Keeping the health and safety of individuals a priority during the global pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC) implemented restrictions that caused the processing of foreign applications to be delayed, resulting in an increase in the size of the application inventory. To deal with the situation, IRCC temporarily halted invitations to apply (ITA) under the federal high-skilled streams, including the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWP), and Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTP).
Immigration is a vital component of Canada’s economy and is critical in addressing the labour shortage. Employers in Canada are actively searching to fill hundreds of thousands of vacancies across the country in all sectors. As a result, it is mandatory for Canada to remain a top destination for global talent.
In light of this, on April 22, 2022, the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC), made a significant announcement. The announcement is “Express Entry draws will resume soon, and invitations to apply for permanent residence will begin in early July, and the vast majority of new applications will also be handled within the 6-month service standards”, which is presently more than 20 months.
The federal high-skilled processing inventory has been reduced by more than half as a result of the temporary pause, from about 111,900 persons in September 2021 to just 48,000 people in March 2022. By July 2022, this inventory will have been further decreased, allowing IRCC to return to the service standards.
In addition, the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC), has announced some additional measures to assist skilled workers in Canada so that they can contribute to the Canadian economy. These are:
Former international students who are in Canada and have a post-graduation work permit that expires between January and December 2022 will be eligible for an additional open work permit of up to 18 months beginning in summer 2022. This will allow applicants to continue contributing to the Canadian economy, address labour shortages in Canada, gain work experience, and prepare their Express Entry profiles.
Immediate family members who are outside of Canada and were included in a principal applicant’s permanent residence application will be eligible for their own open work visa to assist family reunification.