In past few weeks, with the recent actions taken by the federal government of Canada and the flattening of the COVID-19 curve in the country, many of the immigration professionals and the immigrants around the world are being optimistic about the that Canada will accommodate more foreign travels and July 1 can be the date when the country will be opening to foreign nationals.
In order to see what can make Canada lift their travel restrictions, we are looking into some major factors that affect the country’s decisions:
Reasons Canada can ease the travel restrictions
The decision of whether to continue or lift the travel restriction depends on simply a question of whether it’s safe to do so. The Canadian government will safely monitor the number of COVID-19 cases around the world to check whether the containment efforts are effective or not, keeping in mind also the efforts to contain the coronavirus inside Canada also.
Health Canada has released the details of the impact of the virus which shows the flattening of the curve majorly due to the public health measures. From the beginning of the mid-March, provinces and territories in the country went into lockdown, however, in the past few weeks, the lockdown has been gradually eased over.
On June 1, a total of 759 new cases of coronavirus was reported in the country, lowest since March 29 which had seen a report of 665 new cases.
If more of this positive trend continues, we can finally see the ease in the travel restrictions. For example, Canada can enable the entry of immigrants who are able to get their Confirmation of Permanent Resident (COPR) after the travel restrictions took place on March 18.
Other than this, the country can also look into facilitating family reunification, even if the reason to visit is for non-essentials which is also something the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week is an issue that is under consideration.
Prime Minister stated Canada recognizes the hardship that is being caused due to the travel restrictions preventing family members from crossing borders from the U.S. On the other hand, Trudeau also pointed to some provincial premiers who are concerned about the lifting of the restrictions with the U.S.
Reasons to be Optimistic
The coronavirus curve has been stabilizing and the lockdown restrictions across the country are being lifted. Also, some foreign travelers have been allowed to enter the country since March 18.
Hence, Canada may decide it can safely welcome more travelers from abroad. In order to ensure the safety of Canadian citizens, the immigrants will be subjected to health screenings and mandatory 14-day self-quarantine periods.
In addition, IRCC continues to hold express entry draws and provincial draws, as well as process work permits and study permits since the travel restrictions were placed. This can be interpreted as a strong sign that Canada does plans to gradually open up its immigration system in the coming months.
Also, IRCC has targeted to process as many as possible study permit applications in time for the start of the fall 2020 semester. This is proof for Canada to expand its list of individuals exempted from travel restrictions.
Some strong arguments can also be made from administrative and economic stands in favor of easing the travel restrictions.
On the administrative side, Canada will want to invite new immigrants as soon as it’s safe then to avoid over-burdening of the immigration system in later stages. The longer restrictions are in place, more pressure will be on IRCC and immigration authorities due to backlog immigrants waiting to enter the country,
On the economic side, welcoming more immigrants after July 1st will help support the economy of the country in recovery from the pandemic, a point that has been made by the Canadian immigration minister Marco Mendicino on many occasions in recent few weeks. For instance, International students contribute nearly $22 billion annually to the Canadian economy and support a total of 170,000 Canadian jobs.
Welcoming more immigrants will help to stimulate the economy as such individuals make contributions as workers and consumers in the local labour market.
Main priority – Safety
More than the administrative and economic implications of the travel restrictions, Public Safety is the main priority. However, with the flattening of the COVID-19 curve in the country, it suggests that a balance can be formulated between the three considerations coming on July 1st.