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Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has officially asked newly-appointed Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to “expand pathways to permanent residence for international students and temporary foreign workers through the Express Entry system.”

The new Immigration Minister’s marching orders were outlined in a Ministerial mandate letter issued December 16.

Express Entry has already been tweaked in favour of candidates already in Canada on temporary status — for example, candidates who studied in Canada receive bonus points.

Now, we can expect further moves to entrench two-step immigration to Canada, whereby people first move to Canada as international students or on a temporary work permit before leveraging their Canadian work experience and transitioning to permanent residence. How these mooted changes actually take shape remains to be seen.

The letter also contains other to-dos for Fraser, who was appointed in October.

Fraser has been asked to reduce application processing times, including to address delays that have been impacted by COVID-19. A recent report showed that Express Entry processing times swelled to an average nine months in 2020, well outside the target six-month limit (if processing times grow much more, Express Entry may begin to sound ironic in name). Processing times for some other Canadian immigration systems and programs are measured in years, rather than months.

Tables in a Tab

2022 Data

PoolQuotaInvitations to dateInvitations since last weekSpots availableSpots filled last roundEligible candidates in poolCandidate changeChances of invite in next round
Andorra – WH25120010Very low
Australia – WHUnlimited2664191Unlimitedn/a1532Excellent
Australia – YPUnlimited764Unlimitedn/a1-2Excellent
Australia – ICUnlimited31Unlimitedn/a10Excellent
Austria - WH1000010001774Very low
Austria - YP600060012-2Very low
Austria - IC200020020Very low
Belgium - WH750896021319030Very low
Chile - WH72511283896226048181Very low
Chile - YP20391012123Very low
Chile - IC5503020Excellent
Costa Rica - WH80125310160617Very low
Costa Rica - YP153200049-1Very low
Costa Rica - IC531400-1Excellent
Croatia - WH2751000221195Very low
Croatia - YP204019000Very low
Croatia - IC5005000Very low
Czech Republic - WH10001113041529634Very low
Czech Republic - YP1451310693289Very low
Czech Republic - IC5105000Very low
Denmark – WH350309017803813Very low
Estonia - WH110123065-2176Very low
Estonia - YP10906110Very low
Estonia - IC5005000Very low
France - WH71008402021938110062451Very low
France - YP22001588011551409130Very low
France - VIE450162031356813Very low
France - IC425016971309111308107Very low
Germany – WH449037922241321435106Very low
Germany – YP3501310277-23419Very low
Germany – IC16061013011810Very low
Greece - WH18023801822510Very low
Greece - YP1039090137Very low
Greece - IC10002000Very low
Hong Kong - WH200168121236112Excellent
Ireland – WH105007613267051710242Very low
Ireland – YP150940141-1219Very low
Ireland – IC505047131Very low
Italy - WH100014900430113326Very low
Japan - WH6500386811440679411633Excellent
Latvia - WH4080030104Very low
Latvia - YP8107000Very low
Latvia - IC2002000Very low
Lithuania - WH17532502905412Very low
Lithuania - YP205020010Very low
Lithuania - IC5005000Very low
Luxembourg - WH8017069021Very low
Luxembourg - YP100010000Very low
Luxembourg - IC10109000Very low
Netherlands - WH43077703436419Very low
Netherlands - YP170780540123Very low
New Zealand – WH250012507217694455-3Excellent
Norway - WH130490102-132Very low
Norway - YP151014010Very low
Norway - IC5005000Very low
Poland - WH6355971325011224Very low
Poland - YP11043085150Very low
Poland - IC5204000Very low
Portugal - WH17506720135328731Very low
Portugal - YP200190189-152Very low
Portugal - IC501049010Very low
San Marino - WH255024000Very low
Slovakia - WH315436010104813Very low
Slovakia - YP3035016-162Very low
Slovakia - IC5005000Very low
Slovenia - WH8050056051Very low
Slovenia - YP152013000Very low
Slovenia - IC5005000Very low
South Korea - WH4000645453210013131823-190Very low
Spain – WH91014820219025759Very low
Spain – YP1501242812410Very low
Spain – IC50705100Very low
Sweden - WH580226047715118Very low
Sweden - YP10011091051Very low
Sweden - IC202019010Very low
Switzerland - YP2008601361186Very low
Switzerland - IC507046141Very low
Taiwan - WH9402066671302569632Very low
Taiwan - YP5056817374Excellent
Taiwan - IC109010-111Excellent
UK – WH500082240854431353255Very low

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    The Prime Minister wants to bring processing times down — it’s now the Immigration Minister’s job to figure out how to do just that. The Government recently allocated $85 million to help deal with a backlog of more than 1.8 million applications in progress, but critics worry that this may not adequately deal with the underlying issues.

    The PM has also asked Fraser to “strengthen family reunification by introducing electronic applications for family reunification and implementing a program to issue temporary resident status to spouses and children abroad while they wait for the processing of their permanent residency application.”

    Some sort of temporary status for sponsorees-in-waiting like this would go a long way to alleviating practical and emotional hurdles caused by separations in family units while a permanent residence application is in process.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Blandit suspendisse nibh pharetra, at in nunc tellus dapibus porttitor. Amet sed nibh egestas sed leo sit. Egestas dictum iaculis quis nisl sed risus rutrum habitant. Urna dictum lectus integer lorem justo. A nibh ut mollis fermentum, viverra pharetra.

    Fraser has also been asked to make Canadian citizenship applications free, a priority initially outlined in 2019 but that has never been actioned. The current fee for an adult is $630.

    Another rollover from 2019 is the Municipal Nominee Program. The proposed MNP would allow municipalities to nominate prospective new residents, in much the same way that provinces are able to.

    Other priorities include the establishment of a trusted employer system for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, simplifying the process for companies that hire foreign workers repeatedly.

    The target for resettling Afghan refugees has been doubled to at least 40,000, with a focus on settling Afghans who supported Canada and its allies over the past two decades, women, LGBTQ2 people, human rights defenders, journalists, and members of religious and ethnic minorities.

    These and other priorities are elaborated upon in the Ministerial mandate letter.

    Level of oral comprehensionForeign national
    (maximum 70 points)
    Spouse or de-facto spouse accompanying the foreign national
    (maximum 20 points)
    5 or 6329
    7 or 85315
    9 or 106318
    11 or 127020
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