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Canadian alternatives to U.S. immigration ban

Trump’s new immigration ban is meant to be a temporary measure to protect U.S. workers during the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. An estimated 525,000 individuals will not be able to move to the U.S. as permanent or temporary residents for the rest of 2020. This temporary measure will create significant uncertainty for employers in the U.S. as well as those who were planning on working in America. Until the end of 2020, the U.S. will not issue new green cards (or permanent resident status) to immigration applicants outside of the country which includes H-1B: Occupations requiring highly specialized knowledge, J: Work-and-study-based exchange visitor programs, L: Intra-company transfers


While Canada and the U.S. are both federal countries, Canadian provinces have more immigration authority than U.S. states. While Canada’s economy has also been weakened by the pandemic, Mendicino and the Canadian government believe that continuing to welcome immigrants will help the economy. Despite the uncertainty in Canada,  employers and workers can be certain that Canada will process new applications submitted during the pandemic and will facilitate the entry of new permanent and temporary residents as long as eligibility criteria are met.


The most prominent pathway is the federal Express Entry system. Interested candidates can submit their profile for free on the federal government’s website. Every two weeks, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government holds Express Entry draws in which it invites the highest-scoring immigration candidates to apply for permanent residence. The second most prominent permanent residence pathway is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Nearly every province and territory operates the PNP to welcome skilled workers that meet their local labour market needs. hey can also submit an Express Entry profile to give provinces the opportunity to review their credentials and contact them directly about immigrating to their jurisdiction.


A new Statistics Canada study finds that Canada’s population grew by 76,000 in the first three months of 2020, with 82% of the growth coming from immigration. Immigration numbers were stronger in the first three months of 2020 compared with 2019. Nearly 70,000 immigrants arrived to Canada at the beginning of this year compared with nearly 66,000 in the first quarter of 2019. IRCC continues to say that their 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan has not changed due to the coronavirus. This means that once the pandemic is over, we can expect immigration to serve the strong role it played prior to the pandemic in supporting the country’s population, labour force, and economic growth.






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