A view of Toronto from Lake Ontario

As of February 21, 2017, Ontario has reopened three popular streams of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP): the Human Capital Priorities Stream, the International Masters Graduate Stream, and the International PhD Graduate Stream. The province has introduced a new online application system for these streams, which is expected to improve customer service and processing times, in addition to simplifying the application process.

Downtown Vancouver on a Fall day

More and more workers, international graduates, and entrepreneurs are being given the opportunity to make British Columbia (BC) their new home. The latest British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) draws, which took place on February 17, saw a total of 459 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued, of which 19 were issued to candidates in the Entrepreneur Immigration stream. The remaining 440 ITAs were divided among various categories of the Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC streams, which are managed under the province's unique Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS).

Montreal is set to become a sanctuary city

Canada's second-largest city, Montreal, will vote on Monday on whether the city should be designated a "sanctuary city." If the city council approves the idea, as is expected, Montreal will join other Canadian cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Hamilton, which have official policies not to discriminate against undocumented immigrants and refugees by denying them services. Moreover, sanctuary cities also pledge not to use immigration status, or lack thereof, as a pretext to arrest or deport individuals if they come into contact with law enforcement on non-criminal offences such as parking tickets.

A bridge over a river in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

The popular International Skilled Worker – Express Entry sub-category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) has reopened for 500 new applications, as February 14, 2017.

Through this sub-category, eligible candidates in the federal Express Entry pool may apply for a provincial nomination certificate from Saskatchewan. A provincial nomination certificate through this sub-category gives the candidate 600 additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), and that candidate will then be in line for selection at a subsequent draw from the pool.

A diverse group of students studying together

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated the process for international students who are applying for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work on-campus. As of February 10, 2017, international students no longer need an employment contract to apply for a SIN.

The latest Express Entry draw was the largest ever

The latest Express Entry draw for immigration to Canada has broken new ground, with the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) point threshold dipping below the 450 mark for the first time ever. In total, 3,664 candidates in the pool with 447 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points were issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence on February 8, 2017.

A map of Nova Scotia, Canada

The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration is boasting record immigration numbers to the province, with many skilled workers, entrepreneurs, refugees, and family member of Canadian citizens and permanent residents having made a new home in the province. Overall, preliminary figures for last year to the end of October reveal that 4,835 newcomers arrived in Nova Scotia, the highest intake in decades.

White Rock in British Columbia, Canada

The first immigration draw of the year under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) has taken place, with 457 candidates having been issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to the BC PNP on February 3. These candidates had previously created a profile in BC's unique Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS), a mechanism that allows the province to rank and select potential newcomers across a range of sub-categories.

A group of workers

The government of Canada's upcoming federal budget will include long-awaited reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), according to Employment Minister Patty Hajdu. Reforming the program has been a priority since the Liberal government took office 15 months ago.

A sign at the Canadian border in Niagara Falls

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the government department which oversees immigration and refugee affairs in Canada, has introduced a temporary public policy concerning certain foreign nationals who are affected by an Executive Order signed by U.S. President Trump on January 27, 2017. Under the temporary public policy, the government of Canada may allow foreign nationals affected the by the U.S. Executive Order to apply for temporary status in Canada, or to extend their stay.

Building blocks spelling the word fraud

A widespread rumour that Canada is due to begin a new immigration lottery, similar to the DV visa lottery in the United States, is untrue. The story stems from an article published online that citizens from 16 countries could apply as of March 1, 2017.

The flags of Manitoba and Canada waving

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) has performed the first 'Expression of Interest' (EOI) draw for skilled immigrants of 2017, the 26th since the system was first launched in 2015. The draw took place on January 27, when a total of 189 candidates who had previously submitted an EOI to the program were invited to apply based on their credentials under Manitoba's unique immigration points system. These candidates were issued a Letter of Advice to Apply (LAA), more informally known as an invitation.

A view of a coastal town in Nova Scotia, Canada

On January 27, 2017, the government of Canada unveiled its Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. First announced on July 4, 2016, the plan is part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, and sets out key immigration objectives for the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador (collectively, Atlantic Canada).