Canada will soon begin draws for Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) under the sought-after Express Entry immigration program. The announcement by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that Canada’s Express Entry program will resume in early July of 2022 was accompanied by other critical updates pertaining to Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders, foreign nationals, and more.
The last draws for FSTP and FSWP under Canada’s Express Entry program occurred on August 6, 2020, and December 23, 2020, respectively. And for CEC, on September 14, 2021. The draws for the Provincial Nominee Program under Express Entry, however, continued.
Here are the latest announcements made by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, who highlighted that the steps taken by the government would address the issue of labour shortage in the Canadian workforce.
Canada’s Express Entry Program to resume in July 2022
Express Entry candidates under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class will start getting invitations to apply for permanent residence by early July. The processing time for the majority of the new applications will continue to be six months.
The pandemic had led to a huge backlog of express entry applications, and to tackle the issue, new applications under the FSWP, FSTP and CEC categories had been paused. In September 2021, 111,900 applicants were stuck in the Express Entry pool. The number, however, reduced to 48,000 in March 2022.
Chance to extend Post Graduation Work Permit into Open Work Permit
According to a temporary policy, all former international students in Canada, whose Post Graduation Work Permit is expiring between January and December 2022, will be eligible to obtain an additional open work permit of up to 18 months.
According to IRCC, about 95,000 PGWPs will expire this year; and around 50,000 applicants might benefit from this policy. IRCC plans to start accepting applications for the same by this summer and is currently working on creating a speedy and simple application process.
This work permit extension will help these candidates to continue working in Canada and potentially gain sufficient work experience to successfully apply for a permanent resident program. At the same time, they can continue contributing to Canada’s workforce. In 2021, more than 157,000 former students transitioned into permanent residents in Canada.
Foreign Nationals can transition into International Workers until February 28, 2023
Under a previously-introduced temporary public policy, visitors in Canada can continue to apply for an employer-specific work permit without having to leave Canada. Creating a win-win situation for the Canadian labour market and capable foreign nationals, this policy was introduced in August 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada has had a strong economic recovery, but there are still hundreds of thousands of jobs waiting to be filled.
— Sean Fraser (@SeanFraserMP) April 22, 2022
“With the economy growing faster than employers can hire new workers, Canada needs to look at every option so that we have the skills and labour needed to fuel our growth. Immigration will be crucial to easing our labour shortage, and these measures aim to address pressing needs in all sectors across the country while providing more opportunities for recent graduates and other applicants to build their lives in Canada and continue contributing to our short-term recovery and long-term prosperity,” Sean Fraser said.
Streamlining other work permit processes & an update on TR to PR
- Applicants who apply for open work permits until their permanent residence applications are being processed will be granted work permits for up to December 2024 so that there’s no need for them to update their temporary status before a decision on their PR application is made
- Immediate family members (outside Canada) of a principal applicant of a PR program will be eligible for their own work permit.
- Applicants are no longer required to remain in Canada while their applications are being processed.
- The processing of already submitted applications under the temporary resident to permanent resident pathway will continue for some time. This pathway was closed to new applications in November 2021.
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