Canada has placed a temporary pause on invitations for the skilled worker program through the Express Entry system. Even though Canada is in the course of a constant labor shortage, IRCC says the 2022 highly skilled immigration target of 110,500 new permanent residents, as per the October 2020 Immigration Levels Plan, could be cut by as much as half.

Since January 2021, the IRCC issued invitational exclusively to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates. In September 2021 the IRCC stopped the issuance of CEC invitations and has only invited PNP candidates.

This reduction is to have the capacity for Afghan refugees and newcomers through the government’s Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence Pathway, created during the COVID-19 crisis to help meet record immigration targets.

Ottawa moved the focus of Canada’s immigration system because of COVID-19. IRCC focuses on candidates who are already in Canada with temporary status because of the restrictions during the COVID-19 crisis.

The international skilled worker program is 70,000 and the total quota is 300,000 new permanent residents. This means that, aside from the skilled worker, there are other programs that applicants can apply for.

Outside federal high-skilled workers, Ottawa still has places for a further 300,000 new permanent residents, more than 130,000 to come through economic categories.

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