Canada immigration news: When all-program Express Entry draws resume in July, immigration applications through the selection system will return to the processing standard of six months.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has shrunk the backlog through the high-skilled stream to such an extent that normal processing times are to return.
As of April 29, IRCC had 32,883 in the Federal Skilled Worker Program backlog, plus 7,522 for the Canadian Experience Class. As part of the April announcement of the return of all-program draws, IRCC put the backlog at 48,000 applications. The figures continue to shrink and are expected to have done so even further by July when draws are to return.
In July, Canada will once again start issuing Invitations to Apply to skilled worker candidates both already in the country and from overseas. Since fall 2021, ITAs have only been issued to Provincial Nominee Program candidates.
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Significant changes to Express Entry that will allow occupation-based invitations have been outlined in amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act proposed by IRCC.
The amendments, proposed under Bill C-19, flesh out some of the detail first reported by immigration.ca in November 2021, giving the immigration minister more flexibility on who can be invited from the Express Entry pool.
It gives the minister power to identify a specific economic goal and invite candidates who would help meet that goal, based on factors such as work experience, education or language skills.
This would make it possible to conduct draws targeting specific National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes.
Philip Somogyvari, Director General, Strategic Policy and Planning at IRCC, used the example of using immigration to support the growth of Canada’s technology sector.
“A category of Express Entry candidates would be created based on criteria such as their possession of work experience and their sector occupation and/or their possession of a related educational credential,” he told the Committee.
“Invitations could then be issued to the top-ranked candidates in that category.”
The specific category would be established by the minister via ministerial instructions, in the same way that regular draws currently take place through Express Entry.
A ministerial memorandum, dated February 21, 2022 and seen by immigration.ca, shows jobs including truck and bus drivers, orderlies, teaching assistants and dental assistants are to be included under the selection system. A full list is below.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will complete the transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021 in November 2022, the memorandum confirms.
In doing so, the system will move from the current skill level-based classification to a new TEER classification, standing for Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities.
However, the current Skill Type 0 and Skill Levels A to D do not directly correspond to the TEER levels 0 to 5.
The rough equivalents are as follows:
Skill Type 0
Skill Level A
Skill Level B
Skill Level C
Skill Level D
Using NOC 2016, occupations qualify for Express Entry from Skill Level B and above. Under NOC 2021, TEER 3 and above will qualify.
This means the following occupations will be added:
- Payroll administrators
- Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants
- Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
- Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
- Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants
- Sheriffs and bailiffs
- Correctional service officers
- By-law enforcement and other regulatory officers
- Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations
- Residential and commercial installers and servicers
- Pest controllers and fumigators
- Other repairers and servicers
- Transport truck drivers
- Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators
- Heavy equipment operators
- Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors.
Meanwhile, three other occupations that are eligible for Express Entry under NOC 2016 will become ineligible under NOC 2021. Those occupations are:
- Other performers
- Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness
- Tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners.