The pandemic has fundamentally changed the face of global migration. Lockdown, social distancing norms, travel rules and regulations, have brought global activities to a standstill. Covid-19 has switched on the pause button on immigration around the world.
With an increase in border restrictions and conflicting regulations of every country, immigrants have been affected the most. The Covid-19 crisis has a deep impact on the mobility of migrants and the issues of citizenship. Canada too is sailing the same rocky boat and surfs along with a shift in the immigration norms.
Coronavirus pandemic caused a marked reduction in immigration processing capacity in its early months. Reports show that family and refuge class admissions along with student immigrants, went down as good as 50% in Canada.
Canada is an address of economic immigration and people pivot to Canada via the Express Entry. However, due to the fallout of the global pandemic, there is a disruption in the migration and residency status of the immigrants.
Whereas, this year, Canada wants an increased number of immigrants, almost – 401,000 to be exact, and is not letting the border controls get in the way. Needless to say, new programs, immigration processes, and easing of the norms are in process to guarantee residency status.
Let us take a brief look back at the Covid-10 impact and the way it is shaping Canada’s immigration –
Pre & Post Population Situation – Before the rise of Covid-19, Canada’s population saw rapid growth. In 2019 Canada accepted 341,175 permanent residents, up from 271,840 in 2015. However, in the decade of 2020, population growth in the United States of America dwindled due to the government restrictions under the Trump administration. Well, it also caused a blow to the population of Canada.
Immigration Situation – There is a bump in the labour force and public finances of the country owing to low birth rates, aging population, and low immigration rate. Immigration is increasingly becoming the primary, if not the only, source of labor force growth.
To settle the shortfall in 2020, the Canadian government, in October announced elevated immigration targets. Now, it hopes to welcome 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, up from a previous goal of 351,000.
Renewed Rules & Way Forward – Given the potential civic and economic impacts, the government of Canada is ready to provide increased support for newcomers. The border restrictions are soon to be eased, followed by admitting permanent residents from abroad. Canada has already invited more than 27,000 people to apply for permanent residency under one stream of its Express Entry program for skilled economic immigrants. It uses a point system to score applicants based on their age, education, and work experience.
In May, the government has also introduced a new pathway for the existing temporary residents. This will open up a world of opportunities and fastrack the permanent residency for temporary residents. They include 40,000 recent international student graduates, 20,000 healthcare workers and 30,000 people in other “essential” jobs such as cashiers, janitors and butchers.
This cutting-edge immigration policy has led to admitting 184,215 permanent residents, in the time period of January to the end of July. Pandemic, or not, Canada, being a welcoming country, continues to focus on supporting the immigrants and economic recovery!
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