Canada gives second chance to PNP applicants who lost jobs to coronavirus

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Certain Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants who lost their job due to coronavirus will have until 2021 to get a new job and not lose their nomination.

Between September 17 and November 17, provincial and territorial jurisdictions can request for paper-based PNP applications to be placed on hold if applicants lost their job offer as a result of COVID-19. Eligible applications must have been received before March 18, 2020.

Canada will hold these applications until March 17, 2021 or until the applicant gets a new job offer and a confirmation from the province or territory that it still supports the nomination, whichever comes first.

The provinces and territories are responsible for advising the applicant that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will put their PNP application on hold.

IRCC will contact the applicant by email to provide instructions on how to submit additional documentation after the province or territory has sent in the request. Applicants should request that their application be put on hold through the province that is supporting their nomination. People who try to contact IRCC to request that their application be put on hold will be redirected to the nominating province or territory.

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration

Provincial Nominee Programs

Almost every Canadian province has a PNP that provides a pathway to permanent residence.

IRCC’s website says PNPs are primarily for people who:

  • have the skills, education and work experience to make a contribution to the economy of a specific province or territory;
  • wish to live in this province; and
  • wish to become a permanent resident of Canada.

Each province and territory has its own PNP streams. These unique immigration programs target new graduates, business people, skilled workers in specific occupations or semi-skilled workers, among others. Each PNP has its own requirements.

There are two ways to apply for permanent residence under PNPs :

  • The paper-based process that involves submitting a physical application and supporting documents.
  • Through the Express Entry which is an online application system.

The type of application will depend on the PNP stream under which you are applying.

This new measure will allow provinces to retain some of the immigrants that they nominated for permanent residence to Canada. Typically, PNP recipients must retain their job offer throughout the entire application process. This is another one of IRCC’s temporary measures to curb the effects of the pandemic on Canadian immigration.

About one million people in Canada lost their jobs in March. The latest Statistics Canada report suggests that Canada is seeing some economic recovery, but the labour market is still not up to par with its pre-coronavirus levels. Immigration numbers in July were also down 30 per cent compared to the same time last year.

The new measure shows that Canada is taking steps to continue to welcome immigrants, despite the challenges posed by coronavirus. Immigration is said to be key to Canada’s economic recovery, and it plays an instrumental role in the country’s long-term labour market strength and population growth.

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration

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