Canada Immigration UpdateImmigration Levels Planpost-graduate work permitprocessing timesProvincial Nominee Programs

Canada Immigration Ministers Talk PNPs, Processing, and PGWPs

Published on: August 1st, 2022

On July 28th, Canada’s federal and provincial immigration ministers met to discuss creating a more efficient and collaborative immigration system.

Among the main topics discussed included Provincial Nominee Program allocations, processing times, and the post-graduate work permit extension delay.

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Provincial Nominee Programs to develop a multi-year allocation plan

Following discussions between the provincial and federal governments, Canadian Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) will develop a multi-year nomination allocation plan by March 2023. The nomination plan is in recognition of the vital role that PNPs play in growing Canada’s economy.

The Canadian government sets immigration level targets for permanent residents using a three-year plan. Currently, provincial nomination allocations are set each year. Together, the ministers agreed to create a provincial multi-year plan, similar to the current federal plan, by March 31, 2023.

PNPs remain the primary tool for spreading the benefits of immigration to smaller, rural, and remote communities and meeting labour market needs.

“Through our discussions today we reiterated our position that provinces and territories understand their respective labour market priorities and are therefore best suited to select newcomers who are admitted as economic immigrants to support immigration in our respective provinces and territories,” Minister Arlene Dunn said in her opening statement, “we have received a commitment to collaborate on multi-year provincial nominee program allocations including receiving increases through the provincial nominee program by March 31st, 2023.”

The PNP levels will also be included in the government’s multi-year immigration levels plan, which will be announced by the 1st of November 2022. The number of admissions through Provincial Nominee Programs is currently 262,500 over the next three years. This amounts to nearly a third of all economic immigration targets. Minister Fraser hopes to increase PNP targets in the next Immigration Levels Plan.

After setting immigration levels for all Provincial Nominee Programs, the federal government allocates the number of nominations each province can give out.

The number of nominations allocated to each province will depend on the settlement capacity and economic opportunities.

Processing times for many applications returning to pre-pandemic service standard

With record-low unemployment and our GDP exceeding pre-pandemic levels, the Canadian economy is strong. At the same time, Canada is currently experiencing a record-high job vacancy rate. This has led to an increased need for immigration, which in turn has put pressure on the government’s ability to process applications.

However, according to Minister Fraser, most applications are now returning to their pre-pandemic service standard. During the pandemic, the government digitized many immigration applications, which has helped speed up the process. As a result, the processing times for Express Entry and Family Sponsorship have returned to pre-pandemic standards.

Minister Fraser anticipates also returning to a service-standard processing time for Visitor Visas and Citizenship applications by the end of this year.

Post-graduate work permit extension delay

Minister Fraser revealed that Canada will be releasing more details this week on the extension of the post-graduate work permit.

The government has cited antiquated technology as the reason for the lack of clarity around the extension. Fraser claimed that the current technology did not allow for the proposed solution they were seeking to implement.

According to Fraser, the government will be introducing a policy for anyone who has had a valid postgraduate work permit that has expired since September 20th, 2021 and didn’t benefit from the previous extension.

The government is still working out the details and hopes to make a public announcement on how eligible graduates can apply for the extension by this week.

“My goal is to allow people to work as quickly as possible after they submit their application and we do expect to have final details released next week that will give people confidence that they’ll be able to stay in Canada and continue to work” – Minister Sean Fraser

When asked about whether applicants can work on maintained status, Fraser mentioned that he wanted to finalize the details of the policy before confirming. Having maintained status means individuals who have applied for a new permit in Canada to continue working under the conditions of their previous permit while waiting for their application to process, even after their previous permit has expired. This would allow certain graduates to continue working while they wait for their extensions to process.


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