Immigration News feb 6

IRCC clarified additional information about International Student Program reforms

On February 5, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provided further details on the recent announcement of reforms to the International Student Program; Canada aims to address the unsustainable growth in recent years while ensuring a positive experience for international students. As of January 22, 2024, post-secondary international students at the college or undergraduate level must now include a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from a province or territory with their study permit application. Secondary, effective February 15, 2024, graduates from master’s degree programs less than two years in length are eligible for an extended 3-year PGWP. This change supports their transition to Canada’s labour market and potential permanent residence. Other PGWP lengths remain aligned with the study program’s duration. IRCC has restricted PGWPs for public-private partnership college programs. Finally, open work permit eligibility for spouses and common-law partners of international students will be updated. These reforms aim to promote sustainable population growth in Canada, improve system integrity, and ensure a positive experience for international students.

Canada aims to boost immigration among healthcare specialists

Despite being a significant part of the healthcare workforce, International Medical Graduates (IMGs) encounter barriers, such as limited residency spots and preferences for graduates from domestic medical schools. The struggle for IMGs to secure medical residencies contributes to the country’s shortage of primary care doctors. Government data reveals that immigrants comprise a substantial portion of healthcare workers in various professions, including 36% of physicians. However, the challenge lies in integrating foreign-trained doctors into the Canadian healthcare system. Canada is addressing this issue by investing in foreign credential recognition. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have committed up to $86 million in funding to 15 organizations across the country. This initiative aims to increase the recognition of international credentials for approximately 6,600 highly skilled health professionals, ensuring their proper integration into the Canadian healthcare landscape.

IRCC approved over 950,000 CUAET applications since March 2022

On February 2, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) updated the number of Ukrainian newcomers arriving in Canada under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET). According to the latest update, IRCC received 1,189,320 applications under the CUAET. IRCC has approved 958,190 applications from Ukrainian nationals. July 15, 2023, was the last day to apply for a visitor visa outside Canada under the CUAET measures. From March 17, 2022, to January 27, 2024, 221,231 Ukrainians arrived in Canada under the CUAET program.

International students diversify Canadian university programs

Apply Board’s article highlights the changing landscape of international students in Canadian universities. Nigerian students saw a 44% increase in study permits from January to June 2023, becoming the fastest-growing international student population. However, Indian students’ study permit applications decreased by over 40% in 2023. Business programs have seen a significant increase in enrollments, accounting for half of all study permits for postgraduate Indian students and 36% of all student visas by September 2023. Meanwhile, health and general sciences saw a 51% growth at the undergraduate level, driven by Nigerian students, and a 25% growth at the postgraduate level, fueled by students from India, Iran, and Nigeria.

IRCC invited over 12,000 new candidates 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 January 22 to February 4, Canada invited 12,501 young foreigners to apply for an IEC open work permit. As of February 4, 31,828 candidates have registered in the pool and are awaiting the invitation. In this round, there were 3 ITAs for Andorra, 656 ITAs for Australia, 33 ITAs for Austria, 123 ITAs for Belgium, 158 ITAs for Chile, 28 ITA for Costa Rica, 12 ITAs for Croatia, 99 ITAs for the Czech Republic, 28 ITAs for Denmark, 17 ITAs for Estonia, 1,610 ITAs for France, 403 ITAs for Germany, 30 ITAs for Greece, 38 ITAs for Hong Kong, 1 ITA for Iceland, 606 ITAs for Ireland, 271 ITAs for Italy, 728 ITAs for Japan, 4,766 ITAs for Korea, 27 ITAs Latvia, 42 ITAs for Lithuania, 1 ITA for Luxembourg, 133 ITAs for the Netherlands, 202 ITAs for New Zealand, 23 ITA for Norway, 42 ITAs for Poland, 85 ITAs for Portugal, 44 ITAs for Slovakia, 8 ITAs for Slovenia, 176 ITAs for Spain, 31 ITAs for Sweden, 18 ITAs for Switzerland, 195 ITAs for Taiwan, and 1,864 ITAs for the United Kingdom. In 2024, Canada issued 31,896 ITAs under the IEC Program.

Sudbury businesses advocate for RNIP to become a permanent immigration program

Businesses in Northern Ontario are concerned about the potential end of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) this year, fearing it may impact their ability to recruit necessary employees. They are urging local MPs Viviane Lapointe and Marc Serre to make RNIP a permanent program under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The Chamber of Commerce’s Geoffrey Hatton states that the program facilitates finding skilled labour. In 2023, RNIP helped 2,475 foreigners become permanent residents of Canada, more than double the number from 2022.