We expect Express Entry draws starting January 2021. The last draw was on December 23, 2020, where 5,000 ITAs were issued with a cut-off score of 468.
We also expect the Parents and Grandparents Program Lottery by January 2021. The lottery was expected to take place at the end of this year but was delayed. This year, IRCC plans to invite 30,000 additional sponsors in another lottery.
The Home Child Care Provider Pilot received at least 2,750 applications sometime in November 2020. The pilot will re-open on January 1, 2021.
Travel restrictions are still in place between Canada and other countries until January 21, 2021.
For study permit holders, please be informed that IRCC continues to update the list of Designated Learning Institutions with the COVID-19 readiness plan.
The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program or AINP will implement two streams for Entrepreneurs in 2021, namely: the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream and Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa.
Please note that The Alberta Government added dozens of additional occupational categories to the refusal to process list starting Nov 1st, 2020, removing the vast majority of occupations from the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or TFW Program. The changes do not impact 27 occupations in the Agriculture, Caregiver, Technology and Emergency Response.
For Canadian citizenship applicants, online citizenship tests are available, but you need to be invited by IRCC. Virtual citizenship ceremonies are also available and again, you need to be invited by IRCC.
IRCC announced on Sept 2020 that it has increased the number of decision makers on spousal applications in Canada by 66% to process spousal applications more quickly and reduce the couples’ wait times.
I think it is fair to say that Canada’s immigration system will not return to normal until the pandemic is over. I’m optimistic that with the emergence and arrival of the vaccines, the end of the pandemic is in sight.
Each year, Canada’s Prime Minister will provide his cabinet members with new mandate letters. As of this writing, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has not received the new mandate from the Prime Minister. The new mandate will give us a better picture of the direction of Canada’s immigration system and will outline the priorities of IRCC.
I’m hopeful that 2021 will be a better year for IRCC and Canada’s provinces and territories in seeking to normalize the immigration system as compared to 2020.
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Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
A word of caution: You should not act or rely on the information provided in this column. It is not a legal advice. To ensure your interests are protected, retain or formally seek advice from a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in good standing of ICCRC. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of RCIC’s.