Following Immigration Minister John McCallum's speech on
March 8, 2016 at the Brampton Multicultural Community Centre, many
were left wondering about the direction presented for this year.
While Minister McCallum was quoted saying that this is a
"significant shift" in policy, it remains to be seen when
these changes will be implemented, and of the efficacy of
government officials in implementing the same in order to achieve
the 2016 targets.
Speaking strictly from a numbers point of view, Canada will
overall accept the most immigrants it has since the 1910s, with a
target of 280,000 to 305,000 permanent residents by the end of
2016. While it may be the highest levels in over 100 years, it only
surpasses the 2015 targets by a mere 7.4%. However, within this
overall target, a clearer picture begins to emerge as to which
categories are gaining importance, which will likely dictate
changes in processing times as well as potentially application
The main sub-category, economic immigration, will account for
approximately 160,000 newcomers. This figure represents only
52%-57% per cent of the 2016 target, while in 2015, economic
immigration accounted for 70% of the total number of newcomers. Out
of all the changes and updates announced by Minister McCallum, it
became clear that economic immigrants will bear the brunt of the
changes. A specific subcategory of economic immigration, the
Caregiver category is likely to be affected the most by these new
numbers. Not only do the new numbers represent a decrease of nearly
26%, but this category is also subject to one of the lengthiest
processing times at around 48 months. During this time applicants
are usually separated from the rest of their families.
Interestingly enough, this decision to decrease the numbers in the
Caregiver class, comes at the same time as increases are announced
for the Parent and Grandparents class.
The economic immigration stream includes the Federal Skilled
Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the
Canadian Experience Class. Collectively, these categories involve
applications submitted via the government's Express Entry
system. In 2015, the target was set at 74,000 applications for
these classes of economic immigration, yet in 2016 this has dropped
to a total of 58,400. Thus, applicants under Express Entry waiting
for an Invitation To Apply (ITA) are likely to see higher cut-off
scores, and less ITAs sent out overall. Perhaps coincidently, a day
later following Minister McCallum's speech, the Express Entry
draw had a qualifying score of 473, and only sent invitations to
1,013 applicants. The previous draw on February 24th,
2016 had a qualifying score of 453, and sent out 1,484
The other big winners in terms of increased numbers include
Family Immigration (including the Spouse, Partners and Children,
and Parents and Grandparents) and the Refugees and Protected
Persons class. Specifically, 80,000 of Family Immigration
applications will be accepted by the end of 2016, along with a
statement by Minister McCallum that processing times will also
decrease for these categories. Currently, sponsoring a spouse or
common-law partner (in Canada) takes 26 months, while a spouse
living outside of Canada takes 17 months. Sponsoring parents and
grandparents is even lengthier, with the government processing
applications received on or before November 4, 2011.
With respect to refugees, the admissions will increase by 125%
compared to 2015 levels. This reflects the government's ongoing
commitment to resettle persons in need of assistance. It is
noteworthy that this focus can already be seen, through the
resettling of 25,000 Syrian refugees and, more subtle, through the
ministerial name change from Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(CIC) to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
It is clear the new Federal Liberal government is looking to
impose its convictions on immigration policy, quite early into
their term, and quite drastically. The changes announced will have
left many pundits questioning whether the policy numbers reflect an
attempt at restoring the image of Canada, as a safe haven for
refugees, and a land where family reunification is valued. This
will certainly be good news for the vulnerable protected persons,
and for potential applications under the family class. On the other
hand increased competition in the economic streams of immigration
is almost certain. As the numbers decrease for the Express
Entry-related applications, it is obvious that competition within
the pool, and consequently the scores will increase. As such,
obtaining a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a
Provincial Nominee Certificate (PNC) to boost one's Express
Entry score will only become more important in 2016.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
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October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
October 19th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 22nd round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 45th overall, inviting 1804 applicants for permanent residence, the largest number ever. The lowest CRS score was 475, a decline from the previous draw.
September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
A unique feature of the new Canada express entry immigration system is that candidates can improve their comprehensive ranking score while in the express entry pool, without submitting a new application. We review important strategies.
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