Weekly News Review May 22 – 28, 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.
IRCC skilled workers

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present a weekly news review of Canadian immigration policies and updates. We understand the importance of staying up-to-date with the ever-changing immigration landscape in Canada, which is why we bring you the latest news and analysis. We carefully curate and present the most relevant information, ensuring you are informed and prepared for any changes that may impact your immigration status. Trust us to keep you informed and empowered.

IRCC continues accepting skilled workers through the Express Entry system

On May 24, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 4,800 candidates to apply for permanent residency in Canada through the new Express Entry draw. This draw is a part of IRCC’s ongoing efforts to welcome skilled immigrants from around the world and maintain the country’s economic growth. The candidates were selected under all immigration programs, including Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. The cut-off score for this round, the minimum score required to receive an ITA, was 488 points.

It is worth noting that, in 2023, Canada has already issued 49,948 ITAs through thirteen Express Entry draws, which indicates Canada’s commitment to welcoming skilled immigrants and providing them with opportunities to grow and succeed. The Express Entry system has successfully attracted skilled immigrants to Canada, and its popularity continues to grow. The system allows candidates to submit their profiles and enter a pool of candidates, from which the government may select them for permanent residency. The system is designed to be efficient and effective, making it easier for skilled workers to come to Canada. Contact Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers for more information.

The Government of Canada slightly reduced the immigration inventories and backlogs

On May 23, 2023, IRCC released updated data on immigration inventories and backlogs, providing a glimpse into the current state of the country’s immigration system. According to the latest update, there were a whopping 2,006,000 applications in all IRCC inventories, encompassing requests for permanent residence, temporary residence, and citizenship approvals. However, the update also revealed that 40.3% of applications in the inventory exceeded service standards. While IRCC aims to process 80% of applications within their service standard, complex cases may require a comprehensive assessment, which can cause delays.

The situation is particularly dire for temporary residence requests, with 38% of applications – including those for visiting, studying, or working abroad – currently in backlog. Permanent residency applications also face significant delays, with a staggering 51% of applications currently backlogged. Even citizenship applications, which may be presumed to have a shorter turnaround time, are facing a backlog, with 25% of applications exceeding service standards. These delays and backlogs cause significant stress and uncertainty for those seeking to make a new life in Canada.

Canada – South Korea mobility agreement will positively impact both countries

Canada and South Korea are creating more opportunities for international work and travel for youth through the Canada-South Korea Youth Mobility Arrangement. The age eligibility has been increased from 18-30 to 18-35, and two new streams have been added (International Co-op and Young Professionals). Most youth can participate in the program twice for up to 24 months. The new arrangement will begin in 2024 and aims to improve labour market access for Canadian and South Korean youth while providing new opportunities for work and travel.

International Experience Canada (IEC) is a program that allows Canadian and international youth to work and travel in each other’s countries. The program has three categories: Working Holiday, International Co-op (Internship), and Young Professionals. Participants receive employer-specific work permits to gain targeted experience in their field of study or career path. Canada has signed youth mobility agreements with 36 different countries. In 2023, nearly 90,000 international youth will have the opportunity to participate. Over 240,000 Canadians have participated in the IEC Program since 2008, gaining valuable personal and professional experiences.

Canadians celebrate Citizenship Week by sharing the country’s values

Citizenship Week is a grand celebration for Canadian citizens annually in the last week of May. Last year, Canada exceeded its citizenship goals, welcoming nearly 364,000 new citizens. This is a testament to Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, as people worldwide come to call Canada home. The citizenship ceremony is one of the most essential parts of becoming a Canadian citizen. This is a momentous occasion for new citizens as they take the Oath of Citizenship and pledge their allegiance to the country.

Close to 13,000 new Canadians will be welcomed at nearly 100 planned ceremonies nationwide this year.  These ceremonies symbolize the country’s values and commitment to its citizens. Also, the number of permanent residents taking the Oath of Citizenship has steadily increased. Over the past year, almost 30,000 permanent residents have taken the Oath of Citizenship each month. This represents a significant increase from pre-COVID-19 volumes and demonstrates the enduring appeal of Canada as a destination for people from all over the world.

The BCPNP issued new invitations to skilled candidates and tech workers

On May 23, 2023, British Columbia issued new invitations as part of the Skilled Worker – International Graduate categories of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP), which is designed to attract and retain international graduates and skilled workers who can contribute to the province’s economy. In the Tech-targeted draw, the province issued 103 invitations to candidates with a minimum score of 90 points. BC also invited 20 candidates under the Childcare-targeted draw and 17 candidates in the Healthcare-targeted draw. Overall, the BCPNP invited up to 145 candidates, increasing the total number of accepted immigrants to 4,397.

The BCPNP is a program that allows the province of British Columbia to nominate foreign workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs with the skills and experience needed to contribute to the province’s economy. The program is designed to help employers in British Columbia fill job openings that they have been unable to fill with Canadian citizens or permanent residents. The program also helps foreign workers and graduates who wish to live and work in British Columbia obtain permanent residency in Canada. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can assist you with your application for the BCPNP. Our immigration lawyers can help you identify the right program for your situation, prepare your application, and guide you through the interview process.

Canadian provinces announce new initiatives and hold specific draws for Ukrainian nationals

Newfoundland and Labrador has announced more than $11 million in funding to assist approximately 2,800 Ukrainian nationals settling in the province. This assistance includes support for housing, the introduction of a new initiative called Ukraine Job Connect to help employers recruit Ukrainians, and access to English classes. The provincial government also introduced a homestay hosting program, which provides families $1,000 monthly for up to five months. Ukrainians may also receive up to $6,000 in assistance with their moving expenses. The government has also created a $3 million fund for innovative housing projects, such as converting vacant property and co-housing initiatives. Employment services include a 42-week wage subsidy for eligible employers and job training in various sectors.

The Government of Manitoba also held a new draw for Ukrainian candidates and invited 29 candidates through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). In total, the province invited 125 Ukrainian nationals in 2023. According to the latest IRCC update, Canada received 1,028,223 applications under the CUAET and approved 720,922 applications. This shows a high demand for employment and training opportunities in Canada among Ukrainian nationals, a positive sign for the Canadian economy. If you are a Ukrainian national and want to immigrate to Canada through the CUAET program, do not hesitate to contact our immigration lawyers.

Ottawa’s reunification measures to help the country address the labour shortage issue

On May 10, 2023, Canada started a new policy to make it easier for foreign nationals and their families who had applied for permanent residence in Canada as spouses, common-law partners, or conjugal partners to get open work permits. The old pilot program that ended on May 9, 2023, is not valid anymore. Any pending applications received by IRCC will be processed under this new policy. Applicants under the open work permit pilot program for permanent residence and in-Canada caregiver applicants and their families under the two caregiver pilots (C90 and C91) are no longer exempt. They must apply online following the new public policy.

On May 26, 2023, IRCC announced new measures to make family reunification easier and address the labour shortage issue. The measures include faster processing times, new tools, and an open work permit for spousal and family class applicants. Additionally, open work permit holders expiring between August 1 and the end of 2023 will be able to extend their permits. These changes will allow families to be reunited sooner while waiting for permanent residence. Most of these applications will be processed within 30 days, and specific processing measures will be implemented for spouses and dependents. So far, the new tools have resulted in a 93% approval rate for applicants.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers is a law firm that specializes in helping individuals immigrate to Canada. We provide various immigration services, including helping clients acquire visas, permits, and citizenship. Our experienced lawyers can assist with all aspects of the immigration process, from filling out applications to representing clients in immigration court. We also provide advice on the best immigration options for clients based on their unique circumstances. Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers are committed to helping clients achieve their dreams of living and working in Canada. Contact us for more information.

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.