Weekly Canadian Immigration News – July 24th to 31st 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 a weekly news review of Canadian immigration updates to keep our clients informed and up-to-date on any changes that may affect their immigration status. Here is the latest news for the last week of July.

Canada Has a New Immigration Minister

On July 26, 2023, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made significant changes to his cabinet members. The changes were made to ensure the government functions optimally, efficiently, and effectively. During the cabinet shuffle, Marc Miller, a Member of Parliament from Quebec, was appointed as the new Immigration Minister of Canada, replacing Sean Fraser. A former Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Miller is expected to bring his extensive experience and expertise to the immigration department. In addition, Fraser, the previous Immigration Minister, was appointed as the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities. This move is expected to bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to the housing and infrastructure sectors, which are critical for Canada’s social and economic development. 

Cabinet shuffles are common in Canadian politics, occurring every two years to replace underperforming ministers, reward good work, and refresh policies and public communications. The last cabinet shuffle happened right after the federal election in October 2021. At that time, Fraser was appointed as the previous Immigration Minister and head of the Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This department is responsible for managing immigration policies, processing applications, and supporting newcomers in Canada. A cabinet shuffle is a crucial event in Canadian politics that enables the government to remain dynamic and responsive to the country’s evolving needs.

IRCC Has Slightly Reduced The Immigration Backlog

IRCC has recently announced that it has slightly reduced the immigration backlog. This is welcome news for many people waiting for their applications to be processed—the backlog results from a high volume of immigration applications and a limited capacity to process them. The government has been working to reduce the backlog by increasing its ability to process applications and by implementing new and more efficient processes. While more work is still needed, this news is a positive step forward for people looking to immigrate to Canada. According to the latest data published on July 25, 2023, there were 2,264,000 applications in all IRCC inventories, with only 35.3% exceeding service standards. Currently, 68% of temporary residence, 53% of permanent residency applications, and 76% of citizenship applications are being processed within the service standards.

As part of Canada’s efforts to reduce the immigration application backlog, the government has implemented an online citizenship oath. This new process allows applicants to complete their citizenship oath online, significantly reducing the processing time for citizenship applications. Previously, applicants had to attend a citizenship ceremony in person to take the oath, often resulting in long wait times and backlogs. The online citizenship oath reduces the need for in-person ceremonies and allows IRCC to process citizenship applications more efficiently. Since April 2020, 549,290 applicants have completed their oath of citizenship, with over 99% of them taken virtually.

Ontario Invited Francophone Candidates and Entrepreneurs

Over the past week, Ontario has invited French-speaking candidates and entrepreneurs to apply for permanent residence under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). On July 25, the Government of Ontario invited 95 Francophone candidates under Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream, while on July 28, 2023, the province invited 11 business candidates under the Entrepreneur Stream. In total, the Provincial Government invited 22,113 candidates under all streams of the OINP, including 1,127 francophone candidates and 48 entrepreneurs. If you are a French-speaking candidate or entrepreneur interested in immigrating to Ontario, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help! Contact us today to start your journey to Canada.

The OINP is an immigration program that allows individuals with the skills and experience needed by the Ontario labour market to apply for permanent residence in the province. The program is designed to help meet the economic development needs of Ontario and support the province’s efforts to attract and retain the best and brightest talent from around the world. The OINP offers several streams that target specific groups of potential immigrants, such as international students, skilled workers, and entrepreneurs. Each stream has its own specific eligibility requirements and application process. It is important to carefully review the requirements of each stream before applying to ensure that you are eligible and submit a complete and accurate application.

Canada To Accept Twice More Human Rights Defenders 

Human rights defenders (HRDs) often face violence, threats, and injustices and may need to flee their homes or countries. To support them, Canada is doubling the number of resettlement spaces from 250 to 500 for HRDs and their families. Canada is committed to providing a sanctuary for those who risk their lives for fundamental freedomsThe Government of Canada is committed to providing asylum to individuals who risk their lives for basic freedoms. Expanding the global refugee stream and partnering with civil society organizations shows Canada’s dedication to supporting and protecting HRDs. Canada will also develop a temporary protection pathway for HRDs in need through engagement with Canadian civil society organizations. These efforts will help HRDs defend human rights and provide more options for permanent residence when it is unsafe to return home.

Human rights defenders are individuals or groups who promote or protect human rights peacefully by documenting and calling attention to violations or abuses by governments, businesses, individuals, or groups. They face persecution, including arbitrary arrest, detention, threats, torture, enforced disappearance, and assassination. International organizations and IRCC work with Canadian civil society groups to identify and refer vulnerable HRDs to Canada for resettlement. The Government of Canada has launched updated guidelines called “Voices at Risk” to support HRDs, and a refugee stream was launched in 2021 to provide a safe haven for HRDs at risk. This expansion is in addition to the partnership with Rainbow Railroad to protect LGBTQI+ refugees and welcome them to Canada.

The BCPNP Approved Up To 230 Applications of Skilled Professionals

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) has been actively processing and approving applications of skilled professionals seeking to immigrate to British Columbia. This program has successfully attracted highly skilled individuals to the province, benefiting the local economy and the immigrants. In the latest draw on July 25, 2023, the BCPNP invited a total of 230 candidates from various categories, including 175 candidates in the general draw, 30 candidates in the childcare-targeted draw, 20 candidates in the healthcare draw, and up to five candidates working in other priority occupations. This recent draw is just one of many examples of how the BCPNP is committed to providing opportunities to skilled immigrants who want to make British Columbia their home.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that in 2023 alone, British Columbia has already invited a total of 6,056 candidates through the BCPNP. This impressive number highlights the success and popularity of the program, as well as the province’s commitment to attracting and retaining highly skilled individuals from around the world. With its strong economy, diverse communities, and stunning natural beauty, it is no wonder why British Columbia remains a top destination for many aspiring immigrants. If you are considering immigrating to British Columbia, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help guide you through the process. Contact us today to learn more about your options and how we can assist you with your immigration journey.

Prospective Immigrants To Canada Are Advised To Be Aware Of Fraudulent Phone Calls

Some applicants have reported receiving fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to work for IRCC. These people use the phone as their primary means of contact, and they employ various tactics to persuade their targets to provide sensitive personal information such as social insurance numbers and credit card details. What is particularly concerning about these fraudulent phone calls is that the scammers often threaten their targets with dire consequences if they refuse to provide the requested information. It cannot be emphasized enough that IRCC officials will never ask for any personal information over the phone or via email. Applicants should be aware of this fact and should never share their personal information with anyone claiming to be from IRCC unless they have verified the person’s identity first. To verify the identity of an IRCC representative, applicants should use the contact information provided on the official IRCC website or in official IRCC correspondence.

On July 28, 2023, the Government of Ontario issued a public warning to the OINP applicants about fraudulent calls from individuals posing as OINP staff. The Government of Ontario has clarified that the OINP staff never contact clients by phone to request payment, inquire about immigration status, or update personal information. Instead, all official communications are conducted through email or regular mail. Applicants need to be cautious and vigilant when dealing with any phone calls or emails claiming to be from the OINP. If you are an OINP applicant and have concerns about the validity of a communication you have received, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.

The Atlantic Immigration Program Will Bring In More Immigrants

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) of Canada is an essential program that aims to address the need for a highly-skilled and diverse workforce in the Atlantic region. Recently, the program received a boost with the renewal and revitalization of the Atlantic Growth Strategy (AGS), designed to accelerate the sustainable growth of the Atlantic Canadian economy. With this new development, the AIP is expected to play an even more significant role in achieving Canada’s immigration targets for 2023-2025. The program will welcome 8,500 new permanent residents in 2023 and 14,500 in 2025. These numbers demonstrate the program’s crucial role in the country’s efforts to increase immigration and support the regional economy. 

The latest Atlantic Canada agreement aims to boost the AIP system’s efficiency in addressing the Atlantic region’s labour market needs and regional requirements. By enhancing the program’s efficiency, the new agreement seeks to ensure that the AIP continues to be an effective tool for attracting and retaining the best and brightest talent worldwide. This will help drive the region’s economic growth and contribute to Canada’s long-term prosperity. Overall, the renewal and revitalization of the AGS is a positive development for the AIP and the Atlantic region, and it is expected to significantly impact the future of immigration and economic growth in Canada.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers specialize in helping individuals and families immigrate to Canada. Our team of experienced lawyers will guide you through the complex immigration process, from determining your eligibility to preparing your application and supporting documentation. Our team is dedicated to delivering personalized and professional assistance to ensure a smooth immigration process for you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for more information on how we can help you achieve your immigration goals.

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.