According to a new internal memo, IRCC is still weighing its alternatives and will present a revised Express Entry plan to the Deputy Minister this month.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued a new internal letter stating that the government is unclear about its Express Entry plans for this year, but that invitations to FSWP and CEC candidates will resume “later in 2022.”
The memo was received by CIC News today through IRCC access to information request. On January 21, 2022, the memo was delivered to the Deputy Minister of the IRCC. In each Canadian government department, the Deputy Minister is the highest-ranking non-political officer. Unlike the Minister, who is an elected person charged with carrying out the government’s political agenda, the Deputy Minister is charged with offering technocratic advice to the government.
The following are some of the memo’s most important features:
Candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) will be invited to apply again later in 2022.
Invitations to FSWP, CEC, and FSTP candidates will be temporarily paused until March 31st, while invitations to Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates will continue.
IRCC will be able to handle its inventory backlogs as long as the suspension is in place. The length of the hiatus will be determined by the IRCC’s changing priorities.
In March, IRCC will present the Deputy Minister with a plan for the future of Express Entry invitations, including a schedule and volume that will be consistent with the Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 and processing time goals.
Candidates in the Express Entry pool, including those with work permits that are about to expire, will continue to experience uncertainty in the short future, according to IRCC.
Because of the pandemic, the backlog of Express Entry applications is growing, and IRCC is focusing on landing in-Canada candidates to meet its 401,000 immigration objective in 2021. Due to the backlog, IRCC’s average application processing times for Express Entry have surpassed the 6-month service requirement.
To meet the 6-month service threshold for new applications, IRCC would have to reduce the Express Entry backlog by more than half.
It’s worthy to note that the IRCC’s website still states that the Express Entry processing time is six months.