International students, foreign workers and asylum seekers who are already in Canada may soon get more permanent residence options as Canada is currently facing economic challenges brought in part due to to lower immigration levels caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The decline in Canada's immigration levels has slowed population, labour force and economic growth. According to Government data from August, Permanent Resident numbers are down 60% year over year.

Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino told Bloomberg that making temporary residents permanent will address Canada's short term needs to respond to the Coronavirus. It will also help address Canada's long term demographic challenges which include an aging population and low birth rate.

The government will look at the foreign talent that is already in Canada in order to find asylum seekers, students and workers who have the skills that align with essential services in the economy. Minister Mendicino also mentioned to Bloomberg that students from other countries are particularly attractive to address the effects of an aging population. As a result, he is making it easier for students to work in Canada through the Post-Graduate Work permit program.

The Post Graduate Work Permit program allows international students who graduate from a post-secondary program in Canada, the ability to work and gain experience in Canada that will allow them to eventually apply for permanent residency through the Express Entry and Provincial Nominee programs. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Canada is allowing on-line studies at a Canadian designated learning institute between May 2020 and April 2021 to count towards future Post Graduate Work Permit eligibility.

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