Foreigners hoping to immigrate to Canada in 2021 will have some ways to get their permanent residency once COVID-19 border restrictions are lifted. To be sure, the country is eager to increase immigration.
During COVID, Canada’s federal government increased its immigration numbers for the next three years. In October, it announced that it would admit 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, around 411,000 in 2022, and around 421,000 in 2023.
Before the pandemic, the previous plan set goals of 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.
To meet these higher immigration goals in the coming years, Canada has streamlined some immigration programs and entered into new agreements with a few other countries.
“Canada is innovating immigration during COVID-19 to accelerate our economic recovery and reunite more families,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino tweeted in early December.
During the pandemic, Canada took many steps to improve foreign nationals’ access to its immigration programs.
In late October, the country reopened its borders to international students attending approved colleges and universities under new exemptions to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
To enter Canada, international students who have been granted permission to study now need only prove that they have or are attending a Designated Learning Institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their provincial or territorial government.
Canada continued to issue Invitations to Apply (ITAs) through the express delivery system despite restrictions imposed because of the pandemic, making it a record year with more than 100,000 EAPs issued to potential immigrants with qualifications.
Last year, Quebec launched a new employer portal, Arima Expression of Interest, to make it easier for employers to hire highly skilled immigrants.
Canada struck a deal with Italy under which young Italians and Canadians will be able to work more often and more prolonged in each other’s countries covered by Canada’s new International Experience Canada Youth Mobility Agreement.
Starting in 2021, foreign nationals will be able to come to Canada searching for permanent residency. They will have a few options.
The Express Entry Option
Under Express Entry, Canada receives immigration applications online. Eligible applicants submit an online profile, known as an Expression of Interest (EOI), for one of the three federal immigration programs or one of the provincial immigration programs participating in the Express Entry Pool.
Candidate profiles are then ranked against each other according to a point system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Candidates with the highest scores will usually be considered for permanent ITA status.
Those who receive ITA must quickly submit a complete application and payment processing fees, with a delay of 90 days.
Provincial Nominee Programs
Under Ottawa’s common jurisdiction and the provinces, Canada has a two-tiered immigration system offering both federal and provincial skilled worker programs.
Through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), almost all of Canada’s provinces and three territories can nominate candidates for admission to Canada for skilled workers with specialized skills needed for the local economy.
Successful provincial or territorial nominees can then apply for permanent residence in Canada through federal immigration services.
Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP)
Another part of the certainty is that the ICAC has confirmed that the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) lottery for 2020 should be held in 2021. Up to 10,000 applicants will be invited to apply for sponsorship to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada.
The IRCC will open the PGP application window for 2021 and hold another lottery to invite up to about 30,000 applicants to sponsor their parents and grandparents.
The Start-Up Visa Program
Immigrant investors can also go to Canada under the Start-up Visa program, which can entitle them to permanent residency in Canada.
The program is specifically designed to attract innovative entrepreneurs to Canada and connect them with Canadian private companies such as angel investor groups, venture capital funds, or business incubators and help them establish their start-up business in Canada.
The designated venture capital fund should certify that it is investing at least $200,000 in the eligible business.
Applicants may also receive two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totaling $200,000. The designated group of angel investors must invest at least $75,000 in the eligible business.
Canada Study Permit
International students can also obtain permanent residency by first applying for a Study Permit, then applying for a postgraduate work permit, and finally looking for their permanent residence by applying through the express system. Canada admits more than 350,000 international students each year.
To qualify to study in Canada, these students must prove that they:
- Have been accepted to a school, college, university, or other educational institution in Canada
- Have enough money for tuition, living expenses, and return travel
- Have no criminal record
- Are healthy and willing to have a medical examination;
- Are able to prove to the immigration officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay.
Once approved, these students can work in Canada in the following categories:
- On-campus with no work permit
- Off-campus with a work permit
- Be involved in co-op and internship programs where work experience is part of the course, with a work permit.
After graduation, an international student may apply for a work permit under the postgraduate work permit program. Under this program, a work permit can be issued for the study’s duration, up to a maximum of three years.
The Post Graduation Work Permit
During your international undergrad, the work experience that you acquire can work in Canada under a Post-Graduation Work Permit can often count towards a permanent residence application through Canada Express Entry system.
Under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) used in the Express Entry System programs, immigration applicants are assigned points based on their scores:
- Work experience
- language proficiency
- Language proficiency and education of applicant’s spouse or joint law partner
- Possession of a job offer backed by a positive labor market impact assessment
- Control of a provincial government nomination for permanent residency
Language skills, education, and work experience result in a higher chance of employment for the applicant (transferability of skills).
The Cost Of Immigrating To Canada In 2021
If you intend to move to Canada, consider the following charges:
A Processing Fee
You need to pay a processing fee to Canada’s federal or provincial governments to ask them to review your application package.
The amount they charge can range from less than CAD 100 to thousands of dollars. However, the government has recently increased some processing fees by 50%.
Consultation And Representation Fee
If you hire an immigration consultant, you need to pay their professional fees. Professional fees can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Nevertheless, while consultants or attorneys do not speed up your process, they can prevent drastic mistakes resulting in misrepresentation or other issues related to your application.
However, be sure to choose a professional and knowledgeable professional. An incompetent practitioner may be part of the problem, not the solution. Therefore, you should take a look at the reviews before you decide to work with anyone. You may start by reading the Canada Abroad review that gives comprehensive information about the specific immigration professionals.
Right Of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF)
It is a landing fee. However, this fee is currently CAD 500 per person and applies to the principal applicant and spouse or common-law partner (some exceptions apply).
Regardless of your citizenship, you must provide biometrics data to immigrate to Canada in 2021. However, the current biometrics cost is CAD 85 per person and a maximum of CAD 170 per family.
Other Fees You May Consider In 2021
All family members must undergo a medical examination. Of course, the commission physician must perform the examination.
The commission doctors charge a fee for their services. However, the amount you have to pay depends on your country and your medical issues’ complexity.
Preparation And Translation Of Documents
It is necessary to prepare several documents and translate them into English or French.
Sometimes it is necessary to make familiarization trips to Canada. You may also need to make a bona fide deposit with certain provinces.
Think about other unexpected expenses, such as traveling to another country or city to submit biometric data, hiring an accountant, hiring a real estate agent, or mailing your documents.
The Processing Time Of Canada Immigration 2021
The IRCC tries to limit the processing time to 12 months. However, processing times can exceed several years.
To Sum Up
2020 was the pandemic year, which continues to have a significant impact on Canada’s immigration system.
Having admitted 341,000 new immigrants in 2019, Canada continued to welcome many new immigrants early last year. However, the immigration system was revamped when COVID-19 turned into a global crisis in March 2020.
Since March 18, Canada has had COVID-19 travel restrictions limiting the number of foreign nationals who can currently enter the country.
It is fair to expect that in 2021 the IRCC and Canada’s provinces and territories aim to seek to normalize the immigration system to the best of their ability. Hopefully, 2021 will be less turbulent than 2020.
The coronavirus crisis’s volatile nature means that much remains unclear about what we can expect from Canada’s immigration system in 2021. However, some certainties will benefit both Canada and future newcomers in 2021 and beyond.