Canada retains immigration targets despite Coronavirus
Posted on May 11, 2020
During the current Coronavirus crisis, the immigration policies of countries have come into sharp focus and Australia and Canada are no exception.
In the past decade, these countries have increasingly relied on PR and temporary visa holders to provide labor and fuel economic growth.
In both these countries, immigrants have had a positive impact on the economy.
Immigration policies in recent times
While both countries acknowledge that their immigration policies have fueled their economic growth, they have shown a different approach to welcoming immigrants in the past few years.
Canada has pursued an aggressive immigration policy in the past two decades and in March of this year, it announced its plans to bring in 1 million migrants by 2022.
To meet these immigration targets Canada is looking at welcoming 58 percent of these immigrants under the economic class, 27 percent will come under the family class while 15 percent will come under refugee and other humanitarian grounds
Australia too has welcomed immigrants and acknowledged their contribution to economic growth but in recent years it has been considering a reduction in immigrant intake.
However, last year the government announced a reduction in the migration ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 over the next four years.
Under this plan, the country will take in 70 percent of immigrants under the economic class and 30 percent under the family class.
COVID-19 and immigration policies
Both these countries have announced immigration changes and travel restrictions due to Coronavirus.
The Express Entry draws, and provincial nominations announced under the Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) indicate that Canada is keen to achieve the immigration target it has set for 2022.
Despite the impact of Coronavirus Canada has issued 11,700 invitations to apply (ITAs) under the Express Entry system compared to the 7,800 invitations in March and 8000 invitations issued in February.
In the latest Express Entry draw on May 1, Canada issued 3,311 ITAs to Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates. The Comprehensive Ranking System or CRS points dropped to 452 in this draw.
This indicates that the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC’s) desire to keep the immigration programs despite the limitations posed by COVID-19.
Australia, on the other hand, has reduced the number of its economic class invitations. Australia issued only 100 invitations under the Skill Select program compared to 2050 in March and 1500 invitations in February.
Immigration after the pandemic
Going by the high number of Express Entry draws and the number of ITAs issued by Canada even after the outbreak of Coronavirus, it shows that it is determined to meet the immigration targets it has set for 2022. This indicates its determination to continue its pro-immigration drive post the pandemic.
On the other hand, Australia has shown a reduction in immigration intakes and there are voices in the country calling for a reduction in immigration intake after the pandemic.
Going by these trends Canada seems more intent on continuing its significant immigrant intake even after the Coronavirus pandemic is over.