IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) confirmed this week that its new server would be able to support excess traffic on its site produced by the American elections. This response from the authorities reflects the situation in 2016 following the election of Donald Trump as President, when the IRCC site crashed.
American elections and immigration to Canada: what is the connection?
There is no legal connection: Canada and the United States have distinct and sovereign immigration policies. The election of an American president, known for his strict control on immigration, however, creates an immediate rush of interest in Canada.
Interest: for whom?
Several groups of people will be looking to Canada, depending on the evolution of the situation in the United States, anticipating future immigration policies.
This will be the case first of all for temporary immigrants to the United States, holders of work or study permits, who are fearful of having to overcome more obstacles in renewing their status, or in obtaining permanent residency.
Likewise for American companies looking to recruit international talent due to a lack of labour, and who are worried that the administrative process for obtaining work permits will become more complicated, thus employing and keeping foreign workers, more difficult.
The rush for Canada can also come from candidates for immigration. When choosing their future country of residence, many will be inclined to initiate the process in a country openly welcoming of immigrants. Canada, whose authorities have reiterated their willingness to welcome even more immigrants despite the pandemic, is seen here as a good example. In this way, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honorable Marco E.L. Mendicino declared in the last Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration:
“Even as we adjust to the extraordinary challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot lose sight of the enormous benefits immigration presents to our prosperity and way of life. Newcomers bring their heritage and culture, but also their talent, ideas and perspectives.”The Honorable Marco E. L. Mendicino, 2020 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration
Is Canada up to the interest provoked by future or current immigrants to the United States?
Of course! The same report also says that immigration to Canada reached new records in 2019 with the admission of 341 000 new permanent residents. As regards temporary immigration, 402 000 study permits and 404 000 work permits were issued. The desire exists with the federal authorities to increase the immigration threshold.
At the same time, Canada has put effective policies in place over the past few years to attract new talent. For example, in 2017, Canada launched its Global Skills Strategy, which allows Canadian companies to employ highly qualified workers using a simplified and accelerated process. The attraction for these companies is even more significant as access to permanent residency for their recruits on a work permit, in Anglophone provinces, is open to a great number of qualified workers after only a year in employment in Canada. Gone are the problems of renewing the work permit!
Express entry offers a direct and quick access for foreign candidates wishing to settle permanently in Canada, if this is their first intention. Based on a points system established according to objective criteria such as age, education, professional experience, it is easy to find out one’s admissibility and to decide whether or not to throw oneself into the adventure. The treatment process, once the application for permanent residency has been made, takes approximately 6 months.
Options therefore exist to immigrate permanently to Canada or to come to work, with an offer from an employer, and to embrace life in North America and to be able to live either in French or in English.
By Natacha Mignon, Partner, Immétis.
Natacha Mignon is a Franco-Canadian attorney specialized in business immigration and international mobility to Canada. She assists foreign workers from around the world on a daily basis with their immigration process.
The present article aims to supply general information regarding immigration, to popularize terms, and can in no way be considered as legal advice.
This article discusses recent news, which is likely to evolve rapidly. Last update: November 5, 2020. To obtain complete legal advice, please contact our professionals.