Ah January. The month of making resolutions and predictions. Perhaps neither exercise is of real value. If 2020 has taught us anything is the futility of making predictions or assuming that the year will unfold as other years that have passed. Yet humans are creatures of habit and tradition.
2020 was like a storm that impacted every business line of immigration. 2021 will be the first year for rebuilding. However, it's not just systems and backlogs that need to be addressed: the government has set aggressive settlement targets -and it remains to be seen how those targets can be met with a still-hobbled system. One can only assume that CRS will drop and that will benefit the Canadian Experience Class. One can only hope that a pathway to PR will be created for essential (but low skill/wage) workers in Canada that have been on the front lines during the pandemic.
As employers recover, so will business immigration...
Sponsors of spouses and common law partners have managed to get the attention of law makers. One can only hope that officers are facilitative towards visitor visas for long suffering partners awaiting reunification with their loved ones -of course if overall processing was short, and predictable then there is no need for relaxed visitor visa assessment.
The family class has reopened and there's another draw later this year. The selection is now no longer a risible exercise in frustration as 2019, which resembled some kind of Black Friday door-crasher sale. It's likely that given the increased settlement targets, that a larger intake will be announced and that there will be an increase to the age of accompanying dependants.
This is an opportunity to address certain and obvious shortcomings in our immigration system. Now is the time to do it as it's a universal law that objects at rest tend to remain at rest.
The unstable Trump regime is almost at an end. The execrable events of the last day or so is merely the last throes of a base minority. The Biden administration will have a Democrat Congress and Senate. I expect comprehensive immigration reform ... which necessarily will impact Canada. I doubt the border crossings will continue (2020 taught us that borders do in fact matter). The IRB with remote hearings will chip away at the backlog.
Sensible immigration reform down South means that highly skilled tech workers will once again have options in the US and will not need to look North for a Plan B. Our loss and their gain.
There are, apparently, more storm clouds on the horizon. The Covid variants could easily upset the apple cart again. And it's clear -the impact of 2020 on immigration will have many consequences that will take years to reveal.
Canada, despite its sometimes lacklustre response to the crisis, demonstrated stable political leadership and will continue to be a be highly desirable destination for immigrants. Canada's economy will need them, and it's heartening to see the positive view most Canadians have on immigration and immigrants.