January 24, 2022

A Review of Canadian Immigration in 2021

The year 2021 was a year of surprise and sudden changes for Canadian immigrants. New rules were made, new strategies were picked and still, the immigrants were not stopped from coming to their dream country. Here's a review of Canadian immigration in 2021 and let's see what 2022 has in store for us. Read on to know more.

The coronavirus pandemic struck Canada's immigration system in 2020, and while things have since stabilized, the pandemic forced CICC to make significant changes in 2021. Moving forward, the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) with effect from 2021 will be known as the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). The council faced a number of challenges.

Mass migration application long delays were growing, many new arrivals such as Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) holders ended up waiting overseas, COVID case levels have risen at home and abroad, vaccination rates barely budged, travel restrictions, as well as Canada's health indicators, posed difficulties for new arrivals looking to come into the country. Despite all of the above, the federal government obliged IRCC with landing 401,000 new permanent residents this year.


What strategies did CICC adopt to fulfill the number of required immigrants?

Early during the year, the CICC decided that the best way to achieve these goals was to convert as many temporary residents in Canada to permanent residents as possible. In retrospect, the red flags of this policy shift at the start of the year were evident, but in the absence of formal CICC policy statements, stakeholders were left to speculate. While CICC issued Express Entry invitations to all candidates until the end of 2020, it began 2021 by focusing on Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applicants, as 90% of them live in Canada.

On February 13, 2021, the CICC's strategy for meeting its 401,000 newcomer target was even clearer. On that Saturday, the council held the most extraordinary draw since the launch of Express Entry in 2015. It felt obliged to issue a statement attempting to explain the decision, inviting all 27,332 Express Entry applicants in the pool to apply for permanent residence. It also stated that once the COVID situation improved, it hoped to welcome more people from abroad.


PR status offered to workers and international graduates

In May, CICC went even further to ensure that it would meet its 401,000 newcomer goal by launching six temporary streams that would allow up to 90,000 essential workers as well as international graduates in Canada to apply for permanent residence. By June, it had increased its processing capabilities and also was landing 35,000 permanent residents per month (primarily from within Canada), surpassing 45,000 monthly landings in recent weeks. The department proudly proclaimed last week that it had set a new record for permanent resident landings in a scheduled year in Canada.


Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

CICC has worked hard to keep the immigration system running despite ongoing challenges. It introduced a plan in January enabling holders of a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) to apply for a one-time extension to obtain an open work permit. The goal was to give those already in Canada more time to gain the necessary work experience to be qualified to apply for permanent residence. In the fall, for instance, it invited 30,000 sponsors to apply for the Parents and Grandparents Program.


Negative effects of the new approach

While the approach of focusing on in-Canada landings has helped CICC meet its targets and hundreds of thousands of people achieve their goal towards becoming permanent residents, it really has come at a cost.

  • The waiting list has grown to 1.8 million applications, owing in part to the strategy of prioritizing applicants from within Canada.
  • CICC is taking longer than usual to manage the papers of many COPR holders and candidates for permanent residence, study, work, as well as visitor visas.
  • Applicants for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), which made up the majority of Express Entry immigrants period leading up to the pandemic, are still waiting for their names to be pulled from the pool.
  • Furthermore, the in-Canada strategy has slowed Canada's population as well as labor force growth, contributing to some of the maximum levels of job vacancies in the country's history.

Many factors beyond CICC's control continue to limit its effectiveness, including COVID case counts, government lockdown provisions in Canada and abroad, as well as the Canadian government's travel regulations. For example, the Canadian government's policy earlier in the year banned flight entrants from India which is Canada's leading source region of newcomers.

This year has come to an end in the same way it began. COVID levels are rising in Canada and around the world, causing more uncertainty. Nonetheless, the Canadian government sees immigration as a critical component of the country's economic and social recovery.

Despite the fact that the pandemic will keep going to pose challenges for CICC and newcomers alike, the pandemic has had no effect on Canada's overarching immigration policy goals, which means that the arrival of permanent residents, temporary foreign workers, international students, as well as visitors should eventually return to normal, and therefore will likely exceed pre-pandemic levels once the worst of the crisis has passed. Thus, we just hope this time shall pass soon and everything normalizes.


Would You Like to Migrate to Canada in 2022?

Migrating to Canada in these circumstances is not as simple as it appears. It is always best to contact a Canada Immigration Consultant who can assist and guide you with the right steps.

At Pelican Migration Consultants, our primary goal is to offer you all the necessary information you require to make the right decisions. We help you plan and manage your immigration to Canada and eventually lead a successful life in the country of your dreams. What’s more, we don’t make you spend a penny more or wait a day longer until and unless it is out of our control.

We provide professional one-to-one assistance ensuring you give your best in front of the Canada immigration Department. In conclusion, we try to help our clients with all aspects of Canadian immigration starting from the start. So, if you're ready to take the next step, why not contact us right away for a one-on-one consultation?