May 31, 2022

Draws to Resume Under Express Entry

Posted by Athena Portokalidis - Bellissimo Law Group PC

In December 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held the last round of invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system that included Federal Skilled Workers (FSW).[1] To be eligible under the FSW class, an applicant, among other requirements, must have a minimum of one-year, full-time, continuous skilled work experience gained outside of Canada.[2]

In September 2021, IRCC held the last round of invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system that included the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)[3], under which applicants may be eligible if they have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada, among other requirements.[4]

In April 2022, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Sean Fraser, announced that, given the progress IRCC has made in reducing the processing backlog resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC will resume inviting new applicants to apply through Express Entry starting in July 2022.[5]

Also announced was that IRCC will soon return to the pre-pandemic service delivery standard of processing permanent resident applications through Express Entry within six months.[6] This will certainly come as a welcomed change for many, as we have seen the processing time for such applications, especially under the FSW class, extended many times throughout the pandemic, and is currently estimated by IRCC to take 27 months to process as of the date of writing.[7]

As well, the Minister confirmed the temporary policy allowing visitors to apply for employer-specific work permits from within Canada would be extended to February 2023.[8] These measures are aimed to address a noted labour shortage in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and Canada’s economic recovery.[9]

We are hopeful these measures do in fact effect the desired change, which will not only have a positive impact on the Canadian economy, but will also hopefully mean the reported millions of applicants whose applications are stuck in IRCC’s processing backlog across many immigration programs will finally receive the much-anticipated results of their applications soon.[10]