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Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates April 22 – 28 2024

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A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.
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Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers presents a weekly news review, providing you with the most recent updates in the Canadian immigration sphere. Keep up with us every week to stay on top of the most crucial shifts and enhancements.

IRCC Held Two Express Entry draws Inviting Skilled Workers And Francophone Candidates

On April 23 and 24, 2024, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held two Express Entry draws. In round #294, IRCC invited 2,095 candidates in the General Express Entry draw. The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of this draw was 529 points. In round #295, Canada held a new Francophone draw and invited 1,400 French-speaking candidates. The cut-off score of this draw was relatively low – only 410 points. In 2024, Canada invited 35,970 candidates through the Express Entry draws, including 12,400 Francophone candidates.

Express Entry is a system used by the Canadian government to manage permanent residency applications for economic immigration programs. If you are considering applying for permanent residency in Canada through the Express Entry system, let Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers guide you through the process. Our experienced team can provide expert advice and support, helping you navigate the complexities of the immigration system and maximize your chances of success. Do not go it alone – contact Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers today.

The Immigration Of Parents And Grandparents Program Is Off To A Steady Start 

In the early months of this year, there has been a slight uptick in the number of new permanent residents in Canada via the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP). However, the overall pace of the program this year has been relatively fast. Data from IRCC shows that a total of 3,735 new permanent residents entered the country through the PGP in the first two months of the year. This number is a 13.9% drop compared to the same period in 2023. If things keep going this way and the current admission rate under the PGP holds, Canada may accept about 22,410 new permanent residents by the year’s end. That is a significant 20.8% decrease from last year’s new PGP permanent residents.

Ontario was the preferred destination for newcomers under the PGP, with a significant 1,795 parents and grandparents choosing to settle there. With an expected increase in overall immigration, we anticipate that PGP immigration will keep pace. Keeping this in view, Canada has ambitious plans to welcome a substantial 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024. This is not a temporary increase but a sustained commitment to maintain this rate in the following years, reinforcing Canada’s status as an attractive destination for immigrants. In light of this, the PGP remains a crucial component of Canada’s immigration strategy, underlining the country’s commitment to family reunification.

Liberal’s Immigration Policies Have Led To Unexpected Outcomes 

The Trudeau administration’s initiative to draw global students into Canada is reshaping Canada’s higher education and subtly diminishing public endorsement for immigration. Over a million international learners reside in Canada, many of whom receive high-quality education and eventually acquire Canadian citizenship. Regrettably, some are enrolled in institutions that do not meet academic standards or provide adequate facilities. The primary intention of these students is often to acquire work permits and permanent residency, a process made easier by the rise in permanent resident admissions. Nevertheless, not all manage to secure their status through standard procedures, compelling some to resort to asylum claims. This predicament adds pressure to an already overstretched system. 

Current immigration strategies have inadvertently lessened support for immigration, as surveys show that a growing proportion of Canadians believe the immigrant population is too high. To manage this, the government has imposed regulations on the migration of international students. The Liberals initially increased immigration intake to meet the labour force demand and promote diversity. However, this rise has unintentionally contributed to intensifying the housing crisis. The recent budget aimed to tackle this by investing in housing, although it resulted in higher capital gains taxes. Interestingly, the very immigration policies that are now becoming less popular among newcomers could potentially result in the Liberals losing the upcoming election.

Despite High Unemployment, Canadian Employers Boosted Foreign Worker Recruitment 

In 2023, as unemployment rates rose, Canadian firms notably ramped up their hiring of temporary foreign workers. The government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program, geared towards attracting foreign labour to fill positions that are hard to fill domestically, hit a record of over 81,000 roles filled in Q4 2023. This uptick followed a significant revamp of the program in 2022, making it easier for companies to recruit from abroad. Throughout 2023, around 240,000 job openings were filled, marking a substantial 7.5% rise from 2022 and over double the figure from 2018.

This pattern underscores the increasing dependence of Canadian businesses on foreign labour to fulfill their hiring requirements. Responding to the growing reliance on foreign labour, Canada’s government plans to introduce stricter rules for hiring temporary foreign workers to balance the labour demands of businesses with job opportunities for Canadians. However, critics argue that the growing reliance on foreign labour may discourage employers from investing in local training and development, potentially exacerbating unemployment issues. They call for a comprehensive program review to ensure it is balanced with domestic labour market needs.

Canada, Australia, And The UK Expect A Temporary Drop In Student Numbers 

The upcoming year marks the end of the post-COVID era and the start of the next phase, with expected turbulence. The British Council analysis predicts a slowdown in international student mobility growth in 2024 as the post-pandemic surge ends. It suggests that growth in new international student enrolments will decelerate in major host markets as they revert to pre-pandemic growth rates. The first decline in international student numbers since the pandemic’s onset is expected, especially in countries with stricter migration policies like Australia, Canada, and the UK.

However, the British Council terms this as a “natural correction” leading to sustainable growth. This “natural correction” might lead to a more balanced distribution of international students across various countries, reducing the pressure on host countries and opening more opportunities for students in lesser-known destinations. This could potentially create a more diverse and inclusive international study environment, fostering a global perspective among students. In the long run, such a shift may also contribute to a more equitable distribution of resources and knowledge around the world.

Many Temporary Canadian Residents Struggle To Obtain Permanent Residency As Their Work Permits Expire 

Canada is seeing a growing concern regarding temporary residents whose work permits are nearing their expiration date. These individuals are facing quite a few challenges as they attempt to shift from temporary to permanent residency. The intricacy of the government’s scoring system, which assigns points based on factors such as age, education level, and language proficiency, plays a considerable role in this. Although this system was designed to streamline the immigration process, it seems that recent modifications may have unintentionally disadvantaged candidates who typically score higher. 

Some individuals have been driven to resort to questionable and potentially risky methods to secure job offers to boost their points. Immigration consultant Peter Veress has noted an uptick in the misuse of Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) as evidence of arranged employment in immigration applications. This trend has not gone unnoticed by immigration authorities. Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault acknowledges the seriousness of this issue and is committed to taking decisive action to curb misuse of the temporary foreign worker program, suggesting an imminent change in immigration policy.

Female Newcomers In Canada Struggle With Loneliness And Building Social Networks 

A significant 45.9% of newcomer women in Canada experience loneliness, often facing substantial obstacles in building and maintaining social connections after their arrival. These challenges are not just social; they deeply affect their job prospects, earning potential, and overall health and well-being. The ideal social network size varies greatly depending on individual factors such as personal preference, culture, and lifestyle. Yet, it is noticeable that immigrant women often have smaller networks compared to their native-born peers. This difference can be linked to numerous factors like language barriers, cultural differences, and a lack of pre-existing connections in their new environment. 

Immigrant women in Canada, particularly those residing for over six years, married, unemployed, or those who arrived aged 15-24, face challenges in forming social networks. High-risk groups include Black women, refugees, and non-official language speakers, who face further barriers and marginalization. Data shows employment, education, and income gaps between immigrant men and women, likely due to gender roles and inequalities. These figures highlight the urgent need for interventions to support newcomer women.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers are your partners in your journey to immigrating to Canada. Our immigration lawyers will guide you through every step of the process, ensuring you understand your options and make informed decisions. With our help, you can navigate the complex immigration system with confidence. Contact us today, and let’s start your new life in Canada together.

Ksenia Tchern

A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.