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Immigration application system set for massive revamp in wake of COVID-19

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OTTAWA — A complete overhaul of how Canada processes immigration applications is in the works as the federal government braces for a post-COVID-19 surge in demand for migration to Canada.

The federal Immigration Department says the “new normal” that will emerge after the pandemic requires a revamp of the technology used to handle millions of applications a year.

It says new strategies for managing those applications are also needed to limit the amount of in-person contact within the bureaucracy and between officials and potential newcomers.

The department included its plan in an “urgent request” issued late last month for a company to help with that project.

Immigration to Canada came to a near-halt in March when borders around the world slammed shut to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A report from RBC Economics has suggested that could curb Canada’s economic growth, noting the $6 billion in tuition alone that international students contribute to the economy each year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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