A recent Statistics Canada report reveals Canada’s labour shortage is hitting an all-time high with over 1 million vacancies. As Canada’s post-pandemic economy continues to grow, immigration is more important now than ever.
The Canadian economy has recovered from the global health pandemic. Canada’s GDP now exceeds pre-pandemic levels, and 115% of jobs lost during the pandemic have returned.
Canadian employers are actively looking to fill over a million positions across all sectors; immigration will play a key role in helping to fill these gaps and sustain Canada’s economic growth. Here are some ways the Canadian government is recruiting and retaining foreign skilled workers.
To make it easier for international students to remain and work in Canada, the government will extend post-graduation work permits. This will allow recent graduates whose permits have expired or are expiring this year to extend their status for an additional 18 months.
With all-program Express Entry draws being paused since September 2021, many international graduates worried their status would expire before becoming eligible to apply for permanent residency. Extending the status of PGWP holders will allow these students to continue gaining Canadian work experience. Graduates can then use this Canadian work experience toward a future permanent residence application.
Canada also extended a public policy allowing visitors to apply for an employer-specific work permit without leaving the country. This will allow individuals seeking employment to stay on valid visitor status in Canada until they receive a closed work permit. The government initially introduced this policy during the pandemic in 2020 and has extended it until February 2023.
Express Entry is one of the most popular programs to attract skilled immigrants to Canada. The Canadian government will be resuming all-program Express Entry draws this July.
Prior to the pandemic, Canada held all-program draws approximately every two weeks. Due to a backlog accumulating during the pandemic, the government paused these draws in September 2021.
As the result of a significantly reduced application inventory, Canada is able to resume all-program Express Entry draws in July. The processing time of these applications will also return to the service-standard of six months.
Canada may also be changing the way they invite candidates from the Express Entry pool in the next all-program draw. The Canadian government is currently in the process of passing Bill C-19. The bill would allow the immigration minister more control over who is invited in Express Entry draws.
Instead of issuing invitations solely based on a points system, the minister would select candidates based on their ability to meet the country’s economic goals. This means that the next all-program Express Entry draw could target a group of occupations, among other factors. This may also result in a lower CRS cut-off than would have otherwise been required in a general draw.
The Quebec government recently announced that they would be lowering tuition for eligible international students. In hopes of attracting more international students, Quebec will be cutting tuition fees for certain international students from about $20,000 to $3,000 CAD per year.
This move will make it more accessible for some prospective students to study in Canada and enter the labour market after graduating. Upon completing studies at a Designated Learning Institute (DLI), international students may apply for a post-graduation work permit which allows them to work anywhere in Canada.
With Canada’s declining birth rate and ageing population, immigration will continue to play a vital role in filling job vacancies and maintaining economic growth.
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