Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates October 16 – 22 2023


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 news review specifically focused on Canadian immigration. This review covers the latest updates, changes, and developments in immigration policies and regulations, providing valuable insights and information.

An Increasing Number Of International Students In Canada Chose To Become Permanent Residents 

Statistics from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) indicate that the number of international students transitioning to permanent residency is on the rise. In 2005, a total of 8,565 former international students became permanent residents, which increased to 19,330 in the first three quarters of 2023. Ontario continues to be the province with the highest number of former study permit holders transitioning to permanent residency. By 2023, Ontario welcomed 6,760 permanent residents who were international students. 

The rankings for other provinces have changed over time. In 2015, Alberta, Quebec, and British Columbia were ranked second, third, and fourth, respectively. However, as of 2023 Q3, British Columbia ranked second with 4,195, followed by Quebec with 2,115 permanent residents and Alberta with 1,900 permanent residents. Despite fluctuations in admissions, the overall trend indicates a positive growth in the number of international students obtaining permanent residency in Canada.

Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program Is Increasingly Attracting Business Immigrants

The popularity of the Start-Up Visa (SUV) program experienced a significant boost in August. During this month, 175 new permanent residents successfully settled in Canada through this program, marking a remarkable increase of 29.6% compared to July. This surge in immigration through the SUV has prompted IRCC to devise plans for admitting even more Start-Up Visa applicants in the coming years. Specifically, the annual intake of applicants is set to increase from 1,000 in recent years to 3,500, 5,000, and 6,000 in the years 2023, 2024, and 2025, respectively. 

This projected growth signifies a substantial commitment by the Canadian Government to facilitate the entry of skilled entrepreneurs into the country’s thriving start-up ecosystem. By the end of August, 640 new permanent residents had been welcomed into Canada through the SUV program. Given the current immigration trends, this number is anticipated to reach up to 960 by the end of the year, further demonstrating the program’s effectiveness in attracting and retaining talented individuals who can contribute to Canada’s economic growth and innovation.

Canada Is Experiencing An Unprecedented Influx Of Temporary Residents

On September 27, 2023, Statistics Canada published a report highlighting a significant increase in the number of temporary residents in Canada. According to the report, there has been year-on-year growth of nearly 700,000 temporary residents as of the second quarter of 2023. This remarkable surge in numbers is projected to continue, with an estimated 2.5 million temporary residents expected in Canada by the end of 2023. 

Notably, many of these temporary residents actively pursue Canadian permanent residency through the various economic immigration pathways. The Canadian Government has set a target for the year 2023 to admit a total of 465,000 individuals through all immigration programs. This target is set to increase even further to welcome over 500,000 new immigrants by 2025.

Three Canadian Universities Have Achieved Higher Rankings In 2024 

The 2024 QS World University Rankings have highlighted the exceptional performance of three esteemed Canadian universities: the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia. These rankings hold immense significance for international students who rely on them as a compass to navigate through the vast sea of educational options in Canada. The University of Toronto has soared to new heights in this year’s rankings, claiming the impressive 21st position. McGill University has also made its mark, securing a commendable 30th rank, while the University of British Columbia has demonstrated its excellence by securing the 34th spot.

The rankings, meticulously curated based on various factors, serve as a comprehensive evaluation of these institutions. Elements such as academic reputation, employer reputation, and international ratios are meticulously assessed to provide a holistic perspective on the quality and prominence of these universities. Ultimately, the exceptional performance of the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia in the 2024 QS World University Rankings solidifies their positions as leading Canadian institutions that provide outstanding educational opportunities to students from around the globe.

Prospective Indian Applicants May Face Delays In The Upcoming Months 

In response to India’s decision to reduce immunities for Canadian diplomats in Delhi, the Government of Canada significantly reduced the IRCC workforce in India from 27 employees to just five. However, despite this reduction, IRCC will continue to accept and process applications from India. While application processing will still occur, there may be delays due to the reduced staff. It is worth mentioning that most applications from India are already processed outside of the country, with 89% of them being handled through the global network.

The remaining IRCC staff in India will primarily focus on ensuring that critical cases are given priority, visas are printed on time, risks are appropriately assessed, and key partnerships are properly managed. However, because of the reduced workforce, Indian applicants might experience delays in processing their applications and receiving responses to their inquiries. Canada maintains a strong bond with Indian citizens and remains committed to welcoming them for various purposes, including tourism, employment, education, family reunification, and permanent residency.

Canada Launched A Pilot Program For Skilled Filipino Workers 

On October 19, 2023, the Government of Canada launched CAN Work Philippines – a pilot program aimed at assisting Canadian employers in recruiting highly skilled workers from the Philippines. This innovative program not only simplifies the process of obtaining work permits but also introduces the concept of group appointments for medical examinations and biometrics, ensuring efficiency and convenience for both employers and workers. The program is specifically designed to cater to the needs of Canadian employers looking to hire a substantial number of workers, with a minimum requirement of 50 employees. Moreover, it also focuses on critical occupations in sectors such as healthcare, construction, and agri-food, which are paramount to the Canadian economy. 

Participating employers must adhere to the recruitment guidelines published by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to ensure a fair and ethical recruitment process. Recognizing the significance of this initiative, the IRCC has allocated $200,000 to the IOM, aimed at promoting fair and ethical recruitment standards in the Philippines. It is worth mentioning that the Philippines has long been a significant source country of immigration for Canada. According to the 2021 Census, an impressive 960,000 individuals of Philippine origin currently reside in Canada, highlighting the deep cultural ties between the two nations.

Perceptions Of Canadians Towards The Impact Of Immigration Vary

In September of this year, when asked about their top concerns, only 3% of Canadians mentioned immigration as a significant issue. Instead, most Canadians were primarily focused on pressing matters such as housing, homelessness, and poverty, accounting for 25% of the population’s concerns. Healthcare was another critical issue, with 24% of Canadians expressing their worries about the state of the healthcare system. The economy and jobs also weighed heavily on the minds of citizens, with 20% identifying it as a top concern.

However, recent survey data reveals an interesting shift in public opinion regarding immigration. Approximately 45% of Canadians now view immigration as having a mostly positive impact on the country. On the other hand, 38% hold a more negative perception of immigration’s effects, while 17% remain undecided or neutral. This represents a change from February 2022, when a higher percentage, 54%, held a positive view of immigration, while negative perceptions stood at a lower 26%.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers specialize in providing expert legal assistance to individuals looking to immigrate to Canada. We guide individuals through the complex immigration process, making it smoother and more efficient. Whether for work, study, or family reunification, our lawyers help clients understand their options, prepare necessary documents, and navigate the application process. Contact us to achieve your immigration goals and start a new chapter in Canada.

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.