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Weekly Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates  January 8 – 14  2024  

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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.
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Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present a weekly update on Canadian immigration news, helping our clients stay up-to-date with the latest happenings and shifts in this field.

IRCC Invited The First Express Entry Candidates Of 2024

On January 10, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began inviting the first Express Entry candidates of 2024. This marks the beginning of a new year of opportunities for potential immigrants to make their way to Canada. The draw #279 invited 1,510 skilled candidates under all immigration programs. The competition was intense, as seen in the minimum score required for this draw. Candidates needed at least 546 points to be considered in this round of invitations, showing their high quality. In 2023, Canada issued a remarkable 110,266 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) through the Express Entry system, reflecting its commitment to a multicultural society.

The Express Entry system, designed to manage applications for permanent residence, continues to be a major pathway for economic immigration to Canada. Through this system, skilled workers across the globe have an opportunity to contribute to Canada’s economy and cultural diversity, thereby enhancing the nation’s growth and prosperity. If you consider yourself a skilled worker seeking new opportunities, the Express Entry system could be your ticket to a vibrant life in Canada. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers provide advice tailored specifically to your situation, help you prepare all the necessary documents, and guide you through each step of the application process. Contact us to learn more about our services.

Canada’s Immigration Is On A Steady Path To Reach A Record High In 2023 

Canada’s monthly immigration dropped by 12.4% in November, but the year still anticipated a record number of new permanent residents. The number of new permanent residents was 29,430 in November, totalling 434,360 for the year. It was estimated that by the end of 2023, there would be 473,847 new residents, an 8.3% increase compared to 2022 and 1.9% above the 2023 target. The 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan intends to welcome 485,000 new residents in 2024, 500,000 in 2025, and another 500,000 in 2026, totalling 1.485 million immigrants over three years. 

Ontario was the preferred destination for 191,570 newcomers in the first 11 months of 2023, accounting for 44.1% of all immigrants. Economic programs contributed to 49.6% of new permanent residents in Ontario, facilitating 95,040 people to settle in the first 11 months of 2023. In addition, 52,265 arrived through family sponsorships and 35,030 through refugee programs. Despite Quebec’s cap on immigration at 50,000, it is on track to welcome 54,752 new residents by the end of November 2023.

Immigrants In Ontario, Alberta, And British Columbia Earn More Than Those In Other Provinces 

Statistics Canada presented an intriguing analysis of the earnings of newcomers who have immigrated under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The report noted that these newcomers tend to earn considerably more in provinces such as Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. However, a contrasting trend of lower earnings is observed amongst those residing in Atlantic Canada, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. This significant disparity in earnings is primarily attributed to a combination of factors such as local unemployment rates and individual characteristics. The most impactful of these characteristics include the level of education, the extent of pre-landing Canadian work experience, and the proficiency in language skills. 

In addition to the analysis of the PNP, the report illuminates that the earnings of economic immigrants can vary significantly based on the specific immigration program they are part of. Interestingly, those who immigrated under the Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) have consistently reported higher earnings since 2005. The reason behind this trend is mainly their higher level of education, superior language abilities, and younger age. Additionally, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores for FSWP and CEC candidates were noticeably higher, indicating their potential for skilled work and, consequently, their ability to earn higher wages.

Ontario Continues Inviting Candidates Through The OINP Streams

Ontario continues to invite candidates through its Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) streams. Last week, the Government of Ontario held three draws under the OINP – two Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream (EJO FW) draws and one Skilled Trades Stream draw. The province issued ITAs to 1,451 tech and healthcare workers through the two EJO FWS draws and 2,552 candidates under the Skilled Trades Stream. So far, the Provincial Government invited a total of 4,003 candidates through the OINP streams in 2024.

The OINP is a government initiative for foreign workers, international students, and others with skills, experience, and education that can contribute to Ontario’s economy. The program offers an opportunity to apply for Canadian permanent residence through different immigration pathways. If you want to live and work in Ontario, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help! Contact us for more information about eligibility criteria, application process and other important details. We are here to guide you through every step of the process!

Immigrants From Africa And Asia Have The Highest Employment Rates 

The employment rates for African and Asian immigrants were notably higher than in other regions. A report by Statistics Canada, focusing on data from 2023, examined the employment status of immigrants aged 15 years and above from various areas. The findings showed the highest employment rates were among immigrants from Africa (67.7%), closely followed by Asia (66.3%). Immigrants from Latin America also had a considerable employment rate of 66%. However, immigrants from North America and Europe had lower rates at 56.6%. The national average was 62.7%.

Core-aged immigrants (25-54) show different employment rates: Europeans lead at 88.3%, followed by Latin Americans (82.8%), North Americans (82.7%), Asians (81.7%), and Africans (79.8%). This is slightly below the national average of 82.6%. This suggests African and Asian immigrants may find more employment outside the core age group, potentially due to cultural differences in schooling years. The study didn’t include temporary workers and international students, significant contributors to Canada’s labour force, with over 797,225 valid work permit holders in December 2022 and nearly a million international students in 2023.

The Immigration Minister Opened The Temporary Program For Extended Palestinian Families In Gaza 

On January 9, 2024, Marc Miller, the Minister of Immigration, announced a new temporary resident pathway for extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Gaza. This initiative seeks to offer refuge to Palestinians in Gaza who have supportive family members in Canada. Qualified family members encompass spouses, children, siblings, as well as parents or grandparents of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, along with their immediate dependents. Upon arrival in Canada, they can apply for a study or work permit exempted from fees. 

Eligible candidates will receive three months of health insurance and support services such as language instruction and career assistance. Despite the difficult exit circumstances in Gaza, Canada collaborates with partners to assist eligible individuals in their departure. The public policy exemptions for temporary resident visa applicants will be effective until January 9, 2025, or when 1,000 applications have been accepted for processing, whichever occurs first. The Canadian Government will vigilantly track program numbers and the changing conditions in the region to ensure continuing to address the community’s needs.

Canadians Support Temporary Foreign Workers And Immigration Levels

In 2023, the population of Canada touched the 40 million mark, bolstered by a 2.7% rise, majorly from immigration. Canadians have traditionally shown a welcoming attitude towards immigrants, with the country topping the list as the most accepting nation for immigrants in 2019. However, a change was noticed in 2023 when the government’s proposal to admit 485,000 permanent residents in 2024 and 500,000 each in 2025 and 2026 sparked discussions on the high immigration levels. Despite these discussions, the overall sentiment towards immigrants remained unchanged. The change was predominantly influenced by the belief that high immigration levels contribute to the housing crisis.

Additionally, many Canadians support the idea of employers hiring temporary foreign workers to fill vacant positions, even in the face of growing opposition to increased immigration. More than 80% of Canadians view these workers as vital to the economy, and two-thirds favour their citizenship application. This data emerges as the preference for fewer immigrants in 2024 compared to 2023 is rising. Nik Nanos, from Nanos Research, points out that Canadians seem to prefer immigrants who come with specific job purposes, highlighting the value of an orderly system. The survey indicates that 79% favour hiring temporary foreign workers. The Atlantic region and Quebec show the most support, while the Prairies and Ontario exhibit the most resistance.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers have extensive experience in assisting individuals with their immigration to Canada. We provide comprehensive services, from handling paperwork to consultation on immigration laws and regulations. Our expertise and dedication can greatly ease the immigration process, helping you successfully navigate the complexities of Canadian immigration.

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.