Justin Trudeau’s government has seen a decline in Permanent Residents this year due to COVID-19 and seeks to try a new tactic to stem the dramatic drop in immigration.
The new tactic? Persuade temporary residents already in Canada to stay in the country.
There are over 1 million temporary students, workers, and asaylum seekers now living in Canada. This makes it easier for them to seek permanent residency and an eventual path to getting Canadian citizenship.
Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino, stated in an interview on Monday that it’s the logical way forward to compensate for the decline in foreigners moving to Canada during the pandemic.
“For those who are already in Canada and here on a temporary basis, it behooves us to see whether or not there’s a way to accelerate their pathway to becoming Canadian,” Mendicino told Bloomberg.
Why do declining immigration numbers matter for Canada?
Canada’s economy relies heavily on foreigners to drive labour force growth and demand. This is particularly true for Canada’s major cities such as Toronto, where the condo market has already started showing signs of the impact.
Canada’s population growth depends heavily on immigrants with 2020 seeing a mere growth of 0.1% in the three months through June, due to the sharp decline in immigrants. This is the second-lowest quarterly gain in records dating back to 1946. Students are also a counter to Canada’s aging population and the government is making it easier for them to work in Canada, the minister said. Students were already being encouraged to enroll despite COVID-19 travel restrictions with additional incentives with flexibility in Post-Graduate Work Program eligibility.
Canada brings immigrants in two tracks – temporary residents (students, workers, asylum seekers) or permanent residents. Both these numbers have significantly decreased in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Proceeding at this pace, Canada will miss it’s permanent resident target for 2020 by 150,000 permanent residents. This is almost half of Canada’s 2020 immigration target.
Immigrants are important contributors to the Canadian economy, with many of them working in essential services such as health care, Medicino said. Canada’s 2021-2023 targets for immigration reflect the same with a sharp increase in expected immigrants.
The government will be looking “at that domestic immigration pool in very short order to identify the workers, the students, the asylum seekers who have the skill sets that align with essential services in the economy,” he said.
Source: Bloomberg.com; Financial Post
What can temporary residents expect in the coming weeks?
It is likely that Canada will be announcing special programs that provide easier pathways for Permanent Residency for students and workers in Canada. This can include initiatives such as additional points in CRS score calculations as well as special provincial and federal programs targeting individuals with Canadian education or with certain skills.
Not sure how you need to proceed? Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you gain Canadian permanent residence. We will be happy to tell you about our services and provide a quote for the cost of our services, whether you need a single consultation, a budget application review, or full representation.