Canadian immigration continued to gain popularity in 2020, owing largely to quick pandemic action and support for international students. Following major changes to Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) rules in fall 2020, you can expect more concessions as Canada attempts to reinvigorate immigration across its 10 provinces and three territories. Here are two latest updates to keep top of mind as we head into the new year.
Quebec increases processing fees
Applicants to provincial nomination programmes will pay slightly higher processing fees this year, but this is expected every year. Quebec has increased fees for the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI) services by 1.26% this year, according to annual hikes based on the average all-items consumer price index.
So from Jan. 1, 2021, those applying as skilled workers will pay 822 Canadian dollars instead of CA$812. Those applying for temporary worker and foreign student permit will fork out CA$205 instead of CA$202. Besides that, the fee for assessing and validating a job offer in Quebec has increased from CA$202 to CA$205, while comparative assessments for studies outside Quebec have increased from CA$121 to CA$123.
Bigger, better Express Entry draws
Travel restrictions slowed down Canadian immigration in 2020, so you can expect friendlier riendly measures in 2021. According to CIC News, this is why Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is holding the largest Express Entry draws since 2015, when the immigration system was launched. Canada sent out over 100,000 Express Entry invitations in 2020 — a record number, with 5,000 invitations being issued per draw.
That’s positive news for international students and graduate who have their sights set on Canadian immigration this year. Canada plans to welcome 1.2 million new permanent residents by 2023, as outlined in its Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023. You could be a part of this group, too. Check out our Canada country page to begin your exploration.
Special pathways for Hong Kong citizens
If you’re from Hong Kong, your prospects for Canadian immigration prospects is about to get a lot brighter. Canada will soon introduce two immigration pathways, which will allow you to apply for a three-year work permit or permanent residency.
Hongkongers who graduated from a recognised university in the past five years will soon be able to apply to work in Canada for up to three years. Further, Hong Kong citizens in Canada will be able to apply for permanent residency if they meet a new set of minimum requirements. This includes language and education requirements, as well as a minimum of one year of work experience in Canada.