Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present weekly news reviews on the latest immigration updates. Our lawyers stay up-to-date with the latest news and developments in immigration policies, legislation, and other relevant matters. We provide our clients with the most updated information on Canadian immigration so they can make informed decisions about their future in Canada.
IRCC launched an application tracker for Express Entry and PNP applications
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has launched a dynamic new application tracker that enables Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates to track their applications’ status easily. This cutting-edge online system is comprised of four categories, empowering applicants to remain on top of their application process without constantly contacting or following up with IRCC for updates. The new status trackers are specifically created to assist individuals who registered for PNP as well as those who applied under the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
IRCC is devoted to constructing a comprehensive immigration system that benefits newcomers, visitors, businesses, and all Canadians. Enhancing online tools is part of the Government of Canada’s goal to increase customer satisfaction. During the past year, IRCC has significantly improved in solving critical difficulties experienced by those utilizing the immigration system. In May 2021, online application status trackers were first released for citizenship applications and, in February 2022, for immigration applications – beginning with spouse/partner and dependent child sponsorship applications.
Ontario held four draws under two OINP streams
On February 9 and 10, 2023, Ontario held draws in the Skilled Trades Stream of the Ontario Immigration Nominee Program (OINP). In the first draw for the Skilled Trades Stream, the province invited 510 candidates, while in the second draw, the OINP invited 466 candidates. In both invitation rounds, the CRS scores of the invited candidates were between 260-489 points. In 2023, Ontario invited 2,228 Skilled Trades candidates. In addition, on February 10, the province held new draws in the Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream (EJO FW) Stream. Ontario issued 304 invitations to apply (ITAs) in skilled trades occupations and 1 ITA under the federal Economic Mobility Pathways Project (EMPP). In total, the province invited 6,774 candidates in 2023.
The OINP offers many immigration pathways to individuals and families who wish to move to Canada. The Program includes a number of streams catering to different types of applicants. Whether you are a recent graduate from a Canadian educational institution or a foreign national with job experience in a skilled occupation, the OINP may be a good fit. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers is committed to helping clients access the resources and navigate the various requirements of the OINP. Contact us today to learn more about the Program and how we can help you begin your journey to Canada.
The Government of Canada extended the open work permit program for Hong Kong nationals
On February 6, the Canadian Government announced the extension of the open work permit program for eligible Hong Kong nationals. Those who have graduated in the past decade from either a Canadian or foreign post-secondary institution can now receive an employment authorization valid for up to 3 years. Previously, only those who graduated within the last five years were qualified for application. Hong Kong residents have until February 7, 2025, to submit their application for an open work permit. The public policy outlines that spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children of the applicant may also apply for a study or work permit. Canada has launched two pathways to permanent residency for eligible Hong Kong citizens to fuel the skilled workforce further. This move will allow qualified individuals with work experience to quickly integrate into the Canadian labour force, effectively jumpstarting the country’s future economic development.
This initiative aligns with Canada’s recently issued Indo-Pacific Strategy – a comprehensive plan to expand the nation’s engagement over the next decade. It will bolster regional harmony and safety, boost economic expansion and robustness, reinforce meaningful human connections, and promote sustainable growth. In addition, for Hong Kong residents facing a real risk of persecution, Canada’s existing resettlement programs provide hope and an opportunity for a better future. These individuals may be eligible to apply through either the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program or the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.
British Columbia continues inviting candidates through the BCPNP draws
On February 7, 2023, British Columbia issued new invitations under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP). In the general draw, the province invited 207 qualified Skills Immigration candidates, with a minimum score between 82-102 points. Additionally, British Columbia invited 25 early childhood educators (NOC 42202) and 13 healthcare workers. To be considered for selection, the candidates had to accumulate a minimum of 60 points. Consequently, British Columbia welcomed 245 individuals through this draw and has so far issued 1,367 invitations this year.
The BCPNP constantly surveys the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) to locate suitable candidates that meet the criteria for one of the province’s immigration streams. Qualified candidates are selected and personally invited by BCPNP to live and work in British Columbia, opening a world of opportunity! If you also want to join the thousands of people who have moved to British Columbia, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers are here. Contact us today and let us help you with the application process.
More undocumented construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area will be able to obtain permanent residency in Canada
On February 10, 2023, the Government of Canada updated and extended the temporary public policy for out-of-status construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This temporary public policy, which was initiated on January 2, 2020, and amended in July 2021 to become more accommodating, has been extended until either January 1, 2023, or when a total of 1000 primary applicants (as well as all their family members) gain permanent residency – whichever comes first. All applicants are eligible to apply whether or not they have previously been granted a work permit in the construction industry in the GTA.
Considering the economic contributions from foreign national construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area who have lost their legal status, this new policy has been instituted as a temporary measure to recognize their vulnerability. This policy has been created to bring stability and safeguard individuals making important contributions to the Canadian economy by filling regional employment needs. Moreover, it seeks to secure these workers’ rights as they have limited protection due to their undocumented immigration status.
Manitoba invited new candidates and invested in immigrant settlement services
On February 9, 2023, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) invited 308 candidates under the Skilled Workers in Manitoba, Skilled Workers Overseas, and International Education streams. In round #168, there were 33 Express Entry candidates. This year, Manitoba invited 987 candidates under the MPNP, and 92 of them received invitations through the Express Entry system. The MPNP is a popular immigration program offered by the Manitoba Provincial Government. It allows qualified individuals to become Permanent Residents of Canada and establish a life in the province.
In addition, Manitoba has made a generous investment of $4 million to assist immigrants in settling into Canadian society. With this additional funding, the province will be able to double its existing resources for settlement services and make it easier than ever before for newcomers to integrate socially and economically into their new lives smoothly. The Manitoba government is investing $7.1 million in the Newcomer Community Integration Support Program (NCIS), including an investment of $3 million to Manitoba Start, additional support with Recognition Counts getting $120,000, and increased resources towards the Newcomer Community Connections Stream. This substantial investment will provide more individuals and families new to Canada with improved access to services and programs.
Canada eased requirements for caregiver applications
On February 10, IRCC decreased the amount of work experience in Canada required for a caregiver applicant to be eligible for permanent residency from 24 months to 12 months. To further help caregivers, certain spots in the current pathways have been reserved so that those with previous Canadian work experience can apply for permanent residence. Effective April 30, 2023, this change will be applied to all caregivers who have already submitted their applications. This gives them, and their families access to an accelerated pathway for permanent residency in Canada.
The changes in expectations apply to both the Home Child Care Provider (HCCP) and Home Support Worker (HSW) pilots, impacting those whose applications have already been received by IRCC and those who will apply for the next five years. Since the launch of the pilots in 2019, nearly 1,600 caregivers and their families have been granted permanent residency in Canada. In 2022 alone, 1,100 caregivers and their family members gained this status under these two programs.
Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers is a leading immigration law firm that offers comprehensive legal advice and representation for individuals and families seeking to immigrate to Canada. With experience in all areas of Canadian immigration, we have the expertise and resources necessary to provide knowledgeable advice on a wide range of matters related to your visa application process, from temporary visas and permanent residency applications to appeals and litigation.