Canadian Immigration: A Preview of the Rest of 2021
Two major issues will shape the trajectory of Canadian immigration for the remainder of this year.
They are Canada’s ability to contain and ultimately defeat the coronavirus pandemic and secondly, whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decides to call an election by the fall. The following is a preview of wh
at we can expect.
COVID-19 in Canada
Canadian immigration policy has been disrupted by COVID-19 since March 2020. Every single policy decision that is being made is influenced by the immigration department’s ability to navigate COVID-related disruptions. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a dizzying number of policy changes and new programs as it aims to achieve the country’s immigration goals to the best of its ability amid the pandemic.
The past few months saw a worrisome increase in COVID-19 cases across Canada. The third wave of the virus has resulted in new lockdowns in Canada’s two largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec, and the fourth largest province, Alberta.
Fortunately, things have improved in recent weeks. New COVID-19 cases are now trending downward nationally after Canada hit over 10,000 daily cases during some parts of April. This is a function of stricter public health measures and Canada’s vaccination campaign beginning to hit stride.
Canada has now received over 20 million vaccine doses.
Over 40 per cent of the eligible Canadian population has received at least one shot which means Canada ranks among the top five OECD countries in this metric alongside Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Chile.
Canada expects to receive over 20 million more doses by the end of June, and numerous federal and provincial political leaders have stated they hope the country will be able to return to some form of normalcy this summer.
The ability for Canada to return to more normalcy would significantly change the Canadian government’s immigration calculus. Namely, the public health and safety arms of the federal government and IRCC could then give stronger consideration to welcoming more foreign nationals from overseas.