Well, it has been just over a year since Canada began its long lockdown caused through Covid-19. So much has happened in immigration to Canada and within Canada.
Let’s look back 1 year. Well, the announcement of the lockdown here in Canada. This I can tell you is like I have never seen. The streets were empty for weeks. Gas prices in Canada tumble to 60 cents a liter. It reminded me of growing up in the 60’s and 70’s when Sundays were so quiet not a store open except your corner store.
Well, it didn’t take long to hit Canada Immigration. All the Canadian offices were closed here and all over the world. The Immigration world stopped.
Prime Minister Trudeau and his party had set some pretty aggressive goals for Canada immigration over the 3 years and this year has put the brakes on the plan. Canada Immigration along with most other businesses in Canada moved to working from home.
Great idea or not. Well, with immigration officials working from home processing of application have moved very slowly. A huge back log from Immigration processing because of being closed for a couple months. Officers trying to work with tools from home that limited their access to many of the tools they use to do their work.
Many of the application for visitor visa’s still to this day sit dormant in the processing center. Plans change. Family Class visa’s have just started to move again putting processing from 12 months to 18 to 24 months. Students permits cancelled with no travel to Canada in the future and so on.
Fast forward to January of 2021. Processing of priority visa’s have started. Student and workers and visitors who couldn’t travel have been given new options. Canada has recognized the individuals who have risked their own help to help in hospitals throughout the country and have offered Refugees options for Permanent residence though the Health Care worker program. Visitors on visa were given the option to work in Canada helping to fill work shortages throughout the country with work permits.
Canada approached the Designated learning Institutions throughout Canada to come up with a readiness plan to get students back to Canada and into the Classes. Canada has over 500,000 students at any one time helping to inject money into the education system and into the Canadian economy.
Now many of the institutions still offer online education until a certain type of normalness comes to Canada. Canada immigration has allowed students overseas to take classes online and qualify those hours of class towards a Post Grad work Permit. Never have we seen this flexibility in Canada’s immigration system.
Looking at the Express entry system. Well Canada continued to do their bi-weekly draws and with numbers up to 5000 at a time the EE draw was slowly decreasing allowing individuals who would likely never get the chance to come to Canada with scores in the low 400’s. Then the realization that processing these applications have become so difficult they have chosen to do an alternative route.
Come the 13th of February a massive never seen draw of 27,332 through the Canadian Experience Class draw down to a CRS score of 75. Since then, the bi-weekly draws have been limited to Provincial Nominee Programs and CEC. Overseas applicants with scores in the mid 450’s have to wait now until Immigration Canada changes their strategy once again.
I do understand the thought behind this plan that immigration Canada decided. Think of it this way. If Canada Immigration continued the path, it has been going overseas applications will never be able to meet all the requirements that they need to fulfill their applications and rejections will become so high and all the time and money spent trying to process them will lead to more wasted time.
Now processing the CEC application is great in the sense all the individuals who have been in Canada working and through education are given a front of the line processing and cleaning up these applications will give more room for the draws at a later date.
However, the downfall of this strategy that immigration Canada has come up with is no new growth in the country. See currently we have all the graduate students and people on work permits in Canada. They have been contributing to the Canadian economy for 1, 2 or 3 years or more. Yes, they will have their chance to become Permanent Residence now but they’re already a part of the growth of Canada. Canada needs new intake of foreign nationals to come to Canada to get a positive growth.
Now we come to this last week and immigration has once again come up with a new option for student grads and workers who have been in Canada through all this with 6 new pathways which gives Grads and workers the option to get Permanent residence. These 6 pathways give heavy focus on French speaking individuals who plan on living outside of Quebec. However, the really great part of this is that international students who were unable to find work in a 0, A or B noc while on the Post Grad Work Permits and had to work in C or D categories now have the chance to get their PR.
So anyways this is a pretty basic rundown of the last year. Going forward we will also see so many more surprises from Immigration Canada