By: Tamara Molino | CRP, GMS

December 28, 2020

In an effort to encourage foreign temporary residents to stay, the Canada citizenship path will expand to make it easier for them to become a permanent resident. Currently there are over one million temporary residents in Canada. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the number of immigrants entering the country.

Canada migration consists of both permanent and temporary residents. Net immigration statistics show the impact of the pandemic:

 2019 (annual)2020 (1st 6 months)
Temporary Residents+190,952-18,221
Permanent Residents+252,000 est.+128,430

Canada is seeking to add immigrants at an aggressive rate, with a goal of adding over 1 million immigrants by the end of 2021. The country’s plan for immigration includes the following:


Canada’s plan includes immigration relating to several factors:

  • Federal economic and provincial/territorial nominees
  • Those eligible for family reunification programs
  • Refugees

Why is Expanding the Canada Citizenship Path Important?

Canada is relying on immigrants to power its economy and counteract the long-term demographic impact of an aging population. Currently, Canada’s population is less than 37 million residents. Of these residents, nearly 20 percent are immigrants. The country is exceptionally welcoming to immigrants, with Prime Minister Trudeau publicly noting “Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.”

Canada is considered underpopulated, and as a result often has more jobs than workers. Immigration is key to helping the Canadian economy grow. The country’s population rate of growth for 2020 is only 0.89%, the lowest rate for the past several years. Expanding the Canada citizenship path will hopefully increase the population growth rate.

Programs to Draw Immigrants to Canada

The country has instituted many unique programs to draw immigrants. One immigration pilot initiative seeks to attract highly skilled immigrations to smaller cities and towns in the province of Ontario. Another initiative focuses on attracting students and youth of Hong Kong with a new open work permit and a broader Canada citizenship path. Criteria will include one year of work experience in Canada, and a minimum level of language proficiency and education. The new open work permit allows young people in Hong Kong to come to and hopefully stay in Canada while they gain work experience.

Among large industrialized countries, Canada has one of the lowest populations, ranking at #39. By comparison, countries including the US, UK, China, India, Germany, Mexico, France, Italy, and Spain all have much higher populations than Canada. The country’s best hope to keep residents in the face of the continuing pandemic is to expand the Canada citizenship path for its temporary residents.

What Does This Mean?

Canada’s immigration ministry is working to identify a new Canada citizenship path for the country’s temporary workers. It is also looking to expand opportunities to draw immigrants to Canada. The country’s economic growth depends on a steady supply of highly skilled workers. Also, increasing immigration will lessen the impact of an aging population on the country’s social services budgets.

What Should Employers Expect with an Expanding Canada Citizenship Path?

Employers in Canada should expect to see an increase in the number of immigrants seeking to leverage the expanding Canada citizenship path. With nearly twenty percent of the country comprised of immigrants, the atmosphere is welcoming and supportive. Employers should also expect to see a rise in job seekers utilizing the open work permit program.

Employers not currently in Canada should look into the country as a strategic location for future corporate expansion. The services of an International Professional Employer Organization (PEO) may be useful in this respect. International PEOs can help employers enter new markets quickly and determine the prospect for their future success.

What should Employers do as the Canada Citizenship Path Expands?

Work with a Qualified Relocation Management Company

Employers in Canada should review their talent acquisition program to ensure it aligns with a growing number of immigrants in their workforce. They should also work with a qualified Relocation Management Company (RMC). RMCs can help employers review their relocation and visa programs with a goal of encouraging highly skilled immigrants to choose their job opportunities.

Investigate the Services of an International Professional Employer Organization

Employers outside of Canada should consider utilizing the services of an International PEO. By working with an International PEO, companies can increase their international employment in Canada quickly and easily. RMCs can provide expert assistance to employers looking to expand their corporate presence through the services of an International PEO.


GMS’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients develop relocation programs that attract and retain qualified employees. Our team can help your company determine how to benefit from an expanding Canada citizenship path.

GMS was the first relocation company to register as a “.com.” The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation® technology platform.

Contact our experts online to learn how your company can benefit from an expanding Canada citizenship path, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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Vice President, Global Services Tammy is responsible for GMS’ regional operations teams in North and Latin America, EMEA, and APAC. Tammy provides over 14 years of leadership experience in the areas of international assignment management, global network management, global consulting and business development. Her experience in global mobility includes new client implementations, policy and compliance development, global compensation and billing, vendor management, case management, and real estate home sale/purchase programs. Tammy travels extensively and studied abroad in Switzerland, Chile, Peru, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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