As Canada emerges from the throes of a global pandemic, the country should focus on making an immigrant-focused financial recovery plan. A recent study by World Education Services (WES) found that Canada must cater to immigrant needs in order to restore normalcy again.
WES surveyed 1,800 international students, permanent residents, and temporary foreign workers in Canada to assess how COVID affected the economic health of immigrants. WES happens to be one of the primary providers for Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) that are used to determine whether foreign credentials can be considered equivalent to Canadian ones. Immigration candidates usually need ECAs when they fill their economic class applications to the provincial or federal government.
Immigrants have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Financially, they have suffered many losses because of the coronavirus and the accompanying lockdown measures. The study revealed that 15% of all respondents became unemployed because of the pandemic. Many of them struggled to even afford rent or make regular mortgage payments. More alarmingly, 24% of permanent residents and 22% of temporary workers lost their primary source of income.
Measures to help immigrants
Eligible international students, permanent residents, and temporary foreign workers submitted applications to take advantage of the emergency benefits to make up for the loss of income caused by the pandemic. The government introduced the Employment Insurance (EI) and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for this very purpose. Both employed/self-employed Canadians, and permanent residents could access the CERB while the EI conferred temporary benefits to eligible individuals who lost their source of income.