The COVID-19 pandemic has unsettled the global economic, political and social scenarios in unprecedented ways, demanding concrete and immediate action from the governments to reduce the impact. According to a survey conducted by Deep Knowledge Group, Canada's response to COVID-19 is ranked among the top 15 in the world. Deep Knowledge Group, a consortium of commercial and non-profit organizations, studied the response of more than 150 countries based on 78 different parameters. Canada has 13th rank in the report, preceded by Austria in the 12th place and Switzerland in the 11th. Canada is way ahead of the United States, which is in the 70th spot.
The COVID-19 Economic Response Plan of Canada provides around $100 billion as financial aid to the businesses, families and individuals affected by the crisis. As of April, 6 million Canadians have applied for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Under the scheme, the Canadians who are financially affected by the pandemic would receive $500 per week for up to 16 weeks. The CERB is the cornerstone of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan of Canada. It includes a new loan program for businesses and deferred deadlines for the payment of taxes. Besides the federal plan, 10 of the Canadian provinces have also announced their respective individual rescue packages to support the businesses and individuals affected by the crisis.
A number of benefits are available for workers under the relief plan of Canada. The most important relief scheme for them is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), under which the workers who lose their income because of the COVID-19 crisis will receive $2000 a month for up to four months. Even those candidates who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) payments are covered under the CERB scheme. The scheme also covers workers who have lost their jobs, those who are sick or quarantined or taking care of someone suffering from COVID-19. Further, working parents who have to stay home to take care of their children because of school and daycare closures can also be benefited from the scheme.
Further, the government has waived one-week waiting period to claim sickness benefits under Employment Insurance (EI) for those who are in imposed quarantine. The workers need not provide a medical certificate to enjoy these benefits.
Residential, farm and small commercial customers can request to defer their bill payments for electricity and natural gas for the next 90 days and the services will not be cut off.
Canada is a country that gives high importance to families and the government has announced a number of relief measures for the families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The government is providing a one-time special payment through the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) for low and modest income families. As a result, the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts will double for the 2019-20 benefit year. So the maximum one-time payment for a single individual will be $443 and for couples, it will be $580.
For families with children, the government has increased the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) amounts up to $300 per child for the benefit year of 2019-20 with their regular May 2020 payment. In effect, a single parent with two children with a low or modest income would receive close to $1,500 as additional short-term support.
In addition, Canada government will increase the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) this year too as in the previous years. The increase will come into effect in July and is expected to provide relief to the families affected financially by the pandemic. As a result, families would get a maximum yearly benefit of $6,765 per child under the age of 6 and $5,708 per child between the age of 6 and 17.
The international students who need to extend their stay in Canada during this period are eligible for implied status. It means they may continue to work or study in Canada on their original permit during the period till the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) takes a decision on their work/study permit extension application.
In normal terms, international students are allowed to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week. The government has lifted this restriction and students working in 10 priority sectors that are helping to fight COVID-19 can work for more than 20 hours per week until August 31. Further, international students who meet the CERB's eligibility criteria can also receive income support from the government. The international students with work experience in Canada stand in advantage as Canada is increasingly targeting immigration candidates with Canadian experience in the Express Entry draws.
Canada is also extending various support measures to businessmen and entrepreneurs to withstand this tough period.
With its extensive COVID-19 relief measures, Canada has once again proved the country’s commitment towards the welfare of its citizens and residents. The privileges and benefits which the Canadian enjoy explain why Canada remains the most popular destination for immigration. If you too dream of a great future for you and your family in Canada, contact our expert Canada immigration consultants right away to initiate the procedures for Canada immigration.