IRCC held the largest all-program Express Entry draw of 2023 – Weekly News Review March March 13 – 19, 2023


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.
Express Entry draw

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present the weekly news review with the latest updates on Canadian Immigration. If you are an immigrant looking for information, look no further! Follow us on social media for more up-to-date information.

IRCC held the largest all-program Express Entry draw of 2023

On March 15, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held the largest Express Entry draw of 2023, inviting 7,000 candidates. The number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued in this draw shatters the previous record set on January 18, when 5,500 candidates were invited. In this draw, IRCC invited candidates under all three Express Entry programs – Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). As in the previous all-program draw, in round #243, the cut-off score remained at 490 points. So far, Canada has issued 23,559 ITAs under all Express Entry draws in 2023.

Express Entry is an online system the Government of Canada uses to manage applications for permanent residence. The system was introduced in January 2015 and is designed to streamline and speed up the process of selecting skilled immigrants who meet the criteria for entry into Canada. Express Entry allows applicants to create a profile outlining their skills, qualifications, language abilities and other relevant factors, which can be used to assess their eligibility for the various immigration programs offered. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help you understand the Express Entry system and prepare your profile to maximize your chances of success. Contact us today to learn more about the Express Entry system and how we can help you with your application.

Canada to allow PGWP holders to apply for a new permit

On March 17, 2023, IRCC announced a new measure to assist international graduates with expired or expiring post-graduation work permits (PGWP), allowing them to apply for an extra work permit for up to 18 months. Beginning from April 6, 2023, PGWP holders and those whose PGWPs have already expired in 2023 will be eligible to obtain a new work permit. Moreover, those who have surpassed the 90-day restoration period can also restore their status and obtain interim work authorization to extend their stay in Canada. Typically, PGWPs are not extendable. As a result, those with PGWPs who wish to remain in Canada as workers generally need to apply for another type of work permit when their current one expires.

International graduates play a vital role in the transition to permanent residency each year, with more than 157,000 individuals in 2021 – the highest figure on record. This was followed by almost 95,000 successful transitions in 2022 – another impressive achievement that ranks second highest among historical totals. The public policies launched in 2021 and 2022 allowed international graduates to extend their PGWPs and stay in Canada longer. At the end of 2022, there were more than 286,000 international graduates in Canada with a valid PGWP. Around 127,000 PGWPs are expected to expire in 2023, with only 67,000 PGWP holders applying for permanent residence.

Ontario continues inviting candidates under the OINP streams

Over the past week, Ontario held four new draws under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). On March 14, Ontario held new draws in the Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream (EJO IS) and Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream (EJO FW) and issued 908 ITAs in total. On March 16, the OINP held two draws in Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream and issued 271 and 344 ITAs for the Francophone candidates. Ontario remains the most immigrant-friendly province in Canada, welcoming thousands of new residents each year. This year, the OINP has already issued 9,934 ITAs under all streams of the OINP.

The OINP is a Provincial Nominee Program that allows Ontario to nominate individuals who qualify for immigration to Canada. Applicants must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the program, including being highly skilled and having the education or work experience needed to successfully establish themselves as permanent residents of Ontario. The OINP also offers options for entrepreneurs, investors and strategic professionals who want to invest in and start businesses in Ontario. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers provide expert guidance and legal advice to help ensure a smooth transition into your new life. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to apply for the OINP.

Ottawa’s new immigration measures for Turkish and Syrian applicants

On March 18, 2023, the Government of Canada declared new immigration policies to prioritize applications from Turkish and Syrian temporary residents inside Canada and abroad. On February 24, 2023, the Canadian Government announced over $50 million in aid for earthquake relief in Turkey and Syria. This funding provides the necessary resources for vital humanitarian activities and ensures effective coordination of response efforts between both countries. On February 8, 2023, IRCC had an impressive 16,000 applications from Türkiye and Syria, with 1,700 applications from regions affected by earthquakes.

IRCC will speed up permanent residence permits and refugee resettlement procedures to support those affected by the destructive earthquakes. The Canadian Government waived fees for temporary passports, limited-validity passports, emergency travel documents, Canadian citizenship certificates and permanent resident travel documents for those who lost their travel documents due to the earthquakes. Canada also waived the requirement to hold a passport or travel document for Turkish and Syrian nationals who applied for a permanent resident visa. These regulations will be effective from March 29, 2023, to September 25, 2023. In the coming weeks, IRCC will release more details on their website about how to apply for these new initiatives.

British Columbia is the most consistent province hosting immigration draws

British Columbia has been consistently holding draws through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP), inviting applicants to apply for permanent residence every week. On March 14, 2023, the province issued new invitations to candidates under the Skilled Worker – International Graduate categories. The BCPNP issued 197 ITAs in the tech-targeted draw, inviting highly skilled candidates in the technology sector. In addition, the province invited 23 early childhood educators (NOC 42202), ten healthcare professionals, and foreign nationals working in BC under the NOCs 31103 and 32104. To date, British Columbia has distributed 2,540 invitations in 2023.

The BCPNP is a pathway to permanent residency in British Columbia. It is designed for applicants with the skills and experience to contribute to the province’s economy and local communities. The program allows international skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and international graduates to apply for permanent residency in the province. Successful applicants receive a provincial nomination, accelerating their Canadian immigration application process. To be eligible for the BCPNP, individuals must meet certain age, language proficiency, work experience and education criteria. Contact Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers to find out more about the program.

Alberta is preparing for a substantial climb in the AAIP within the next three years

With over 100,000 job vacancies in Alberta, the province is imploring Ottawa to boost the number of immigrants accepted through its Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) to help alleviate an ever-intensifying labour shortage and revive a flagging economy. Premier Danielle Smith recently unveiled that the AAIP will experience a drastic 67% growth between now and 2025. This increase in immigration numbers would include 9,750 nominations for 2023, 10,140 for 2024 and an estimated 10,849 for 2025 – which significantly surpasses previous years’ figures. With such astonishing surges in the AAIP’s enrollment numbers predicted in the coming years, there has never been a more opportune time to secure your future through this program.

According to the latest IRCC update regarding the AAIP, there were around 1,490 Alberta Opportunity Stream applications and 450 Expressions of Interest in the Alberta Express Entry pool in mid-March. Alberta held the latest invitation round in the Alberta Express Entry Stream on March 9 and issued 134 ITAs with a minimum score of 301. So far, 434 Express Entry candidates have received ITAs through the Alberta Express Entry. The AAIP issued a total of 1,292 nomination certificates in 2023. With these figures rising, Alberta is expected to fill labour shortages across the province, particularly in the skilled trades industry.

Canada expands job avenues for racialized newcomer women

On March 15, 2023, IRCC announced a new program to assist racialized women immigrants in finding work in the country. The Government of Canada has granted an investment of $1.1 million to YWCA Metro Vancouver to fund the Tech Connect pilot project for newcomer female immigrants as part of this initiative. The Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot was established to provide work placements, mentorship opportunities, and specialized career counselling services for racialized newcomer women. By investing in projects like Tech Connect, the Canadian Government has demonstrated its commitment to enabling a successful transition into employment for female immigrants of colour.

The pandemic has exposed the existing obstacles faced by racialized newcomer women in the labour market and compounded them with new difficulties. According to Labour Force Survey data accumulated from January to June 2021, there is an immense disparity between the unemployment rates of recent immigrant women (15.2%) and Canadian-born women (8%). YWCA Metro Vancouver is dedicated to creating programs that break down barriers faced by racialized newcomer women. These diverse initiatives work towards tackling issues such as discrimination, economic instability, and expensive childcare. They seek to provide equal chances for each person, helping them reach their goals regardless of race or gender.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers is a leading law firm in Canada specializing in immigration and citizenship matters. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable lawyers provides comprehensive legal counsel and representation for individuals seeking to enter or remain in Canada. If you are considering filing an immigration application or need help with a citizenship issue, our lawyers will ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities as well as the Canadian immigration system. Contact us today to get started.

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.