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WES Weekly Roundup March 14, 2023

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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.

Federal, provincial and territorial immigration Ministers meet to plan for the future of Canada’s immigration system (Government of Canada)

Immigration Ministers from across the country met to discuss Canada’s immigration system and needs. Among the topics addressed include increased provincial and territorial involvement in economic immigrant selection, foreign credential recognition, settlement and integration efforts, greater autonomy over the provincial nominee program (PNPs) and the humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine. Ministers urged for more clarity on the time frame of the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program and advocated for an extension of the program. Further discussions on pathways to permanent residency for and additional support for Ukrainians soon to arrive were also discussed as salient issues. In terms of foreign credential recognition, collective priorities around internationally educated healthcare professionals (IEHPs) remain the focus with an important role on responding to labour shortage issues and the need for better credential recognition. Finally, the first Multi-Year Allocation Plan was also announced which includes a 44% growth in PNP allocations for 2023. As regionalization of immigration remains among the top priority, the PNP will continue to be a primary avenue to address employer labour market needs and regional growth.

Eliminating Exam Requirement removes major barrier for international medical graduates seeking to practice in Manitoba (Government of Manitoba)

The Manitoba government has approved a regulatory change that allows internationally educated physicians (IEPs) to enter the workforce sooner.  Initially IEPs were required to pass a qualifying exam known as the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 1 (MCCQE1) before they could apply for provisional registration. However, this new regulatory change will now remove this requirement, one of the major barriers for IEPS to practice in Manitoba. If an IEP meets all the other requirements for provisional registration, they are required to complete a Practice Ready Assessment and are assigned a mentor and a practice supervisor for the duration of their provisional registration. Supporters agree that this important change in regulation will allow for more qualified IEPs to choose to settle in Manitoba while simultaneously increasing the province’s ability to recruit more much needed physicians.

Refugee Resettlement

Canada’s Ukraine visa program is set to expire this month. Will Ottawa extend it? (Global News) 

Canada's Immigration Minister is expected to provide an update on the emergency visa program for Ukrainians seeking refuge in Canada, as many are calling for an extension. The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel Program (CUAET), that accelerates temporary residency permits for Ukrainian nationals and their families, will expire March 31. As an increasing number of Ukrainians continue to arrive in Canada, advocates are urging the government to make and announce a critical decision to extend the program. The lack of commitment is causing many to panic and worry about others who may be left vulnerable as a result. Since February 2022, over 100,000 Ukrainians including CUAET applicants and returning Canadian permanent residents have since returned. Out of the 900,000 applications that have been received for the CUAET, 590,000 have been approved.

This new bill would make it easier to deliver Canadian aid to Afghanistan. Not everyone’s in favour (The Star)

Amendments to aid legislation may be on the horizon for Canadian organizations operating in Afghanistan. According to Bill C-41, an applicant seeking to work in an impacted area would be reviewed by the Minister of Public Safety; authorization could be granted for humanitarian assistance, health services, education, livelihood, and immigration services - including resettlement and safe passage. Many organizations who are responsible for critical aid and support to Afghan nationals have been restricted due to former laws - due to fear that funding would go towards efforts of the Taliban. Since 2001, Canada has provided more than four billion dollars in additional assistance in Afghanistan. Although this amendment is drawing praise from allies, critics are skeptical and suggest that assistance can be granted to internationally recognized organizations who can directly reach Afghans who are vulnerable. Many advocates welcome this bill proposal as a step forward to a permanent solution to international aid and assistance. According to the United Nations, nearly 20 million Afghans will experience acute hunger in 2023, and nearly six million will face emergency levels of food insecurity.

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