Immigration News April 12

Canada invited STEM candidates in the occupation-specific Express Entry draw

On April 11, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held a new occupation-specific Express Entry draw for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professionals and issued 4,500 Invitations to Apply (ITA) to qualified candidates. In round #293, the cut-off score was 491 points, ten points more than the previous draw for STEM candidates. The tie-breaking rule for this round was February 25, 2024, at 11:55:12 UTC. As of April 9, 2024, there were 216,167 profiles registered in the Express Entry pool. This year, Canada has issued 32,475 ITAs through the Express Entry draws.

IRCC to raise permanent residence fees on April 30, 2024

On April 11, 2024, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced an increase in fees for all permanent residence applications. The decision comes as part of a routine update, which sees these fees increase every two years to manage growing program and service delivery costs and keep up with inflation. Effective April 30, 2024, the right of Permanent Residence fee will increase from $515 to $575 for the principal applicant and spouse. Fees for the Provincial Nominee Program and most economic immigration classes will rise from $850 to $950. The Live-in Caregiver Program and caregiver pilots will see a fee increase from $570 to $635. The business category fee will rise from $1,625 to $1,810. Family reunification fees will also increase, with the sponsorship fee rising from $75 to $85 and the principal applicant fee from $490 to $545. Full fee details and payment instructions are on the IRCC’s website.

Saskatchewan conducted a new Entrepreneur draw under the SINP

On April 11, 2024, the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) conducted the second invitation round in the Entrepreneur Program 2024 and invited 15 entrepreneurs. This round’s highest Expression of Interest (EOI) score was 125 points. The average score was 100 points. The lowest score was 90. The province will conduct the following EOI pool selections on July 11, 2024, and October 10, 2024. Candidates cannot change their business plans or the Business Performance Agreement after the SINP approval. In 2024, Saskatchewan invited 63 candidates under all streams, including 28 entrepreneurs.

PEI has initiated a financial assistance program to support housing for foreign agricultural workers

On April 11, 2024, Prince Edward Island started a grant program to improve housing for foreign agricultural workers. The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) in Agriculture Housing Improvement Program will provide grants of up to $15,000 for eligible agriculture operations. These grants can improve living conditions like ventilation, Internet, telephone, heat pump installation, maintenance, and safety equipment. Deputy Premier and Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson emphasized the importance of TFWs for PEI’s agriculture industry and local economy. To be eligible, PEI’s agriculture industry operations must have the Canadian Government’s approval to hire TFWs through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Stream.