Weekly News Review March 27 – April 2 , 2023


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.
Express Entry draw

Canada invited 7,000 candidates in the new all-program Express Entry draw

On March 29, 2023, the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held a new all-program Express Entry draw, inviting 7,000 candidates to apply for permanent residence. In the third consecutive all-program Express Entry draw, applicants had a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 481 or higher. In the last week of March, the number of profiles registered in the Express Entry pool dropped to 234,947, 5,199 fewer than the previous update. So far, Canada has invited 37,559 ITAs under the Express Entry streams this year.

Canada’s immigration policies make it easier for skilled workers to come and settle in the country. 2023 is off to an impressive start, as Canada’s immigration statistics set a record high in January, with a remarkable 43.4% increase from the previous year. In January 2023, an impressive 50,885 permanent residents immigrated to Canada – a considerable increase from the 35,450 who had arrived during the same month in 2022. This number also exceeded December’s figure of 23,440 by over double and almost reached the 46.1% mark.

Ontario invited business candidates under the OINP’s Entrepreneur Stream

Ontario continues to attract and support entrepreneurs worldwide through its Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). On March 31, 2023, the province held the second draw under the Entrepreneur Stream and invited 13 business candidates. The CRS score of candidates invited in this round varied between 139 and 159. Since the start of the year, Ontario has invited 23 business candidates. If you want to launch or purchase a business in Ontario, the Entrepreneur Stream of OINP may be the right option. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help you navigate the complex application process and ensure that your profile is submitted correctly.

The OINP Entrepreneur Stream is designed to support business owners looking to establish or purchase a business in Ontario. This business stream helps foreign entrepreneurs gain permanent residence in the province by investing in their businesses. The program is intended to bring a steady stream of qualified and experienced entrepreneurs who will contribute to Ontario’s economy through job creation and investments. After receiving a nomination from the province, candidates must apply to the Federal Government through IRCC to receive their permanent residency in Ontario.

How will the Budget 2023 impact Canadian immigration?

Budget 2023 is making a $1.6 billion, six-year commitment to welcome 500,000 new permanent Canadian residents by 2025 and an additional yearly budget of $315 million for future immigration projects. In addition, IRCC has been allocated an extra one-time grant of $50 million to reduce backlogs and speed up processing times. To build a “stronger immigration system,” the Government of Canada has identified four main priorities: promoting Francophone immigration, citizenship and visitor visa applicants, and asylum seekers.

Canada expects to welcome record-breaking numbers of immigrants in the next three years, with labour shortages significantly facilitating this influx. To reduce backlogs, IRCC has implemented digital transformation initiatives to streamline the application process and improve access to information. IRCC invests in settlement services such as language training, employment counselling, and healthcare navigation to ensure newcomers settle successfully. These initiatives are intended to help newcomers adjust to their new lives in Canada while also fostering economic growth and innovation.

Canada wants to bring more skilled refugees into Canada

On March 27, 2023, IRCC announced that the Canadian Government is developing a new pathway under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) to provide skilled refugees and displaced people the opportunity to start their careers in Canada while assisting employers in addressing labour shortages in their respective businesses. The EMPP links employers in Canada suffering from labour shortages to qualified refugees and displaced individuals with specialist skills. By introducing this innovative program, Canada can welcome vulnerable individuals while equipping employers with the talent needed for economic growth.

Canada has long been a global leader in providing safe shelter for those seeking refuge and is committed to continuing these efforts. On March 27, 2023, IRCC also updated guidelines for refugee claimants applying for a Canadian study permit. Following the changes, applicants seeking refuge in Canada must submit a separate online application for their study permit. In the past, refugee claimants could only access a study permit by completing Schedule 12 – Additional Information – Refugee Claimants Inside Canada (IMM 0008) or applying through the Canadian Refugee Protection Portal (CRPP).

BCPNP invited entrepreneurs, skilled workers, and tech candidates

On March 30, 2023, British Columbia held a new draw for business candidates in the Base Category of the Entrepreneur Stream under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) and issued seven invitations. Additionally, on March 31, the province invited 165 tech candidates, 23 early childhood educators (NOC 42202), 23 healthcare professionals, and fewer than five candidates working in other priority occupations (NOCs 31103, 32104). The CRS score of invited candidates in this draw was between 60-85 points. So far, in 2023, British Columbia has invited 3,021 skilled candidates, including up to 29 entrepreneurs.

The BCPNP is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs, skilled workers, and tech candidates to come to Canada and become permanent residents. Through the BCPNP program, these individuals can apply for nomination by the Province of British Columbia, which allows them to gain Canadian permanent resident status faster than other immigration pathways. If you consider yourself a prospective candidate for this program, we can help you assess your eligibility and provide tailored advice on the best way to apply. Contact us today to get started.

Temporary foreign workers can start purchasing residential homes in Canada

The Government of Canada extended its list of foreign nationals who can purchase properties in Canada, with temporary foreign workers now being allowed to do so if they have at least 183 days remaining on their work permits. Nevertheless, these individuals are limited to buying only one residential property due to a two-year ban established on January 1, 2023. By changing existing regulations and redefining the definition of a foreign-owned business, the government has granted companies greater allowance for allowable foreign ownership without being classified as international enterprises.

Considering this change, it is essential to highlight that Canada needs a dramatic 50% increase in housing construction to meet the growing demands of immigration. It is estimated that approximately 210,000 units are predicted to be built this year, yet an extra 100,000 will be necessary over the next few years. The Canadian Government is taking steps to make homeownership more accessible to foreign nationals. The Federal Government’s pledge to accept 1.45 million permanent residents in the next three years is an invitation for increased housing construction, primarily due to the lengthy building time of residential homes.

IRCC announced new instructions for Hong Kong residents

On March 31, 2023, IRCC took a significant step in supporting Hong Kong residents coming to live and work in Canada by extending the Hong Kong Open Work Permit Public Policy until February 7, 2025. Furthermore, these new regulations have expanded eligibility requirements for those who obtained their educational credential within the last ten years – allowing them to apply for an open work permit. However, Hong Kong nationals applying for a temporary resident visa or a work or study permit under this temporary measure from within Canada will no longer qualify for fee exemptions. Hong Kong nationals do not need to possess a national interest exemption letter as travel restrictions are no longer in place.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers provide a full range of immigration services to individuals and businesses looking to come to Canada. Our immigration lawyers offer comprehensive advice and personalized representation to meet each client’s needs. Our experienced professionals can assist with all aspects of immigration law, from obtaining visas and permanent residency to defending against removal orders. Contact us today to discuss your immigration needs and find out how we can help you achieve your Canadian goals.

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.