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WES Weekly Roundup July 12, 2022

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World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. The weekly roundup includes research, stories, and events of interest to the Canadian immigration and settlement community. This content has been created by WES and is reproduced here with their permission, in partnership.

Express Entry: Canada invites skilled immigrants overseas for first time since 2020 (CIC News)

On July 6th IRCC re-opened all Express Entry programs including the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). For the first time since December 2020 IRCC invited 1,500 Express Entry applications with a cut off score of 557 to apply for permanent residency. These programs typically contribute to a significant number of permanent residents each year but were paused however, due to COVID related migration challenges and IRCC backlog issues. With the return of this immigration stream, IRCC has committed to a six-month processing standard for all applicants under Express Entry.

Canada’s Immigrant Advantage: A survey of major employers (Business Council of Canada)

Based on a survey of 80 member companies of the Business Council of Canada, this report highlights the experiences and challenges that companies face in hiring skilled immigrants to Canada. More than half of the respondents said they actively recruit workers through the immigration system, and many expect to increase their usage of this pathway over the next three years. Skills shortages are widespread across the country and employers are struggling to fill positions, especially in technical roles in computer science, engineering, and information technology. As a result of the tight labour market, survey respondents note that that many are having to cancel or delay projects resulting in foregone revenue, loss of market and the relocation of work outside of Canada. As the competition for global talent increases, many employers will continue to rely on the immigration system for their labour needs. However, processing delays have been a significant hindrance to recruitment efforts. Furthermore, employers noted an interest in hiring international students but are discouraged because of the onerous application process and individual’s inability to obtain permanent residency. Finally, a large share of the employers surveyed support Canada’s higher immigration targets, however, they emphasize that it should focus on economic-class admissions however additional investments are needed in the labour force, childcare, housing and public transportation sectors.

Refugee Resettlement Spotlight 

Canadians support accepting more newcomers, but we need a more equitable, rights-based approach (The Conversation)

Canada is known globally recognized for our innovative pathways to resettlement for displaced individuals. As of 2021, 89.3 million people have been displaced globally. As part of the humanitarian response for Ukrainians, Canada has opened the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), which accepts an unlimited number of Ukraine nationals fleeing war. Additional supports include a one-time payment of $3,000 per adult. Alternative to traditional humanitarian responses, Ukrainian displaced migrants are not considered refugees, but rather temporary residents per the CUAET, which would see their arrival expedited, allow them to work, live, and study in Canada for up to three years. Other humanitarian responses include Private Sponsorship of Refugees program. Based on recent surveys performed by the Angus Reid Institute, indicate that Canadians are increasingly accepting of refugees and believe that Canada has a responsibility to support refugees and newcomers. Advocates suggest that Canada should build on existing mechanisms to ensure a more rights-based approach to welcoming additional refugees and pathway creation.

Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2021 (UNHCR)

The UNHCR released the latest global trends report highlighting patterns in forced migration throughout 2021. As noted above, the number of forcibly displaced persons globally reached 89.3 million, while individuals within populations of concern to the UNHCR stood at 94.7 million. These figures encompass refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people and those not covered by the UNHCR's charter. Populations not included in this report, however, are returnees and non-displaced stateless people. Data provided by the World Bank demonstrates that 23 countries with a combined population of 850 million people were involved in conflicts both internal and external that triggered medium-high intensity migration flows within the region. Within the last decade, the number of conflict-affected areas has doubled, with women and children being disproportionately impacted and vulnerable. Some major conflicts included the Taliban's takeover of Kabul, with over 900,000 forcibly displaced internally as well as through migration to neighboring countries. The number of displaced Venezuelans grew by more than half a million. Conflicts within the DRC, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen contributed to increases between 100-500,000 displaced persons internally. Although focused on trends throughout 2021, the Ukrainian migration crisis was briefly discussed, noting that is the largest forced displacement since World War II, with roughly 7 million of Ukrainian nationals fleeing the country.

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