Immigration News for January. Weber Immigration Consultants is proud to provide the latest developments of the first weeks of 2023. In this blog, we will focus on the aspects of immigration to Canada that have seen changes in January. Do not forget to follow us to stay updated on the evolving immigration landscape.
Canada broke a historical record with the highest number of immigrants in 2022
Last year, Canada welcomed the highest number of immigrants within a year. The Government of Canada had an ambitious plan to welcome 431,645 new permanent residents in 2022. However, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) surpassed expectations by announcing that they have successfully welcomed over 437,000 immigrants! In 2022, IRCC processed a staggering 5.2 million applications for permanent residence, temporary visas and citizenship – an incredible twofold jump from 2021.
Immigration is the fundamental driver of labour force growth in Canada, generating almost all of its development. Furthermore, immigration accounts for 75% of the country’s population increase, and by 2036 that number will have increased to a staggering 30%. This is an immense jump from 2011 when it only contributed about 20.7%. Moreover, in the last five years, Canada has seen a record-breaking 1.3 million immigrants settling permanently in its borders – making up an incredible 36% of physicians, 33% business owners with paid staff and 41% engineers! These figures reveal how far immigration can go to benefit Canada’s economy and society.
IRCC proposed category-based selection for Express Entry draws
Following Canada’s labour shortages and economic demands, IRCC held public consultations until January 16, 2023, to update the Express Entry application management system. Through these consultations on category-based selection in Express Entry, the government aimed to determine how it can select skilled economic immigrants that comply with the yearly Immigration Levels Plans and support economic priorities. To form categories for category-based selection, data will be gathered and examined in accordance with labour market information and feedback from partners – including provinces and territories – along with key stakeholders throughout Canada.
The Express Entry system combines Canada’s skilled immigration programs to choose candidates based on their skills and competencies, such as language proficiency, educational attainment, and work experience. These qualifications are indicators of successful integration into the economy with higher employment rates and increased earnings potentials. On June 23, 2022, the new Express Entry updates received royal assent to improve candidate selection for specific economic objectives. IRCC will continue to analyze and detail the results of principal applicants that have been accepted through Express Entry, including those chosen through category-based selection.
Canada is in dire need of skilled workers in construction and related fields
As Canada faces economic and demographic issues due to the aging population, evolving skill requirements from technology advancements, and sectoral changes, immigration provides an effective way for the government to tackle these concerns. The Government of Canada uses immigration to overcome these difficulties by bringing in newcomers with essential skills required for the county’s economy. The skills gap between jobs and workers, as well as increasing job vacancies in areas like construction, healthcare, and professional services, make it more challenging to fill positions quickly due to the specialized training that some of these roles require.
Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Minister Ahmed Hussen also stressed the importance of immigration to drive economic prosperity, noting that professionals from foreign countries were required in the building trades industry and businesses seeking qualified employees. Canadian citizens have expressed concerns that increased immigration results in drastic housing cost increases, as well as shortages. However, the Minister contested this assumption. Despite the apprehension of immigrants driving up house values, various studies showcase otherwise – with many believing it to be rather beneficial for economic growth.
Ontario invited new candidates under the OINP
On January 10, 2023, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) invited new candidates in the Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream (EJO FW) Stream. The OINP issued two invitations to apply (ITAs) to candidates who may qualify for the federal Economic Mobility Pathways Project (EMPP) and 402 targeted ITAs for skilled trades occupations. All invitees for the targeted skilled trades occupations had a minimum score of 35. In 2023, Ontario invited 1,656 candidates through the OINP streams. Contact Weber Immigration Consultants to participate in the next OINP draws and become a permanent resident of Canada.
The Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream offers foreign workers with a job offer in an occupation that is classified as TEER (Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities) Category 1, 2 or 3 of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) to submit their applications for permanent residence and work authorization in Ontario. This program is accessible to foreign workers living outside Canada. To become a permanent resident of Ontario, applicants must first register with the OINP’s Expression of Interest System and receive an invitation to apply. Upon receiving this invitation, they can submit their application online for nomination from the provincial government. After being nominated by Ontario, candidates have to apply to the federal government through IRCC to receive a final decision on their permanent residency application.
IRCC processed around 50% of the immigration applications within the service standard in 2022
IRCC processed around 50% of the immigration applications within the service standard in 2022. This can be considered an impressive accomplishment since IRCC is continuing to solve the issue. The immigration department recently reported a backlog of 2.1 million applications, with 1.09 million waiting beyond the expected service standards for permanent and temporary residence permits and citizenship approvals. IRCC endeavours to promptly process 80% of applications within established service standards, except for complex cases that may require additional time for a more thorough assessment.
Astonishingly, an overwhelming majority of temporary residence requests (56%) and permanent residency applications (55%) take longer than expected. These include visitor visas and study and work permits. The department is actively working on streamlining the immigration process by introducing innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence. These new technologies are expected to improve processing times and reduce the backlog of applications. IRCC is also developing a new strategy to manage permanent residence application backlogs, focusing on faster processing times and higher accuracy in decision-making.
Canada needs more skilled workers to address the labour shortage problem effectively
New Focus Canada research reveals that Canadians are more supportive of the government’s welcoming immigration and refugee policies than ever before, despite the various disruptions and hardships they have been facing. Even though Canada welcomes more than 400,000 newcomers annually, a whopping 70% of Canadians favour these immigration levels – an all-time high since Environics began conducting surveys 45 years ago. It is generally agreed upon that immigration serves as a significant driver of the Canadian economy. More people are becoming conscious of how necessary it is for Canada to bring in immigrants from other countries to maintain population growth.
Studies conducted by Environics demonstrate an immense change in attitude towards immigration within Canada. An astonishing 58% of Canadians now feel that the intake should be increased to increase population numbers – a stark contrast from only 23% from 30 years ago! Even more stunning is the fact that 77 percent expressed opposition to increasing immigrant levels back in 1993, which has since drastically reduced. Environics poll data showed that only 27% of Canadians thought immigration levels were too high. This demonstrates a more optimistic outlook than previously assumed.
Weber Immigration Consultants is a professional immigration consulting firm that provides quality immigration services. Our experienced immigration consultants are well-versed in the complexities of the Canadian immigration system and strive to ensure that our clients receive the best possible advice and assistance. Feel free to contact us if you require assistance with your Canadian immigration application.