Weekly News Review March 20 – 26, 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.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present weekly news reviews, offering the latest updates on developments in Canadian immigration law and policy. Follow us for timely updates and valuable insight into the Canadian immigration landscape.

Canada welcomed twice more temporary residents in 2022

Statistics from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have revealed a dramatic surge in the number of temporary resident visas (TRVs) granted to foreign nationals last year. In 2022, IRCC issued over 3.1 million TRVs – an unprecedented 101.5% leap from 1,544,867 visas issued in 2021. Almost half of these TRVs had been granted to Ukrainian nationals under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), which allows Ukrainians to live and work in Canada for three years.

Despite the Russia-Ukraine war prompting Ukraine to become Canada’s leading source of temporary residents in 2022, Ukraine was the second biggest source of temporary residents. India was the most significant source of temporary residents to Canada in 2022, with the highest number of international students. China was third, with 206,077 Chinese nationals getting TRVs and extensions last year. In addition, 134,763 Filipinos, 76,743 Mexicans, 75,193 Iranians, 59,790 Columbians, 55,316 Nigerians, 51,082 French citizens, and 49,002 Vietnamese received TRVs in 2022.

IRCC held the second largest all-program Express Entry draw of 2023

On March 23, IRCC held the second largest all-program Express Entry draw and issued 7,000 Invitations to Apply (ITA) to eligible candidates. In draw #244, the cut-off score was 484 points – the lowest all-program Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score since 2020. In addition to the all-program Express Entry draws, IRCC also conducted targeted draws under the Federal Skilled Worker and Provincial Nominee Program streams this year. So far, Canada has issued 30,559 ITAs in 2023, and the number of ITAs is expected to continue rising throughout the year.

The Express Entry system is Canada’s primary source of skilled workers and an essential tool for meeting labour market needs. It awards points to applicants based on factors such as age, education, and language ability, which determine their ranking in the pool of eligible candidates. Those with the highest CRS score are invited to apply for permanent residence through regular draws from the Express Entry pool. If you are a prospective immigrant and want to immigrate to Canada under Express Entry, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can help you maximize your chances. Contact us today to get started.

Canada to increase provincial immigration through the PNPs

In the near future, Canada plans to accept a more significant number of immigrants through its provincial nominee programs (PNPs). For the first time, provinces were allocated multi-year allocation plans, including an unprecedented 44% growth rate for PNP allocations in 2023, with potential numbers for 2024 and 2025. The provincial nominee programs aim to help immigrants pursue their dreams of living and working in Canada. These programs allow provinces to nominate people with the skills, education and work experience needed to make an immediate economic contribution in the province or region where they plan on settling.

Despite the Federal Government’s choice not to publicly disclose the Multi-Year Allocation Plan, certain provinces have taken the initiative and released these allocations on their websites. Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan have already made known the details of their respective PNP allocation plans for upcoming years. Alberta’s plans include a significant jump in its PNP allocations – 9,750 nominations, an increase from 6,500 in 2022. Manitoba plans to raise its PNP allocation by 50% in 2023 to 9,500 nominations. Saskatchewan was granted its largest-ever number of nominations at 7,250. The province is projecting 8,000 nominees in 2024 and a whopping 8,500 the following year.

Ontario continues inviting skilled candidates under the OINP

The Government of Ontario continues to invite qualified candidates under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). On March 23, 2023, the province held a new draw in the Skilled Trades Stream of the OINP and invited 746 candidates working under 43 National Occupation Classifications (NOCs). This draw had the lowest CRS score range for 2023, as the invited candidates scored between 250-489 points. This year, the province will nominate 16,500 candidates under all streams of the OINP – 70% more than the previous year. So far, Ontario has issued 10,680 invitations under all OINP streams in 2023. Contact Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers to determine whether you are eligible for the OINP and start your journey to permanent residence in Canada.

The OINP provides a pathway for skilled workers with the qualifications and experience to help overcome Ontario’s labour market needs. In 2022, 9,750 qualified candidates received provincial nominations under the OINP, including 3,196 under Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades stream, 2,370 under Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities stream, 1,480 under Master’s Graduate stream, 885 under the Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker stream, 771 under the Employer Job Offer: International Student stream, 583 under Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream, 159 under the Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills stream, and 303 PhD graduates and three entrepreneurs.

BC invited up to 258 skilled candidates through the regular BCPNP draws

On March 21, 2023, British Columbia held general and targeted immigration draws under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) and invited up to 258 qualified Skills Immigration candidates. In the general draw, the province invited 202 skilled workers and international graduates through five BCPNP streams. Additionally, British Columbia invited 34 candidates under the childcare-targeted draw for early childhood educators (NOC 42202), 17 candidates through the Healthcare-targeted draw, and fewer than five applicants working in other priority occupations (NOCs 31103, 32104). With consistent weekly draws, the province offers the fastest and most convenient immigration route to those seeking permanent residency in British Columbia. In 2023, BC invited 2,798 candidates under all streams of the BCPNP.

The BCPNP is a provincial immigration program of British Columbia that helps skilled and qualified workers immigrate to the province. The program is designed to meet the labour market needs of British Columbia’s economy, making it easier for employers to fill positions with qualified foreign nationals. To be eligible for the BCPNP, applicants must demonstrate that they have the skills, education and work experience needed to contribute to the province in an economic or labour-market sense. If you also want to immigrate to Canada’s westernmost province, contact Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers. We can help you with the entire process, from assessing your qualifications to preparing and filing your application.

Ottawa extended the CUAET to allow more Ukrainians to come to Canada

 On March 22, IRCC extended the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), allowing more Ukrainian nationals to come to Canada under special measures. Until July 15, 2023, Ukrainians and their family members can apply for the CUAET visa at no expense. All Ukrainian nationals whose applications have been approved must arrive in Canada before March 31, 2024. CUAET visa holders will also have free access to extend or modify their temporary status until March 31, 2024. The extended visitor, work, and study permit under the CUAET and settlement services will help Ukrainian nationals obtain permanent residence and stay in Canada permanently.

The CUAET allows Ukrainian nationals and their immediate family members to come and stay in Canada as temporary residents for up to 3 years. CUAET applicants are also eligible to apply for a free open work or study permit, which allows them to work or study in Canada. After July 15, 2023, Ukrainians looking to travel to Canada from a foreign country can still apply for visas, work, and study permits through existing temporary resident programs; however, they will be subject to pay fees and satisfy the standard requirements. So far, IRCC has approved 616,429 applications under the CUAET since last year. In total, 133,323 Ukrainian nationals arrived in Canada under these special measures.

Alberta to accept the highest number of immigrants in the coming years

To accommodate the projected growth in population, Alberta will be accepting a higher number of immigrants in the coming three years. By the end of 2025, the province is expected to issue 67% more nominations. Recently, Alberta announced that the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) would nominate 9,750 candidates in 2023, significantly higher than in the previous year. Experts anticipate an upward trend in those figures, forecasting 10,140 for 2024 and a staggering 10,849 by 2025. According to the 2023 AAIP allocations, the province will issue 4,875 nominations – half of the total nominations under the Non-Express Entry streams and the other half under the Express Entry stream and pathways.

The AAIP constantly evaluates potential candidates in the federal Express Entry pool by examining their profile information in the portal. After a thorough review, the province invites them to submit a completed application for further consideration. In 2023, the AAIP will invite half of the Express Entry applicants working in the health care, construction, agriculture, hospitality, and tourism sectors. One-quarter of nominations will be provided to those in high-demand occupations with a close family tie to Alberta. At the same time, the other 25% is set aside for the Accelerated Tech Pathway. Those wishing to settle and live in Alberta should consider applying as soon as possible to stand a chance among the top candidates. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can assist clients in navigating the rigorous application process and ensure a successful outcome.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers Canada is an immigration law firm based in Toronto, Ontario. We provide representation and advice to individuals seeking entry into Canada. Our experienced immigration lawyers provide our clients with the best possible outcome for their circumstances. Contact us today to discuss 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.