COVID-19 has had devastating effects on the financial well-being of many recent immigrants, temporary foreign workers (TFWs) and international students in Canada, according to a new study.
Migrants—regardless of their immigration status—are overrepresented in essential roles and
industries that have been hardest hit and as a result, they have been disproportionately affected by job loss and by the virus itself, said the study by World Education Services.
World Education Services Inc. is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and workplace goals in the United States and Canada.
The survey of 4,932 people involved applicants who received credential assessments between January 2018 and July 2020 for the purpose of immigrating to Canada, to better understand the impact of the pandemic on the three groups.
The results are consistent with trends identified in other recent research and provide additional insight into the economic impacts on permanent residents, temporary and foreign workers.
“To mitigate these risks, temporary workers need more direct and expedited pathways to permanent residency, particularly those working in high demand sectors and those doing essential work,” said the authors of the study.
They are also calling for policy interventions aimed at addressing systemic issues that contribute towards mitigating disproportionate negative impacts on immigrants, temporary
workers, and international students.
Here are the reports key findings;
The study comes in the wake of a new government policy to allow foreign nationals in Canada with an expired or expiring Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) to apply for renewed open work permits valid for 18 months.
This policy change is to allow former international students to remain in Canada, continue to seek employment and build their future in this country.
International students contribute over $21 billion annually to Canada’s economy and support the vitality of the country’s communities, the government highlighted.
“Their status may be temporary, but the contributions of international students are lasting. This new policy means that young students from abroad who have studied here can stay and find work while ensuring that Canada meets the urgent needs of our economy for today and tomorrow."
“Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here,” he said.
Fabian Dawson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Canadian Media