Canada’s COVID-19 Response Lauded In Attracting Immigrants, International Students

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Canada’s COVID-19 Response Lauded In Attracting Immigrants, International Students
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Canada immigration news: A non-profit that provides credential evaluations for international students and immigrants says foreign nationals are confident in Canada’s ability to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and care for its sick. 

“A positive perception of the ability of the government and health care system in Canada to manage the pandemic is having a positive impact on interest in immigrating,” notes World Education Services.


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In a report entitled One Year Later: Canada’s Enduring Appeal to Prospective Immigrants in the Face of COVID-19, Comparative Analysis, August 2020 – August 2021, the organization revealed Canada’s response to the pandemic has kept interest in immigrating high.

Strong COVID-19 Response Boosted Canada Immigration Interest

“Fifty-eight percent of respondents indicated that they were more interested in immigrating to Canada because of the ability of the Canadian Government and healthcare system to manage the pandemic and care for COVID-19 patients,” states the report.

In early 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued the biggest number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued through Express Entry since 2015, the year the program was launched.

Those 44,124 ITAs in the first three months of last year were more than double the number issued over the first three months of the previous year.

Canada’s economic rebound during the pandemic is also leading prospective immigrants to have confidence they will be able to land jobs once they get here.

“The proportion of respondents who expected that the pandemic would negatively impact job availability in Canada decreased from 45 per cent to 33 per cent year over year, while those who expected a positive impact rose from 27 per cent in 2020 to 35 per cent in 2021,” the report states.

The country’s declining unemployment rate and the massive labour shortages are boosting the hopes of would-be immigrants that Canada is a land of opportunity.

“While the economic and labour market impacts were substantial at the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a gradual decrease in rates of unemployment, from a high of 13.7 per cent in May 2020, to 6.7 per cent in October 2021,” notes the report.

Foreign nationals who saw the beating the Canadian economy took during the first year of the pandemic, however, are also increasingly considering other countries as immigration destinations. Those considering a move to countries other than Canada doubled during the year of the study.

“The proportion of respondents who indicated that they were likely to immigrate to a country other than Canada as a result of the pandemic rose from 13 per cent in 2020 to 22 per cent in 2021,” states the report.

Survey Showed Confidence In Canada’s Pandemic Response

The confidence in Canada’s ability to effectively manage the pandemic revealed in this report echoes the findings of another study completed last year.

It showed Ottawa’s successful COVID-19 vaccination program had then buoyed the confidence of international students who had previously planned to defer their studies for a year but changed their minds and decided to instead come to Canada, as planned, as soon as possible.

“Canada’s successful vaccination rollout will hold the country in good stead to take the lead on a less restrictive international travel environment though universities will still need to carefully consider how they manage their international recruitment strategies for the rest of the year and what measures they can implement to safeguard against any future setbacks,” wrote Kym Nguyen, vice president of client development with QS Enrolment Solutions, last year.

 In its Canadian International Student Survey, entitled Supporting Recovery and Driving Growth in Global Higher Education, QS World revealed last year that international students who had planned to defer their studies in Canada changed their minds due to Canada’s pandemic response.

Many of those students, who followed Canada’s efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic with a national COVID-19 vaccination program, felt last year the country was once again safe enough to attend university and college in Canada.

Among the attractions of Canada for these international students is the opportunity to find jobs both while studying and afterwards, something made possible by the country’s Study Permits and Post-Graduation Work Permits. 

That work experience can then count towards upping their Comprehensive Ranking System points and improve their chances of immigrating to Canada and becoming permanent residents.

Foreign Nationals Can Immigrate To Canada In 5 Main Ways

“The ability to upskill is an important consideration for many prospective students when thinking about their preferred course and how that can influence their future careers,” notes the report.

“Those same students also have ambitions to go on to establish their careers in multinational organisations or government sector roles. Sixty-eight per cent of prospective students interested in studying in Canada intend to stay temporarily upon graduating in order to work and live, and 29 per cent plan to stay permanently.

In 2021, Canada welcomed a record-breaking 401,000 new permanent residents and intends to surpass that this year with an immigration target of 411,000 new permanent residents.

There are several ways foreign nationals can immigrate to Canada.

Under the Express Entry system, Canada receives immigration applications online. Applicants who meet eligibility criteria submit an online profile known as an Expression of interest (EOI), under one of three federal immigration programs or a participating provincial immigration program, to the Express Entry Pool.

Candidates’ profiles then are ranked against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates will be considered for an ITA for permanent residence. Those receiving an ITA must quickly submit a full application and pay processing fees, within a delay of 90-days.

Under a shared jurisdiction between Ottawa and the provinces, Canada operates a two-tiered immigration system, offering programs for skilled workers, at both federal and provincial levels.

Provinces Nominate Candidates Under PNPs

Through a network of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), almost all of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories can nominate skilled worker candidates for admission to Canada with the specific skills required by their local economies. Successful candidates who receive a provincial or territorial nomination can then apply for Canadian permanent residence through federal immigration authorities.

Immigrant investors can also come to Canada under the Start-up Visa program which can grant them Canadian permanent residence.

The program aims to recruit innovative entrepreneurs to Canada and link them with the Canadian private sector businesses, such as angel investor groups, venture capital funds or business incubators, and facilitate the establishment of their start-up business in Canada.

A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least $200,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totalling $200,000. A designated angel investor group must invest at least $75,000 into the qualifying business.

International students can also eventually get their permanent residence in Canada by first coming under a study permit, then applying for a PGWP, and finally seeking their permanent residents by applying through the Express Entry system.

Under the CRS system used by Express Entry system programs, applicants for immigration are assigned points based on:

  • Skills;
  • Work experience;
  • Language ability;
  • Language ability and education of the applicant’s spouse or common law partner;
  • Possession of a job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment;
  • Possession of a provincial government nomination for permanent residence, and;
  • Certain combinations of language skills, education and work experience that result in a higher chance of the applicant becoming employed (skill transferability).
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