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Weekly News Review November 28 – December 4, 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.
National Occupational Canada

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers provide weekly news reviews to keep you up-to-date with changes in Canadian immigration. This week, we are introducing PNP draw results and changes in the Canadian immigration system after implementing the NOC 2021. Follow us to stay informed and get the latest updates.

BC invited the first candidates after the implementation of the NOC 2021

On November 28, the Government of British Columbia invited the first Skills Immigration candidates under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP). The province issued 336 skilled immigrants, early childhood educators, and healthcare professionals. BC accepts new immigrants through the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS). The SIRS allows the BCPNP to prioritize, evaluate, and select candidates who can permanently live in the province. This year, the provincial Government of British Columbia issued 8,425 invitations.

British Columbia has been leading the country in economic growth and relies on economic immigration to meet labour market demand. The BCPNP is the province’s only direct economic immigration tool for bringing in new British Columbians. In addition, it provides a pathway to permanent residence for highly-skilled, in-demand workers and experienced entrepreneurs so they can settle down in the province. If you also wish to become a permanent resident of British Columbia but do not know how to go about it, get in touch with Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers to get expert advice and assistance.

Start-Up Visa Program to accept more entrepreneurs into Canada

According to the latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in foreign nationals starting businesses in Canada through the Start-Up Visa (SUV) program. The SUV program has welcomed 465 new permanent residents to Canada this year. If current trends continue, that number will rise to 620 by the end of the year, an increase of more than 61 percent from 385 in 2021.

The Canadian Start-Up Visa program allows entrepreneurs to immigrate to Canada to establish a new business. To be eligible for the program, immigrants must demonstrate that their business is unique and innovative, may create new jobs for Canadians, and can compete on a global scale. If you have a business idea and want to become an entrepreneur, you may be able to immigrate to Canada through the SUV program. Contact Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers to determine if you qualify for the Start-Up Visa program. We can help guide you through the process and provide legal advice on immigration matters.

Truck drivers can now apply for permanent residence via Express Entry

After the implementation of the new National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021, truck drivers became eligible to immigrate under the Express Entry streams. As Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced in August, IRCC added the truck driver occupation to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) on November 16, 2022. Under the NOC 2021, transport truck drivers take NOC code 73300. However, how the Canadian Government will select truck drivers through Express Entry still needs to be determined. IRCC might start conducting selection draws based on specific industries and occupations next year, making it possible that truck drivers will be targeted then.

The NOC is a nationally recognized Canadian reference for occupations. It provides an occupation classification system that categorizes all types of occupational activity in Canada. The data collected helps with employment-related program administration and labour market information analysis. NOC provides vital information for programs and services related to labour market intelligence, skills development, occupational forecasting, employment equity analyses, and more. IRCC relies on NOC data to assess eligibility for its temporary and permanent residency programs. To keep the NOC relevant to labour market trends, Employment and Social Development Canada and Statistics Canada review and update it every five (minor updates) and ten (major updates) years. If you are a truck driver seeking assistance with your immigration application, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers can provide customized advice and guidance to ensure your application is successful.

Manitoba invited skilled immigrants and Ukrainian nationals

On November 22, 2022, Manitoba held the eighth draw for Ukrainian candidates and invited 11 candidates through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). All applicants must be Ukrainian citizens, have a minimum of CLB 4 in each language band, have connections to the province, and score at least 60 points to be eligible under the MPNP. In addition, on December 2, the provincial government issued 305 Letters of Advice to Apply (LAA) in the Skilled Workers in Manitoba, Skilled Workers Overseas streams, and the International Education Stream. In total, Manitoba invited 6,076 candidates this year, 1,251 of whom received their invitations through the Express Entry system.

The MPNP receives the nominations quota from IRCC each year. These nominations are given to people who submitted Expressions of Interest through regular draws. The MPNP can only approve as many applications in a year as there are nominations available. For example, in 2022, the MPNP can approve up to 6,367 applications. The Federal Government has not yet announced nomination allocation for 2023. If you have received a nomination from MPNP and want to further your chances of a successful application, or you want to apply for the MPNP but are not sure where to start, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers are here to help. We have extensive experience developing successful applications for the MPNP and can provide you with expert advice on preparing a comprehensive application.

Sean Fraser announced the new Indo-Pacific investment strategy

On November 30, Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, announced that $74.6 million would be invested into Canada’s growth and prosperity under the Indo-Pacific Strategy. This investment will improve processing abilities for applications not just in Canada but also in the Indo-Pacific region, where cities such as New Delhi, Chandigarh, Islamabad and Manila are all located. The primary purpose of these new resources is to help more people come to Canada quicker for visits, studying, work, or immigration. We can expect faster processing and more visa applications with this change. This increase will contribute to shorter processing times and stronger relationships between people.

The Indo-Pacific Strategy is a joint effort by Global Affairs Canada and other departments, including IRCC. With new initiatives and investments amounting to nearly $2.3 billion in 5 years, the Indo-Pacific Strategy hopes to target India, China and the Philippines as primary sources for permanent residents to come to Canada. In 2021, these three countries made up 44% of admissions combined. Additionally, across five years, $14.2 million in funding will be provided to the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development program to support valuable exchanges, expertise sharing, and further education and research in shared areas. This is a part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy, which aims to improve connection with countries within this region.

Canada to amend Express Entry points-based selection system

With fewer people available to work, and an aging workforce, the Government of Canada will change the points-based system for Express Entry programs in the near future so that Canada can remain stable economically. While it is not yet determined how the selection tools will change, the system will adjust to looming shortages of workers in vital sectors like healthcare and construction. As it stands, skilled Immigrants often take jobs that fall beneath their education levels and abilities, which leaves Canadian employers high and dry when they need qualified employees for many positions. However, how efficient these changes will be is yet to be seen as some candidates expressed frustration about the serious Express Entry glitches after the NOC 2021 implementation on November 16.

After the November 23 Express Entry draw, some applicants began sharing their experiences. Some claimed they had not been invited even though they had a CRS score above the cut-off. Additionally, some users reported receiving CRS points they were not entitled to, while others did not receive any points at all. Lastly, a candidate was found eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) without having the required amount of Canadian work experience. According to many experts, since NOC 2021 was implemented, the glitches in Express Entry have only worsened.

IRCC announced new instructions for foreign workers

On December 2, 2022, IRCC released an update that affects employer-specific work permits and the International Mobility Program (IMP). The Government of Canada introduced these changes to improve foreign worker protections by forcing employers to provide information about workers’ rights in Canada. These employer obligations will be added to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). Furthermore, the government will be able to effectively conduct inspections involving third parties to provide documents in support of inspections. Employers must comply with the terms and conditions, including provisions regarding wages, working hours, and other pertinent labour standards. The changes will help protect foreign workers from exploitation and ensure that employers provide safe, fair working conditions for all workers in Canada.

Additionally, IRCC has announced new instructions for employers and temporary workers to help address Canada’s labour shortages. The work permit program is being expanded to include family members of temporary foreign workers, making it easier for employers to find the needed workers. As of January 2023, Canada will allow spouses and dependent children of all ages to work temporarily for two years. It is predicted that this will give working opportunities to the family members of more than 200,000 foreign workers. This initiative provides a greater chance for employers looking for labour solutions and foreign workers who want to come to Canada.

With years of experience, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers have developed expertise in all areas of Canadian immigration, from business and family-based applications to refugee protection claims. Our experienced lawyers can help you navigate the complex Canadian immigration process, ensuring that your application is filed correctly and on time. Contact us today for a consultation.

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.