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).

Canadian currency, including a ten dollar note, a twenty dollar note, and a fifty dollar note

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.

A bold image of the flag of Canada

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 flags of Franco-Ontario and Canada blowing in the wind

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.