The Canadian immigration minister Sean Fraser has declared that the Express Entry invitations to FSWP and CEC candidates will restart from “early July.”

The immigration minister Sean Fraser has also made some other announcements, like IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) will offer an open work permit extension to up to 18 months for PGWP (Post-Graduation Work Permit) holders.

Summary of today’s major announcements

  • The express entry invitations will restart for FSWP, CEC, and FSTP candidates in early July.
  • According to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, the present processing time for Express Entry ranges from seven months to 20 months. But now, most new applications will be processed within six months.
  • The candidates now do not require to stay in Canada during the processing time of their application.
  • The candidates who have an expiring post-graduation work permit from January to December 2022 will now authorize an extra open work permit for up to 18 months starting this summer. According to IRCC, in 2022, there will be about 95,000 expiring PGWP, and it assesses that around 50,000 PGWP holders will benefit from the new open work permit.
  • The candidates who have applied for the open work permit while waiting to process their permanent residence application can now get a valid work permit until 2024. This way, it will be assured that the candidates will not need to extend their temporary status again as the permanent residence application will be processed before.
  • The candidates who have family outside of Canada, now their family members (included in the permanent residence application), can be eligible to receive the open work permit to support the family reunification. 

Express Entry Program during the pandemic

Until this year, the express entry was the principal pathway for Canada through which they welcomed economic-class immigrants.

Express Entry system manages the application for the three immigration programs mentioned below:

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

It also operates a part of the PNP (Provincial Nominee Program) program. It gets evaluated through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score as it is a point-based system based on factors like age, work experience, education, language abilities, etc.

Before the pandemic, the IRCC would invite candidates with high scores to apply for Canadian immigration and did not select the candidates based on the program’s eligibility in these draws.

At the beginning of the pandemic, IRCC concentrated on welcoming CEC applicants to acquire its objective of inviting a large number of immigrants in one year amidst the travel restrictions. CEC applicants are often in Canada during their application process, and that’s why they are not subject to the Canadian travel restrictions placed between 2020-and 2021. This allowed Canada to welcome over 405,000 permanent residents, the highest in its history last year.

IRCC has also concentrated on inviting provincial nominee program candidates all through the pandemic to help the provincial immigration goals.

The amalgamation of Express Entry and pandemic challenges has appeared as backlogs within the immigration system, including Express Entry. IRCC has not invited FSWP applicants since December 2020 and CEC applicants since September 2021.

Canada is an employment hub for everybody because it has enormous labour shortages. The scarcity of FSWP and CEC invitations came when Canada had historical labor shortages. Unemployment has a shallow rate in Canada, whereas job opportunities are at a high rate.

CEC applicants are those foreign students who graduated from recognized Canadian institutions and later acquired a Post-Graduation work permit (PGWP). The PGWP is an open work permit that allows foreign students to receive one year of Canadian work experience required to apply for permanent residence. 

Meanwhile, IRCC plans to welcome 55,000 Express Entry permanent residents in 2022, which is half of the 2021 targets. Currently, the reason for declining the express entry target is to unwind its Temporary to Permanent Residence (TR2PR) program and other priorities. Between May and November 2021, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada invited up to 90,000 international graduates and important workers to apply for permanent residence through the TR2PR program.

According to the reports, immigration levels plan for 2022 – 2024, IRCC seeks to welcome over 110,000 immigrants through the Express Entry Program by 2024.

IRCC: More applications are being processed

IRCC states that they are working on the Express Entry backlog and has successfully cut down from nearly 112,000 people in September 2021 to 48,000 in March 2022. They have also increased the number of permanent residence decisions in 2022 compared to the decisions made in 2021. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has finished 156,000 permanent residence decisions from Ist January to 31st March 2022 and has completed over 100,000 work permit applications of candidates in the first quarter of 2022 compared to 58,000 applications last year.

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