In an online Q&A session on Tuesday May 5, Canada’s Minister Marco Mendicino answered questions and shared details regarding the future of immigration in the country following the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In the 60-minute session held by the Canadian Bar Association’s Immigration Law Sector, topics such as immigration levels, temporary foreign workers, and international students were discussed and expanded upon.
Immigration Levels: Canada will remain open to and will welcome immigrants after COVID-19
In discussing the future of immigration for the country Mendicino confirmed that Canada will continue to welcome immigrants after the pandemic is over.
Mendicino states that immigrants will be important for the country’s economic growth, as research has shown that the pandemic will not affect Canada’s long-term demographic trends.
These trends indicate that the country’s worker-to-retiree ratio is declining, meaning the country will need immigrants to drive economic growth.
“We continue to rely on immigration, it will be an economic driver and this will be the North Star of our policy going forward,” said Mendicino regarding the need for immigrants in Canada.
“Immigration will be key to our success and our economic recovery”.
Mendicino also noted that Canada had faced other pandemic and economic challenges in the past, yet Canada thrived and continued to grow despite the challenges presented.
He stated that a factor that helped boost growth during those challenging times was due to the economic contributions made possible from welcoming immigrants.
How the IRCC is operating
As of this moment the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) staff are working remotely, which has ultimately impacted the department’s ability to process immigration papers at the usual rate.
This situation however has brought about innovation for their processing tools and methods for work.
For example, with their current working situation, the IRCC is still able to expedite the immigration of foreign workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
Temporary foreign workers
On the subject of temporary foreign workers, those very same workers have been crucial in the operation of the agricultural and seafood sectors of the country in efforts to strengthen Canada’s food supply.
According to Mendicino, challenges such as product demand and circumstances related to the amount of work needed have been encountered when bringing in foreign workers.
Seeing as this is one of the challenges beyond the control of the IRCC, Mendicino says that they are working on ways to enlist the aid of foreign workers in the sectors that need them most.
“Is there more that we can do? Absolutely. And we are always looking at ways to create some additional flexibility around work permits, really removing any barriers that exist abroad”.
Increased International Student Flexibility
Mendicino addressed the feedback provided to him from stakeholders regarding the federal government and how they have addressed international students situation during the pandemic.
He also stated that the IRCC’s Post-Graduation Work Permit is now eligible for international students who now have to take online courses.
As of this moment, the IRCC is in talks with post-secondary stakeholders for how they can assist students enrolling in the international programs at some of the designated learning institutions.
Mendicino says to stay tuned for when updates and more are announced.
Written by: Angelo Cruz
Source: CIC News
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