There is no doubt that the devastating impact of coronavirus pandemic on economies around the world will be long-lasting. In fact, as per the projections made by the IMF, the global economy is expected to contract by 3 per cent in 2020 – the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
However, due to the current state of affairs, one of the biggest concerns from foreign nationals who want to immigrate to Canada is whether Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will continue inviting immigrants post-coronavirus as per its immigration plan, or will scale it back.
Canada announced its 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan just few weeks before it imposed travel restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. As per its immigration plan, Canada said that it would welcome over 1 million new permanent residents by the year 2022.
As global economy would be heading towards such a major contraction due to coronavirus crisis, Canada might have to adjust its immigration plan.
However, as per economists, significantly reducing Canada’s immigration levels would not be a sound economic policy since Canada needs immigrants more than it ever has in its modern history to promote economic growth especially after coronavirus crisis.
Why Canada Needs More Immigrants
The Canadian economy is expected to come back to normal fairly quickly once social distancing measures have been eased, which means that more Canadians businesses will be back to operations, therefore, there will also be more job opportunities.
Immigration will play a significant role in supporting Canada’s economic recovery as more immigrants will be required to help to fill the jobs and also support economic growth and job creation in other ways.
Canada’s target to welcome more than 300,000 new immigrants per year is meant to not only contribute to the country’s economy but also to address demographic challenges by adding skilled workers to the work force through sustained growth in admissions.
Canada has one of the world’s oldest populations. More than one-in-six Canadians are now at least 65, which make up about 16 per cent of Canada’s total population.
As more Canadians leave the workforce, it will struggle to replace them in the labour market since the country is not having a young population to replace retiring workers. However, this is where immigration comes to rescue.
Immigration brings in young families and working-age newcomers. Immigrants have been the key drivers of Canada’s population growth since the 1990s, and will continue to be till the early 2030s. Canada’s Immigration policy always has long-term economic impacts and the country should not lose sight of that even in this unprecedented event of coronavirus outbreak.