The number of work permits in Canada seems to have been affected by coronavirus restrictions.
A total of 32,995 applicants received work permits in January 2020. However, with After the coronavirus pandemic, in March work permit totals slipped to 19,650, about a 28% decrease from March 2019.
Numbers increased in April to 29,900 work permits, still about 22% less than 2019. A total of 25,125 work permits were issued in May, which is a 45% downfall from last year, and about a 30% decrease from the month before. The drop in May work permits is typically in part due to less Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) permits.
This data covers new work permits for people who were qualified to work in Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program (IMP).
The TFWP usually processes less foreign workers to Canada than the IMP. Both programs help Canadian employers recruit foreign talent when no Canadian worker could fill the job vacancy. It mainly targets seasonal agricultural workers to Canada, but also includes other sectors.
Work permits through GTS and PGWP
The IMP is more focused on meeting Canada’s broad economic and social needs. The majority of work permits come under the IMP, which includes the Global Talent Stream (GTS), and the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
The GTS is for tech workers who either work for designated companies or get employment in highly-skilled occupations. The advantage of the GTS is that it has a two-week processing standard. Companies can hire foreign talent abroad and have them come to work in Canada in the same month.
International students can use the PGWP to gain up to three years of Canadian work experience; students highly value the PGWP in an application for permanent residence through Canada’s Express Entry immigration system.
This fall semester, international students who study online will still be eligible for a PGWP. Normally online study is ineligible for a PGWP, but Canada’s immigration department is making an exception this year due to the unprecedented school closures brought on by the pandemic.