Positive trends in Canada immigration for second half of 2020
Posted on July 9, 2020
In an earlier blog we had reviewed the progress of Canada’s immigration plans in the first six months of 2020 especially in view of the Canadian government’s ambitious plan to welcome 341,000 immigrants of 2020. There is no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic was a dampener on these plans, but immigration has not fared badly considering the fact that 49,900 Invitations to apply or ITAs were issued till June this year.
Despite the immigration challenges posed by the Coronavirus crisis, the government is trying its best to keep immigration processes going in Canada. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced policy and immigration program changes to make it easy for immigration candidates.
The government has introduced flexibility in policies by allowing immigration applicants more time to submit their documents and not disqualifying anyone because their applications are incomplete. Apart from this, Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino has reiterated that Canada is committed to meeting its immigration targets.
All these factors indicate that immigration numbers will pick up in the second half of 2020 and get back to normal by 2021.
With this hope, here are some of the factors we should look out for in the second half of 2020.
Extension of travel restrictions
Canada recently announced the extension of its travel restrictions to July 31, but whether they will be lifted or extended again is anyone’s guess.
The answer depends on how well Canada and other countries can contain a Coronavirus pandemic. The travel restrictions are likely to be lifted only if the pandemic is brought under control. But this may start with exemptions for certain sections before totally lifting the restrictions.
Entry of international students
There is also the question of whether Canada will accommodate international students for the fall 2020 semester. The IRCC has said that it will make best efforts to process study permits but with the current travel restrictions, those who got their study permits before March 2019 are right now not able to come to Canada.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has said it will process study permits to the best of its ability, but under current travel rules, international students who got a study permit prior to March 18 are right now unable to come to Canada.
With this in view, it seems likely that Canada will exempt new study permit holders who wish to begin their studies by the September semester this year.
Invitations under the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)
In the first half of this year, the IRCC conducted Express Entry draws connected to the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) because the candidates selected in this draw are most likely to be at Canada at the time of the draw.
As a result of this, candidates under the FSWP program which has normally been the main pathway for Canada PR visa for Express Entry candidates have been sidelined in these draws. This was justified with the argument that FSWP candidates are unlikely to be in Canada at the time of the draw and it may not be possible to meet the deadline to be in Canada if they receive an ITA due to the travel restrictions.
But now with ITAs being issued to PNP and CEC candidates who are at present living overseas, it is likely that FSWP candidates will be included in Express Entry draws.
By the time the selected candidates can submit their PR applications and it is processed by the IRCC, it is likely to be the next year and Canada’s travel restrictions would have been lifted.
Announcement of immigration levels plan for 2021-23
Canada’s immigration minister is expected to announce Canada’s immigration plans for 2021-23 during the course of the next six months. The announcement will reflect the extent pf the Coronavirus impact on Canada’s immigration plans.
It is true that Canada is dependent on immigrants for its economic growth so it is unlikely that the pandemic will affect the country’s need for immigrants. Immigration levels are expected to pick up in the next six months and beyond.