CANADA Immigration System & Budget 2021

Nisha Uppal

April 20, 2021

The much-anticipated Budget 2021 has several implications for Canada's immigration system.

The Canadian government has just tabled its first Budget since 2019. The budget is of added importance for several reasons. It is the first in two years due to the unprecedented times we are living in.

This Budget-2021 has several implications for Canada's immigration system.

This time, the Budget-2021 contains major Canadian immigration policy announcements.
For example, Budget 2014 proposed terminating the popular federal Immigrant Investor Program and Entrepreneur Program. That same Budget outlined that the federal government would invest millions of dollars to ensure that Express Entry would successfully launch in January 2015.

The key intake from this year’s budget is as follows :

1. Reforms to Express Entry:
The Budget notes that the federal government has an eye towards reforming Express Entry. The government would like to give the immigration minister more authority to “select those candidates who best meet Canada’s labour market needs.” What these changes may entail are not specified in the Budget.

Express Entry is the main way that Canada selects economic class immigrants. It accounts for about one-quarter of all the immigrants Canada welcomes each year.

They may be again planning to use the Priority Occupation list (as they did before launching EE in 2015) which may help a lot of candidates sitting in the pool with in-demand occupation or wanting to apply but haven’t been able to due to low CRS.

2. Enhancements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
The Budget calls for some $110 million in additional spending over the next three years on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The spending will go towards providing information and support to vulnerable foreign workers, increased inspections of employers to ensure they are treating foreign workers well, and improving service delivery to vulnerable workers so they can obtain open work permits if they have been abused by their previous employers in Canada.

3. Supporting Racialized Newcomer Women
Newcomer women sometimes face barriers to employment in Canada due to factors such as developing English or French skills, lack of Canadian experience, lack of affordable child care, and discrimination. The Budget proposes an additional $15 million in spending over the next two years to build on existing initiatives aimed at helping to improve the employment outcomes and career advancement of newcomer women.

4. Accelerated Pathways to Permanent Residence
Budget 2021 references the new immigration programs launched by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) last week to provide accelerated permanent residence pathways to essential workers and international graduates this year. Some 90,000 individuals living in Canada will be able to begin to apply for permanent residence beginning on May 6.


Considering the Budget proposals and current situation of Covid-19, this is the right time to apply for Permanent Residency and be present in the pool before it becomes competitive in the years to come.

After all, "Opportunity Dances with those, who are already on the Dance Floor."



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