Tag Archive: application

New pathway to permanent residency for essential temporary workers and international graduates already in Canada

April 14, 2021

Today, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), announced a new pathway to permanent residence for over 90,000 essential workers and international graduates who are currently actively contributing to Canada’s economy.

These special public policies will grant permanent status to temporary workers and international graduates who are already in Canada and who possess the skills and experience that Canada needs to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to accelerate the country’s economic recovery.

The focus of this new pathway will be on temporary workers employed in Canadian hospitals and long-term care homes and on the frontlines of other essential sectors, as well as international graduates.

To be eligible, workers must have at least 1 year of Canadian work experience in one of 40 health-care occupations or one of 95 other essential jobs across a range of fields, like caregiving and food production and distribution. International graduates must have completed an eligible Canadian post-secondary program within the last 4 years, and no earlier than January 2017.

Graduates and workers, alike, must have proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages; meet general admissibility requirements; and be present, authorized to work and working in Canada at the time of their application to qualify.

Effective May 6, 2021, IRCC will begin accepting applications under the following 3 streams:

  • 20,000 applications for temporary workers in health care
  • 30,000 applications for temporary workers in other selected essential occupations
  • 40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian institution

The streams will remain open until November 5, 2021, or until they have reached their limit. Up to 90,000 new permanent residents will be admitted under these 3 streams.

To promote Canada’s official languages, 3 additional streams with no intake caps have also been launched for French-speaking or bilingual candidates.  According to the Minister, Immigration is essential to the vitality of Francophone communities across Canada and that is why these policies include dedicated spaces for French-speaking or bilingual candidates, and no limit on applications for them.

If you are a temporary worker or an international graduate working in Canada and you wish to avail yourself of this opportunity, please contact our office and we will explain the  detailed eligibility requirements to you and determine with you whether you meet them.

Canada plans to bring in more than 1.2 Million immigrants in next 3 years

October 30, 2020

The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, tabled the 2021‒2023 Immigration Levels Plan, today.

The 2021 to 2023 Levels Plan aims to continue welcoming immigrants at a rate of about 1% of the population of Canada, including 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.  Of those, the following are the number of immigrants that will be admitted under the Express Entry system (the system used to process Immigration Applications of Federal Skilled Worker/Federal Skilled Trades/Canadian Experience Class applicants):

2021:    81,000-110,250
2022:    96,250-112,900
2023:  100,000-114,500

Highlights of the plan include

  • an increase in admissions over the 3 years of the Plan
  • a focus on economic growth, with about 60% of admissions to come from the Economic Class
  • a continued focus on innovative and community-driven approaches to address diverse labour and demographic needs across the country
  • additional points for French-speaking candidates under Express Entry, to promote the growth of Francophone communities outside of Quebec

According to the Minister, “[t]he 2021–2023 Immigration Levels Plan will help cement Canada’s place among the world’s top destinations for talent, creating a strong foundation for economic growth while reuniting family members with their loved ones and fulfilling Canada’s humanitarian commitments”.

U.S.A. Extending Ban on Green Cards and Non-Immigrant Visas Also Affected

June 23, 2020

On Monday, June 22, 2020, the Trump administration announced that it was extending a ban on Green Cards issued outside the United States until the end of the year and adding many temporary work visas to the freeze, including those used heavily by technology companies and multinational corporations.

The policy behind the freeze is to free up jobs in the American economy which has suffered because of COVID-19. It is estimated that the restrictions will free up to 525,000 jobs for Americans.

The ban, while temporary, would amount to major restructuring of legal immigration if made permanent. Long-term changes targeting high-tech workers are also being sought.

The ban on new visas also applies to H-1B visas, which are widely used by major American and Indian technology company workers and their families, H-2B visas for non-agricultural seasonal workers, J-1 visas for cultural exchanges and L-1 visas for managers and other key employees of multinational corporations.

By contrast, Canada plans on welcoming 341,000 new permanent residents in 2020, 351,000 in 2021, and 361,000 in 2022 while reducing application processing times and improving service delivery and client services at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, notwithstanding COVID-19.

For those who are/were considering American Immigration, Canada may be a more viable and attractive option right now, especially considering the current uncertainty surrounding U.S. Immigration and all of the political chaos and unrest in the United States.

Canada Remains Open to Immigration while U.S. Threatens to Suspend Immigration

April 21, 2020

On Monday, April 20, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he will sign an executive order temporarily suspending Immigration to the United States as the nation battles the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a tweet sent out late Monday night, President Trump wrote:  “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”

By contrast, Canada continues to welcome immigrants, notwithstanding COVID-19.  As was mentioned in our blog of March 13, 2020, on Thursday, March 12, 2020, The Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), tabled the 2020‒2022 Immigration Levels Plan in the Canadian House of Commons. Canada plans on welcoming 341,000 new permanent residents in 2020, 351,000 in 2021, and 361,000 in 2022 while reducing application processing times and improving service delivery and client services at IRCC.

Of those who will become permanent residents of Canada over the next few years, in 2020, 88,500 to 100,000 immigrants will be Express Entry applicants; in 2021, 89,300 to 100,000 immigrants will be Express Entry applicants; and, in 2022, 88,800 to 100,600 immigrants will be Express Entry applicants.

To quote the Minister:  “Our immigration system benefits all Canadians by strengthening the middle class, keeping families together and building strong and inclusive communities. This increase in immigration levels supports a system that will help Canadian business create good middle class jobs and grow the economy while ensuring Canada continues to meet its humanitarian obligations around the world.”

Furthermore, as was mentioned in our blog of March 18, 2020, on Sunday, March 15, 2020, IRCC released new instructions for those affected by COVID-19. Like other countries, Canada is working diligently to halt the spread of the virus; however, IRCC is adopting new policies and procedures to minimize any disruption to Immigration processing and to help applicants who are affected in any way by COVID-19. Most importantly, IRCC confirmed that the intake of new Permanent Residence Applications will continue.

For those who are/were considering American Immigration, Canada may be a more viable and attractive option right now, especially considering the current uncertainty surrounding U.S. Immigration and all of the political chaos in the United States.

IRCC Permanent Residence Processing Will Continue Despite COVID-19

March 18, 2020

On Sunday, March 15, 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released new instructions for those affected by COVID-19. Like other countries, Canada is working diligently to halt the spread of the virus; however, IRCC is adopting new policies and procedures to minimize any disruption to Immigration processing and to help applicants who are affected in any way by COVID-19. Among the steps being taken by IRCC insofar as Permanent Residence Applications are concerned are the following (reproduced from the IRCC website with minor text modifications):


Application Intake

Intake of new Permanent Residence Applications will continue. Files that are incomplete due to unavailable documents will be retained in the system and reviewed in 90 days.

New, complete Permanent Residence Applications under section 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) will be processed as per normal procedures.

If a new Application is missing supporting documentation (associated fees are required), the applicant should include an explanation with his/her Application that he/she is affected by the service disruptions as a result of the novel coronavirus. The Application may then be promoted and reviewed in 90 days. New Applications should be promoted in the order they were received. If the Application is still incomplete in 60 days, officers should request the missing documents with an additional 90-day deadline.

Applications found to be incomplete with no explanation provided, or for reasons unrelated to the disruption of services associated with impacts of the novel coronavirus, may be rejected as per section 10 of IRPR, and all fees associated with the Application should be refunded to the applicant. The reason for rejection should be unrelated to the disruption of services.


Approved Permanent Residence Applications (COPR and PRV)

Permanent residence applicants who are in possession of a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and Permanent Resident Visa (PRV) and inform IRCC, by submitting a web form to IRCC, that they are unable to travel within the validity of their documentation should be processed as follows:

Valid COPR and PRV: In an effort to reduce the number of cancelled COPRs and PRVs, a note should be placed in the file explaining that the applicant is unable to travel, and the file should be brought forward to the expiration date of the COPR and PRV. If the applicant informs IRCC that he/she can travel prior to the COPR and PRV expiration, he/she is encouraged to use his/her existing COPR and PRV to land.

Expired COPR and PRV: If the applicant informs IRCC via the web form that he/she was unable to travel after the expiration of his/her COPR and PRV, or if he/she was unable to travel prior to expiration, officers are to re-open the Application, and it should be brought forward for review in 90 days.


Re-opened Applications

Approved Applications can be re-opened by cancelling the COPR and PRV and removing the final decision.


When to Review a Re-opened Application

Once the applicant informs IRCC via the web form that he/she is able to travel, a re-opened Application may be re-approved provided that the applicant and his/her family members, whether accompanying or not, have valid immigration medical examinations, criminal and security checks and passports.

If the 60-day waiting period elapses and the applicant has not informed IRCC that he/she is able to travel, a note should be placed in the Application, and it should be brought forward for review for an additional 60 days.

Lawyer versus consultant? Immigration data shows visa applicants have best shot with former

December 10, 2018

The following article appeared in the Sunday, December 9, 2018 edition of the Toronto Star newspaper. Its contents have been reproduced in their entirety. The article offers some interesting insights into the advantages of using the services of a Canadian Immigration lawyer over those of a Canadian Immigration consultant; however, we leave it up to our readers to draw their own conclusions.

By NICHOLAS KEUNG Immigration Reporter
Sun., Dec. 9, 2018

Foreign nationals who prepare their own Canadian visa applications are nearly as successful in being accepted as those who spend money on a consultant to do the job.

But chances of success are much higher if they hire an immigration lawyer to help get their study, work or visitor visas, according to immigration data obtained under an access to information request.

Canada received 342,154 temporary resident applications in 2017, the data shows. While 86 per cent of applicants declared themselves as self-represented, 6 per cent were represented by consultants and another 5 per cent by lawyers. The remaining 3 per cent hired Quebec notaries or used “non-remunerated” representatives.

Overall, 18.9 per cent of the applications were rejected. Those who prepared their own applications had a 19.3 per cent refusal rate, slightly higher than the 18 per cent among those who paid a consultant to do it.

In contrast, only 10.4 per cent of applications prepared by a lawyer were rejected. The refusal rates for applications prepared by Quebec notaries and unpaid representatives were 13.1 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively.

Marina Sedai, chair of the immigration section of the Canadian Bar Association, said she wasn’t surprised lawyers had the highest success rate.

“Canadian lawyers’ rigorous education, legal analysis skills, and high ethical standards enforced by an effective regulator, have long been understood to result in better outcomes,” Sedai said.

“Lawyers’ culture of the law being a calling rather than a business means that although lawyers will often take the tough cases, they will also protect clients by advising them against hopeless cases.”

When it comes to the lower success rate for consultants, lawyers are quick to point out that group has lower educational requirements and a less robust regulatory regime than lawyers. For their part, consultants say the immigration data is too general and doesn’t give the full picture.

“It is based on the flawed assumption that all applications are equally complex. In reality, applications completed by unpaid representatives may be far simpler, thus having a much higher chance of success,” said the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants in a statement to the Star.

Currently, licensed immigration consultants must meet a minimum language requirement and graduate from an accredited immigration practitioner program, which takes about a year to complete full time. While only about 1,000 lawyers practise immigration law, there are five times more licensed consultants in Canada.

“Immigration lawyers typically have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree before undergoing a very competitive process for admission to law school. Law school degrees take three years to complete and are also no cakewalk. Then there is the bar admissions course which must be passed, the articling process, etcetera,” said Toronto immigration lawyer Ravi Jain.

“Many immigration consultants have only completed online courses at a community college. The education and training is just not comparable.”

The immigration consultants’ association, which has more than 2,000 members, said it’s pleased more people are using consultants and believed that’s due to the generally higher fees charged by their lawyer counterparts.

Regulatory bodies for lawyers and consultants do not mandate how much their members can charge clients, but fees can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Jain, who is also vice chair of the bar association’s immigration division, said the success rate for lawyers would likely be even higher if not for the fact lawyers often take up very difficult and complex cases.

“A lot of my clients come to me after they have gone to a consultant or tried on their own,” Jain said, adding many are reluctant to lodge a complaint against their former consultant and prefer just to have him reapply.

“It’s much more difficult to obtain approvals when applications have already been refused,” he added.