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Increase in Canadian permanent residence fees effective 30 April 2020

In order to manage increasing program and service delivery costs, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is increasing permanent residence fees for most economic immigration programs, except caregivers, as of April 30, 2020.

Canadian permanent residence fees have not increased since 2002. As such, they do not reflect the rise in inflation over the last 18 years and the increasing cost of permanent residence operations and processing. They have lagged by countries such as the United Kingdom, where government immigration fees have risen sharply since 2010.

The increase on April 30 will affect applicants to most economic permanent residence immigration programs, except caregivers. The fees will then be automatically adjusted for inflation every 2 years for all permanent residence applications, including the economic, family and humanitarian programs, beginning in 2022.

The changes ensure that Canada remains competitive and in line with fees charged by other immigrant-receiving countries. In most cases, Canada’s fees are considerably less expensive than countries with similar migration systems, such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. However, in the case of the United Kingdom, they do generally process cases much faster than their Canadian counterparts. The United Kingdom also offer many fast track application services and even offer a mobile visa processing service for certain categories whereby a UK visa processing team will process your application and fee by visiting you in your home.

For more information on the fee increases, the regulations which came into force April 30, 2020, provide as follows:

Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Amendment of Certain Fees)

The Regulations are amended such that

  • Starting in 2020-21, permanent resident processing fees for Economic class applicants increase as follows:
    • Fees for principal applicants of the Economic business class (including self-employed, start-up visa, Quebec investor, Quebec entrepreneur, and Quebec self-employed) will increase from $1,050 to $1,575 (an increase of 50%).
    • Fees for principal applicants of the Economic non-business class will go from $550 to $825 (an increase of 50%). Note: this increase will not apply to fees for principal applicants and their families in the Caregivers programs, which will remain unchanged.
    • Fees for spouses or common-law partners of all Economic classes will go from $550 to $825 (an increase of 50%).
    • Fees for dependent children of all Economic classes will go from $150 to $225 (an increase of 50%).
    • The right of permanent resident fee will increase from $490 to $500 (an increase of 2%).
  • Starting in 2022-2023, on the day of the two-year anniversary of the coming into force of these Regulations and every two years thereafter, selected permanent resident processing fees will be increased every two years by the applicable Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase, rounded to the nearest $5. The approximation assumption being that the CPI is 2% per year on average, but the fees would nevertheless be subject to inflation calculated cumulatively from the time of coming into force. The following prospective fee increases below are provided for illustrative purposes only:
    • Permanent resident processing fees for all economic business class principal applicants (including self-employed, start-up visa, Quebec investor, Quebec entrepreneur, and Quebec self-employed) will be increased to approximately $1,640 (projected) in 2022-2023, to $1,705 in 2024-2025, and so on.
    • Permanent resident processing fees for most economic non-business class principal applicants (including federal skilled workers, federal skilled trades, provincial nominee, Canadian experience class, the Ministerial Instruction economic immigration classes [currently, Atlantic Immigration class, Rural and Northern Immigration class, Agri-Food Immigration class], and Quebec skilled workers), will be increased to approximately $860 in 2022-2023, to $895 in 2024-2025, and so on. Permanent resident processing fees for principal applicants (as well as the spouses or common-law partners and dependants) in the Home Child Care and Home Support Worker caregiving classes will be increased by the applicable CPI increase.
    • Permanent resident processing fees for spouses or common-law partners of all Economic classes will be increased to approximately $860 in 2022-2023, to $895 in 2024-2025, and so on.
    • Permanent resident processing fees for dependent children of all Economic classes will be increased to approximately $235 in 2022-2023, to $245 in 2024-2025, and so on.
    • Permanent resident processing fees for all noneconomic class principal applicants (including the family, protected persons, and humanitarian and compassionate class applicants) will remain at the current rate of $550 until 2022-2023, when that fee will be increased biennially and rounded to the nearest $5, to approximately $570 in 2022-2023, to $595 in 2024-2025, and so on. Permanent resident processing fees for all family members of principal applicants (spouses, partners, and parents and grandparents, as applicable) will remain at the current rate of $550 until 2022-2023 when that fee will be increased biennially and rounded to the nearest $5, to approximately $570 in 2022-2023, to $595 in 2024-2025, and so on.
    • Permanent resident processing fees for dependent children and their family members will remain at the current rate of $150 until 2022-23 where they will be increased by the applicable CPI rounded to the nearest $5 on a biennial basis to $155, to $160 in 2024-2025, and so on.
  • Starting in 2022-23, the processing fee for processing an application by a person as a member of the permit holder class to remain in Canada as a permanent resident will be increased to $340 and then increased by the applicable CPI rounded to the nearest $5 multiplier every two years thereafter.
  • Starting in 2022-2023, the fee to sponsor a member of the family class will be increased to $80 and then increased by the applicable CPI rounded to the nearest $5 multiplier every two years thereafter.
  • Starting in 2022-2023, the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (a privilege fee) will be increased to approximately $520, and then increased by the applicable CPI rounded to the nearest $5 multiplier every two years thereafter.

Impact of Canadian Immigration Fee Increases on UK-Based Applicants

The regulations confirm that the main increases to permanent resident processing fees have occured in business immigration categories. The most popular of these categories for UK-based applicants are the self-employed visa and the start-up visa. However, the Canadian immigration department still do not have a fast-track or premium processing option for those applicants applying for work, business and study permits or those applicants wanting to expedite their skilled worker applications. During the busy summer months for example, a premium service for study permits would be extremely helpful as the Canadian High Commission in London can take up to 3 months to issue decisions on such applications, often issuing visas after an applicant’s course has started.

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