Categories for Immigration News/ Politics

Canada Announces New Immigration Programs/Initiatives for Ukrainians Fleeing War

March 3, 2022

On Thursday, March 3, 2022, the Government of Canada announced the following:

As part of the Government of Canada’s response to the war in Ukraine, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is introducing new immigration streams for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada temporarily or permanently.

For Ukrainians who want to come to Canada temporarily, IRCC will create a Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel, available for individuals fleeing Ukraine. There will be no limit to the number of Ukrainians who can apply. This is the fastest, safest, and most efficient way for Ukrainians to come to Canada and eliminates many of the normal visa requirements. All Ukrainian nationals will be able to apply through this new path, and, pending background check and security screening, their stay in Canada could be extended by at least 2 years. IRCC aims to have the extended pathway open for applications in 2 weeks, and, in the interim, encourages Ukrainians to apply through all existing programs, and their Applications will be prioritized.

IRCC will also quickly implement a special family reunification sponsorship pathway for permanent residence for Ukrainians who have immediate and extended family members in Canada. IRCC will develop the details of this program in the coming weeks, including by working with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

All Ukrainians who come to Canada as part of these measures will be eligible to apply for open work permits, making it easier for employers to quickly hire Ukrainian nationals.

This announcement follows an earlier announcement on February 24, 2022, which reads as follows:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is taking additional steps to support Ukrainians and people residing in Ukraine, and to make it easier and faster for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their accompanying immediate family members to return to Canada.

As part of the Government of Canada’s response, IRCC has taken the decision to prioritize applications for new and replacement travel documents for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members. Over a month ago, IRCC implemented measures to priority process citizenship grant applications for adoption, as well as permanent and temporary residence applications for people with a primary residence in Ukraine who want to reunite or travel with family, study, work, or start a new life in Canada. Ukrainian nationals currently in Canada on a temporary basis can apply to extend their status as a visitor, student or worker.

In addition to prioritizing applications, IRCC is launching a package of new immigration measures, including the following:

  • Establishing a dedicated service channel for Ukraine enquiries that will be available for clients both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted. In addition, clients can now add the keyword “Ukraine2022” to the IRCC Web form with their enquiry and their email will be prioritized.
  • Implementing urgent processing of travel documents, including issuing single-journey travel documents for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who do not have valid passports.
  • Updating a Web page to provide current information on measures; this page will include content in Ukrainian for ease of reference.
  • Ensuring that Ukrainians currently in Canada are able to extend their stay or stay longer in Canada by prioritizing the renewal of work and study permits, and extending a policy that allows individuals to apply for a work permit from within Canada. This policy would allow temporary residents who receive a job offer to remain in Canada and start working while they wait for their work permit application to be processed.

IRCC will issue open work permits to Ukrainian visitors, workers and students who are currently in Canada and cannot go home, so they can stay longer if they wish. IRCC will waive fees, retroactive to February 22, 2022, for certain travel and immigration documents, such as Canadian passports, permanent resident travel documents, proofs of citizenship, visitor visas, and work and study permits. Further details will be made available in the coming weeks as these measures launch.

IRCC has also taken steps to increase operational readiness in the region, including relocating staff, moving additional supplies and equipment, such as mobile biometric collection kits, in anticipation of an increased volume of requests, and adjusting operations in offices across their global network to ensure service continuity for Ukraine. Online options are available for most applications.

If Abrams & Krochak can assist you or your loved ones with any of the aforementioned Applications, please let us know by e-mail at askus@akcanada.com and we will send you full details regarding our fees and services.

Government of Canada Announces 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan

February 14, 2022

Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, tabled the 2022‒2024 Immigration Levels Plan.  The Plan aims to help the Canadian economy recover by fueling post-pandemic growth.

In 2021, Canada welcomed more than 405,000 new permanent residents—the most immigrants in a single year in Canada’s history. Despite having regained many of the jobs lost during the pandemic, there are still hundreds of thousands of positions in all sectors waiting to be filled. Immigration already accounts for almost 100% of labour force growth, and with 5 million Canadians set to retire by the end of this decade, the economic need for increased Immigration has never been higher.

To ensure Canada has the workers it needs to fill critical labour market gaps and support a strong economy into the future, the 2022–2024 Immigration Levels Plan aims to continue welcoming immigrants at a rate of about 1% of Canada’s population, including 431,645 permanent residents in 2022, 447,055 in 2023, and 451,000 in 2024.  Nearly 60% of new immigrants to Canada will be in the Economic Class (i.e. skilled workers, skilled tradespeople, provincial nominees, business immigrants).

To support these increased levels, the Government of Canada plans to modernize Canada’s Immigration system and reduce inventories to create predictable processing times for Immigration Applications.

Ontario to make it easier for immigrants to work in their professions

October 21, 2021

[REPRODUCED FROM THE CANADIAN PRESS]

Ontario is set to introduce legislation that would make it easier for immigrants to get licensed to work in professions that match their areas of expertise.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says the proposed legislation would, if passed, prevent many regulatory bodies from requiring immigrants to have Canadian work experience to get licensed.

It would also standardize English-language testing requirements and ensure licensing applications are processed faster.

McNaughton says the changes would help remove barriers immigrants often face when trying to work in their professions.

“It really is an injustice when you think of only 25 per cent of immigrants in Ontario work actually in jobs and professions that they were trained for,” he said in an interview.

“It’s all about improving their lives, ensuring that they get bigger paychecks and more worker protections.”

McNaughton says Ontario is facing a labour shortage as some 293,000 jobs are unfilled across the province.

The proposed legislation would apply to licensing bodies governing engineers, architects, teachers, accountants and social workers, among other. But it would not affect those regulating medical professions, including those that licence doctors and nurses.

The legislation would also help internationally trained workers in 23 trades, including electricians, plumbers and hoisting engineers.

Licensing bodies would still be able to apply for exemptions that could require Canadian work experience, but that would need government approval, McNaughton said.

“They have to make a health and safety case, which would come to the minister for approval,” he said, noting that he hoped to see the changes brought by the legislation take effect in two years.

The director of engineering training projects at ACCES Employment, an organization that help newcomers find suitable jobs in Ontario, said removing the Canadian work experience requirement would help immigrant engineers get licensed and hired a lot faster.

Gabriela Tavaru said immigrant engineers cannot work in their profession before they get their professional license, regardless of how many years of experience they had before they came to Ontario.

“Starting a job, performance evaluation, the whole system, it’s new. So it’s a little bit too difficult for any immigrant and especially for regulated professionals like engineers to navigate this process and get a job,” she said.

She said a maximum of four years of international experience is recognized by the licensing body for engineers in Ontario, but a minimum of one year of Canadian work experience in the field is also required. Immigrant engineers have to work for a year under the supervision of a licensed Canadian engineer to gain that experience.

“This is the problem: you cannot get a job to get your license,” she said. “They cannot be engineers. They cannot sign contracts. They cannot be called engineer, but they can work, for example, as estimators, project managers, field coordinators.”

New pathway to permanent residency for essential temporary workers and international graduates already in Canada

April 14, 2021

Today, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), announced a new pathway to permanent residence for over 90,000 essential workers and international graduates who are currently actively contributing to Canada’s economy.

These special public policies will grant permanent status to temporary workers and international graduates who are already in Canada and who possess the skills and experience that Canada needs to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to accelerate the country’s economic recovery.

The focus of this new pathway will be on temporary workers employed in Canadian hospitals and long-term care homes and on the frontlines of other essential sectors, as well as international graduates.

To be eligible, workers must have at least 1 year of Canadian work experience in one of 40 health-care occupations or one of 95 other essential jobs across a range of fields, like caregiving and food production and distribution. International graduates must have completed an eligible Canadian post-secondary program within the last 4 years, and no earlier than January 2017.

Graduates and workers, alike, must have proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages; meet general admissibility requirements; and be present, authorized to work and working in Canada at the time of their application to qualify.

Effective May 6, 2021, IRCC will begin accepting applications under the following 3 streams:

  • 20,000 applications for temporary workers in health care
  • 30,000 applications for temporary workers in other selected essential occupations
  • 40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian institution

The streams will remain open until November 5, 2021, or until they have reached their limit. Up to 90,000 new permanent residents will be admitted under these 3 streams.

To promote Canada’s official languages, 3 additional streams with no intake caps have also been launched for French-speaking or bilingual candidates.  According to the Minister, Immigration is essential to the vitality of Francophone communities across Canada and that is why these policies include dedicated spaces for French-speaking or bilingual candidates, and no limit on applications for them.

If you are a temporary worker or an international graduate working in Canada and you wish to avail yourself of this opportunity, please contact our office and we will explain the  detailed eligibility requirements to you and determine with you whether you meet them.

Canada plans to bring in more than 1.2 Million immigrants in next 3 years

October 30, 2020

The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, tabled the 2021‒2023 Immigration Levels Plan, today.

The 2021 to 2023 Levels Plan aims to continue welcoming immigrants at a rate of about 1% of the population of Canada, including 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.  Of those, the following are the number of immigrants that will be admitted under the Express Entry system (the system used to process Immigration Applications of Federal Skilled Worker/Federal Skilled Trades/Canadian Experience Class applicants):

2021:    81,000-110,250
2022:    96,250-112,900
2023:  100,000-114,500

Highlights of the plan include

  • an increase in admissions over the 3 years of the Plan
  • a focus on economic growth, with about 60% of admissions to come from the Economic Class
  • a continued focus on innovative and community-driven approaches to address diverse labour and demographic needs across the country
  • additional points for French-speaking candidates under Express Entry, to promote the growth of Francophone communities outside of Quebec

According to the Minister, “[t]he 2021–2023 Immigration Levels Plan will help cement Canada’s place among the world’s top destinations for talent, creating a strong foundation for economic growth while reuniting family members with their loved ones and fulfilling Canada’s humanitarian commitments”.

Additional Express Entry CRS Points for French Speakers

October 27, 2020

To increase the number of French speakers residing in Canada outside of Quebec, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today that French-speaking and bilingual candidates will receive additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points under the Express Entry system.

The change announced today will see the current number of points increase from 15 to 25 for French-speaking candidates and from 30 to 50 for bilingual candidates. The increase in points will obviously improve the chances of French-speaking and bilingual Express Entry applicants receiving an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence in Canada.

If you are a French speaker or you are bilingual and wish to have your eligibility to immigrate to Canada under the Express Entry System assessed by our firm at no charge to you, please visit https://www.akcanada.com/assessment1.php.  Likewise, if you are a French speaker or you are bilingual and you have already had your eligibility to immigrate to Canada under the Express Entry System assessed by our firm and wish to proceed with your proposed Canadian Immigration plans, please send us an e-mail or contact us, via our website, at https://www.akcanada.com/contact.php.