Canada announces major changes in family class and express entry immigration


Spouses waiting for PR can now apply for temporary resident visa along with new open work permit
open work permit extensions for open work permit holders expiring between August 1 and the end of 2023
Launch of category-based selection for Express Entry, people with knowledge of French or professionals in STEM, health care will benefit

Within past two weeks Canada has announced changes to family class immigration and express entry process with an aim to address labour shortages.
Under family class immigration those waiting for PR under spousal application can get faster temporary resident visa with in 30 days and an open work permit. Under Express Entry, Category-based selection will allow Canada to issue invitations to apply to prospective permanent residents with specific skills, training or language ability
Canada’s immigration minister Sean Fraser announced changes to family class immigration during his visit to Vancouver last week. Under the new measures those waiting for PR after marriage can apply and get faster temporary resident visa (TRV). The government announced launch of new and dedicated processing tools for spousal TRV applicants.
Going forward, most of these applications will be processed within 30 days, and applicants will benefit from processing measures specific to their circumstances as spouses and dependants.
Once in Canada, newcomers often seek jobs to support themselves and their families. That is why Canada has also made open work permits available for spousal applicants and their dependent children who reside with their sponsor in Canada and have temporary resident status. Spouses, partners and dependants are now able to apply for and receive an open work permit as soon as they submit a complete permanent residence application under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SPCLC) or other family class programs.
Minister Fraser announced that spousal applicants, along with other open work permit holders, whose open work permits expire between August 1 and the end of 2023, will be able to extend their work permits for an additional 18 months. A similar option was recently offered to many with expiring post-graduation work permits.
This week Canada announced the first-ever launch of category-based selection for Canada’s flagship economic immigration management system, Express Entry.
Category-based selection will allow Canada to issue invitations to apply to prospective permanent residents with specific skills, training or language ability. Further details on the timing of invitations for individual categories and how to apply will be announced in the coming weeks. The first category-based invitations to apply are expected to be sent this summer. 
This year, category-based selection invitations will focus on candidates who have a strong French language proficiency or work experience in fields like healthcare, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions, trades such as carpenters, plumbers and contractors, transport, agriculture and agri-food.
The categories have been determined following extensive consultations with provincial and territorial partners, stakeholders and the public, as well as a review of labour market needs.
“By allowing us to invite more skilled workers in these professions, category-based selection supports Canada’s commitment to welcoming in-demand professionals into communities across the country. Additionally, by placing a special focus on Francophone immigration, the Government of Canada is ensuring that French communities can continue to live their life in Canada in the official language of their choice,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration.
Express Entry is Canada’s flagship application management system for those seeking to immigrate permanently through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.
In June 2022, the Government of Canada made changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow for the selection of immigrants based on key attributes that support economic priorities, such as specific work experience or knowledge of French.