Today IRCC announced policy changes that immigration lawyers have been waiting (and pushing) for a long time: Express Entry Invitations to Apply under both the Canadian Experience Class and the Skilled Worker Class are set to resume in July 2022. This is excellent news as both programs serve as key channels for the entry of highly skilled immigrants to Canada.

In addition, IRCC is promising a 6-month processing service standard, meaning that applications should be finalized within a maximum 6-month processing window. Although IRCC often falls short of its promised processing timeframes, a public commitment to a 6-month processing standard is welcome news.

Equally important in today’s announcement is a temporary policy that enables current post graduate work permit holders to extend their work permits for up to 18 months (usually PGWPs are not able to be renewed). The rationale behind this policy is to address the fact that with the pause in the processing of Canadian Experience Class applications, thousands of students holding post graduate work permits were getting caught between not being able to renew their permits and not being able to finalize their permanent resident applications. Lawyers have been complaining to the Minister for months about this cruel and unjust situation, so it seems that our lobbying efforts have finally paid off.

Other policy announcements were made with regard to individuals who applied under the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident pathway, which closed in November of 2021.

Today’s policy announcement is a welcome change. The open question is whether IRCC will be able to meet its 6-month service standard commitment, which would, in and of itself, be a game changer.

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