AGRI - Continued Operation in Other Economic Streams - May 22, 2020
IRCC continues to accept and process permanent resident applications at this time, though we recognize that service disruptions and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 may have an impact on processing times.
We also know that applicants may not be able to provide all the required documents for complete applications at this time. We have taken facilitative measures by not refusing applications for being incomplete or for missing a deadline for submitting documents.
Recognizing that Canada will continue to face longer-term demographics and labour market challenges, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has continued to hold Express Entry draws and invite applicants to apply for permanent residence.
These draws have been targeting Canadian Experience Class applicants, the majority of whom are already in Canada, and Provincial Nominees, whom provinces have identified as newcomers with the needed skills in their local labour market.
After the travel restrictions were put in place, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada prioritized applications for temporary foreign workers, such as seasonal agricultural workers and seafood workers, in order to safeguard food security for Canadians during the pandemic.
Permanent resident applicants who were approved before March 18, 2020, international students holding valid study permits approved before March 18, 2020, and temporary foreign workers travelling for a non-discretionary purpose, who are travelling from a country other than the United States, are exempted from the travel restrictions. Foreign nationals coming from the United States for a purpose that is not optional or discretionary are also exempted from the travel restrictions.
While the Department is prioritizing applications related to critical services and labour market needs, some permanent resident applications continue to be processed at a reduced capacity, mainly those submitted electronically through the Express Entry system.
Service disruptions and restrictions due to COVID-19 will have an impact on processing times.
A number of factors will contribute to low permanent residents admissions, including inability of applicants to obtain key documents to support their application, as well as the travel restrictions.
Express Entry Rounds of Invitation have continued, inviting higher skilled individuals, mainly those already in Canada with Canadian work and/or study experience, or those nominated by Provinces/Territories. From January 1 to May 1, 2020, approximately 34,300 invitations were issued.
Individuals invited to apply now have 90 days to submit their application (they previously had 60 days pre-COVID).
IRCC is monitoring the Express Entry pool and operational capacity closely, before issuing invitations in the Federal Skilled Workers or Federal Skilled Trades Program.
Provincial and Municipal Economic Programs
IRCC is working with provinces and territories to make sure that applicants continue to meet economic development and labour market needs.
Many Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot community partners have started recommending candidates, and the remaining communities are expected to soon begin in 2020.
The Government launched the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot on May 15, 2020.
Number of Permanent Resident Admissions
To the extent possible, the Department has continued to process permanent resident applications to support admissions and is relying on several measures to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.
The travel restriction includes an exemption for permanent residents applicants located overseas whose applications were approved prior to March 18, 2020. By travelling to Canada, they can confirm their permanent resident status.
For approved permanent resident applicants who are already in Canada, a new process to grant permanent resident status virtually (without going to an IRCC office) has been developed, and was implemented on April 20, 2020.
From the beginning of the restrictions on March 18 to April 30, 2020, approximately 5,200 individuals became permanent residents. Many of these were facilitated by the virtual process to grant permanent resident status to recently approved clients.
From January 1 to April 30, 2020, the Department confirmed permanent resident status for over 73,000 permanent residents’ applications. This includes in-person and virtual landings for in-Canada clients, as well as landings at ports of entry.
Supporting facts and figures
Of all permanent resident admissions so far in 2020, 60% (over 44,000) were in the Economic Class.
The Government of Canada works closely with provinces and territories, economic development partners, and industry to attract and retain economic immigrants, and ensure that all areas of the country benefit from immigration.
The goal of the Provincial Nominee Program and Atlantic Immigration Pilot is to respond to regional and local labour market needs, while spreading the benefits of immigration across the country.
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