Canadian Immigration Backlog – Weekly News Review January 2 – 8, 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.
mandamus applications

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers presents the first News Review of 2023. With the year now in full swing, it is vital to stay informed on the latest developments in Canadian immigration law and policy. So, follow us to stay up-to-date on the latest Canadian immigration news.

The immigration backlog has caused a dramatic rise in mandamus applications

The Federal Government faces many lawsuits due to the extensive backlogged immigration applications, resulting in considerable delays and frustration for those waiting extended periods with no resolution. Since April 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has faced an astounding 709 mandamus applications in federal court – a remarkable spike from the prior year’s numbers. As a result, hundreds of people desperately seek legal direction through a mandate for their immigration applications. A mandamus is a court-ordered mandate issued to compel a lower tribunal or governmental authority to act on their obligations.

Mandamus cases are typically filed to seek justice and compensation when IRCC fails to timely process an immigration application without providing a legitimate explanation. The Government of Canada is boosting its immigration intake to further economic progress and mitigate workforce shortages; nevertheless, some attempts that were intended to boost migration have resulted in considerable processing delays for immigration applications. As people search for solutions, more of them are taking their cases to the courts. If you have experienced an unreasonable delay in your immigration application and want legal advice, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers are here to help. Our experienced immigration lawyers will provide you with the best legal advice and representation for your mandamus application.

Canada welcomed an all-time record number of newcomers in 2022

On January 3, 2022, the Government of Canada made history by surpassing its goal to welcome 431,645 new permanent residents. In fact, Canada achieved a remarkable feat in immigration, with a total number of newcomers reaching over 437,000 individuals in one year! In 2022, IRCC processed an impressive 5.2 million permanent residence, temporary residency, and citizenship applications – more than doubling the number of applications from 2021. Immigration is a crucial contributor to Canada’s labour force growth, accounting for the vast majority of development. In addition, immigration comprises 75% of population expansion in the country and will likely account for nearly one-third (30%) by 2036.

Canada is making a significant effort to increase its population by inviting more immigrants. The 2021 census on immigration reveals that 1.3 million permanent residents moved to the nation between 2016 and 2021, representing one out of every four respondents who were or had been landed migrants or permanent residents of Canada. This is the highest ever proportion since Confederation was established and the most considerable percentage among G7 nations. According to the latest Immigration Levels Plan, Canada will admit 465,000 newcomers this year.

British Columbia held the first BCPNP draw of 2023

On January 4, 2023, the Government of British Columbia held the first draw of 2023, inviting 211 Skills Immigration candidates under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP). The province invited 163 candidates in the general draw, 28 candidates in the childcare-targeted draw for early childhood educators, and 20 candidates in the Healthcare-targeted draw. The BCPNP is an economic immigration program that helps British Columbia meet its labour market needs. In 2022, the BCPNP issued just over 9,000 invitations to support businesses and drive the province’s economic growth.

Despite the overwhelming number of healthcare professionals invited to British Columbia, more medical specialists are needed to address the current physician shortage effectively. David Eby, the Premier of British Columbia, proudly announced that by March 2024, access to high-quality health care would be available to all residents, as the provincial government tripled the Practice Ready Assessment program spots from 32 to 96. Furthermore, this program grants an opportunity for family doctors who have studied abroad to receive a license in the province, adding more physicians to rural and urban communities with a three-year mandatory service commitment.

The Atlantic Immigration Program has seen tremendous success in immigrant retention

In the five years since the launch of the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP), the immigrant retention rate in Atlantic Canada has skyrocketed. Today, more and more immigrants decide to stay and live in Atlantic Canada than ever before. From 2010 to 2015, immigrants who initially intended to stay in Ontario, British Columbia or Alberta were found more likely to adhere and establish residency within these three provinces than their counterparts bound for other provinces. The retention rates of these provinces have generally stayed steady over time, except for Alberta, where it dropped from 88.9% in 2014 to 84.5% in 2015, and immigrants appeared most devoted when settling in these provinces. Only Prince Edward Island had the lowest retention rate but experienced the most remarkable growth in the number of newly admitted immigrants.

The AIP opens doors for foreign workers and international graduates of a recognized post-secondary institution to obtain permanent residence in Atlantic Canada. It is a federal initiative that assists employers in attracting highly-skilled foreign workers and graduates. After the success of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), the Federal Government established the permanent Atlantic Immigration Program in 2022. The AIP continues to be an attractive option for employers and immigrants, allowing employers to fill necessary labour gaps and providing immigrants with the opportunity to build a life in Atlantic Canada. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers are dedicated to helping immigrants navigate the AIP application process helping through all stages of the application.

Some Canadians are concerned with the high influx of immigrants

Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC), expressed his concern about Ottawa’s goal to bring in 500,000 new permanent residents by 2025 and found it unrealistic and unsustainable. He suggested that economic immigration should be prioritized over refugees and extended family members so that job vacancies could be filled more easily without risking damaging consequences from immigration. Moreover, many Canadian citizens believe that the country’s economic and social infrastructure is not equipped to handle an influx of so many immigrants in such a short time. They worry about issues such as housing shortages, impacts on job competition, and overcrowding in hospitals.

Moreover, Herbert Grubel, an immigrant to Canada and professor of economics at Simon Fraser University, also warned that Canadians were becoming increasingly apprehensive about the current immigration levels. Grubel cited that nearly half of the Canadian population is concerned about receiving 500,000 immigrants annually, potentially leading to housing shortages and an overload of social services. He also mentioned that 75% of respondents felt anxious about the annual immigrant numbers.

Canada banned foreign nationals from investing in residential real estate

With the implementation of the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act, all non-Canadians are prohibited from buying a home for two years unless they meet certain criteria such as being a permanent resident, international student, diplomat or consular official. In December 2022, additional exemptions were granted to enhance this ban further. In addition, refugee claimants who possess a temporary visa or have submitted an asylum request in Canada will no longer be able to acquire real estate. The Act, officially recognized on June 23, 2022, took effect on January 1, 2023.

Over the years, foreign investments have flooded Canada’s housing market, driving up home costs in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver and making it difficult for Canadians to afford a place of their own. This has caused a nationwide uproar about how outsiders negatively impact the housing economy. To ensure that Canadian housing remains in the hands of Canadians instead of foreign investors, Budget 2022 proposed restrictions preventing non-Canadian people or commercial enterprises from purchasing residential properties for two years.

Canada needs more workers to fill vacant positions in the construction industry

With the Baby Boomers entering retirement, Canada faces a severe shortage of nearly one million workers. To fill these positions, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen is advocating for immigration as an invaluable resource to drive economic development. Specifically, he emphasizes the need for highly-skilled immigrants in the building trades to solve the labour shortage issue of businesses. In light of Canadians’ worries about the impact that immigration could have on housing costs and availability, Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Minister dismissed this view. Despite apprehension from some quarters that increased immigration will lead to soaring house prices, multiple research findings disagree with this assumption. Instead, many assert that migration strengthens the economy and consequently pushes up property values.

Newcomers to Canada significantly impact Canada’s labour shortage, particularly regarding unfilled positions in the building trades. According to Statistics Canada’s most recent quarterly report, in the third quarter of 2022, there were a fantastic 959,600 job vacancies – 8.3% over those recorded in the same period a year before. At the end of December 2022, over 38,905 construction job openings were circulated on Indeed.com – a popular online job-hunting resource. The Government-run JobBank website also forecasts bright prospects for construction workers seeking employment in most of Canada’s provinces over the next few years.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers is committed to helping you immigrate to Canada. We recognize that starting a new life requires careful and diligent planning and are here to provide you with all the necessary information, advice, and services to ensure your success. Whether you wish to join a family, start a business or work in Canada, our experienced team will help you through the process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you meet your immigration 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.