Canada | Immigration | The unemployment rate continues to fall with record 953,000 people finding work in June,

Lifting restrictions on coronavirus-related lockdowns across the nation has triggered the start of economic recovery of Canada. 
In June, Canada's economy generated almost 1 million jobs.

Many Canadians and permanent residents went back to work for their former employers and others started new jobs.  

A total of 3 million people lost their jobs due to the lockout between February and April, and another 2.5 million were absent from work due to coronavirus-related causes, according to a study released  by Statistics Canada on  July 10.

The economic recovery gradually began as 290,000 people returned to work in May. Adding on this, the month of June helped ease low levels of unemployment across the country as jobs rose by a record 953,000.

These last two months saw a remarkable 40% recovery in the labor market. More than 1.24 million people have gained jobs, after 3 million people lost their employment earlier this year. The overall unemployment rate in Canada dropped from 13.7 per cent in May to 12.3 per cent in June.

However, the study notes that the participation rate of labour-power has risen significantly over the past two months to 63.8 per cent in June. In February, it was 65.5 per cent, before restrictions related to coronavirus.

This means a lot of people are now more positive about finding a job. A further consideration could be the obligation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) to actively look for jobs. The CESB was introduced to alleviate financial difficulties of students who may have been affected by the restrictions associated with coronavirus

In addition, the number of people working less than half of their regular hours also fell from 34.3 percent to 26.9 percent in June. Jobs increase in all provinces is largely associated with lockout restrictions being eased. Ontario's jobs rose by 378,000 (5.9 %), Quebec by 248,000 (6.5%) and British Columbia by 118,000 (or 5.4 percent).


As Canada reopened its economy, many Canadians and permanent residents went back to work or began looking for work.


Additionally, in terms of Express Entry draws, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has returned to normal. The most recent draw held was a draw for an all-program. This means applicants of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) were also considered. 


Since travel restrictions were imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, IRCC kept program-specific draws alternating between Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) draws. The latest employment figures from Canada are good news for these immigrants because they expect a better work market once they have secured permanent residency.


Canada | Immigration | Canada’s immigration levels increased considerably In May 2020.

Canada welcomed 11,000 immigrants in May against just 4,000 in April. India, China, the Philippines, the US and Nigeria were the top 5 source countries of such immigrants.


The recent Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data clearly shows that the immigration system in the country is starting to normalize in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.


Canada was off to a quick start in early 2020 before the coronavirus led to travel restrictions and delays to IRCC's and other government operations.


Some 25,000-35,000 people officially become permanent residents of Canada within a given month. Unsurprisingly, Canada's immigration rates fell in March and then proceeded to plummet the following month.


During May, however, immigration rates nearly tripled as compared to April. The higher rates of immigration in the month of May, inform us that IRCC will handle more applications relative to the start of the pandemic.


This also informs us that, in May, more immigrants exempted from travel restrictions in Canada completed their landing process. Under the new travel regulations in Canada, those with a Permanent Residence Confirmation (COPR) before March 18 are entitled to reach Canada.


The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) was the leading source with 3,000 arrivals of new permanent residents. More than 2,000 of May's new permanent residents were Canadian citizens' spouses and partners. They are also excluded from travel restrictions that apply to Canada.


IRCC data also indicates that 1,300 immigrants obtained permanent residency as professional workers, mainly through the FSWP. Another 2,000 gained permanent residency through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Express Entry and PNP draws have regularly occurred since March.


IRCC has issued 35,100 invitations, primarily to CEC and PNP candidates, to apply for permanent residence. The assumption of this strategy was that most CEC and PNP members are actually residing in Canada, and they are less likely to suffer disruption of coronavirus relative to those outside.


Nevertheless, IRCC resumed inviting candidates for the FSWP under Express Entry on July 8. In fact, some FSWP candidates are also currently living in Canada, so completing the PR process should be just as simple for them as CEC and PNP candidates are currently in the country.


Furthermore, the return to all-program Express Entry draws indicates that IRCC is planning to admit many more overseas immigrants at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021.



Canada | PR Visa | PNP | Ontario’s In-Demand Skills Stream with 13 new qualifying occupations re-opened on July 6.

On July 6, Ontario re-opened and expanded one of its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Streams 


Ontario Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Program reopened. The aim of this stream is to help solve labor shortages in specific on-demand jobs such as work in agriculture, construction, trucking, or personal support. Workers both within and outside Canada may apply for this stream.


An immigration candidate must have a legitimate job offer and meet certain eligibility requirements to get a provincial nomination under the system.




Candidates are expected to receive a full-time and permanent work offer (i.e. a minimum of 1,560 hours a year with no end date).  The position must be inside or outside the GTA, in a qualifying profession.


The work must come under one of the following skill level C or D codes for National Occupation Classification:

  • Nurse aides (NOC 3413)
  • Home support workers and related occupations (NOC 4412)
  • Residential and commercial installers and servicers (NOC 7441)
  • Transport truck drivers (NOC 7511)
  • Heavy equipment operators (except crane- NOC 7521)
  • Construction trades helpers and laborers (NOC 7611)
  • General farm workers (NOC 8431)
  • Nursery and greenhouse workers (NOC 8432)
  • Harvesting laborers (NOC 8611)
  • Industrial butchers and meat cutters (NOC 9462)


Expanded Occupations:


A job offer under the following NOC codes (also level C or D) will be valid for this stream as of July 6, provided that the work is located outside the GTA:


  • Machine operators, mineral and metal processing (NOC 9411)
  • Metalworking and forging machine operators (NOC 9416)
  • Machining tool operators (NOC 9417)
  • Other metal products machine operators (NOC 9418)
  • Chemical plant machine operators (NOC 9421)
  • Plastics processing machine operators (NOC 9422)
  • Woodworking machine operators (NOC 9437)
  • Industrial sewing machine operators (NOC 9446)
  • Process control and machine operators, (NOC 9461)
  • Electronics assemblers, fabricators, inspectors and testers (NOC 9523)
  • Mechanical assemblers and inspectors (NOC 9526)
  • Industrial painters (NOC 9536)
  • Other products assemblers, finishers and inspectors (NOC 9537)



Other Requirements:


There are various obligations on the employers. For example, they must show the person they are recruiting through this stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is appropriate for their company and they must pay them for the occupation at or above the median salary level.


Immigration applicants must have a cumulative paid full-time work experience of at least 9 months in the occupation for which they have received a job offer. They must also have the equivalent of a Canadian secondary school (high school) or higher education, and a minimum standard of English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 4 or higher in each competency (reading , writing , listening, and speaking).


Among other conditions, an immigration applicant shows that they have a valid license to work in a profession that requires an Ontario license or other authorisation.



About Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP)


Ontario runs Canada's largest PNP, as it has the largest population and economy in the world. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provided a PNP quota of 7,350 primary applicants for Ontario in 2020. Ontario may also appoint 250 temporary international workers in intermediate professional occupations (NOC C roles).


The OINP remained active throughout 2020 including during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). So far this year, it has conducted12 professional staff, and entrepreneur draws.


Canada | Immigration | The Government of Quebec to Ease PEQ rules announced in May

The Quebec government is making changes to the PEQ rules introduced last May that have impacted both foreign students and temporary foreign employees.


Graduates this year will be able to take advantage of the rules currently in place to join the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ), Quebec's new minister of immigration, Nadine Girault, declared.


Students in Quebec who have obtained a diploma will be eligible for the PEQ, for those who obtain a diploma by December 31, 2020 will be able to apply in accordance with the rules in force before the new regulations come into force.


On May 28, the Quebec government had proposed more strict criteria for the PEQ, raising the standards for temporary foreign workers (TFWs) to be qualified for the PEQ from the existing 12 months to 36 months. The work experience needed for TFWs now has been set to 24 months.


In May, Quebec had also announced a 12 to 24 month work experience requirement for international students, depending on their study program.


It was announced that conditions for students in terms of length and work experience would be eased. As such, job experience gained as part of the study program during a compulsory internship will be accepted, up to a limit of three months of full-time work.


The amendments announced, will come into effect as of 22 July 2020. Before the new regulations come into force, the existing PEQ eligibility criteria will continue to apply and all applications received before the new regulations come into force will be processed according to current rules.


Quebec Experience Program Requirements summary


 The Programme de l'expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec Experience Program) is one of two programs for economic immigration in Quebec, and the other is the Regular Skilled Worker Program (PRTQ). Launched in 2010 the PEQ quickly became a common immigration stream as it provides a fast track to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers (TFWs) and international students already in Quebec.


Foreign students


To apply for the PEQ, foreign students who receive a university degree in Quebec or a Quebec college diploma would be expected to have 12 months of full-time Quebec work experience in jobs falling under National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 0, A, and B. We would also be expected to hold such employment at the time the application is submitted.


Students who receive a Quebec technical studies diploma will require 18 months of Quebec work experience in jobs at NOC 0, A, B, and C. Students working in C-level employment can only be eligible under the new PEQ rules if their work experience is related to their Quebec study program.


Job experience obtained through compulsory internships by foreign students as part of the study program can be counted against the requirement for a period of three months.


Temporary Foreign Workers


Temporary foreign workers (TFWs) will also need to gain at least 24 months of full-time work experience in NOC 0, A, B , and C positions in the 32 months preceding their application for permanent residency. They will also be required at the time of application to hold such jobs.


Temporary foreign workers holding a work permit and who are in Quebec before the regulation enters into force will be able to request an application under the regulations that existed before the reforms came into effect, including employees in level C and D jobs as specified by the NOC program.


Under conditions applicable before the new rules come into effect, foreign students who have graduated with a qualified PEQ diploma or who will receive one by December 31, 2020 will be able to apply.

Knowledge of French for Spouses


To ensure that all candidates chosen under the PEQ have adequate knowledge of French and to facilitate greater integration opportunities in Quebec society, the province will mandate spouses of Primary applicants under the PEQ to demonstrate a spoken knowledge of French at Level 4.


However, one year after the new regulations come into force, that is, on July 22, 2021, this requirement will take effect.


Certificates issued by educational institutions in Quebec for the successful completion of advanced intermediate level French courses will no longer be eligible as proof of French knowledge. However, those individuals who have already taken, taken or registered in courses before the new regulations come into force will still be able to submit these documents as evidence.


Third New Pilot announced


A new pilot program for the Agri-food industry announced by Girault.  One of the two pilot programs that were already announced will be designated to address the high demand for Nurse aides and attendants in the province. The other program focuses on Artificial Intelligence and Information Technology sectors which are booming in Quebec.


Canada | PR Visa | PNP | Alberta PNP draw: 187 Candidates invited

The province of Alberta has released the details of the Provincial Nominee Program draw conducted on June 17.


The candidates should have launched their profiles in Express Entry pool in order to be eligible for invitation.


Alberta Express Entry System


Express Entry applicants have the ability to be eligible to apply for Alberta and other provinces with Express Entry-aligned PNPs for a provincial nomination.


A provincial selection grants a further 600 CRS points to applicants for their cumulative ranking, which boosts them to the top of the pool to be chosen in a subsequent Express Entry draw.


Coronavirus affected AINP activities. At the moment, only candidates who are already in Alberta are being considered for nomination.


Applicants must have work experience in a qualified occupation which supports the economic development and diversification priorities of the province.


The AINP does not have a list of qualifying professions, but instead provides a list of professions they do not consider. Ineligible professions include those in the province of Alberta's high- and low-wage government jobs, and the Alberta Employment Stream Ineligible Professions list.


 With special steps for coronavirus in place, the AINP now allows applicants to meet the following requirements in order to be nominated:


  • Working in Alberta currently, even though they operate from home;
  • Have a work permit which allows employees to work in their current job;
  • Have a full-time, paid employment that meets the provincial minimum wage, satisfies the criteria of the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and must work in a qualifying workplace.


Candidates who worked full time before the coronavirus pandemic and those who work in a regulated occupation who are unable to fulfill licensing standards will have  their applications on hold  for 60 calendar days.


When applicants do not have a recent history of jobs in the province, their applications are not accepted until further notice.


Summary of the recent AINP draw


Draw date: June 17, 2020.

Program: Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

Stream: Alberta Express Entry Stream

Number of candidates invited: 187

Minimum CRS score needed to receive ITA: 303

Invitations issued so far this year: 1933

Total number of invitations issued in 2019: 6884

Alberta’s PN allocations for this year: Yet to be released