Applicants to a broad range of Canadian permanent residence programs will soon need to apply online, as Canada’s immigration department transitions from paper-based formats to digitization.
The move to online applications affects applicants to non-Express Entry Provincial Nominee Programs, the Quebec Skilled Worker Program and Quebec Experience Program, and those sponsoring a spouse or partner, among others.
Which programs are moving online, and when?
The following programs will move online as of September 23, 2022:
- Provincial nominee program (non-Express Entry)
- Quebec-selected skilled workers (including the Quebec Experience Program)
- Sponsoring a spouse or partner
- Sponsoring a dependent child
- Sponsoring an eligible relative
- Sponsoring an orphaned sibling, niece or nephew, or grandchild
- Adopting a child through the immigration process
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
The following programs will move online as of October 7, 2022:
The following programs will move online as of October 14, 2022:
The following programs will move online as of October 21, 2022:
- Home Support Worker Pilot
- Home Child Care Provider Pilot (reopens to new applications on January 1, 2023)
- Humanitarian and compassionate grounds
- Self-employed people (federal)
The following program will move online as of October 28, 2022:
Paper-based applications that are received after the transition dates outlined above will be returned to applicants. Applicants who are not able to apply online, for example due to a disability, will be able to contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to request an alternative format.
The expansion of online applications, announced by Canada’s Minister of Immigration on September 1, continues a trend toward digitization in Canadian immigration processing. The Permanent Residence Portal gives applicants more flexibility to apply from their devices and allows them to receive immediate confirmation that they have successfully submitted their application, instead of waiting months for such acknowledgment. The portal has been expanded and is currently open to most permanent residence program applicants.
The shift to online applications over the past few years began in earnest with the launch of the fully-online Express Entry system back in 2015.
By the end of October, 2022, IRCC will have transitioned to 100% digital applications for most permanent residence programs.
Deanne Acres-Lans, a regulated Canadian immigration consultant with Canada Abroad, goes deeper into the transition to online applications in the video below. If the transition to online applications may affect your Canadian immigration goals, you may wish to book a consultation with an expert before proceeding.
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