Canada is taking steps to continue to attract global talent from around the world during a time of global efforts to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Canada’s federal and provincial governments operate more than 80 economic class immigration pathways today, plus many more pathways for those who arrive under the family or refugee classes, as well as international students, foreign workers, and visitors. The federal government also announced today (March 20, 2020) that its regularly scheduled bi-weekly Express Entry draw did, in fact, take place on Wednesday, March 18.
In recent days, Canada has announced special measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19, as well as to help those interested in moving to Canada as permanent residents or remaining in Canada as temporary residents.
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), individuals are still welcome to continue to submit their Express Entry profiles and permanent residence applications. It is also being more lenient towards temporary residence applicants.
IRCC has stated that it will not refuse applications for non-compliance and it will continue to process applications that are in progress at its case processing centres in Canada and around the world.
Moreover, when it comes time to submit biometrics, applicants will actually have 90 days to complete this step instead of the usual 30 days.
More time for permanent residence applications
If an Express Entry candidate who is invited to apply for permanent residence is unable to submit a completed application before their allotted 60 days are up, they are eligible to provide an explanation to IRCC as to why they are not able to submit all of their required documents. IRCC has the discretion to provide such applicants with a 90-day extension to gather and submit all necessary documents.
Holders of a confirmation of permanent residence can also apply for an extension to their deadline to come to Canada. They simply need to communicate with IRCC via the IRCC web form.
How you can prepare your immigration application in the meantime
Candidates interested in submitting their Express Entry profile or permanent residence application may be affected by some disruptions for the time being. This should not, however, stop them from preparing their documents to the best of their abilities.
For instance, some candidates may not be able to obtain language test results quickly because some language testing centres are experiencing disruptions. However, candidates who are waiting to write their tests can use this opportunity to spend more time preparing for the language test to increase their chances of getting a higher test score.
Securing a strong test score can translate into big points for Express Entry candidates. Candidates can also use this time to begin collecting many of the other supporting documents they may need to submit an Express Entry profile or provincial or federal application in the future.
Canada to welcome over one million immigrants in the next three years
The coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly creating some challenges but it is important not to lose sight of the big picture. Canada remains open to global talent and recently announced its 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan whereby it is targeting the admissions of over one million new permanent residents over the coming three years.
The plan provides IRCC with plenty of flexibility, including the ability to welcome even more immigrants than its targets. For instance, Canada can welcome up to 390,000 immigrants by 2022.
This suggests that Canada’s doors may swing open even further once COVID-19 concerns have been addressed.
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