Over the past 5 years, Canada has been welcoming an average of 300 thousand immigrants each year. The modesty and simplicity in the immigration laws favour the immigrants largely and Canada is expected to welcome more than a million new immigrants from 2020 to 2023.
On the other hand, the situation revolving corona virus pandemic has hit the entire world and Canada has suffered its own share of the problem. Looking at the current scenario, there will be majorly two issues that will shape the immigration policies for the rest of 2021.
Containing and defeating the corona virus pandemic for the goodwill account largely to ensure smooth immigration in the coming days. Along with that, it also depends on Minister Justin Trudeau, whether or not he decides to call an election.
Canada and Covid 19
Like most other countries in the world, Canada also suffered disruption due to Covid 19 since the beginning of 2020. All the decisions surrounding immigration were dependent on how proficiently the department could manage the Covid related issues. Over the course of the pandemic, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) has changed multiple of their laws and brought in new policies to achieve the immigration goals.
The early months of 2021 however witnessed a huge increase in the numbers of Covid 19 affected across the country. Widespread of the virus and the third wave led to new lockdowns across the largest provinces of Canada like Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.
However, in recent weeks, things have become a lot better. The country embraced strict public health measures and vaccination campaigns. There is a steady downward slide for the number of cases daily, which recorded as much as 10,000 each day in April 2021.
Up to 40% of the eligible population in Canada has received at least one shot of the vaccine. Canada now stands along with Israel, United Kingdom, United States, and Chile as one of the top five OECD countries. It is expected Canada will receive more than 20 million doses before the end of June, ensuring a return of normalcy by the end of the summer.
Canada’s ability to return to normalcy will affect the immigration calculus for the government in a positive way. IRCC and the Federal government is likely to welcome more people from overseas if the situation is contained.
The success of the vaccine campaigns will determine Canada’s ability to lessen travel restrictions and authorize more Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) holders.
COPRs are individuals who have received permanent resident visa approval but cannot enter the country because of the situation. IRCC has not commented much on such cases.
Covid 19 situation also impacts Canada’s take on approval of Express Entry draws. The start of the pandemic in 2020 saw Canada considering Canadian Express Class (CEC) and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates for Express Entry draws. In the second half of the year, however, they considered all candidates like FSWP and FSTP for Express Entry.
The story is pretty similar this year as, since the beginning of 2021, Canada has once again considered only CEC and PNP candidates. IRCC is likely to consider FSWP and FSTP candidates again once the pandemic situation is contained.
Will there be Federal Elections?
The other major factor that determines the immigration policies for the remainder of the year 2021 is the federal elections. According to the reports and press releases, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is likely to call a federal election in the latter part of the year.
With the success of the vaccine campaign and Canada’s war on the pandemic, Justin Trudeau is likely to get more public support and confidence for the consecutive third term of office. Although Trudeau’s support reduced from majority to minority in 2019, the polls still show the popularity of the Canadian Prime Minister.
The previous elections were held in the month of October and the new government started working not until January. Winter holidays and Christmas are extremely important in Canada and hence the elections campaigns do not usually occur around this time. The world will likely know about the federal election announcements from Justin Trudeau by September 2021.
Although the majority of the immigration programs like Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program are not likely to be affected by the call of the election, some impacts on the immigration policies can be expected. On the other hand, the call of elections will delay the implementation of new policies and programs until the results. It will also affect the government’s responsiveness to issues and challenges that will come up.
The immigration policies and programs amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic are likely to change and evolve. At this time you cannot risk your immigration application or delay the process. Seek professional guidance from Allegiance Consultant Corp as we promise to lead you in this entire journey even in this pandemic situation.