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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 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.
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).
The government of Canada has updated the settlement funds requirement for applicants under the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC). Candidates who receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) are not required to show settlement funds. In addition, candidates authorized to work in Canada and who have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada are not subject to the settlement funds requirement.
The latest Express Entry draw has continued two trends that have marked the recent history of the federal Canadian immigration selection system: the draws keep growing in size, and the number of Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points required in order for a candidate to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) continues to decrease. The latest draw, which took place the morning of January 25, issued ITAs to 3,508 candidates with 453 or more CRS points.
The province of Ontario has announced a new online application process for the French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The government of Ontario states that the new process will make it easier to apply to the stream and help to improve processing times for applicants.
The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) is experiencing delays in the processing of applications. The delays are attributed to a "significant number of applications," the province explained on its website.
The update added that the program continues "to prioritize applications from individuals who are working in New Brunswick or have a local job offer." Applicants who have an application currently in process are urged not to contact the province regarding the status of their application. Such inquiries will not be answered and will increase delays, the province explains. Finally, the update stated that all applicants would receive communication from the NBPNP once a decision is made on their application, although no time frame was given for this communication.
The government of Ontario has made a number of important announcements regarding its Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), one of Canada's Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Through these programs, provinces may welcome newcomers who will be able to settle into life in the region and effectively contribute to the community. As Canada's most populated province, Ontario continues to be a popular immigration destination.
A record-breaking number of Express Entry candidates for immigration to Canada were issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in a draw that took place on January 11, 2017. A total of 3,334 candidates with 459 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points were invited to apply. This is the first time the number of candidates issued an ITA has passed the 3,000 mark. In addition, it is the first time in almost a year that the CRS requirement has dipped below 460.
Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has appointed Somali-born Member of Parliament Ahmed Hussen to the position of Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Hussen replaces John McCallum, who is set to become Canada's ambassador to China. The move is one of many in a cabinet reshuffle that will see a number of ministers move department or leave cabinet altogether.
On January 9, 2017, Quebec’s Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil announced that, as of January 26, Quebec will stop receiving new requests for groups to privately sponsor refugees. While the province stated that this pause is temporary, no date has been announced for when the private refugee sponsorship program may resume receiving applications.
There was a flurry of activity in the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) over the final days of 2016, with two draws for its Skilled Worker immigration stream taking place on December 21 and December 30. In total, 316 Letters of Advice to Apply (LAAs) were issued to eligible candidates who had previously made a formal 'Expression of Interest' in immigrating to the province. These individuals may now submit an application for a provincial nomination certificate. With this certificate, the individual, as well as his or her accompanying family members, may then apply for Canadian permanent residence.
The International Skilled Worker – Express Entry sub-category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) re-opened for 500 new applications on January 4, 2017. Through this sub-category, eligible individuals who are already in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) 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.
On January 4, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued 2,902 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent immigration to Canada. This is the largest ever draw since the Express Entry system was launched in January, 2015.
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