Canada Immigration Policies and COVID-19 In 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has severely disrupted the Canada immigration system since restrictions were first introduced in March 2020.

Canada’s federal government reacted by restricting international travel and closing the Canada-U.S. border, with most of the measures taken still in place eight months later and likely to remain into 2021.

COVID-19 policies have severely limited Canada’s ability to welcome new permanent residents, work permit holders and study permit holders.

Ottawa had a plan to welcome in the region of 341,000 new immigrants in 2020, a target that will not be met given the likelihood that travel and border restrictions will remain in place into 2021.

The federal government plans to significantly increase immigration levels from 2021 to 2023 to make up for the 2020 shortfall and fuel Canada’s economic recovery. The recent immigration levels plan presented by Immigration Minister Marco Mendocino allows for more than 400,000 new permanent resident arrivals per year over the next three years.

However, there remains significant doubt over when travel and border restrictions will be lifted, given the virus is on the increase across Canada. Recent good news regarding successful vaccine trials has provided hope that the world could begin to return to normality by midway through 2021.

Quebec Immigration and COVID-19

Quebec continues to accept applications for permanent residence but says processing times are likely to be affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The province was an important driver behind the decision to offer asylum seekers working in Canada’s care homes a pathway to permanent residence.

Early in the crisis, Quebec’s immigration ministry moved to extend the stay of international students whose Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) expired as of April 30, allowing them to apply to stay in the province until the end of 2020.

Quebec welcomes 18,155 new immigrants in the first eight months of 2020, compared to 25,550 during the same period of 2019.

The governing Coalition Avenair Quebec says it plans to increase immigration levels in 2021 to offset the drop in immigration seen in 2020.

It was to welcome a maximum of 30,500 newcomers in 2020, rising to a maximum of 47,500 in 2021.

Leave a Reply