Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review August 21 – 27 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.
Canadian immigration news

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present weekly news updates on Canadian immigration, including policy changes, application updates, processing times, and other relevant news. Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date.

Canada Is Planning To Modernize The International Student Program

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plans to modernize the International Student Program and introduce a new initiative – Trusted Institution Framework by 2024. This framework will introduce a two-tiered structure by assessing post-secondary institutions against specific criteria to determine whether they are reliable partners. Once the institutions meet the required standards, they will receive various benefits, such as faster application processing. 

As part of the implementation process, Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) must provide additional data to the government, including retention rates, on-time program completion rates, revenues obtained from housing availability, international tuition, institutional spending on international student support services, and teacher-student ratios. This information will enable the government to evaluate the suitability of each institution and determine whether they are eligible for the Trusted Institution status.

Canada Is A Leading Destination For Business Immigrants

According to a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada has been ranked as the most attractive country for immigrant start-up founders. This is excellent news for the country, which has been working hard to attract foreign businesspeople to help with innovation, investment, job creation, and economic growth. The report highlights the growing interest among OECD countries in attracting foreign entrepreneurs, and Canada has certainly been leading the way in this regard. 

What makes Canada such an attractive destination for immigrant start-up founders? The country has developed robust entrepreneurial ecosystems that stimulate research and innovation and provide access to funding and human capital. This creates a suitable environment for new and innovative businesses to thrive. In fact, the OECD made an Indicators of Talent Attractiveness ranking system to attract foreign start-up founders, and Canada scored high in almost all dimensions. The rankings indicate that Canada is well-suited to attract start-up founders and entrepreneurs due to its culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The New Recognized Employer Pilot Program Aims To Enhance The Protection Of Foreign Workers 

During the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, infection cases among migrant farm workers caused produce sections of grocery stores in Canada to become considerably empty. These workers, hired through Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program, have been subjected to unsafe workplaces and living conditions, leading to accusations of abuse. It is important to note that the root of this problem lies in the power imbalance between employers and workers caused by employer-specific work permits and the tenuous immigration status of workers. The Government of Canada will implement a new initiative called the Recognized Employer Pilot in September 2023 to address this issue.

This program aims to reduce the administrative burden on employers and provide the highest level of worker protection. The program also seeks to ensure workers have greater access to benefits, such as health care and pensions. Doing so will help prevent workplace and living conditions from deteriorating and improve workers’ and their families’ overall quality of life. The pilot is slated to last three years, a significant time to monitor and evaluate its effectiveness. During this period, the government will regularly collect data and feedback from participating employers and workers to assess the program’s impact on various aspects of the workplace and workers’ lives.

British Columbia Continues To Attract Skilled Immigrants

British Columbia has been a top destination for skilled immigrants for many years. The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) is a popular immigration pathway for skilled workers who want to settle in the province. Through the BCPNP, eligible individuals can apply for a provincial nomination, leading to permanent residency in Canada. This program has helped to bring many talented individuals to British Columbia and support the province’s economic growth. To further support its economic growth and immigration goals, British Columbia held new invitation draws under the BCPNP on August 22, 2023. 

The province invited 169 candidates in the general draw who met the eligibility criteria. Furthermore, the province invited 33 candidates under the childcare-targeted draw (NOC 42202) and 23 candidates in the Healthcare-targeted draw. British Columbia issued up to 230 ITAs in this draw, increasing the total number of invited candidates to 6,848. Overall, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program is an excellent option for skilled workers who want to settle in Canada and contribute to the province’s economic growth. If you also consider immigrating to British Columbia, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you immigrate to British Columbia through the BCPNP.

The Federal Government Is Considering Putting A Cap On The Amount Of Study Permits 

The Federal Government of Canada is currently reviewing the cap on the number of international students allowed to enter the country. This review is due to the “explosive growth” in rental markets and costs that have come with the surge in international students. Housing and Infrastructure Minister Sean Fraser has noted that the study permit program is different from permanent resident immigration programs, as it is driven by demand and is meant to be a temporary resident program. However, the program’s growth has been concentrated in certain regions of Canada, leading to a significant strain on the job market and an even greater impact on the housing market. To address this issue, Fraser has suggested that the Federal Government consider capping the number of international students allowed to enter Canada annually.

The Minister of Immigration, Marc Miller, has also expressed a willingness to review international student enrollment, especially considering fraud concerns. However, decreasing the issuance of study permits may be perceived as having an anti-immigration stance, so IRCC does not currently impose limits on study permits as they do for permanent residency programs. Instead, the government may consider reducing the number of annual student admissions to Canada and investing in infrastructure and housing in regions with high demand for international students.

Alberta Issued New Invitations And Nomination Certificates

On August 22, 2023, the Government of Alberta released an update on the status of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) inventory. The AAIP is an initiative that aims to attract skilled immigrants to the province of Alberta. The update provided some interesting statistics regarding the program, revealing that the provincial government invited a total of 2,673 candidates to Alberta and issued 6,921 nomination certificates this year. This is a significant increase compared to previous years, indicating that more and more people are looking to make Alberta their new home. 

The province holds invitation draws under the Alberta Opportunity Stream, the Rural Renewal Stream, the Accelerated Tech Pathway, the Family Connection Stream, the Dedicated Healthcare Pathway, and priority sectors. According to the latest update, on August 22, 2023, the AAIP invited 89 candidates working in the construction section who scored 303 points. If you are interested in applying for the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program, consider contacting Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers. We can guide you through the process and ensure your application is completed accurately and efficiently. Our immigration lawyers will assist you with everything from assessing your eligibility to preparing your application and supporting documents. Contact us today to learn how we can help you immigrate to Alberta.

Marc Miller To Modernize Canada’s Outdated Immigration System 

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, has stated that the current system for processing immigration applications is outdated. Miller aims to modernize the system to reduce processing times and the backlog of applications. Contrary to popular belief, a shortage of immigration staff is not the primary cause of the outdated system. According to the Canadian parliamentary budget officer, Yves Giroux, IRCC already has enough personnel to meet application processing goals for the next three years. In his report, Giroux analyzed the direct costs of processing applications for economic immigration streams. By 2022-2023, IRCC is expected to have 65% more staff than needed to meet the processing time goal, which will decrease as the number of applications increases. 

The department manages over one million applications at any given time, with 802,600 currently reported to be in backlog. Although IRCC aims to process 80% of applications within its service standards, a recent surge in backlog numbers brings it closer to exceeding the target. It is important to note that backlogs vary across different types of applications. Study permits currently have a low backlog of 17% as of August 2023, while temporary resident visa backlogs exceed 47%. Work permits reached and exceeded the 20% target backlogs in March 2023 but have stabilized around 25%. Citizenship applications are most likely to be processed on time, with 77% of 229,000 total applications within service standards. However, only 54% of 631,500 permanent residence applications are within service standards.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers help individuals immigrate to Canada for work, study, or personal reasons. Our experienced lawyers offer a full range of immigration services, including assistance with visas, permanent residency, and citizenship applications. The immigration process can be complex and stressful, so we work closely with our clients to provide personalized support and guidance. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers and 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.