Currently, there is much ambiguity in the IRCC briefing over why the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has not issued Express Entry invites to Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates since Dec 2020 and to Canadian Experience Class (CEC) since Sept 2021.Ongoing travel restrictions, meeting Government’s immigration level goals have all added to the Express Entry backlogs, resulting in longer processing times than ever before.
Several best-suited options are being considered to meet theImmigration Level Plan 2022-2024, as the department ramps up to cut its Express Entry application backlogs by more than half before increasing the Express Entry draws. All these reductions are being made to accommodate the TR to PR pathway, and the Canadian government’s goal to resettle 40,000 Afghan refugees.These new plans will be announced by February 14th, 2022.
“Invitations” or “Admissions”- The Express Entry puzzle!
It remains unclear when the draws to FSWP, CEC, and FSTP candidates will resume. It is said that a total of 76,000 Express Entry persons will be on inventory at the start of 2022, a number much higher than required for meeting admissions targets.
The current cut in Express Entry backlogs is toprocess the invited applications quickly. As its being said the IRCC can finalize over 16,000 Express Entry applications per month.
With all this being said, it’s important to note that the IRCC is only reducing the Express Entry admissions in 2022 and not dismissing them. Admissions and Invitations are two different metrics. The admission process takes approximately one year from start to finish
It is in the best interest of the Canadian Government to expedite the Express Entry invites to FSWP and CEC. Since its launch in 2015, Express Entry invited the highest scoring candidates to apply for permanent residence. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) has ever since been known as the best method to rank and filter these candidates. This ran its smooth course from 2015 till 2020, until IRCC departed from this approach in January 2021 and several candidates started applying to Express Entry by using un-acceptable means to maximize their CRS scores. In hindsight, this backfiredon IRCC.
The current backlog of FSWP and other skilled worker applicants is proving costly for Canada as there is a major shortage of labour force, resulting in a weaker population and a halt in economic growth. The population growth currently is at its weakest since 1915 and there are around 1 million jobs unfilled. Healthcare, transportation, agriculture industries are all bearing the brunt and are in a dire need of more workers.
Finally, the pause in CEC draws since September is also concerning from both economic and fairness perspectives. CEC candidates tend to work for Canadian employers and can remain with them indefinitely after getting permanent residence via Express Entry. Many
Due to the absence of an Express Entry invite, a CEC candidate risks losing their legal status which in turn can force them to leave the country. A single person contributes to additional labour shortages, and pressure on Canadian employers.
It is now necessary to think in fairness for all these individuals who have spent years contributing to Canada’s economy and society. It’s unfair on their part to be asked to leave the country without any advance notice and some solution needs to be sought to this issue.