Ontario Issues 146 NOIs, Minimum CRS of 456 In Express Entry French Speaking Skilled Worker Draw

Ontario immigration has conducted a new draw through the Express Entry-linked French Speaking Skilled Worker stream, issuing 146 Notifications of Interest (NOIs).

The January 13 Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program draw, saw 146 Notifications of Interest issued to candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores between 456 and 467.

To qualify for the draw, candidates had to submit Express Entry profiles between January 13, 2020 and January 13, 2021.

Candidates must have a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in French and 6 in English to qualify.

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Ontario 2021 FSSW Draws

Date NOIs Issued CRS Score Range Express Entry profile submission date
13-Jan-21 146 456-467 January 13, 2020 to January 13, 2021

Source: OINP


What Are The Requirements For The Ontario Express Entry: French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream?

To qualify applicants must have:

  • Pending application under the Federal Express Entry system;
  • Minimum of 1-year of full-time, or full-time equivalent work experience under NOC occupation level 0, A or B;
  • Canadian equivalent Bachelors degree, Masters degree or PhD;
  • Minimum CLB level 7 in TEF exam (French); AND minimum CLB 6 in IELTS exam (English)
  • Intention to reside in the Province of Ontario.


COVID-19: These Are Canada’s Most In-Demand Jobs for 2021


A Randstad report has given Foreign nationals looking to move to Canada a glimpse into the Canadian jobs most likely to be in high demand in 2021.

“For job seekers, skills related to e-commerce, computer science, security and healthcare will be most in-demand (this year),” reports Randstad Canada.

Canada’s economy is healing from the massive impact of COVID-19, the global human resources firm states on its website. Though a second wave of COVID-19 has swept through most of Canada, the economic impact has been much less severe.

As restrictions loosen through 2021 and the virus is brought under control, that recovery is expected to only strengthen. 

The Conference Board of Canada agrees with that bullish outlook. This week, it issued its economic forecast for this year and 2022. It is calling for a massive resurgence in the Canadian economy. 

Canadian Economy Poised for Strong Growth for Two Years 

The Conference Board is forecasting Canada will see GDP growth of 5.3 per cent in 2021 and 3.5 per cent in 2022.

“The news that safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 have begun to be distributed has provided optimism that the pandemic could soon be beaten,” says Pedro Antunes, the Conference Board’s chief economist.

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With that uptick in the Canadian economy, Randstad Canada says the fast-growing occupations this year will be:

  • customer service representative;
  • delivery driver;
  • retail essential worker;
  • security analyst and architect;
  • administrative assistant;
  • purchasing and supply chain specialist;
  • information technology and technical support specialist;
  • warehouse worker;
  • housekeeping attendant, and;
  • graduate nurse.

“If you were laid-off in response to the economic downturn, there’s reason to stay positive as seven in 10 employers in Canada plan to rehire laid-off employees once the crisis passes,” states Randstad Canada.

The post-COVID-19 economy will also come with new opportunities, particularly in the area of working from home or a remote office.

Remote Work Opportunities Boom in Post-COVID-19 Economy

“As we enter the ‘new normal’ in 2021, the world of work is adapting,” states Randstad Canada. “Globally, companies have pivoted to find a path forward. That’s led to a large-scale shift to remote work, increased use of digital collaboration tools, new and improved health and safety policies, and updated office and workplace layouts, among many other changes.”

Those looking to work remotely will likely have opportunities with these jobs in 2021, suggests Randstad Canada:

  • call center representative;
  • administrative assistant;
  • computer support service;
  • human resources administrator;
  • information technology consultant;
  • data analyst;
  • digital marketer;
  • accountant;
  • social media manager, and;
  • project manager.

“As we look to 2021, the prognosis is good for most sectors,” states the human resources firm. “If you have a strong and specialized skill set, there’s a job for you to showcase your strengths.”

Ontario Issues 338 NOIs With Minimum CRS of 434 In Express Entry Skilled Trades Draw

Ontario immigration has issued 338 Notifications of Interest with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 434 in its first draw of 2021 through the Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream.

The January 13 draw targeted candidates with CRS scores in the range of 434 to 460.

Candidates were required to have submitted Express Entry profiles into the federal pool within the 12 months preceding the draw date to qualify.

Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream 2021

Date NOIs  CRS Score Range Express Entry profile submission date
13-Jan-21 338 434-460 January 13, 2020 to January 13, 2021


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Ontario Express Entry: Skilled Trades Stream

The Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream targets skilled trades workers in the construction and agricultural sectors but could be expanded in the future.

To qualify applicants must have:

  • Pending application under the Federal Express Entry system;
  • At least 12 months of paid cumulative or continuous Ontario work experience with the last two years prior to your Notification of Interest in National Occupation Classification 633, or major groups 72, 73 or 82;
  • Proof of Ontario license or certification if your occupation so requires;
  • A valid work permit and be resident in Ontario at the time of application;
  • English or French-language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 or above in reading, writing, listening and speaking;
  • Proof of settlement fund to cover you and your dependents, with the minimum amount determined by official Low-Income Cut-Offs.

Ontario also conducts draws for its Human Capital Priorities, French Speaking Skilled Worker and Entrepreneur Stream throughout the year.

British Columbia Targets IT Occupations With 80 Invitations in New BC Tech Pilot Draw

A new BC PNP Tech Pilot draw saw British Columbia immigration issue 80 invitations to skilled workers and international graduates. 

The January 12 draw featured invitations through four streams of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program. 

Minimum scores were 80 for all four streams. The featured streams were:

  • SI – Skilled Worker
  • SI – International Graduate
  • EEBC – Skilled Worker
  • EEBC – International Graduate

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Did You Get Invited in the Latest B.C. Immigration Draw?

Date Category Minimum Score Invitations Issued
12-Jan-21 SI – Skilled Worker 80 Total: 80
  SI – International Graduate 80
  EEBC – Skilled Worker 80
  EEBC – International Graduate 80

Source: www.welcomebc.ca

Video: Insights on Express Entry


Quebec Resumes Receipt of Foreign Student Applications To 10 Colleges In Light of Superior Court Ruling

Following a Superior Court ruling, Quebec’s immigration department has lifted its suspension of applications to 10 specific learning institutions for the Foreign Student Program.

The Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI) announced on December 30, 2020, the temporary suspension of the receipt and processing of study permit applications for the 10 institutions, which were all being audited or investigated by the Ministry of Higher Education (MES).

The suspension was until March 31, 2021, and included the processing of applications already submitted, as well as the receipt of new applications. A MIFI statement said the suspensions were in place because of potential dubious practices used to recruit foreign students.

However, following a legal challenge by Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles – one of the institutions on the list – the Quebec Superior Court ruled on January 11 that the processing and receipt of applications should resume.

MIFI said that while the court found the department’s mistrust of certain institutions not unreasonable, “the suspension constitutes a significant inconvenience for these students. who organized their lives in order to study in Quebec this winter.”

The 10 institutions are:

  1. M College of Canada
  2. Matrix College of Management, Technology and Healthcare;
  3. Canada College inc.;
  4. Herzing College (Institute);
  5. CDE College;
  6. Montréal College of Information Technology;
  7. Institut supérieur d’informatique (ISI);
  8. Universel College – Gatineau Campus;
  9. Collège CDI;
  10. Montréal Campus of Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles.

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Certain International Students Allowed To Start Work

Meanwhile, Quebec allowed certain international students who completed their programs to start work while their application for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is being processed.

The right to start work is specifically for International students whose Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) and study permit expired on December 31, 2020 after being automatically extended due to COVID-19.

These students were allowed apply for the PGWP and start work even if they had not yet received all of the documentation indicating they had completed their undergraduate studies.

The application for the PGWP had to be submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada before the end of 2020 with a letter explaining in detail:

  • The reason they were submitting an incomplete application.
  • The fact that their CAQ and study permit were automatically extended due to COVID-19.
  • If applicable, the changes that occurred in their studies due to COVID-19.

How Businesses Can Help New Immigrants Boost Canada’s Economy After COVID-19

A senior figure at one of Canada’s top banks has urged governments and businesses to assist the seamless integration of newcomers, describing immigration as ‘a form of economic stimulus’.

Dan Rees, group head of Canadian banking at Scotiabank, believes immigration can be a way out of the economic woe caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Writing in the Globe and Mail, Rees states: “The more educated and productive people we attract, the more our quality of life improves and we can maintain the things that make Canada strong. Immigration is a form of economic stimulus.

“At a time when governments are doing their utmost to support the economy, we should use every engine of growth we can to carry us through the pandemic.”

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Rees highlights how Canada’s population growth would likely have stalled or be in decline if it was not for immigration, like many of Canada’s fellow Group of Seven Countries.

He lauds Canada’s immigration policies, including the points-based Express Entry system, for creating a foreign-born population that is 60 percent highly educated, compared to 40 percent in the United States.

Through Express Entry Canada is able to match newcomers to in-demand occupations and ensure they are young, educated and have knowledge of official languages.

“Because of our immigration policies, Canada now welcomes five times as many skilled newcomers as a percentage of its population than the U.S. does,” Rees writes. 

“Over the past two years, pre-COVID-19, new Canadians saw significantly higher employment gains than Canadian-born people.”

Canada’s federal government is doing its part by planning to welcome more than 400,000 newcomers per year in 2021, 2022 and 2023, the majority of which will be economic immigrants. When that program can fully kick into gear is governed by how quickly COVID-19 can be brought under control, and travel restrictions eased.

Canada’s 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan

2021 2022 2023
Overall Planned Permanent Resident Admissions 401,000 411,000 421,000
Economic Federal High Skilled 108,500 110,500 113,750
Federal Business 1,000 1,000 1,000
Economic Pilots: Caregivers; Agri-Food Pilot; Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot 8,500 10,000 10,250
Atlantic Immigration Pilot 6,000 6,250 6,500
Provincial Nominee Program 80,800 81,500 83,000
Quebec Skilled Workers and Business See the Quebec immigration plan To be determined To be determined
Total Economic 232,500 241,500 249,500
Family Spouses, Partners and Children 80,000 80,000 81,000
Parents and Grandparents 23,500 23,500 23,500
Total Family 103,500 103,500 104,500
Refugees and Protected Persons Protected Persons in Canada and Dependents Abroad 23,500 24,500 25,000
Resettled Refugees – Government-Assisted 12,500 12,500 12,500
Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored 22,500 22,500 22,500
Resettled Refugees – Blended Visa Office-Referred 1,000 1,000 1,000
Total Refugees and Protected Persons 59,500 60,500 61,000
Humanitarian and Other Total Humanitarian and Other 5,500 5,500 6,000

With such high numbers of newcomers planned, Rees wants the business community to step up to help those immigrants when they arrive.

He calls for action from business in four main areas: Financial literacy, recruitment, professional integration and social and professional networks. These are the main ways Canada can help new permanent residents contribute to growing the economy as quickly as possible.

Rees concludes: “The pandemic will eventually pass, but the need to strengthen Canada – economically, demographically and culturally – will not go away. Let’s make sure immigration continues to be the Canadian advantage.”

Candidates Can Submit Quebec Experience Program Applications Online Through Arrima

The Quebec immigration ministry has announced Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) applications can be submitted online via the Arrima platform as of Tuesday January 12.

The Arrima platform – previously used mainly to submit profiles to the Quebec Expression of Interest system – can now be used for applications, supporting documents and to pay required fees.

As of January 26, 2021, all PEQ applications must be submitted electronically through Arrima. Paper applications will no longer be accepted.

Candidates have been able to submit applications for the Quebec Foreign Student Program through Arrima since spring 2020. This will become mandatory as of January 26, says the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI).

Application Fee Increases

MIFI recently announced increases to application fees for its temporary and permanent programs for 2021.

As of January 1, fees increased by 1.26 percent compared to the fees for 2020.

The fees cover the Quebec immigration programs for skilled workers, business immigration, temporary workers and foreign students.

Other fees include those for labour market assessments, immigration consultants and credential recognition.

Consult the table below to compare the 2020 and 2021 fees.

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Quebec Immigration Application Fees, 2020 and 2021

Up to December 31, 2020 As of January 1, 2021
Application for permanent selection
Business people Investors $15,763 $15,962
Entrepreneur and self-employed worker $1,099 $1,113
Skilled worker $812 $822
Each accompanying family member of the principal applicant (except in the case of an application under the Investor Program) $174 $176
Employer submitting a request for validation of a permanent job offer $202 $205
Request for an undertaking as a guarantor of a foreign national of the family group
Commitment for the first foreign national $289 $293
For each other foreign national $116 $117
Application for temporary selection
Temporary worker $202 $205
Employer requesting an assessment of the effects of the job offer on the Quebec labour market $202 $205
Foreign student $116 $117
Person in temporary stay for medical attention $116 $117
Application for recognition as an immigration consultant $1,681 $1702
Request for renewal of recognition $1,367 $1384
Comparative evaluation of studies conducted outside Quebec $121 $123

Quebec Immigration Levels

Quebec expects to welcome between 13,000 and 18,000 fewer immigrants than planned in 2020, a deficit it will make up in the next two years, the provincial government said recently.

The coronavirus pandemic’s impact on Quebec immigration levels means 2020 admissions will fall to a maximum of 30,500 newcomers, 70 percent of the expected total. The number could drop as low as 25,600 new permanent residents, just 59 percent of the planned admissions.

The French-speaking province plans to make up the 2020 shortfall over the next two years.

It will start by welcoming up to 47,500 newcomers in 2021, with 7,000 immigrants added from the 2020 shortfall.

Quebec’s 2021 Immigration Levels Plan

Results Plan 2020 Forecast 2020 Plan 2021
2018 2019 MIN MAX MIN MAX Rebalancing MIN MAX
Economic 29,192 23,129 25,500 26,300 14,000 17,000 4,600 27,500 29,300
– Skilled Workers 24,129 19,098 21,600 22,000 12,800 15,000 3,500 22,900 24,200
– Business 4,204 3,387 3,300 3,600 1,000 1,600 1,000 4,000 4,300
– Other Economic 859 644 600 700 200 400 100 600 800
Family Reunification 12,286 9,686 9,900 10,200 6,700 7,100 1,550 9,700 10,200
Refugees 8,834 7,248 7,200 7,500 4,400 5,800 850 6,900 7,500
Other Immigrants 811 502 400 500 500 600 0 400 500
TOTAL 51,123 40,565 43,000 44,500 25,600 30,500 7,000 44,500 47,500



Canada’s 2020 Parents and Grandparents Program: All Invitations Sent, Says IRCC

All invitations to apply for the 2020 Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) have been sent, according to Canada’s immigration department.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that all the invitations had been sent as of Monday January 11.

Candidates who received an invitation now have 60 days to submit a full application. Those who did not receive an invitation must wait for the 2021 PGP to open later in the year, IRCC says.

“The government understands how disappointing it can be for those who are not randomly selected to sponsor their family members under the Parents and Grandparents Program,” an IRCC statement said.

“Due to the continued popularity of the program, the number of people interested in sponsoring their parents and grandparents always exceeds the number of applications we can accept.”

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Canada is to accept 10,000 applications for the program for 2020. The process has been delayed due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

For 2021, IRCC plans to open a new interest to sponsor form window and will accept up to 30,000 new applications.

Parents and grandparents can also come to Canada on a Parents and Grandparents Super Visa, which allows for stays of up to two years at a time.

The opening of the PGP has attracted significant controversy in recent years. IRCC has struggled to find a format considered fair by potential applicants.

In 2019, it opened an online first-come, first-served process of submitting the interest to sponsor form. However, many potential sponsors claimed they could never access the form after the program allocation was filled within eight minutes.

Many argued the process favoured sponsors with better internet connections, better computers and who were more able in using a computer.

In 2018, the government opened a month-long window for submitting the form, and received more than 100,000 forms for just 10,000 places.

Do I Qualify to Sponsor My Parents and Grandparents?

Sponsors must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Live in Canada
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or be a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
  • Have enough money to support the people you want to sponsor. Canada has lowered income requirements for 2020 to offset the impact of coronavirus. The income required is be the minimum necessary income, instead of the minimum necessary income plus 30 percent.

PGP Income Requirements for Last 3 Tax Years

Total number of people you’ll be responsible for 2020 2019 2018
2 people $32,899 $41,007 $40,379
3 people $40,445 $50,414 $49,641
4 people $49,106 $61,209 $60,271
5 people $55,695 $69,423 68,358
6 people $62,814 $78,296 $77,095
7 people $69,935 $87,172 $85,835
If more than 7 people, for each additional person, add: $7,121 $8,876 $8,740

Parents and Grandparents Program 2020: Process

  1. Submit the interest to sponsor form
    The interest to sponsor form is available here until November 3, 2020
  2. Receive an invitation to apply
    Immigration officials will randomly select and invite potential sponsors. Canada aims to receive 10,000 applications in 2020.
  3. Receive the application package
    Those receiving an ITA will also receive an application package.
  4. Pay your application fees
  5. Submit your application
    The complete application must be received with 60 days of the date of the ITA.

New Manitoba Government Department Aims to Boost Provincial Immigration

A new department of advanced education, skills and immigration has been announced by Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister as part of the Canadian Prairie province’s bid to boost its COVID-19-stricken economy.

“Our pandemic recovery plan is focused on getting people back to work and ensuring new job opportunities for young Manitobans and new immigrants we welcome into our province,” said Pallister. 

“This new department will focus on aligning advanced educational institutions with the needs of the labour markets of today and tomorrow by giving young Manitobans the skills they need to succeed and new immigrants the job opportunities our province can offer.”

Lac du Bonnet MLA Wayne Ewasko, a long-time teacher and guidance counsellor, is the minister overseeing the new department.

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Manitoba announced the new department during a cabinet shuffle that saw nine ministers sworn in. 

The newly-created Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration’s mandate includes attracting and welcoming more immigrants to Manitoba through the province’s Provincial Nominee Program and its connection with community partners.

The department is being created to promote access to Manitoba universities and colleges as part of a bid to give more economic and social opportunities to the province’s graduates and immigrants. 

The province is hoping the new, stand-alone ministry will also: 

  • ensure greater linkages and alignment between the offerings of Manitoba’s advanced educational institutions and the skills needed to equip the labour force of the future;
  • deliver student aid and financial assistance programs and bursaries that reward and create more educational opportunities for young Manitobans, and; 
  • take a leadership role in developing and delivering quality, relevant skills programming that will increase the participation of Manitobans in the economy through greater adult learning and literacy.

Last year, Manitoba sent out 5,105 Letters of Advice to Apply (LAA) in 26 draws. Upon receipt of an LAA, the prospective immigrant has 60 days to log into his or her account and gain access to the full Manitoba PNP application and complete it. 

In 2020, 3,914 of those LAAs were issued under the Skilled Worker in Manitoba Stream (SWM) which selects foreign-trained workers with the required skills for specific employers and nominates those candidates for permanent residence in Canada. That stream prioritizes candidates with a strong attachment to Manitoba, with two pathways to Manitoba immigration.

That same year, Manitoba issued 603 LAAs through its International Education Stream (IES) which is for international graduates of Manitoban colleges and universities. 

Manitoba also issued 588 LAAs last year through its Skilled Worker Overseas Stream (SWO) which includes both a dedicated Canada Express Entry Pathway and a direct provincial pathway. The SWO is for international skilled workers with skills and training in Manitoba’s in-demand occupations. Priority is given to applicants and spouses with close family connections, plus the language proficiency, training and experience to find jobs quickly.

The Prairie province also has a Business Investor Stream (BIS) which allows it to recruit and nominate qualified business investors and entrepreneurs from around the world who have the intent and ability to start or purchase businesses in Manitoba.

Early Success in Attracting Immigrants For Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Thunder Bay in Ontario is seeing great success with attracting immigrants through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP).

Emily Lauzon, workforce development officer with the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, praised the RNIP in an interview with CBC News.

“We did end up recommending 69 people. Some of them do have spouses and children as well, so it’s probably more like around 80 or so people that are coming through this program in its first year,” Lauzon said.

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In 2021, she is expecting up to 150 people to take part in the pilot program that offers permanent residency to skilled foreign workers who settle in rural and northern communities across Canada.

First rolled out in mid-June in 2019, the RNIP initially comprised 11 rural and northern communities, including: 

  • Thunder Bay;
  • Sault Ste. Marie;
  • Sudbury;
  • Timmins;
  • North Bay;
  • Gretna-Rhineland-Altona-Plum Coulee;
  • Brandon;
  • Moose Jaw;
  • Claresholm;
  • West Kootenay, and;
  • Vernon.

To be included in the pilot, communities had to have a population of 50,000 or less and be located at least 75 km from the core of a Census Metropolitan Area or have a population of up to 200,000 people and be considered remote from other larger cities, according to the Statistics Canada Remoteness Index.

As the Canadian population ages and the birth rate declines, rural Canada’s workforce has seen a significant decrease in available workers. The RNIP was developed to address those labour shortages,  drive economic growth, and help support middle-class jobs.

In Thunder Bay, roughly half the newcomers have worked as nurses, personal support workers and dental assistants. Others have experience in food service, engineering and transportation.

“Immigration is one of the suggested strategies for helping to grow a community like Thunder Bay,” Lauzon reportedly said. “We’re testing out to see if something like this works – if people will come here and stay here, if they have meaningful, full-time employment in Thunder Bay.” 

When the RNIP was launched, Rural Economic Development Minister Bernadette Jordan likened it to the highly-successful Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP).

“I’m pleased we are able to introduce this new pilot to continue experimenting with how immigration can help ensure the continued vibrancy of rural areas across the country,” she said.

Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan thinks that at even a small number of newcomers with the proper skills could produce big results for communities like the Soo. 

“The jobs of tomorrow for the middle-class go hand-in-hand with economic development and filling key vacancies with skilled talent from around the world,” he said.

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