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Immigration to Canada - Step by step plan for 2021

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The only time Canada received more than 400,000 immigrants a year was in 1913 when it received 401,000 new arrivals. They have never approached that figure again.

In October 2020, Canada announced its Immigration Plan for 2021-2023. Canada will be targeting the highest immigration rate in its history.

Over the next three years, Canada will seek to welcome the next level of new permanent residents:

  • 2021: 401,000 immigrants
  • 2022: 411,000 immigrants
  • 2023: 421,000 immigrants

The only time Canada received more than 400,000 immigrants a year was in 1913 when it received 401,000 new arrivals. They have never approached that figure again.

The Immigration Levels Plan for 2021-2023 aims to accept about 60 percent of all immigrants in economy class programs, including the Express Entry and Provincial Nominees Program.

The Immigration Levels Plan is the most critical immigration announcement that the Canadian government makes each year. It describes the number of new permanent residents that Canada intends to accept in the coming years and the categories under which Canada wants to accept them. 

Canada welcomes immigrants in the following categories: economic, family, refugee, humanitarian, and compassionate grounds.

The New Canadian Immigration Levels Plan
There are some essential takeaways from the new Canadian immigration plan.

The most ambitious plan in Canadian history
Since 1913, when Canada accepted 401,000 new immigrants, the country has not crossed the 400,000 thresholds. Now Canada intends to cross this threshold every year.

Immigration advocates and hopeful newcomers have been waiting to see if the impact of COVID-19 will lead to a decline in immigration to Canada, but it doesn't seem to. 

Instead, Canada is assured to welcome 1,233,000 new permanent residents in the next three years. These figures also consider new permanent residents; hundreds of thousands of temporary residents — students, workers, and visitors- will again come to Canada each year.

The majority of new permanent residents will probably come through economic pathways
Nearly 60 percent of the new permanent residents will probably arrive through economic immigration routes that prioritize skilled workers and their families.

It is in line with Canada's plans for immigration levels over the past few years. Over 100,000 of these immigrants will arrive each year through Canada's popular Rapid Entry system (an all-time high) and about 80,000 more through Provincial Nomination Programs( PNPS), which allow provinces and territories to nominate newcomers who meet their specific economic and demographic needs.

Targets for family sponsorship immigration have increased
Canadian citizens and permanent residents can often sponsor their spouse, civil partner, and dependent children for Canadian immigration. 

Family reunification has always been considered a pillar of Canadian immigration policy, so it's no surprise that targets remain high at around 80,000 new annual admissions.

Notable, however, is the increase in the target for parent and grandparent sponsorship. The government recently announced its goal of accepting more than 30,000 new applications under the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) in 2021, another record high that will see about 24,000 people admitted annually over three years.

Higher targets for refugees and asylum seekers
Contrary to the global trend among other developed countries, Canada doubles its reputation for welcoming refugees and asylum seekers in quite large numbers. 

The Canadian immigration plan for 2021-2023 provides for the annual granting of permanent resident status to approximately 60,000 such persons, an all-time high for modern times. 

More than one-third of the accepted refugees will be privately funded, and the same number of protected persons in Canada plus their family members will receive permanent residence. Most of the rest will be funded by the government.

How can I immigrate to Canada?
It is not yet known what numbers will be allocated to the various immigration programs and pilots. Around 60% of the annual target should be allocated to the Economy Class program's economic immigration programs. If the story is true, the Express Entry System should accept the lion's share of invitations to apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

The expansion of programs such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot should also be seen. It has successfully attracted immigrants of all skill levels to the region. The program that should ultimately lead to you being issued an ITA ultimately depends on where you want to live and your profession. It would help if you considered some of the following immigration programs to get an idea of where you can fit in.

Express entry program
A Canadian immigration program allows immigrants to live and work in Canada as skilled workers through the Express Entry route. 

The new system should allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to evaluate, recruit actively, and select immigrants who are qualified and have relevant qualifications under federal economic immigration programs:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Express Entry program should also allow individual provinces and territories to use the system to recruit suitable candidates in Provincial Nomination Programs to meet the labor market's needs.

The family class sponsorship option
Family reunification remains a highlight of Canada's immigration policy. Any family in Canada can sponsor their relatives to come to Canada permanently. To be able to sponsor your relative, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. 

You can also sponsor your spouse or child under 22 years (there are some exceptions to this rule). Sponsoring your parents or grandparents is currently no longer an option. However, you could bring them to Canada under the Super Visa option.

LMIA Work Visa
Many applicants for Canadian immigration first receive Canadian job offers, apply for a work visa, and then immigrate to Canada on that basis. An LMIA involves obtaining a Canadian job offer when a Canadian employer applies for an LMIA through Service Canada. 

The applicant can then apply for a work permit after the LMIA is approved. It is a very complex process, but it can lead to permanent residence in Canada.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
The PNP route is becoming an increasingly attractive way to immigrate to Canada. Canadian provinces such as Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, and others have developed their immigration programs, often resulting in a fast-track process. 

However, the PNP category usually requires applicants to reside in their respective provinces after arriving in Canada. Also, most PNPs require a job offer from a Canadian employer to qualify. Here are some of the programs for each province:

  • Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
  • British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)
  • Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
  • New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
  • Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSPNP)
  • Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
  • Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
  • Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
  • Quebec Skilled Workers Program (QSWP)
  • Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
  • Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)

Canadian investor immigration option
The investor category is intended for wealthy individuals who have owned or operated a business abroad. Allowing very experienced business people to invest in the Canadian economy contributes to Canada's overall growth and prosperity. 

In Canada, there are essentially two investor programs: the Federal Investor Program and the Quebec Program. Both programs are somewhat similar and require applicants to have high net worth and make large investments in an approved investment fund for five years. 

Immigrant investors can bring their spouses and children as dependents on their applications.

As of June 2014, applications are still lagging behind the federal immigrant Investor program, and the Entrepreneur program has been discontinued. The Quebec Investor Program and the Quebec Entrepreneur Program were not affected.

Other options for moving to Canada
There are a few other ways to obtain Canadian immigration. Here are a few more options:

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) option
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is a program that allows people who have worked in Canada for at least a year to immigrate permanently.

Humanitarian and Compassionate Application option
Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications, or "H&Cs," are Canadian permanent residency applications submitted from Canada. They are intended for people who do not have legal status in Canada but have still made Canada their home.

Refugee claims
Individuals can apply for asylum in Canada at the port of entry or the internal office of the CBSA or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). They must demonstrate why they cannot return to their homeland.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP) recruits newcomers to the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Labrador. These provinces can fill the labor force gaps with immigrants with relevant work experience.

Key takeaways
Overall, Canada's Immigration Plan for 2020-2023 is an ambitious project.

"We strongly believe in building Canada through immigration. Immigration is helping us survive the pandemic and will be the key to both our short-term economic recovery and long-term prosperity," said Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino ahead of the publication of the Immigration Plan for 2020-2023.

"That is why we must continue to grow steadily, responsibly, to ensure Canada's success in the future."

However, applying for permanent residence in Canada can be time-consuming and confusing. With strict deadlines, procedures, and compliance requirements, it can be easy to make a mistake that could cost you the chance to immigrate to Canada.

If you feel confused and stressed about all this information, try finding a regulated Canadian immigration consultant. With the help of a knowledgeable RCIC Canada, it should be much more straightforward, and the entire immigration process should be stress-free.


Photo by garrett parker on Unsplash

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