Kareem El-Assal - 28 December, 2020
January 2021 will mark the beginning of a year people all across the globe hope will be much better than 2020.
It also marks what will be the beginning of a notable month for Canada's immigration system.
Following a record-breaking year for Express Entry, we can expect at least two Express Entry draws in January. Express Entry is the main way Canada manages skilled worker immigration applications and Canada broke its record in 2020 by issuing a total of 107,350 invitations.
The January 2021 Express Entry draws will give us a strong indication of how we can expect Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage the immigration system in the New Year. Maintaining high levels of invitations will be a strong indication IRCC expects to be able to welcome successful Express Entry immigrants later in 2021.
We can also expect Canada's immigration minister Marco Mendicino to receive an updated mandate letter from Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau. This has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic but it is a necessary step that the government will take in the New Year. The purpose of the mandate letter is to guide the policy direction of Mendicino and IRCC. It will outline the Canadian government's immigration goals and what steps Trudeau is asking the government to take to achieve the goals.
Another expected major development in January 2021 is IRCC holding the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) lottery. The lottery was set to take place by the end of 2020 but IRCC needed to delay it. IRCC is now saying the lottery will take place very early in the New Year. IRCC opened the PGP 2020 expression of interest window in October 2020 and closed it the following month. For the 2020 PGP, it will invite up to 10,000 sponsors who will have 60 days to submit their completed sponsorship applications. Later in 2021, IRCC will open a new expression of interest window for the 2021 PGP and this year, it will invite up to 30,000 additional sponsors in another lottery.
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