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Category Archives: COVID-19

Glimpse of Canadian Immigration 2021

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 Currently, Canada’s immigration system is packed down by paperwork and is outdated.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.

If you need help, Contact Can X Immigration for services like Express Entry, Family Sponsorship, Provincial Nomination, Business Class, Humanitarian & Compassionate Grounds, Citizenship, PR Card Renewal, LMIA, Work Permit, Live-In-Caregiver, Postgraduate Work Permit, Study Visa, Study Permit Extension, Visitor Visa, or Super Visa.

The Impact of Processing Delays on Canadian Businesses

Canada is facing a growing skilled labor crunch and industries are struggling to find qualified workers. The increased processing times of immigration pathways is a problem that is closing doors to new growth and leaving employers open to risk.

According to a survey conducted by The Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC), “Unless addressed, increasing processing times are likely to have a negative impact on business operations within the next year.”

A total of 26 organizations that rely on access to international talent to meet talent needs and fill skills gaps were surveyed. Participating organizations were from technology, manufacturing, government /health care/ education, natural resources, and construction/engineering services. 44 % of participating organizations report using economic immigration programs to access temporary residence workers.

Primarily, 74% of participating companies used Express Entry and CUSMA professional pathways to hire foreign nationals while 67% used PNP immigration pathways. All participating organizations agreed to the importance of international talent to their businesses, while 70% strongly agreed to their contributions.

In the survey, as an impact of processing impediments 83 % of organizations stated that canceled and or delayed projects are the most common consequence of the delays, almost two-thirds expect the delays to result in lost revenues and 30% stated they had to face penalties for not meeting contractual obligations. The unprecedented labor shortage is forcing organizations to hire ill-suited candidates, resulting in foregone opportunities that impede businesses’ ability to compete.

This lack of skilled labor and halt in the international mobility of temporary foreign workers is increasing the labor market gap, businesses are facing a labor shortage and the demand for skills across many sectors is on the rise. The survey sheds light on global talent access via immigration and international mobility programs, the top three skills accessed are 93% of skilled workers, 85 % executive management, and 67 % engineering staff. Nonetheless, the demand for non-degreed professionals and technical staff is growing, though the lack of education makes it difficult to access their talent.

The survey also highlighted that apart from ongoing challenges faced by IRCC, the continued closure of Consulates, High Commissions and VAC abroad has had a great impact as temporary foreign workers cannot complete biometrics in their home country.

With a dearth of new talent pools and retiring workforce, Canada should take actions to expedite processing of applications. The survey questioned respondents if they would pay an additional fee for expedited processing of applications and 89% of respondents said they would be willing to pay between 10% and 25% above current processing fees for expedited processing as for Skilled labor shortage has become the most pressing need of their organizations.

Canada: Most desirable destination for prospective immigrants

Survey conducted by WES unveiled the changing interest and intention of immigrants as the pandemic unfolds. The survey confirmed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, prospective immigrants gained interest in immigrating to Canada between April and August 2020. This was evident as the number of immigrants interested in moving to Canada grew from 38% in April to 46% in August.

Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences beyond the spread of the disease itself, ranging from challenging the healthcare system to the falling economy. The study revealed that prospective immigrants expect worsening of economic conditions and the rise in unemployment in their home country to be worse than in Canada. Aggregated responses highlight that 49% of respondents are inclined to immigrate to Canada due to the economic recession in their home country, while other 32% state worsening of economic situations in their home country has no impact on their decision to immigrate.

Nearly, 80% to 81% of respondents stated that COVID-19 will negatively impact the economic conditions in their home country.  Prospective immigrants are more willing to endure an economic downturn in Canada than in their home country, as 48% of respondents indicated a recession in Canada will have no impact on their immigration choice, while interestingly 22% stated that their interest would increase in Canadian immigration irrespective of economic fallout.

According to research conducted by Financial services provider Remitly using Google search data, Canada is the most desirable place to live on Earth. People from 29 countries wish to immigrate to the true North, due to friendly locals, beautiful scenery, safety, low unemployment, and high immigration options. Despite travel restrictions causing severe disruption in international mobility, hopeful immigrants do not seem to be reconsidering their immigration plans and timelines. Additionally, the WES survey gained insights that immigrants are less likely to delay their immigration plans to Canada. Among 480,822 respondents, 32% stated delaying their immigration plan in June, while this number fell to 12% in August despite the prevalent crises.

Canadian government’s commitment to recovery and resilience can be driving immigrants towards Canada. Among all applicants who opt WES for credential evaluation, the majority are Indian citizens, followed by citizens of Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, United States, and The Philippines. Furthermore, India stands out as the top country of citizenship for immigrants who received an ITA through Express entry in 2019.

Canada needs newcomers as their impact on the Canadian economy is profound; immigrants support the economy and meet the necessary labor market needs in terms of workforce availability. Immigrant-focused financial recovery plan should be at the forefront of Canada’s post-pandemic goals to ensure long term recovery.

Coming Soon: More permanent residency pathways for temporary residents in Canada

Canada may offer more permanent residence pathways to temporary residents (e.g. international students, temporary foreign workers, and asylum seekers) who are currently in the country.

In 2020, COVID-19 pandemic has turned the tables around the world, may it be developed, developing or underdeveloped economies. Every country is having a hard time keeping their economies afloat, given travel restrictions and disruption in supply chains globally.

The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting birth rates worldwide and high-income countries like Canada are expected to see declining fertility rates, resulting in a smaller population size and rapidly increased greying of Canada. Canada has been feasting on immigrants for years as they compensate for the negative economic and fiscal impact created by the aging population and decline in birth rates. This will have a strong impact on the labor market and to ensure long-term economic recovery, the federal and provincial governments need to keep immigration ️as a priority to support this decline.

COVID-19 has impacted pre-determined immigration level targets of Canada, both permanent and temporary residents have dropped significantly, along with this unemployment is prevalent and the economy is falling. To support the economy and to meet the necessary labor market needs in terms of workforce availability, Canada needs immigrants as their impact on Canadian economy is profound.

Helping temporary residents become permanent residents will address Canada’s needs to respond to COVID-19 and will benefit Canada in the long term because candidates who already have Canadian experience tend to have strong labor market outcomes. Temporary residents like international students and temporary foreign workers already possess Canadian work experience, have already settled in, and have high English or French language ability, which leads to quicker labor market integration, solving economic and labor market needs.

Canada reaffirms their ongoing commitment towards immigration especially international students and global talent as Canada continues to count online study at DLI towards eligibility for PGWP between May 2020 to April 2021. During the tenure of post-graduation work permit, international students gain necessary Canadian work experience to qualify for permanent residency through economic immigration programs.

Immigrant-focused financial recovery plans should be at the forefront of Canada’s post-pandemic goals to offset the temporary decline in immigration and to ensure long term recovery.

IRCC implements Changes in Extensions and Implied Status

COVID-19 pandemic has been impacting Canadian immigration and, IRCC understands that delay in processing time has adversely affected Temporary residents. In the light of issues faced by temporary residents on implied status, Canada has implemented changes in the processing of work permit extensions on October 20, 2020.

If a worker, visitor, or student applies to extend his or her status in Canada before that status expires, he or she may legally remain in Canada until a decision is made on the application. In such a scenario, the person has implied status. The implied status remains until the Government decides on the applicant’s new work/study permit application.

If the applicant applied for a work/study permit extension before their work/study permit expired, they can not only keep working/studying but also avail government benefits, services and other privileges until a decision is made. Applicants must stay in Canada and meet the conditions of their original work/study permit. For instance, if an applicant has an employer-specific work permit, they must still work for the employer named on that permit.

However, availing these services, sometimes becomes difficult for the applicant as they have no written proof of their application being processed by the Canadian Government. The only document they have is the receipt of fee payment and copies of their application which is generally not considered an official document to prove applicant’s status. To avoid this distress and to provide clarity, IRCC has changed the phrasing of their communication to the applicant.

As of October 20, 2020, temporary residents who submit their extension application online through IRCC portal, will receive an auto-generated Acknowledgement of Receipt Letter confirming their existing authority to work/study/stay has been officially extended to a specific date. This letter can act as a proof of authorization and can be attached to applicant’s expired work permit as a verification of their continued legal status in Canada.

It is paramount for the temporary resident to apply before expiry of their status and, applicant should remain physically in Canada during their implied status period, for receiving this Acknowledgement of Receipt Letter.