Motion 44 – Today, IRCC Minister Sean Fraser tabled a 39-page report in the parliament on how their government is looking to expand pathways to permanent residency for temporary foreign workers and international students in accordance with the motion 44 passed on May 11, 2022.
IRCC minister confirmed this in a tweet along with a picture of him and MP, Randeep S. Sarai. Initially, reports from the Randeep Sarai’s office were that a “technical glitch” is preventing them from the sharing the details of the IRCC minister’s report. However, the morning report is now public and below are the full details.
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The report state that government’s objective is to deepen the link between the labour market and immigration programmes, ensuring that the Canadian economy has the broad variety of talents required across all sectors. This includes health, hospitality, transportation, crafts and resources, information technology, and engineering.
Minister assured that IRCC is committed to assisting individuals in making the transition from temporary to permanent residency by expanding or modifying current paths for foreign nationals working in Canada and want to remain, including international student graduates.
The strategy emphasized that the Government will use a five pillar approach to achieve its objectives as mentioned below:
The higher immigration levels objectives specified in the Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 are used to provide Canada with a bigger, permanent labour supply. This strategy expands chances for more temporary workers to become permanent residents, therefore addressing labour market shortages and fueling our post-pandemic economic development.
- Through recent revisions to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, this intends to modernise the Express Entry system, notably by expanding flexibility in immigration selection methods under Express Entry.
- These modifications will enable the Minister to adapt to labour market demands and regional economic interests, as well as promote Francophone immigration by choosing more individuals with specified characteristics, such as in-Canada experience.
- IRCC will also evaluate the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System criteria, namely the points provided for Canadian work experience and education, language competency, and a job offer.
- The Minister will be better positioned to guarantee that the labour market requirements of sectors and employers across Canada are satisfied after consulting with important partners.
- These revisions provide the groundwork for the future edition of Express Entry, which will offer additional options for workers of all skill levels to transfer to permanent residency.
This entails implementing enhancements to permanent economic immigration programmes to aid in the transition of critical employees in high-demand occupations from temporary to permanent residence. This includes the following:
- adopting the latest version of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 which expands eligibility to certain in-demand occupations within a number of permanent economic immigration pathways;
- improving newcomers’ access to information to ensure that they meet the necessary qualifications and connecting them to federal and provincial or territorial programming;
- exploring better ways to transition essential workers who are in high demand, such as removing barriers for physicians; and,
- introducing improvements to pilot programs to support transitions to permanent residence for those working in in-home caregiving occupations as well as in the agri-food sector.
This pillar intends to assist communities in recruiting and maintaining newcomers, notably those coming from Francophone countries. Outside of Quebec, the government promotes Francophone minority communities through initiatives aimed at attaining the 4.4% French-speaking immigration objective by 2023.
A new Municipal Nominee Program is also being established to assist towns in attracting and retaining newcomers to meet their local labour demands. The government also continues to collaborate with provinces and territories, as well as employers, on innovative pathways to permanent residence, such as the Provincial Nominee Program, which allows provinces and territories to adapt and evolve their immigration streams to meet their individual labour market needs.
Through technology advancements, the government is expanding processing capacity, enhancing customer experience, and modernising the immigration system. These measures are aimed at ensuring that newcomers are welcomed as permanent residents as soon as feasible.
On August 29, 2022 shadow minister, Jasraj Singh Hallan requested the Canadian Immigration Lawyer Association (CILA) to provide their comments on motion 44. On September 15, 2022, CILA also shared their feedback on Motion 44 as mentioned below.
More weightage to in-Canada work experience
a) “give more weight to significant in-Canada work experience and expand the eligible occupational categories and work experience at various skills levels”
The CILA agrees that “foreign nationals with Canadian work experience should have an easier path to permanent residence.” Given their effective integration into the Canadian society and labour market.
Further, they pointed out that this “should not prejudice international graduates of Designated Learning Institutions who have spent years in Canada” and are well-positioned to succeed here.
They also complimented recognising the value of workers at all skill levels and the country’s need to address the NOC C and D level labour shortages.
Using a data-driven approach to develop all laws and policy
b) “examining evidence and data gathered from recent programs.”
CILA supports data and an evidence-driven approach to creating all laws and policies. Further, following the federal government’s commitment to transparency, all information and data sources taken into consideration, including but not limited to IRCC advanced analytics, Chinook and comparable tools, Statistics Canada, and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, should be made publicly available.
They believe that data will confirm one of the most seen practices that foreign nations with Canadian work experience and/or education were excluded by caps or by occupation.
Use labour market data to align policy with labour gaps
c) “incorporating data on labour market and skills shortages to align policy … with persistent labour gaps”
Furthermore, CILA hope the gathered data will help identify immigrants who can fill gaps in the labour market, particularly in the trades and service industries. Even though their education, language proficiency scores, or age do not meet current criteria.
Increase geographic distribution, community settlement and Francophone immigration
d) “assessing ways to increase geographic distribution of immigration and encourage immigrant retention in smaller communities, as well as increase Francophone immigration outside Québec”
The CILA agrees that the Canadian government should offer attractive incentives to counter the interest in larger cities, which could include:
- Expedited processing to alleviate the immigration pain points of processing speed
- Waiving the IRCC processing fees for in-demand occupations;
- Regulatory organizations should make licensing accommodations for in-demand professions to ease new immigrants’ difficulties settling down.
- It’ll help bridge the time between the arrival of a permanent resident and the completion of regular licenses, which can take years.
- The Government of Canada could, for instance, encourage regulatory bodies to permit pre-arrival remote courses and testing. It could also create an interim license (e.g., similar to academic licensing for physicians).
Additionally, they explained Francophone immigration outside of Québec should not require a CLB 7 because these immigrants will not need French to be engaged in the labour market and integrate into the community.
A lower CLB test level for the Francophone Mobility Program (C16) and permanent residence applications could contribute to the “promoting the vitality of Francophone minority communities.”
It is especially important for jobs in certain occupations such as trade, hotel, and service industries because workers with a moderate reading or writing French level could fill those positions rapidly in the labour market.
Creating a flexible immigration selection system
e) “identifying mechanisms for ensuring flexibility in immigration-selection tools to react quicker to changes in labour market needs and regional economic priorities”
CILA agreed that IRCC needs to implement procedures that will allow it to change its programs without delay and consider economic and labour market changes.
However, it also recognized that steps are taken to meet the economic requirements with the help of occupation- and region-specific draws planned as part of impending changes to the Express Entry systems.
Moreover, one-time programs, such as the 2021 Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence program, could be region- and NOC group-specific, explained CILA. For example, the NOC-wide occupational category, such as “7” for trades or, more precisely, the first and second NOC digits for the occupational category and skill level.
Further, they mentioned that the required document could also be simplified.
- Any credible proof of skills and experience could be acceptable for jobs where a license is not required. Because frequently, applicants cannot obtain the mandatory employer experience letter, or at least cannot receive one with all necessary components. As a result, what is accepted is not completely clear.
- Dispense with educational documentation in cases where it is not necessary to have a degree, such as for lower-skilled jobs.
Options for underrepresented sectors in the immigration programs
f) “specifically considering occupations and essential sectors that are underrepresented in current economic immigration programs, such as health services, caregivers, agriculture, manufacturing, service industry, trades, and transportation”
The underrepresented sector includes the Agri-Food Pilot, which is limited and will shortly end. However, CILA suggests this program must be expanded and regularized to better serve the agriculture industry’s demands.
In addition, the current caregiver program does not provide Canadians with the support they need to care for their loved ones. It is because:
- Few applications are processed
- The processing that does occur is slow
- The cap is far from meeting the demand
CILA supports the move to sector-specific open work permits for similar occupations as steps to reduce the risk of financial harm and the possibility of exploitation due to workers’ inability to change jobs quickly. They encourage the government to issue sector-specific work permits to all in-demand lower-skilled jobs.
Additionally, they mention Canadian experience should be the only requirement for pathways to permanent residency for these workers who will have demonstrated they meet Canada’s labour market needs.
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