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Weekly News Review November 14 – 20, 2022

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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.
Government of Canada

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present up-to-date information and insights into Canadian immigration. This week, the news focuses on the implementation of the National Occupational Classification to Canadian provincial immigration programs that changed eligibility requirements for Canada’s many economic streams. Do not forget to follow us for more updates on immigration law and policy changes in Canada.

The Government of Canada implemented the NOC 2021

On November 16, the Government of Canada announced the implementation of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 for economic immigration programs processed under Express Entry. The new proposed 6-category structure for the NOC system will take into account training, education, experience and responsibilities needed (TEER) to work in an occupation in Canada. These updates will allow expanding pathways to permanent residency for temporary workers and international students as there will be more eligible positions for programs managed under Express Entry.

The NOC is an important tool for workers and employers in Canada. It provides a clear, concise way to categorize the skills and experience of Canadian workers so that they can be matched with the right job opportunities. The NOC also supports programs like employment insurance, skills development, and other training initiatives aimed at helping people find and keep good jobs. After the implementation of the NOC 2021, Canada announced new NOC codes enabling foreign workers working in high-demand sectors like health care, construction, and transportation to apply for permanent residence in Canada. On November 16, 2022, Canada expanded pathways to permanent residence for sixteen in-demand occupations, allowing nurse aides, long-term care aides, hospital attendants, elementary and secondary school teacher assistants, and transport truck drivers to apply for permanent residency under the Express Entry system.

British Columbia announced major changes to the Skills Immigration streams

On November 16, 2022, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) updated its Skills Immigration stream and switched to the 2021 version of the NOC. As of now, people who have worked or studied outside of the Metro Vancouver Regional District and have a valid job offer from that region will be eligible for additional points. The provincial government has also adjusted eligibility requirements for the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) to include job offers from regional employers in any skilled occupation throughout the province.

In addition, British Columbia expanded eligibility for the International Post Graduate stream to any field of study for doctoral-level programs. At the same time, professors and post-doctoral fellows on limited-term employment contracts at universities can now immigrate under the Skilled Worker stream. The new instructions also state that the province has removed points for NOC skill level while increasing the maximum points for human capital factors. All applications submitted on or before November 16, 2022, will follow NOC 2016 processing. Those who submitted their applications after that date must use the NOC 2021. If you are a prospective immigrant to BC and need assistance in understanding the new changes, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers are here to help. Our experienced immigration consultants will evaluate your situation and devise a strategy specific to your needs. Contact us today for a consultation!

The OINP announced changes to the program requirements and scoring factors and updated the lists of targeted NOC codes for tech draws

After the implementation of the new TEER-based NOC system, the Government of Ontario introduced changes to Ontario Regulation 422/17 (General) and updated instructions for several streams and scoring factors. In the Employer Job Offer International Students Stream, applicants will have to provide certificates for at least one year of study, while in the Employer Job Offer Foreign Worker stream, candidates will have to prove that they possess CLB level 5 or higher. Applicants who have worked in the job offer position for at least six months will be able to obtain points for Canadian work experience. The allocation of points for various fields has changed, with an emphasis on STEM and Healthcare sectors.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) also announced a new regionalization system that divided the province into four separate zones: Northern Ontario, Outside GTA, GTA, and Toronto. The corresponding points given for NOC type and wage range have also changed. Ontario also released the new list of targeted NOC codes for the upcoming tech-focused draws under the Human Capital Priority Stream of the OINP. Applicants can only be nominated for this stream if they have previous work experience under one of these eligible NOC codes. There have been a lot of changes to the OINP that could make it confusing for those who want to apply. Our immigration lawyers can help you make sense of the new changes and guide you through the complete application process.

Canada released new instructions regarding the study permit applications

As of November 14, 2022, the Government of Canada has updated its program delivery instructions for study permit applications. Now, family members of foreign nationals who apply for a work or study permit from inside Canada are not exempt from submitting a letter of acceptance and must provide the document to be eligible to study or work in the country. However, applicants do not need a letter of acceptance, if they are applying for a permit as the accompanying family member of a foreign national and their application is approved in writing before the foreign national enters Canada.

The international student market is constantly growing, with more and more people looking to study abroad. In 2021, the Canadian government processed a record number of 550,000 new study permit applications, which is a significant increase from 2019’s 425,000 permit approvals. 2022 is projected to see even more applications than the previous year, with over 450,000 being processed by August. Although there is a backlog of applications in Canada, study permit processing times have improved since last year and are now averaging between 11 and 13 weeks. International students continue to make an important contribution to Canada’s economy. If you are an international student in Canada or considering studying in the country, make sure you are up to date on all the current laws and regulations.

Prince Edward Island and Manitoba held new draws in November

In November, Prince Edward Island conducted two draws under the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP). On November 3, 2022, the province conducted a new invitation round in the Labour Impact Category, inviting 39 candidates. On November 17, 2022, the province issued 149 invitations to skilled workers in the Labour Impact and Express Entry streams and the Business Work Permit Entrepreneurs stream. In 2022, the PEI PNP issued invitations to 1,651 candidates. The last PEI PNP draw for this year will occur on December 15. If you consider PEI your new home and want to immigrate and settle there, we can help you. Contact us today for more details.

On November 18, Manitoba held the 158th invitation round in the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) and invited 518 Letters of Advice to Apply under the Skilled Workers in Manitoba, Skilled Workers Overseas, and the International Education streams. This invitation round was the largest the province held in 2022, with more than 500 candidates, including 125 Express Entry applicants. The MPNP is expected to invite even more applicants by the end of 2022. If you also plan to immigrate to Manitoba, it is the right time! This year, the MPNP has already invited 5,760 candidates from all over the world.

Nova Scotia published updates after the switch to the NOC 2021

After the announcement of the new NOC 2021, Nova Scotia reduced the number of NOC codes eligible under the Occupations In-Demand stream. The updated list of eligible occupations now includes NOC 65200 – Food and beverage servers, NOC 65201 – Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers, and related support occupations, NOC 65310 – Light duty cleaners, and NOC 75110 – Construction trades helpers and labourers. The PNP stream for Nova Scotia is not currently available to heavy equipment operators, nurse aides, patient service associates, and transport truck drivers.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) enables the provincial government of Nova Scotia to issue nominations for foreign nationals and skilled workers who meet the requirements. NSNP stands for the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, an immigration program that chefs up nominations for experienced and highly skilled candidates, inviting them to move to the province and become permanent residents there. The provincial government carefully selects and recruits individuals who meet the necessary qualifications of NSNP to fill labour shortages in various industries.

Alberta adjusted the AAIP to the NOC 2021

The Alberta Government also released updates to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), reflecting the changes in the NOC system. The minimum language requirements for the worker stream have increased in sixteen occupations while decreasing in only three. The provincial government released updated lists of ineligible and eligible occupations with new NOC codes, changing the general Express Entry stream eligibility requirements for nineteen occupations.

The Government of Alberta has introduced the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), formerly known as the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), to help sustain a strong economy in the province. The target demographic for this program is prospective immigrants with experience and skills. By offering an Alberta Provincial Nomination Certification, the process of immigration is expedited and grants permanent residency in the province. The AAIP encompasses a variety of streams, such as the Alberta Opportunity Stream, the Alberta Express Entry Stream and the Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway. The requirements take into account factors like age, education, language proficiency and work experience. Prospective applicants who want to apply for permanent residency in Alberta can get in touch with our immigration lawyers to get valuable advice on how to meet the criteria of these programs and increase the chances of a successful application process.

IRCC updated instructions for work permits to reduce the burden on immigration officers

On November 17, 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced new instructions for labour market impact assessment (LMIA) exempt work permits issued under the Federal-Provincial Agreements – International Mobility Program (IMP). The new changes extend the work permit duration for PNP candidates from 2 to 3 years. The purpose of this extension is to reduce the pressure and make things easier for employees, employers, and immigration officers. The government also updated the IMP web pages to make them more user-friendly.

Even though IRCC immensely increased its staff, applications are still processing slowly. In only the first 8 months of 2022, Canada has received more temporary and permanent resident applications than at any other time in history. The number of applications is so high that it is comparable to the total amount of applications Canada received in 2019. This surge increased IRCC’s operational capacity by 45% from its pre-pandemic levels. For the past two years, Canada’s immigration system has been strained beyond its limits, and this year is expected to be even worse, with over 3.2 million anticipated applications.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers strive to provide the highest level of legal service when it comes to matters related to immigration in Canada. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience working with clients from many different countries, enabling us to confidently handle a wide range of complex immigration issues. If you need assistance with any aspect of immigration, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help!

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.