In another rare occurrence, Canada will announce its Immigration Levels Plan for the second time in the same year.
The levels plan is usually announced each fall around the last week of October. This is stipulated by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
IRPA is the main law that guides Canada’s immigration system.
However, IRPA also stipulates that the levels plan announcement can be delayed in election years, as was the case in 2019 when Canadians went to the polls.
Hence, Mendicino will follow the 2020-2022 levels plan announcement he made in March of this year with a similar announcement that will likely come by Friday October 30th.
IRPA states that the immigration minister is to announce the plan by November 1st each year when Parliament is sitting however that date coincides with a weekend, and hence the announcement should occur a bit earlier.
Mendicino has also constantly affirmed Canada’s commitment to immigration throughout the pandemic. This commitment is being demonstrated by the ongoing Express Entry draws that IRCC is conducting that are seeing record levels of individuals receive invitations to apply for permanent residence.
The question on everyone’s mind leading up to Mendicino’s forthcoming announcement is: How will COVID-19 impact Canada’s immigration levels?
Over the medium- and long-term, Canada can be expected to return to high levels of immigration. This is due to Canada’s need for immigration to support its economy. The latest speech from the throne also strongly suggests Canada intends to return to high newcomer levels.
But, there is far greater uncertainty as to the number of immigrants Canada will able to welcome amid the pandemic. While Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws and application processing continue, the actual number of immigrants completing their permanent residence landing process remains limited by COVID-19.
The combination of the new mandate letter and the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan announcement will give us more clarity in terms of how quickly the Canadian government believes the immigration system will be able to return to normal.