The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the Canada immigration landscape, with twice as many new permanent residents being candidates who were already in the country on a temporary basis.
Figures show a significant boost in new permanent residents previously in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or International Mobility Program (IMP), or studying at a Canadian university or college.
As borders closed and vaccine passports, COVID-19 testing, and limited flights made travel inconvenient at best and impossible at worst during the past year and a half, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) turned its attention to foreign nationals already in the country to boost immigration.
Ottawa has remained bullish on immigration throughout the pandemic.
Canada’s 2021‒2023 Immigration Levels Plan set immigration targets of about one per cent of the Canadian population for each of three years. That’s 401,000 permanent residents this year, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.
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With those ambitious targets for immigration to Canada, those foreign nationals already here under the IMP or TFWP, or university and college grads with Study Permits already had their foot in the door when it came to immigration this year.
That helped them gain their permanent residency in Canada at a rate that’s never been seen before.
Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, those that had previously had study permits or work experience under the TFWP or IMP amounted to only 21.9 per cent of the 341,175 new permanent residents to Canada.
In 2020, that group became a more important source of new permanent residents to Canada, comprising 27.6 per cent of the 184,585 new permanent residents that year.
In its bid to boost immigration to help Canada recover economically from the pandemic, Ottawa turned to this group of skilled – and often highly-educated – foreign nationals again this year.
In the first eight months of the year, the percentage of new permanent residents who had work experience through the TFWP or the IMP or had previously had a study permit allowing them to work in the country swelled to 45.7 per cent of the 222,275 new permanent residents to Canada.
Temporary foreign workers accounted for 5,765, or almost 2.6 per cent, of all new permanent residents to Canada last year. Foreign nationals working in the country under the IMP comprised another 37.4 per cent. And those 12,695 who had come to Canada as students amounted to about 5.7 per cent of all new permanent residents so far this year.
Think of it as a two-step method of immigrating to Canada.
The first step is to get into the country as a student or temporary worker under the work permit programs. The second step is to then apply for permanent residency, using that Canadian work experience to bolster the impact of the application.
It’s been a particularly effective strategy for foreign nationals seeking to immigrate to Canada this year because all the Express Entry draws in 2021 have been for Canada Experience Class or Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates.
Employment Enhancement and Coaching Package
SkilledWorker.com’s modular training package, the Employment Enhancement and Coaching Package (EECP), helps candidates find jobs in Canada.
EECP: Module 1
The first module teaches students how to prepare a Canadian-style resume and cover letter and develop a comprehensive database of prospective employers.
Recruiters spend under 7.5 seconds on the first page of each resume – and a poorly-formatted one with even a single serious job-hunting faux pas can quickly get trashed.
Even for seasoned job hunters, there can be many pitfalls when it comes to preparing a proper resume for a Canadian job because the “proper format” for a resume tends to change with the times and also from country to country.
The same applies for cover letters.
These provide additional information to employers, above and beyond what is in the resume. Effective cover letters highlight achievements, education and work experience. They must be well written to make the applicant stand out from the crowd.
SkilledWorker.com’s human resources experts help applicants produce winning resumes and cover letters tailored to Canadian opportunities.
The first module of the EECP provides a database of 350 leads of companies – with complete contact information – who are potentially hiring in the applicant’s chosen profession in Canada. This allows the student enrolled in the module to quickly develop a professional network and land a job.
EECP: Module 2
The second module of the EECP cranks the job-hunting skill level up a few notches and includes information on how to optimize a LinkedIn profile. This module also offers real-time coaching and customized online coaching to smooth out any wrinkles.
LinkedIn is one of the best networking tools available for professionals. The trick is to use it to develop a professional profile and branding to stand out on the social media platform.
Most head hunters and talent acquisition managers use LinkedIn to find their best candidates. It only takes a few seconds for them to screen suitable candidates and make a decision who to contact for a first interview.
In this module, a team of experts helps job hunters target industries, get endorsements, create job alerts and much more during the coaching sessions.
Human resources experts take students step by step through the process during these coaching sessions and closely follow up their progress, updating them on the current labour market and trends. By using proven strategies in the customized online courses as well, job hunters can avoid costly mistakes.
EECP: Module 3
Perhaps the most exciting step in the EECP training is the third module, when all the hard work comes together with the creation of a visual CV, top-level and customized professional online courses on preparing for interviews.
The final version of the one-way video interview is then made available on the program’s platform for a full year for the student to use during his or her own job search.
This is the opportunity to develop invaluable skills such as:
- developing a commanding presence;
- raising verbal and non-verbal communication and presentation skills;
- building confidence;
- natural speaking with effective eye contact;
- audience interaction;
- speaking effectively from notes;
- setting a virtual stage and technical equipment, and;
- how to deliver complex information both verbally and non-verbally.
In addition to the online training, an extra database of potential employers is also provided to give the student the possibility of connecting with a total of 500 leads with e-mails during his or her job search.
The final part of the training prepares students for live interviews and includes everything from preparing technical equipment for Zoom interviews to learning how to behave professionally and handle stressful interview questions.