Due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the previous goal from the Canadian government of attracting 300,000 new immigrants by 2020 may not be completed. At present, the Canadian government is considering reducing the difficulty of immigrating to Canada, especially for foreign citizens currently holding various visas in Canada.
Canada announced plans last week to make it easier for the more than 1 million temporary students, workers and asylum seekers now living in the country to become permanent residents, giving them a path to citizenship.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said it’s the logical way forward to make up for a decline in foreigners moving to Canada during the pandemic. “For those who are already in Canada and here on a temporary basis, it behooves us to see whether or not there’s a way to accelerate their pathway to becoming Canadian,”
After recording a net increase of 190,952 temporary residents last year, the first six months of 2020 has seen a net decrease of 18,221, according to Statistics Canada data. That’s having an impact on Canada’s total population, which grew just 0.1% in the three months through June, the second-lowest quarterly gain in records dating back to 1946.
Making temporary residents permanent will address Canada’s short-term needs to respond to Covid-19 and help the country address the longer-term demographic challenges, the minister said.
Students from other countries are particularly attractive as a potential counter to the aging population, and the government is making it easier for them to work in Canada, the minister said.
“International students who tend to be a younger population, who tend to be right at the outset of their careers having a longer period within their lifespan to contribute and they are a very attractive pool that we’re going to look very closely at,” Mendicino said.
If the government implements this policy and enlarges the immigration channels for international students, many of them will choose to stay and work in Canada after graduation. Canada will also gain more share in the international studying market and attract more international students.