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.


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.


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 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.


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 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/

March 19, 2022
March 19, 2022

How to apply for a Canadian open work permit

A Canadian open work permit allows you to find employment in Canada and change jobs without any restrictions, as long as you meet specific eligibility requirements. If you’re already in Canada and are looking to change your status, an open work permit might be the best solution for you. This guide will show you how to apply for an open work permit, so you can take your career to the next level in Canada!

What is a Canadian open work permit?

Canadian open work permits are designed for foreign nationals who have received an offer of employment in Canada. To obtain one, you’ll need: A job offer that is at least 12 months long (or in Quebec, a job offer that is 10 months long). Proof that you have enough money to support yourself while looking for permanent accommodation (the amount varies depending on where you will live).

Who qualifies?

To qualify, you must be an international student in Canada and have completed your program of study. If you are eligible, you may receive your Canadian open work permit after: finishing at least 6 months of full-time studies or 1 year of part-time studies at a designated learning institution; completing all requirements for your program within the same time period; and providing proof that you paid tuition fees while studying in Canada. This rule is waived if you’re applying as an international student who has graduated from a PhD, master’s, or research program.

International student graduates

Since international students have completed their program of study and received their degree, they can usually extend their stay in Canada after graduation without applying for another student visa. However, not all schools offer such an option, so graduates should contact CIC directly to confirm whether or not they qualify. If they do qualify, they must submit an application to remain in Canada as well as proof that they have completed or are scheduled to complete their program by a certain date (normally no more than 90 days after graduation). If these conditions are met, graduates can generally leave Canada when they choose and then reapply at any time to enter again on an open work permit.

Citizens of foreign countries with reciprocal agreements

If you’re from one of these countries, you may be able to immigrate through an existing agreement: Australia, Israel, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. (Additional agreements are expected by early 2018.) If you meet certain criteria, then you don’t need a job offer or employer assistance in applying for a work permit; it’s known as an open work permit. To get started on that process–called economic immigration–you can fill out your information here

The application process

In order to obtain an open work permit, you must first have a job offer from an employer in Canada. If you are currently in Canada and do not hold permanent residency status, it is extremely important that you contact your local immigration office before applying. The same goes if you are outside of Canada: You will need to contact your local immigration office before applying. Once your application has been accepted, it can take anywhere from 2 weeks (if everything goes smoothly) to 1 year or more (if there are problems with your case) for your Canadian open work permit to be approved. In some instances, applicants may even be denied at one office and then have their file transferred directly to another immigration office—meaning processing could take longer than normal.

Canadian open work permit

Work experience in Canada

A Canadian open work permit is not time-limited. If you plan on staying in Canada for longer than 90 days, however, it’s highly recommended that you apply for an extension or change your immigration status before your current period of stay expires. You’ll want to make sure you don’t get caught without a valid immigration status and end up having to leave and come back at great expense.

Work while you wait

Once you’ve applied for an open work permit, you can technically start working. But you should be aware that your employer may have to sponsor your application through a federal program called LCP (Labour Market Impact Assessment) when it comes time to renew your status after 2 years. If you’re applying through one of these programs, do not start working until your visa is approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If you’re caught working illegally, you’ll lose any opportunity of extending your stay in Canada. Don’t be tempted – wait until it’s officially legal before getting yourself hired!

Passport and visa requirements for Canadian open work permit

Visa requirements and passport validity vary by country. Canadian citizens require passports that are valid for at least 6 months beyond their intended stay in Canada. Citizens of countries with visa-free entry into Canada may enter without an advance visa but must show proof of sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay and documents showing where they will live while in Canada. Visitors arriving by land or sea also need proof of insurance, which can usually be obtained on arrival. Passports are not required for stays shorter than three months (or six months if it’s a multiple-entry visa).

Conditions for Canadian open work permit

In order to qualify for a Canadian open work permit, you must meet at least one of these conditions: you’re working with an international organization that has its headquarters in Canada; you have family ties in Canada; or, you qualify under the post-graduation Canadian open work permit. Note that having your application approved is no guarantee of a job. It’s also important to note that holders of open permits are not allowed to change jobs without first getting new consent from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Also, keep in mind that if you lose your job or become unemployed while working on an open permit, it will expire automatically.

Stay updated! Canadian open work permit

If you’re applying from abroad, your visa/work permit will not be issued immediately. Make sure that you know when it’s coming and plan accordingly. If you have anything special going on in your life (wedding, grad school graduation, etc.), make sure to remind immigrants of those important dates and let them know whether or not they are going to occur outside of Canada—you want them to know how much effort should be put into expediting your case. Many cases can take up to six months, but some can take as long as a year! Don’t fall into that category by waiting until two weeks before you leave/graduation/etc. is due and think it will happen in time.

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An open work permit allows you to take any job anywhere in Canada. That’s different from most other types of permits which restrict you to jobs that fall under your specific program criteria. If you don’t want your employment restricted, or if you want more freedom in your choice of employer and job, an open work permit may be right for you. Applying for an open work permit involves several steps, so let’s get started! To start with…

Currently, it can take up to 8 months to get an open work permit in Canada. This time frame will vary depending on your country of origin and if you are applying in your home country or from another country (i.e. tourist visa). If you are considering moving and working in Canada, we would suggest that you contact us before traveling to make sure we can help process your application within a reasonable time frame.

An open work permit is valid for up to three years and allows you to start working in Canada while waiting for your permanent residence application to be processed. You are eligible if you are applying as a skilled worker, a business person or through an established provincial/territorial nomination program. Open work permits allow applicants to start working anywhere in Canada that they want, however they must still abide by all of their conditions of entry such as not working more than 20 hours per week off-campus during study.

A candidate applying under International Experience Canada (IEC) must first be eligible to enter Canada as a temporary resident. The IEC program requires that foreign nationals have legal status in their home country in order to participate. Additionally, candidates must have completed at least 12 months of full-time study within any 24-month period within their most recent 36 months of study prior to being issued an IEC visa. If you meet these basic requirements, you can move on to successfully apply for an IEC work permit.

If you are qualified, applying for an open work permit is one of your best options. In order to qualify, you must have at least 1 year of continuous full-time (or equivalent in part-time) skilled work experience in your occupation. To demonstrate that you have such experience, you will need to provide us with proof of employment and detailed information about each position you held during those 1 years.

March 16, 2022

Canada is making fast work of its immigration backlog. The country has processed more skilled work visas in the last two and a half months than it did in all of 2021

According to reports, data released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), has shown that the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) inventory went down by over 9,000 applicants between December 15, 2021, and February 28, 2022.

This means in two and a half months, IRCC processed more FSWP applicants than it did in all of 2021. In the second half of 2021, IRCC processed about 600 FSWP applicants per month.

The number of Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applicants on the waiting list dropped by over 12,000.

Almost 24,000 visas were processed under the Express Entry pathway as a whole.

There are 3 immigration programs managed through Express Entry:
Canadian Experience Class
Federal Skilled Worker Program
Federal Skilled Trades Program
At the start of 2021, Canada decided to shift focus, slowing down FSWP processing, and transitioning more temporary residents to permanent residence holders, mainly through the CEC, to give it a better shot of achieving its 401,000 immigrants target. Before the pandemic, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) accounted for almost half of successful Express Entry candidates.

Canada uses the Express Entry application management system for three skilled worker programs including the FSWP. If you have not lived in Canada before and are not a skilled trades professional, the FSWP will be your best Express Entry option.

In a February meeting with the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser reiterated his earlier assurance of improving processing times for work permits.

Fraser said that IRCC would use its $85 million budget to reduce processing times – made worse by the pandemic.

Canada has been steadily rising as a popular destination among Indians looking at opportunities abroad- for study as well as jobs after graduation.

A recent study by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) found that the number of Indians who became permanent residents in Canada increased 115% between 2016 and 2020 and 2021.

Last month, Canada was sitting on an immigration backlog of 1.8 million – including applications from future citizens, permanent residents, international students, temporary workers, and visitors.

News Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

March 8, 2022
March 8, 2022

How to extend your temporary status in Canada


Here are some options for visitors, international students, and temporary foreign workers to extend their stay in Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers a number of options that allow temporary residents to stay in Canada, even when waiting on a decision for permanent residence, or temporary residence.


For example, maintained status means temporary residents who apply for a new temporary status do not necessarily have to leave Canada if their documents expire before IRCC makes a decision. Through maintained status, students, visitors, and temporary foreign workers can stay in Canada on the same conditions as their previous permit until they hear back about their new application.

Temporary residents applying for permanent residency who are facing the end of their documents’ validity may be able to benefit from a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP).

While some temporary residency permits are eligible for extension, certain programs like the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) are not renewable nor extendable, but that does not necessarily mean these workers cannot be eligible for a different work permit.

Although it is an option for many, it is not usually desirable for workers and students in Canada to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), because it does not allow you to work or study. Those on a TRV may also be eligible to apply for a Visitor Record and be allowed to stay longer than six months, although again, this does not enable them to work or study. There may also be options to stay for people who are eligible to be exempt from work permits, in specific cases. In this article we cover options to stay for people who may benefit from the following:



Work Permits

Canadian work permits are split into two broad categories, those that require a positive or neutral Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and those that are LMIA exempt.

An LMIA is meant to demonstrate to the Canadian government that there is a genuine need for a foreign worker to fill a vacant position. It is the employer, not the worker, who needs to do the LMIA process. Once Employment and Development Services Canada (EDSC) issues a positive or neutral LMIA to the employer, the employer gives the worker a copy of the confirmation letter. The worker then applies for a work permit to IRCC.

Some work permit programs offer facilitated LMIA processes in order to address established labour shortages. For example, the Global Talent Stream (GTS) allows employers of eligible tech occupations to skip the advertising requirement of an LMIA, which speeds up the processing time. GTS work permits have a processing standard of two weeks. Also, the province of Quebec has its own list of occupations which allows for facilitated LMIA processing.

Most temporary foreign workers have LMIA-exempt work permits. In 2021 more than 315,000 LMIA-exempt work permits were issued, about three times more than the number of work permits supported by an LMIA. Canadian employers whose job posting matches an LMIA exemption code have to pay a compliance fee, and submit an offer of employment through IRCC’s employer portal in order to hire through an LMIA-exempt work permit program.

The purpose of LMIA-exempt work permits, from the government’s perspective, is to support Canadian interests. The most common LMIA-exempt work permits fall under the significant benefit and reciprocal employment categories. Canada defines “significant benefit” as a foreign national whose work will benefit Canadians socially, culturally, or economically. Reciprocal employment is when Canada has an agreement with another country, which allows for the exchange of workers across borders. The labour market impact is considered neutral since foreign workers can have similar opportunities in Canada to what Canadian workers can have abroad.

The LMIA-exempt category includes open work permits, which allow holders to work anywhere for any employer in Canada. It also includes work permits that fall under CUSMACETA, or other free trade agreements with Canada. The same goes for work permits under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. The IEC offers pathways for youth from certain countries who want to get Canadian experience.

Study Permit

If it makes sense for your career and your financial situation, getting a study permit can allow you to stay in Canada. You will also be able to work part-time during the academic session and full time during scheduled breaks.

To get a study permit, you first need to be accepted to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). You can then use your letter of acceptance to apply for a Canadian study permit.

Once you finish your program, you may be eligible to stay in Canada through the PGWP (if you have never had one before). Also, you will become eligible for pathways to permanent residence that are tailored to international student graduates.


Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) may be an option to stay in Canada for international student graduates who have completed a post-secondary program at an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI). It is an open work permit, meaning it does not tie the holder down to one employer or occupation.

Study programs that are longer than eight months but shorter than two years may be eligible for a PGWP that matches the length of their program. International students who completed programs of two years or more may be eligible for a three-year PGWP.

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) allows certain permanent residency applicants to stay in Canada beyond the expiry date of their temporary status.

The following immigration programs are eligible for a BOWP:

Since September 2021, foreign workers who may be eligible for the CEC have so far not gotten the chance to apply for permanent residence. Without an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) from IRCC, they cannot get a BOWP. However, they may be able to apply for other work permits depending on their circumstances.
Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP)

If your spouse or common-law partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, then spousal sponsorship may be an option. If you are applying for sponsorship from inside Canada, then you are considered in-land applicants and you may be able to benefit from a Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP) that is specifically for spouses and common-law partners of Canadians who are going through the immigration process.

Spouses of temporary residents may also be able to get an open work permit. Temporary foreign workers must meet certain eligibility criteria, such as having a work permit that will be valid for six months after the open spousal work permit is received, among others. The foreign worker also has to meet one of four conditions:

There are also further program-specific criteria that must be met depending on the temporary foreign worker’s situation.

Spouses of international students may be able to get an open work permit if they can demonstrate to the government that they are in a genuine relationship and that their spouse is an international student enrolled in an eligible program.


News Source: Cicnews.com