Immigration News April 30

IRCC updated immigration inventories and backlogs

On April 29, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) updated the data on immigration inventories and backlogs. According to the last update, there were 2,212,000 applications for permanent residence, temporary residence, and citizenship approvals in all IRCC inventories. According to the update, 40.3% of applications in the inventory exceeded service standards. IRCC aims to process 80% of applications within their service standard, though some complex cases may require a comprehensive assessment. Currently, 45% of temporary residence requests – including ones for visiting, studying, or working abroad and 41% of permanent residency applications are in backlog. Additionally, 18% of citizenship applications also exceed service standards.

Ottawa set new off-campus work hour rules for international students

On April 29, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that the temporary policy allowing students to work over 20 hours off campus weekly will end on April 30, 2024, without extension. From this fall, students can work 24 hours off campus weekly. This ensures students focus on their studies while having work options as needed. During academic breaks, students can work unlimited hours. This change, developed considering student needs, other countries’ policies, and research on academic outcomes, strikes a balance between work and study.

IRCC updated the Start-up Visa and Self-Employed Persons programs to reduce backlogs and accelerate processing times

From April 30, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will implement changes to federal business programs to reduce processing times and application backlog. The Start-up Visa Program will cap the number of applications to ten start-ups per organization and prioritize those backed by Canadian capital or a member of Canada’s Tech Network. The Self-Employed Persons Program, offering permanent residence to individuals with notable experience in art, culture, recreation, or sports, will pause applications to focus on the existing backlog. During the pause, IRCC will finalize existing applications and reassess the program.

Quebec revealed a new French study requirement for the Quebec Experience Program

On April 29, 2024, Quebec announced a new French study requirement for the Quebec Graduates stream of the Quebec Experience Program. From November 23, 2024, Quebec graduates seeking permanent positions must have completed their studies in French, according to a new policy announced last year. This change promotes French among students and graduates. To be eligible, applicants must meet one of two criteria: completion of an eligible program where 75% of courses or credits are in French, ensuring proficiency in a French-speaking environment, or three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary studies in French, either in Quebec or abroad.