Sean Fraser, Canada’s Immigration Minister had announced to resume Express Entry invitations to FSWP and CEC pathways in the month of July 2022. The immigration minister also made numerous announcements, such as IRCC will be offering an open work permit extension of up to 18 months to Post-Graduation Work Permit holders (PGWP).
Key Highlights of the Announcement
- Express Entry invitations to FSWP, CEC, and FSTP to resume by July.
- The major chunk of new Express Entry applications will get back to the standard six-month processing time.
- Expiring PGWP between January and December 2022 will qualify for an additional open work permit of up to 18 months.
- Candidates will not be required to remain in Canada throughout the entire time of the application process.
- Candidates would get a work permit with validity until December 2024 while they wait for their permanent residence application to be processed.
- To support family reunification, the immediate family members included in a principal applicant’s PR application who are outside of Canada will be qualified to get an open work permit.
A Glimpse Into the Express Entry During Pandemic
Express Entry is Canada’s application management system for the three main immigration programs: Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). It also manages a part of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It is a point-based system where candidates are evaluated through a comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score for human capital factors like age, language proficiency, work experience, education, and more.
Pre-pandemic, IRCC invited the highest-scoring applicants to apply for immigration. Usually, these draws do not shortlist candidates on their program of eligibility. During a pandemic, IRCC focused on inviting CEC candidates to meet its goal of admitting a record-high number of immigrants in one year during travel restrictions. CEC candidates are usually living in Canada and thus not subject to the travel restrictions Canada had in place between 2020 and 2021.
This strategy enabled Canada to welcome over 405,000 permanent residents in 2021, the highest newcomer total in its history.
IRCC has also focused on inviting PNP candidates throughout the pandemic to support provincial immigration goals.