Impact of Brexit, U.S. elections in the new year could leave Canada competing for economic immigrants
Millions of new Canadian will arrive through various Canadian immigration programs over the past decade several new and updated policies will hopefully help to pave the way in 2020.
Here is a look at some important developments can we expect over the next 12 months both in Canada and outside that could help shape the future of Canadian immigration policy.
2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan announcement by March
In March, a new Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marco Mendicino, to be in a position to table 2019 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration. The report is usually released by 1 November each year, but this was delayed because of the federal election on October 21.
This report is important because it provides insight into the federal government’s immigration priorities. Perhaps the most important aspect that will be 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan Canada. We already know the federal government immigration targets for the year 2020 (341.000 new entrants) and 2021 (350.000 newcomers). As outlined in the Mandate Letter Minister Mendicino, we should expect a slight increase in 2022 that target, based on current trends, be in the neighborhood of 360,000 immigrants.
Parents and Grandparents Program changes expected by April at the latest
It is expected that the federal government will announce plans intake process for parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) by April 2020 at the latest. While the federal government has an annual target of welcoming about 21,000 immigrants under the PGP, managing the intake process has proven challenging for many years now given the demand far exceeds the supply of immigration spots available. The possibility of the federal government will roll out a new process that seeks to avoid previous shortcomings intake process.
Ottawa’s commitment to regionalization is undeniable
Under the Immigration Levels Plan 2019-2021, Canada will look to welcome the 67 800 immigrants (principal applicants, spouses, and dependents) through the Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) in the next year, which is an increase of 11 percent compared to 2019.
Not only provinces and territories are trying to attract more immigrants through the PNP, but they are also looking to drive more of them out of their largest city. Most provinces and territories saw at least 80 percent of those immigrants settled in the largest city, which comes at the expense of efforts to promote economic development in small towns and rural communities. To address this, a number of provinces and territories have introduced the regional PNP flow. For example, Ontario has recently selected three communities to take part in the new Regional Immigration Pilot.
PNP complement the federal government with additional efforts to promote the wider distribution of immigrants in Canada (the policy known as “regionalization”).
In 2017, it launched the Immigration Atlantic Pilot, which has allowed four Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick to welcome more than 4,000 more immigrants. By virtue of the minister’s mandate, we can expect the AIP to become a permanent program in a short time.
2019, the federal government launched the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) which will increase in 2020 as the 11 designated communities across Canada started to recruit newcomers through the pilot.
The mandate of the minister also requires a new Municipal Nominee Program launch. Details are not yet available, but it is unreasonable to expect to operate in the same manner with which the city designated RNIP will be able to recruit new entrants who meet their labor market needs. The mandate also shows the federal government will be launching an additional pilot to promote more immigration to rural communities.
Important observations regarding the various programs are the federal government has now been chosen to give the provinces, regions, and communities across Canada with more than 50 percent of the power of selection Economy. This is a new development and confirms the federal government’s commitment to ensure the benefits of immigration are more evenly spread across the country.
Over the past few years, the selective force Economy Class has been split 50-50. Prior to the launch of the PNP in 1998, the federal government selected by nearly 90 percent of all economic class immigrants to Canada, with Quebec chose the remaining 10 percent.
Will citizenship fees be waived in 2020?
Eliminating the cost of citizenship is also part of this Mendicino Mandate Letter. The current cost to become a citizen is $ 630 per adult, which some argue is very high for low-income individuals and families. It is unknown when fees will be waived, but we can expect citizenship uptake levels for a while stagnant or declining as qualified immigrants make a rational decision to wait for this policy will be implemented. When it comes to forcing, citizenship rates could increase by about 40 percent in 2024.
Watch out for the UK and USA
It is clear that 2020 will be another important year in the Canadian immigration system.
In addition to federal and PNP development, we can expect to continue to reform Quebec’s immigration program, for example, at the end of 2019, the province announced major changes to the popular Quebec Experience Program (later reversed) and the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program.
We also need to pay attention to the development of immigration policy outside Canada.
After England finalizing an agreement with the EU Brexit, the majority Conservative government might look to launch a new economic class point system that competes with Canada.
In addition, all eyes will be on the November 2020 US presidential and congressional elections, which will certainly affect Canada in a number of ways.
Canada is seeking to modernize the 2002 Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) with the United States to manage asylum claims. Since 2017, about 50,000 people have used loopholes in the STCA to cross into Canada through the border crossings asylum claims are not covered by the agreement. Canada may have to wait until after the election to pursue the modernization agenda.
In addition, a Republican or a Democratic majority in the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate could pave the way for the United States to implement reforms such as the launch of additional economic class lines, which can also lead to stronger competition for Canada. President Trump has often been cited Canada as an example of how he wants the United States to economic class immigrants welcome but his government has had enough congressional support to make Canada such reforms.
All this to say, immigration policy is always international in nature, and issues beyond the control of Canada, including southern borders and across the Atlantic Ocean, will impact Canada exceeded 2020.
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