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Canada’s immigration ministers provide update on top objectives
March 11, 2023
Posted by: ASIFCONSULTING
Canada’s immigration ministers provide an update on top objectives
The Forum of Immigration Ministers met today to discuss how to achieve shared priorities.
The Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI) met again today in Halifax for its midterm meeting.
The meetings are held twice a year, with the most recent one taking place on July 28 in Saint John, New Brunswick.
The FMRI is made up of immigration ministers from the federal, provincial, and territorial levels.
The meetings serve as a forum for Canada’s top immigration priorities to be discussed from the two levels of government.
At their most recent meeting, the ministers aimed to maximize the effectiveness of the immigration system in meeting economic and regional needs, including increasing provincial/territorial (PT) involvement in the selection process.
They also sought more input into Express Entry modernization and increased Nominee Program (PNP) allocations. Finally, the provinces hoped to provide multi-year allocations by March 31st, 2023.
During today’s meeting, the ministers spoke positively about Canadians‘ support for immigration and how they have been able to build on goals set last summer.
Plan for a Multi-Year Provincial Nominee Program and an Atlantic Immigration Program Notably, the ministers approved the first multi-year Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) plans. This plan will help provinces and territories plan ahead of time for immigrant admissions and settlement. Arlene Dunn, the minister responsible for immigration in New Brunswick, spoke on behalf of the provinces and territories.
Provinces and territories are best positioned to choose economic immigrants.
Minister Dunn stated that expanding the PNP, AIP, and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot will help reduce the IRCC backlog and improve processing times so that clients can be better served and their needs met. The plan calls for a 44% increase in PNP allocations in 2023.
The ministers also stated that shortening processing times would help reduce system duplication, which contributes to the backlog. They recognized the emerging challenge of finding affordable housing for new immigrants, as well as the current strain on settlement services across the country.
The ministers are also looking for ways to improve the process of obtaining an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) or foreign credential recognition by working more closely with one another and stakeholders like labor ministers, employers, and chambers of commerce. They emphasized key areas such as selection, understanding the complex regulatory environment, and improving the quality of FCR pre-arrival information sharing.
Obtaining credential recognition quickly is an important step for a newcomer to practice their profession to it’s full potential.
“Partnership, collaboration, and a shared vision for improving Canada’s immigration policies and programs are central to how the federal, provincial, and territorial governments navigate the ever-changing immigration landscape,” Minister Dunn said.
“Through today’s meeting, we hoped to build momentum to further clarify our respective governments’ roles and responsibilities in successfully attracting, integrating, and retaining immigrants.”
Since the country’s inception in 1867, the federal and provincial governments have shared responsibility for immigration. The primary goal of these conferences is to promote the spread of immigration across Canada.
The Provincial Nominee Program is a key component of this shared responsibility (PNP). With the exception of Quebec and Nunavut, each province has its own PNP through which candidates for permanent residency (PR) can express a preference to work and live in a particular province. Quebec has its own system of immigration. If the provincial government believes the candidate will fit easily into the workforce and contribute to the provincial economy, they may offer them a provincial nomination. Being nominated does not guarantee that the candidate is a permanent resident, but it can help their application to the federal government.
Finally, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) decides how many candidates are invited to apply for PR under a PNP.
IRCC publishes the national PNP admissions target each year in the Immigration Levels Plan. A few months later, it communicates individual PNP targets to each province and territory.
PT ministers advocated for higher allocations at the meeting last summer due to labor shortages and a desire to have more control over the economic immigrants who settle and their ability to close labor force gaps.
According to the Immigration Levels Plan 2023–2025, PNP admissions will continue to outnumber federal high-skilled (Express Entry) admissions until 2025.
Provinces and territories hold immigration draws on a regular basis. This week, British Columbia, Ontario, and Manitoba held PNP draws, while Quebec held its own draw.
On March 7, British Columbia invited 276 candidates through the BC PNP.
In a general draw that included tech occupations, 229 people were invited. The general draw accepted candidates from the International Skilled Worker and International Graduate streams with minimum SIRS scores of 100 and 105, respectively.
Candidates from both streams were accepted into the Express Entry program.
Candidates with an entry-level or semi-skilled score of 85 were also eligible for nomination.
BC also held occupation-specific draws for skilled workers and international graduate candidates (including Express Entry). All required a SIRS score of at least 60.
26 early childhood educators and assistants (NOC 4214), and 19 Ontario healthcare workers
This week, Ontario held two draws under the Express Entry Human Capital Priorities stream.
The March 9 draw sought 822 candidates in healthcare occupations with Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores ranging from 469 to 489. The second draw, held on March 10, targeted 815 candidates in technical occupations with a CRS of 479–489,
Quebec invited 1,017 candidates to apply for permanent selection through the Regular Skilled Worker Program on March 2. The draw results were made public this week.
The draw had no specific occupations in mind and invited candidates with a minimum score of 589 points. In addition, invited candidates may have had a valid job offer from outside the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal.
On March 9, Manitoba invited 576 candidates in three categories.
As the province has identified this as a sector with high labor needs, there was an occupation-specific draw for skilled worker occupations under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 major group 65 (sales and service support occupations). The province invited 224 candidates with a minimum score of 612 for this stream.
Manitoba also invited 277 candidates from the “Skilled Worker” stream who did not specify their occupation. A minimum score of 675 was required for these candidates.
There were 53 candidates invited under the International Education Stream, with no minimum score. With a score of 666, 43 more candidates were invited as Skilled Workers Overseas.
There were 45 Express Entry candidates among the total number of candidates invited.
Can I travel back to my home country after submitting my electronic Application for Permanent Residence through Express Entry?
Continue reading to learn more about what you can and cannot do once you have submitted your Express Entry electronic Application for Permanent Residence (ePR). There is a Situation In Canada Where People want their applications back. As we know that a successful Express Entry application results in an electronic Application for Permanent Residence (PR).
In other words, after applying to any of the three Express Entry programs (more on that later), an eAPR is what applicants finally submit to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) if they receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence (PR) to Canada as a result of an Express Entry draw.
While applicants can travel after submitting their eAPR, there are some important considerations to keep in mind when traveling during the application process (more on that below)
eAPRs give successful Express Entry candidates 60 days to apply for Canadian permanent residency. ITA recipients must now sign in to their IRCC accounts. To apply for PR through Express Entry, create a profile and fill out the appropriate form. In summary, the applicant must ensure that all required documents are included with their application, that all answers to eAPR questions are “complete and true,” and that all required fees are paid.
More information on eAPR submission can be found on the Government of Canada’s website here.
Now that we have a better understanding of eAPRs before we answer the central question of this piece, let us first define Express Entry.
What exactly is Express Entry? IRCC’s Express Entry system manages immigration applications to three different programs: The Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSWP).
Note: Express Entry is one of the top immigration pathways for bringing foreign skilled workers to Canada, according to the Canadian federal government.
Express Entry requires candidates to first determine and verify their eligibility for any of the three programs listed above. Detailed requirements outlined by IRCC are available to assist in the start of this process. In turn, interested candidates can answer a few questions here to confirm that they meet the Express Entry minimum requirements.
Following that, candidates can submit an online profile to the IRCC website and use a CRS score calculator to determine their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Canada currently uses the CRS to score and rank Express Entry candidates based on a variety of factors. Human capital (age, education, and proficiency in an official language) is one of these factors.
etc.), transferability of skills (work experience, etc.), and more.
After submitting their Express Entry profile, candidates must wait to see if they are selected in one of the IRCC’s Express Entry draws, which take place every two weeks. These draws, based on an IRCC-determined cut-off score, randomly select eligible candidates and provide them with an ITA, allowing them to submit an eAPR to IRCC (within 60 days of ITA receipt).
It should be noted that Express Entry applicants can only apply for PR in Canada with an ITA.
Finally, selected candidates must submit their eAPR online (as described above) and wait for IRCC to make a final PR decision.
Can I return to my home country after submitting my eAPR? While their application is being processed, PR applicants who submit their eAPR from within Canada are generally free to travel back to their home country. If they wish to return to Canada, they must have the necessary re-entry documents.
Please keep in mind that international travel during eAPR processing is handled on a case-by-case basis. Individual questions about travel after eAPR submission can be answered by an experienced immigration lawyer based on a single person’s circumstances.
Those seeking to re-enter Canada must have a valid passport. Furthermore, depending on the reason for re-entry, the individual must have a valid Canadian work or study permit and/or a valid visitor visa/electronic travel authorization (eTA), unless they are a US citizen or permanent resident.
Please keep in mind that visitor visas, also known as Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs), are only required for re-entry into Canada if the applicant is traveling to a country that requires them.
Furthermore, if they apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit, eligible foreign skilled workers can stay in Canada between the expiration of their current work permit the time a final decision on their eAPR is made (BOWP). In the event that a foreign national files an eAPR,
wishes to apply for a BOWP, they may travel during eAPR processing as long as they are not in “maintained status” and will return to Canada before the work permit expires. Learn more about maintained status by clicking here.
To be eligible for a BOWP, interested candidates must meet the following requirements, among others:
Have a valid work permit right now
Have retained their status and authorization to work in Canada under section 186(u) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)
“as a result of submitting an application to renew their work permit under subsection R201(1)” be eligible to reestablish their temporary resident status with work authorization on a work permit Again, if the foreign national in this situation is from a country that requires a visa, he or she must obtain a valid TRV or eTA for re-entry to Canada.
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