Let’s look at some major events in Canada immigration that happened in 2020. These are significant developments that happened in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Extended family exempted from Canada’s travel restrictions
On October 2, 2020, Canada relaxed its rules to allow extended family members of Canadian citizens and Canada PRs to enter the country. This was an improvement on the already existing rule exempting immediate family members from travel restrictions. The immediate family members included:
- Common-law partners
- Dependent children
- Guardians or tutors of Canadian citizens or PRs
The new rule allowed more people including:
People in an exclusive and long-term relationship and their:
- Dependent children
- Non-dependent children
More international students exempted
On October 2, 2020, it was announced that international students enrolled into DLIs with COVID-19 readiness plan could arrive to study in Canada. This allowed more international students to come to the country on Canada student visa.
IRCC made the landmark decision that students could start learning the courses they enrolled in via online media from their home countries till December 31, 2020. They will not lose their eligibility for PGWP due to their non-presence in Canada during studies owing to COVID-19.
The best part is that IRCC has further extended the PGWP eligibility period to April 30, 2021!
New Express Entry records made
Before the COVID-19 pandemic came down hard, Express Entry draws were held once every 2 weeks. The usual rate of invitations sent was to 3,000 to 4,000 immigration candidates.
After March 16, 2020, when Canada declared its travel restrictions and measures to prevent COVID-19, Express Entry draws began to be conducted within limits. On March 18, 2020, a draw was held with only PNP candidates. On March 23, 2020, a draw was conducted with only CEC candidates.
It was on July 8, 2020, that FSWP candidates began to be included in Express Entry draws. IRCC also began holding all-program draws from September 2, 2020.
The lower immigration to Canada during the COVID-19 crisis was compensated by a high number of invitations as with 5,000 invitations being issued per draw. Express Entry surpassed 100,000 invitations in a year for the first time in 2020.
Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023
On October 30, 2020, Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced that from 2021, Canada will aim at bringing in 400,000 new Canada PR visa holdersper year. This is the most ambitious immigration plan Canada ever had.
Canada closes its borders
For a country like Canada, which’s famed for being openly welcoming to the world, inviting immigrants of various categories, the decision to close its borders on March 18, 2020, was nothing less than historic. This move reflected the determination of Canada to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at any cost.
Considering that Canada imposed border closure with the US shows that Canada was uncompromisingly committed to the cause of preventing COVID-19. Yet the country ensured that essential and non-discretionary travel was allowed with all preventive measures like quarantine and social distancing were in place.
If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.
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PR – Permanent Resident
IRCC – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
PGWP – Post-Graduation Work Permit
PNP – Provincial Nominee Program
CEC – Canadian Experience Class