How does 2021 look for Canadian Immigration?
– By Adnan Kamal
The year 2020 was a tragic year around the globe as the world was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this pandemic, lives of people and global economies were drastically affected. Similarly, the Canadian immigration was deeply affected as well.
Since March 2020 when the world went into a global lockdown to contain and limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Canadian immigration system was pretty much turned upside down. The constantly changing travel restrictions and common fear of spread of the virus left many applications in confused and anxious. Many aspirants were unable to fly and in turn this created separation of families.
In 2019, Canada welcomed 341,000 new immigrants and the same trend of high intake of applicants continued till the start of 2020. However, despite travel restrictions in place Canada still managed to efficiently and successfully run two programs:
- Federal Express Entry System
- Provincial Nominee Program
We saw a record breaking number of invitations issued for Express Entry in the last year, which was 107,350. Now taking into consideration how badly each country was affected by the pandemic, Canada maintained a steady commitment to their promise of welcoming new immigrants. The immigration system adapted to the trying times by adapting to a more digital system for application and processing.
Towards the end of the year 2020, 4 consecutive draws took place where 5,000 ITA’s were issued in Express Entry Draws. These are large numbers and I am only mentioning them here as a testament to the adaptability of Canadian immigration in welcoming new immigrants.
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) linked with Express Entry was also reeling in applicants to meet their labour market needs. Provinces such as Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia have all held Express Entry linked Provincial nominee draws in the last 4 weeks of 2020. Around 35,000+ nominations were issued last year.
An applicant who receives a provincial nomination (linked to Express Entry) receives an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, and this basically guarantees you an ITA in the next Express Entry draw.
While it is important to still have some preventive measures in place that Canada will follow as we proceed with the year 2021 as Canada has planned to increase the number of immigrants they are looking to welcome in the next three years. The Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023 aims to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants every year. This number has never been reached in the history of Canadian Immigration before, so we can definitely expect some big things this year.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has also confirmed that the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) will be hosting its year 2020 intake lottery most probably in this month of January. Upto 10,000 applicants will be invited in this lottery to immigrate their parents and grandparents to Canada.
The 2021 PGP intake lottery will also be opened later this year, where IRCC has confirmed that 30,000 applicants can bring their parents and grandparents to Canada.
The pandemic has also delayed the mandate letters for the cabinet ministers from the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. This mandate letter outlines the departments work and agenda for the year. We can expect this to happen this year and gain more information as to the mandate for the department of IRCC.
We can expect and hope that the IRCC and Provinces will normalize the immigration programs this year as we have already seen a steady success of the programs in the latter part of 2020 despite the pandemic in place.
This is what makes me #foreverhopeful