International Students: Minister hints at more flexibility
Canada’s immigration minister participated in a Q&A session today, discussing how the COVID-19 crisis will make an impact on Canada’s immigration system during the upcoming months and as well as years.
Marco Mendicino talked about headlines in today’s questions and answers session, explaining how the coronavirus pandemic could affect Canada’s immigration system this year.
During a one-hour discussion with the Canadian Bar Association’s Immigration Law Section, Mendicino talked about topics such as immigration levels plan, temporary foreign workers, and also international students.
Headlines related to Immigration Levels: Canada will continue inviting newcomers after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mendicino said that immigration would clearly be key to Canada’s success and as well as economic recovery. He also stated that Canada continued to rely on immigration, it would be an economic driver for further development of the economy.
According to the minister, the coronavirus pandemic will not change the long-term demographic trends of the country. Considering Canada’s worker-to-retiree ratio, the country will likely to continue welcoming immigrants to boost economic growth.
Marco Mendicino: “This is not the first time Canada faces a pandemic and economic challenges, however, our country always continues to grow in spite of these challenges thanks to immigrants.
In addition, the Canadian federal government will consult with stakeholders about the future of intake levels in advance of its annual immigration levels plan announcement at the end of this year.
Since Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) staff are working remotely, this makes an impact on IRCC’s capacity to process immigration applications.
Nevertheless, remote operations made available by the IRCC allows its staff to access the tools they require in order to continue the processing of applications. The crisis has actually made IRCC to make innovations and also develop its processing in some regards. For example, it is now possible to expedite the processing of seasonal agricultural workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
Temporary Foreign Workers
Mendicino noted that IRCC was keeping touch with the agricultural sector and seafood sector employers, emphasizing the support of Canada’s efforts to strengthen the country’s current food supply.
“Can we de more than that? Absolutely. We will always look at methods to come up with some additional flexibility around work permits, really eliminating any barriers that make procedures any difficult,” Mendicino said.
The minister also noted that one of the greatest difficulties in getting skilled foreign workers into Canada is often the set of circumstances that are within the purview of the source countries from where they are coming.
On the other hand, market demand is also one of the other things that are beyond IRCC’s control. The minister said that the country would see reduced demand in certain products in some sectors.
Minister hints at more flexibility for International Students
Minister also noted that various stakeholders have provided feedback on how the Canadian federal government could adjust its international student policies in response to the COVID-19 crisis, which the IRCC is extremely grateful.
Furthermore, in order to know how the post-secondary stakeholders could support international students that will be enrolling in Canadian designated learning institutions during the September intake period, IRCC keeps in consultations.