. Newfoundland and Labrador also saw an increase in international immigration, but due to the high number of deaths over births and to emigration to other provinces, the net population growth was negative.

#demography, #population_increase, #immigration

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