The news are not the prettiest for immigrants. Canada Immigration has dropped by 78% as April saw only 4140 new permeant residents admitted to the country. This was in contrast to 19,125 arrivals in March. These figures were released by IRCC on Tuesday and will without a doubt be talked about in detail in the coming months.
As of today, some restrictions are still in place, which, of course, will impact May figures in a way similar to April figures. This is because the coronavirus pandemic has affected not merely processing time (as IRCC workers were not able to work from the office and had no access to many documents), but especially it meant travel restrictions to and from many countries, as well as flight cancellations, etc.
Since May 26, moreover, only permanent residents (PRs) who were approved on or before the 18th of May have been allowed entry into Canada. Exemptions were introduced to permit some seasonal agricultural workers and temporary foreign workers to enter the country, as well as international students with valid study permits or PRs announced before March 18 which had not yet traveled to Canada.
Essential Temporary Workers Won’t Need to Submit Biometrics
Very important news came yesterday as Canada has exempted certain essential temporary foreign workers from having to submit biometrics upon arrivals. These temporary foreign workers are crucial to battle coronavirus and to make the Canadian economy regain its impulse in post-pandemic times.
Among these workers are:
• Agricultural and agri-food workers
• Health care workers
• Truck drivers
The IRCC issued the statement: 'Temporary foreign workers are playing a key role in helping to safeguard the continuity of Canada’s food supply and health security as well as trade and commerce’. The COVID-19 pandemic has put under strain Canadian economy, causing service disruptions at all levels but especially in the IRCC processes that see immigrants approved for permanent residence. This meant thousands of people have been waiting for months to enter Canada that might have been approved under normal circumstances, before travel restrictions and lockdown measures.
IRCC also confirmed that no application will be dismissed because of missing documents since the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reduced the possibility to gain needed documents in the time window previously granted to prospective immigrants.
Exemptions for Families and Easing of Measures to Begin Soon
Canada has also just announced it will provide limited exemptions to allow immediate family members of citizens and permanent residents to enter via the Canada-U.S. border. Many families were separated because of lockdown measures and border closures between Canada and the United States, but the situation is set to change quite soon.
People crossing the border are not exempted from the 14-days quarantine rule and will incur serious penalties should they not follow the regulations in place. Still, these exemptions show that North America is preparing to enter a new phase of a pandemic where day-to-day and individual management of risk matter more than nationwide measures.
On July 1, travel restrictions will begin to be eased or lifted completely. Canada, moreover, remains committed to placing immigration as a key aspect of economic growth, meaning that the country will not let the pandemic derail its plans for welcoming up to 1 million new migrants until 2022. The government is committed to encouraging high levels of immigration in the coming decades, as immigration keeps the Canadian economy growing and innovative in the global stage. IRCC will keep focusing on the Express Entry draws system as well as the Provincial Nominee Program and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) in order to stimulate new arrivals.