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COVID-19 at Canada – Business as usual

COVID-19 at Canada – Business as usual


More than 1.4 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Canada, leading to nearly 26,000 deaths.

Nevertheless, the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was quoted to have said, “We were able to control the virus better than many of our allies — including, particularly, our neighbor (the United States of America).”

As of today, Canada has one of the highest rates of vaccination against COVID-19 in the world, with 63% of the population getting at least one dose of the vaccine and because of that, one of the countries that managed to keep business as usual. This may be a testament to the words of the Prime Minister.

Canadians and COVID-19

As a result of COVID-19, Canadians took several precautions, including washing their hands more frequently, avoiding crowds and large gatherings, going out less except when necessary, and practicing social distancing in public.

This crisis has altered many people’s daily routines and the way they live and work. For example, almost half of Canadians are being asked to work at home instead of in an office.

Due to the strict physical separation and community-based measures being implemented, more Canadians have been using the internet and watching TV during the crisis. It could be because most social activities are now conducted online, such as education, Zoom meetings, parties, live concerts, and eSports competitions. Furthermore, individuals are likely to spend more time watching TV or movies (e.g., Netflix), playing video games, and using social media.

Canadian Immigration During the Pandemic

According to new data from the Canadian government, newcomer flows decreased significantly to 184,370 in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the lowest level of immigration Canada has seen since 1998 when the country only welcomed about 174,000 immigrants.

As of March 2020, Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, announced 341,000 new immigrants would be welcomed — the same number that was welcomed in 2019.

However, just days later, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that new travel restrictions were necessary to contain COVID-19.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released data showing that immigration to the country experienced a downshift around the time the travel restrictions were implemented and that newcomer flows have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Despite this, Canada is committed to welcoming a high number of immigrants to support its post-pandemic economic recovery, and even the current situation doesn’t affect the potential immigrants Canada CRS score.

Amid the pandemic, the IRCC alongside governments of provinces and territories continue to process immigration applications. The goal is to process as many applications as possible so that those who qualify for permanent or temporary status may apply. At the same time, travel restrictions and other pandemic-related disruptions remain in place. The second reason why Canada’s government is processing applications now is to ensure prompt recovery of its immigration system at the end of the epidemic.

Canadian immigration targets announced by Mendicino late in October 2020 will be among the most ambitious in Canadian history. According to the Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023, Canada seeks to welcome at least 401,000 new immigrants annually.

According to Mendicino, in a recent interview, he claimed the targets were achievable even during the pandemic. Among the reasons for this is IRCC’s invitation to more immigration candidates living in Canada to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) and programs in Quebec follow a similar approach.

Additionally, the travel restrictions offer several exceptions that allow individuals such as close family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to enter Canada during the pandemic.

According to Rebecca Morin, Editor in chief at canada2036.com, “About 300,000 new immigrants arrived in Canada every year until the pandemic. Approximately 0.9% of the nation’s population is foreign-born, which means that there are three times as many immigrants per capita as there are in the United States. In 2020, the immigration rate in Canada dropped to 0.5% as the country welcomed fewer than 200,000 immigrants for the second time since 1989” she claims.

As IRCC has since adapted to the pandemic, Canada’s immigration levels are expected to surpass 200,000 newcomers in 2021. Canada’s permanent residence landings plummeted between middle March and May 2020 due to pandemic-related lockdowns and other security measures. This was a major contributing factor to the failure of immigration to break the 200,000 newcomer barrier last year.

IRCC has since added remote working and online application processing to its operations, Mendicino indicated in his recent TV interview. These measures should allow it to maintain immigration levels unaffected by unexpected disruptions.

Conclusion

Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan will continue to be affected by the pandemic. However, once COVID-19 has been contained globally, we can expect levels to exceed 401,000 annually.

As of now, Canada’s provinces and territories continue to send out new immigration invitations. Also, the IRCC held recent Express Entry draws, and more is likely to follow soon.

That’s why you shouldn’t postpone your immigration plans. Now it’s the perfect time to get yourself a Canadian RCICand start heading to the big north country.



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