Canada immigration news: New Brunswick is pausing the provincial Express Entry stream until it can deal with a surge in interest.
There will be no further Letters of Interest (LOI) sent while the Express Entry stream is paused. The move took effect May 20.
“The province has seen exponential population growth over the last year and we are happy to see this continue in unprecedented applications to our programming,” said provincial Immigration Minister Arlene Dunn in a statement.
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Pause In Express Entry Affects Only New Brunswick’s PNP
The province has reportedly already received 3,000 Expressions of Interest (EOI) from foreign nationals hoping to immigrate to the Atlantic Canadian province, far more than Ottawa’s usual allotment of up to 600 spaces through the program.
“If it was allowed to continue on its current track, the large demand on our current programming would jeopardize access to immigration for certain sectors or client types when it is required, such as internationally-educated nurses or international students who are currently in New Brunswick and graduating later this year,” the province noted in a statement.
The pause in the Express Entry affects only the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program. Employers can still hire foreign nationals through the New Brunswick Skilled Worker stream, Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP), and the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data reveal New Brunswick welcomed 5,320 new permanent residents last year, up 83.8 per cent from the 2,895 new permanent residents in 2020.
Last year’s performance, though, was still off 11.3 per cent from the 6,000 who came to settle in the province in 2019, the last full year before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the first three months of this year, New Brunswick saw 1,955 new permanent residents, putting it on track to see immigration growth of almost 49 per cent and welcome 7,820 new permanent residents in 2022 – if the current trend continues.
During the first quarter of the year, 525 new permanent residents settled in New Brunswick through the AIP and another 25 through the federal skilled worker program.
The province also saw 320 new permanent residents arrive during that period under the one-time temporary resident to the permanent resident program which stopped taking applications in November last year.
In total, New Brunswick’s PNP, which includes the AIP, saw 700 new permanent residents to the province in the first quarter of this year.
The province, which is bullish on immigration and sees workers from other countries as vital to resolving its labour shortages, is taking care to offer more in the way of settlement services.
New Brunswick On Track For Massive Surge In Immigration This Year
Earlier this month, the province launched its Immigration Navigator referral service to help immigrants land jobs and entrepreneurs to find workers.
“We recognize there is a shortage of labour and the success and growth of New Brunswick businesses is dependent upon access to talent,” said Dunn at that time. “Our Immigration Navigator service will help steer newcomers and employers in the right direction by providing tailored support.”
Through a North American toll-free line, 1-833-799-7966, the Immigration Navigator service helps potential and active candidates, information seekers, and prospective entrepreneurs navigate the immigration process and supports employers’ access to skilled workers.
Outside of North America, the Immigration Navigator can be accessed by calling 506 799-7901 or emailing [email protected].
The province had seen steady growth in immigration, rising 26.3 per cent from 3,650 new permanent residents in 2017 to 4,610 in 2018 – and increasing again by more than 30.1 per cent to hit 6,000 in 2019.
Then, the pandemic hit and immigration across Canada slowed to a trickle, including in New Brunswick, in 2020.
But the immigration minister says the province has doubled its total nominations and tripled its nominations of French-speaking candidates since 2017. New Brunswick has also doubled its international student nominations since 2019, she said.
A year-end report from New Brunswick’s compliance and integrity team shows it had 1,539 nominations for all immigration streams, including the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP), in 2017 and that figure soared to 2,992 as of last year.
Canada More Pro-Immigration Than Ever With Record-High Targets For This Year
Helping to fuel immigration in New Brunswick is Ottawa’s ambitious immigration target for the country.
After hitting a record-breaking level of immigration, with 405,970 new permanent residents to the country last year, Canada announced it would welcome 431,645 new permanent residents this year, 447,055 next year, and 451,000 in 2024.
Ottawa has also since vowed to accept an unlimited number of Ukrainians fleeing their war-torn homeland and seeking refuge in Canada through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program.