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Weekly Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates  May 27 – June 2 2024

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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.
a pair of reading glasses placed on a newspaper next to a laptop

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present a weekly news review that concentrates on Canadian immigration trends and policies, providing specialized commentary and analysis. Stay tuned for the most recent news and thorough overviews that could influence your immigration journey.

IRCC Held the First PNP and CEC Express Entry draws of 2024

Last week, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held the first Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Express Entry draws of 2024. In the PNP-targeted draw, IRCC invited 2,985 candidates with a minimum score of 676. In the Express Entry draw for the CEC candidates, Canada issued 3,000 Invitations to Apply (ITA) with a cut-off score of 522 points. These draws are crucial for individuals seeking to immigrate to Canada, as they allow potential immigrants to receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence. So far, IRCC invited 41,955 candidates through the regular Express Entry draws.

Express Entry helps foreign nationals gain permanent residency in Canada through a points-based system. The points are awarded based on age, education, work experience, and language proficiency in English or French. Applicants with the highest points are invited to apply for permanent residency, helping to ensure that Canada attracts individuals with the skills and experience to contribute to the country’s economic growth. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers specialize in Express Entry and can guide you through the process. We can assist with every step of the process, from evaluating your eligibility and helping you to improve your Express Entry profile to preparing your application and guiding you through the final stages once you have been selected.

The Immigration Minister Announced The Expansion Of Humanitarian Measures For Gaza 

On May 27, 2024, Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced an increase in the number of visa applications that will be processed under the temporary special measures for extended Palestinian families in Gaza. Due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the high demand for these measures, the government has raised the cap on temporary resident visa applications from 1,000 to 5,000. Over the past weeks, more web codes have been distributed to allow clients to apply for this type of visa. 

Although it is currently not feasible to leave Gaza, the circumstances may shift, and with the increased cap, the government is prepared to assist more people as needed. The Canadian government is maintaining its focus on keeping families united. Canada is also actively advocating for the safety of these individuals, continuing to provide the names of those who have passed initial screenings to local authorities to facilitate their exit from Gaza. Both Israel and Egypt are critical partners in executing these temporary humanitarian measures and aiding people in reuniting with their families in Canada.

Canada Requires Immigration For Economic Stability

Canada’s economic stability significantly relies on immigration due to the country’s increasing elderly population and declining Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite the diminishing support for a rise in immigration, it represents a viable solution to the impending demographic crisis. Projections suggest that if the population remains stagnant until 2071, over 60% of working-age Canadians will be aged 65 or above, leading to a surge in the number of dependents. Canada must address these demographic shifts and enhance productivity to maintain the current living standards.

The argument that increased immigration can deter investment in technology and equipment is rather myopic. For a stable economy, Canada requires a more significant number of workers and substantial capital investment. Immigrants who are educated or have gained experience in Canada can contribute significantly towards addressing the productivity issue. Although immigration is not an all-encompassing solution, newcomers’ skills and drive are crucial for Canada’s prosperity. It is, therefore, crucial to align the immigration process with the labour market requirements and foster a supportive environment for immigration.

Trends Indicate Fewer Immigrants Are Moving To Canada.

Recent data suggests a downward trend in immigrants moving to Canada. For the second consecutive month in March, there has been a decrease in the number of newcomers who have become permanent residents. The dip in numbers began after a peak in January. Statistics Canada reports an 11% decrease in immigration in March. During this month, Canada welcomed 34,785 new immigrants, a noticeable drop from the 39,090 in February and 47,745 in January.

Despite this downturn, the overall forecast for this year remains positive. According to the current observations, Canada is expected to welcome around 486,480 new residents this year, which is a 3.1% increase from last year. This projected figure aligns with the Canadian Immigration Plan for 2024-2026, which has set targets of 485,000 newcomers for 2024 and 500,000 for both 2025 and 2026. Hence, the recent number decrease seems to be a temporary fluctuation rather than a long-term trend.

Rise In Start-Up Visa Immigration Amidst General Downturn In Canada 

Despite the general decline in immigration, Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) program’s immigrant entrepreneur numbers saw a rise of 17.4% in March. The program welcomed 505 new permanent residents, marking an increase of 75 from the previous month. This surge happened during a period when immigration to Canada saw a decrease for the second month in a row. If the current trend of SUV immigration continues, Canada could potentially welcome 5,760 new permanent residents via this business program by the end of the year. This would signify a massive 294.5% increase from last year’s figures. Initially launched in 2015, the SUV program has increasingly become more popular among immigrants.

Ontario and British Columbia are the most sought-after destinations for entrepreneurs. Despite the pandemic’s negative impact on overall immigration, the SUV program witnessed a strong recovery in 2021, with 385 new permanent residents, marking a 48.1% improvement over the previous year. The program’s structure allows applicants to enter Canada on a work permit backed by their designated Canadian investor before their permanent residence application is fully completed, a process currently estimated to take 37 months. If you are interested in the SUV program and need assistance, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help you maximize your chances. Contact us for more information.

Ottawa Will Streamline Overseas Family Class Spousal And Partner Application Processing 

IRCC has launched a new initiative to fast-track the processing of family class spousal and partner applications. This new approach leverages advanced analytics and automation technologies to help expedite processing and facilitate family reunification. These applications are divided into two components—sponsorship and principal applicant—both of which must undergo review for approval. While IRCC officers decide on all applications, the new tools implemented do not possess the authority to reject any applications.

The newly introduced tools function based on a set of rules developed by IRCC officers and machine learning algorithms derived from historical IRCC data. The process begins with the assessment of the sponsorship aspect of the application, wherein routine cases are automatically approved. Officers manually review cases that do not fit the criteria for automatic approval. Similarly, the principal applicant tool is designed to spot routine applications for swift processing. When such applications are identified, they are forwarded to an officer who makes the final decision.

Immigration To Canada Through The PGP Saw A 5% Increase

In March, the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) saw an increase in the number of immigrants making Canada their new home. The rise was modest, at five percent, bringing the total number of new permanent residents through the PGP to 2,005. This is a slight increase from February’s total of 1,910, despite the bigger picture showing a decline in the overall immigration to Canada, with the total new permanent residents falling by 11 percent in March to 34,785. 

Delving into the first quarter figures, Canada had a total of 5,765 new permanent residents under the PGP, a 14.9 percent drop from the same period last year. Ontario stood out as the province with the most newcomers under the PGP, welcoming 2,855. Interestingly, Nova Scotia recorded a 50 percent surge in PGP immigration in March. In contrast, New Brunswick saw a significant decrease in newcomers, with 66.7 percent less compared to the previous month.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers are your trusted partners in your journey to Canada. With our legal expertise and in-depth knowledge of Canadian immigration policies, we can provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the complex immigration process. Do not leave your future to chance – contact Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers today.

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.