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2020 Immigration Year In Review

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Immigration

2020 Immigration Year In Review

Here are some of the key changes and news about Canada and United States immigration during 2020 from the Ackah Business Immigration Law blog:

1. COVID Immigration News and Temporary Updates
Before March 2020, very few of us knew the words COVID or coronavirus. Today, they're both part of our daily vocabulary. The COVID global pandemic caused many changes to travel and immigration in both Canada and the U.S., most of which are temporary but still in effect as we enter 2021:

  • Restricted immigration office access and limited immigration application processing
  • Border closings to all but essential workers
  • Closed secondary schools and increased online learning for graduate programs

Ackah Law worked hard to keep our offices open and support our clients throughout the pandemic; we posted hundreds of immigration updates, social media posts, podcasts and video updates. See all our blogs on COVID updates here.

2. Holiday Immigration Success Story: This Is Why We Do What We Do!
We're proud to practice #HappyLaw. We just love this work. This is what makes it all worthwhile. We're so grateful. So I was ringing the office success bell, and we were very very excited as a team.

3. Canada Ranked #1 'Most Desirable' Place to Live In The World
Canada is known for its "friendly locals, beautiful scenery and well-paid job prospects."

4. Paperless ArriveCAN Will Simplify Your Entry Into Canada
Canada created the ArriveCAN app and website so Canadians can before leaving their home country to provide mandatory travel information required for entry into Canada.

5. NEW! Try Our Express Entry Selection Factor Free Calculator
Our free calculator tool is a sample test you can use as a guide to determine if you could qualify for Canada's points-based immigration system.

6. Additional Express Entry Points For Francophones
French-speaking and bilingual immigration candidates will receive additional points under the Express Entry system as part of Canada's goal of 4.4% French-speaking immigrant admissions outside Quebec by 2023.

7. Waived Fees, Expedited Work Permits and Study Permits Encourage Hong Kong Residents To Move To Canada
Canada announced new programs to make it easier and faster for Hong Kong residents to live and work in Canada.

8. Alberta Launches 2 New Immigration Pathways for Foreign Graduates
The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is launching two new immigration pathways to permanent residency that encourage international graduates to invest in the local economy, open businesses in Alberta that create new high-paying jobs for Albertans in the tech sector and help diversify the local economy.

9. How Indian Tech Workers and Small Business Owners Can Immigrate from the U.S. to Canada
How Indian foreign workers and business owners in the United States can move to Canada to work or open a business, and then make Canada their permanent home.

10. New Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Lottery Re-opens Oct 13
Canada's updated 2020 Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) sponsorship online lottery program opened October 13, 2020.

11. 5 Reasons American Expats Choose Canada
Canada is increasingly becoming an attractive destination for Americans who want to move to a better quality of life.

12. 11 Ways to Increase Your Express Entry CRS Score
Canada has a point-based immigration application system called Express Entry that invites applicants to move to Canada based on how they score on qualifications.

13. What Is Canada's Municipal Nominee Program?
Canada's Municipal Nominee Program (MNP) is a regional economic immigration program for local communities, chambers of commerce and local labour councils to directly sponsor permanent immigrants to move to their community. Newcomer sponsorship is expected to be employer-driven to fill local labour needs.

14. PGWP: Post-Graduation Work Permit Program Update
IRCC announced changes to provide more flexibility on eligibility rules for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) for students who start their Canadian study program online from abroad.

15. US Visa Waiver Changes for Canadians
Recently the U.S. government has made a further change to immigration processing at the airports.

16. FAQs: Does My Pot Pardon Allow Me to Travel to the U.S.?
Unfortunately, a pot pardon means nothing to United States immigration and does not allow Canadians to travel to the U.S.

17. U.S. Immigration Fee Increases Amid Work Visa Suspensions and USCIS Furloughs
The United States is implementing new immigration fee increases.

18. What Are the Best Options for Hong Kong Residents to Move to Vancouver?
Hong Kong's new security laws went into effect on July 1, 2020, and give China more authority over Hong Kong's governance and residents.

19. How Non-Residents Can Open A Business in Canada
If you are a business owner but not a resident of Canada and want to grow your business and open a location in Canada, there are two main ways for existing foreign corporations to register to operate in Canada.

20. Moving Your Business to Calgary? Calgary Economic Development Means Business!
For our foreign corporate clients who are moving to our hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Calgary Economic Development (CED) helps foreign businesses get down to business!

21. B2B Immigration Solutions for Expanding Your Business to Canada
Do you want to grow your business in Canada?

22. Intra-Company Transfers For International Businesses
If you currently work for a company that has a parent company, branch office, subsidiary, or affiliate company in Canada, you may qualify for a Canadian work permit.

23. How Hong Kong Residents Can Move To Canada
Many Hong Kong residents want to emigrate to Canada.

24. Canada 2020 Immigration Goal Still 341,000 Despite COVID
Canada's 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan to "continue growing the economy and creating middle class jobs through responsible increases in newcomers."

25. Are You a Teen Expat in Canada Who Wants a Work Permit?
Many teenagers who move to Canada with their families would like to work while living in Canada.

26. How Can an American Open a Business or Branch in Canada?
Many United States business owners are looking north to expand and grow their business.

27. Immigration and Tax Solutions for Canadians On Business Travel to the United States
The main aspects of NAFTA that apply to individuals, professionals and companies.

28. Nearshoring to Canada: How to Open a Branch Office in Canada
As American businesses face increased obstacles, taxes and public protests against immigration, Canada is becoming an even more attractive destination.

29. Canada to Welcome Over 1 Million Immigrants 2020 - 2022
Canada announced a 3-year immigration goal of over 1 million immigrants from 2020 - 2022 in March.

30. Why Businesses Need to Apply for L Visa Renewals Earlier
Canadians who need an L visa renewal have not been allowed to renew at U.S. ports of entry or Canadian airport pre-flight inspection sites.

31. How to Work as a Business Visitor to Canada
As visitors, you can remain in Canada for up to six months without a visa - but you aren't able to work in Canada.

32. H-1B Visa Denied? Try Nearshoring to Canada!
Fewer skilled foreign workers are able to get an H-1B visa, and businesses are looking for alternatives.

33. Indian Tech Workers Targeting Canada Tech Employers
Tightening United States immigration regulations are making Canada the first-choice destination for highly skilled and educated Indian technology workers.

34. Cultural Immigration to Canada for Self-Employed Artists and Actors
Canada's Self-employed Persons Program allows people in cultural activities or athletics to immigrate to Canada permanently as a self-employed person.

35. Investor Path to Becoming a Canadian Expat
The investor path to becoming a Canadian expat is available to any American, British or other qualified foreign nationals.

36. Canada Is Winning the Global War for High-Tech Workers
The tech industry across Canada is booming. And one of the biggest reasons is U.S. immigration policy.

37. NAFTA & NAFTA 2.0: How You Can Work In the US, Canada or Mexico
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has created benefits for U.S. and Mexican citizens interested in entering Canada for business.

38. Free Services for Newcomers to Canada
Have you recently moved to Canada and become a Permanent Resident? Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers free local newcomer services for immigrants to Canada.

39. Canada Is Business Friendly: Named 2nd Best Country in the World
Canada was named the 2nd best country in the world in a new 2020 report from U.S. News.

40. Canada Restaurant Industry Needs Immigrant Workers
Canadian employers are facing an aging workforce and need more lower-skilled immigrants to fill jobs.


We will see what new immigration changes will be unveiled in 2021 – stay tuned!


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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It is hard enough in the normal course of business to obtain permanent resident status in Canada. Imagine the difficulty in gaining that status with a 36 year old developmentally disabled daughter. That was our experience. My husband had been recruited for the C.E.O. position at the Calgary Public Library. Even the process to obtain temporary work permits for all three of our family members took some time and effort. The Ackah Firm was with us every step of the way. They gave us good advice, managed the paperwork and kept my husband’s employer informed. They were also proactive by insisting that we get on with the process of permanent residency in a timely fashion. Again their experience and knowledge paid off. They utilized other legal expertise to make a case that our daughter would not be a burden to the Country or the Province. They were respectful of our point of view that despite her disabilities she had always been an active and engaged member of the community. We were pleased that permanent residence for parents and child came through fully six months before the temporary status expired.

– Margaret and Bill Ptacek

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