The future of Canada’s immigration programs

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised many questions and concerns regarding the future of Canada’s immigration programs. Canada’s immigration programs have been instrumental in addressing labour and skills shortages to grow our economy, reuniting families, and providing safe haven for those fleeing persecution.

In a meeting of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) on May 8th, the Hon. Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), confirmed that he and his department “will continue to ensure that immigration policies that we put in place are both effective in responding to the pandemic and will position Canada for success as we begin to reopen the economy.”

The Minister acknowledged the importance of Canada’s immigration program to our economic prosperity and national identity, highlighting that his department has and continues to implement measures “to help ensure the enormous benefits that temporary foreign workers bring to our economy are not lost in the disruption of the pandemic even as we adjust our programs to protect the health and security of all Canadians.”

The Minister reiterated that the department continues to accept and process applications for temporary and permanent residence and he is collaborating with his provincial counterparts to administer Provincial Nominee Programs. He also stated that the department has been exercising discretion judiciously to ensure there is the least amount of disruption, particularly for students and workers, and the department will continue exploring options to respond to the impacts of COVID-19, such as automatic work permit renewals for certain foreign workers, taking into consideration the integrity of immigration programs.