For over a century, immigration has been a means to support the growth of Canada. Along with those who migrate to Canada permanently, many individuals come to Canada to stay temporarily (whether as visitors, international students, or temporary foreign workers). Regardless of their pathway to Canada, everyone contributes in a meaningful way to Canada’s economy and the growth of various industries, and contributes to Canada’s diversity and multiculturalism. Immigration has helped to build the country.
As a result, with immigration as a top priority, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released an Immigration Plan for 2021–2023. As per the new immigration plan, Canada aims to welcome:
If we count the invitations issued in 2021 via Express Entry, then a total of 114,431 immigrants received an Invite to Apply (ITA), whereas the set limit was 108,500. Out of these 114,431 immigrants, 14,778 were selected under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Class, whereas 99,653 were selected through the Canadian Experience Class. That shows a hike of more than 5% in invites.
Recently (January 2022), a memorandum seeking approval from the Deputy Minister and the Associate Deputy Minister for managing Federal High Skilled (FHS) applications came into the picture. Let’s understand the proposed memorandum and its impact on the Canadian Immigration Plan for Year 2022 in a detailed manner.
This memorandum seeks approval on:
Seeing the global impact of COVID-19, the Government of Canada, through the Department of Immigration, closed the borders (effective March 2020) and suspended the round of invitations for overseas skilled workers via Express Entry’s FSWP and FSTP streams (effective December 2020). Later, in 2021, a Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TR2PR) pathway was created through which a large number of candidates were invited under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), which led to significant growth in the number of applications for Permanent Residence Visas.
And hence, in order to achieve the standard processing time of 6 months and to meet the overseas skilled requirements of 2022, this memorandum is proposed.
As per the proposed immigration plan for the year 2022, the government of Canada, through the Immigration Department of Canada (i.e., IRCC), aimed to welcome 110,500 new permanent residents via Express Entry, but under the current scenarios, it is expected that the target could be decreased by more than 50%.
This reduction is due to the significant growth in the number of applications for permanent residence visas via the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TR2PR) stream and the resettlement of Afghan nationals to Canada.
As per the memorandum, in order to invite or accept any new application, it is required to reduce the current inventory by half, and it is also proposed that no new intake should take place for Express Entry’s FSWP, FSTP, or CEC Stream for at least the first half of 2022.
Since Express Entry’s draw will be conducted for Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) pathway, the minimum CRS Score requirement to receive an invitation to apply would be above 500.
Due to the significant growth in the number of applications, the processing time has also changed. Currently, the average processing time for submitted applications under the Express Entry’s FSWP and FSTP streams is 20.4 months, which itself is three times higher than the standard processing time of 6 months. Whereas for the CEC stream, the processing time is 7.6 months.
For FSWP and FSTP, there is a probability that this processing time might increase from 20.4 months to 36 months.
On December 23, 2021, the Honourable Canadian PM, Mr. Justin Trudeau, wrote a mandate to the Honourable Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), i.e., Mr. Sean Fraser, asking to:
On the basis of the proposed immigration plan for the year 2022 and the available memorandum, we can expect invitations in each pathway as follows:
With all the above statements, we can only conclude that the Canadian government is seeking immigrants to come to Canada to help them grow their economy as affected by COVID-19. But keeping all the safety measures in mind and the current backlog of applications, borders to overseas skilled workers are expected to open after the month of June or July of 2022, and by then only we can expect draws for Express Entry’s FSWP, FSTP, or CEC Stream.