The IRCC revealed some long-awaited good news for immigration candidates both inside and outside of Canada on Friday. It stated that Express Entry draws will restart soon and that invitations to apply for permanent residency will commence in early July.
IRCC also stated that Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders will be eligible for an open work permit extension of up to 18 months.
Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship said;
Travel restrictions throughout most of 2020 and 2021 delayed the processing of overseas applications, which led to an increase in the size of the processing inventory. To manage this inventory, we temporarily paused invitations to apply under the federal high-skilled streams, including the Canadian experience class, federal skilled worker class and federal skilled trades class. Invitations to apply will resume in early July, and the vast majority of new applications will be processed within the 6-month service standard.
As a result of the temporary pause, the federal high-skilled processing inventory has been cut by more than half, decreasing from approximately 111,900 people in September 2021 to just 48,000 people by March 2022. This inventory will be further reduced by July 2022, allowing us to return to the service standards that our clients expect.
Summary of IRCC’s Major Announcements
1. Express Entry
Express Entry invitations to Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) candidates are resuming in July and the majority of new applications are expected to return to a six-month processing time. According to IRCC, current Express Entry processing times range from seven months to in excess of 20 months.
2. Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs)
Those having an expiring PGWP between January and December 2022 will be eligible for an additional 18-month open work permit beginning this summer.
IRCC is working on a simpler approach and will provide more information “in the coming weeks.” The IRCC adds that around 95,000 PGWPs will expire in 2022, and it believes that up to 50,000 PGWP holders may benefit from this new open work permit.
3. Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TRtoPR)
Applicants will no longer be obliged to remain in Canada for the duration of their application’s processing.
Those who have applied for an Open Work Permit (OWP) while their Permanent Residence (PR) application is being processed will be granted work permits valid until the end of 2024. This ensures that all permanent residency applications are completed before candidates must apply to extend their temporary status again.
To facilitate family reunification, immediate family members listed in a principal applicant’s permanent residence application who are currently living outside of Canada will be eligible for their own open work permit.
The IRCC’s whole announcement can be found here: New measures to address Canada’s labour shortage.