Canada is an alternative to the US for prospective immigrants
Posted on June 29, 2020
According to an executive order issued by the US President Donald Trump on June 22, 2020, employment-based immigration has been suspended in the country till the end of 2020, to help the US economy recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Based on this order, the processing of the following visas was suspended:
- Green Cards which are permanent resident visas for the US
- H-1B visas for occupations requiring highly specialized knowledge
- H-2B visas for seasonal non-agricultural workers
- J category visas for work-and-study-based exchange visitor programs
- L category visas for intra-company transfers
This temporary ban is bound to create uncertainty in immigration candidates wishing to move to the US and even US employers looking to hire overseas talent.
In contrast Canada which is also going through uncertainties due to the pandemic has imposed only travel restrictions and its immigration measures continue being modified based on the status of the pandemic of the country.
Canada’s immigration programs are an alternative
Immigration candidates who intended to go to the US and are now facing a setback because of the new rules can think of migrating to Canada as an alternative.
Canada has not imposed a ban on the processing of visas, in fact, it continues to process permanent residence applications and is issuing invitations to apply for candidates.
As for work permits, Canada continues to process new applications even during the pandemic and is willing to process permanent and temporary visas as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
Apart from this, Canada offers a number of immigration programs. The country offers more than 80 economic class immigration pathways to skilled workers. The most well-known one is the federal Express Entry system.
Even during the pandemic, Canada continues to hold Express Entry draws every two weeks and has issued 46,392 ITAs till date.
The other popular immigration programs are the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the Quebec Skilled Immigration program.
Temporary foreign worker program
Another popular immigration program is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) which allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers when local employees are not available for the job.
The Canadian government is issuing visas in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) system in a bid to keep the economy running and to support Canadian workers during this pandemic.
In order to support Canadian industries such as agriculture, agri-food, food processing and trucking, it has agreed to continue its TFWP category.
Other programs to hire foreign workers
Other immigration pathways for foreign workers include the International Mobility Program (IMP). The other option is the Global Talent stream that does not require a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
IRCC continues to process immigration applications
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is trying to provide uninterrupted immigration services to those in the process of applying for or planning to apply for a Canadian visa. The IRCC is processing visa applications even during the pandemic.
Canada is keen to continue welcoming immigrants to help in its economic recovery which was recently reiterated by the immigration minister Marco Mendicino in the light of the visa ban by the US government. He said, ‘’We have a plan in place that looks to leverage the best and the brightest from around the world. We’ve got pathways like the Express Entry program, and the Global Talent Stream, which will help to bring entrepreneurs, engineers, and innovators. We’ve also got pathways for manual laborers and skilled laborers.’’