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Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates  June 17 – June 23 2024

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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.

Abramovich Immigration Lawyers present a weekly news review of this field’s latest developments and updates. To ensure you do not miss out, follow our social media channels and stay informed about the dynamic immigration scenario in Canada.

Canada’s Population Growth Surpasses 41 Million 

In 2024, Canada’s population exceeded 41 million, a growth driven predominantly by immigration. The population saw an increase of 242,673 individuals in the first quarter, marking a 0.6% increase, a consistent growth rate observed in preceding quarters. Intriguingly, international migration, including permanent and temporary immigration, accounted for 99.3% of this growth. This surge is linked to Canada’s robust immigration plan, which aims to welcome over 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and 500,000 in the following two years.

This ambitious plan is focused on encouraging immigrants to settle in Canada, a strategy that prioritizes economic growth, supports family reunification and responds to humanitarian crises. This approach recognizes the rapid increase in immigration in recent years. Since the third quarter of 2021, Canada has been welcoming more than 100,000 immigrants each quarter. The first quarter of 2024 saw 121,758 new permanent residents. This influx has been particularly noticeable in the Maritime provinces, with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick each welcoming 3,999 immigrants and Prince Edward Island receiving 1,330, primarily driven by the demand for skilled workers in these regions.

Canada’s Future Economic Growth Is Linked To An Increase In Immigration 

Canada’s future economic prosperity is closely linked to its increasing immigration rates. Despite this surge’s initial challenges, it is projected to bring significant economic benefits in the long run. Each year, Canada welcomes approximately 500,000 new permanent residents, constituting 20% of the total population. In addition, the number of temporary residents peaked at 2.5 million in 2023. Various studies indicate that the strength of the job market is a key driver of immigration.

Bank of Montreal (BMO) economists posit that high immigration levels can help address issues related to Canada’s aging workforce and tight job market, thereby maintaining employment growth and labour equilibrium. However, the current housing crisis is directly linked to the rise in the number of temporary residents, which led to the imposition of a cap in 2024. Despite these obstacles, previous increases in immigration have consistently resulted in long-term economic improvements following initial periods of slowdown.

Indian Immigration To Canada Achieves An All-Time Peak 

There has been a notable increase in Indian migration to Canada in the past few years. Statistics reveal a substantial rise in newly settled Indian permanent residents, from 39,340 in 2015 to an impressive 139,785 in 2023. Furthermore, as early as April 2024, 51,450 Indians had already received their permanent resident status in Canada, matching the total annual intake of new Indian permanent residents for 2017.

This sharp increase is primarily attributed to Canada’s focus on attracting talent, making it a preferred destination for skilled professionals and students from India. Contributing factors include post-graduation work permits, a points system for permanent residency based on skills, and attractive educational opportunities. Canada’s open immigration policies starkly contrast with the restrictive stance of other countries, notably the US, making Canada a top choice for Indian immigrants seeking fresh prospects overseas.

Canada Is Among The Top Five Countries Globally For Asylum Claims 

Canada is one of the top five countries receiving asylum claims globally. The 2023 Global Trends report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reveals that out of 3.6 million worldwide asylum claims, Canada accounts for 146,800. The report underscores Canada’s crucial role as a refuge amidst heightening global conflicts. The surge in instances of war and violence globally has led to an increase in people seeking safety in Canada.

The previous year, 72% of asylum seekers in Canada had their cases reviewed and were awarded refugee status. The refugee population witnessed a growth of 7% in 2023, reaching 43.4 million, with conflict, disasters, and rights violations displacing a staggering 117 million people. Canada upholds its commitment to resettlement, establishing itself as a leading nation. It intends to welcome 12,000 refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific over the next three years, focusing particularly on resettling vulnerable groups. Furthermore, Canada is set to accept 27,000 privately sponsored refugees this year, affirming its dedication to assisting populations in danger.

Many Canadians Experience Financial Pressure Due To Rising Costs. 

Rising costs have put a significant financial strain on many Canadians, as revealed by the 2024 Financial Stress Index Report. The key drivers of this stress include increased expenses in groceries, housing, bills, and the need to save for retirement and major purchases. However, the report also highlighted a positive trend: 91% of Canadians are actively trying to manage their financial stress by monitoring their expenses, paying off debts, and growing their savings. While financial stress can significantly impact mental well-being, utilizing professional financial services can help alleviate this burden and foster a more optimistic outlook. 

The Survey Series on People and their Communities (SSPC) data revealed that about a third of Canadians faced financial struggles last year. Notably, recent immigrants were disproportionately impacted, with 43% reporting financial hardship, compared to 29% of established immigrants and non-immigrants. This financial strain also impacted satisfaction levels with personal free time. Only 12% of those experiencing financial hardship were content with their free time, compared to 40% who were not financially strained. The level of financial hardship varied significantly based on the immigrant’s origin, with Asian immigrants reporting the most difficulties.

Canada Ends Post-Graduation Work Permit “Flagpoling” 

In the interest of maintaining a secure and efficient flow of goods and people across the Canada–US border, the Canadian government is constantly seeking ways to improve border crossing practices without compromising the integrity of the immigration system. As part of these efforts, Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), recently announced that foreign nationals will no longer be allowed to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) at the border. 

This policy is aimed at reducing the phenomenon known as “flagpoling,” which involves temporary residents of Canada circumventing standard wait times for work or study permits by exiting and re-entering the country to receive same-day immigration services. This practice diverts significant resources at the border, interfering with enforcement activities and causing delays for other travellers. Furthermore, it slows the movement of goods across the border. The Canadian government is introducing measures to encourage applicants to apply within Canada and is improving processing times to expedite application processing globally.

Study Permit Approval Rates In Canada Are Declining 

Canada’s approval rates for new study permits have witnessed a significant downfall, sparking uncertainty about its ability to meet its reduced target by 2024. This precipitous drop is predominantly attributed to a considerable decrease in applications from Indian students, as deduced from the first quarter’s data. The beginning of the year saw policy modifications aimed at curbing the influx of international students, with the intention of slashing the issuance of new study permits by 28%, bringing it down to 291,914 from the previous year’s 404,668.

To achieve this target, immigration authorities calculated that processing 552,095 applications would be necessary based on an anticipated 40% refusal rate. However, the approval rate has nosedived to 50%, decreasing from 55% in 2022 to 58% in 2023. Despite Indian students continuing to constitute a significant part of all processed study permits, the number of processed permits hit an all-time low in March. Canada is expected to miss its target by 10% to 15% without significant alterations.

Abramovich Immigration Lawyers are ready to guide you through the complex process of immigrating to Canada. Our team of experienced professionals is committed to providing personalized legal advice tailored to your unique situation. Do not navigate the immigration process alone; contact Abramovich Immigration Lawyers today for your consultation.

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.