Weekly Immigration News Review & IRCC Updates September November 6 – 12  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.
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Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present a weekly review of Canadian immigration news, providing the latest updates and insights. Follow us on social media platforms to stay informed about the latest developments in Canadian immigration.

Ontario Announced Significant Amendments Benefiting New Immigrants 

On November 9, 2023, the Government of Ontario made significant announcements that would benefit newcomers and international students. The province plans to introduce a law that would make it the first Canadian province to prohibit the use of Canadian work experience as a requirement in job applications. This would help more internationally-trained immigrants work in their fields of study and progress in the interview process. The law follows previous legislation banning discriminatory work experience requirements in licensing for over 30 professions, effective December 2023. 

Ontario plans to nominate 16,500 immigrants for permanent residence this year through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) in critical sectors like health care and skilled trades. The Government proposes changes for fairer assessment of international qualifications in regulated professions, increased eligibility for international students, and more influence in selecting economic immigrants. The OINP amendment plans to revise requirements for one-year college certificate programs will benefit over 900 such programs across the province. This could provide international students with more chances for permanent residency. These amendments are expected to be approved next week and implemented early next year.

Start-Up Visa Program Set For An Approximate 80% Rise

Canada’s business immigration program, Start-Up Visa (SUV), has demonstrated significant success in stimulating innovation among entrepreneurs. Although the number of new permanent residents admitted through the program declined slightly in September, overall admissions for the year indicate a significant increase compared to 2022. Canada welcomed 145 new permanent residents under the SUV program in September 2023, a 17.1% decrease from the 175 in August. It’s important to note that this drop follows a record month in August, which saw a 30% increase in the number of new permanent residents compared to July.

Underscoring its unwavering commitment to the continued success and expansion of the SUV program, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has unveiled plans to significantly increase the intake of Starter visa applicants in the coming years. The annual enrollment target will increase to 5,000 in 2024 and then to 6,000 in 2025 and 2026. As of September this year, Canada has already accepted 770 new arrivals under the SUV program. If this positive trend continues, up to 1,027 business people could be welcomed under the program by the end of the year, representing a significant increase in admissions of 78.6% compared to the previous year. This highlights the growing popularity and success of the SUV program.

Refugee Sponsors Can Now Apply For Permanent Residence Via An Online Portal

On November 6, 2023, IRCC introduced substantial updates to the refugee application procedures, broadening the Permanent Residence Portal to encompass private refugee sponsors. This extension is set to be followed by the inclusion of government-assisted partners, leading to a unified, secure platform for a more streamlined and efficient application process. The updated system aims to provide immediate application confirmations, thereby resolving the typical delays experienced with email communication. This significant feature is anticipated to speed up the overall application process, conserving time and resources for everyone involved. 

It is essential to mention that all sponsors should complete their transition to the portal by December 31, 2023. Starting January 1, 2024, IRCC will only accept applications via the portal or traditional mail. This change signifies a significant step away from conventional application methods, marking a new chapter in how IRCC processes refugee applications. According to Statistics Canada, in the first nine months of 2023, the Canadian Government approved around 35,300 refugee applications.

Canada’s Tech And Construction Sectors Grow Amid Rising Unemployment

The most recent data from Statistics Canada showed the unemployment rate rising to 5.7% in October. This increase is attributed to a reconfiguration of job opportunities across various sectors. While the construction, information, culture, and recreation sectors experienced job growth, the trade and manufacturing sectors faced job losses. This marks the fourth instance of unemployment escalation within the past six months. Specifically, the construction sector witnessed an addition of 23,000 jobs, and the information, culture, and recreation sectors collectively expanded by 21,000 jobs. In contrast, the trade sector saw a reduction of 22,000 jobs, contributing to the overall employment dynamics.

Despite the upward trend in the unemployment rate, it is important to note that the total number of employed people in Canada continues to increase. In October, employment exhibited a subtle upswing of 0.1%, adding 18,000 jobs across diverse sectors. This indicates that while certain industries are grappling with job losses, others are concurrently expanding, thereby maintaining stability in the overall employment landscape. The data further underscores that the most significant job growth occurred among men aged 55 and older and women between the ages of 25 and 54, with an increase of 31,000 and 28,000 full-time jobs, respectively. Conversely, employment figures declined by 19,000 for younger workers, particularly teenage girls and young women.

British Columbia Welcomed 190 Tech Professionals And Skilled Candidates 

British Columbia continues to welcome skilled immigrants and tech workers from around the globe through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP). On November 7, the province held new draws in the Skilled Worker – International Graduate categories and invited 104 tech workers, 61 early childhood educators (NOC 42202), and 25 healthcare professionals. The selected professionals are expected to enrich the local workforce, contribute to the province’s economic growth, and address labour market shortages. In 2023, the province has already invited 8,955 individuals.

The BCPNP is a unique immigration pathway designed to attract and retain foreign professionals who can contribute significantly to the province’s thriving economy. The program invites thousands of skilled workers yearly to make British Columbia their new home. The BCPNP offers several streams, each tailored to different types of professionals, including healthcare workers, tech professionals, and entrepreneurs, aiming to fill gaps in the local workforce. If you also want to be one of those who successfully immigrate to British Columbia through the BCPNP, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can assist you. Contact us today to discuss your eligibility and the process in detail.

Canada Celebrated The National Francophone Immigration Week 

On November 6, 2023, Immigration Minister Marc Miller marked the 11th National Francophone Immigration Week, underlining the significant contributions of Francophone immigrants to Canada’s cultural diversity, demographic vitality, and economic prosperity. The Government of Canada has increased the admission goals for French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec: 6% for 2024, 7% in 2025, and 8% in 2026. These goals demonstrate Canada’s commitment to strengthening francophone minority communities while meeting workforce demands. The Government is fine-tuning a new Francophone immigration strategy, soon to be introduced as part of the updated Official Languages Act. 

Furthermore, IRCC has disclosed a provision of an $85,000 grant to the Université de l’Ontario français in support of the Observatoire en immigration francophone au Canada. This initiative is set to lay the groundwork for an oversight committee, whose role will be to shape the observatory’s mission and governance, address issues related to Francophone immigration research, and direct the Canadian Government’s efforts in this domain. A part of these funds will be allocated to a survey concerning the research needs on Francophone immigration in Canada. This initiative highlights Canada’s dedication to encouraging Francophone immigration outside Quebec, fostering cultural and linguistic diversity, and strengthening local economies.

Immigration To Canada Dropped For The Fourth Straight Month

According to data provided by IRCC, Canada’s immigration has steadily declined for the past four months, with September marking the lowest level since April. The figures for September reveal that the country welcomed 32,065 new permanent residents, which is an 8.5% decrease from the 35,055 newcomers who arrived in the country in August. In May, there was a significant rebound in Canada’s immigration with the arrival of 46,000 new residents, which ignited hope for a reversal of this downward trend. However, over the subsequent five months, the monthly immigration rate has experienced a sharp drop of 30.3%. 

Contrasting the September figures with those recorded during the peak immigration period in January 2021, which witnessed an arrival of 50,930 new residents, reveals a significant 37% decrease. This comparison vividly illustrates the extent of the decline in immigration levels over the course of the year. In the first nine months of the year, from January to September 2023, Canada has seen the arrival of 371,140 new permanent residents. Despite the decreasing trend, these figures still put the country on a trajectory to welcome an estimated total of 494,853 new residents by the end of 2023.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers provide comprehensive immigration services to help individuals immigrate to Canada. We guide clients through the complex immigration process, providing expert advice on visa applications, sponsorship, citizenship, and more. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and take the first step toward achieving your immigration goals.

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.