Trump to suspend immigration to U.S.; Canada remains open
President Donald Trump has announced that he will sign an Executive Order to temporarily suspend U.S. immigration as early as Wednesday April 22, citing coronavirus concerns.
The president first made the announcement via Twitter on Monday night.
On Tuesday evening, during his daily coronavirus briefing at the White House, president Trump said that his administration was currently working on drafting the Executive Order, and it could be ready for his signature by Wednesday.
In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2020
During his Tuesday evening briefing, Trump said the temporary suspension is set to last 60 days for permanent resident visas (or "green cards"), though there will be some exemptions, which he did not specify.
The president also added that the immigration suspension was not just a means to contain the spread of COVID-19, but also to help American workers who have been hurt by the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
Canada remains open to immigration despite coronavirus
Canada is also fighting COVID-19 and has enacted emergency measures, including travel restrictions on some foreign nationals.
Nonetheless, it remains committed to accommodating immigrants, temporary foreign workers, and international students as much as possible. It has not suspended immigration, but rather, continues to invite foreign nationals to submit their applications to come to Canada.
Recognizing that foreign nationals may have trouble obtaining all necessary documentation at this time due to coronavirus-related interruptions, Canada has stated it will not reject any application that is incomplete because of such interruptions.
In addition, Canada continues to hold federal and provincial immigration draws to invite new individuals to apply for permanent resident status.
Since the travel restrictions were first announced by Canada on March 16th, the following immigration draws have taken place:
- The federal government held Express Entry draws on April 16 and April 15
- The province of British Columbia (BC) held a Provincial Nominee Program draw on April 16
- Two Express Entry draws took place on April 9
- BC held three PNP draws on April 6 and 7, and March 30
- Saskatchewan hosted a PNP draw on March 26
- Manitoba also had a draw under its PNP on March 26
- An Express Entry draw took place on March 23
- Alberta had a PNP draw on March 18
- Canada also had an Express Entry draw on March 18
Express Entry is the main way that Canada manages immigration applications made by skilled workers. Under its 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada is looking to welcome 341,000 immigrants in 2020, 351,000 in 2021, and 361,000 in 2022.
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