Jar of coins spilling over

Canada Updates The Amount Of Funds Express Entry Candidates Are Required To Have

New Requirements Only Apply To Candidates Without Job Offers

The federal government has updated the requirements for Express Entry candidates. Specifically, when it comes to the amount of funds that applicants are required to have. Furthermore, IRCC reduced  the Express Entry application period to just 60 days for candidates who are invited after June 29.

The new monetary requirements apply only to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). However, candidates from these programs who have received a valid job offer in Canada will not be subject to the new requirements.

Depending on the size of their family, candidates without job offers will now have to submit proof that they have the following amounts of money:

  • 1 Family Member: $13,213
  • 2 Family Members: $16,449
  • 3 Family Members: $20,222
  • 4 Family Members: $24,553
  • 5 Family Members: $27,847
  • 6 Family Members: $31,407
  • 7 Family Members: $34,967
  • Every Subsequent Family Member: $3,560

The required funds must be easily available to you when you apply for permanent residence and when you are issued your permanent residency visa. For example, the funds cannot be in the form of equity or be borrowed from another person. However, if your spouse is coming with you to Canada, the amount of money you have together in a joint account will be accepted. If you can prove that you have access to an account that is solely under your spouse's name, the funds in that account may also be accepted.

What is Considered Proof of Funds?

Those who are invited to apply for permanent residence must obtain written proof that they have enough money to settle in Canada according to the new requirements.

The federal government has defined "written proof of funds" as official letters from your bank or financial institution.

The government requires that these letters:

  • Be printed on your financial institution’s letterhead;
  • Include the institution’s address, phone number, and email;
  • Include your full name;
  • Outline any outstanding debts you have such as credit card debts and loans, and;
  • For each bank and investment account, include the account numbers, date the accounts were opened, the current balance of each account, and the average account balance for the past six months.

If you are unable to demonstrate that you have the required funds under the new rules, you must update your Express Entry profile by July 15, 2021.

Woman being evaluated by a doctor

Temporary Immigration Policy Allows Applicants To Skip Medical Exam

Those Who Qualify Can Skip Medical Exam Until December 28

A temporary change to Canada’s immigration policy may relieve some applicants from having to complete and submit an additional immigration medical exam.

Under normal circumstances, foreign nationals in Canada must complete a medical exam and submit it as part of their application for permanent residency. However, the federal government announced on June 30 that they would be implementing a temporary policy, allowing the medical exam to be skipped in certain cases.

Specifically, the policy affects those who are in-Canada foreign nationals and complete the following criteria:

  • They have submitted a new application for permanent residence, a permanent resident visa, or have a pending application for permanent residence and have not yet completed a new immigration medical exam;
  • They have completed an immigration medical exam within the last 5 years and were found to pose no risk to public health or safety, or complied with a requirement to report to public health authorities for monitoring, and;
  • They have not left Canada for more than 6 months in the last year to live in a country that has a higher incidence of a serious communicable disease than Canada, as outlined in the list of countries requiring an immigration medical exam.

Family members of applicants may also be eligible under the criteria above if they’re living in Canada. This temporary policy will be in place until December 28, 2021.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says the temporary policy will help speed up the immigration process for many – specifically temporary residents who want permanent residence.

As a result of the acceleration, Canada may get closer to its goal of admitting 401,000 refugees this year. So far, the country hasn’t been on track to meet this goal. Canada has admitted less than 25,000 immigrants per month between January and April, and the numbers have been decreasing. Canada would have to admit about 33,000 immigrants per month to meet its 2021 goal.

In Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic has halted efforts to increase immigration numbers. During this period, the government has tried to focus its efforts on helping temporary residents gain permanent residence, as this would be easier given the travel regulations that have been implemented following the pandemic.

IRCC has also introduced a few pathways for immigrants: first, the Express Entry system, and second, a set of six temporary pathways introduced in May for French speakers, essential workers, and international graduates. The slots for graduates filled up quickly, but there are still slots available for the other categories – they will remain open until November 5.

Female student walking into classroom holding a binder

Immigrants And International Students Helped Canada’s Population ‘Rebound’ Following Pandemic

Q1 Report Shows Immigration’s Role In Restoring Canada’s Population

In 2020, Canada’s efforts to grow its population took a major hit following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, new data from RBC shows that the population has recovered significantly during the first quarter of 2021 – and that immigration played a pivotal role.

RBC recently published data surrounding population growth in Canada for the first three months of the year. The report, written by Senior Economics Andrew Agopsowicz, called Canada’s population growth “strong,” explaining that it “rebounded” following disappointment in 2020.

During the first quarter of 2021, Canada’s population increased by 82,000. RBC explains that a huge part of this increase comes from immigration. The federal government had pushed for temporary residents to apply for permanent residence.

International students also played a significant role in getting Canada’s population growth back on track. There were 21,000 new study permits issued, showing a 44 percent year-over-year increase. Additionally, there were 24,000 new post-graduate work visas created, showing a 160 percent increase. Previously, Canada’s population of international post-secondary students had fallen by 60,000 in 2020.

Despite the strong growth demonstrated in the early months of 2021, the pandemic’s impact on Canada’s population are still being felt. RBC explains that the pandemic “amounts to a lost year in terms of Canadian population growth.” Year-over-year growth was 0.4 percent, falling short of what would be required for sustainable growth: 2.1 percent.

The ‘natural increase’ in population – meaning births minus deaths – was the lowest it had been in recorded history. RBC explains this is probably due to the high level of deaths caused by COVID-19 and population aging.

“Even as COVID-19 subsides, the natural increase is likely to continue to decline into the future leaving immigration to make up the shortfall,” Agopsowicz wrote. “This puts even more of a spotlight on the federal government’s execution of its immigration plan.”

Considering the report’s results, it’s likely that a larger focus will be placed on immigration as Canada continues to try to repair its population growth. However, Canada is falling short of its goal to bring 401,000 new immigrants to Canada in 2021.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced plenty of initiatives to reach this goal, or at least come close. For example, IRCC has placed focus on inviting Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence – data shows that a record-breaking 88,000 candidates were issued invitations.

Still, time will tell whether Canada can get back on track with both its goals pertaining to immigration and the population at large.

Woman wearing a mask sitting on luggage at an airport

Canada to Loosen Border Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated Travellers

Fully Vaccinated Travelers Can Skip Hotel Quarantine Starting July 5

Canadian residents who are fully vaccinated will soon be able to enter the country without having to undergo a quarantine period.

The federal government announced on June 21 that the rules surrounding entry will change beginning July 5. The news comes as many Canadian provinces have reached their vaccination targets – more than 75 percent of those eligible have received one dose, and more than 20 percent have received two doses.

Previously, anyone crossing the border would be required to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days. However, starting July 5, incoming travellers can avoid the quarantine period by submitting information through the government’s ArriveCAN mobile app.

Specifically, they must meet various criteria, including that they have received a full vaccination at least 14 days prior, they are asymptomatic, and they have a suitable quarantine plan.

Regarding the latter requirement, a government media statement wrote that “final determination regarding exemptions is made by a government representative at the border based on the information presented at the time of entry into Canada, which is why a quarantine plan is still required.”

Those approved will not have to quarantine.

No changes have been made regarding those who are not fully vaccinated; they will still have to quarantine for 14 days, including a quarantine period of up to 3 days in a hotel.

The Canadian government also announced that the Canada-U.S. border restrictions will remain in place until at least July 21.

"At this time, the Government of Canada continues to strongly advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel," said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair. "Although the future is looking brighter than it has for a long time, with COVID-19 cases on a downward trend and vaccination efforts going well across the country, we can't let our guard down."

Woman wearing mask in an airport pulling luggage

Travel Industry Demands Reopening Plan from Canadian Government

Tourism Reps Say Canada is “Left Behind” Without a Reopening Plan

The Canadian federal government has not yet announced a reopening plan for the Canada-U.S. border – or any type of travel-related reopening plan, for that matter. But business leaders are putting pressure on the federal government to create a comprehensive plan for the reopening of the economy and international borders.

The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable (CTTR) called on the federal government to release the plan as soon as possible. The CTTR is a group of industry representatives who are calling on all levels of government to ensure safe and accessible travel following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notably, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the G7 Summit this month to meet with other world leaders and discuss the future of global travel. Trudeau spoke to U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss the reopening of the Canada-U.S. border, but nothing firm was released, reports Forbes.

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed until at least July 21.

Additionally, Canada is the only country to emerge from the G7 summit without a comprehensive reopening plan.

Representatives from the travel industry hope the federal government will move quickly to create a plan.

“Canada cannot afford to be left behind as other countries around the world begin to reopen,” said Susie Grynol, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada, in a media release. “Without a clear plan in place, our vibrant tourism industry is at risk and people’s livelihoods are in jeopardy. Fully vaccinated travellers should be afforded the same opportunities, regardless of their nationalities.”

Specifically, the CTTR wants Canada to release a single national policy to clarify Canada’s stance on vaccination certification, the international border, and unvaccinated children.

“The Canadian travel and tourism industry — and the Canada-U.S. border — has been effectively closed since March 2020. A holistic Canada-wide plan is needed to provide certainty to businesses and Canadians,” said Beth Potter, President & CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. “We are seeing provinces fill in the gaps that have been created by the absence of a federal reopening plan and this will create confusion for travellers.”

More information about the reopening of the Canada-U.S. border is expected to be revealed soon.

In the meantime, Canada recently announced that it would lift certain conditions for Canadian citizens and permanent residents looking to re-enter Canada from the U.S. or any other country.

Starting July 5, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will be able to enter Canada without having to quarantine for 14 days upon entry. However, they must still present a negative COVID-19 test.