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Author Archives: Admin BBI

February 21, 2022
February 21, 2022

British Columbia invited 140 tech workers to apply for a provincial nomination on February 15. The invitations were issued through the BC PNP Tech, which is a stream under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

The BC PNP is an economic immigration pathway used by the province of British Columbia to attract experienced, high-demand foreign workers. The program gives people who choose to live and work in British Columbia a path to permanent residence.

Candidates invited through BC’s Tech draws must meet the requirements of one of British Columbia’s Express Entry BC and Skills immigration categories, which are managed through the Skills and Immigration Registration System (SIRS). Candidates who received invitations in this draw were from the Skilled Worker and International Graduate subcategories and needed a minimum provincial score of 85.

Invited candidates now have 30 calendar days to apply for the nomination.

BC PNP Tech program

The BC PNP Tech was launched in May 2017 as a pilot project following a labour market study, which found that access to talent was the biggest issue facing BC’s technology sector. Given the success of the project, BC made it a permanent program. It is designed to enable employers in British Columbia’s technology sector to continue to attract and select international talent when qualified workers are not available locally.

More specifically, the BC PNP Tech is a fast-track immigration pathway for in-demand tech workers and international students. Candidates need to be registered in one of BC’s existing provincial immigration streams and have a valid job offer of at least 12 months in one of 29 eligible occupations to qualify for the stream.

Unlike other BC PNP streams, job offers under the BC PNP Tech must be for a minimum of one year, with at least 120 days remaining at the time of application to the BC PNP. It must also be full-time and from an eligible employer in the province.

Invitations through the province’s tech program are sent out weekly to the top-scoring candidates who meet the eligibility requirements. Candidates who are invited to apply for a provincial nomination will need to submit a complete application. Once this is done, most tech applications will be processed within two to three months.

If they are approved, candidates will receive a nomination confirmation that can be used to apply for permanent residence from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) under the Provincial Nominee Program Class.

PNP candidates automatically earn 600 points for their score in the Comprehensive Ranking System and thus have a very good chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence through the Express Entry system.

February 17, 2022

Canada invited 1,082 Express Entry candidates to apply for Canadian immigration on February 16. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) only invited Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates in the new invitation round. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut off was 710.

This is the third time in a row that a PNP draw has broken a record for most invitations. The draw two weeks ago held the previous record with a total of 1,070 PNP candidates invited to apply. Invited candidates now have 60 days to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Canada is aiming to admit 55,900 immigrants through Express Entry-managed programs this year, according to Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 released on February 14. That figure does not include the 83,500 PNP immigrants Canada expects to welcome this year, although not all of these will come through Express Entry.

The new Express Entry targets are nearly half of what the previous multi-year levels plan called for. In the 2021-2023 levels plan, Canada anticipated the number of Express Entry immigrants would be 108,500 in 2021.

The Express Entry targets for next year are also reduced compared to previous targets to 75,750. Targets appear to return to more normal levels in 2024, when Canada projects to welcome 111,500 through Express Entry. The immigration targets for 2023 onward could change in the fall, as the immigration minister will have to table the next multi-year immigration levels plan by November 1. The reason the 2022-2024 targets were delayed was because of the federal election in September.

Part of the reason Canada reduced targets is so that IRCC can process its backlog of immigration applications. As of February 1, there are more Express Entry applications in the queue than Canada needs to meet its targets for the year. The reduction also appears to be part of an IRCC effort to process applications for the Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence (TR2PR) program, and accommodate the goal of resettling 40,000 Afghan refugees.

February 15, 2022

Canada is increasing its immigration targets yet again. It will look to welcome almost 432,000 new immigrants this year instead of its initial plan to welcome 411,000 newcomers. The announcement came on 14th Feb at approximately 3:35 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Over the coming three years, Canada will target the following number of new immigrant landings:

  • 2022: 431,645 permanent residents
  • 2023: 447,055 permanent residents
  • 2024: 451,000 permanent residents

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser explained “This levels plan is a balance of needs for our country and our international obligations. It focuses on attracting skilled workers who will contribute to Canada’s economy and tackle the labour shortage, while recognizing the importance of family reunification, and helping the world’s most vulnerable populations through refugee resettlement. Our focus remains on supporting our economic resurgence through increased retention of newcomers in regions with real economic, labour and demographic challenges. I’m proud of what Canada has achieved thus far, and I want wait to see how newcomers will continue to make Canada a top destination of choice.”

In 2022, some 56 per cent of new immigrants will arrive under economic class pathways such as Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program, and the Temporary to Permanent Residence (TR2PR) stream that was available in 2021.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will be the main admissions program for economic class immigrants with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) looking to land 83,500 newcomers via the PNP in 2022. IRCC has cut Express Entry admissions in half for this year but aims to return to normal Express Entry admissions levels by 2024 when it targets the arrival of 111,5000 Express Entry immigrants then.

The levels plan seems to suggest that IRCC is temporarily reducing Express Entry admissions so it can accommodate admissions under the TR2PR program. IRCC is looking to land 40,000 immigrants in 2022 and the final 32,000 immigrants by 2023 under the TR2PR stream.

In the meantime, Express Entry draws are continuing on a biweekly basis and IRCC is processing Express Entry applications. In addition, most of Canada’s provinces and territories operate the PNP and PNP invitations have been ongoing since the start of the pandemic.

The family class will comprise 24 per cent of admissions targets in 2022, with 80,000 set to arrive under the Spouses, Partners, and Children Program, and 25,000 set to arrive under the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP). IRCC has increased its PGP admissions target slightly, by 1,500 additional spots, compared with its previous plan.

The remaining 20 per cent of immigrants will arrive under refugee and humanitarian programs. This is an increase of about 5 percentage points compared to Canada’s last immigration levels plan, and it is likely a function of Canada looking to resettle 40,000 Afghan refugees over the coming years. The higher refugee and humanitarian intake will result in economic and family class immigration comprising a smaller share than usual, however both those classes will account for a higher share of Canada’s newcomers in 2023 and 2024, as Canada looks to reduce its refugee and humanitarian intake once it completes its Afghan resettlement operation.

Canada’s main immigration law, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), states the Canadian government must announce its immigration plan by November 1 each year when Parliament is sitting. However, a levels plan announcement did not take place last year due to the Canadian government holding an election in September.

The levels plan guides Canada’s immigration system. It outlines the number of immigrants Canada will look to welcome under its various federal, provincial, and territorial programs. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the provinces and territories then adjust their operations based on the plan to ensure they are able to attract, settle, integrate, and retain the targeted levels of newcomers set to arrive.

Up until 2015, Canada welcomed about 250,000 immigrants per year. In 2016, it announced a new baseline target of 300,000 newcomers annually. Prior to the pandemic, the target was set to about 340,000 immigrants per year but immigration fell to below 200,000 in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The Canadian government then made the surprise announcement in October 2020 it would look to welcome over 400,000 immigrants annually moving forward to help support its post-COVID economic recovery. This represents the highest targets in Canadian history.

Last year Canada broke its newcomer record by landing 405,000 new permanent residents, mostly by transitioning those within the country to permanent residence. Prior to the pandemic, most new immigrants arrived to Canada from abroad.

In 2021, 62 per cent of new immigrants arrived under economic class pathways such as Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and Quebec’s streams. Some 20 per cent were welcomed last year under the family class through the Spouses, Partners, and Children Program and the Parents and Grandparents Program. A total of 15 per cent were welcomed in 2021 under refugee and humanitarian programs.

The remaining amount were categorized under “All Other Immigration.” Canada targets high levels of newcomers to support its economy and fiscal standing. Due to its aging population and low birth rate, Canada needs higher levels of immigration to support its population, labour force, and economic growth, as well as to have enough workers to pay the taxes necessary to support important social services such as health care and education. Canada also pursues social immigration objectives including reuniting families, providing humanitarian assistance, and strengthening its Francophone heritage.

Immigration has arguably taken on greater economic importance during the pandemic. Governments across Canada are running fiscal deficits due to increased spending amid the pandemic and weaker economic activity. In addition, employers across Canada are facing labour shortages due to Canada’s aging population, major changes to the economy during COVID, and fewer immigrants arriving from overseas.

February 9, 2022

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) invited Express Entry candidates to apply for a provincial nomination through two PNP draws on 08th February.

Out of the 828 total invitations issued, 622 went to candidates who were eligible for Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream. These candidates needed to have a profile in the Express Entry system with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score between 463 and 467. Also, they needed to have at least one year of work experience in the following six tech occupations listed below by NOC code:

  • 0213 Computer and information systems managers
  • 2147 Computer engineers
  • 2172 Database analysts and data administrators
  • 2173 Software engineers and designers
  • 2174 Computer programmer and interactive media developers
  • 2175 Web designers and developers

The remaining 206 candidates were invited to apply for the French-Speaking Skilled Worker (FSSW) stream. These Express Entry candidates also needed scores between 463-467.

The FSSW requires candidates to have a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of at least 7 in French, and 6 in English. Among other eligibility criteria, the OINP will also want to see that candidates have enough funds to cover settlement costs in Ontario.

Those who received an invitation now have 45 calendar days to submit their application for Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Benefit of having a PNP

PNPs allow Canadian provinces to invite immigration candidates who are a good match for their regional labour markets. Express Entry candidates who receive a provincial nomination are effectively guaranteed to get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence. With a provincial nomination, candidates get 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points added to their base score, which is more than enough to receive an ITA in a subsequent Express Entry draw.

February 3, 2022
February 3, 2022

Canada invited 1,070 Express Entry candidates to apply for Canadian immigration on 2 February. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) only invited Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score requirement was 674. PNP candidates get an automatic 600 points added to their score when they receive their nomination, which is why the score is significantly higher than a typical all-program draw. Without the nomination, the lowest-scoring candidate would have needed just 74 base CRS points.

The new draw takes the record for the biggest PNP-only draw, beating out the January 19 draw when 1,036 PNP candidates were invited. Invited candidates now have 60 days to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Express Entry in 2022

Canada is expected to only hold PNP draws for the time being. While announcing measures to improve the immigration system, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser did not say when Canada would resume draws for Express Entry candidates who are eligible for other programs, such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). However, he assured reporters that the pause is temporary.

Before the pandemic, most Express Entry invitations went to FSWP candidates. In 2021, Canada invited more CEC candidates to apply than any other program, until it paused CEC draws in September. As a result of pandemic closures, and IRCC’s strategy to transition temporary residents to permanent residents, there is now a backlog of more than 1.8 million people waiting on immigration decisions. As of December, about 1,19,000 of these individuals were Express Entry candidates.

Internal briefing notes from IRCC suggest that Canada will be able to hold Express Entry draws for FSWP and CEC candidates once when half of the backlogged applications have been processed. The immigration department wants estimated processing times to return to the standard of six months. Although the IRCC website suggests estimated processing times are still six months, the memo said FSWP candidates could be waiting about 20 months, and CEC candidates eight months.

For Express Entry candidates in Canada who may have to leave their jobs or leave Canada while IRCC holds off on draws for certain candidates, Fraser said they are looking at options to keep workers in Canada, but they do not yet have a solution.

In a meeting with the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Fraser explained that IRCC is exploring the possibility of holding “occupation focused [Express Entry] draws responding to labour needs.” The Canadian government’s Budget 2021 also alluded to this possibility noting the government’s desire to reform Express Entry to “select those candidates who best meet Canada’s labour market needs.” Further, Fraser’s mandate letter calls for him to find pathways for students and temporary workers to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system.

The November memo suggested Express Entry targets could be cut in half for the 2022-2024 multi-year immigration levels plan. Minister Fraser did not confirm or deny to reporters whether Canada would reduce Express Entry targets this year, ahead of tabling the levels plan in Parliament. Fraser will announce the new levels plan in February, likely before the next Express Entry draw.

February 2, 2022

Quebec invited 322 skilled workers to apply for permanent selection on January 27. The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) invited these immigration candidates to apply under the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP).

Candidates had to have profiles in the Arrima Expression of Interest system with scores of at least 647 points and a valid job offer outside the Montreal metropolitan area.

This latest draw is the second of the year for Quebec and it brings the number of invitations issued to 834 in 2022. Last year, a total of 3,564 candidates were invited to apply for permanent selection by the province through Arrima.

Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program

The Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program is for skilled workers who are more likely to establish themselves economically in the province. The program is popular among skilled workers and international graduates who wish to immigrate permanently to Quebec to work.

Candidates who are invited to apply for permanent selection have a maximum of 60 days to submit their application and pay processing fees. Quebec aims to process complete applications within six months, starting on the date all the required information has been received. This includes all forms and documents.

If successful, candidates will get a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ or Quebec Selection Certificate). They can then use this document to apply for permanent residence to the Canadian federal government. Those who wish to settle in Quebec, are assessed under a different system than applicants who want to settle somewhere else in Canada. Quebec’s immigration programs are managed by the province and are distinct from Canada’s federal programs.

Quebec admission targets for 2022

In October 2021, Quebec released its immigration admission targets for 2022.  Most newcomers are expected to come through the province’s economic immigration programs, including the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and the Québec experience program (PEQ).

The plan calls for the admission of 49,500 to 52,500 immigrants in 2022 across all immigration categories, as well as an additional 18,000 admissions to reach the admission levels that were not met by the federal government in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that more than 70,000 newcomers could be admitted to the province of Quebec in 2022.

January 29, 2022

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) invited candidates across three Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Here are the number of invitations issued for each program as well as the minimum score cut-off according to the province’s Expression of Interest (EOI) system:

  • Skilled Workers in Manitoba — 212 invitations with a minimum score of 609
  • Skilled Workers Overseas — 63 invitations with a minimum score of 703
  • International Education Stream — 40 invitations with no score requirement

Among these invitations, 69 were issued to candidates in the Express Entry system.

Manitoba immigration programs

Manitoba manages its immigration programs through the MPNP, which supports immigration applications to the federal government. Canadian provinces do not have the ability to give out permanent residency status, but they can help an application along by issuing provincial nominations.

If you want a nomination from Manitoba, you need to register an Expression of Interest with the MPNP. This puts you in a position to receive an LAA through the Skilled Workers in Manitoba and Skilled Workers Overseas streams. Manitoba then ranks candidates out of 1,000 points for their human capital factors, as well as their connections to the province.

The Skilled Workers Overseas Category and Skilled Workers in Manitoba categories are designed to allow the province to identify candidates who meet its labour market needs. Candidates overseas need to demonstrate connections to Manitoba through the likes of close family ties, previous experience in the province, or an invitation through one of Manitoba’s Strategic Recruitment Initiatives. You do not need to be living in Manitoba at the time of your application to be eligible.

In order to receive an invitation under the Skilled Workers in Manitoba category, you need to have a full-time job offer from a provincial employer.

International graduates who complete their education in Manitoba can receive an invitation under the International Education Stream if they can demonstrate that they have in-demand skills.

January 28, 2022

Ontario invited 1,032 Express Entry candidates to apply for a provincial nomination on January 27. The invited candidates were eligible for a provincial nomination through the Ontario Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream. In order to be invited, candidates needed a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score between 381 and 461. Ontario invited candidates who had submitted their profiles between January 27, 2021 and January 27, 2022.

If invited candidates receive the nomination, they will get 600 CRS points added to their score. They will also be eligible to receive an Invitations to Apply (ITA) from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)-specific Express Entry draw. Those who received an invitation now have 45 calendar days to apply for the provincial nomination.

Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream

Ontario’s Express Entry-linked Skilled Trades Stream offers a pathway to permanent residency for Federal Skilled Worker Program and Canadian Experience Class candidates. The OINP invites eligible candidates to apply for a provincial nomination.

To be eligible, candidates need to be living in Ontario with a valid work permit. They also need to have a minimum of one year of full-time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time work. They must have completed this work experience in the province in a skilled trade listed in Minor Group 633 or Major Group 72, 73, or 82 under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC).

No job offer is needed to apply under the Skilled Trades Stream, but candidates must meet all the mandatory federal and provincial requirements.The first step to being considered for a provincial nomination is to submit a profile to the Express Entry system.

January 22, 2022
January 22, 2022

The Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) invited a total of 132  immigration candidates on January 20. Express Entry and Labour Impact candidates received the most invitations, combined they received a total of 121. The remaining 11 invitations went to Business Impact candidates who had provincial scores of at least 72 points.

The PEI PNP schedules its draws for the year in advance and this is the first scheduled draw of the year for the maritime province. In 2021, PEI invited 1,804 candidates, 1,697 of which were from the Labour Impact and Express Entry streams and 157 from the Business Impact stream.

PEI PNP Express Entry Category

The PEI PNP’s Express Entry Category is an enhanced PNP, which means it is linked with the federal government’s Express Entry system. In order to be considered for this stream, candidates need to have a profile in the system. In order to be considered for a provincial nomination from PEI, Express Entry candidates need to create an Expression of Interest (EOI) profile with the PEI PNP.

EOI profiles are given points based on the province’s unique points grid. The highest-scoring candidates are then invited to apply through monthly draws.

Labour Impact Category

The Labour Impact Category is for foreign nationals who have a valid job offer in P.E.I., and have support from their employer. It is divided into three streams: Skilled Worker, Critical Worker, and International Graduate. Candidates in this category must also submit an Expression of Interest in order to be considered for a provincial nomination through the Labour Impact Category.

Business Impact Category

Business Impact Category candidates need to meet the minimum provincial score requirement in order to proceed with their applications. The score is different in every draw. The invitations that the PEI PNP sent in today’s draw were issued under the Work Permit Stream, which is for foreign entrepreneurs who want to own and operate a business on the island.

January 21, 2022
January 21, 2022

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) invited candidates who had Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores of at least 327 on 5th January. Invited candidates were eligible for a provincial nomination under the Alberta Express Entry stream. If they get the nomination, they will be one step closer to Canadian permanent residence. Provincial nominees can apply for Canadian immigration to the federal under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Express Entry candidates with provincial nominations get boosted to the top of the pool, and are primed to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Alberta Express Entry stream

The first step to immigrating through the Alberta Express Entry stream is to create an Express Entry profile. Express Entry is the application management system for the three Federal High Skilled programs: Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, and Federal Skilled Trades Program.

If you are eligible for Express Entry, you will get a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). You get points depending on your age, education, work experience, language ability in English or French, and other factors.

IRCC regularly holds Express Entry draws, inviting the highest-scoring candidates to apply for permanent residence.

The PNP provides an opportunity for Express Entry candidates with lower CRS scores to get an automatic 600-point award. So, if the lowest-scoring candidates in the new Alberta draw receive the provincial nomination, their new CRS scores will be 951.

If you want to apply for the Alberta Express Entry stream, you need to have work experience in an eligible occupation. The AINP does not provide a list of eligible occupations, rather it offers a list of occupations that are not eligible for the stream. Many who apply under this stream work as food service supervisors, transport truck drivers, and cooks among others. The provincial government website says these applications may take longer to process as there is a high volume of applications.

Certain factors increase your likelihood of being nominated, like having work experience, a Canadian education, or a job offer in Alberta. It also helps to have a family member already living in Alberta, such as a parent, child, or sibling.

It goes without saying you will also need to meet the eligibility requirements for Express Entry. The minimum CRS score you need to be considered is 300. You may get an invitation, called a “Notification of Interest,” if you stated in your profile that you have an interest in moving permanently to Alberta.

If you get the nomination, it comes with a bonus 600 points added to your base CRS score. Then when you get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from a subsequent Express Entry draw, you can apply for Canadian immigration.