2020-04-03 – The coronavirus crisis has taken hold in Canada, with people told to stay in their homes and borders closed to all but essential travel.
But that does not mean the immigration system has closed down. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) say it continues to receive and process applications, while many of Canada’s provincial programs have said the same.
Here are five reasons to apply for Canada immigration now:
1) Canada Needs Immigrants
Less than a week before the coronavirus crisis took grip in Canada, the federal government released an immigration levels plan aiming to raise annual targets to up to 390,000 by 2022. The need for these immigrants – mainly in the economic class – does not change overnight. When COVID-19 is brought under control and the economic recovery begins, Canada will start to need newcomers once more to boost the population, bring down the average age of the population and strengthen the labour market. Depending on how quickly the crisis is contained, the 2020 target of 341,000 new permanent residents may not be met, but expect Canada to ramp up immigration again from 2021 onwards.
2) Apply Now and Arrive Post-Coronavirus
Candidates applying now for Canada immigration who are approved can expect waiting periods of between six and twelve months. Stripped back processing during the coronavirus crisis could mean an increased wait time, depending on the immigration category. The same consideration applies as before the coronavirus crisis took hold: the earlier you get your application in, once approved, the sooner you can arrive in Canada. Candidates applying for permanent residence from outside Canada now, even with the fastest processing, will not arrive until the coronavirus peak is over and recovery is underway.
3) Already in Canada On A Work Permit?
Temporary residents who are already working on a Canada Work Permit should seriously consider getting their application for permanent residence together if their intention is to stay here in the long term. Immigration draws that have happened since the coronavirus crisis began have pivoted towards candidates already in Canada, wishing to switch from temporary to permanent residence. Through Express Entry, two program-specific draws have targeted provincial nominees and the Canadian Experience Class respectively. These are candidates most likely to be already in Canada on a Work Permit. Saskatchewan targeted its provincial draw at Occupations In-Demand, while the British Columbia draw excluded fields where the impact of coronavirus has caused people to lose their jobs.
4) Canada Is Positioning Itself for A Fast Recovery
Canada’s federal government has released a raft of measures aimed at helping people and businesses through the coronavirus crisis. While these measures are crucial in the here and now, they will also mean Canada is positioned to make a fast recovery, to the extent possible, once the crisis has abated. Canada will need immigrants to assist in that recovery.
Recently announced measures include the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), providing $2,000 per month to workers who have lost their income due to coronavirus. Employment Insurance is also available to those who have lost their job and this includes temporary workers. Furthermore, the Canada Child Benefit has been increased, the income tax filing deadline delayed and banks have committed to helping those with mortgages, with many offering payment deferrals of up to six months. Small businesses also have government backing, with an unprecedented 75 percent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to three months, retroactive to March 15.
5) Canada Needs Temporary Workers
As the coronavirus crisis has taken hold, Canada’s immediate reliance on temporary workers for agriculture and other food-related industries has become an important issue. This is why Canada’s borders are still open to temporary workers. Candidates face health tests before they board flights, and 14 days of isolation on arrival, by Canada still need people to come here to work. Farms are still reporting shortages, given some Canada visa offices have closed and air travel is difficult due to cancelled flights. Planes are even being chartered to bring in temporary workers to avert a food supply crisis. All incoming workers will be required to complete a 14-day quarantine.
Immigrants Will Help Canada’s Recovery
New policies are intended to put the Canadian economy in the best place to recover as quickly as possible once the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control.
Immigration is set to remain a central part of that economic recovery.
Canada and its provinces have a stated commitment to draw on robust immigration to meet long-term economic growth. Canada will continue to feature robust immigration policies and it remains an important destination for those wishing to become part of its landscape.