Canada is extending travel restrictions on incoming foreign travellers for another month as coronavirus continues to pose a threat to public safety.
Travel restrictions are now being extended until September 30. This is Canada’s third time extending the travel restrictions that were originally put in place from March 18 until June 30. The federal government has been reviewing the coronavirus situation month-by-month and adjusting travel policies accordingly.
In addition, the mandatory quarantine order that was in effect since March has also been extended. Exempt travellers will have to carry out a self-isolation period of 14 days if they are allowed into Canada.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents returning to Canada will continue to be subject to strict quarantine measures. Exemptions and other details can be found here: https://t.co/zESXaTXBNj (2/2)
— Bill Blair (@BillBlair) August 28, 2020
Who can come to Canada?
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the following groups of people are exempt from travel restrictions:
- Canadian citizens;
- Permanent residents;
- Some people who have been approved for Canadian permanent residence;
- Some temporary foreign workers;
- Some international students; and
- Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents (spouses or common-law partners, dependent children, dependent children of dependent children, parent or step-parent, guardian or tutor).
- The full list of exempt individuals is available here.
Canada is still accepting immigrants
Canada continues to welcome immigrants who support the labour market and aid in economic recovery. This past month Canada created a pathway to permanent residence for asylum-seekers working in healthcare.
IRCC also introduced a temporary policy where people on visitor status who had Canadian job offers could apply for a work permit without having to leave the country.
Immigration programs are also continuing to be active, inviting immigration candidates to take the next steps towards permanent residence.
Most ITAs ever issued by Express Entry
Though the number of permanent residents admitted to Canada is still down compared to this time last year, according to the latest IRCC data, the federal government has so far issued more Invitations to Apply (ITAs) through the Express Entry system in 2020 than any year before.
There were four Express Entry draws held in August. Canada invited candidates through every federal program managed by Express Entry, which includes the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.
Canada also held an Express Entry draw targeting Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) recipients. Express Entry candidates who are awarded a provincial nomination through a PNP are automatically awarded an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System points, and are thereby effectively guaranteed to receive an ITA in a subsequent Express Entry draw.
The future of Canadian immigration
The federal government and the Canadian public still share a generally positive outlook toward immigration. However, the global pandemic has presented economic challenges in Canada and abroad that will affect immigration.
Foreigners generally still want to come to Canada, as many report that the economic hardship will not be felt as badly in Canada as their home country. At the same time, the economic downturn in foreign countries might make it more difficult for some people to pay the required fees for Canadian immigration, which have gone up this year.
The Canadian government will also have to evaluate the economy and political climate to decide what immigration targets will look like beyond 2020. Canada will unveil its multi-year immigration levels plan by November 1.
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