Categories for Immigration News/ Politics

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.

Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Program to Reopen on October 13, 2020

October 5, 2020

Today, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced details for the opening of the 2020 Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program (PGP).

Over a 3-week period, from 12 noon Eastern Daylight Time on October 13, 2020, to 12 noon Eastern Standard Time on November 3, 2020, Canadian citizens and permanent residents who wish to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada will have an opportunity to submit an interest to sponsor form online.

From those who submit an interest to sponsor form online, IRCC will randomly select potential sponsors and send them an invitation to submit an Application. Selected applicants will have 60 days to submit their Application.  A maximum of 10,000 Applications will be accepted for processing as part of the 2020 PGP intake. In 2021, IRCC will open a new intake of interest to sponsor forms to accept a total of 30,000 new Applications.

Given that many sponsors may have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC is introducing a temporary public policy that will reduce the income requirement for the 2020 tax year to the minimum necessary income, instead of the minimum necessary income plus 30%.

If you are an existing PGP client of Abrams & Krochak and you require more information regarding today’s announcement, please send an e-mail to info@akcanada.com with your name and file number.  If you are not yet a PGP client of Abrams & Krochak, but you are interested in sponsoring a parent or grandparent to immigrate to Canada with Abrams & Krochak’s assistance, please complete our Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Online Eligibility Assessment Questionnaire at https://www.akcanada.com/assessment4.php and you will receive our assessment within one (1) business day.

Canada to Speed Up Spousal Sponsorship Application Processing

September 24, 2020

On September 24, 2020, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), announced that the Government of Canada would be taking action to speed up the processing of Spousal Sponsorship Applications.

IRCC has increased the number of decision makers on Spousal Sponsorship Applications in Canada by 66%, to process these applications more quickly and reduce couples’ wait times.

With these initiatives, IRCC aims to accelerate, prioritize and finalize approximately 6,000 applications each month from October until December 2020. Combined with processing to date, this rate will lead to about 49,000 decisions by the end of this year.