Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates October 30 – November 5 2023


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 immigration news. We meticulously analyze the latest updates and present them in an easily understandable format. Follow us to stay informed on immigration updates.

IRCC Has Released The Immigration Levels Plan For 2024-2026

On November 1, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced Canada’s 2024 – 2026 Immigration Levels Plan. The plan targets welcoming 485,000 newcomers in 2024 and 500,000 each in 2025 and 2026. According to the new plan, the Government of Canada will give even greater emphasis on economic growth, family reunification, and humanitarian immigration responses in the upcoming three years. The new Immigration Levels Plan also aims to increase French-speaking permanent residents outside Quebec to 8% by 2026 and emphasizes filling labour gaps in sectors such as health, STEM, trades, transportation, and agriculture. 

According to the new plan, Canada will maintain the same yearly allocations for 2026 as those in 2025 without any increase. This decision aligns with Canada’s long-term immigration strategy, which seeks to ensure a steady and measured approach to immigration to support the country’s economic growth and societal needs. The new immigration targets aim to offset the demographic challenges posed by Canada’s aging population and low birth rate. This strategy is expected to rejuvenate the labour force and foster economic development.

Canada Set Steady Immigration Goals To Foster Sustainable Development

On November 1, 2023, IRCC will strengthen Canada’s immigration system for economic growth and community prosperity. According to the Immigration System for Canada’s Future report, the Government of Canada will create a responsive system that meets the country’s and newcomers’ needs. The report outlines actions for system transformation, such as adapting to global humanitarian crises, enhancing Francophone Immigration Policy, improving the International Student Program, integrating key services into immigration planning, creating an advisory body of newcomers, and improving website user-friendliness. 

The Canadian Government wants to ensure that the immigration system is responsive and flexible, capable of adapting to changing circumstances and emerging needs. This includes preparing for sudden shifts in global migration patterns, addressing humanitarian crises, and providing a welcoming environment for newcomers. By focusing on simplification, innovation, and collaboration, we will create an immigration system that is efficient, effective, and fair. Moving forward, The Government will continue to leverage technology to improve services and reduce processing times. Canada has modernized the immigration system with automation and advanced analytics, enabling applicants to track their applications for sponsorship, Express Entry, study permits, work permits, and visitor visas.

Ontario Invited Masters And PhD Graduates Under The OINP

On October 30, 2023, the Government of Ontario invited Masters Graduate and PhD Graduate streams candidates under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The province issued 1,051 invitations to apply (ITAs) for the Master’s Graduate stream to candidates with a minimum score of 43 points. Additionally, the OINP also invited 66 graduates through the PhD Graduate Stream. For PhD candidates, the minimum score was 42 points. Interestingly, the minimum scores for candidates with higher post-secondary education have remained high for the past few months. In 2023, Ontario invited 35,813 candidates under the OINP streams.

The OINP is a provincial immigration program designed to help Ontario meet its labour market priorities. The program allows the provincial government to nominate individuals with the skills and experience to contribute to Ontario’s economy and assists employers in recruiting and retaining foreign workers. If you are a prospective immigrant or an employer who needs assistance with an OINP application, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can be of significant assistance. Our experienced professionals can guide you through the application process, ensuring you meet all requirements and increase your chances of approval. Trust Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers to make your OINP application process seamless and efficient.

Canada Announced New Updates Regarding The Atlantic Immigration Program 

On November 02, 2023, the Government of Canada announced a series of comprehensive updates for the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP), making the program more accessible and advantageous for potential immigrants considering Canada as their new home. One of the most significant changes brought about by this update is removing the previously required 90-day commitment for applying for permanent residence. This commitment was often seen as a hurdle by many potential immigrants, so its removal is expected to be a welcome change. Eliminating this requirement offers more flexibility for applicants, allowing them to navigate the immigration process at their own pace, which can significantly reduce the pressure and stress often associated with the complex immigration process. 

Another critical update is the extension of the duration of the work permit. Previously, the work permit offered a limited timeframe, but it has now been extended to two years. This extension provides a longer timeframe for immigrants to establish themselves in the Atlantic provinces, affording them more time to secure stable employment, find suitable housing, and integrate into their new communities. Moreover, to ensure the program remains relevant and up-to-date for future immigrants, the Government has also updated the guidance to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 language. This update ensures that the NOC language accurately reflects the current labour market and is relevant for potential immigrants.

Support For Immigration Drops Notably Due To Affordability Concerns

The Environics Institute conducted a survey, partnering with the Century Initiative, to understand Canadian attitudes toward immigration and refugees. Conducted in September 2023, this research updates previous findings and reflects the views of 2,002 Canadians. The results show that Canadians are less satisfied with the country’s direction and more pessimistic about the economy despite welcoming a record number of immigrants. The poll indicates a surge from 27% to 44% of Canadians believing immigration levels are too high, marking the most considerable shift in opinion seen by Environics in over 40 years. Despite immigration support peaking a year ago, concerns over high inflation, rising interest payments, and a severe housing crisis have since dominated.

Although Canadians believe in the importance of immigration for the country’s growth, the rising living costs and housing crisis have led to a shift in public opinion, resulting in more Canadians questioning the current immigration levels. A significant increase in the belief that Canada has too many immigrants emerged, with concerns about the impact on the housing crisis. Despite dissatisfaction with the country’s direction, inflation, and living costs, few Canadians see immigration or refugees as top issues. The population growth, mainly due to immigration, has surpassed 40 million, leading to questions about the number of immigrants rather than their origin.

Canada Has Accepted Over 40,000 Afghan Refugees Since August 2021

Canada has a proud tradition of welcoming the world’s most vulnerable, like the Afghans affected by the Taliban’s takeover in 2021. Since then, Canada has provided significant support, driven by the deep ties to Afghanistan and the Afghan diaspora in Canada. On October 30, 2023, Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, announced Canada has welcomed 40,415 vulnerable Afghans since August 2021, one of the world’s most extensive Afghan resettlement programs. As Afghans settle across 180 communities in Canada, they have seen tremendous support from provincial governments, civil society, sponsors, and service providers, who have provided vital resources. 

Canada was among the first to launch a resettlement program for vulnerable Afghans. Canada’s Afghanistan resettlement commitment is one of the world’s largest per capita, second only to the US. It focuses on aiding those who helped Canada, with 18,000 spaces for the Special Immigration Measures Program for Afghan nationals, provision for extended families of former interpreters, and a program for families of former advisors. In June 2023, the Canadian Government passed legislation to facilitate the safe passage of IRCC applicants from Afghanistan to third countries for immigration processing and travel arrangements to Canada.

Saskatchewan To Broaden Opportunities For Employers Seeking International Talent

The Saskatchewan Government has recently announced an expansion to the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) in a progressive move designed to open more opportunities for internationally trained workers. Under the new changes, individuals working in intermediate and lower-skilled professions will now be able to apply for permanent residency in Canada through the SINP. This is a significant development, as the program was previously limited to only high-skilled and designated trades workers. The purpose of this expansion is to improve worker retention rates in the province and to address pertinent labour market gaps. 

The expansion now allows permit holders in an additional 279 occupations, including farm labourers and truck drivers, to seek permanent residency, provided they meet specific criteria. The Government has successfully negotiated increases in the annual quota of provincial immigration nominees for 2023-2025 and is continually advocating for more autonomy to formulate local immigration policies. Immigration is pivotal in bolstering Saskatchewan’s expanding economy and labour requirements, with over 16,000 job vacancies present and an estimated 112,260 job openings predicted over the next five years

.Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers are dedicated legal professionals who offer a full range of immigration services to individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada. We provide the highest legal advice and support to those seeking new opportunities and a fresh start in Canada. If you need advice on immigration laws and procedures or on preparing and filing applications, book an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers.

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.