How is COVID 19 affecting Immigration Practice? What can you expect in the coming weeks and months?
When you start immigration practice, you can’t possibly anticipate all the factors that may impact your business. Certainly planning for a global pandemic wasn’t on your business plan when you are setting up your practice.
In this new COVID-19 world, you need to take a second look at what you thought you knew about the marketplace and your business. Your clients and potential clients are counting on your up-to-date expertise to keep moving their immigration needs forward during this unprecedented global crisis.
Here are two of the key impacts you need to understand: Demand for Essential Service Workers and Easing Work Restrictions for International Students
Impact #1 Demand for Essential Service Workers
Essential Service Workers, including those working in health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods, are in demand to help countries respond to the pandemic.
Workers in certain roles and industries have been under considerable pressure and the need for trained and skilled workers is growing. With an uncertain timeline and changing needs for governments and citizens there will be an ongoing pressure to access a qualified workforce to deliver these critical services for our community, including childcare, elder-care, healthcare, emergency health-care, mental health-care.
Transportation, food services, information technology, and cyber-security are other areas where the need will continue and the needs and demands of both the public and private sector will continue to change and grow in a post-COVID world.
As an Immigration Practitioner, you serve a vital role in ensuring that your international student, work permit, landed-immigrant, and citizenship applicants can be granted admission and contribute their skills and expertise to Canada during this difficult time.
While Canadians can fill many jobs, gaps remain. Your role is critical as an Immigration Practitioner. Immigration helps provide workers to satisfy labour market needs, which, in turn, stimulates economic growth. Recent projections indicate that existing labour shortages, particularly in health, sciences, skilled trades, transport and equipment, are expected to persist into the future. Immigration also helps to meet specific regional labour market needs, especially through Provincial Nominee programs.
A good place to prepare for the increased pressure on your Immigration services and understand how to meet the needs of the changing market is a Startup Incubators. There was never a better time for an up-to-date business plan, a network of advisors and mentors, digital marketing know-how, and workshops to keep you informed about changes to regulations and the application process which will affect your clients.
Impact #2 Easing Work Restrictions for International Students
When you start immigration practice, you see quickly how many International Students require your assistance to navigate the application process. Now more than ever, Canada needs our International Students to support the economy and contribute essential worker skills to fill gaps in the workforce.
How has COVID-19 impacted International students? One positive development has been a change in the work restrictions for International students here in Canada. The Federal Government announced that they are removing the restriction on international students. Previously, International Students were allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours a week while classes are in session.
To help battle the COVID-19 outbreak, starting April 22, 2020, the government has removed the restriction that allows international students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week (while classes are in session) provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.
“Immigrants, temporary foreign workers and international students are making important contributions as frontline workers in health care and other essential service sectors. We know and value their efforts and sacrifices to keep Canadians healthy and ensure the delivery of critical goods and services.”
- The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
This temporary rule change provides support to industries needing essential services. With thousands of international students studying in health- and emergency service-related programs, including many who are nearly fully trained and ready to graduate, this temporary rule change provides health-care facilities with access to additional well-trained workers at a critical time.
This rule change and others that may come in the future will impact your current and future clients. They need an Immigration Consultant who is up to date on these and other regulations, including market trends that impact employability and future opportunities.
For Immigration Consultants and Lawyers the importance of helping frontline workers and student workers contribute to our communities is more important than ever. But who is helping you to stay up-to-date, understand the changing needs, and get out in the market to attract new clients during this uncertain time? Startup Incubators, especially those who specialize in Immigration Practice, are a great service to help prepare your practice to grow and succeed now and in the future, no matter what unexpected challenges you and your clients may face.
Read Our Another Blog on: How to establish your Immigration Practice.