Do you doubt whether Canada will achieve its high Canada immigration targets set for the next couple of years and beyond that? Let’s tell you why you should think more positively. You must in fact anticipate that the aim of welcoming 401,000 new immigrants in the years starting 2021 could very well be achievable as the performance in immigration Canada is showing indicates.
On February 13, 2021, Canada held an Express Entry draw with invites to apply for Canada PR sent to a whopping 27,332 candidates. This one surprise event itself shows that the Canadian government means it when it talks about achieving a huge target like the one it has in hand.
Till March 2020, Canada was inviting around 3,500 new immigration candidates in each Express Entry draw. The CRS score requirement was around 470. However, towards the end of 2020, Canada invited a record-breaking 5,000 candidates in the Express Entry draw. Up till Christmas 2020, this was repeated 4 times.
Fast forward to the February 13 Express Entry draw. The draw was phenomenal not just by its size, but by the lowest ever requirement for CRS: 75 points. Moreover, the draw took place on a Saturday unlike the normal practice of conducting them on weekdays.
Whoever got the invite has 90 days to submit a full application for a Canada PR visa.
Now, there’s a reason for the huge number of invites issued in the February 13 draw. About 90% of the candidates who received invites in this draw were CEC candidates. These are the people already living in Canada, with experience of doing work in Canada, and readily available without any hassles of travel restrictions as with overseas candidates.
Hence, from an operational perspective, choosing them meant fewer difficulties with procedures after receiving an ITA, which includes:
- Collecting and submitting documents
- Submitting biometrics
- Getting clearances from police and health officials
- Traveling to Canada
Before COVID-19, those living in Canada receiving the ITA had to first exit the Canadian border and re-enter the country to activate their new Canada PR. Given the difficulties in doing all that during the COVID-19 period, the February 13 draw made a very smart decision to choose candidates available in Canada.
Moreover, with enough experience of study and work in Canada, these candidates are willing to stay on as residents in Canada. Their merging into the Canadian society and environment will be much easier. The transition will be smooth.
In Canada Immigration Levels plan is planning to get immigrants in the following manner in the years to come:
- 60% from the economic class
- 25% from the family class
- 15% from the refugee and humanitarian class
So, considering this, we may be able to explain how the high immigration target could be achieved.
This year Canada is planning to invite 108,500 new immigrants via Express Entry draw. Already, IRCC has issued 37,986 ITAs. If IRCC could issue another 30,000 ITAs within the coming 2 months, they have a solid chance to realize their target by the end of 2021. For this, IRCC will have to issue 5,000 ITAs in bi-weekly immigration draws till April 2021 from now.
In all, to achieve the target of 401,500, new immigrants will have to be invited in the following numbers under different immigration programs:
- PNP – 80,800
- AIP and similar federal programs – 15,500
- Quebec’s economic class immigrants – 30,000
With increased PNP allocations granted by the IRCC, the provinces can invite as many candidates as possible from those who already reside in Canada. They will be invited via PNP streams that are aligned with Express Entry.
Except for AIP, other provinces take from 6 months (most economic class programs) to 2 years (PNP & Quebec) to process applications for immigration. That means, there will be a need to speed up the processing of files that do not belong to purely Express Entry immigration received from candidates in Canada.
A rehashing of eligibility criteria can do a lot towards improving the attempts to reaching the high immigration goals.
Coming to refugee and family class immigration, Canada has set a target of 103,500 new immigrants for 2021. The target number for refugees and humanitarian categories is 66,000.
Since the family class is exempted from travel restrictions, the family class target is easier to achieve. However, speeding up the processing of applications for spousal immigration could be a necessary step for Canada. The reason? Spousal applications form the majority of family class applications received by the IRCC. That’s also why Canada processed 6,000 spousal applications monthly at the end of 2020.
However, achieving the target for humanitarian and refugee targets could be difficult as travel restrictions will act as a major impediment for these immigrants from overseas locations.
Creating new economic class pathways for those who have the experience of working in Canada could be a good way to address Canada’s immigration concern. Those including asylum claimants could be helped to make the transition to becoming a Canadian permanent resident. Recently, Canada launched an economic class program for asylum claimants who were active on the frontlines, working in the fight against COVID-19.
Nevertheless, Canada will also be expecting a considerable number of skilled overseas candidates. Canada knows that such individuals will prove highly contributory to garnering support for the objectives of the country for economic and social spheres.
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PR – Permanent Residence
ITA – Invitation to Apply
CRS – Comprehensive Ranking System
PNP – Provincial Nominee Program
AIP – Atlantic Immigration Pilot