2020 began with the wake of the coronavirus that impacted different sectors in Canada, and the immigration system was no exception. The pandemic affected both immigration authorities and immigrants in different ways. Immigrants faced the challenge of accessing immigration services such as language testing, biometrics, and credentialing services. Conversely, immigration officers were incapable of delivering essential application processing services.

With this, the Canadian immigration imposed policies and programming changes that saw immigration officials continue processing immigrant applications differently. Some of the operations ongoing during the pandemic include English language tests and obtaining Education Credential Assessment (ECA). Yet, positive messages from the federal government and Canada’s immigration minister provided hope to process more applications and welcome extra immigrants into the country.

Several flexible policies from the federal government continue to guide immigration candidates into Canada. For instance, immigrants have an extended period to submit their application while considering those who submit incomplete applications. Besides, the immigration minister remains persistent to welcome more foreign workers to revive the slowing economy.

What The Future of Holds

Lifting Travel Restrictions

Canada, the United States, and the rest of the world are yet to conclude on lifting travel restrictions. The answer is solely based on when COVID-19 will be contained successfully in Canada and around the world. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) remain committed to ensuring international students get study permits and enter Canada to study during the 2020 fall semester. That said, Canada is likely to exempt study permit holders to international students to study come September.

Federal Skilled Workers Programs

Most foreign workers earn Canadian permanent residence visas through the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) under the Express Entry draws. During the pandemic, Express Entries centered upon the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Canadian Express Class (CEC) draws. Intrinsically, only candidates in Canada were issued with invitations to apply (ITA) to avoid disruptions, but today, some applicants are overseas. With this, the process targets future foreign workers who intend to submit their application later in 2021 when travel restrictions are entirely eased.

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