Tag Archive: skilled workers

Government of Canada Announces Immigration Levels for 2020 to 2022

March 13, 2020

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, The Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), tabled the 2020‒2022 Immigration Levels Plan in the Canadian House of Commons. Canada plans on welcoming 341,000 new permanent residents in 2020, 351,000 in 2021, and 361,000 in 2022 while reducing application processing times and improving service delivery and client services at IRCC.

Of those who will become permanent residents of Canada over the next few years, in 2020, 88,500 to 100,000 immigrants will be Express Entry applicants; in 2021, 89,300 to 100,000 immigrants will be Express Entry applicants; and, in 2022, 88,800 to 100,600 immigrants will be Express Entry applicants.

To quote the Minister:  “Our immigration system benefits all Canadians by strengthening the middle class, keeping families together and building strong and inclusive communities. This increase in immigration levels supports a system that will help Canadian business create good middle class jobs and grow the economy while ensuring Canada continues to meet its humanitarian obligations around the world.”

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.”

Illegal in U.S. and Wish to Immigrate to Canada?

November 10, 2016

Abrams & Krochak receives a significant number of inquiries from individuals, who have no legal status in the country in which they are residing and who wish to immigrate to Canada. The vast majority of these inquiries are from individuals in the United States and the number has increased substantially since the recent U.S. election and talk of mass deportations. The two (2) primary concerns for these individuals, when considering Canada, are:

1. Whether their illegal status in the United States will render them ineligible to immigrate to Canada; and

2. Whether the Immigration process can take place while they continue to reside in the United States, albeit illegally.

Insofar as eligibility is concerned, illegal status in a third country will not render an individual ineligible to immigrate to Canada unless issues of criminality are involved. Even then, there is not an automatic disqualification and Abrams & Krochak advises on a case-by-case basis.

Insofar as the Canadian Immigration process is concerned, all applicants in the Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades categories are processed under a system called “Express Entry”. With the assistance of Abrams & Krochak, applicants create an Express Entry Online Profile and if they are invited by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada, the majority of the Application process takes place online. Therefore, if no interview is deemed necessary by Immigration officials (which applies to the majority of cases filed by Abrams & Krochak, to date), the applicant’s place of residence is irrelevant. Place of residence only becomes relevant if the applicant’s file must be transferred to a Canadian visa office for further processing and/or the scheduling of an Immigration interview.

The general rule is this: if a file needs to be transferred to a Canadian visa office for further processing and/or the scheduling of an Immigration interview, it will be transferred to the Canadian visa office in the country in which the applicant is currently residing if (i) the applicant has at any point in the past lawfully resided in that country for a period of one (1) year or more OR (ii) the applicant is in possession of a valid visa, authorizing him/her to remain in that country for a period of at least one (1) year (such as an H1-B, J-1 or F-1 visa in the United States). Otherwise, the file must be transferred to the Canadian visa office which normally serves the applicant’s home country/country of habitual residence/country of citizenship.

As long as you are accurate about your qualifications when you complete Abrams & Krochak’s Online Eligibility Assessment Questionnaire at https://www.akcanada.com/assessment1.php, should you receive a favourable assessment from Abrams & Krochak, then it is worthwhile creating an Express Entry Online Profile since, as was stated earlier, if you are invited by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada, the vast majority of Abrams & Krochak’s cases are approved without the need for a personal interview and you will have the chance to begin a new life with legal status in Canada instead of continuing to live in fear of deportation from the United States.

Should an interview be deemed necessary in your case and should you be required to attend it in your home country/country of habitual residence/country of citizenship or a third country whose Canadian visa office serves your jurisdiction, you can evaluate your personal circumstances at that moment in time and then decide whether you are willing to take the risk of leaving the United States and travelling to attend your interview or abandoning your Canadian Immigration plans altogether.  Keep in mind, however, the fact that abandoning your Canadian Immigration plans does not necessarily mean that you can apply at a future date, should your personal circumstances change.  Canadian Immigration laws, regulations and policies are always subject to change at any time without advance notice.

Number of 2017 New Arrivals to Canada to Remain the Same; Greater Percentage Economic and Family Class Immigrants

November 1, 2016

On October 31, 2016, the Government of Canada announced in the Canadian House of Commons that it will bring in 300,000 new arrivals in 2017. That is the same number that was established in 2016 to accommodate an influx of Syrian refugees.

While Canada will not increase the number of new immigrants being welcomed to the country next year, the Government claims that it is laying the foundation for a bigger boost in levels in the coming years.

Within this plan, the number of permanent residents selected in economic programs (i.e. Express Entry/Business Class/Provincial Nominee Programs, etc.) will increase. The Government also intends to increase Family Class (i.e. family sponsorship) levels to reduce processing times and reunite more families.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that Immigration Minister John McCallum to reveal ‘substantially’ higher newcomer targets

October 30, 2016

The article, below, appeared this morning on the website of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. If the announcement is true and, once more information becomes available, Abrams & Krochak will publish it on our website.

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Canada is expected to “substantially” boost the number of immigrants it welcomes to the country each year, but experts warn that any increase must be matched with more robust resettlement assistance.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum is expected to reveal new targets Monday, one day before Finance Minister Bill Morneau presents his fall economic update.

The new levels will seek to offset projected demographic challenges in Canada, including an aging population and growing labour gaps. In 2016, the target was to permit 300,000 newcomers to the country.

The government’s economic growth advisory council has recommended ramping up immigration levels to 450,000 people a year over the next five years, with a focus on skilled, highly educated and business-oriented people. McCallum has suggested that target may be overly ambitious, but said the government will “substantially” raise the number.

There has also been debate among the Canadian public — and among Liberals — about hiking immigration at a time of high unemployment, especially among young Canadians. There are also questions about whether adequate levels of support are in place.

Immigrants worse off?

As the government welcomes more immigrants, it must take steps to ensure smooth integration into communities, said Emily Gilbert, director of the University of Toronto’s Canadian Studies Program. That includes employment that meets their skill levels, so families don’t face undue financial hardship, she said.

“I’m not at all against raising the level, I’m in full support of that. But we’ve had a tendency in the last decade or so for newcomers to Canada to be much worse off economically,” she said.

She’s concerned about the potential emphasis on bringing in business and professional class immigrants.

“I’m worried that the thrust of the levels seems to be to boost Canada’s economy and I’m worried it would be on the shoulders of those who arrive,” she said.

Gilbert said ramping up numbers too quickly without enough supports could lead to potential social and economic problems down the road. She also warned against gearing targets based on economic status.

Not only does that contribute to a “brain drain” in other countries, but it ignores the fact that it takes all kinds of people to build the country, she said.

Raise living standards

The advisory council’s report recommends tapping top business talent and international students to maximize economic benefits from immigration policy that, “if done right, can raise living standards for all Canadians.”

Noting that public opinion to date is largely favourable toward immigration, the report warns that policy makers must be aware of limits.

“Public support is likely to wane if integration of new immigrants is not managed effectively,” it reads. “The recommended increase of 150,000 permanent economic immigrants is not expected to strain public education, transportation, or healthcare systems over the course of the five-year ramp up period, though it should be expected that higher population growth will eventually require increased investments in public services and infrastructure by all levels of government.”

In addition to boosting immigration levels, the council recommends:

  • Reducing red tape to attract and expedite entry for foreign talent.
  • Easing rules to allow more international students to become permanent residents.
  • Improving accreditation processes to help skilled workers find work in their profession.

Dory Jade, CEO of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants, expects the government will significantly increase the annual target and numbers in various categories. He said it’s difficult to measure actual capacity for newcomers in communities because there are so many regional variations.

Big dilemma

But Jade said any increase in numbers must come with supports ranging from more staff to process applications to a “big injection” of aid to help integrate new arrivals, even though that capacity is hard to determine.

“That’s the big dilemma for the government,” he said.

NDP Immigration critic Jenny Kwan said Canada could reasonably have a policy to bring in a higher number of immigrants, up to 500,000 annually.

Along with setting new targets, she urged the government to bring in policy changes that would help fill regional labour gaps and give live-in caregivers and temporary foreign workers greater and faster opportunities to become new Canadians.

“I think we’re at the juncture in 2016 to look at our immigration policy and say, ‘If you’re good enough to work here, you’re good enough to stay,'” she said.

Kwan also said Canada’s policy should not be geared to favour those with business and professional credentials.

“There’s value to all the different classes,” she said. “All of us contribute to the rich fabric of who we are, and our immigration policy should reflect exactly that — broad-based, diverse groups of immigrants from around the globe.”

Conservative Immigration critic Michelle Rempel said setting immigration levels must not be “arbitrary” and that targets should be established after consultation with the provinces and territories. She hopes to to see an increase in economic immigration to the Atlantic provinces and consideration to Francophonie targets.

Rempel said she is proud that because of a Conservative motion, Yazidi victims of ISIS genocide will be among the priority groups brought in to Canada.

“Our previous Conservative government oversaw the highest sustained levels of economic immigration in Canada’s history, while working to ensure persecuted ethnic, religious and sexual minorities were able to resettle in Canada,” she said in an email.

“We protected the integrity of our fair and generous immigration system by cracking down on crooked consultants who exploit prospective immigrants. Along with introducing the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, we also enhanced the Caregiver program to ensure faster processing, reunification and more protection against abuse.”

Don’t Look Now, But Canadian Jobs Might Actually Be Booming

September 7, 2016

Yesterday, The Huffington Post Canada published an interesting article, written by Daniel Tencer, regarding the Canadian job market.  Considering how many inquiries our law firm receives on a daily basis about the Canadian job market and job prospects for new immigrants to this country, we thought this article was worthy of sharing with you and have reproduced its contents, below.

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For those of you worried about all the bad news coming out recently about Canada’s job market, here’s a rare bit of good news: Those negative numbers might just be wrong.

Statistics Canada’s closely-watched labour force survey (LFS) has depressed job-seekers almost every month this year, but an alternate measure of jobs from the agency suggests the job market is actually doing very nicely, thank you very much.

StatsCan’s survey of payroll employment, earnings and hours (SEPH) found Canada added a whopping 52,700 jobs in June of this year, the latest month for which data is available in the SEPH. The earlier labour force survey had declared that Canada had lost 38,000 full-time jobs that month, excluding self-employment.

job growth

Media tend not to report on the (currently more positive) SEPH survey, because it comes out some six weeks later than the LFS, and the two often reflect similar trends. But right now the two job-market measures paint a picture of the past year that are like night and day.

The labour force survey found Canada has added a measly 0.6 per cent net new jobs over the past year, not enough to keep up with population growth of about 1.1 per cent. But the SEPH begs to differ: It says Canada added 1.2 per cent new jobs over the past year, more than population growth.

So … which one’s right?

help wanted sign
(Photo: Mike Kemp via Getty Images)

“The truth is often somewhere in between,” wrote Bank of Montreal senior economist Benjamin Reitzes in a recent client note.

He noted that the large discrepancy between the two job measures “is not all that uncommon historically.”

That’s at least in part because these two surveys are just that — surveys, which have a margin of error.

In the case of the headline-grabbing labour force survey, that margin is 53,400 jobs, 19 times out of 20. So when the LFS says that Canada added 10,000 jobs, it means Canada may have added as many as 63,400 jobs, or it may have lost as many as 43,400 jobs. And one time out of 20, it’s not even that accurate.

Ouch. That’s pretty much why the experts tell you not to put too much stock in the monthly numbers — they really don’t mean much. It’s the cumulative numbers over months and years that paint a more accurate picture.

vancouver british columbia
The Stanley Park seawall in Vancouver. British Columbia is Canada’s job-creation winner this year. (Photo: George Rose/Getty Images)

On a regional basis, StatsCan’s two measures paint a more similar picture. They both show Alberta is Canada’s weak spot for jobs right now, with the total number of jobs in the province falling three per cent in the past year, or 2.2 per cent, depending on which survey you believe.

And Ontario and British Columbia are still the winners, regardless of the survey you’re looking at.

B.C. is the hands-down jobs champion, adding 2.9 per cent new jobs, or 3.1 per cent new jobs, depending on the survey. Ontario takes the silver medal, adding 0.9 per cent new jobs in the labour force survey, and 2.3 per cent new jobs in the alternate SEPH.

So don’t panic about Canada’s job situation just yet. When it comes to unemployment data, sometimes the numbers are little more than a shot in the dark.