The Covid-19 pandemic has forced Canada into a lockdown with normal commercial and economic activities facing significant disruptions. The shutdown of the economy bar essential services has resulted in a 350 percent surge in monthly unemployment between February and March 2020.
Immigration is invariably the first target as economic and political compulsions force policy makers to provide for Canadian citizens and permanent residents before inviting foreign workers into the country.
So, does this mean you should defer your Canadian immigration plans until the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic impact?
This pandemic is essentially a medical crisis and measures like the economic lockdown are merely aimed at flattening the curve. The fundamentals of the global economy remain strong, which means the recovery is likely to be quick and strong once the crisis subsides.
A quick comparison with the last economic crisis, the 2008 global recession, highlights the difference. The latter occurred due to irresponsible economic and commercial decisions combined with big financial institutions going bankrupt.
Today, problems like lack of demand, shutdown of production, layoffs, and unemployment surge are primarily due to the Corona scare, which means things will go back to normal once the virus is tamed.
Immigration is the Solution, not the Problem
Contrary to provocative rhetoric by politicians, entry of foreign skilled workers is always a plus for the economy.
The Labor Market Impact Assessment regime allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers only if they are unable to find a suitable Canadian citizen or permanent resident for the position.
Further, foreign skilled workers must be paid higher of the industry-standard wage rate or wages paid to similar positions within the organization.
Finally, work permits are inherently temporary permits and employers are required to train native Canadians through the validity period of the work permit issued to the foreign worker.
So, countries may actually need more foreign skilled workers once the worst of Covid-19 passes. This means this crisis is the right time to aggressively target your dream of living and working in Canada.
Canada vs the US Factor
Canada has a well-planned immigration strategy targeting a million immigrants, with focus primarily on skilled workers, over the next three years.
The chaotic H-1B situation in the US had already prompted big companies to hire foreign skilled workers through offices setup in Canada. The temporary suspension on immigration by the US, despite its various exemptions, accentuates Canada’s attractiveness as an immigrant-friendly alternative.
A one or two-year economic recession cannot justify wholesale changes to long-term immigration policies, which means Canada’s immigration setup is unlikely to change drastically in the coming months.
Finding the Right Program and the Right Route
Hoping for a miracle in the Express Entry pool doesn’t make sense when you ought to be exploring provincial nomination or even the Atlantic Pilot. Despite the crisis, opportunities are always open for the right candidate with the right education, skills, and work experience to qualify for Canadian permanent residence.
- Precise and timely professional assistance can help you convert a crisis into an opportunity and create a win-win situation for yourself and Canadian employers alike.
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