IRCC has started to invite sponsors to the 2021 Parent/Grandparent sponsorship lottery. Emails are going out to registered sponsors over the next 2 weeks. Enough invitations are expected to be sent to reach the goal of accepting 30,000 complete applications. Only sponsors who created an 'interest to sponsor' profile in 2020 are eligible to be invited.
If you are a lucky sponsor who receives an invitation, don't delay - 60 days to file is not a long time to prepare a complete PR application (including medicals and police clearances). Reach out to us for support - we love to help families reunite in Canada!
To read more: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/family-sponsorship/sponsor-parents-grandparents/selected.html
Re-opening of border to Non-US citizens and Permanent Residents took effect September 7, 2021
What does this mean? If you are fully vaccinated with a Health Canada approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Janssen) and meet the requirements for travel - testing, being asymptomatic etc. - then you should be permitted to travel to Canada for 'discretionary' reasons.
What does that mean!? Until September 7 (or August 7 for US citizens) only 'non-discretionary' or essential travel was permitted. You could travel for work, for study, or if you fit an exemption to the general rule against travel to Canada.
What has changed? The requirement for the purpose of travel to be 'essential' is lifted.
What now? Travel is still limited to Canada - the unvaccinated, or those vaccinated with any of the other COVID vaccines (Sinovac, Sinopharm, Vector institute etc.) and partially vaccinated people do not benefit from this change and will continue to have travel limitations.
What to expect? Testing, reporting, delays in travel and on arrival. Probably also some confusion - after all it is the airlines who are implementing these changes.
What to bring? Proof of vaccination and an extra dose of patience!
To read more: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2021/07/easing-border-measures-for-fully-vaccinated-travellers-entering-canada---permitting-discretionary-travel-for-citizens-and-permanent-residents-of-th.html
US Immigration Update
US Updating its travel requirements - changing from country/region-based bans to individual vaccination requirements
On Monday, September 20, 2021 the White House announced that starting in early November, all foreign nationals traveling to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to show proof of vaccination before boarding a plane bound for the U.S.
This new plan will replace the existing regional bans on travel to the US for foreign nationals and will move to an individual assessment of the traveler and their vaccination status. There are currently regional travel bans in place for the UK, Ireland, the Schengen area, China, India, Iran, South African and Brazil.
The White House has not yet released the official policy document, which is expected to provide more details. Additionally. the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ has not yet been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and it is not clear which vaccines will be included in the approved list for travelers. The CDC will require airlines to collect and provide passenger information to aid contact tracing.
What does this mean for Canadians?
Non-essential travel by land border continues to be limited
Proof of vaccination will be required for air travel
Negative COVID-19 test will be required prior to air travel
To read more: Details to come
US Land border with Canada remains restricted
Despite the announcements from the Canadian government to allow U.S. citizen and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated to enter Canada for discretionary purposes, the U.S. government has not made a reciprocal announcement and the land border with Canada remains restricted to 'essential travel,' regardless of vaccination status. The U.S. land Border remains closed to non-essential travel until at least October 21, 2021.
To read more: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/coronavirus
Express Entry Update September 2021
September has seen three rounds of invitation to apply for permanent residence under Express Entry (with another possibly coming before the end of the month to be consistent with the pattern of 4/month). One notable change in the pattern is the smaller number of invitations issued to the Canadian Experience Class applicants, which has driven the CRS Points required to be invited up to 462, a high water mark over then past several months. There continue to not be any invitations issued to Federal Skilled Workers or Federal Skilled Trades applicants since March 2020. As of August 16, 2021, there are just over 36,000 candidates in the Express Entry pool with CRS points of between 451-500, which is likely where our applicants for economic immigration will continue to be drawn from for the remainder of 2021.
On September 1,635 invitations were issued to candidates in the PNP with CRS scores of 764 or higher, followed by a draw on September 14, in which 2000 invitations (down from the usual 3000) were issued to candidates in the CEC with CRS scores of 462 or higher.
On September 15, 521 invitations were issued to candidates in the PNP with CRS scores of 732 or higher.
To read more: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/mandate/policies-operational-instructions-agreements/ministerial-instructions/express-entry-rounds.html
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program Holds significant draw in its Express Entry Stream
The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has a number of distinct streams for nomination of candidates interested in applying for permanent residence who have an intention to settle in that province. On the whole, the AINP has 6250 nomination certificates to issue, however as announced in Alberta's Economic Recovery Plan, the AINP issued only 4000 nominations in 2020.
The Alberta Opportunity Stream and the Express Entry Stream are the most active mechanism for nomination by the province. The AINP reports have approximately 750 Alberta Opportunity Stream applications in queue.
In September, there were three draws from the Express Entry Stream (on September 7 - 500 Notifications of Interest (NOI) were issued, September 14, 385 NOIs were issued and again on September 21, 450 NOIs were issued). These are large numbers compared to previous months.
To read more: https://www.alberta.ca/ainp-processing-times-inventory.aspx