Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review August 7 – 13 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.
canada immigration news

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present a weekly news review that covers a wide range of topics related to Canadian immigration. Whether you are a business owner looking to hire foreign workers, a skilled professional seeking to immigrate to Canada, or a family member hoping to reunite with loved ones, our weekly news review is invaluable for staying informed about Canadian immigration policy and law.

Canada Is Experiencing A Rapid Increase In Its Foreign-Born Population 

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in migration to high-income countries worldwide, with Canada emerging as one of the most popular destinations for international workers. Canada’s population growth rate in 2022 was an impressive 2.7%, the highest among G7 nations and one of the highest globally, with over a million people added to Canada’s population in just 12 months. This marks a historic milestone in the country’s demography, with the highest growth rate recorded since 1957. The overwhelming majority of this growth, about 95.9%, is due to the influx of international workers to Canada, indicating the country’s attractiveness to skilled professionals and workers worldwide. 

The impact of this growth on Canada’s economy and society is significant. The influx of international workers has provided a much-needed boost to the country’s labour market, and industries have been able to fill the gap left by the shortage of skilled workers. However, this growth also poses unique challenges for Canada, such as providing adequate infrastructure to support the growing population. This includes housing, healthcare, education, and transportation. Despite these challenges, Canada’s exceptional population growth rate indicates its attractiveness to international workers and its ability to provide opportunities for people worldwide. If this trend continues, Canada’s population could double in the next 26 years, profoundly impacting the country’s economy, society, and culture.

The Canadian Government Launched A New Pilot Under The TFWP 

On August 8, 2023, the Canadian Government launched the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) to assist employers who repeatedly hire foreign workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). To be eligible for REP, employers must have received at least three positive Labor Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) for the same occupation within the past five years. LMIAs serve to verify the requirement for a temporary foreign worker and the absence of available Canadians or permanent residents for the position. Through REP, authorized employers are granted LMIA validity durations of up to 36 months along with streamlined LMIA applications, allowing for increased workforce recruitment in subsequent periods. 

The initial phase, beginning in September 2023, pertains to employers in the Primary Agriculture Stream, enabling applications for 2024. Subsequently, in stage two, starting in January 2024, admission is extended to all other sectors within the industry. Employers who meet REP eligibility criteria will be proactively invited to apply using a dual-purpose LMIA application, which can be used to apply for recognized status under REP and for the LMIA simultaneously. If you are an employer looking to apply for the REP under the TFWP, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can assist you with the application process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your REP application.

The New Immigration Minister Has No Plans To Reduce Immigration Levels.

Canada has long been known for its pro-immigration stance, which has resulted in the country having one of the highest immigration rates in the world. Mark Miller, the Minister of Immigration, recently announced that the government would not lower its annual immigration targets despite the decline in working-age people compared to retirees. Miller’s comments suggest Canada relies on public support to welcome working-age newcomers to grow its population and avoid long-term economic decline. According to Miller, immigrants are essential to provide skilled labour in various fields, such as dental care, health care, and affordable housing.

However, the influx of immigrants has also caused some challenges for the country. Last year, Canada welcomed a record one million arrivals, which has strained major urban centers and exacerbated housing shortages. Despite this, Miller believes that immigrants are not the primary cause of the housing crisis and that measures can be taken to address the issue. In addition, Canada’s immigration policies have also been a subject of debate in recent years. While some argue that the country should focus on attracting highly skilled workers, others believe Canada should prioritize family reunification and refugee resettlement.

New Immigrants Are Finding It Easier To Secure Employment Compared To Before The Pandemic 

Based on the Labour Force Survey conducted by Statistics Canada in July 2023, newly arrived immigrants are experiencing more challenges in finding employment opportunities in Canada compared to the previous year, 2022. The analysis reveals a marginal dip in the employment percentage for recent core-aged immigrants (individuals who obtained landed immigrant status within the last five years), decreasing to 77.7% from the 80% recorded in July 2022. Nonetheless, even with this reduction, the employment ratios for older immigrants have sustained their status quo. Worth mentioning is that the employment rate for recent core-aged immigrants in July 2023 remains superior to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

Despite the challenges faced by newly arrived immigrants, the overall employment rate across Canada remained unchanged, with only a slight increase in the unemployment rate to 5.5% as of July 2023. This increase is attributed to the population growth outpacing employment growth from January to July 2023, as outlined in the report. It is important to note that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted Canada’s employment landscape, and its effects are still being felt today. Nevertheless, the country’s economy is gradually recovering, and the employment rate is expected to improve soon.

IRCC Is Taking Steps To Address Issues Of Racism Within The Department And Society

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is currently addressing the issue of racism in the workplace. As per the IRCC 2022-23 Anti-Racism Employee Qualitative Research, 63% of employees reported that racism is a problem. The study found that foreign postings have a higher incidence of racism than local offices. Participants reported managers making fun of accents, failing to understand or ignoring Locally Engaged Staff, and avoiding acting against problematic employees. Through online focus groups and interviews, Pollara Strategic Insights surveyed 62 employees, including indigenous, black, non-black, racialized, and white employees. The report highlights the need for substantial intervention in the future. 

Canada also needs to address racism in society, according to professional researcher Themrise Khan. This is especially important now that the government is looking to increase immigration targets, as confronting racism will help to attract and retain migrants. Despite public support for immigration, Khan argues that newcomers often face discrimination and surveillance, which could discourage them from staying in Canada. She cites examples such as increased surveillance of certain immigrant groups, scrutiny of financial resources, and bias against migrant workers to support her statement. In the end, addressing racism is crucial for Canada to enjoy the economic benefits of immigration fully.

The Start-Up Visa Program Saw A 6.3% Rise In The First Half Of 2023 

Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) program has experienced a noticeable increase in the number of new permanent residents arriving as entrepreneurs during the first half of this year compared to last year. While there was a slight decrease in the number of new permanent residents coming under the SUV in June, the overall trend is still upward and promising. It is worth noting that the government’s Immigration Levels Plan for the next few years allows for a significant increase in the number of newcomers in the federal business category. In 2023, the plan permits up to 3,500 newcomers, which is set to increase to 6,000 by 2025. 

British Columbia and Ontario have been the most popular provinces for these newcomers, attracting a significant portion of the SUV program’s beneficiaries this year. As such, it is clear that the SUV program has been a valuable tool for attracting new entrepreneurs to Canada and spurring economic growth in various regions across the country. Are you an entrepreneur looking to immigrate via the Start-Up Visa program? Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can assist you with your application and provide expert advice on maximizing your chances of success. Contact us today to learn more.

Marc Miller Announces Tax-Free Accounts To Speed Up Canadian Home Ownership 

On August 11, the Immigration Minister announced the tax-free First Home Savings Account for Canadians to help purchase their first home. This account allows contributions of up to $8,000 annually (with a maximum lifetime limit of $40,000) within 15 years. Canadians will not be taxed on their contributions. Additionally, withdrawals (including investment income) are non-taxable when used to buy their first homes. Seven financial institutions already offer this account, with more expected to follow. Canadians can also combine the Home Buyers’ Plan with this account, allowing them to withdraw up to $35,000 from their RRSPs for a qualifying home. Any withdrawn amounts must be contributed to an RRSP non-deductible within 15 years.

The First Home Savings Account is a helpful tool for Canadians who want to save up for a down payment. The government is promoting affordable housing, such as prohibiting non-Canadian individuals from buying residential property for two years and implementing a 1% annual tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned, vacant, or underused residential property. To further support first-time homebuyers, the government is enhancing the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit and introducing a new, refundable multigenerational home renovation tax credit. There are also plans to apply the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax to all assignment sales of newly constructed or renovated residential housing, launch the $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund, and provide $1.5 billion towards the Rapid Housing Initiative. Additionally, the government is investing over $500 million to address chronic homelessness through Reaching Home and providing a top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit in December 2022.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers is a Canadian law firm that provides comprehensive immigration services to individuals looking to immigrate to Canada. Our lawyers can assist with a wide range of immigration matters, from helping clients obtain temporary resident visas to permanent residency and citizenship applications. Our services also include representation in immigration appeals and hearings and assistance with immigration compliance and audits. Whether you are looking to immigrate to Canada for work, study, family reasons, or an employer seeking to bring in foreign talent, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can provide the legal expertise and support you need.

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.