How Will Budget 2021 Canada Affect Immigration to Canada?
As the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic draws to an end thanks to lockdown measures and rapid rollout of vaccination efforts, Canadian authorities are preparing themselves for the post-COVID-19 world. To ensure everyone in Canada is not left out of the economic recovery after the pandemic, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland announced the Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience plan in late April 2021, which is going to cover a wide variety of sectors in all of the Canadian economy. But what is Budget 2021 Canada? How does it affect immigration programs?
What is Exactly is Budget 2021 Canada?
Budget 2021 is a comprehensive program of economic revival to ensure all Canadians are back on their feet with the COVID-19 pandemic ending. The program is aimed at Canadians as a whole, however, priority is given to low-wage workers, young people, women, and minorities. It’s also aimed at small businesses, which were deeply affected by the lockdown measures implemented because of the pandemic. Overall, the Budget 2021 plan will include a $104.1 billion package, and these investments will be put to action over the next 3 years.
What Are Some Key Investments as a Part of Budget 2021?
Some key investments as a part of the Budget 2021 plan are detailed below:
- Nation-wide establishment of early learning and childcare system to help all families access high quality and affordable childcare.
- Establishing a $15 federal minimum wage as standard.
- Raising insurance benefits from 15 to 26 weeks.
- $2.2 billion of support towards small businesses.
- Supporting Canadian tourism sectors with various support programs for $1 billion.
- 35,000 affordable housing units will be built for economically vulnerable people.
- Interest on Student Loans will be waived for another year, until March 31, 2023. Canadian government already put a moratorium on student loan payments at the beginning of the pandemic.
There are, of course, many more key investments as a part of the Budget 2021 plan, but key investments are specified above.
Do the Budget 21 Investments Affect Immigration Programs?
A question that has been bothering a lot of people was how the Budget 21 program would affect immigration in Canada. Thankfully, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Marco Mendicino brought some clarity to this subject on May 21. Immigrants are an important part of the Canadian economy, and as the Canadian workforce’s average age is getting higher every year, immigrants’ role in the economy gets even more indispensable. Experts estimate that net immigration accounted for half of Canada’s average GDP growth from 2016 to 2019, and three-quarters of its GDP growth in 2019. Mendicino stated that:
“Canada’s immigration system is critical to supporting our economic recovery and building a stronger Canada for all. We want to make it easier for newcomers to come to Canada, and our immigration system needs to reflect that. Budget 2021 investments will help create a new online platform that is secure, user-friendly, and makes it easier than ever for the best and brightest from around the world to choose Canada. They will also support newcomers’ access to resources that will help them adjust to their lives in Canada and integrate more quickly. As such, Canada can better compete with its international partners and take advantage of the growth in global travel, when it is safe to do so.”Honorable Marco Mendicino
Naturally, Budget 21 will include investments in immigration processes and programs as well. Of Budget 21’s $104.1 billion total investment plans, $1 billion will be directed towards immigration programs.
How Will the Budget 21 Investments Affect Immigration to Canada?
Budget 2021 recognizes the importance of immigrants in the Canadian economy and therefore puts forward some proposals for specific aspects of Canadian immigration. Since Budget 2021 will cover the next years, these plans are can change.IRCC can also implement other measures to support immigration. Here are the current plans for immigration:
Improving Immigration Platforms and Streamlining Applications
6 new immigration streams were already announced by Mendicino in early April, which will help more than 90,000 temporary residents get permanent resident status. With the rising number of applications and because of the COVID-19 related lockdowns, processing times for candidates have been rising significantly since the beginning of 2020, processing times for immigration streams have doubled, or tripled in some cases. As such, upgrading Canada’s immigration systems was a necessity. Because of this, the Budget 2021 plan includes an $827 million investment to replace the current and outdated Global Case Management System. Global Case Management System is the integrated worldwide system of the IRCC for processing applications for citizenship and immigratory processes (temporary and permanent residency, student visa applications, etc.) The plan to replace this system is a massive undertaking that will be done over the course of several years, however, the replacement of this system will greatly increase the processing speeds of every application. Replacement of GCMS is vital for IRCC to reach its goal of 1,230,000 new permanent resident admissions until 2024. As the number of permanent residency admission is growing each year, faster application times will be crucial.
Strengthening the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
The Temporary Foreign Worker program is integral for some Canadian businesses to operate profitably (especially for businesses in the agricultural sector). The proposed investments will aim to protect these workers’ health and safety, quality of life, and fair wages. To do so, investments above are proposed as a part of Budget 2021:
- $49.5 million of investment over the course of three years to support programs such as on-arrival orientation programs and emergency programs.
- $54.9 million of investment over the course of three years for doing more on-site inspections by IRCC officers to ensure temporary foreign workers’ working conditions and wages are up to standard.
- $6.3 million of investment for supporting faster processing times for issuing permits to temporary workers.
Streamlining of Express Entry Process
Apart from the 6 new immigration streams announced by Mendicino in early April, Budget 2021 also proposes investments for streamlining the Express Entry System. Express Entry is the main pathway for bringing skilled immigrants into Canada for six years since it has been introduced in 2015. As the main pathway for skilled immigration, any changes in streamlining the Express Entry System are important. The proposed amendments to Express Entry include giving IRCC the authority to use Ministerial Instructions (the authority of the Minister to change and issue new immigration streams without the approval of the Parliament) to help select those candidates who best meet Canada’s labor market needs from among the growing pool of candidates who wish to become permanent residents through the Express Entry System.
How Canadapt Can Help You?
Canada’s immigration policies are one of the most transparent and advanced in the world. It is a match to none in its flexibility to adapt to all sorts of circumstances, and the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to that. The Canadian government is able to use immigration policies to alleviate the negative effects of the recession caused by the pandemic, unlike some other countries where immigration policies remain rigid over many years. Although this creates advantageous scenarios for potential immigrants most of the time, it is easy to lose track of all these new developments in Canadian immigration laws. That’s where our team of ICCRC (The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council) licensed consultants can help you realize your goal of immigrating to Canada.
Reach out to us if you have any queries with Canadian immigration processes. Our experts would be happy to assist you. Don’t forget to check out our free 15-minute consultation by filling out the evaluation form here.