Pakistanis hoping to come to Canada have been reassured that their visas will only take less than two months to process, not the more than two years currently posted on the government’s website.
“Visa processing times are not 802 days for new applications,” tweeted Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
“Currently, a complete temporary resident visa application from Pakistan will be processed in 60 days and we expect to hit 30 days in the near future.”
“The website shows 802 days because we’re processing older applications from when borders were closed due to the pandemic,” explained the federal immigration minister. “We’ve reduced the backlog for Pakistani temporary resident visas significantly, from 55,000 to less than 15,000.
“We’re also investing in a new processing centre in Islamabad to boost processing and interview capacity in the Indo-Pac region. “
Read More Canada Immigration News
Best 25 Workplaces To Grow A Career In Canada Include Banks and IT Companies
Canada Government Worker Strike Ends With Tentative Deal As IRCC Aims To Get Back To Normal
More Workers Land Paying Canada Jobs As Vacancies Fall
Canada is investing in its visa-processing capacities in Pakistan as part of its Indo-Pacific Strategy which was unveiled in November last year.
That strategy has earmarked $74.6 million to enhance Canada’s visa processing capacity within Canada’s centralized network as well as in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Islamabad, and Manila.
“The Indo-Pacific is critical to Canada’s future prosperity and our secret weapon is our people,” said International Trade Minister Mary Ng last year.
“With nearly one in five Canadians tracing their heritage to the Indo-Pacific region, we will expand our partnerships through high-standard, rules-based trade that benefits everybody. As we launch the Canadian Trade Gateway in Southeast Asia along with a new series of Team Canada Trade Missions, we will create good jobs, grow our economies, and drive inclusive opportunities on both sides of the Pacific.”
When the Indo-Pacific Strategy was announced, Canada’s immigration minister described the region, which includes Pakistan, as vital for Canadian immigration.
“Today’s announcement brings significant new funding to help boost Canada’s visa application processing capacity at home and abroad,” he said back in November. “As we look to record growth in admissions in the years ahead, this funding will help promote greater diversity among those looking to work and study in Canada.”
The reductions in the processing times for temporary resident visa applications from Pakistan are at least in part due to that strategy and investment in visa-processing capacity by the Canadian government.
Pakistan One Of The Top 10 Most Important Sources Of New Permanent Residents To Canada
Last year, Pakistan was a more important source of new Canadian permanent residents than Canada’s largest trading partner, the United States.
In 2022, 10,400 Americans became Canadian permanent residents. That same year, 11,585 Pakistanis decided to make Canada their permanent residents, making Pakistan the seventh most important source of new Canadian permanent residents that year.
Since it is such an important source of permanent residents to Canada, many options exist for Pakistan residents looking to immigrate to Canada.
The first step for Pakistanis looking to apply for permanent residence in Canada is to assess which programs give them the best chance of success.
Broadly, the options are:
- federal economic class
- provincial economic class
- Quebec immigration
- business immigration, including the Start-Up Visa (SUV) program
- temporary residence first, then transition to permanent
- family class sponsorship
Canada accepts the largest number of immigrants under the economic class of programs, including:
Canada operates its federal economic class immigration system using Express Entry. Many provinces also follow a similar approach.
Express Entry requires candidates to submit a profile, with the highest scoring profiles issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Candidates then get 60 days to submit a full application.
Under Express Entry, candidates score Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for core factors such as age, education, work experience and language ability.
One of the best ways to increase a CRS score is with a job offer, which can be worth 200 or 50 points depending on the skill level.
Several of Canada’s provinces also operate Express Entry streams through their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), allowing them to tap skilled workers from the pool.
Every Canadian Province Also Operates Its Own Immigration Programs
Those provincial immigration programs are:
- Ontario Immigration
- Quebec Immigration
- Alberta Immigration
- British Columbia Immigration
- Manitoba Immigration
- New Brunswick Immigration
- Newfoundland Immigration
- Nova Scotia Immigration
- Saskatchewan Immigration
- Prince Edward Island Immigration
A provincial nomination is worth 600 points and effectively guarantees an ITA.
Those who do not qualify through a federal economic program can consider provincial streams for their applications for permanent residence.
Quebec has autonomy over its immigration system, with the right to set its own immigration levels and the power to operate its own programs.
That province operates an Expression of Interest system similar to Express Entry, where candidates submit profiles to the Arrima system and are issued periodic invitations to apply.
Canada also aims to attract entrepreneurs and investors through its business immigration programs, with many applications accepted from India.
For entrepreneurs who qualify, the Start-Up Visa (SUV) program offers Canadian permanent residence. The program targets innovative entrepreneurs and links them with private sector investors in Canada who will help establish their start-up business.
Candidates can initially come to Canada on a work permit supported by their designated Canada-based investor, before qualifying for permanent residence once their business is up and running.
There are three types of private-sector investor:
- Angel investor.
- Venture capital fund.
- Business incubator.
Initially a three-year pilot, the program was made permanent on March 31, 2018.
The basic candidate eligibility requirements for the SUV are:
- qualifying business.
- commitment certificate and letter of support from a designated entity.
- sufficient unencumbered, available and transferable settlement funds.
- proficiency in English or French at minimum Canadian Language Benchmark Level 5.
Many Foreign Nationals Get A Temporary Visa And Then Transition To Permanent Residency
A designated entity is a Canadian private sector angel investor, venture capital fund or business incubator.
For the candidate to qualify for permanent residence:
- the intended business must be incorporated and carrying on business in Canada.
- the candidate must own at least 10 per cent of the voting rights in the corporation.
- no other person can hold 50 per cent or more of the voting rights in the corporation.
Up to five candidates may have their permanent residence application supported by the same business investment. However, certain candidates may be designated essential to the business. If any essential candidate withdraws their application, or is refused, all other candidates under the same business investment will see their applications terminated.
Increasingly, immigrants are coming to Canada as temporary residents and transitioning to permanent residents and this is a popular route for candidates who do not immediately qualify for permanent residence when applying from Pakistan.
Time spent in Canada as a temporary resident counts towards a permanent residence application.
Candidates in Pakistan with family members who are already permanent residents or citizens can apply through Family Class Sponsorship immigration.
Family that can be sponsored in this way include:
- Common Law partners
- Conjugal partners
- Dependent children
- Brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship
- Other relatives of any age or relationship but only under specific conditions
- Accompanying relatives of the above (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children).