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Canadian Employers Increase Average Wages to Recruit More Workers – Weekly News Review February 20-26, 2023

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A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern and a skilled litigator, Lev focuses exclusively on immigration and refugee law. His immigration practice is focused on complex corporate and personal immigration and refugee law matters.
Canadian Employers Increase Average

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Canadian employers increase average wages to recruit more workers

To address the drastic labour shortages, Canadian employers offer higher wages to attract and recruit more workers to their businesses. In the last quarter of 2022, weekly wages were up 3.4% at an average rate of $1,173.90, and hourly rates increased 7.5% to reach a median wage of $24.20 per hour compared to data for the same period of 2021. According to the latest figures from Statistics Canada, job vacancies remained at an all-time high in December. Despite a decrease in open positions for transportation, warehousing, finance and insurance sectors, healthcare & social assistance surged with many more opportunities available than before.

With 848 800 jobs awaiting candidates across Canada – now is the time to begin searching for your dream job in Canada. With the Canadian labour market so competitive, foreign nationals have a one-of-a-kind chance to turn this into an advantage and gain permanent residency through various economic immigration programs. Canadian businesses can hire skilled foreign workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP) to survive the acute labour shortage. Whether you are an employer or a foreign worker, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can assist you with the entire process – from selecting an appropriate program to working permit applications and more.

Canada resumed biometrics collection for in-Canada applicants

Starting from February 23, 2023, the Canadian Government resumed the biometrics requirement for all in-Canada temporary residence applications. As a result, individuals applying for a temporary residence or those who want to extend or restore their permits as students, workers, or visitors on or after February 23, 2023, must provide biometrics results. Prospective temporary residence applicants can submit their biometrics at Service Canada Centre collection centres across Canada.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and service closures and disruptions at biometric collection locations across Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made a temporary policy change on July 15, 2020, to exempt in-Canada temporary residence applicants from having to provide biometrics. The Government of Canada understands the importance of providing a safe environment for its citizens, so it requires all who wish to enter the country or extend their stay in Canada to submit biometrics to confirm their identity for security reasons.

Canada continues to support Iranian temporary residents

Canada continues to protect Iranians living in Canada and help them stay together with their families. Due to the severe and ongoing human rights violations occurring in Iran, some individuals may choose to remain in Canada instead of returning home. Thus, the Government of Canada announced new measures to support Iranian temporary residents in Canada to extend their stay in the country further. From March 1, 2023, to February 28, 2024, the Canadian Government will issue open work permits for Iranians in Canada and prioritize the applications of Iranian nationals who want to extend their temporary resident permit or apply for another visa in Canada. To support potential victims of human rights violations, the Government has waived certain processing fees for Iranian nationals to stay in Canada. Furthermore, passport and permanent resident travel document fees have been waived for Canadian citizens and residents currently present in Iran.

On October 7, 2022, the Government of Canada declared drastic measures to hold Iran accountable for its gross and systematic human rights violations and terrorist activities. On March 1, 2023, the IRCC website will provide detailed instructions on how to apply for these newly implemented regulations. In addition, Iranian nationals outside their home country who cannot return can come to Canada under three streams for refugees: the Government-Assisted Refugees Program, the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, and the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program.

IRCC announced a new initiative to shape the future of immigration in Canada

On February 23, 2023, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser declared a new initiative to advance the Canadian immigration system and analyze how immigration policies and programs shape Canada’s future. Entitled “An Immigration System for Canada’s Future,” this endeavour will be conducted over springtime culminating in dialogue sessions, workshops, and surveys to gauge input on how best immigration should work for the nation. Gathering such data through these activities will guarantee that future choices are based on citizens’ opinions and feedback, thus profoundly positively affecting many generations.

In 2022, Canada made a new record by welcoming an astounding 437,000 permanent residents. Immigration has become Canada’s most influential factor in population growth – 8.3 million people, or nearly one-fourth (23%), are immigrants or once-landed permanent residents. This is the most significant ratio since Confederation and surpasses all other G7 nations combined. As the population ages in Canada, the number of working-age adults is diminishing rapidly. In 1960, there were approximately seven workers for every senior citizen in Canada. In contrast, that ratio has dropped to just three to one today and could soon be as low as two for each senior within a few years. Thus, the Government of Canada acknowledges that a continued increase in the number of people coming to Canada requires a new, advanced approach to immigration.

IRCC processes nearly 50% of immigration applications within the established service standards

On February 21, 2023, IRCC unveiled new figures on immigration inventories and backlogs. In total, a whopping 1,944,500 applications for permanent residence permits, temporary resident visas, and citizenship were pending in IRCC’s inventories at the time of the announcement. IRCC has vowed to process 80% of applications within the service standard, while some may necessitate a thorough examination. The current update reveals that 49.8% of applications exceeded the service standards and are backlogged. Currently, 47% of study and work permits and visitor visa applications are in backlog. Additionally, 44% of permanent residency and 27% of citizenship applications exceeded the expected timeframe.

IRCC is actively working to reduce backlogs and bolster the immigration system by digitizing applications, employing new staff, and utilizing automated technologies to facilitate faster processing times while ensuring Canadians’ safety. As Canada’s population grows, the Government invests in more innovative and efficient solutions to streamline immigration processing. To increase transparency, IRCC has also released an online tracker for individuals who have applied to remain informed of their file status. The Canadian Government remains committed to providing quality services for those seeking permanent residency in Canada.

Manitoba held an occupation-specific selection draw under the Skilled Worker in Manitoba Stream

On February 23, 2023, Manitoba held the first occupation-specific candidate selection under the Skilled Workers in Manitoba stream of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). The province invited 207 applicants under the various National Occupational Classification (NOC) minor groups that were in demand in Manitoba. The MPNP also issued LAAs to 376 candidates under the regular Skilled Workers in Manitoba, Skilled Workers Overseas, and International Education streams. In addition, on February 24, 2023, the Government of Manitoba held the eleventh draw for Ukrainian candidates and invited 13 candidates.

This year, the province invited 1,583 candidates under all MPNP streams, including 232 Express Entry candidates and 34 Ukrainian nationals. The MPNP supports international students and foreign workers who can contribute to Manitoba’s workforce and economy. To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet a set of criteria and intend to settle in the province. Manitoba is getting more and more popular among Canadian provinces by attracting and retaining immigrants in the province. If you also want to be one of them, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help you with the process. Our immigration lawyers will handle all the paperwork, track progress, ensure your application is complete and accurate, and provide sound advice.

Entrepreneur Success Initiative offers successful planning options for Ontario businesses

With the Entrepreneur Success Initiative, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) offers an array of options for entrepreneurs looking to begin succession planning in their businesses. This is particularly relevant now as numerous business owners aim to retire within the next five years. The Entrepreneur Success Initiative, funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, is an all-in-one, comprehensive service which provides a single point of contact for inquiries, matchmaking between vendors and business owners, mentor networking opportunities, and licensing support.

The Entrepreneur Success Initiative is a two-year pilot program created to help 100 immigrant entrepreneurs and professionals with international experience acquire access to the OINP Entrepreneur Stream while establishing or purchasing a new business in Ontario. Such individuals bring essential skills crucial for economic development and offer their global knowledge, innovative ideas, and impressive qualifications, which have been beneficial for accelerating growth within the province.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers is dedicated to providing clients with reliable and comprehensive assistance in all areas of immigration. We are here to help obtain various visas, including permanent residence and family reunification applications, student visas, investor visas, and business and corporate immigration. Our lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of Canadian Immigration Law, regulations, and policies, enabling us to provide our clients with the best possible advice.

Lev Abramovich

A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern and a skilled litigator, Lev focuses exclusively on immigration and refugee law. His immigration practice is focused on complex corporate and personal immigration and refugee law matters.