Updates to Canadian Immigration Policies in 2019

The most relevant changes you should know about.

Canada receives more than 200,000 immigrants and refugees each year. Official data shows there are more than 170,000 Vietnamese living in Canada. Each year Vietnamese people migrate to Canada for one of the following reasons: to achieve economic goals; reunite with family members; or seek refuge. If you are planning to move to Canada or are trying to obtain Permanent Residence (PR) you need to be aware of the new policy implementations.

Express Entry

In 2018, applicants needed to score 457 points in order to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for PR. However, as of March 20th, the score has decreased to 452 points. More than 21,000 immigrants have been invited to apply for PR so far this year. And the government predicts it will hand more than 81,000 ITAs by the end of the year.

Express entry is a program in which applicants are selected electronically. In other words, once you fulfill the requirements, it’s just a matter of luck to be selected. However, the more qualifications you have, the better chance you have to get an ITA. The Express Entry program is divided into three subcategories – Federal Skilled Worker program, Federal Skilled Trades program and Canadian Experience Class. Your eligibility for these programs depends on your credentials and skills.

Provincial Nominee Programs

In a news release issued March 12, the Canadian government announced it would open 2,000 new spaces under the Provincial Nominee Programs. These programs vary from one province to another. In most cases, employers or provincial governments will nominate foreign workers who contribute to the growth of the economy. In most cases, provinces and territories nominate those who fulfill the requirements to work in specific regional labor markets. Express Entry applicants who receive a provincial nomination are awarded additional 600 points. Check the PNP website (“How the Provincial Nominee Program PNP works” on canada.ca) for specific information regarding the province you would like to move to.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

The Canadian government has recently announced the extension of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP). Launched in 2017 for an initial three-year-run, the program has now been extended to December 2021. The program aims to provide foreign nationals with PR status to live and work in the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The AIP requirements are different from most of the other immigration programs. This program only allows you to live in one of the previously mentioned provinces. A minimum of a high-school diploma or equivalent is needed to apply and if you are a student who graduates from a university or college from any of these provinces, you don’t need to have work experience to apply. Visit the Government of Canada website for more information.


Foreign citizens who work as caregivers will soon have access to two new programs called Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot. Under the new programs, caregivers will be considered for permanent residence before they start working in Canada. Once the caregiver obtains two years of work experience in Canada, they will have access to a direct pathway to become a Permanent Resident. These new programs will allow caregivers to switch jobs faster than before. Additionally, they provide many tools for caregivers to bring their families with them, offering work permits to their spouses/common-law partners and providing study permits for their dependent children.

Parents and grandparent sponsorship

Now you can sponsor your parents and grandparents to come to Canada. Parent Sponsorship is a first-come-first-served program that was launched on January 28th and it will accept submissions for a determined period of time. This program will provide the first 20,000 applicants (who meet the requirements) with the opportunity to sponsor their parents/grandparents. In order to become sponsors, applicants need to have PR status or citizenship, be older than 18 and commit to support their family members for the next 20 years (proof of financial status is required). Check the Government of Canada website for more information.

Remember, immigration policies are always changing. If for some reason you don’t meet the minimum requirements, keep working hard and don’t forget to check regularly for requirement updates or new opportunities to move to Canada.

By Ivonne Flores

This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt

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