Once global travel restrictions begin to ease after the pandemic, Canada is expecting a significant surge in immigration applications. A document on a federal government website indicates that they are planning to find ways to help Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) modernize the ways in which they currently process immigration applications.
What are the immigration measures that Canada put in place during COVID-19?
The coronavirus pandemic had significantly impacted IRCC’s operations, and Canada had implemented travel restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Federal government employees in Canada and overseas have been strictly adhering to strict social distancing and remote working measures.
Despite all this, IRCC continues to do its best to fulfil its mandate to temporary foreign workers, international students, visitors, permanent residents, citizenship seekers, refugees, asylum claimants, and Canadian citizens. There are many special measures that have been put in place to support application processing for foreign nationals during this time.
However, many IRCC processing and contact centres have been shut down or are operating at significantly reduced capacity and this has obviously limited IRCC’s ability to process applications.
How is IRCC looking to improve application processing?
IRCC expect that when operations return to normal, it will have different policies, procedures, and digital solutions in place to handle the post-coronavirus spike in applications that is expected. They are already developing new strategies, processes, and digital systems to enable it to work in a more streamlined manner. Wherever possible, digital processes will be enforced to minimize the need for in-person or paper-processes. This is both for safety and to ensure more efficient and faster application processing.
Canada is committed to welcoming immigrants, workers, students, and visitors!
Despite the interruptions due to the pandemic, Canada’s current Immigration Levels Plan 2020-2022 remain unchanged and the country is seeking to welcome over one million immigrants in the coming three years. Additionally, Canada is still holding Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws. The country is actively processing study and work permits, and enabling immediate family to enter the country.
Once these processes are modernized through the use of technology, IRCC should be in a stronger position to accommodate even more foreign nationals once the pandemic is over.