Canada – Immigration Updates

Express Entry Invitations Continue Surge in 2017

What has changed

On February 8, 2017, the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 3,664 applicants to apply for permanent residence, with the lowest qualifying score being 447. This was the largest draw since program inception in January 2015, and continues to indicate an upward trend in the number of invitations sent, and a downward trend in the score needed for an invitation. Comparatively, on December 16, 2016, only 1936 invitations were sent, with the lowest qualifying score as 497.

Who is affected?

  • Individuals with applications under the Express Entry System

What to expect

The increase in invitations may be favourable for individuals with applications under the Express Entry system.

What you need to do

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

What has changed

On January 27, 2017, the IRCC announced the introduction of a three (3) year Atlantic Immigration Pilot, a program for skilled immigrants and international student graduates who want to permanently live in:

  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island

Who is affected?

  • Employers in the Atlantic provinces who wish to hire skilled workers

What to expect

This initiative is part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy to help attract and retain skilled immigrants in Atlantic Canada. The program will allow employers to work with settlement service provider organizations to help newcomers integrate with communities in Atlantic Canada. Under this Pilot, employers will work with organizations to find skilled immigrants who meets their employment needs and will be able to directly offer them a job without requiring them to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is a welcome reprieve from the previously tedious and expensive LMIA process, which is no longer a requisite under this pilot.

Starting in early March, 2017, IRCC will begin accepting permanent resident applications for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot programs. The program capacity has been designated as 2000 skilled workers and their family members.

What you need to do

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

Ontario Immigration Nominee Program has reopened for 2017

What has changed

On February 21, 2017, the Ontario Immigration Nominee Program (OINP) reopened the Ontario Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream. The OINP is now identifying qualified applicants from the federal government’s Express Entry pool and will issue Notifications of Interest to applicants that meet the criteria.

Who is affected?

  • Employees based in Ontario, including recent graduates, that may not receive an invitation under the Federal Express Entry system

What to expect

As part of the revised program, the OINP has launched the online application systems for these streams with the aim to improve processing times which has been a challenge of the program during the past. In order to manage the application flow the OINP has also announced that it will be monitoring the volume of applications with the discretion to paused and reopened periodically throughout the year until the province’s 2017 federal allocation is fulfilled. OINP assure that stakeholders will be informed when streams are temporarily paused and reopened.

Additionally, the categories of International Masters and PhD Graduate Streams and Human Capital Priorities Stream are now also accepting applications. For the international student streams, eligible applicants must have graduated from a publicly funded Ontario university. Moreover, under the International Masters Graduate Stream, eligible applicants will now be able to apply if they are residing outside Ontario. Applicants will also now have the option of using an alternate service provider to obtain their language test.

What you need to do

  • Be aware that employees based in Ontario, including recent graduates, that may not receive an invitation under the Federal Express Entry system, may now have an option under the OINP.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.