immigration news feb 12

Canada continues attracting French-speaking skilled immigrants

On February 9, 2024, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced the start of 2024 Express Entry rounds for candidates with specific skills or strong French proficiency. The new policy supports economic growth and social prosperity and aims to increase Francophone immigration outside Quebec to 8% by 2026. The policy, which prioritizes French-speaking candidates, reflects Canada’s commitment to Francophone communities. Indeed, immigration accounts for nearly all of Canada’s labour force growth, addressing shortages in key sectors. The Express Entry system ensures Canada attracts the necessary skilled workers while supporting Francophone communities’ vitality.

Canada set a new record by welcoming 471,550 permanent residents in 2023

In 2023, Canada set a new immigration record, welcoming 471,550 new permanent residents. This number exceeded the target of 465,000 set out in Ottawa’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2023-2025. The plan outlines goals of 485,000 new residents in 2024, 500,000 in 2025, and a steady number of 500,000 in 2026. The initiative stimulates economic growth, promotes family reunification, and responds to humanitarian crises. Overall, the plan anticipates 1.485 million immigrants over three years. In December 2023 alone, immigration surged by 26.8%, with 37,125 new residents. Ontario was the preferred destination for newcomers, accepting 43.8% of all immigrants.

Canada’s demand for AI-skilled workers rises

Demand for AI-skilled workers is rising in Canada, with employers seeking those who can develop and use AI products. Companies are actively hiring data scientists to build AI products, with the Indeed website listing 945 AI-related job postings. The median annual income for AI programmers is $87,009. KPMG’s survey shows that the use of generative AI is growing in Canada, with 61% of users applying it multiple times a week for work. Generative AI systems are evolving from large language models to multi-modal systems. As AI usage grows in workplaces, recruiters are increasingly looking for candidates with these skills.

IRCC held new invitation rounds under the IEC

Over the last week, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held new draws in the pools of International Experience Canada (IEC). From February 5 to February 11, Canada invited 4,857 young foreigners to apply for an IEC open work permit. As of February 11, 31,392 candidates have registered in the pool and are awaiting the invitation. In this round, there were 3 ITAs for Andorra, 115 ITAs for Australia, 4 ITAs for Austria, 32 ITAs for Belgium, 176 ITAs for Chile, 14 ITA for Costa Rica, 4 ITAs for Croatia, 33 ITAs for the Czech Republic, 6 ITAs for Denmark, 3 ITAs for Estonia, 1,394 ITAs for France, 146 ITAs for Germany, 9 ITAs for Greece, 11 ITAs for Hong Kong, 245 ITAs for Ireland, 87 ITAs for Italy, 213 ITAs for Japan, 1,093 ITAs for Korea, 8 ITAs Latvia, 14 ITAs for Lithuania, 2 ITAs for Luxembourg, 40 ITAs for the Netherlands, 62 ITAs for New Zealand, 3 ITA for Norway, 29 ITAs for Poland, 25 ITAs for Portugal, 7 ITAs for Slovakia, 74 ITAs for Spain, 10 ITAs for Sweden, 8 ITAs for Switzerland, 307 ITAs for Taiwan, and 680 ITAs for the United Kingdom. In total, Canada approved 36,753 IEC applications in 2024.