Immigration News march 26

IRCC held a new General Express Entry Draw

On March 25, 2024, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued invitations to candidates in the new Express Entry draw. In this round, 1,980 invitations to apply (ITAs) were sent out in the General Express Entry draw #290. Candidates were required to have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 524, which was one point lower than the previous general draw. The tie-breaking rule for this draw was set for February 25, 2024, at 14:42:38 UTC. As of March 24, 2024, 211,962 profiles were registered in the Express Entry pool. Canada has issued 25,195 ITAs through 12 Express Entry draws throughout the year.

Ottawa updated immigration inventories and backlogs

On March 25, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) updated the data on immigration inventories and backlogs. According to the last update, there were 2,126,200 applications for permanent residence, temporary residence, and citizenship approvals in all IRCC inventories. This means IRCC has processed 62,200 applications since February 19, 2024. According to the update, 42.3% 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, 48% of temporary residence requests – including ones for visiting, studying, or working abroad and 42% of permanent residency applications are in backlog. Additionally, 18% of citizenship applications also exceed service standards.

Ottawa invited nearly 7,158 IEC candidates over the past month

Over the past month, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held new draws in the pools of International Experience Canada (IEC). From February 26 to March 24, Canada invited 7,158 young foreigners to apply for an IEC open work permit. As of March 24, 35,247 candidates were registered in the pool and waiting for the invitation. In this round, there were 467 ITAs for Australia, 22 ITAs for Austria, 61 ITAs for Belgium, 115 ITAs for Chile, 28 ITAs for Costa Rica, 12 ITAs for Croatia, 164 ITAs for the Czech Republic, 55 ITAs for Denmark, 18 ITAs for Estonia, 35 ITAs for Finland, 1,898 ITAs for France, 323 ITAs for Germany, 24 ITAs for Greece, 31 ITAs for Hong Kong, 6 ITAs for Iceland, 383 ITAs for Ireland, 183 ITAs for Italy, 374 ITAs for Japan, 942 ITAs for Korea, 7 ITAs for Latvia, 38 ITAs for Lithuania, 4 ITAs for Luxembourg, 56 ITAs for the Netherlands, 182 ITAs for New Zealand, 14 ITAs for Norway, 58 ITAs for Poland, 126 ITAs for Portugal, 63 ITAs for Slovakia, 4 ITAs for Slovenia, 213 for Spain, 49 ITAs for Sweden, 44 ITAs for Switzerland, 241 ITAs for Taiwan, and 918 ITAs for the United Kingdom. In 2024, Canada issued 53,175 ITAs under the IEC Program.

More provinces started issuing Provincial Attestation Letters

Three additional Canadian provinces have begun issuing Provincial Attestation Letters (PALs) to international students seeking study permits. As of January 22, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) mandates provinces to issue PALs in line with their allocated study permit caps for 2024. New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador join British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba to implement PAL systems. Other provinces and territories must start issuing letters by March 31. Details for Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Northwest Territories are still pending.

Immigration Minister says good universities and colleges will not be affected by the federal cap on international students

Immigration Minister Marc Miller stated that the government’s restrictions will not affect colleges and universities that do not contribute to the over-enrollment of international students. He warned that Ottawa may intervene if provinces fail to uphold this. The government has capped international study permits to address housing shortages, aiming to decrease permits by 35% to 364,000. Permits are distributed based on population, and provinces are responsible for allocation. Ontario, hosting 51% of Canada’s international students, will be significantly impacted. Ontario colleges and universities now await the Ford government’s allocation plan, which will be released by the end of the month.