Things to look forward for Canada immigration in December

Canada’s immigration system is on the verge of a busy end to what has been an eventful 2020.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are expected to continue to hold Express Entry raffles throughout the holiday season. In previous years, there have been at least two raffles in December. It is also expected that the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) activity will continue. In previous years, PNP draws were held before Christmas Day, a public holiday in Canada.

Also, there is news on mandate letters from Canada’s ministers, the Parents and Grandparents Program, and other immigration pathways for international students and temporary foreign workers residing in Canada.

Here are five great immigration stories to follow for the rest of the year:

The new mandate letter for Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino

We can expect the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to send new mandate letters to his ministers before Christmas. The Prime Minister’s mandate letters describe the political goals that each minister will strive to achieve. These letters are made public that makes the government accountable to Canadians.

These letters will provide more details on what is on the government’s immigration agenda.

The new letter to Mendicino will guide his efforts as well as the efforts of IRCC, provinces, and territories, and immigration stakeholders across Canada as they work to get the immigration system back on track after the pandemic of coronavirus.

Canada’s immigration priorities will include the implementation of the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan and may include discussions on new initiatives such as the Municipal Nominee Program and the removal of Canadian citizenship fees.

Express Entry Draws

Two more Express Entry draws are scheduled for December. The next draw is scheduled on or around December 2, two weeks after the previous Express Entry draw, when Canada invited a record 5,000 immigrant applicants to apply for permanent residence.

Thereafter, there will likely be another draw on or around December 16. In previous years, there was a three to the four-week gap between the last draw of the year and the first draw of the new year.

It has been a banner year for Express Entry despite COVID-19, with Canada having already invited 92,350 immigrant applicants in 2020, the highest level ever. Canada could end the year by surpassing 100,000 invitations to apply for the first time since the creation of Express Entry in 2015.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Rounds of Invitation

Canadian provinces are expected to hold draws throughout the holiday season. It’s not uncommon to see PNP activity until a few days before the Christmas holidays on December 25th.

Prince Edward Island has a draw scheduled for December 17th, where they will likely invite applicants under the Labor Impact, Express Entry, and Business Impact streams.

British Columbia is also expected to continue to have weekly draws, inviting applicants through the technical pilot.

Ontario is expected to hold a draw next month. Right now, the popular destination for new immigrants has at least 386 applications left of their annual allowance. This, after receiving 250 additional appointments for temporary foreign workers in skilled intermediate occupations.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia can also hold draws in December, based on PNP activity in those provinces the previous year.

PGP – Parents and Grandparents Program draw

IRCC opened the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) sponsor interest forms in October and closed them in early November. It will likely hold its PGP 2020 raffle by December, and then plan to receive applications from sponsors who were drawn in the lottery in January and February 2021.

In 2020, IRCC will invite up to 10,000 sponsors to apply to sponsor parents and grandparents for Canadian immigration. Next year, IRCC is expected to invite up to 30,000 sponsors.

More immigration pathways for Temporary residents to apply for Canada PR Visa

Mendicino recently told Bloomberg that Canada is looking for other ways to allow temporary residents to become permanent residents. This is believed to help offset the decline in the number of new immigrants admitted to Canada during the pandemic, which also negatively impacted Canada’s population and economic growth. While we don’t know exactly when this announcement will be made, it’s worth staying on the radar. While it can happen as early as December, IRCC sometimes delays these important announcements after the holidays.

There are many ways the federal government can create to create more pathways to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers and international students. Here are some of the options IRCC could use to allow more temporary residents to become permanent residents of Canada:

Option 1: Increase points under CRS

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) awards points to Express Entry applicants with both foreign and Canadian work experience and training. If the government wants to make immigration easier for temporary residents, they can choose to increase the number of points for Canadian work experience and studies under the CRS. The more CRS points a candidate for Express Entry has, the more likely they are to be invited to apply for permanent residence.

Currently, single Express Entry applicants (i.e. applicants without a spouse or common-law partner) can earn up to 210 CRS points for specialized work experience and training in Canada. They can earn up to 80 points for Canadian work experience, as well as up to 100 points for a combination of post-secondary education and Canadian work experience, as well as Canadian work experience and experience. working abroad. Applicants can also qualify for up to 30 additional points by having a Canadian Studies Diploma.

Already this year, Canada has made fluency in French more valuable in CRS. IRCC is now awarding up to 50 additional points to Express Entry applicants who speak French and English, compared to 30 CRS points before this change.

Option 2: More program-specific express entry draws

Another option for the federal government is to have more Express Entry draws reserved for applicants in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). IRCC already implemented this strategy earlier this year. They held Express Entry-only draws for CEC and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants to prioritize immigrant applicants who were already in the country in light of the disruption. caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Option 3: Different eligibility criteria for CEC

The federal government could also facilitate CEC eligibility by reducing the requirement for applicants to have at least 12 months of qualified work experience.

Immigrants were disproportionately represented in hard-hit sectors when nearly two million jobs were lost last April. Likewise, people who are in Canada on a limited-time work permit may also have lost their jobs or have their hours reduced due to COVID-19. This may hinder their ability to gain that year of work experience they need to qualify for the CEC.

Reducing the CEC’s work experience eligibility requirement from 12 months to nine or six months, for example, may allow some of these affected individuals to join the Express Entry pool of candidates.

Option 4: More allocations for provinces under PNP

IRCC can also give more immigration selection powers to provinces and territories by increasing the number of people they are allowed to nominate under their Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). For example, IRCC can tell provinces that increased allowances can only be used to designate temporary residents already living in the respective jurisdiction. 

Option 5: Introduce new federal immigration programs

The federal government can launch new pilot programs to meet the needs of the Canadian labor market. Pilots can operate for a maximum of five years and allow up to 2,750 lead applicants to be admitted each year.

This option, however, would not be sufficient to provide a significant number of additional immigration places to the hundreds of thousands of temporary residents currently in Canada.

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