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Amendments to IRPA through Bill C-19

Bill C-19 received Royal assent in Canada in June this year. Amongst several changes, a prominent change will be implemented in the Immigration & Refugee Protection Act or IRPA. To understand this change, it is important to first understand the current Canadian immigration system. Currently, Express Entry is one of Canada’s most preferred immigration pathways and post Covid-19, IRCC has made several improvements in the system and continues to do so. Under the Express Entry case management system, invitations to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency are extended to applicants based on a Comprehensive Ranking Score or CRS. An applicant interested to acquire Permanent Residency for Canada & once found eligible, can create a profile in the Express Entry pool. This profile is valid for a term of 1 year and if during this time-frame, the applicant makes the cut-off for either of the Express Entry draws, they would get an invitation to apply. However, with the proposed changes, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is authorized to give instructions for establishing categories of foreign nationals for determining to whom an invitation to make an application for permanent residence is to be issued. The Minister would also give instructions setting out the economic goal that he seeks to support in establishing the category.

After the change, the draws will be conducted and Express Entry applicants invited on the basis of the regional economic requirements. The applicant’s profile will be evaluated on language proficiency, work experience or educational accomplishment instead of the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score prevalent currently, where the highest-ranking applicants are considered the benchmark for invitations. However, with the new reform, IRCC will be able to refine the data better and invite only those applicants from the Express Entry pool who meet the necessary criteria based on the country’s economic needs. It is also mandatory for the minister to engage in a public consultation process with stakeholders and get detailed update on how the future draws can be conducted to bridge the economic gap.

Division 23 of Part 5 of the Bill C-19 amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act section 10, by addition of section 10.5 after 10.4. IRPA section 10.5(1) states that in order to establish categories of eligible foreign nationals, the Minister must engage in a public consultation process with stakeholders, including provinces and territories, industry, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations and immigration researchers and practitioners, to obtain information, advice and recommendations in respect of the labour market conditions such as occupations expected to face shortage as well as on how categories can be formed to meet economic goals. The current Express Entry system does not allow IRCC to make amends to Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to fulfill the in-demand skills or qualifications. With the amendment in the IRPA, the system of extending invitations to apply will become streamlined as per the country’s economic objectives. At the same time, occupation-based draws will also benefit specific occupation’s applicants. To know more about these changes and how it could impact your profile, write to us at info(at)exultimmigrations(dot)com.

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