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Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates May 20 – 26 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 news review focused on Canadian immigration trends and policies, providing expert insight and analysis. Follow us for the latest updates and comprehensive reviews that could impact your immigration process.

Canada Has Passed A Law Regarding Citizenship By Descent

The Canadian Government introduced a new law to democratize and extend the right to citizenship by descent. Canadian citizenship, one of the most coveted worldwide, offers several benefits, including the right to vote, run for political office, and hold a Canadian passport. This is an essential integration step for immigrants and symbolizes their acceptance in a country known for its democratic principles, equality, and multiculturalism. In 2009, changes to the Citizenship Act limited citizenship by descent to the first generation, meaning that a Canadian parent could only pass citizenship to a child born outside of Canada if they had been born in Canada or had become naturalized before the child’s birth.

However, the new legislation will extend this right beyond the first generation. The proposed law aims to streamline the process of granting Canadian citizenship to children born abroad. It will automatically confer citizenship on children born overseas to a Canadian parent who was also born abroad before the new law is enacted. Additionally, it will extend the automatic citizenship grant to children born abroad and adopted by a Canadian parent beyond just the first generation. This reform aims to rectify a long-standing issue that has affected many Canadian families living abroad. The new law will ensure that all children of Canadian citizens, regardless of their place of birth, can enjoy the privileges and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship.

Canada’s PGP Started Sending Out Invitations 

Beginning on May 21, 2024, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) started sending out invitations for the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP). Their goal is to approve 20,500 applications for permanent residency. To be eligible, applicants must have filled out an Interest to Sponsor form on the IRCC’s website in 2020 and not received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) during 2020-2023. Additionally, they must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, at least 18 years old, live in Canada, meet the minimum necessary income level, and commit to financially supporting the person they are sponsoring for 20 years.

The PGP is a unique opportunity for families to reunite and build a life together in Canada. The program is highly competitive and operates on an invitation basis. Each year, a limited number of invitations are sent to potential sponsors who have previously expressed interest in the program. If you are interested in the PGP and need help navigating the application process, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers are here to assist. With our deep understanding of immigration law and our commitment to clients, we can guide you through every step of the process, increasing your chances of a successful application. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

IRCC Is Now Accepting Applications For The New Rural And Francophone Immigration Pilots 

On May 21, 2024, IRCC initiated the application process for two major programs: the Rural Community Immigration Pilot and the Francophone Community Immigration Pilot. These initiatives are crucial in fostering the growth and development of diverse communities nationwide. Economic development organizations representing their communities are warmly invited to apply. Their role will be to illustrate how immigration can fuel their local economies. These initiatives aim to not only foster diversity but also to drive economic growth and prosperity.

Up to 15 communities will have the opportunity to participate in these pilots. The selection will hinge on various factors, such as economic need, the extent of newcomer services, and the community’s proven ability to work together. This way, we can focus on communities most likely to benefit from an influx of immigrants. The pilots are structured to accommodate up to 5,500 applications for permanent residence each year. It is a strategic move to tackle economic and demographic challenges in rural and Francophone minority communities.

The Nursing Shortage In Ontario Presents A Significant Challenge To The Province’s Healthcare System 

The nursing shortage crisis in Ontario is reaching a critical point, threatening the stability of the province’s healthcare system. Predictions suggest that by 2032, there could be as many as 33,200 vacant nursing positions. This alarming shortage is more severe than previously estimated and is growing. In just the past two years, the shortage has more than doubled, increasing from 6,000 in 2022 to an estimated 13,200 by the end of the year. If this trend continues, the number of nursing vacancies in Ontario will reach 20,700 by 2027 and rise to 33,200 by 2032. This would mean a more than fivefold increase from 2022 levels in a decade. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has acknowledged nurses’ crucial role in the healthcare system and the severe shortage of these professionals. As a response, he has called on the College of Nurses of Ontario to expedite the recognition of the qualifications of internationally-trained nurses. Despite efforts to increase international immigration and recruit more healthcare workers in Canada, forecasts suggest the country will face a shortage of 13,900 nurses by 2031. The recent changes to Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker program have added 16 new jobs to its list of eligible occupations, including nurse aides and orderlies, to address the nursing shortage.

IRCC Introduced A New Credential Evaluator For Architects 

IRCC has appointed a new authority to assess the educational qualifications of architects looking to migrate to Canada. This new body, the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB), has been responsible for issuing Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) from May 20, 2024, onwards. ECAs verify and equate the authenticity of foreign degrees, diplomas, or certificates to Canadian standards, a requirement for individuals applying for economic permanent residence programs.

Architects who have cited the National Occupational Classification (NOC) of “Architect” (NOC 21200) as their chosen occupation or intended profession can now obtain their ECAs from the CACB. The ECAs provided by the CACB will evaluate how the foreign academic qualifications of applicants fare against the Canadian educational credentials required to practice architecture. Importantly, these ECAs will also be recognized as part of the licensing process for architects. For those who received an ECA from another organization before October 31, 2024, the ECA will still be accepted, given that it remains valid.

Canada’s Farming Industry Fears Worker Shortages Due To Temporary Foreign Worker Cuts 

The farming industry in Canada is expressing worry over the potential impact of the Federal Government’s plans to reduce the quantity of temporary foreign workers available. Given its strong dependence on temporary foreign workers, this proposed reduction could have significant consequences for the sector. The Canadian Mushroom Growers’ Association criticized the decision to decrease the proportion of temporary residents in Canada to five percent of the total population over the next three years. The association argued that this decision unfairly groups temporary foreign workers with international students.

The rules for temporary foreign workers, announced in March and effective from May 1, have adjusted the number of such workers in some sectors. Under these changes, sectors such as wood product manufacturing, furniture manufacturing, accommodation and food service, and food manufacturing are allowed a maximum of 20 percent of their workforce to consist of temporary foreign workers brought in through the low-wage stream. This is a decrease from 30 percent in 2022. The changes did not mention agricultural workers. However, the proposed reduction of up to 600,000 temporary foreign workers over the next three years – aimed at reducing demand on Canada’s limited housing supply – will directly affect agricultural workers.

IRCC Has Issued Temporary Support For Families Affected By The Situation In Haiti 

On May 23, 2024, Marc Miller, the immigration minister, declared temporary initiatives to assist relatives of Canadians or permanent residents who have left Haiti. This also includes Haitian nationals currently in Canada who cannot return home. Starting from the same date, Haitians with valid temporary resident status in Canada can apply for study permits, open work permits, or status extensions without fees. This policy also applies to foreign national family members who came to Canada as temporary residents through assisted departures from Haiti, irrespective of their nationality.

These steps are intended to preserve family unity and provide a secure environment for Haitian nationals in Canada to study, work, and reside. Marc Miller expressed deep concern for the people in Haiti, adding that the newly introduced measures will simplify the process for the family members of Canadians who escaped from Haiti to stay in Canada with their families and enable Haitian nationals to work and study in a safe environment. The Minister noted that Canada has successfully transported 681 people, including 435 Canadian citizens, 111 permanent residents and 135 temporary residents, to safety from Haiti. There are approximately 44,000 Haitian nationals with valid temporary resident status in Canada.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers is your trusted partner in your journey to immigrate to Canada. Our experienced team will guide you through every step of the process, providing expert advice and ensuring your application is handled professionally and efficiently. Do not navigate the complexities of immigration alone. Choose Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers, and let us help you make Canada your new home.

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.