Permanent Resident Cards: How to Renew and What to Do Outside Canada

Did you know that Canada is aiming to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021? The federal government of Canada can do this by launching 6 new permanent residency streams for international student graduates and essential workers. They also have Express Entry draws throughout the year for applications with Canadian work experience.

If you are a permanent resident and you’re considering traveling outside Canada, there are some things you need to be aware of. In most cases, you’ll need valid permanent resident (PR) card to return to Canada.

Before you travel, you should check to ensure that your permanent resident card is valid and consider renewing if it is close its’ expiry date. Keep on reading for everything you need to know on how to renew your card and what happens if you’re traveling without a PR card.

What Are Permanent Resident Cards?

A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by the government of Canada. 

There is a difference between temporary workers or students and permanent residents. Temporary residents include students or foreign workers. They are not considered permanent residents and don’t have the benefits of permanent resident status

Permanent residents are able to live, work and study anywhere in Canada without needing to apply for authorization. They are also eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship upon meeting residency requirements. 

Permanent residents cannot vote or run for political office however, nor can they hold jobs that require a high-level security clearance.

Permanent resident cards are proof of your permanent residence status. If you travel outside of Canada, you need to show your Permanent Resident card to be able to come back into Canada. This applies when you’re using a “commercial vehicle”, including an airplane, boat, train, or bus.  

If you’re considering applying for permanent residency status, you can consider some of the new international graduates and essential worker’s streams. New streams are being offered by the government throughout the year. These include streams for economic class skilled workers, professionals, or those with Canadian work experience.  

Renewing Permanent Resident Cards

Most permanent resident cards are valid for 5 years. Some cards may be valid for one year, so make sure to confirm when your permanent resident card expires. Remember you don’t lose your permanent resident status when your permanent resident expires.

If your permanent resident card is expired or will expire in less than 9 months, then you should apply for a new card. The new card will have a new expiration date. It costs $50 to renew a permanent resident card.

To apply, get the application package online. This package includes the forms and guides that you need to be able to renew your permanent resident card. You will need to submit:

  • A photocopy of your old permanent resident card
  • A clear copy of your passport
  • 2 photos based on specific requirements 
  • Any other documents listed in the Document Checklist in the application package
  • A copy of the receipt for the processing fee
  • A solemn declaration (if your PR card was lost, stolen, or destroyed)

The photos must be taken by a commercial photographer. They should be sized 50 mm x 70 mm with a neutral facial expression. 

If you’re renewing your card, keep your old card with you, and just send a photocopy of the old card in your application. If you’re applying to replace your card because it’s damaged or has the wrong information, then submit your old card in your application.

Replacing Permanent Resident Cards

If your permanent resident card is lost, stolen, or destroyed, before you apply online, you need to tell the government what happened. This can be done online by following these conditions: 

  • Choose “Tell us more”
  • Answer “No”
  • Click on “Proceed to Web Form”
  • Choose “Permanent resident card” and “Renewal and Replacement”
  • Fill in your details

If you’re outside Canada, go to the nearest visa office and apply for the permanent resident travel card to return to Canada.

Processing Time for Permanent Resident Cards

If you’re going to be traveling soon, remember that it takes some time to process the renewal and replacement of permanent resident cards. Processing times vary for replacing or renewing a permanent resident card, so make sure to check the processing times online. 

You can apply to process your permanent resident card urgently. To quality for urgent processing, you must be traveling within the next 3 months because of:

  • Work or job opportunity
  • Your own or a family member’s serious illness
  • Death of a family member

Remember that this does not mean that you are guaranteed to get your permanent resident card on time. For the sake of your travel plans, make sure to renew ahead of time so you’re not dealing with tight deadlines.

Traveling Without a PR Card – How to Get a Permanent Resident Travel Document

If you are traveling and your PR Card expires, you can get a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTDs). PRTDs allows for a single entry to Canada. Since you can only apply for a permanent resident card inside Canada, you’ll need a PRTD to enter Canada.

To apply for a PRTD, you need to:

  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Not have a valid permanent resident card
  • Be outside Canada
  • Be returning to Canada by airplane, boat, train, or bus

When you apply for a PRTD, a visa officer will review your application. You must make sure to meet the permanent residency requirements. This means that you must have lived in Canada for 730 days during the last 5 years. These 730 days do not need to be continuous.

With the PRTD, you can enter Canada once and begin the process to renew your permanent resident card.

Contact Your Permanent Resident Cards Expert Today

Now you know everything you need to know about renewing or replacing your permanent resident cards. If you need further assistance with a permanent resident travel document, contact your immigration lawyers at Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers today.

Book your consultation by phone, Zoom, or Teams at your convenience. You can book a 30-minute or 60-minute consultation based on your needs. Our multicultural, multilingual immigration team can help you tackle all your permanent resident card issues.

Writ of Mandamus FAQ

Given significant Covid-19 related delays in the processing of visa and permanent residence applications, our Federal Court practice has seen significant mandamus application and we get many questions regarding this judicial remedy and this FAQ is designed to address some of the most common questions we get.

In addition to this FAQ, you can learn more about this topic in How Can a Writ of Mandamus Help With Your Immigration Application?

What is a Writ of Mandamus?

A writ of mandamus is a discretionary remedy which seeks to compel the performance of a public legal duty that is found either in a statutory provision or at common law.

How does this remedy relevant to my permanent or temporary residence visa application?

In the case of Canadian immigration related applications, a writ of mandamus is used to compel IRCC to make a decision with respect to a pending immigration application.

The writ is sought in the context of an Application for Leave and Judicial Review submitted to the Federal Court of Canada, asking the Court to order IRCC to issue a decision. While this may seem complicated or unattainable, this is actually our firm does with great success, in part due to our legal expertise and in part because of how essential the rule of law is to Canada.

Can I seek a Writ of Mandamus if I am Outside of Canada?


The writ of mandamus remedy is available to applicants who have submitted an immigration application to IRCC from inside or outside of Canada. You location or residence at the time the application is filed or when the matter is considered by the Federal Court is irrelevant.

Can I seek a Writ of Mandamus with respect to a temporary residence application such as a work or a study permit?

Absolutely, and we have helped clients get their work and study permit applications approved by filing a writ of mandamus.

Why Seek a Writ of Mandamus as opposed to submitting a Case-specific Inquiry asking IRCC to process the application?

IRCC is inundated with a large volume of case-specific inquiries — and, unfortunately, the majority are not properly considered. That means many people may be consistently left without the answers they need. And that can be frustrating, to say the least.

Seeking a writ of mandamus at the Federal Court forces IRCC to respond which in most Covid-19 related delays means that the client sees significant movement or an approval shortly after the Application for Leave and Judicial Review is filed. 

Will Filing a Mandamus Adversely Affect my Immigration Application?

As experienced Canadian immigration lawyers in Toronto, we’ve heard this question on countless occasions. In fact, it’s the one we are asked most frequently as clients are concerned about IRCC “punishing” them for taking them to court.

It’s understandable that anyone trying to apply for residence in Canada would feel concerned, but no: filing a mandamus will NOT adversely affect your application, and IRCC will not punish you.

The rule of law is fundamental to Canada as a country, and a writ mandamus is a legal remedy available to applicants who believe they have been subject to an unreasonable delay in the processing of their immigration application.

Can you tell us more about the actual mandamus process?

The writ of mandamus application follows the typical judicial review process and starts with the filing, issuance, and service of an Application for Leave and Judicial Review requesting a Writ of Mandamus. Amongst other things, the Application for Leave and Judicial Review sets out the key facts with respect to your case as well as the relief you are seeking. It is important to ensure that the prima facie case for a mandamus order are met and that the facts are presented in a clear and persuasive fashion.

You can find the steps of a judicial review process here. When it comes to Covid-19 related delays in processing permanent residence applications, this first step is often sufficient in pushing IRCC to continue and/or complete processing within 30-60 days of filing.

What do I need to do to start the mandamus process?

After we sign the retainer agreement and provide us with an advance to be held in our secure trust account, we start working on your matter.

It is important to note that you as our client do not need to do anything other than provide us with documents and instructions. We take care of the process of start to finish, and even if a hearing is scheduled (Covid-19 delay based cases rarely make it to this stage), you do not need to attend it, as judicial review hearings proceed based on the paper record before the Court.

Generally speaking, it takes our law firm between two to three business days from the receipt of the relevant documents to prepare a mandamus application.

Take the First step Towards Your Mandamus Application

We hope this guide has provided you with a valuable insight into mandamus applications, and you feel more confident about beginning the process.

At Abramovich & Tchern, we’re immigration lawyers helping employers, individuals, and businesses from across the globe. We work with clients from the United States, Latin America, India, and a plethora of other regions. And we maintain strong relationships with professional interpreters, enabling us to overcome any language barrier.

To find out how Abramovich & Tchern can help you with your mandamus application, and other aspects of your immigration to Canada, contact our team today.

Comment on certain immigration and refugee statements made by Federal Conservative Party Leader, Mr. Erin O’Toole

Comment on certain immigration and refugee statements made by Federal Conservative Party Leader, Mr. Erin O’Toole

CTV National News recently invited A&T’s Lev Abramovich to briefly comment on certain immigration and refugee statements made by Federal Conservative Party Leader, Mr. Erin O’Toole.

On September 13, 2021, Mr. O’Toole, released a French-language video via Twitter promising to put a stop to “illegal” border crossings of asylum seekers at Roxham Road in Southern Quebec. In the video, Mr. O’Toole states that the Liberal Government has allowed thousands of people to cross the border illegally and created a system that is unjust for “regular immigrants” that follow rules and wait their turn.

>> Watch the video fragment of our comments on Twitter. <<

On CTV’s Truth Tracker with Richard Madan, Lev Abramovich fact-checked Mr. O’Toole’s statements. In this blog, I will provide more detailed analysis on what is happening at Roxham Road, and why Mr. O’Toole’s statements are both false and misleading.

  1. What is happening at Roxham Road?

In recent years, thousands of asylum seekers have entered Canada through an unofficial land crossing located at Roxham Road – a crossing point located between New York and Quebec. Most of the migrants crossing at Roxham Road were either previously residing in the United States or they were travelling through the United States in order to arrive to seek asylum in Canada.

To understand what is happening at Roxham Road from a legal perspective, it is necessary to understand the legal framework governing the matter at hand.

Canada and the United States are both signatories to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (the “1951 Refugee Convention”) – the cornerstone of international refugee law. As signatories of the Convention, both countries are amongst other things legally obligated:

  • to not obstruct entry to those individuals who arrive at their borders and seek protection; and
  • to ensure such individuals have their cases freely and fairly heard.

The other important piece of legislation governing this matter is the Safe Third Country Agreement – a bilateral agreement signed by the United Stated and Canada in December 2014 designed to “share” the respective countries duties under the UN Convention and to prevent “asylum shopping.” Under the Safe Third Country Agreement, Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection, which means the Safe Third Country Agreement requires asylum seekers to seek protection in the first safe country they land (unless they meet a set of certain exemptions[1]). However, the Safe Third Country Agreement applies and is only enforced at “ports of entry” which means Canada can turn back refugee claimants who arrive at the official ports of entry, on the basis the basis of them first arriving in the United States which is why asylum seekers often cross into Canada without going through an official port of entry.

There has been heated debate about the Safe Third Country Agreement with some taking the position that it should have never been entered into in the first place, while others defend the agreement and argue it should apply to both regular and irregular crossings.

The constitutionality of the Safe Third Country Agreement has been challenged in Federal Court since its introduction with the Safe Third Country Agreement being struck down on two occasions by the Federal Court only for the decisions to be overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal.

The latest installment of Safe Third Country Agreement litigation took place in 2020-21. In July 2020 Canada’s Federal Court ruled that the Safe Third Country Agreement violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as it exposed asylum seekers to “physical and psychological suffering” in unsafe detention facilities across the United States. The federal government appealed the judgment, and on April 15, 2021, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in the government’s favour and upheld the constitutionality of the Safe Third Country Agreement.

  1. Analysis of Mr. O’Toole’s Statements

The 1951 Refugee Convention recognizes the fact that those fleeing persecution may use irregular or even illegal means (such as false identity documents) and states that refugee claimants are not to be penalized for doing so.

To protect Canada’s border security, while at the same time fulfilling Canada’s obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention, Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) created an in-take center at Roxham Road in Quebec, Canada to facilitate refugee claims made pursuant to irregular crossings, balancing Canada’s obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention with the need to protect the integrity of our borders.

Given Canada’s obligations under the 1951 Convention, the crossings addressed by Mr. O’toole cannot be considered illegal as the individuals in question are crossing for the purposes of seeking refugee protection and present themselves to CBSA.

In addition, Mr. O’Toole erroneously conflates regular economic or family immigration streams with claims for protection. While Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) is in fact dealing with significant backlogs across various temporary and permanent immigration steams, the refugee protection determination process is entirely separate and distinct. Refugee claims are considered by the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board as opposed to IRCC and the individuals presenting themselves to CBSA at Roxham Road are therefore not “jumping” any lines.

Moreover, upon entry into Canada (whether at Roxham Road or at regular Port of Entry), asylum seekers are screened for admissibility, and their cases are only referred to the refugee protection division if they qualify for consideration. If their case is referred, they are subject to a rigorous refugee determination process which includes a hearing to test the credibility of their claim. They are only granted protection if they meet the definition of a refugee under section 96 of Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA”), or a person in need of protection under section 97 of IRPA. If a claim is denied, the asylum seeker has limited appeals rights with the CBSA, and the CBSA acts swiftly in removing failed asylum seekers from the country.

Mr. O’Toole’s statements with respect to the crossing being “illegal” as well as equating refugee claimants to economic or family class applicants are therefore false. In my view, Mr. O’Toole’s statements as well as his position with respect to Roxham Road and the Safe Third Country Agreement take away from an otherwise rather ambitious and comprehensive immigration platform presented by the Federal Conservatives.

The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and are not meant to express support for a political party or agenda.


Immigrate to Canada as a Self-Employed Artist or Athlete

Immigrate to Canada as a Self-Employed Artist or Athlete

Canada’s Self-Employed Persons Program is a unique initiative allowing you to apply for permanent residence if you’re a self-employed worker in the athletics or arts/cultural fields.

This program is designed to promote economic and cultural development and employment in Canada by attracting individuals with valuable entrepreneurial skills. It also aims to develop new commercial opportunities and improve access to growing foreign markets.

But how do you know if you’re eligible to apply for immigration via the Self-Employed Persons Program? What levels of experience and recognition are essential to qualify?

In this post, we’ll provide all the answers you need.

Who is Eligible for the Self-Employed Persons Program?

You may be eligible to immigrate to Canada if you’re self-employed in:

  • Art
  • Culture
  • Recreation
  • Sports

This covers an extensive range of occupations, including:

  • Journalists
  • Librarians
  • Editors
  • Producers
  • Directors
  • Musicians
  • Choreographers
  • Painters
  • Photographers
  • Graphic arts technicians
  • Announcers
  • Creative designers
  • Actors
  • Camera operators (for video and film)
  • South technicians
  • Athletes
  • Coaches
  • Referees

You may still be eligible if your occupation falls within the arts, culture, recreation, and sports but is not listed above.

While the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) takes the position that only those who fall under the National Occupation Classification (NOC) 51 and 52 qualify, there’s nothing in the Act or Regulations that restricts these programs strictly to these sub-groups.

An applicant must meet the below criteria to be recognized as a self-employed person:

  • Demonstrate having relevant experience
  • Demonstrate the intent and ability to be self-employed in Canada, and
  • Demonstrate their intention to make a significant contribution through cultural or athletic self-employed activities

Interested in living in Quebec? This has its own program and associated criteria. You can find more detailed information about this at Quebec’s official immigration website.

What Constitutes Relevant Experience for the Self-Employed Persons Program?

The “relevant experience” required to qualify for the Self-Employed Persons Program applies to the five-year period prior to your application (ending on the day a determination is made).

Different criteria applies to cultural and athletics activities:

Cultural activities

Your experience must consist of:

  • Two one-year periods being self-employed in cultural activities, or
  • Two one-year periods participating at a world-class level in cultural activities, or
  • A combination of a one-year period being self-employed in cultural activities AND a one-year period participating at a world-class level

Athletics activities

Your experience must consist of:

  • Two one-year periods being self-employed in athletics, or
  • Two one-year periods participating at a world-class level in athletics, or
  • A combination of a one-year period being self-employed in athletics AND a one-year period of participating at a world-class level

You can achieve more points if your experience in either field exceeds the two-year period.

So, you must have a provable history of self-employed work in arts/culture or athletics before you apply for immigration under this program. You may be a gifted painter with a strong portfolio, but if your only work experience is as a barista, you won’t have the relevant experience to be eligible (yet!).

The same applies if you’re a talented swimmer but have just a few months’ experience as a self-employed coach.

What Degree of Prominence or Recognition Do You Need in Your Field?

The degree of prominence or recognition required to qualify depends on your occupation and immigration destination. If you can prove that you have publicly recognized achievements in your field, you may be more eligible.

A world-class athlete like Novak Djokovic would be more likely to qualify as he has achieved immense success in a prominent sport. But determining your status can be complicated — for example, a table tennis player from China, with little to no recognition, might be ineligible.

Assessing Your Plan in Canada and Your Contributions

The Self-Employed Persons Program encourages artists and athletes to immigrate if they can make a significant contribution to Canada and create their own employment. But stringent assessments are in place to check this.

The officer responsible for your case will consider such factors as:

  • Your self-employment experience in cultural activities or athletics
  • Your management experience in arts and culture
  • Your personal financial assets, to measure your intent and ability to establish yourself as a self-employed person in Canada

One significant benefit of this program is its flexibility: the officer deciding on your application has a great deal of discretion. It’s up to you to build a strong case for yourself and demonstrate why Canada needs to offer you residence.

The significant contribution test becomes relative when an applicant passes the test of experience, intent and ability, and there’s a reasonable expectation that they will be self-employed in arts/culture or sport.

What is the Selection Criteria for This Program?

Applicants who meet the definition of “self-employed persons”, have relevant experience, and are expected to make a significant contribution will be assessed based on:

  • Education
  • Number of years’ experience
  • Age
  • Ability to speak English and/or French
  • Adaptability

You must achieve at least 35 points out of a possible 100 if you want to immigrate under the Self-Employed Persons Program.

And you can easily meet this minimum requirement: the program is under-utilized and our immigration experts can help you build a strong case.

Medical Exams, Security Risk Assessments, and Sufficient Funds

You need to undergo medical exams and security risk assessments when applying, as with other immigration programs. Any immediate family-members set to accompany you to Canada will need to do the same.

You should also show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any relatives upon arrival in Canada. But no minimum investment level is necessary under this program — the capital required depends on the nature of your work.

Canada’s fantastic Self-Employed Persons Program opens the door to permanent residence for artists and athletes without Canadian work experience, and helps self-employed persons avoid some of the challenges they often face under other immigration streams.

The requirements are closely aligned with those under the Significant Benefit Work Permit application (C10 or C11). Some applicants choose to apply for a temporary work permit along with (or after) their permanent residence application.

If you think you may fall under the self-employed category, contact one of our immigration lawyers today to help you choose the best path for immigrating to Canada.

Call us at 416-551-1757 or email us at info@atimmigrationlaw.com

How Can a Writ of Mandamus Help With Your Immigration Application?

How Can a Writ of Mandamus Help With Your Immigration Application?

Have you filed an application to immigrate to Canada but you’re still waiting for a decision after the processing time has passed?

You’re not alone.

According to Reuters, Canada aimed to welcome more than 800,000 new residents by the end of 2022. Canada’s Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino spoke of a “vision for the future” in which “immigration [is] one of the keys to [the country’s] economic recovery and [its] long-term prosperity”.

But the immense disruption caused by COVID-19 has created issues for people hoping to gain entry. And if you’re tired of waiting to find whether you can settle in Canada, a writ of mandamus may be the solution you need.

What does that mean, and how could it help with your immigration application?

Read on to discover everything you need to know.

What is a Writ of Mandamus?

The writ of mandamus (Latin for “we command”) stems from ancient English law, and began as official commands issued by royals. These dictated that subjects would undertake specific acts within their expected duty in cases where a failure to do so had led to adverse effects.

Today, a writ of mandamus is a court order issued by a superior court to a lower court, government officer, or public authority to execute a duty that they are obligated by law to complete.

With regards to immigration, a writ of mandamus is a judicial remedy that asks the court to order Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) — or another administrative entity — to issue a decision within a specified period of time.

A writ of mandamus can be used effectively on an extensive range of application types, including (but not limited to):

  • Permanent residence
  • Temporary residence
  • Citizenship
  • Temporary resident permit
  • Criminal rehabilitation

The immigration application process can be complicated and stressful under normal circumstances. But IRCC reported in March 2021 that the pandemic had created an application backlog and that applicants should expect delays.

The official Government of Canada website also shows that it is:

  • Experiencing delays in receiving applications
  • Is unable to process applications normally
  • Can’t give accurate processing times

You may feel as if your life is on hold while waiting for your decision. Relocating to Canada (or any country) is a major undertaking, and you might have family or potential employers waiting on you for news. Delays can be incredibly frustrating, to say the least.

But a writ of mandamus is an effective way to get a decision and discover where you stand.

Is My Application Eligible for a Writ of Mandamus?

You must meet specific legal requirements before a court is prepared to issue a writ of mandamus. According to The Canadian Bar Association, these are:

  1. There must be a public legal duty to act
  2. The duty must be owed to the applicant
  3. There is a clear right to the performance of that duty, in particular:

(a) the applicant has satisfied all conditions precedent giving rise to the duty;

(b) there was

(i) a prior demand for performance of the duty;

(ii) a reasonable time to comply with the demand unless refused outright; and

(iii) a subsequent refusal which can be either expressed or implied, e.g. unreasonable delay.

(4) No other adequate remedy is available to the applicant.

(5) The order sought will be of some practical value or effect.

(6) The Court in the exercise of discretion finds no equitable

bar to the relief sought.

(7) On a “balance of convenience” an order in the nature of

mandamus should issue

To put this in simpler terms, obtaining a writ of mandamus hinges on whether an application has exceeded the average processing time and is subject to unreasonable delays.

Many immigration applications may be delayed without any reasonable explanation, causing anxiety and stress for people seeking a decision that dictates their future. A mandamus is an effective legal tool for applicants who have been waiting a long time for their applications to be processed and decided upon.

It’s vital to confirm that a reasonable amount of time for processing has passed, and that this exceeds the average. Generally, processing times before the pandemic ranged from a few weeks to one year depending on the nature of the application. Waiting for a decision may feel like a long, drawn-out process even when it falls within that average timeframe, but even with the pandemic, lengthy delays are unacceptable.

Before seeking a writ of mandamus, you should be sure that you completed your application properly and that the IRCC has no obvious reason to hold it up. Each mandamus case is assessed based on its specifics, and courts are unlikely to accept that administrative or managerial challenges (such as employee absenteeism) at the IRCC are a reasonable reason for delays.

Abramovich & Tchern’s lawyers have seen mandamus cases settled before litigation begins, and without the applicant being required to perfect their record. You may receive your decision sooner than you expect with our help.

The Writ of Mandamus Process for Your Canadian Immigration Application

A writ of mandamus begins with a well-written, persuasive demand letter that encourages the IRCC to investigate an application yet to be processed.

At Abramovich & Tchern, we can help you at every step of the mandamus process — from writing a demand letter crafted to prompt action to seeing that you receive a decision for your application.

We have forged close working relationships with key stakeholders in Canadian immigration, including:

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Service Canada
  • The Canada Border Services Agency
  • The Federal Court of Appeal
  • The Federal Court of Canada
  • The Department of Justice
  • The Immigration and Refugee Board

Working with these entities ensures we have the latest insights into immigration law developments — so we’re always prepared to help clients just like you get the results you need.

We’re committed to advocating for clients throughout the immigration process, and our passionate team strives to deliver a satisfactory experience every single time.

Contact the Abramovich & Tchern office today to speak to one of our immigration lawyers and discuss whether a writ of mandamus is the right remedy for you.

New Express Entry Draws Invite 7,002 Candidates to Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency

This week, Canada held two Express Entry draws inviting 7,002 candidates to apply for permanent residence.

Draw #193 – Provincial Nominee Program

On June 23, 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) extended 1,002 invitations to apply to candidates with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of at least 724. The candidates were invited to apply through the Provincial Nominee Program. This draw marks the largest Provincial Nominee Program draw since its formation.

Following the tie-breaking rule, the cut-off time for the draw was February 18, 2021, at 04:04:56 UTC. This means that candidates were only invited if they met the minimum score and submitted their Express Entry profile prior to the above cut-off time.

The Provincial Nominee Programs allow each province and territory to select immigrants based on the province’s labour and economic needs. There are more than 80 different provincial economic stream programs available for students, skilled and semi-skilled workers, and entrepreneurs.

Foreign nationals can apply for a Provincial Nomination Program either through Express Entry or by applying directly to the specific program. Candidates who select the Express Entry route receive 600 additional points to their CRS score, which provides a guaranteed invitation to apply being offered.

Draw #194 – Canadian Experience Class

On June 24, 2021, IRCC held its second draw of the week inviting a total of 6,000 candidates to apply for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class. The minimum CRS score required for this draw was 357 – the second-lowest score cut-off for a Canadian Experience Class draw.

IRCC applied the tie-breaking rule, announcing a cut-off time of February 17, 2021 at 10:15:50 UTC. In the event that multiple candidates had the lowest CRS score, the cut-off time would determine who is extended an invitation to apply.

Canadian Experience Class candidates have at least one year of Canadian work experience within a NOC 0, A, or B group. The program also requires certain language and financial support thresholds to be met.

Following these two draws, the total number of invitations to apply issued in 2021 is 88,715 invitations. 

I haven’t yet received an invitation to apply, what can I do?

While waiting in the Express Entry pool mostly requires patience, there are a couple of things that you can do to ensure that things run smoothly should you receive an invitation.

Upon receiving an invitation to apply, you will only have 90 days to submit a complete application. This is why it is incredibly important to ensure that your Express Entry profile is fully complete and up to date.

Changes in your life such as starting a new career, getting married or completing a new language test must be accurately reflected in your Express Entry profile. False information can lead to a refused application, inadmissibility or being barred from applying to Canada for 5 years.

It is also possible to try to improve your CRS score in the meantime. Being offered a valid job offer, applying to a Provincial Nominee Program, and improving your language score and education level may contribute to a higher CRS score.

After 12 months of submitting an Express Entry profile, your profile will automatically expire should you not receive an invitation to apply. At this time, you are able to create a new profile in order to be considered in Express Entry draws for the following 12 months.

If you have any questions about your Express Entry profile, or general questions about express entry, provincial nomination programs, permanent residency or immigrating to Canada, please contact Abramovich & Tchern today.

International Graduate and Essential Worker Permanent Residence Streams

In this article we are going to discuss some of the specifics of the new temporary pathways to permanent residence for international graduates and essential foreign workers. The application window will open on May 6, 2021 and close on November 5, 2021 (or as soon as the caps described below are reached).

As discussed in our last blog, to be eligible under either temporary program, the Applicant must:  

a)    hold temporary resident status (or be eligible to restore it)
b)    be present in Canada
c)    be authorized to work in Canada
d)    be currently working in Canada
e)    have proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages
f)    meet general eligibility requirements of the stream they want to apply

At this time there is no additional information with respect to how IRCC will assess the genuineness of the employment. There are also questions regarding whether those working part-time qualify, and whether one may apply for permanent residence under both the essential worker and international graduate streams.

We will provide answers to these and other questions as soon as IRCC provides additional information regarding the new permanent residence pathways. In the meantime, the key requirements under each stream are provided below. 

International Graduates

It is important to note that while traditionally Federal immigration pathways were reserved for high-skilled occupations (NOC skill-type 0, A or B) there are no skill-type or NOC based restrictions with respect to employment under the international graduate pathway. In other words, one may work in any position to qualify under this program. To qualify under the international graduate pathway, the foreign national must:

  • Have completed, prior to the date on which the application for permanent residence is received and no earlier than January 2017, a program of study at a DLI, while being authorized to study in Canada;
  • Have been granted one of the following credentials:  
  • A degree which is issued on completion of a program of at least 8 months in duration;
  • A degree, diploma, certificate, or attestation issued on completion of a program of any duration leading to an occupation in a skilled trade (listed in Annex A);
  • one or more diploma/certificate/attestation where the following conditions are met:
    • The program of study must be 8 months in duration and the combined length of the credential(s) must be equivalent to a two-year credential (at least 16 months in duration).
    • For vocational studies, each program of study must be at least 900 hours in duration and the combined program must be at least 1800 hours in duration.
  • Be employed in Canada in any occupation with a valid permit. The applicant must not be self-employed, unless working as a medical doctor in a fee-for-service arrangement with a health authority;
  • Have attained a language proficiency of CLB 5 in either English or French as confirmed by the results of a valid language test;
  • Be physically present in Canada with valid temporary status or be eligible to restore status at the time the application is submitted and approval;
  • Intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec.

The international graduate pathway to permanent residence has an overall cap of 40,000 applications. However, the total cap will not apply to candidates who have scored at least CLB 4.0 on an approved French language test (TEF). This point is important as a CLB 4.0 score can be achieved by those with an intermediate knowledge of French. 

Having said this, given that most applicants under this stream will not meet the French CLB 4.0 requirement, it is extremely important to submit your application as soon as possible as the overall cap will likely be met prior to the program closing quickly.   

Foreign Workers In Essential Occupations

Essential occupations are divided into those listed in Annex A (healthcare) and Annex B (other occupations) to the public policy. Annex B contains both high and low skilled occupations such as cashiers, gas station attendants, janitors. In other words, occupations that were typically ignored or excluded by IRCC are now deemed essential. In addition the current employment can be in occupation.

To qualify under the essential worker pathway, the foreign national must:

  • Have accumulated at least one (1) year of full-time or part time equivalent (1,560 hours) of authorized work experience in Canada within the three (3) years immediately preceding the submission of the application, in an “essential” occupation as set out in Annex A or Annex B . It is important to note that there are different employment experience criteria for healthcare and non-healthcare essential workers:
    • Healthcare (Stream “A”): the one year of work experience must have been acquired in one or more occupations listed in Annex A. Experience cannot be combined with Annex B occupations.
    • Non-Healthcare (Stream “B”): the one year of work experience must have been acquired in one or more occupations listed in Annex B, or a combination of occupations in Annexes A and B.
  • Be employed in Canada in any occupation at the time that the application for permanent residence is received. As with the international graduate stream, employment described in both a) and b) cannot be self-employed, unless working as a medical doctor in a fee-for-service arrangement with a health authority;
  • Have attained a language proficiency of CLB 4 in either English or French as evidenced by the results of a valid language test;
  • Be physically present in Canada with valid temporary status (or be eligible to restore) at the time of application’s submission and approval;
  • Intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec.

Application Caps

The application caps are as follows:

  • 20,000 applications for temporary foreign workers in healthcare
  • 30,000 applications for temporary foreign workers in other selected essential occupations

As with the international graduate stream there is no intake cap for those candidates who have scored at least CLB 4.0 on an approved French language test.

While we are expecting to get additional details about the program in the next few weeks, the eligibility criteria are clear. As noted before, we expect the caps to be reached fairly quickly. Feel free to contact us if you have questions about the new pathways or any other Canadian immigration questions.

New Permanent Residence Pathways For International Graduates and Temporary Workers Announced

In our last blog as well as the April 2021 Lawyer’s Monthly issue we discussed the need for new immigration pathways that will help the government meet its ambitious targets while addressing Canada’s economic needs.

Today (April 14, 2021) the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced the implementation of temporary public policies that create new temporary pathways to permanent residence for temporary workers in essential occupations, international students, and French speakers.

Amongst the programs announced are pathways that will allow international graduates who have completed an eligible program of study in Canada, as well as temporary workers in health care and/or select essential occupations, to apply for permanent residence. The Minister stated that the interim pathways are meant to ensure that Canada has the workers it needs to fuel its economic recovery.

The basic eligibility criteria for students as well the temporary foreign workers in essential occupations is provided below (we will discuss the specifics in future blogs):

At the time of their application, candidates must:

·         hold temporary resident status (or be eligible to restore it)
·         be present in Canada
·         be authorized to work in Canada
·         be currently working in Canada
·         have proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages
·         meet general eligibility requirements of the stream they want to apply under

IRCC will accept applications under these policies from May 6, 2021 to November 5, 2021, or until a program stream has reached its cap. The application caps are as follows:

·         20,000 applications for temporary foreign workers in healthcare
·         30,000 applications for temporary foreign workers in other selected essential occupations
·         40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian institution

The eligible NOC codes for foreign nationals in Canada, with recent Canadian work experience in essential occupations is very expansive including numerous NOC “C” & “D” positions, and can be reviewed here. While the eligibility conditions for international graduates are provided here.

It is important to note that essential workers and international graduates who can demonstrate a proficiency in French (by way of language test results) will not be subject to the overall cap. Threshold for French language proficient is CLB 4.0 for essential workers and CLB 5.0 of international graduates.

It is unclear how the programs will operate given that demand under the essential worker and international student streams will likely far exceed the cap.

Timing will play a critical role with respect to permanent residence applications under the new pathways. Contact our office to ensure you get the right immigration guidance in a timely manner.