Canada | Immigration | Canada’s travel restrictions extended till October 31.

A recent Canadian Government Order in Council states that travel restrictions on coronavirus travel will be extended until October 31. The decision was taken in the wake of an increase in coronavirus caseloads.

Canada’s borders were closed initially from March 18 to June 30. Travel limitations have been carried out on a monthly basis since then.

For non-essential purposes, such as tourism, or entertainment, the border is closed to international travellers who come to Canada.

Some persons are excluded from restrictions on travel, such as:

  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents (including dual citizens);
  • Individuals who have been approved for permanent Canadian residence;
  • Certain  temporary foreign workers;
  • Certain foreign pupils
  • Protected persons.
  • Instant family members of Canadians; or
  • Anyone else who falls under the exemptions on the website of the government.

Anyone crossing the Canadian border is also expected to be in quarantine for 14 days. The only exemptions to the provision for compulsory quarantine are:

  • Members of the crew;
  • Individuals invited by the Minister of Health to assist with the COVID-19 response and other health workers;
  • Visiting force members who are coming to work;
  • Individuals who come to obtain medical care within 36 hours of arrival;
  • Border crossing in a trans-border community;
  • People who cross into Canada on a “vessel” for research purposes as long as they remain on the vessel; and
  • Other situations referred to in the Council Order.

Canada has a separate order in effect that has since March also prohibited cross-border travel between it and the U.S. However, earlier this month, this order also extended again.

In view of the increasing COVID-19 cases in Canada and abroad, the decision to expand Canada’s travel restrictions is no surprise.

Canada’s coronavirus cases curve was able to flatten successfully during late May till August.  Since late August, however, COVID-19 cases have been steadily growing.

Ontario and Quebec, Canada’s largest provinces have revealed more stringent steps in recent days. These steps try to minimise the considerably higher levels of COVID-19 cases they have encountered over the past month.

Canada continues to issue new permanent residence invitations amid this global pandemic. These invitations have been issued to individuals both currently living in Canada and abroad. But due to the pandemic, the number of individuals completing their permanent residence landing in Canada is much smaller than average.

Furthermore, the travel restrictions provide that only those who have obtained their permanent residence permit prior to 18 March are currently eligible for travel to Canada.

The ongoing Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws are intended in part to encourage the arrival of immigrants after the pandemic in support of Canada’s economy.

The Canadian government aims to continue welcoming global talent to boost economic growth in the country.

More clarification on the immigration plans of the Canadian government following the pandemic will be provided by two significant events in October.

Throughout the pandemic, Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, has made a number of remarks implying that immigration would be vital to the economic recovery of Canada.

Canada | PR Visa | PNP | Saskatchewan PNP draw: 535 Candidates received invitations

Saskatchewan held its new PNP draw on September 24, 2020. A total of  535 candidates invited to apply for Provincial Nomination.  A total of 621 candidates were invited in the previous draw that happened on September 15.

Applicants should have their profiles in the Federal Express Entry pool in order to be eligible to receive an invitation under ISW- Express Entry Category,

The candidates applying under the ISW- Occupations in demand subcategory, are not required to have their profiles registered in Express Entry pool 

ISW-Express Entry and ISW- Occupations in demand subcategories applicants were issued invitations in this draw.

Candidates that belong to 81 occupations including Senior Managers, Financial Managers, Construction millwrights and Industrial Mechanics, Sales Supervisors, Information Systems Analysts and Information Testing Technicians etc. were invited on September 24 Draw.

Summary of the recent SINP draw

Draw date: September 24, 2020.

Program: Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

Number of candidates invited: 535

The categories invited

International Skilled Worker (ISW)

Subcategories Invited

1.      ISW- Express Entry

                    Minimum score required under this Category: 82

                    Number of invitations issued: 278

                    Number of Candidates invited under this category so far this year: 2,245

2.      ISW- Occupations in Demand

                    Minimum score required under this Category: 82

                    Number of invitations issued: 257

                    Number of candidates invited this year so far under this category: 2,740

Canada | PR Visa | PNP | Manitoba PNP draw: 189 Candidates received invitations

Manitoba held its 99th PNP draw on September 24, 2020. In total, Manitoba has issued 189 Letters of Advice to Apply (LAAs) to candidates for immigration to apply for a provincial nomination for a permanent resident visa in Canada.

The previous draw held on September 10.  A total of 212 candidates were sent LAAs to apply for a provincial nomination in that draw.

Summary of the recent MPNP draw

Draw date: September 24, 2020.

Program: Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)

Draw Number: 99

Number of candidates invited: 189

The categories invited

1.         Skilled Workers in Manitoba

            Minimum score required under this Category: 464

            Number of invitations issued: 160

2.         Skilled Workers overseas

            Minimum score required under this Category: 847

            Number of invitations issued: 04

3.         International Education Stream

            Minimum score required under this Category: N/A

            Number of invitations issued: 25

Number of Invitations/LAA’s issued so far this year: 3700

Out of the 189 invitations sent, 18 candidates received LAAs whose profile is in Express entry with a valid Express Entry ID and Jobseeker validation code.     

Canada | Immigration | The Government of New Brunswick aims to boost Newcomers

The New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Party led by Blaine Higgs came to power after winning the recent provincial general elections held on September 14.  The party has promised to increase immigration to the province to help grow the population and economy.

As a result of policies proposed by the Progressive Conservative Party, New Brunswick could profit from an increase in the number of newcomers over the next three years.

The premier, Blaine Higgs pledged to continue the five-year action plan of his government on population growth during the election campaign. The government had already announced its objective of attracting 7,500 immigrants every year by 2024. This is the maximum numbers permitted by the federal government.

The ambition of the Liberal Party over the next decade is to welcome 10,000 new immigrants per year. On the other hand, the Progressive Conservative Party told that by 2027, its goal is to attract 10,000 people per year to the province. Both the major parties promised strong immigration flows during their election campaigns.

The province wants to raise the number of francophone immigrants through the Provincial Nominee Program to support the growth of the francophone culture. The platform of the party sets a goal that would allow 33% of the population to be made up of Francophone immigrants by 2024.

This objective reflects the proportion of Francophones in the population of New Brunswick was intended to be achieved this year. But it has been postponed and is now being re-established.

Higgs says, attracting families to the province while also encouraging them to stay is the key to increasing the population. The party set a retention rate target of 75 per cent for the next five years within its platform.

Another goal of the party is to work with higher learning institutions and professional associations to attract foreign students, professionals, skilled workers. The province wants to maintain young people population in it. The party promises to continue investing in experiential learning initiatives, such as FutureNB, which has already helped 240 employers connect with more than 1,000 students.

Due to the lack of skilled workers, New Brunswick is facing labour shortages. According to provincial government projections, over the next ten years, some 120,000 jobs will remain unfilled. An acute shortage of skilled workers in the province has been created by a few factors. The low birth rate, the growth of the elderly population, and the rate of youth migration.

New Brunswick plans to continue to depend on immigrants in order to increase its population. As newcomers have helped the province see the longest period of sustained growth since the 1990s. Migrating large numbers of people to the province will contribute to population growth. Thus it will help meet the needs of the labour market.

The Premier earlier in January stated that in order to promote immigration to New Brunswick, the province would open offices in India and Europe. The objective of this initiative is to draw foreign workers and investors interested in New Brunswick.

Opportunities New Brunswick is the government’s business development agency. It is committed to attracting businesses in the prominent sectors such as cybersecurity, digital health, and energy innovation in the upcoming years stated the premier Higgs.

Canada | Study Permit | International Students Update | 56,000 Study permits issued in the first stage

Immigration Minister of Canada Marco Mendicino made two noteworthy disclosures in a recent webinar. The revelations made during an international student update. 

Firstly, Mendicino reported that for study permit applications, Canada has already issued 56,000 first-stage approvals. 

Second, the minister announced that during the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government, led by Health Canada, is continuing to work with designated learning institutions (DLIs) to determine how they can physically welcome foreign students to their campuses.

It is being ensured that each designated learning institution (DLI) fulfils the public health requirements of the province and territory they are located. The health and safety of foreign as well as Canadian students will be covered by this strategy.

Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) are universities, colleges and other educational institutions that have gained permission from the federal and provincial governments to admit foreign students. During the pandemic, some DLIs showed an interest in accepting foreign students. However, most foreign students are currently unable to fly to the country due to Canada’s travel restrictions.

Talks between, Provinces and territories, DLIs and Health Canada aim to decide whether DLIs can safely establish quarantine and socially distancing plans that would allow them in the coming months to potentially welcome international students. 

As per present Canadian law, most travellers must be in quarantine immediately upon arrival in Canada for 14 days. Further, provinces and territories across Canada have stringent social distancing measures in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

In the meantime, a number of significant policy changes have been announced by Canada to encourage foreign students to pursue their Canadian studies despite the pandemic. 

Among the changes, Canada announced a two-step study permit process in this summer. This to offer assurance to students so that they can start their studies while overseas.

Further, foreign students can study online while abroad. Yet, they still are eligible to work in Canada under a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) once the pandemic is over.

The minister announced that so far, 56,000 foreign students have been approved for a stage one study permit. This implies that, after reviewing each applicant’s letter of acceptance from the DLI, proof of funds that they can financially support themselves and their studies,Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has provided students with approval, among other requirements.

In order to get stage two study permit approval, students need to complete a medical test, criminal background check, and biometrics before travelling to Canada.