On April 22, there were some important immigration policy announcements from the Canadian immigration minister. Among them, the most noticeable thing is that the selection of Express Entry will resume in July. Due to COVID-19, the Canadian Immigration Service has suspended the selection of FSWP (professional immigration) since December 2020, and the selection of CEC (experienced immigration) from August 2021. It was very worrying for those who were or were considering immigrating to Canada in this area, but this immigration policy is fortunate news.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected slowing immigration screening, but also hit the Canadian labor market hard. The narrow flow of foreign workers into Canada has led to labor shortages everywhere. Canada is currently experiencing unprecedented low unemployment, but on the contrary, labor shortages at industrial sites are also record. Therefore, the government is doing its best to supplement the labor force, and the Immigration Bureau is announcing a number of policies to bring in foreign labor in line with this. The decision to resume the selection of Express Entry as soon as possible seems to have been made in this context.
The normalization of the Express Entry screening period was once again mentioned, and the delay in selecting this field has led to a pile of unprocessed applicants' documents, which has also affected the prolonged document screening period. Finally, recently, Express Entry has taken 7 to 20 months to complete the review alone. With the resumption of the selection, the Canadian Immigration Service announced that it would speed up document screening and return the average document screening period before the pandemic to six months to normalize the document screening period.
In addition, we added some hopeful content to those who were issued PGWP. Previously, when PGWP expired, it could not be reissued or extended, so it was not possible to continue its stay in Canada. There was a BOWP that could replace this, but it was a visa issued while waiting for the results after applying for permanent residency, so there was no way to get an existing work visa again if you did not apply for permanent residency. The immigration office's decision includes a policy to bail out those who own existing PGWP who expire. Those who expire between January and December 2022 will be issued an additional open work permit of up to 18 months starting this summer. About 50,000 PGWP holders are expected to benefit from this measure, so those who are affected should pay attention to the upcoming additional issues.
Finally, additional benefits were announced one after another in TR to PR, a temporary permanent residency program held in May 2021. Living in Canada was one of the prerequisites at the time when this program allowed you to apply for permanent residency. However, the new measure eliminates the need to live in Canada during the document screening period. In addition, those who applied for an open work permit during this period will be able to receive a valid work permit by the end of 2024, allowing them to live anywhere in Canada or Korea until the day their permanent residency is issued. Additional measures have been announced to help you stay with your family if you continue to live in Canada. Open work permits can be issued to families who apply for permanent residency with the main applicant for permanent residency so that they can enter and work in Canada.
A series of immigration policies seem to express two major commitments. It seems to be an effort to return the slow immigration screening process to the pre-COVID-19 level and to solve one of Canada's biggest problems, the labor shortage. This is good news for those preparing to emigrate to Canada or considering immigration. That's because the door to immigration is opening up a little more. The wall of immigration, which has been felt to be somewhat high, is gradually decreasing, and these news may be a sign that the right time is coming right now for those considering immigration.