Canada aims to increase immigration following slowed population growth due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Immigration is vital to Canada’s economic and social well-being. Individuals who come to Canada on work permits, study permits and as landed immigrants become the Canadian citizens of the future and help the country address skills shortages and demographic challenges.
But travel restrictions associated with COVID-19 massively slowed immigration in 2020, including last summer, when Canada recorded its slowest population growth from international migration since such data became available in 1946, according to Statistics Canada.
Canada relies on immigrants for economic growth and to fill labour shortages due to an aging population. The slow population growth means that Canada will depend even more on immigration for its post-pandemic economic recovery.
As part of its recovery plan, the Canadian government aims to welcome 401,000 permanent residents this year, which is a challenge, says Jack Kim, a partner in the Toronto office of the immigration law firm, Fragomen. “Because of COVID-19, there has not been that new wave of students and workers coming to the country who will become permanent residents and then citizens. So that is something we are going to have to watch over the next few years,” Kim says.
Remote work affecting immigration
Another lasting impact of COVID-19 will be the increase in remote work, according to Kim. “Because work has usually been centred around an office, this led to immigration to Canada, Kim says. “With the increase in remote work, what does that do downstream? For example, Canada relied heavily upon a steady flow of people coming from the United States in the last few years, can we continue to rely on this?”
Fragomen is a leading immigration firm with more than 55 offices in more than 25 countries. Its Toronto office serves corporate clients, finding solutions to issues like how to mobilize a large number of employees effectively in Canada or how to tackle an employer compliance inspection. It also serves individuals who may need help with questions such as how they can remain permanently in Canada. The office also assists with immigration needs outside of Canada and with consular support services for those wishing to travel to the United States and other business destinations.
Fragomen a top immigration services provider
Fragomen has won many awards and is distinguished as the top immigration services provider in many major markets and as a leader in diversity and inclusion. The firm also prides itself on providing pro bono work, including assisting non-governmental organizations tackling immigration issues or working with charities like SickKids Foundation, with its program to bring children in need of medical care to Canada.
The firm also has a partnership with Talent Beyond Boundaries, which helps place skilled refugees in jobs in stable countries around the world. “This is a new way to resettle refugees under different pathways,” says Kim. “We are happy to help with something that can change someone’s life.
“One of our core tenets is giving back to the community. Our Toronto office reflects the diversity of the city and a lot of us come from communities that need help. Immigration only happens in a world where there is some stability and a certain amount of people who care. I think we need to do all we can to help.”