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Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates November 27 – December 3 2023

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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 news, ensuring you stay well-informed about any changes that might affect your immigration status or process.

Canadian Employers Are Looking For More Foreign Workers

Throughout this year, there has been a noteworthy increase in Western Canadian employers seeking skilled workers from overseas. This trend is evidenced by a 39% surge in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications across the country, with an even more significant rise of 83% observed in Western Canada. However, not all regions followed this upward trajectory. Yukon stands out as the sole exception, experiencing a marginal decrease in applications instead. Despite this, the overall growth in LMIA applications was substantial. Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were the regions with the most remarkable growth.

On the other hand, LMIA processing times have been sluggish, with Alberta experiencing the most prolonged delays. This is largely because fewer applications are processed through priority processing streams, leading to longer waiting times for applicants. In response to these challenges, the Canadian Government modernized the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to ensure a more efficient allocation of resources. The Government has made significant strides towards digital solutions, making the application process more efficient. The launch of the Recognized Employer Pilot has also made applications for compliant employers easier, making the process less intimidating and more accessible.

Canadian Businesses Anticipate An Uplifting Economic Outlook

In the face of slowing inflation, Canadian business owners are demonstrating a positive outlook toward the future, with many intending to expand their workforce. A prominent eight out of ten business leaders have reported that their businesses are growing. Moreover, 76% of these leaders remain hopeful about their company’s performance in the upcoming five years. Even with a noticeable slowdown in the growth of job opportunities and a persisting housing crisis, a commendable 65.9% of businesses retain a positive outlook for the future, expecting improvements in the next 12 months. This optimism is not restricted to the local business landscape. Foreign investors mirroring this positive sentiment have an opportunity to secure permanent residence in Canada through the Start-Up Visa (SUV) program.

The SUV program, launched in 2013, has already facilitated the successful launch of 200 start-ups. It considers angel investors, venture capital funds, and business incubators as potential sources of support for these start-ups. The investment requirements for this program are affordable and flexible. One can qualify for this lucrative opportunity with an investment of $75,000 from angel investors, $200,000 from venture capital funds, or simply acceptance into a recognized business incubator program. If you are considering expanding your business horizons to Canada, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help navigate the complexities of the Start-Up Visa program. Given the optimistic economic outlook, investing and establishing your presence in the Canadian market is an opportune moment.

Ontario Invited Healthcare Professionals Under The Human Capital Priorities Stream

On November 30, 2023, the Government of Ontario conducted a new draw through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), inviting 1,052 healthcare professionals via the Human Capital Priorities Stream. The draw covered 42 national occupational classification (NOC) codes, allowing a broad array of professionals to consider Ontario as their new home. The selected candidates’ CRS Express Entry scores ranged from 404 to 430 points. So far this year, Ontario has extended invitations to 15,143 individuals via thirteen Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream draws. Throughout 2023, Ontario has issued 36,865 invitations across all OINP streams.

Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream is designed for foreign, skilled workers in the Express Entry pool with the necessary education, work experience, language skills, and other attributes to settle and prosper in the province. Candidates must qualify for the federal Express Entry pool through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or the Canadian Experience Class to be considered for this stream. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of the OINP and the Human Capital Priorities Stream. Whether you are a healthcare professional or belong to another skilled profession, we will guide you through the application process, helping you achieve your Canadian immigration goals.

Skilled Workers In Canada Are Less Likely Than Refugees To File First-Year Tax Returns

Statistics Canada published a study on an intriguing trend among newcomers. The study revealed that skilled workers, often perceived as more financially literate and responsible, are less likely to file tax returns in their first year of residence in Canada than refugees. The study involved a thorough examination of tax-filing trends among working-age immigrants over a significant period from 1993 to 2019. Over this period, the study found that tax filing rates remained stable, with a whopping 90% of newcomers filing their taxes within just two years of their arrival in the country.

However, a deeper dive into the data revealed some interesting discrepancies. Refugees, for instance, had the highest tax filing rates at a remarkable 95%. In contrast, economic immigrants who had migrated under the FSWP had a relatively lower tax filing rate of 77%. The study suggested that this difference might be attributed to the refugees’ heightened awareness of the potential financial benefits they could access through settlement services. The study found that around 13% of immigrants with graduate degrees did not file a tax return for over five years, possibly seeking opportunities outside Canada.

Canada’s Popularity Among Indian Students May Be At Risk

At the recent conference the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) held, a panel of seasoned experts and scholars engaged in an in-depth discussion about Canada’s position in the Indian student market. The session unveiled a cautiously optimistic view of the future of Indian outbound student traffic to Canada. This outlook persists despite the ongoing diplomatic crisis that has overshadowed international relations. Nevertheless, there was a split opinion among agents, with 61% forecasting a “slightly negative impact” on the influx of Indian students, while 30% anticipated a “major negative impact.”

One of the contributing factors to this anticipated impact is the reduction in Canadian diplomatic staff stationed in India. This reduction has inevitably influenced visa processing times and the efficiency of outreach activities aimed at prospective Indian students. Indian students represented a substantial portion of Canada’s total foreign student enrolment in 2022, accounting for approximately 40%. This statistic underscores the importance and potential impact of the Indian student market on Canadian education institutions.

Edmonton Is Set To Welcome More Than 30,000 Newcomers This Year

According to the most recent data from the Conference Board of Canada, Edmonton, one of the country’s fastest-growing cities, is predicted to welcome approximately 30,000 immigrants this year. This follows a similar trend observed last year: the arrival of over 33,000 newcomers, contributing to the city’s cultural diversity and economic growth. Despite an anticipated decrease in immigrant arrivals in the coming years, the numbers are still expected to remain significantly above the 20-year average, indicating a consistent growth pattern.

Ted Mallett, the director of economic forecasting, has attributed this ongoing trend to several key factors. These include the Federal Government’s proactive and expedited immigration policies, higher wages compared to other Canadian cities, availability of affordable housing, particularly in Prairie cities, and Alberta’s robust and resilient economy that continues to attract job seekers. However, this rapid growth rate also brings certain challenges and necessities. Among these is the pressing need for adequate real estate development to accommodate the growing population and infrastructure improvements to ensure the city can efficiently support its residents.

The Number Of Job Openings Declined In September As A More Significant Number Of Canadians Found Work

Statistics Canada has recently released data revealing a noteworthy drop in job vacancies for September as more Canadians secured employment. The number of job vacancies plummeted by a substantial 40,700, a continuation of the downward trend following the May 2022 peak, when job vacancies exceeded a million. Despite this steep decline in job vacancies, the situation is not all bleak. Payroll employment showed signs of improvement, with an additional 22,100 individuals finding jobs in September. This upturn in employment followed a period of decline witnessed in August.

Sectors such as educational services and healthcare experienced the most significant increases in employment. However, not all sectors shared this positive trend. Accommodation, food services, and retail trade sectors saw a reduction in the number of workers. The overall job vacancy rate fell to 3.6%, marking the lowest point since January 2021. It is worth noting that Canada offers foreign nationals the opportunity to gain permanent residency through various economic immigration programs, presenting further options for those seeking employment opportunities.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers provide extensive services for the challenging process of immigrating to Canada, including work permits, permanent residency, and citizenship. We are dedicated to personalized guidance for your immigration goals. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for a comprehensive consultation.

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.