Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates  October 9 – 15


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.
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Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present a weekly news review on Canadian immigration updates. This helps our clients stay informed about the latest developments and changes in immigration policies and procedures in Canada.

Canada Invited Over 3,700 Express Entry Candidates On October 10 Draw

On October 10, 2023, the Government of Canada invited 3,725 new candidates under the new all-program Express Entry draw. In draw #268, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued Invitations to Apply (ITA) to candidates with a minimum score of 500 points. Canada’s invitation of new Express Entry candidates reflects its commitment to attracting and welcoming skilled individuals who can contribute to its economy and society. As of October 10, 2023, IRCC invited 89,773 candidates through the Express Entry draws.

Through the Express Entry system, candidates are evaluated based on factors such as their age, education, work experience, and language proficiency. Those who meet the eligibility criteria are then placed in a pool of candidates and ranked according to a comprehensive ranking system. The highest-ranking candidates are invited to apply for permanent residency. Additionally, the Canadian Government started conducting category-based selection for French-language proficiency, healthcare, stem, trade, transport, and agriculture and agri-food occupations. If you also have the skills and experience required to apply under the Express Entry system, feel free to contact Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers to learn if you qualify for immigration to Canada.

Canada Began Inviting Candidates Through The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP)

On October 10, 2023, the Canadian Government started the invitation process for potential sponsors under the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP). From October 10 to October 23, IRCC will send out invitations to apply to 24,200 sponsors. These sponsors are randomly selected from the pool of submissions received in 2020. This year, IRCC will approve 15,000 sponsorship applications under the PGP. It is important to note that candidates who submitted an interest to sponsor form in 2020 but did not receive an invitation to apply for the PGP in 2021 or 2022 should continue checking their emails for updates and invitations.

This program, facilitated by IRCC, aims to reunite families and strengthen bonds by allowing eligible individuals to sponsor their parents and grandparents for Canadian permanent residency. To qualify for this program, the sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, at least 18 years old, and meet the required income criteria. The sponsored parents and grandparents must also meet certain eligibility requirements, including passing medical and criminal background checks. Once the sponsorship application is approved, the sponsored parents and grandparents will receive Canadian permanent residency and live and work in Canada.

Marc Miller Announced New Pathways For Immigrants From The Americas 

On October 10, 2023, Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, announced that Canada would welcome 15,000 migrants on a humanitarian basis from the Americas. This initiative provides regular migration pathways for Colombians, Haitians, and Venezuelan nationals through permanent resident humanitarian and economic pathways and temporary work programs. Colombian, Haitian, and Venezuelan foreign nationals with family connections in Canada can apply for this pathway this fall. Successful applicants will receive pre-arrival services and support.

Canada is collaborating with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to understand the regional context and needs of migration in the Americas, also increasing assistance for capacity-building efforts in the region with a $75 million investment over six years. This support aims to address the challenges of irregular migration and improve the quality of life for migrants and refugees. The Americas are experiencing high numbers of migrants seeking safety and opportunities, and Canada’s measures aim to promote safe migration as an alternative to dangerous irregular routes.

British Columbia Targeted Skilled Candidates In The New BCPNP Draw

On October 11, British Columbia held new draws under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) and invited up to 185 candidates. The province targeted tech professionals, early childhood educators (NOC 42202), healthcare workers, and candidates working in other priority occupations (NOCs 31003, 32104). The province regularly holds draws and invites individuals with the skills and experience needed to contribute to the province’s economy and fill the labour market gaps. If you are a skilled worker and want to immigrate to British Columbia,

The BCPNP is an excellent opportunity for individuals who wish to live and work in British Columbia. It is a provincial immigration program designed to attract and retain skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and graduates who can contribute to the economic development of British Columbia. The BCPNP has several streams, each targeting specific categories of individuals. Through the BCPNP, eligible individuals can apply for a provincial nomination, which, if approved, can provide additional points to their Express Entry profile or allow them to apply for permanent residency directly.

Potential Risks For Canadian Institutions With Changing Global Shifts

The University of British Columbia established Vantage College in 2013, intending to enroll 1,000 international students by August 2016. However, the current enrollment numbers are far below expectations, with only 172 students enrolled. This decline in enrollment has been observed each year since the 2018-2019 academic year. One of the factors contributing to this decline is the decrease in study permits issued to Chinese students in Canada. Since 2018, there has been a significant 40% decrease in the number of study permits granted to Chinese students. In contrast, the number of study permits issued to Indian students has doubled during the same period.

International students play a vital role in the Canadian economy. In 2022 alone, international students contributed over $22 billion to the Canadian economy. This economic contribution generated $330 million in government revenue in British Columbia and created over 53,000 jobs. While the decrease in Chinese students has impacted programs like Vantage College, it is encouraging to see a significant increase in the number of Indian students choosing to study in Canada. Despite the challenges, international students continue to come to Canada, with Indian students showing a notable increase in enrollment.

Ottawa Considers Virtual Citizenship Ceremonies Amid Calls To Cancel 

The Government of Canada is currently considering the implementation of virtual citizenship ceremonies in response to a petition that called for the cancellation of such ceremonies. The idea behind this consideration is to provide an alternative option for individuals who cannot attend in-person ceremonies for various reasons, such as geographical location or health concerns. While Immigration Minister Marc Miller acknowledges that in-person ceremonies are preferred by many, he also recognizes the importance of offering flexibility and accessibility, especially in rural areas where it may be challenging to organize traditional ceremonies.

To address the backlog and overcome the challenges posed by social distancing measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC has introduced virtual ceremonies as an alternative. This approach has gained significant popularity, as indicated by the fact that less than 10% of new Canadians have chosen in-person ceremonies in the last six months of 2022. However, critics argue that these ceremonies offer a different level of significance and emotional connection than in-person ceremonies. They believe that an in-person ceremony’s physical presence and communal experience cannot be fully replicated in a virtual setting.

Canada’s Labour Market Added 64,000 New Jobs In September 2023

In September, there was a positive development in Canada’s job market. The employment rate witnessed a notable increase, with the addition of 64,000 new jobs. This growth led to a rise of 0.1 percentage points in the employment rate, reaching a commendable 62%. The most significant changes were observed among individuals aged 25 to 54, who experienced a surge in employment opportunities. For core-aged women, there was a remarkable increase of 37,000 jobs, equivalent to a growth rate of 0.6%. Similarly, core-aged men also benefited from this positive trend, with a rise of 32,000 jobs, reflecting a growth rate of 0.5%. On the other hand, the employment situation remained relatively stable for youth aged 15 to 24 and individuals aged 55 and older. 

It is worth noting that there were some variations in employment across different provinces. Two provinces, New Brunswick and Alberta, witnessed a decline in employment. New Brunswick experienced a decrease of 2,700 workers, while Alberta faced a significant drop of 38,000 workers. However, the majority of provinces experienced an upward trend in employment. Quebec emerged as the frontrunner, gaining an impressive 39,000 workers. British Columbia followed suit with a gain of 26,000 workers, while Manitoba saw a notable increase of 8,800 workers. Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia also experienced positive growth, with gains of 6,000 and 3,200 workers, respectively. Even Prince Edward Island joined the trend, gaining 2,700 workers.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers specialize in providing comprehensive immigration services to individuals seeking to immigrate to Canada. With our in-depth knowledge of Canadian immigration laws and regulations, we will help you navigate the complex process and ensure a smooth transition to Canada. From initial consultations to preparing and submitting application documents, we offer personalized guidance and support to help individuals achieve their immigration goals in Canada. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your immigration needs.

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.