The parliamentary committee report on the impact of the pandemic on Canada immigration has called for the full digitalization of the Canada immigration system. The report, presented by Salma Zahid, the Chair of the committee, in the House of Commons, deals with three classes of Canada immigration, which are economic, family and refugee.
The report is a compilation of the findings of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration from the testimonies of immigrants, lawyers, interest groups and other stakeholders.
The major subjects that the report covers include application backlogs, obstacles for family reunification, travel restrictions of COPR holders etc. The Canadian government is supposed to table a response on the report within 120 days. It should also be noted that the government has already implemented some of the recommendations in the report to a certain degree.
One of the most important subjects that are dealt in the report is modernizing the Canada immigration system. The report calls for full digitalization of the immigration system, even while keeping an option for paper applications. The report recommends that the applicants should be able to submit documents and signatures online, and the immigration officers must be able to conduct interviews virtually and issue visas electronically.
Another recommendation is issuing Permanent Residency visas with a scanable barcode in place of affixing it to physical passports. The committee has also recommended increasing the funding for settlement services for promoting digital literacy and making digital tools available. Canada has already announced allocating $430 million towards modernizing the immigration system.
The report also recommends anonymous processing and application data for all immigration streams without considering the race, religion, gender, age, nationality and parental status. There should be a system for tracking applications in real time and individual applicants should be provided with realistic processing times. Further, the report calls for strengthening communication protocols as well as providing the applicants all reasons if an application is rejected.
The report also recommends allowing international students to enter Canada. It also calls for allowing international students to work full time for an internship or coop placement as part of their study program.
Because of the existing border restrictions, many people with expired permanent resident cards are unable to travel Canada before their documents expire. The committee recommends that such people must be allowed to travel to Canada. The medical exams should be extended beyond a year and should be processed along with biometrics and criminality checks.
The report has also urged the IRCC to issue temporary resident visas to spousal sponsorship applicants. At present, if a person applies who has already applied for permanent resident visa applies for a temporary resident visa, their applications are rejected because the visa officers are not convinced that they would leave the country at the end of their stay. Because of this reason, many are separated from their spouses throughout the entire duration of the PR process.
As for the Parents and Grandparents Program, the committee recommends creating a weighted system that prioritizes older applications. Also, the financial requirements have to be adjusted to the minimum necessary income in the wake of the economic impact of the pandemic.
Canada is strengthening the immigration system to welcome more immigrants once the pandemic subsides. Do you wish to migrate to Canada? Talk to CanApprove’s immigration consultants to explore your options. Contact us now.