Canada’s goal of 1 million new Permanent Residents by the end of 2021

Canada's goal of 1 million new Permanent Residents by the end of 2021
Canada’s goal of 1 million new Permanent Residents by the end of 2021

Canada’s goal of 1 million new permanent residents turning heads worldwide

International media are taking notice of Canada’s ‘friendly stance’ towards immigration

Canada’s goal of admitting more than a million new permanent residents by the end of 2021 is gaining new attention internationally.

Recent reports by the BBC, CNN and others have highlighted how the three-year target is setting Canada apart on the global stage. As CNN reported, “Canada’s friendly stance towards new residents comes as many other Western nations, including the United States, are adopting more restrictive immigration policies.”

A New York Times opinion piece took it further, arguing the U.S. should be following Canada’s example and increasing immigration for the sake of its “economic health.”

This rationale lies at the heart of Canada’s drive to raise its immigration levels. In his department’s annual report to Parliament last fall, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, said, “growing immigration levels, particularly in the Economic Class, will help us sustain our labour force, support economic growth and spur innovation.”

Under Canada’s latest three-year immigration levels plan, total immigration is expected to reach 350,000 new permanent residents in the year 2021. This represents an immigration level of nearly one percent of Canada’s population, which the Conference Board of Canada says must be reached by 2030 to ensure modest population and economic growth.

Nearly 60 percent of all new permanent residents expected this year are slated to arrive through economic immigration programs. Of these, four programs — the three Federal High Skilled programs managed by Canada’s Express Entry system and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) — are expected to account for nearly 75 percent of all economic admissions.

Among Canada’s economic immigration programs, the three Express Entry-managed programs —  the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class — have the highest target of 2019 at 81,400 new admissions.

Introduced in 2015, Canada’s Express Entry system is tailored to favour immigration candidates who are young, highly educated, proficient in English or French and have skilled work experience. These are considered the ingredients for achieving success in Canada and maximizing a newcomer’s contribution to the Canadian economy.

Government figures for January to October 2018 show software engineers and designers, information systems analysts and consultants, and computer programmers and interactive media developers leading the list of professionals invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through Express Entry in 2018.

NOC Top 10 Invited Occupations 2018 ITAs (as of Oct. 2018) %of ITA’s
2173 Software Engineers and designers 3,918 7%
2171 Information systems analysts and consultants 3,523 6%
2174 Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers 2,301 4%
1111 Financial auditor and accountants 1,283 3%
1241 Administrative assistants 1,455 3%
1123 Professional Occupations in Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations 1,375 2%
1112 Financial and Investment Analysts 1,455 3%
4011 University professors and lecturers 1,265 2%
1122 Professional occupations in business management consulting 1,223 2%
0124 Advertising, marketing and public relations managers 1,138 2%

One of the reasons the Government of Canada introduced the Express Entry system was to expedite the processing of permanent resident applications for skilled workers. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says it is achieving its goal of six-month processing time in 80 percent of cases.

Canada’s PNP is also slated to continue its impressive growth. The program works to spread the benefits of immigration among participating provinces and territories by allowing them to nominate economic immigration candidates for permanent residence.

The PNP has evolved from 233 new permanent resident admissions in 1996 to a target of 55,000 in 2018. Its 2019 target is 61,000, which will grow to 67,800 in 2020 and 71,300 in 2021.

Here’s how Canada’s PNP nomination allocation for 2018 was distributed across participating provinces and territories. Note that Quebec does not participate in the PNP so has no allocation.

Family reunification and refugees

Canada’s three-year plan also calls for increases under its family and refugee and protected person immigration programs, which combined account for around 40 percent of Canada’s overall immigration targets over the next three years.

The federal government calls family reunification a “central pillar of Canada’s immigration program” that “contributes to the economic, social and cultural prosperity of all Canadians.”

Family sponsorship programs for spouses/common-law partners and children as well as parents and grandparents have a target of 88,500 in 2019 and 91,000 in both 2020 and 2021.

One of the draws of obtaining Canadian permanent residence is the ability to potentially sponsor additional family members for permanent residence in the future.

Canada will also maintain its commitments to refugees and vulnerable persons, despite an influx of asylum seekers in the last two years that has strained the government’s resources.

In its annual report, IRCC noted the unprecedented levels of global displacement in 2017 and said its three-year plan will “accommodate more refugees looking to start new lives.”

To this end, Canada has set an overall admissions target for refugees and protected person of 46,450 for 2019, which will grow to 51,700 in 2021.

“While many Western nations are moving to reduce immigration, Canada is going in the opposite direction,” said David Cohen, senior partner at the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.

“This is good news for both Canadians and anyone who is hoping to make Canada their home because this country’s future depends on immigration.”

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IRCC increased the funds required for the express entry

Proof of settlement funds requirement increases for Express Entry candidates

IRCC advises Express Entry candidates to ensure their profiles reflect annual adjustments

The Government of Canada has introduced a slight increase to its settlement funds requirement and is urging Express Entry candidates to ensure their profiles reflect the change. The increase raises the required minimum settlement funds by just over 1.5 percent for each family level.

For a single person arriving unaccompanied in Canada, this translates to an increase from $12,474 to $12,669.

All Federal Skilled Worker Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Class candidates must show proof of funds,  which are required to ensure the principal applicant and her/his accompanying family members have the means to support themselves financially upon landing in Canada as permanent residents.

Canadian Experience Class candidates who are working in Canada on an eligible work permit are exempt from having to prove they have the minimum settlement funds.

However, Canadian Experience Class candidates invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Worker Class will have to show proof of funds.

The increases for 2019 are as follows:

No. Of Family Members 2018 Amount (in Canadian Dollars) 2019 Amount (in Canadian Dollars) Increase
1 $12,474 $12,669 $195
2 $15,530 $15,772 $242
3 $19,092 $19,390 $298
4 $23,181 $23,542 $361
5 $26,291 $26,701 $410
6 $29,652 $30,114 $462
7 $33,013 $33,528 $515
Each additional family member $3,361 $3,414 $53

Family members include a spouse or partner, dependent children and the dependent children of a spouse or partner. IRCC considers a dependent child to be any family member under the age of 22.

Family members who are not accompanying the principal applicant to Canada must also be included.

Update your Express Entry profile

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) notes that, while small, the changes can affect a candidate’s eligibility if their available settlement funds now fall below the adjusted threshold.

For this reason, Express Entry candidates who are required to show proof of funds should ensure their Express Entry profile is updated to show they possess the adjusted proof of funds they require.

IRCC also encouraged exempt candidates to update their proof of funds, noting that, by doing so, the Express Entry system may find that they are eligible for more than one program.

“You don’t always know ahead of time which program you will be invited under,” IRCC says.

Acceptable funds

The funds must be readily available when a candidate applies for permanent residence and when a permanent resident visa is issued. The principal applicant will also have to prove to an immigration officer that they have the required amount and access to it upon landing in Canada.

The funds cannot be borrowed and equity on real estate cannot be counted as proof.

If accompanied by a spouse or partner, money held in a joint account can be counted towards the settlement funds requirement. Money held in an account under a spouse’s name can also be counted if the applicant can prove they have access to those funds.

Official letters must be obtained from the banks or financial institutions where the money is kept.

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Canada will reopen Parents and Grandparents Program January 28th

Canada will reopen Parents and Grandparents Program January 28th
Canada will reopen Parents and Grandparents Program January 28th

Canada will reopen Parents and Grandparents Program January 28th

IRCC will resume first-in, first-served approach to processing expressions of interest

Canada’s Parents and Grandparents Program will reopen to interested sponsors beginning on January 28, the federal government announced today.

The program, known as the PGP, allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents over the age of 18 to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents for Canadian permanent residence.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says up to 20,000 new PGP applications will be processed in 2019.

Anyone hoping to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents through the PGP will have to first complete an online Interest to Sponsor form, which will be made available at noon Eastern Standard Time on January 28.

IRCC will process Interest to Sponsor forms in the order they are received and invitations to apply to the PGP will be issued until the program’s cap of 20,000 complete applications is met.

This first-in, first-served approach to accepting applications replaces the controversial randomized lottery process that IRCC introduced last year and later scrapped.

Many had criticized the randomized approach as unfair to those who had been waiting for years to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents.

Interest to Sponsor: How it works

Completing an Interest to Sponsor form is not an application but rather notifies IRCC of your wish to be considered as a potential sponsor.

IRCC said interested sponsors should first review the eligibility requirements to ensure they meet the program’s requirements, including the threshold for Minimum Necessary Income.

IRCC will also require potential sponsors to upload a copy of a status in Canada document when submitting their interest to sponsor form.

All individuals who submit an online form will be notified whether they have been invited or not.

Those invited to apply will have 60 days to submit a completed application, including all supporting documents.

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