Last updated on October 13th, 2020

Last Updated on October 13, 2020 by Steven Meurrens

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is increasing processing fees.

  • 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.

According to IRCC:

  • permanent residence fees have not been increased since 2002, even by inflation, and, as a result, are no longer commensurate with the total cost of managing and implementing permanent residence programs. As a result of inflation alone over the past 18 years, fees have lost 34% of their value. As such, fees collected from Permanent Resident applicants now cover only about 35% of total costs of services provided.
  • the Right of Permanent Residence Fee is increasing from $490 to $500.  The modest increase (2%) represents a scalable and progressive approach to compensate for creeping inflationary increases, investment costs, and volume growth year over year as part of the regulatory regime for permanent residents.
  • application fees will also increase by 50% for principal applicants and their accompanying family members in all Economic Class programs, with the exception of the two 2019 Federal Caregiver pilot programs, the Home Child-Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot.
  • the permanent resident user fee increases are not expected to raise significant criticism that the fees are out of step with Migration Five partners (USA, Australia, UK, and New Zealand), nor that they make Canada a less attractive destination to immigrants.

The 2018-19 Fees Report confirms that prior to this increase IRCC was losing significant amounts of money on its permanent residence program.