Canada’s liberal immigration measures during the Covid-19 times are sure to make it a more attractive migration destination for economic migrants around the globe!
While countries around the world are busy locking down their borders and imposing strict limitations on the movement of people, as part of measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus amongst their citizens, Canada has shown incredible foresight with regard to measures concerning immigrants.
Canada has definitely taken emergency measures to secure the Canadian population from the Covid-19 virus while ensuring that the potential future residents (immigrants) of Canada are also well accommodated within the measures being taken. Canada has continued to surprise the world with its respect for global talent and recognition of its economic advantages for the country.
One of the major emergency measures taken by the Canadian government in its fight against the pandemic is, restriction on travel until at least 30th June 2020 and keeping only 4 Canadian airports (in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver) operational for international flights during this time.
However, exceptions have been made to allow international travellers into the country despite the restrictions, some of them include:
- Canadian citizens returning home
- Permanent residents returning to Canada
- Immediate family of Canadian citizens and permanent residents (spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, grandchildren, parent or step-parent, and guardian or tutor)
- Permanent residence applicants who were granted the entry clearance before noon (EDT) on March 18, 2020 but who had not yet travelled to Canada
- Temporary foreign workers (crew members, essential service providers etc.)
- International students who held a valid study permit or who had been approved for a study permit when Canada’s travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020
Canada also realized the impact of the situation on the immigration system and has made every effort to accommodate the convenience of immigration workers and applicants alike. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) had to take the appended measures to combat the situation:
- Cancellation of citizenship ceremonies, hearings, tests, retests, itinerant service trips etc. indefinitely
- Applications would not be refused for non-compliance and those which are currently in progress at international case processing centres and within domestic networks will continue to be processed, subject to the statutory guidelines for public safety. *most visa application centres around the world are closed indefinitely which is bound to delay the processing of applications.
- Where additional documentation is requested by the IRCC, with regard to an application, the applicants would be given 90 days to respond to such requests.
- Applicants would have 90 days to submit biometric information after the receipt of the biometric instruction letter from the IRCC
- Permanent residence applicants would be granted an extension of up to 90 days to submit a complete application. Those who need the said extension may explain why they need the said extension and pay the associated fees.
- Those in possession of confirmations of permanent residence or permanent residence visas may be eligible for an extended deadline if they inform IRCC of their situation via the web form.
- Visa nationals whose visas are about to expire and are currently in Canada may apply for extension of their visas by submitting the form online and paying the applicable fees.
Click here to know about Canada Immigration Processing Fee 2020 Updates
Evidently, the IRCC is taking measures to address as many immigration issues as they can, despite having to adapt to the rapidly developing pandemic conditions. 4 Express Entry draws for Canadian Permanent residency have been conducted since 18th March 2020, two of which have been conducted on 9th April 2020 in which 3,900 ‘invitations to apply for Canada PR’ were issued. The provincial Nominee Programs for British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have also seen the issuance of nominations.
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The Canadian government has also introduced various economic benefits (Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, changes to Employment Insurance provisions etc.) to help households (employees) stay afloat during this chaotic time, keeping in mind the devastating impact that the global economic slump may have on their income and jobs. These benefits are equally available to all Canadian residents, immigrants and citizens alike (including temporary foreign workers).
The Canadian government has also taken important steps to ensure that international students would not lose out on the benefits they would be eligible for, had the present situation not affected their education patterns. International students may pursue online study and still remain eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. This may have to be extended to international students for the September 2020 intake as well, should the circumstances fail to return to normal and still prevent students from travelling to Canada.
Click here to know about Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program is Booming
In a thoughtful measure to maintain Canada’s food supply during these trying times, the government has relaxed the rules for the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) [required to be conducted by employers hiring foreign workers] in certain sectors like agri-food and transportation, making it a little easier for employers to hire the required labour.
- The advertising requirement has been waived off, making the process for hiring foreign nationals much shorter.
- New electronic LMIA application processing has been introduced, where employers may email their applications to the appropriate authorities.
Canada was prompt to recognize the importance of immigration, even during the coronavirus times and its potential to help the Canadian economy have a quick recovery after the end of the current situation. The above discussed measures taken by the Canadian government would likely go a long way in increasing the country’s good will among the global talent and ultimately aid in its economic recovery and stability in the long run.
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