Yesterday, Immigration ministers met for a strategic priorities discussion. Toronto hosted a crucial meeting where Immigration Minister Marc Miller collaborated with provincial and territorial immigration ministers. This gathering aimed to discuss and unite on shared priorities, fostering a strategic discussion on key immigration goals for Canada’s future.
The Federation of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI) is the collective assembly of ministers that meets twice a year. Serving as a decision-making body, the FMRI is committed to supporting Canada’s quick, effective, and responsive immigration system. Its main goals are to improve the nation’s immigration laws and programs on a continuous basis and to advance common immigration agendas.
The discussions held by the FMRI on November 17, 2023
Following the event, Minister Miller had a press conference where he reiterated key points from the Immigration Levels Plan 2024–2026. He spoke into detail about the plan’s goals, highlighting how it will support Canada’s population expansion in a sustainable manner and provide crucial support to the building and healthcare industries.
Moreover, following the discussion, the provincial and federal immigration ministers issued a joint statement. This joint declaration emphasized important issues of discussion and common viewpoints.
- Streamlining immigration procedures and cutting down on duplication in federal-provincial economic class initiatives.
- Strengthening the case for immigration of francophones outside of Quebec.
- Putting in place a client-focused, more flexible economic immigration system.
- Lowering barriers and expediting the acceptance of credentials from other countries.
- Looking into cooperative methods to solve problems with housing, infrastructure, and social services.
- Investigating extending the eligibility for settlement assistance, particularly for individuals seeking asylum and temporary residents who have a direct route to permanent residency.
- Strengthening the International Student Program’s credibility in Canada.
- Coordinating work permits with the requirements of the territories’ and provinces’ labor markets.
Provincial plan spanning multiple years – An overview
The most recent FMRI experiment was place in Halifax in March. Endorsing a multi-year levels strategy for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) was the main focus of the discussion.
Provincial and territorial governments would now receive PNP allocations up to three years ahead of schedule, as a result of this calculated strategic action. This method provides a longer planning horizon than the annual recommendations that were the previous standard.
The potential of a multiyear plan to support provinces in guaranteeing that there is an adequate supply of housing, healthcare, and other necessary infrastructure for newcomers is one of its clear benefits. The goal of this proactive planning strategy is to balance the requirements of the current population in a province with those of incoming immigrants.
In the above specified time frame, the ministers discussed relevant issues such as improving recognition of foreign education and facilitating quicker admission for highly sought-after experts, especially those in the construction and healthcare industries.
In addition, the conversation was expanded to include the Immigration Pilot Program for the North and the Northeast as well as the Atlantic Immigration Program. Discussions included tactics for increasing the reach and efficiency of these programs.
Canada’s recently formulated immigration approach
As stated in the newly published Immigration System for Canada’s Future by IRCC, one significant component of Canada’s new immigration policy is the alignment of provincial interests with the federal government.
The plan places a strong emphasis on collaborating more with other partners and provincial governments to create an all-encompassing, government-wide approach. Encouraging sustainable immigration levels that support Canada’s economic expansion and workforce development is the aim.
The government Immigration Levels Plan 2024–2026, which commits to admitting up to 500,000 new permanent residents yearly in 2025 and 2026, is indicative of this cooperative approach. Specifically, the Immigration Levels Plan anticipates 110,000 people entering through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in 2024, with that number predicted to rise to 120,000 in 2025 and 2026.
Immigration: A collective responsibility
Since Canada’s Constitution states that all provinces and territories share responsibility for immigration, the IRCC works closely with these entities. Furthermore, provinces may designate specific economic immigration candidates who they believe will be advantageous for local economies and workforce integration. These decisions are made under the auspices of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which regulates the country’s federal and provincial immigration system.
Despite this, the IRCC has the last say over a nominated candidate’s permanent residency. The only two exceptions are Quebec and Nunavut, which don’t have PNPs. Under a separate accord, Quebec controls all aspects of economic immigration into the province.
Immigration ministers met for strategic priorities discussion – The latest PNP draw result
Following an eventful week in which four provinces revealed the results of their most recent Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) lotteries, the FMRI conference took place. Below is a summary of the draws’ combined outcomes.
British Columbia’s most recent BC PNP draw, held on November 16, invited more than 219 individuals. The largest draw consisted of 116 applicants from the Entry Level, Semi-Skilled, International Graduate, and Skilled Worker streams in a general draw. Also, the minimum scores for each stream ranged from 94 to 115. Designed with skilled workers and international graduates in certain occupations in mind, the four remaining draws served their specific purpose.
Early Childhood Educators and Assistants received 59 invites in total, and the Healthcare industry received 32 invitations. Less than five invites were sent out for occupations other than priority occupations. In order to be eligible for these draws, candidates had to score at least 60.
Moreover, apart from these draws, British Columbia launched its first targeted draw just for people working in construction. This particular draw invited twelve skilled worker and international graduate candidates, requiring a minimum score of 75 for eligibility.
Through four draws spread over three streams, Manitoba sent invitations to 301 candidates on November 16. In a general draw for skilled workers in the Manitoba stream, one hundred candidates with a minimum score of 809 received invitations. As well as, a different feature of the Skilled Workers stream was its occupation-specific coverage of multiple NOC codes related to home care, education, and healthcare. Moreover, the province extended invitations to 61 candidates in the International Education stream, and in the remaining draw, 48 skilled workers residing abroad, scoring at least 721, received invitations.
Prince Edward Island
Through the PEI PNP, Prince Edward Island (PEI) sent invitations to 141 candidates on November 16. Of them, 134 were candidates for labor and Express Entry who worked for a PEI employer and had to have a minimum EOI score of 55. Seven candidates seeking business work permits as entrepreneurs were considered in a smaller draw, requiring a minimum score of 80 for eligibility. Through these two streams, PEI has welcomed 2,527 candidates in total over the last 12 months.
In the Dedicated Healthcare Pathway with Alberta Job Offer stream, 16 Express Entry candidates received invites from Alberta on November 9. A score of at least 300 on the CRS was necessary for these applicants. The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) states that applicants using this stream may have to wait up to two months after filing their application before hearing back.
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