Canada continues to meet immigration targets during the Coronavirus pandemic
Posted on September 23, 2020
Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, Canada surprisingly has kept its immigration intake at a steady pace. The country has issued 74,150 invitations to apply (ITAs) to date for permanent resident visas.
These figures reiterate the continuing need of the country for immigrants to keep its economy going. The country has always followed an open-door policy towards immigrants, but the COVID-19 crisis seems to have slowed down the country’s immigration plans. But recent trends indicate that the country is keen to execute its immigration plans despite the pandemic.
The IRCC has introduced special measures to keep the immigration process going despite the restrictions that have been imposed due to the pandemic.
IRCC continues to process applications from temporary foreign workers, international students, visitors, permanent resident applicants, citizenship seekers, and refugees.
Immigrants and the economy
Canada’s 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan has set a target for 341,000 permanent residents in 2020, 351,000 in 2021, and total immigration could increase to as many as 390,000 by 2022. It reflects an immigration level that is nearly one percent of the population of Canada, which the government hopes to reach by 2030 to ensure a sustainable population and economic growth.
Canada is likely to revise these immigration targets in November this year.
The government is keen to welcome immigrants as they will contribute to the economic growth and the diversity and innovation of the country and help Canadian employers discover the talent they need.
Immigration applications continue to be processed
Canada continues to process immigration applications during the pandemic and is issuing new permanent residence invitations to successful applicants.
Express Entry draws have been conducted on a bi-weekly basis since March. The IRCC has conducted draws targeting candidates in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). These candidates were targeted because they are most likely to be in Canada.
Immigration policies for international students
International students, projected to be contributing about $21.6 billion to the Canadian economy have been allowed to study online in their country and still be eligible to apply for the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) after graduation.
Under this new rule students will be able to begin their online programs at Canadian universities in the fall of this year and complete up to 50 percent of their program abroad and then obtain their PGWP to work in Canada after they finish their studies.
An international student can begin his course in the fall of this year and be eligible for a PGWP of three years if he comes to Canada by December 2020. These are special measures introduced to international students.
The Canadian government has introduced several immigrant-friendly policies, especially during COVID-19 to encourage more immigrants to come to the country and make it easier for them to settle down once the pandemic is over and things return to normal.
Canada hopes to bring its immigration program fully back on track once the global travel restrictions are lifted.