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Immigration Update

Will China take Canada’s Immigrants?

The recent Globe and Mail article by John Ibbitson (April 28, 2021), and Doug Saunders’ tweet one day earlier, stating that the reduced birth rate in China ‘will help make immigration a seller’s market’ which will compete against Canada’s immigration targets is a good point.  However, it misses a fundamental principle of immigration: people immigrate principally to improve their life and that of their children. Canada has consistently ranked one of the best countries to live in and was ranked #1 this year in the “2021 Best Country Rankings”.  Can China compete in terms lifestyle, safety, human rights record, employment protections and income equality with Canada?

Canada has competed with other countries for immigrants since confederation. At that time, immigration incentives included free land plus government cash. There was no point system, no mandatory language testing, or credentials assessment.  Applicants were not required to obtain a work permit to enhance their immigration eligibility and there was no age discrimination in immigration criteria. The world has changed, and in addition to permanent immigration, there is raging competition for the best and the brightest temporary foreign workers between most western countries. UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada are regularly restructuring their foreign worker program to attract skilled worker, often with an eye to specific labor market needs or talents.  Currently, Canada has facilitative Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) based temporary work permit program that prioritizes computer and engineering occupations.   Last week the UK Home Office launched the ‘Fast Track Route for Global Talent’ applications to allow individuals who have won prestigious awards from across the sciences, humanities, engineering, the arts, and digital technology to make a single visa application instead of the usual two-step process (endorsement application which is then followed by a visa application). We see similar temporary foreign worker programs throughout the world, including the USA.  Many of these temporary foreign workers lead to permanent immigration.  Some of Canada’s immigration programs are specifically created to attract foreign workers already in Canada for in-Canada landing.  Canada has relied on these immigration programs heavily during the pandemic to meet immigration quotas without foreign landings, even to the extent of designing six new facilitative immigration programs for students, health care and other essential workers in Canada, plus francophone or bilingual applicants, which launched last week.

When comparing Canada’s targeted temporary foreign worker and immigration programs to what is currently available in China, the latter’s budding foreign worker and immigration options are extremely limited.  In the event of a labour shortage in China, one can anticipate that the Chinese government may expand their temporary foreign worker programs to attract talent and may potentially offer a hybrid of western programs and, possibly, those of countries, such as Saudi Arabia, that attract skilled technical temporary foreign workers with excellent salaries and paid housing and schooling for the children. In fact, skilled workers from the West may be interested in temporarily working in China to enjoy a foreign employment experience given China’s exceptional cultural heritage.  However, from a permanent immigration perspective, and without incentives, China will struggle to attract the best and the brightest for permanent moves unless it improves the lifestyle, human rights, and rule of law rankings, which make places like Canada or Norway #1.


This article was originally published by The Lawyer’s Daily (, part of LexisNexis Canada Inc.


Express Entry Draws for Provincial Nominees and Canada Experience Class Continue with Lower Scores

On May 12th and May 13th, 2021, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued two new rounds of invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system.

The May 12th, 2021 draw invited candidates who qualify for selection under the Provincial Nominee Class. The minimum score selected was 752 and 557 candidates were invited to apply. To qualify for selection under the Provincial Nominee Class, candidates must have received a nomination certificate from a Canadian province or territory.

The May 13th, 2021 draw invited candidates who qualify for selection under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The minimum score selected was 401, and 4,147 candidates were invited to apply. This draw was smaller than recent CEC draws have been, with 6,000 candidates being invited in each of the two previous CEC draws.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada continues to exclude Federal skilled Worker candidates from the Express Entry draws, inviting only Provincial Nominees and Canadian Experience Class candidates. As a result, minimum scores required to be selected under the Canadian Experience Class remain relatively low. This is an excellent opportunity for candidates who meet the Canadian Experience Class criteria to apply for permanent residence. To qualify for selection under the Canadian Experience Class, candidates must have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada within the last three years.