Immigration Minister Says Canada will continue to welcome 401K Newcomers Despite COVID-19 | INS The Immigration Specialists Inc.


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  • Immigration Minister Says Canada will continue to welcome 401K Newcomers Despite COVID-19

    Canada’s immigration minister says he’s confident Ottawa will hit its immigration targets for this year despite the COVID-19 global pandemic which has slowed the arrival of newcomers to the country to a trickle.

    “I am confident that we are doing everything we can to meet that target and we will meet that target and the reason it is important to hit that target is because immigrants create jobs … and allow us to meet our workforce needs,” said Marco Mendicino, minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Monday.

    Late last year, Canada identified immigration as crucially important in helping the country rebuild its economy after the financial blow of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the world.

    Although the country has continued to accept and process applications during the pandemic, border closures and changes to the way offices operated with the public health restrictions led to a massive drop in immigration last year.

    Ottawa decided to make up for that shortfall and set ambitious immigration targets for this year and the next two.

    Its 2021‒2023 Immigration Levels Plan has set immigration targets of about one per cent of the Canadian population for each of those years. That’s 401,000 permanent residents this year, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.

    The federal government’s previous plan set targets of 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.

    Ottawa Takes Unprecedented Steps To Bolster Immigration

    There has been doubt expressed about Ottawa’s ability to hit the new, higher immigration targets.

    In a Royal Bank of Canada economic report, senior economist Andrew Agopsowicz wrote that Canada was more likely to only be able to attract 275,000 immigrants this year due to the ongoing travel restrictions.

    Since then, though, IRCC has responded by slashing the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores in an Express Entry draw that saw more than five times as many Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued as usual.

    Ottawa followed that by launching six new pathways to permanent residency for temporary foreign workers and international grads. The cap on anglophone applicants under three of those new steams was 90,000 but there is no cap on the number of francophone and bilingual candidates.

    Cyrille Simard, vice-president of business development for the francophone network of community colleges in New Brunswick, the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB), has welcomed the new pathways to permanent residency for francophone international grads and temporary foreign workers.

    “Hitting the targeted level of francophone immigration is always a challenge for francophone communities,” said Simard in French during an IRCC press conference Monday.

    He praised the new pathways to permanent residency for making it easier for those francophone grads who are already in Canada and well-integrated into the country’s communities to remain here.

    Mendicino played up Monday the strong demand by anglophone international grads to the program since it was started last week. The 40,000 spots for applications from anglophone international grads have already been filled.

    Source: IRCC

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