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Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates April 8 – 14 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.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present a weekly review of Canadian immigration news. Stay in the loop with us for the latest updates and to gain insights on how these might impact your immigration process.

Canadians Are Considered Some Of The Happiest People In The World 

Canada takes the 15th spot in the World Happiness Report, demonstrating a relatively high level of contentment among its citizens, with the elderly demographic leading in terms of happiness. Interestingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an increase in acts of kindness and benevolence, especially among Millennials and Generation Z cohorts. However, the comprehensive report, which was diligently prepared through a collaborative effort involving Gallup, the prestigious Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the World Happiness Report editorial board, brings some troubling trends to light. 

The report reveals that happiness levels have taken a downward turn across all age groups, but this decline is most noticeable among the younger generation. This has resulted in them standing out as the least happy age group from 2021 to 2023. This is a drastic departure from the situation from 2006 to 2010. Notably, the decrease in happiness is more intense among young females, who have emerged as the group experiencing the least happiness in the Canadian population. This points to a pressing need for interventions to enhance this demographic’s well-being.

IRCC Held New Express Entry Draws

On April 10 and 11, 2024, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held new Express Entry draws. In the General Express Entry draw #292, IRCC issued invitations to 1,280 candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 549. On April 11, 2024, IRCC invited 4,500 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professionals, with a cut-off score of 491 points. In total, the Government of Cabada invited 5,780 Express Entry candidates last week. In 2024, IRCC issued 32,475 ITAs through the regular Express Entry draws.

Express Entry is a system that manages applications for permanent residence from skilled workers. It is a fast and efficient method, with most applications being processed in six months or less. The system ranks candidates based on factors like age, education, language proficiency, and work experience. If you are interested in applying for permanent residence through the Express Entry system, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help. We can guide you through the application process, ensuring you have the best chance of success. Contact us today to get started.

A Decrease In Temporary Residents Could Negatively Impact Canada’s Economy 

An insightful report published by RBC Economics presents a forecast that indicates a potential negative impact on Canada’s economic growth if temporary immigration is reduced. This situation could further exacerbate the already considerable influence of the retiring Baby Boomer generation, a demographic shift reshaping the nation’s workforce. The report emphasizes the role of immigration in positively influencing the economy. A rise in immigration boosts the economy’s capacity to produce more goods and services and simultaneously elevates the demand for these products. 

A slower population growth rate, potentially due to reduced immigration, may impact both the demand and supply of labour. This could influence overall economic productivity and income, possibly leading to a decline in living standards and slower economic progress. During the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada saw a notable increase in temporary immigration. Data from IRCC suggests that the number of temporary immigrants tripled during this time. However, this unexpected rise in immigration resulted in challenges, including issues with housing affordability.

Immigrant Children Excel In Higher Education Settings 

Statistics Canada’s recent report highlights the notable achievements of child immigrants in the Canadian workforce. These individuals, who arrived in Canada during childhood, often surpass adult immigrants and average Canadians in earnings. The report points out that these young migrants frequently pursue higher education. This choice enhances their earning capacity. By age 30, these individuals typically earn a higher median wage, reflecting their dedication, ambition, and the opportunities offered by their new home. Since 1980, Canada has welcomed nearly two million children, making up one in every five immigrants. This significant segment of the immigrant population has undoubtedly enriched Canada’s economy and society over the years. 

Moreover, child immigrants are often more likely to pursue higher education than their non-immigrant counterparts. This could be attributed to their motivation and the supportive environment that encourages their academic pursuits. Those who arrive in Canada at a younger age are more inclined towards postsecondary education. This implies that early immersion in Canadian education and culture fosters their academic endeavours. Interestingly, by the time they reach 25-30 years of age, immigrants admitted as children frequently earn more than the average Canadian tax filer, showcasing the economic advantage of welcoming young immigrants.

IRCC Updated Measures To Support Israeli And Palestinian Nationals Residing In Canada

The Government of Canada introduced key updates to support Israeli and Palestinian nationals living in Canada. This aligns with Canada’s ongoing commitment to helping international communities in need. The changes, effective from March 8, 2024, include several essential modifications. Notably, there will be fee-exempt extensions for temporary residents in Canada. This step highlights Canada’s dedication to reducing the financial strain on these individuals in these challenging times and will certainly offer much-needed relief.

Moreover, the IRCC has broadened the temporary public policy eligibility scope for foreign nationals. Initially designed to cater to the immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who left Israel or the Palestinian Territories from October 7, 2023, onwards, the policy has been adjusted due to ongoing circumstances. The Government has expanded this eligibility to include extended family members. This change means these extended family members, upon their arrival in Canada under the Temporary Public Policy, are now eligible for certain benefits intended to assist those impacted by the Gaza crisis.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Recognized The Unbalanced Growth Of Temporary Immigration Under His Administration 

In a surprising move, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the uncontrolled rise of temporary immigration under his government, which he admitted was beyond Canada’s ability to absorb. This admission is extraordinary as it seems to detach Trudeau’s administration from its role in the spike in non-permanent residents. This surge is linked to the government’s loosening of the 2014 Temporary Foreign Worker program reforms and the expansion of international student visas, resulting in a 93% increase in non-permanent residents since 2021. This growth, driven mainly by temporary immigration, has led to Canada’s population expanding faster in 2023 than in any year since 1957. 

The government only recently recognized the impact on housing, infrastructure, and other basic needs. Amid growing public concerns and falling poll numbers, the government has started to revise its policies, with plans to reduce temporary resident permits. This change in stance is ironic, as Trudeau had warned about the risks of temporary immigration and its negative effects a decade ago. Despite this, Trudeau chose to expand the temporary resident population upon his election rather than scale it back. The recent policy shift signifies a significant departure from Trudeau’s earlier stance and raises questions about the government’s long-term strategy for immigration. It remains to be seen how these changes will impact Canada’s demographic makeup and economic stability in the coming years.

Post-Secondary Institutions In New Brunswick Call For Increased Action Regarding International Students 

Post-secondary institutions in New Brunswick are pushing against new federal caps on international student numbers. While the immigration department has increased the number of attestation letters schools can send to support study permit applications, universities like St. Thomas still find it insufficient. Last year, St. Thomas accepted 330 of the 550 international applications it received and hoped to expand that number. However, the new cap set by IRCC has halted their plans. New Brunswick is allocated 9,279 of these permits. The projected approval number is 5,567, a 10% reduction from 2023, with a top-up of 5,372 for provinces with approval rates below 60 percent. 

New Brunswick, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island are expected to see a 10% decrease in study permit approvals compared to last year. More applications will be accepted to achieve this year’s projected approvals, requiring an attestation letter. New Brunswick’s Department of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour has increased the number of attestation letters for each Designated Learning Institution from 9,300 to 14,651. This increase is due to the low approval rate for applicants to New Brunswick programs. It has been challenging to predict how many students to expect due to the lengthy process of obtaining an attestation letter.

Are you considering immigrating to Canada? Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can guide you through the process. Our experienced team provides comprehensive legal advice tailored to your unique situation. Trust us to navigate complex immigration laws and regulations, making your transition to Canada as smooth as possible. Contact us today to start your journey.

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.