Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers provide a weekly news review of Canada to keep you up-to-date on immigration and citizenship changes, updates, and news. Follow us to stay informed about the latest developments within the Canadian immigration system.
IRCC held the second Express Entry draw of 2023
On January 18, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducted a new Express Entry draw, the second in two consecutive weeks. In round #238, IRCC issued 5,500 Invitations to Apply (ITA) for all-program candidates, with a cut-off score of 490 points – 17 points lower than what was in the last draw! Canada has already distributed 11,000 ITAs through the Express Entry draws, making this year’s start by far the quickest since the Express Entry system launched in January 2015.
The Express Entry system is an excellent opportunity for professionals planning to move and settle in Canada. This program awards points based on your skills, experience, Canadian employment status and provincial or territorial nomination, which will grant you higher chances of receiving an ITA for Permanent Residency in the country. Generally, PR applications under the Express Entry streams are processed within 6-12 months, but now it takes longer due to backlog. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can guide you through the application process and ensure your best interests are considered.
Canada is on track to clear the backlog of visitor visa applications by February 2023
To reduce the visitor visa applications backlog, IRCC is debating removing some eligibility criteria for half a million applications. This crucial move will dramatically decrease wait times while still allowing more individuals to come and experience Canada’s incredible sights! An IRCC memo revealed two potential methods to reduce the amount of visitor visa applications. The first would involve handling approximately 195,000 requests in one go, while the alternate solution considers loosening eligibility criteria for up to 450,000 applicants.
IRCC worries that the stockpiling is damaging “public trust” in the immigration system. IRCC’s backlog currently stands at 2.1 million applications for permanent residence and citizenship approvals, with 1.09 million of them surpassing the expected service standards. IRCC strive to provide 80% of these applications in a timely manner within the service standards while recognizing that some complex cases may take longer as they require additional evaluation. For example, according to the last update, more than half of all temporary residence requests for travelling, studying or working abroad have been taking longer to process than the set service standards. Additionally, a majority (55%) of permanent residency applications are being delayed as well.
British Columbia continues accepting immigrants under the BCPNP
On January 17, 2023, British Columbia held a new draw under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP). The province invited up to 192 qualified Skills Immigration candidates, healthcare professionals, and early childhood educators (NOC 42202) for this draw. This year, British Columbia has sent out a total of 553 invitations. The BCPNP is the most efficient and quickest pathway for individuals interested in residing in the province permanently. Just as in 2022, the BCPNP continues regularly inviting potential candidates.
Applicants who want to settle in British Columbia permanently must first demonstrate that they meet the criteria of their chosen immigration program, including any language proficiency requirements and work experience related to their nomination. Once approved, successful candidates will receive a provincial nomination certificate which may then be used to apply for permanent residence in Canada. If you are interested in pursuing a BCPNP nomination and achieving permanent residency in Canada, contact Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers today for a consultation. Our immigration lawyers will take the time to understand your situation and provide the best solutions to meet your needs.
Canada should create an expedited pathway to permanent residency for international students
A recent study, “From Student to Immigrant? Multi-step Pathways to Permanent Residence,” has uncovered the fact that international students in Canada face complex pathways toward permanent residency. Accordingly, The Conference Board of Canada advises IRCC to devise more accessible routes for international students aiming at permanent resident status in Canada. In addition, the Conference Board highlighted the importance of Canada establishing a specialized federal economic immigration program tailored specifically towards international students, granting these individuals quicker and more dependable permanent residency pathways.
For international students wanting to call Canada home, post-graduate work experience is often necessary before they can be granted permanent residence. International students must first apply for a work permit to obtain permanent residency. Furthermore, many prospective immigrants who had to opt for economic immigration programs and demonstrate their Canadian degree are obligated to present additional ties, such as those with a certain employer or province. The Government of Canada has already started public consultations regarding creating a new pathway for international students to obtain permanent residence within a short timeframe.
Alberta invited candidates under the AAIP and announced changes to Alberta Express Entry selections
On January 17, 2023, IRCC revealed the most up-to-date details about Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). There were 1,152 applications for the Alberta Opportunity Stream, along with 276 Expressions of Interest from individuals in the Alberta Express Entry pool. On December 8, 2022, the AAIP held a new round in the Alberta Express Entry Stream and invited 129 candidates. This round had an incredibly low score requirement – 305 points! Compared to their previous draw, this was a generous 168-point decrease. In total, the AAIP invited 2,449 candidates in 2022.
The AAIP has also published new updates for the Alberta Express Entry Stream. Starting in 2023, AAIP will use a variety of factors, including high-demand occupations and family connections, to select candidates for invitations. This alteration should significantly increase candidates’ chances of obtaining an invitation from the Alberta Express Entry Stream depending on their chosen occupation and ties to the province. With this change, individuals have more opportunities to immigrate to the province. If you need more information or assistance, consider reaching out to Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers.
Canada expanded the immigration program for out-of-status construction workers
On January 20, 2023, the Government of Canada announced its plans to create pathways for out-of-status immigrants to address severe worker shortage issues within The Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In 2019 IRCC had already made strides towards this goal when they collaborated with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and granted permanent residency status to 500 out-of-status workers from the construction industry. IRCC has recently broadened this policy by doubling the number of out-of-status individuals to 1,000. Eligible persons have until January 2, 2024, to apply for permanent residence and include their spouses, partners, and children in their application.
IRCC is currently investigating ways to create more diverse routes for undocumented migrants and their families. These permanent residence pathways will give individuals greater chances to enter or remain in the job market, allowing them to help fill labour shortages. Under this program, those with considerable construction-related experience in the GTA, a family already living in Canada, a referral letter from the CLC and no other cause of being ineligible apart from overstaying their visa and working without authorization may be eligible to apply for permanent residence. Since the pilot program for out-of-status construction workers in the GTA was launched in July 2019, a total of 452 people have been officially accepted as permanent residents – 190 principal applicants and 262 dependents. Take advantage of this opportunity today! Contact Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers to get started.
Canadian cities are experiencing a tremendous surge in population growth
In the past twenty years, Canada’s metropolitan areas experienced their most substantial population growth on record – a trend that continued even during the pandemic. In the year ending July 1, 2022, Canada’s metropolitan census areas (CMAs) flourished with an impressive 2.1% expansion of 574,000 individuals – higher than ever since 2001, when census data was first published. In the face of the pandemic and border limitations, Canada experienced a startling rebound in urban areas with 0.5% yearly growth – starkly different from rural regions.
Immigration plummeted while many citizens sought refuge in smaller towns away from bigger cities, drastically altering the nation’s demographic landscape. In the GTA, population growth has been exclusively driven by international migration, encompassing permanent residents and international students. Over the past year, it became more evident that more individuals are leaving the GTA for other parts of Canada than moving in. Montreal and Vancouver metropolitan regions also encountered net interprovincial losses, with roughly 29,500 and 14,300 people over the past twelve months. Ultimately, Montreal’s population grew by a measly 0.9%, making it one of the lowest-growing CMAs in Canada.
Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers offer a comprehensive range of services, including preparing permanent residence applications, obtaining nomination under provincial programs, submitting applications for work and study permits and visas, and representing clients before Canadian immigration authorities. Please get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you and your family. We look forward to hearing from you!