Canada to Resume Express Entry Draws in July 2022 to Address Canada’s Labour Shortage – 6 Month Processing Times
April 22, 2022
As Canada continues to recover from COVID-19, there are hundreds of thousands of vacant positions in all sectors across the country that employers are looking to fill. The Government of Canada recognizes that Immigration has become increasingly more important to fuel the Canadian economy. Canada’s strong economic growth is outpacing the country’s ability to find and keep workers.
For these reasons, on April 22, 2022, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), announced that Express Entry draws will soon resume and that invitations for candidates to apply for permanent residence will begin in early July 2022. This includes candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class.
Travel restrictions throughout most of 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 delayed the processing of overseas applications, which led to an increase in the size of the processing inventory. To manage this inventory, IRCC temporarily paused invitations to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class. Minister Fraser announced that when invitations to apply resume in early July 2022, the vast majority of new applications will be processed within the 6-month service standard.
What does this mean?
If you are an existing client of Abrams & Krochak and have been delaying proceeding with your Express Entry Application, now is the perfect time to resume the processing of your Application so that your Express Entry Online Profile can be created and uploaded to the IRCC website prior to draws resuming in July 2022. If you have any questions pertaining to your file and the status of your Application, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.
If you are not yet a client of Abrams & Krochak but had your eligibility to immigrate to Canada under Express Entry favourably assessed by the firm and wish to proceed with your proposed Canadian Immigration plans, please follow the instructions that were previously provided to you in our “Favourable Eligibility Assessment”. If you no longer have those instructions, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be pleased to provide them to you, again.
If you have not had your eligibility to immigrate to Canada under Express Entry assessed by Abrams & Krochak OR you wish to have your eligibility to immigrate to Canada under Express Entry reassessed by the firm, please complete our Express Entry Online Eligibility Assessment Questionnaire at https://www.akcanada.com/assessment1.php.
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 email@example.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.
Toronto is having a big tech moment
January 21, 2018
The following article, which appeared on CNN’s website on January 20, 2018, speaks volumes about Toronto both in terms of the strength of its technology sector and the cultural/ethnic diversity of the city. The article makes specific mention of the fact that the percentage of foreign-born residents in the Greater Toronto Area region — 39.7% — exceeds every other city in North America. Toronto is praised for both its education system and for being the benefactor of Canada’s generous Immigration program. The article is reproduced in its entirety from the CNN website and is a recommended read for immigrants and intending immigrants, considering where to reside in Canada and whether to settle in Toronto.
After promising to search North America for the perfect home for its next headquarters, Amazon has narrowed its list to 20 cities — 19 of which are in the United States. The one exception? Toronto.
An outlier on Amazon’s list, Toronto has earned the attention of the technology world due to its diverse population, talent pool and welcome stance on immigration.
“It’s got this incredible aspiration for inclusivity,” Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation arm of Google’s parent company which is developing a Toronto neighborhood, said at an event Wednesday. “If Amazon sees what we see here, it won’t even be a close call.”
Toronto is the fourth largest city by population in North America, with 2.8 million people. Its percentage of foreign-born residents in the region — 39.7% — exceeds every other city on Amazon’s list. Its population has grown by more than 400,000 people in the last five years.
Toronto’s appeal to the tech sector, which relies on foreign workers, has grown amid diverging stances on immigration from the U.S. and Canadian governments. Last year, Canada launched a program to process work permits and visa applications for skilled workers within two weeks.
The Trump administration has moved to tighten access to H-1B visas, a popular route to tech jobs for foreign workers. Its 2017 travel ban for six majority-Muslim countries also rattled the tech industry, triggering foreigners to give more serious consideration to education and work outside the U.S.
“The more inclusive we are, the more we will win against communities that are trying to exclude any group of talent,” Karen Greve Young, vice president of corporate development and partnerships at Mars, a Toronto organization that supports startups, told CNN Tech.
In 2017, the University of Toronto’s computer science program saw a 50% increase in graduate school applicants, according to its director of professional programs, Matt Medland.
The university is also home to a superstar in the world of artificial intelligence, professor Geoffrey Hinton. Tech giants such as Google and Amazon see artificial intelligence as essential to the future of their companies.
In its bid to host Amazon’s second headquarters, Toronto promised to boost the number of the students graduating with STEM degrees. Toby Lennox, CEO of Toronto Global, which organized Toronto’s submission, believes talent is why Toronto was the only non-U.S. city to make Amazon’s list.
“We’re able to meet their needs across the board,” Lennox said. “Once you match that with an immigration system and an education system that is so welcoming, it makes for large employers a real opportunity.”
Lennox said he heard from a company interested in Toronto because it needed workers who could speak four different Portuguese dialects.
“We’ve just made the playoffs,” Toronto Mayor John Tory told CNN Tech. “But it’s a long way to the prize.”