In an unprecedented move, Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada has issued approximately 27,300 ‘Invitations to Apply’ (ITAs) to applicants with Canadian experience. On the February 13, 2021 draw, all those selected for permanent residence were part of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) of the Express Entry pool; the lowest Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) accepted was an astounding 75!
According to the IRCC Press Release, the move, was an effort to help more skilled workers stay in Canada and bolster Canada’s economic recovery. With travel restrictions limiting who can come to Canada, IRCC is clearly prioritizing those applicants who it believes are already in Canada. According to the Press Release, approximately 90% of CEC candidates are living in Canada and as such, are unaffected by current travel restrictions. CEC candidates must have at least 1 year of Canadian work experience.
While at first impression the move appears extremely generous, it will impact many in less obvious ways. Having considered the impact of this dramatic move, I have the following ‘take always’ for those who want to immigrate to Canada:
➢ If you have Canadian work experience and previously decided not to take a chance on a marginal, or even an uncompetitive, Express Entry filing you may wish to reconsider;
➢ If you have an opportunity to work in Canada you should rethink going ahead with the Work Permit application required to do so temporarily. Although this may seem like a complicated path to Permanent Residence, it could ultimately be a short cut; and
➢ IRCC, citing Covid-19, has already fallen woefully behind in application processing, with limited processing capacity, anticipate longer permanent residence processing times. Moreover, if IRCC chooses to redirect its resources, processing delays will also detrimentally impact other types of applications.
In short, IRCC could have spread the ITAs over several draws and allocated it among programs. Instead, this draw, more than 5 times the size of other draws, will transform what was a reasonably well-structured and predictable system into one that is challenging to navigate.
To discuss how this dramatic change might impact you and your family please contact my office for a consultation.
This update has been compiled with the latest available information for the general information of Border Law clients and other interested parties. This Update is not comprehensive and should not be relied upon without appropriate legal advice.