CACN - Continued Operations in Other Economic Streams - Nov 16, 2020
- IRCC has continued to process permanent residence applications, to the extent possible, in order to limit the buildup of a large inventory of applications when the travel restrictions are lifted.
- As of the end of October, around 90,000 permanent resident admissions were in the Economic Class out of around 145,000 total admission accounting for 62% of overall admissions in 2020.
- The majority of approved permanent resident applicants who are already in Canada and have no accompanying family members abroad can now have their status confirmed virtually (without an in-person interview).
- We are giving permanent resident (PR) applicants more time to complete all the steps in the process, such as giving their biometrics and no application will be refused if the applicant is unable to provide the required documents within the additional time.
The Department has continued to hold Express Entry draws and invite applicants to apply for permanent residence.
- IRCC continues to process economic PR applications, for foreign nationals seeking entry from countries other than the US. Only PR applicants who have a valid confirmation of their PR status on or before March 18, 2020, are eligible to travel to Canada from countries other than the US, provided they are coming to settle permanently in Canada.
- Those who have received a confirmation of PR status after March 18, 2020 may also be eligible to travel to Canada if they are coming from the United States and seeking to enter Canada for non-discretionary purpose, such as for compassionate reasons, if they intend to remain in Canada for more than 15 days. They may also be eligible to enter from overseas if they meet the immediate or extended family member exemptions.
- While the Department is prioritizing work permit applications related to critical services and labour market needs, economic permanent resident applications continue to be processed.
- Service disruptions and restrictions due to COVID-19, as well as more flexibility around submission of supporting documents will all have an impact on processing times.
- A number of factors will contribute to low permanent resident admissions, including the inability of applicants to obtain key documents to support their application. This is in addition to travel restrictions preventing the entry to Canada as well as other limitations. This includes travel restrictions in other countries, reduced availability of options for international transportation, and the hesitation of applicants to travel at this time.
- As part of my Department’s business reintegration efforts, we are prioritizing scanning and digitizing paper applications into our system to allow those working remotely to continue to process applications. Mailroom functions as well as identification and processing of priority applications also continue.
- Since March 13, 2020, most visa offices located outside of Canada have been affected to a certain degree by the global pandemic, and have undergone service interruptions, which have limited IRCC’s capacity to conduct client interviews and to validate supporting documents and identity verification to support the finalization of applications.
- Express Entry Rounds of Invitation have continued, inviting higher skilled individuals, mainly those already in Canada with Canadian work experience, or those nominated by provinces/ territories. From January 1 to October 14, 82,850 invitations were issued.
- Since July, the Department has resumed inviting more clients residing overseas by running Express Entry generic rounds to prepare for resumption of travel.
- Individuals invited to apply now have 90 days to submit their application (previously 60 days).
- The Department is monitoring the Express Entry pool and our operational capacity closely, before issuing invitations to apply.
Provincial and Municipal Economic Programs
- The Department is working with provinces and territories to ensure jurisdiction’s immigration programs continue to meet economic development and labour market needs.
- IRCC continues to maintain a dynamic approach to economic immigration programming by adapting to a constantly changing economic landscape.
- Recently, my Department has allowed provinces and territories to request some flexibilities in processing applications impacted by COVID-19, where applicants are filling labour market needs that will support economic recovery. IRCC is committed to actively engaging our provincial and territorial counterparts on this program.
- The Department is working with provinces and territories, regions, employers, and communities to develop and implement economic immigration pilots, such as the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, the Municipal Nominee Pilot Program, and the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot that test policy objectives and methods of immigration program delivery, to understand the factors that are important for retention of newcomers in regions outside of major cities.
- These pilots maintain a level of flexibility and innovation so the federal government, provinces and communities can prioritize the sectors and/or occupations that they identify as being most important to meet their economic development and labour needs, including to support efforts to fill labour gaps resulting from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Number of Permanent Resident Admissions
- To the extent possible, the Department has continued to process permanent resident applications to support admissions, and is employing various measures to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on admissions levels.
- Travel restrictions include an exemption for permanent residents applicants located overseas whose applications were approved on or prior to March 18, 2020, that they are coming to Canada to settle permanently and are able to quarantine for 14 days. By travelling to Canada, they can confirm their permanent resident status upon entry.
- IRCC and the CBSA reached an agreement to facilitate travel for PR applicants who were not able to travel to Canada before their confirmation of permanent residence (CoPR) expired. An alternative approach has been developed to allow clients to travel to Canada using their expired CoPR document, along with an authorization letter from IRCC advising that the CoPR validity has been extended in GCMS, but not reprinted.
- On March 16, 2020, in-Canada landing appointments were cancelled in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. In order to continue to grant permanent residence to clients, the Department has implemented alternate procedures to enable permanent residence to be granted without the need for an in-person interview for in-Canada clients. This is enabled by the temporary public policy exempting clients from the requirement to present a visa in person to an officer at a local office or at a port of entry (POE). Officers still have discretion to conduct interviews over the telephone or in person before granting permanent resident status.
- From January 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, there were almost 143,200 permanent resident admissions from all categories; this includes 42,200 virtual landings, which began on April 20, 2020.
Supporting Facts and Figures
- Of all permanent resident admissions so far in 2020, as of the end of October, 62% (almost 90,000) were in the Economic Class.
Regional Economic Pilots
- As of August 31, 2020, 1,305 permanent residents were admitted under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot.
- 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 regional economic programs and pilots is to contribute to regional economic growth by responding to regional and local labour market needs, thereby spreading the benefits of immigration across the country.
Regional Economic Pilots
- IRCC recognizes that engaging partners, such as provinces and territories, communities, and employers, in developing and experimenting with different strategies and approaches to complex immigration problems can result in better solutions, and in particular an increased ability to attract and retain economic immigrants.
- The Atlantic Immigration Pilot, and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot allow regional partners and stakeholders to align immigration with their economic and demographic objectives.
- While admissions under these pilots are small, relative to IRCC’s overall annual admissions, these innovative initiatives are invaluable tools to testing new approaches to immigration. Lessons learned from the pilots are used to enhance all of IRCC’s programming.
- The Provincial Nominee Program enables provinces and territories to create immigration streams to nominate immigrants who meet local labour market and economic needs and who have skills and experiences that will increase their likelihood of residing and economically establishing in their region.
- Currently, 11 jurisdictions have Provincial Nominee agreements in place with over 70 different immigration streams targeting workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs. As of 2019, the PNP was the second largest economic immigration program stream.
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