February 25, 2019
February 25, 2019

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May 12, 2022
May 12, 2022

Canada invited 545 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on May 11.

All invited candidates had previously received a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and had a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) of at least 753. The minimum score was relatively high because Express Entry candidates get an automatic 600 points added to their score when they receive a provincial nomination. Without the nomination, the lowest-scoring candidates would have had 172 base points.

For this draw, the tie-breaking rule was set for December 15, 2021 at 20:32:57 UTC. Candidates who had the lowest-eligible score were only invited if they had submitted their profiles to the Express Entry pool before this date.

In the previous invitation round, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 829 PNP candidates with scores of at least 772.

Canada invites 545 PNP

FSWP and CEC draws to resume in July

Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced on April 22 that Express Entry invitations for Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates will resume by early July. At the same time, the Minister stated that he expects the majority of new Express Entry applications to be processed within a six-month service standard.

This is major news since Express Entry draws for FSWP candidates have been paused since December 2020, while draws for CEC candidates has been paused since September 2021. The processing times for these programs are also currently well above the six-month target. IRCC implemented the temporary interruption in order to process highly skilled applications waiting in queue and reduce the Express Entry backlog which was exacerbated by the pandemic.

This temporary policy change has had the effect of reducing the flow of foreign skilled immigrants to the Canadian labour market at a time when there are nearly one million job vacancies and historically low unemployment rates.

Immigration has now become more important than ever in Canada and Express Entry is poised to once again become a major vehicle for Canada to attract international talent and grow its economy.

According to figures provided by IRCC during the April 22 media briefing, the Express Entry backlog has now been reduced by more than half since September 2021, down to 48,000 by March 2022. Also, the number of permanent resident decisions made in the first quarter of 2022 has doubled compared to the same period in 2021. IRCC made 156,000 permanent residence decisions between January 1 and March 31, 2022.

By 2024, IRCC aims to welcome over 110,000 immigrants per year through Express Entry.

Who was invited?

The following is a hypothetical example of someone who may have been invited in the new Express Entry draw.

Yesenia is 39 years old, holds a bachelor’s degree, and has been working as an information system manager for six years. Yesenia has an advanced English language proficiency and has never worked or studied in Canada. She entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 386. She recently received a provincial nomination through Alberta’s Express Entry stream. Her new CRS score of 986 would have been high enough to get an ITA in the new Express Entry draw.

info source: cicmews.com

May 9, 2022

This past week, three Canadian provinces released their Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draw results.

Most Canadian provinces and territories (with the exception of Quebec and Nunavut) operate their own PNPs. Through these programs, interested candidates may be invited to apply for a provincial nomination. Although provincial nomination is not in itself the same as a permanent residence, it can significantly increase the chances of obtaining permanent resident status. For instance, PNP candidates with Express Entry profiles who receive a nomination get 600 points added to their score. They also become eligible to be invited to apply for a PNP-specific round of invitations.

In 1998, when it was launched, the PNP welcomed only 400 immigrants, but due to its success, it now welcomes more than 80,000 per year. The increase in the number of PNP admissions in Canada is due to the fact that the federal and provincial governments consider it an effective tool to promote the economic development of the country.

In 1998, when it was launched, the PNP welcomed only 400 immigrants, but due to its success, it now welcomes more than 80,000 per year. The increase in the number of PNP admissions in Canada is due to the fact that the federal and provincial governments consider it an effective tool to promote the economic development of the country.

In 1998, when it was launched, the PNP welcomed only 400 immigrants, but due to its success, it now welcomes more than 80,000 per year. The increase in the number of PNP admissions in Canada is due to the fact that the federal and provincial governments consider it an effective tool to promote the economic development of the country.

A total of 141 of these candidates were invited through a general draw. Candidates who received invitations in this draw were from the Skilled WorkerInternational Graduate, and Entry Level and Semi-Skilled subcategories and needed a minimum provincial score between 77 and 123.

The province also held three separate draws for candidates in targeted occupations. A total of 28 early childhood educators who may qualify for the Skilled Worker and International Graduate sub-categories were invited. BC also invited nine healthcare professionals who may be eligible for the Skilled Worker, International Graduate, or the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled sub-categories. In both of these draws, candidates needed a minimum provincial score of 65.

In addition, less than five veterinarians and animal health technologists, and veterinary technicians were invited to apply for Skilled Worker and International Graduate sub-category. These candidates also needed scores of at least 65 in order to be invited.

BC also announced that the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) Base category will be reopened to new intake in July 2022 and that an updated EI Base Program Guide will be released at the same time. The province implemented a pause in the stream in July 2021 to review and adapt the program to current economic needs. The Regional Pilot and the Strategic Projects categories remain open to applications from those interested in investing and establishing a business in BC.

Manitoba 

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) invited 315 candidates to apply on May 5. The invitations were divided across three immigration streams:

Out of all who were invited to apply, 48 had profiles in the Express Entry system.

Those who want a nomination from Manitoba, need to register an Expression of Interest with the MPNP. Once that step is completed, they will be in a position to receive an LAA through the Skilled Workers in Manitoba and Skilled Workers Overseas streams

Manitoba then ranks candidate profiles out of 1,000 points taking into account their human capital factors, as well as their connections to the province. The MPNP then issues invitations to eligible candidates who will be able to submit an application for a provincial nomination.

Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) invited a total of 198 candidates to apply for a provincial nomination on May 5.

In the May 5 invitation round, 106 invitations went to Express Entry candidates and 91 invitations went to Occupations In-Demand candidates. The minimum Expression of Interest (EOI) score requirement was 85 for both categories of candidates, and they needed to have work experience in one of 40 occupations.

In response to the crisis in Ukraine, on May 5 Saskatchewan also issued one invitation to apply for a provincial nomination to a Ukrainian national.

Finally, Saskatchewan issued invitations under its Entrepreneur sub-category. A total of 54 candidates with scores between 90 and 130 points were selected from the EOI pool.

April 28, 2022

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced last week that Canada is set to resume FSWP and CEC draws in early July.

Canada invited 829 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on April 27.

All invited candidates had previously received a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and had a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) of at least 772. The minimum score was relatively high because Express Entry candidates get an automatic 600 points added to their score when they receive a provincial nomination. Without the nomination, the lowest-scoring candidates would have had 172 base points.

In the previous invitation round, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 787 PNP candidates with scores of at least 782.

FSWP and CEC draws to resume in July

Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced last week that Express Entry invitations for Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates will resume by early July. Also, the majority of new Express Entry applications will once again be processed within the six-month service standard.

Before the pandemic, IRCC only rarely held PNP-only draws. More often, IRCC would invite the highest-scoring candidates to apply for immigration regardless of which program they were eligible for.

In the early days of the pandemic, IRCC focused on inviting CEC candidates to achieve its goal to admit a record-high number of immigrants in a single year amid travel restrictions. CEC candidates are oftentimes already in Canada, which meant they were not subject to the travel restrictions Canada had in place between 2020 and 2021. This strategy enabled Canada to land a record 405,000 permanent residents last year.

IRCC has also focused on inviting PNP candidates throughout the pandemic to support provincial immigration goals.

The downside to IRCC’s strategy is it resulted in backlogs within the immigration system, including Express Entry. As such, IRCC has not invited FSWP candidates since December 2020. CEC candidates have not been invited since September 2021.

The lack of FSWP and CEC invitations comes at a time when Canada is dealing with record-low unemployment and record-high job vacancies.

Meanwhile, the FSWP was the main source of foreign skilled immigrants to Canada from its launch in 1967 until recently, when IRCC decided to focus on inviting and processing CEC candidates. This temporary policy shift has reduced the flow of foreign skilled immigrants into the Canadian workforce during a time of a historically tight labour market.

In the meantime, IRCC is looking to land 55,000 Express Entry permanent residents in 2022, which is about half of its 2021 target. Prior to this year, Express Entry was the main pathway for new economic-class immigrants coming to Canada. The reason for the temporary decline in Express Entry targets is so it can wind down its Temporary to Permanent Residence (TR2PR) program and accommodate other priorities.

By 2024, IRCC once again aims to welcome more than 110,000 immigrants through Express Entry.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is the application management system for Canada’s three most popular immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. PNP candidates in the Express Entry pool have already qualified for at least one of these programs.

Express Entry uses a points-based system, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), to rank candidates’ profiles. The top-scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), and can then apply for permanent residency.

After the candidate applies, an IRCC officer reviews the application and makes a decision. The officer will ask for biometrics and may set up an interview or request more documents.

If the application is approved, IRCC issues a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). Approved permanent residents can then complete the landing process. If they are outside Canada, they can access pre-arrival services to help them with the first steps for settling in Canada.

Who was invited?

The following is a hypothetical example of someone who may have been invited in the new Express Entry draw.

Alain is 34 with a Master’s degree and has been working as a database analyst for ten years. He wrote the IELTS and scored a 7.5 in listening and a 6.5 in every other category. He has never worked or studied in Canada. Alain entered the Express Entry pool and also submitted a profile to the Canadian province of Saskatchewan through the International Skilled Worker: Saskatchewan Express Entry stream. He entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 360. Shortly after submitting a profile to Saskatchewan, Alain was invited to apply for a provincial nomination. After being nominated, his CRS score increased to 960 and Alain received an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in the new Express Entry draw.

info source: cicnews.com

April 14, 2022
April 14, 2022

On April 13, Canada invited 787 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence.

All invited candidates had previously received a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and had a  Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) of at least 782. The minimum score was relatively high because Express Entry candidates get an automatic 600 points added to their score when they receive a provincial nomination. Without the nomination, the lowest-scoring candidates would have had 182 base points.

In the previous invitation round, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 919 PNP candidates with scores of at least 785.

Slow start to the year

In the first quarter of 2022, Canada only invited 6,470 Express Entry candidates to apply for immigration. It was the slowest first quarter since Express Entry launched in 2015.

The drop in invitations overall is the result of IRCC only inviting PNP candidates since September 2021, when draws for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates ceased. There have also been no draws for Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates since December 2020.

Before the pandemic, most draws were not program-specific, meaning candidates from any Express Entry-managed program could be invited to apply.

However, as a result of COVID-19-related travel restrictions, Canada decided to focus on meeting its record-breaking immigration targets by transitioning high numbers of temporary residents to permanent residents. This strategy led the number of Express Entry applications to pile up, especially FSWP applications which were oftentimes from overseas applicants. The backlog caused processing times to far exceed the processing standard of six months.Internal briefing memos later revealed that IRCC decided to pause Express Entry draws for non-PNP programs until the backlog was cut in half, and processing standards were back to six months. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has suggested draws for skilled workers could resume as early as this spring, but has not confirmed a date.

News Source: cicnews.com

April 12, 2022
April 12, 2022

Two of Canada’s provinces held immigration draws during the week of April 4 to 8.

This past week, Manitoba held a new Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draw and BC held its weekly PNP invitation round.

Most Canadian provinces and territories (with the exception of Quebec and Nunavut) operate their own PNPs. Through these programs, interested candidates may be invited to apply for a provincial nomination. Although provincial nomination is not in itself the same as permanent residence, it can significantly increase the chances of obtaining permanent resident status.

For instance, PNP candidates with Express Entry profiles who receive a nomination get 600 points added to their score. They also become eligible to be invited to apply for a PNP-specific round of invitations. In the latest Express Entry draw held last week, Canada invited 919 PNP candidates to apply with Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores of at least 785.

Over the past week, two Canadian provinces have issued invitations to immigration candidates as part of their PNPs. These are the details of the new draws.

British Columbia

The province of British Columbia typically holds a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) round of invitations on a weekly basis.

Such was the case this week with rounds of invitations held on April 5 under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). More than 180 candidates received invitations to apply for a provincial nomination in these draws.

A total of 131 of these candidates were invited through a general draw. These candidates must meet the requirements of one of British Columbia’s Express Entry BC or Skills Immigration categories, which are managed through the Skills and Immigration Registration System (SIRS).

Candidates who received invitations in this draw were from the Skilled WorkerInternational Graduate, and Entry Level and Semi-Skilled subcategories and needed a minimum provincial score between 77 and 125 depending on the stream.

For several weeks now, the province has also been holding rounds of invitations for candidates in specific occupations to meet the increased labour needs in certain sectors of the economy. This week, the province invited the following:

  • 43 early childhood educators (NOC 4214) with scores of at least 70;
  • 14 healthcare workers with scores of at least 70;
  • less than five healthcare assistants (NOC 3413) with scores of at least 70; and
  • less than five animal health technologists and veterinarians (NOC 3114 and NOC 3213) with scores of at least 78.

Manitoba

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) invited 223 candidates to apply on April 7. The invitations were divided across three immigration streams:

Out of all who were invited to apply, 30 had profiles in the Express Entry system.

Those interested in a nomination from Manitoba need to register an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the MPNP. Manitoba ranks candidate profiles out of 1,000 points for their human capital factors, as well as their connections to the province. The MPNP then issues invitations to eligible candidates who may apply for a provincial nomination under the Skilled Workers in Manitoba and Skilled Workers Overseas streams.

News Source: Cicnews.com

April 6, 2022
April 6, 2022

Canada has introduced measures to make it easier for Canadian employers to access temporary foreign workers.

These measures, announced April 4, come in response to a nationwide labour shortage. Canada is experiencing a low unemployment rate and high job vacancies at the same time.

One solution to address labour shortages is to bring in temporary foreign workers to fill jobs where there are no Canadians available to do the work. The changes coming into effect for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) are meant to help Canada build its workforce, according to a government media release.

There are five major changes coming for the TFWP. Starting immediately:

  • Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) will be valid for 18 months, up from nine. LMIAs are documents that demonstrate to the Canadian government that a foreign worker employed in Canada will have no negative effect on the labour market. Before the pandemic, LMIAs were only valid for six months.
  • Also, the maximum duration of employment for High-Wage and Global Talent Stream workers will be extended from two years to three. This extension will help workers qualify for more pathways to permanent residency, enabling them to contribute to the Canadian workforce in the long term.
  • In addition to these measures, the Seasonal Cap Exemption, which has been in place since 2015, will become permanent. There will no longer be a limit to the number of low-wage positions that employers in seasonal industries can fill through the TFWP. The maximum duration of these positions will be increased from 180 days to 270 days per  year.

Then effective April 30:

  • Employers of sectors with demonstrated labour shortages will be allowed to hire up to 30% of their workforce through the TFWP for low-wage positions for one year. The seven eligible sectors include: food manufacturing, wood product manufacturing, furniture and related product manufacturing, accommodation and food services, construction, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities. All other employers will be allowed to hire up to 20% of their workforce through the TFW Program for low-wage positions until further notice, an increase from the former 10% cap for many employers.
  • Finally, Canada will end the current policy that automatically refuses LMIA applications for low-wage occupations in the accommodation and food services and retail trade sectors in regions with an unemployment rate of 6% or higher.

Canada’s labour market is even tighter than before the pandemic. The job vacancy rate reached a historic peak in the third quarter of 2021. Much of the unmet demand for labour is in low-wage occupations. In November 2021, the following sectors faced the highest number of vacancies according to Statistics Canada:

  • Accommodation and Food Services – 130,070 vacancies
  • Health Care and Social Assistance – 119,590 vacancies
  • Retail Trade – 103,990 vacancies
  • Manufacturing – 81,775 vacancies

Last year, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program approved some 5,000 positions under the Global Talent Stream and 23,000 positions in the High-Wage stream. Together, these programs represent about 21% of all approved LMIA positions for 2021.

About 50,000 to 60,000 foreign agricultural workers come to work in Canada each year, accounting for more than 60% of all foreign workers entering Canada under the TFWP.

April 4, 2022
April 4, 2022

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) issued nearly 5,000 invitations to apply for provincial nomination in March, a number similar to previous months.

The PNP is an immigration program jointly administered by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. It offers Canadian provinces and territories the opportunity to create their own immigration streams to better meet their labour market needs and economic development objectives.

Canada introduced the PNP in 1998 to spread the benefits of immigration more evenly among provinces and to encourage immigration to smaller provinces and less populated areas of the country. Today, the PNP accounts for a significant share of economic immigration to most provinces and territories in Canada. In fact, many smaller Canadian provinces such as Newfoundland and LabradorPrince Edward IslandNova ScotiaNew BrunswickManitoba, and Saskatchewan depend on this program to meet their demographic and labour force needs. By 2024, PNPs alone are expected to result in more than 93,000 immigrants per year being admitted as permanent residents.

Express Entry-linked PNPs

Most participating provinces and territories have at least one PNP stream that is aligned with the federal Express Entry system, which is Canada’s management system for three immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Express Entry-linked PNP streams, also known as “enhanced” PNPs, allow a province to select candidates who have profiles in the Express Entry pool and invite them to apply for a provincial nomination.

In an effort to reduce the backlog and processing delays currently affecting permanent resident applicants, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has paused issuing Express Entry invitations to FSWP, CEC, and FSTP candidates. It is important to note that this is a temporary interruption and that although he has not yet given a date, Canada’s minister of immigration, Sean Fraser, has stated on numerous occasions in recent months that invitation rounds for these programs will resume in the “near term.” Moreover, given the importance of the PNP for the provinces and territories, IRCC is ensuring that Express Entry invitations for PNP candidates continue to be issued every two weeks.

In fact, last month broke a record by sending out 2,145 Invitations to Apply through two rounds, almost twice as many as the previous month which saw a total of 1,428 PNP candidates invited via two draws. This upward trend continued in March with nearly 3,000 candidates invited in three PNP-specific Express Entry draws.

Alberta

In March, Alberta released the results of two Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) draws, totalling 700 invitations. The province invited 350 candidates to apply for a provincial nomination on March 8, and another 350 candidates on March 24 under the Alberta Express Entry stream.

Alberta also announced on March 4 that it is putting temporary processing measures in place to assist Ukrainians who apply through the AAIP. These measures include priority processing of applications from Ukrainians, waiving their service fees and, in some cases, the receipt of incomplete applications.

British Columbia

Through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP), the province invites top-scoring provincial candidates every week. Invited candidates may apply to Express Entry British ColumbiaSkills Immigration, as well as the Tech stream. In March, the province invited over 900 candidates who may apply to Express Entry British ColumbiaSkills Immigration, the Tech stream as well as through the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot.

In addition, the province announced on March 10 that it was taking steps to address the critical need for health care workers and early childhood educators by making a number of changes to the BC PNP skills immigration stream. These changes include a new BC PNP priority list of occupations and periodic draws targeting specific occupations. Health care and dental assistants have also been added as eligible occupations to the province’s Entry Level and Semi-Skilled category and the requirement for two years of directly related experience was replaced by two years of skilled experience under the BC skilled worker category.

Manitoba

Manitoba issues invitations regularly through the following three streams: Skilled Workers in ManitobaSkilled Workers Overseas, and International Education Stream. The province held two general draws last month, the first on March 10 and the second on March 24. A total of 311 Letters of Advice to Apply were issued of which 76 were sent to candidates who had a valid Express Entry profile.

The province is also among those that have announced special immigration measures for Ukrainian nationals. As part of this response, Manitoba is holding regular EOI draws for individuals who meet MPNP eligibility criteria and are affected by the current situation in Ukraine.  To date, the province has held two such draws, one on March 10 with 71 invitations and one on March 18 with 16 invitations.

Ontario

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) issued a total of 2,430 invitations in March.

The first draw was held on March 1 and the province invited 1,320 candidates from the Employer Job OfferForeign Worker, International Student, and In-Demand Skills streams as well as the Masters Graduate stream.

A few days later, on March 4 , the province invited 21 candidates to apply to the Entrepreneur Stream.

On March 24, Ontario invited 471 candidates who may qualify for Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades stream.

Lastly, on March 30, the province again issued invitations under the Employer Job OfferForeign Worker , and In-Demand Skills streams as well as the Masters Graduate stream. This time, a total of 618 candidates received invitations to apply for a provincial nomination from Ontario.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) draws are prescheduled and held once a month. The PEI PNP held a draw on March 17 and invited 141 candidates from the Labour Impact and Express Entry streams and 11 from the Business Impact stream.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan released details of a draw held through its Entrepreneur EOI system on  March 3. The number of invitations issued was 58. The province also provided the dates for upcoming draws under this category: May 5, July 7, September 1 and November 3.

On March 7, Saskatchewan launched the new Tech Talent Pathway under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) to attract tech workers into the province. The Tech Talent Pathway is intended to ease critical labour shortages in Saskatchewan’s tech sector. To be eligible, applicants must have a job offer from a Saskatchewan employer in one of the 11 targeted technology occupations.

On March 8, the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) invited a total of 85 candidates to apply for a provincial nomination. A total of 39 invitations went to Express Entry candidates and 43 invitations went to Occupations In Demand candidates in that invitation round.

In response to the crisis in Ukraine, Saskatchewan is also holding separate draws for people whose current country of residence is Ukraine. The first draw was held on March 4 with 36 invitations sent out and the second was held on March 8 where three invitations were sent.

Info source: cicnews.com

March 28, 2022

This year marks the first since the start of the pandemic that Canada is fully open to tourists.

Canada imposed travel restrictions on tourists in March 2020 and lifted them for those fully vaccinated in late summer 2021. Effective April 1st, fully vaccinated tourists do not need to complete a COVID-19 test before entering Canada.

This is good news for tourists since Canada is making it much easier to visit the country.

One thing to keep in mind though is the importance of preparing in advance if you have a criminal offense on your record. Upon arrival to Canada, tourists are greeted by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers. They screen tourists to ensure they comply with Canadian immigration law which includes ensuring they are admissible to Canada. Having a criminal record is grounds for a CBSA officer to deem you inadmissible to Canada and prevent you from visiting the country. American citizens should also understand their passport is linked to their FBI background record which CBSA officers have access to.

It is also important to understand Canada wants tourists. As such the Canadian government provides various solutions so you can overcome your criminal record and be able to visit the country. This is due to Canada believing individuals are able to be rehabilitated and certain infractions do not necessarily mean the tourist presents a public safety risk to Canadians.

Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is the first solution. It is a temporary solution that you can pursue as long as you make a compelling argument to the Canadian government as to why your criminal record should be excused on a temporary basis. The TRP is usually a better solution for those seeking temporary entry to Canada on business or for compassionate reasons. It is generally advisable for tourists to pursue the second option instead, known as Criminal Rehabilitation.

Unlike a TRP, applying for Criminal Rehabilitation can resolve your criminal inadmissibility to Canada permanently. If Canada approves your Criminal Rehabilitation application, your criminal record will no longer prevent you from visiting Canada, as long as you do not commit another crime. A minimum of five years from the completion of your most recent sentence needs to elapse before you can apply for rehabilitation. When assessing your application, the Canadian government will consider the Canadian equivalent of your crime. As such, the Criminal Rehabilitation application fee you pay will depend on the severity of your crime. Canada’s application fee for non-serious criminality is $200 CAD and $1,000 CAD for serious criminality.

If at least 10 years have elapsed since you were convicted of a non-serious crime, you can be deemed rehabilitated. In this case, you may automatically be deemed rehabilitated under Canadian law and not need to submit any application before visiting Canada. However, you are recommended to consult with a Canadian immigration lawyer before your trip to get peace of mind. A lawyer may suggest getting a legal opinion letter to help you avoid unnecessary misunderstandings by CBSA officers once you arrive.

legal opinion letter is a third solution. In it, a Canadian immigration lawyer will outline a legal summary of your criminal record and explain why you should be allowed to visit Canada. It can help CBSA officers understand why they should not stop your trip. A legal opinion letter is beneficial in a number of circumstances, such as for:

1) Individuals who have been deemed rehabilitated.

2) Individuals who have been charged but have not been convicted. This includes those who have received a deferral of adjudication or a Nolle Prosequi.

3) Individuals who have been convicted of which there is no equivalent offense under Canadian law.

information Source: cicnews.com

March 24, 2022

ANALYSIS: Minister’s remarks on resuming skilled worker draws are in accord with backlog data and IRCC internal briefing notes.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said in a recent interview that the immigration department was looking to resume Express Entry draws for skilled workers in the spring.

Minister Fraser was speaking to ApplyBoard in a virtual interview on issues relating to international students. One of the minister’s mandates is to create pathways to permanent residency for international students and temporary foreign workers.

At the end of the interview, the minister addressed questions posed in a chatbox on when Express Entry draws for Federal High Skilled candidates would resume. The Federal High Skilled category covers candidates who are eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as well as the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has not held an Express Entry draws for FSWP candidates since December 2020, and CEC draws have been paused since September 2021. Without these draws, Express Entry candidates who could be eligible for immigration through these programs cannot apply.

Once again, Fraser said there was no major announcement, but reiterated that IRCC was looking to resume FSWP draws in the near term, aiming for “sometime this spring.”

Fraser also acknowledged the people who are working in Canada on a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which could be on the verge of expiring. Without an Invitation to Apply (ITA), PGWP holders cannot apply for immigration and become eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), which would allow them to stay and work legally beyond the validity of their PGWP.

On its own, a PGWP cannot be renewed or extended. Meaning at the end of their validity, PGWP holders need to get a different work permit, quit their jobs, or even leave the country.

“We’re looking at different options right now to make sure we don’t lose out on talent,” Fraser said. “We will have much more to say on this in the weeks and months ahead.”

Why FSWP draws have been paused since 2020

Before the pandemic, FSWP candidates were invited to apply for permanent residence more than any other Express Entry-managed program, due to their high numbers in the Express Entry pool.

The reason for the pause in FSWP draws goes back to the onset of the global pandemic in March 2020. Canada closed its borders to international travel, with some exemptions. Immigration applicants who were approved from any country outside of Canada and the U.S., and who were not otherwise exempt, were not allowed to complete their permanent residency landing.

As FSWP candidates are oftentimes overseas, approving them for permanent residence would create a situation where applicants would not be able to complete their landing. In time their Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) validity would run out, and they would not be able to become a permanent resident with an expired document. This measure was in place until June 2021.

In order to meet its immigration targets amid these travel restrictions, IRCC focused its immigration efforts on admitting as many applicants as possible who were already in Canada. To do this, the department held large Express Entry invitation rounds for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates and created the Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence (TR to PR) pathway.

However, this strategy led to a backlog in immigration applications. The number of FSWP and CEC applications in IRCC’s inventory grew so much that there was no way for the department to meet the processing standard of six months. As per recent IRCC public records, the FSWP processing time is expected to rise to 36 months in 2022. The government website does not reflect this reality, however, Fraser previously said the government webpage issue should be fixed in the coming months.

Why CEC draws have been paused since fall

IRCC invited record numbers of CEC candidates at a time in 2021. That February, IRCC invited every single CEC candidate in the Express Entry pool, a total of 27,332 invitations. The lowest-scoring candidate invited had a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 75. In the following months, about 6,000 CEC candidates were invited about every two weeks.

Similar to what happened to FSWP candidates, the inventory of CEC candidates grew to the point that IRCC could not meet the processing standard. Officials decided to pause application intake for the program to allow time for officers to process the applications that were already in the inventory. The processing time for CEC is about seven months, according to both internal records and the government website.

The current state of Express Entry

Canada has been holding Express Entry draws for Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates every two weeks. These candidates were eligible for one of the Federal High Skilled programs, then received a provincial nomination. With the nomination in hand, they were awarded 600 additional CRS points and the chance to be invited in a PNP-specific round of invitations.

Internal documents suggest these invitation rounds will continue while IRCC addresses the backlog in other programs.

Signs of progress in IRCC backlogs

The most recent IRCC inventory data shows that between February 28 and March 15, IRCC processed 4,000 FSWP applicants, which is more than were processed in a seven-month period in 2021. Canada has already admitted more FSWP immigrants in 2022 than it did in all of last year.

There are 10,400 CEC persons left to be processed, as of March 15. In 42 days, IRCC was able to process 4,751 CEC applicants. At this rate, IRCC could reduce the current backlog this spring.

Newly-released memo suggests FSWP will resume in 2022

CIC News recently acquired an internal memo from January through an access to information request. In the final paragraph, IRCC writes:

“Candidates in the pool, including those whose work permits are due to expire, will continue to face uncertainty with respect to receiving their invitation to apply in the short term. Once invitation to apply rounds resume later in 2022, candidates could check their CRS score against the minimum CRS score that was necessary to receive an invitation to apply in those rounds.”

Although the memo is heavily redacted, it explains IRCC’s position in respect to resuming Express Entry rounds for FSWP and CEC candidates. By continuing the pause until at least March 31, it will allow IRCC to further address its inventory backlogs. The full length of the pause will need to be determined by IRCC’s evolving priorities.

IRCC needs to resume FSWP and CEC draws this year to meet targets

In order for IRCC to achieve the 2023 Express Entry admissions targets in the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan, IRCC needs to issue ITAs in 2022. It takes Express Entry candidates about a year to submit an application for permanent residency. They have 60 days to apply once they get an ITA, then it takes at least six months for the application to go through. After approval, they have a certain amount of time to land.

Another reason IRCC will likely hold an FSWP or CEC draw in the coming months is to address the problem of workers losing status in Canada. Minister Fraser said himself in the interview:

“I don’t want to see people—who have a job, who are making a contribution, who want to stay—to leave at the same time that I’m trying to cure the labour shortage by embracing immigration.”

Information Source: Cicnews.com

March 19, 2022

A new internal memo shows IRCC continues to weigh its options and is going to submit a new Express Entry plan to the Deputy Minister this month.

A new internal memo by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states the department remains undecided on its Express Entry plans for this year but invitations to FSWP and CEC candidates will resume “later in 2022.”

CIC News obtained the memo today via an access to information request to IRCC. The memo was submitted to IRCC’s Deputy Minister on January 21, 2022. The Deputy Minister is the senior-most non-political official in each Canadian government department. Unlike the Minister, who is an elected official tasked with carrying out the government’s political agenda, the Deputy Minister is responsible for providing the government with technocratic advice.

  • Invitation to apply rounds for Federal Skilled Worker ProgramCanadian Experience Class, and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) candidates will resume later in 2022.
  • IRCC will extend its temporary pause on invitations to FSWP, CEC, and FSTP candidates until March 31st, while continuing Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) invitations.
  • The continued pause will allow IRCC to address its inventory backlogs. The full length of the pause will need to be determined by IRCC’s evolving priorities.
  • IRCC will return to the Deputy Minister in March with a plan on the future of Express Entry invitations to determine what timeline and volume will align with the Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 and processing time objectives.
  • IRCC acknowledges candidates in the Express Entry pool, including those holding work permits due to expire, will continue to face uncertainty in the short term.
  • The backlog growth of Express Entry applications is due to the pandemic and IRCC focusing on landing in-Canada candidates to achieve its 401,000 immigration target in 2021. The backlog has caused IRCC’s average application processing times to exceed its 6 month service standard for Express Entry.
  • IRCC would need to reduce the Express Entry backlog by more than half in order to achieve the 6 month service standard for new applicants.

It is important to note the IRCC website continues to tell applicants the processing standard for Express Entry is 6 months.

How we got here

Up until this year, Express Entry was the main way Canada welcomed economic class immigrants. Prior to the pandemic, IRCC typically held biweekly Express Entry draws inviting the highest-scoring candidates, irrespective of their eligibility program, to apply for permanent residence. Most invitations went to FSWP and CEC candidates, while only about one per cent went to FSTP candidates. IRCC aimed to process the permanent residence applications within 6 months.

At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, IRCC initially held draws where it only invited CEC and PNP candidates. The rationale was that in light of COVID-19 disruptions including Canada’s travel restrictions, IRCC felt it made sense to invite CEC candidates since they were mostly likely to be able to transition to permanent residence given they mostly lived in Canada. PNP draws occurred to help support the labour market needs of provinces and territories across the country. Later in the year, IRCC also invited FSWP candidates in its Express Entry draws.

However IRCC then stopped inviting FSWP candidates in January 2021, and issued large numbers of invitations to CEC candidates. We learned later the rationale for this change was because IRCC wanted to transition as many in-Canada immigration applicants as possible to permanent residence to achieve its ambitious 401,000 immigration goal for 2021. CEC candidates comprised one-third of the 405,000 immigrants Canada landed last year.

IRCC also implemented a Temporary to Permanent Residence (“TR2PR”) program between May and November of last year to allow more international graduates and essential workers living in Canada to apply for permanent residence. This was meant as another way to support its levels goal for 2021.

The focus on CEC candidates and the launch of the TR2PR program caused IRCC’s backlogs to swell, and has seen the department fall behind its service standard of processing Express Entry applications within 6 months. This resulted in IRCC also pausing invitations to CEC candidates in September 2021.

Last month, IRCC announced its new Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024, which will reduce Express Entry admissions in 2022 and 2023 so the department can process all TR2PR program applications over these 2 years. This will relegate Express Entry to the second leading economic class admissions pathway after the PNP. In 2024, IRCC aims to return Express Entry to the leading economic class pathway by targeting over 110,000 immigrant admissions.

As noted in the memo, the pause in FSWP and CEC candidates is creating uncertainty for many prospective immigrants. The FSWP was Canada’s main source of skilled worker immigrants between its launch in 1967 and the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, CEC candidates risk losing their status and being forced to leave Canada. IRCC has not provided indication if they will introduce a special measure to allow CEC candidates to extend their temporary status until Express Entry returns to normal.

IRCC has processed 4,000 people in the FSWP backlog in the past 2 weeks, something that took 7 months in 2021

Recent IRCC data obtained by CIC News indicates major progress is being made in tackling Express Entry backlogs. Based on its recent rate of application processing, IRCC could see the Express Entry backlog fall to half by this May. This does not guarantee Express Entry invites to FSWP and CEC candidates will resume by then, but it would represent a milestone IRCC continues to note as one they want to achieve to be able to more strongly consider resuming FSWP and CEC invitations.

IRCC has processed more FSWP applications over the past 2.5 months than it did in all of 2021. In February, it processed the FSWP applications of over 4,300 people, compared to the roughly 600 people it was processing monthly for much of 2021. As of March 15, 2022, there were about 41,300 people in the FSWP inventory, a decrease of 4,000 people over the past two weeks. To put this figure into context, in the past 2 weeks, IRCC achieved what it took it 7 months to do in 2021 (i.e., process 4,000 people in the FSWP backlog).

Its current processing rate suggests it could bring the existing FSWP backlog to an end by the close of 2021, if not sooner.

CEC backlog could reach 0 by this spring

Meanwhile, there are just over 10,000 people left in the CEC backlog. IRCC processed 2,000 people in the CEC backlog over the past two weeks. At its current rate, IRCC could draw down the CEC backlog by the spring.

Minister Sean Fraser: Express Entry draws to resume in the “near term”

While this latest IRCC memo remains coy on when Express Entry will return to normal, there are some positive signs out there for FSWP and CEC candidates. IRCC is planning to resume invites to them this year, it is processing FSWP applications more quickly, and Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has gone on the record to say the draws will resume in the “near term.” In the meantime, Express Entry invitations to PNP candidates continue biweekly. Yesterday, IRCC invited 924 PNP candidates to apply for immigration through Express Entry.

Information Source: https://www.cicnews.com/

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