Canadian government is set to achieve new heights of immigration in its history in turn boosting the country’s post-pandemic economy. IRCC is actively issuing invitations to candidates through Express Entry under Canadian Experience Class and Provincial Nominee Class.
By far, Canada has rolled mats for over 80,000 new immigrants in the first quarter of 2021. IRCC has also implemented new strategies to expedite processing of Permanent residency applications after experiencing processing delays in the last quarter of 2020.
On 14th April, Canada declared a new way to get permanent residency for international student graduates and essential workers who are effectively contributing to Canada’s economy. Francophone and bilingual candidates outside Quebec also got their own dedicated pathway.
This program came as a ray of hope for 90,000 temporary workers, international graduates, and healthcare workers. The response towards this new public policy has been quite encouraging. Out of three categories international graduates reached a noticeable admission of 40,000 applications in merely 25 hours after opening the online portal. Other two categories (essential workers & health care workers) are yet to reach their caps. Thus, workers employed in essential and healthcare occupations can still make the best of this opportunity.
Further, Canada may raise the preset caps on these pathways as the Immigrant-focused financial recovery plan is at the forefront of Canada’s post-pandemic goals. Before making a final decision, IRCC will thoroughly review the outcome of the program by examining the quality of applications submitted by applicants and frequency of reaching the cap of 90,000 admissions.
Besides creating a pathway for temporary residents to obtain permanent residency, Immigration minister Marco Mendocino is focused towards “Modernizing Canada’s Immigration System”. Currently, Canada’s immigration system is packed down by paperwork and is outdated. In recent developments, the application intake system has been modernized and now many applications can be submitted online, and applicants are able to track progress in their application.
Canada has recently provided approximately $430 million from its federal budget to establish a new digital platform called GCMS (Global Case Management System). This system will be used to save time and increase efficiency in processing of immigration applications.
Canada has added new office space and hired more employees at the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia as an effort to process more applications and reunite families faster. The increased capacity will help the IRCC to return to the one-year standard for family class immigration applications for outland spousal, common-law, and conjugal sponsorship, dependent children, adopted children, and other relatives.
IRCC has introduced and extended various policies to navigate the halt caused by COVID-19 pandemic. A temporary policy allowing foreign nationals who are in Canada on visitor status with a valid job offer to apply for an employer-specific work permit was introduced on August 24, 2020, and later extended until August 31, 2021.
Another policy established on July 14, 2020, to exempt foreign nationals from certain requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) was also extended till August 31, 2021. Under this policy foreign nationals (former workers, students, and visitors) were exempted from the requirement to apply for restoration within 90 days of losing temporary resident status.
A new policy was introduced to help former international students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic while living in Canada, allowing them to obtain open work permits valid for up to 18 months. Government estimated policy to benefit 52,000 Post Grad Work Permit holders, and policy is set to expire on July 27, 202.
With introduction of new programs and steps towards expediting processing of applications, Canada is fully set to meet its preset target of welcoming 401,000 immigrants.
Canada’s ability to return to more normalcy would significantly increase after easing travel restrictions. The public health and safety divisions of the federal government and provincial governments are planning to lift quarantine for returning Canadians and Permanent Residents by early July 2021. IRCC will be able to consider Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP) candidates once Canada returns to normalcy. We can also expect Canada to welcoming more foreign nationals from overseas and a return to all-program Express Entry draws in the last quarter of 2021.
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