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Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates November 13 – 19 2023

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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.
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Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present a weekly review, sharing detailed updates and insights into the ever-changing world of Canadian immigration policy. Stay in the loop with the latest news by following us on social media.

Canada Launched A New Pathway For Colombian, Haitian, And Venezuelan Citizens

On November 17, Canada opened applications for a dedicated humanitarian pathway for Colombian, Haitian, and Venezuelan nationals. To qualify, applicants must be relatives of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who agrees to support them for a year. Recipients will receive pre-arrival services, job skills assessment, and referral to local settlement services. They may also be eligible for financial assistance from the Resettlement Assistance Program. Additionally, Canada will accept 4,000 people from the Americas through temporary worker programs. This pathway offers an alternative to irregular migration for those displaced due to instability in their home countries.

Due to an unprecedented migration crisis, Canada provides safe migration pathways for vulnerable individuals. This includes a new program welcoming 15,000 people from the Western Hemisphere, in addition to existing programs. This aims to counteract increasing irregular migration and related issues in Central America. Applications can be made online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) portal, requiring a signed declaration from your anchor in Canada. Applicants must plan to live outside Quebec. Canada is also investing $75 million over six years to enhance asylum capacity and integration in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Immigration Ministers Met To Discuss Canada’s Immigration Goals 

On November 17, 2023, the Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI) met to discuss Canada’s immigration goals. The focus of the discussions revolved around strategies for economic immigration, tackling infrastructure and housing challenges, and highlighting the important role of immigration in enhancing diversity and meeting labour needs. The ministers advocated for increasing immigrant intake via Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), streamlining processing times, and bolstering support for Francophone immigration. Government officials deliberated on ways to enhance the economic immigration system, coordinating the selection of economic immigrants and Canada’s response to crises, such as the Afghan refugee situation and providing a temporary safe haven for Ukrainians.

Immigration is essential for Canada’s economic growth, addressing labour shortages and attracting new investments. Provinces and territories are crucial in meeting employers’ labour needs and benefiting all regions. The FMRI emphasized the importance of aligning work permits with labour market needs and foreign qualification recognition for newcomers. The ministers also discussed the need for comprehensive support services for immigrants, including language training and employment assistance. This, coupled with efforts to expedite the immigration process, can help ensure the successful integration of newcomers into Canadian society.

Ontario Is Experiencing A Shortfall Of Construction Personnel

The construction industry in Ontario is experiencing a workforce shortfall of 72,000 due to high retirement rates and a surge in housing and infrastructure demand. The province anticipates over 80,000 retirements in the coming decade, necessitating a more significant influx of new talent. Without intervention, this could result in around 118,900 unfilled construction roles by 2033. To address this, the government is allocating $3.6 million towards initiatives preparing 2,200 women and young individuals for construction careers. In a related issue, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation asserts that Canada requires 5.8 million additional affordable homes. Unfortunately, at the current pace, Ontario can only anticipate the creation of 2.3 million units by 2030.

Immigration plays a substantial role in Canada’s population growth, making up 23% of the total. It’s the leading driver of population increase, marking the highest rate since Confederation and unparalleled among the G7 nations. However, Canada’s working-age population is slowly reducing, which could raise concerns. Predictions suggest that the worker-to-senior ratio could soon fall to a challenging two-to-one ratio. As the workforce grows older, this could lead to ongoing labour shortages, affecting various economic sectors. The role of immigrants is crucial in sustaining Canada’s population. Around two-thirds of these newcomers are within the prime working age bracket (25-54 years old), infusing the population with younger individuals. This could potentially offset the consequences of an aging workforce.

International Student Enrolment Enhances The Canadian Education System

There has been a significant uptick in international students opting for higher education in Canada recently. This surge is not only adding to the cultural diversity on campuses across the country but also profoundly impacting the education system, economic landscape, and host communities. This expanding multicultural setting within educational institutions augments the learning experience for all students, local and international. Besides, the rise in revenue from international tuition fees bolsters the quality of education and research in Canadian institutions. On top of that, this trend is a boon for the local economy as students’ expenditure on accommodation, food, and other living costs add up.

Moreover, the rise in international students has positively impacted domestic enrollment. Between 2010 and 2019, international students at Canadian public post-secondary institutions surged from 142,200 to 388,800. Currently, over 800,000 international students are studying in Canada at all levels. A study from Statistics Canada discovered that this rise in international enrolment did not adversely affect domestic enrolment at the institution level. Interestingly, a positive correlation was observed – as international enrollment increased, domestic enrollment followed suit. This correlation was more prominent in post-secondary non-tertiary and short-cycle tertiary programs. A similar pattern was observed in graduate programs.

British Columbia To Invite Candidates In The Construction Sector 

On November 16, 2023, British Columbia invited qualified candidates from healthcare, childcare, construction, and other sectors under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP). Twelve invitations were issued to the construction sector, prioritizing 25 jobs. To receive targeted invitations, construction workers must have a permanent, full-time job offer in a priority occupation, a valid trade certificate or a registered apprenticeship with SkilledTradesBC, and the certificate must match the job offer. To qualify, candidates must have their official job offer from an eligible occupation list. 

This initiative will bolster the Homes for People plan, a comprehensive strategy to address the province’s pressing housing and infrastructure needs over the next five years. This plan focuses on providing adequate housing, improving infrastructure, and ensuring sustainable development. Under this plan, workers in selected construction roles with specific provincial trade qualifications will receive targeted invitations to apply. The province will ensure these skilled workers can significantly contribute to British Columbia’s labour market and fill gaps in the workforce, boosting productivity and aiding economic recovery.

The Future Will Likely Necessitate An Increase In Canada’s Immigration Levels

On November 1, 2023, Canada made a significant declaration regarding its future immigration policies. The country announced its intent to maintain immigration levels at approximately 500,000 per year for 2025 and 2026. This decision comes amidst the backdrop of the current record-breaking levels of immigration. A comprehensive report from the Royal Bank of Canada, a leading financial institution, suggests that these numbers may need to rise even further to effectively support the population and labour market demands. These demands are particularly pertinent considering Canada’s aging population and low fertility rate, which currently stands at 1.40 births per woman.

The necessity of immigration to replenish the population becomes evident when considering these factors. The same argument also applies to the labour market, which plays a crucial role in supporting Canada’s robust economy – the ninth-largest on a global scale. These critical factors highlight the significance of immigration for Canada’s future health and prosperity. They are likely the driving forces behind the country’s current high-paced immigration policies. However, the decision to stabilize future targets instead of continuing to increase them paints a more complex picture of the multifaceted immigration issues in Canada.

An Increasing Number Of US Citizens Are Choosing To Immigrate To Canada

The latest data from the US Department of State estimates about 1 million US citizens have made Canada their home. Many Americans move to Canada yearly for various appealing reasons, such as a strong job market and political stability. Canada’s job market attracts many professionals seeking career growth and opportunities. Additionally, Canada’s highly respected post-secondary education system makes it a desirable location for both professionals and students. Canadian universities, known for their educational quality, often come with a more budget-friendly price tag than US universities, making them a favoured choice among American students. 

Canada’s healthcare system, while not entirely free, is generally more accessible and affordable than that of the US. This affordability attracts many Americans looking for better healthcare options. Furthermore, Canada’s simplified immigration policies, such as Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs, draw skilled workers and professionals from the United States by offering a straightforward path to residency. The country’s political stability and societal harmony also provide a safe environment, enhancing Canada’s appeal to those seeking a peaceful life. All in all, these aspects continue to bring a substantial number of Americans to Canada annually.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers provide professional services to individuals seeking to immigrate to Canada. Our lawyers provide legal advice, prepare and submit applications, and represent clients before the immigration authorities, ensuring a smooth and stress-free immigration experience. We specialize in various areas of immigration law, including family sponsorships, skilled workers applications, business immigration, and refugee claims. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us guide you through your immigration journey.

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.