Canada to resume Express Entry invitation rounds for all programs in July and extend open work permits for PGWP holders |
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Canada to resume Express Entry invitation rounds for all programs in July and extend open work permits for PGWP holders

Alexandra Miekus - 22 April, 2022

Canada annouces new measure April 22 2
Canada annouces new measure April 22 2

Canada's Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, announced today that Express Entry invitations under federal high-skilled streams will resume beginning of July.

The announcement is a very important and long-awaited one and will bring relief to many Express Entry candidates who have been waiting to hear this news for many months. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has not invited any Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates since December 2020, and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates since September 2021. 

Because of border restrictions during most of 2020 and 2021, overseas application processing has been slowed, increasing the size of the backlog of applications.

IRCC suspended the draws to allow for the processing of the backlog of these applications, which stood at 111,900 as of September 2021. By March 2022, IRCC had reduced the backlog by more than half, to 48,000, and intends to reduce it further by July and ensure it returns to the six-month processing service standard, according to data provided in a press release.

This year's rounds of invitations have therefore been limited to Provincial Nominee Program candidates which allowed IRCC to ensure that provincial immigration objectives would not get impacted.

At the same time as he announced the resumption of Express Entry draws, the Minister of Immigration announced that he would offer an open work permit extension to holders of a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

Specifically, beginning in the summer of 2022, former international students living in Canada who hold a PGWP that is set to expire between January and December 2022 will be eligible for an open work permit for up to 18 months. A streamlined and expedited process is being developed to facilitate this and more details are forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Finally, the Minister also unveiled new measures for those who applied for permanent residence last year through the temporary resident (TR) to permanent resident (PR) program. Starting this summer, TR to PR applicants will no longer be required to stay in Canada while their file is being processed. In addition, those who applied for an open work permit while their application was being processed will be able to obtain a valid work permit until the end of 2024. Also, immediate family members of a principal applicant who are outside Canada and who were included in the principal applicant's permanent residence application will be eligible for an open work permit.

Express Entry is an application management system for the following three immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). It is a points-based system in which eligible candidates receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score for human capital factors such as their age, education, language skills, and work experience, among others.

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