The immigration levels of Canada are beginning to recover. The nation is on track to achieve its ambitious 401,000 immigration target in 2021.
A new IRCC data reveals that Canada sent out invitations to 24,665 newcomers in January 2021. This is similar to the country’s monthly admissions before the pandemic.
Since February 2020, January 2021 has been the strongest month for Canadian immigration.
Before the pandemic, Canada used to welcome between 25,000 and 35,000 newcomers each month. Significant seasonal components play a vital role in the Canadian immigration process.
Canada experiences the highest number of immigrants entering the nation during the summer and spring seasons. This number tends to recede towards the end of each year.
There are several reasons behind this trend:
- Warmer weather help in the settlement process.
- Families prefer to settle in Canada by the end of the summer holidays.
- The regular activity in Canadian schools and offices commences from September each year.
There was an interruption to the typical state of affairs by the recent travel restrictions. This restriction was from March 18, 2020, to control the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus.
During the restrictions, immigration levels were relatively weak. Canada failed to go beyond 20,000 newcomers in January this year.
A total of 184,370 immigrants set foot on Canadian soil last year. This number was way too short of IRCC’s annual goal of inviting 341,000 newcomers.
2020 was the weakest year for Canada since 1998. Marco Mendicino, Canada’s immigration minister, announced welcoming 401,000 permanent residents this year to cover up for the deficit.
If Canada manages to achieve this goal, it will be par for the highest immigration number in the nation’s history. The current record for Canada is 401,000 immigrants in 1913.
Canada did manage to start strong this year. This proves that it is in a well-set position to achieve its immigration goal by the end of 2021.
If the seasonal newcomer arrival patterns normalize, there can be an expectation for the immigration to go beyond 35,000 each month.
There should also be a notable rise in permanent residence landings by the end of 2021. This shall be due to the recent historic Express Entry (EE) draw on February 13, 2021.
It takes around nine months to invite to apply for permanent residence and complete the landing process. This rise should be visible in November or December.
Mendicino and IRCC made a recent announcement about a shift in strategy. IRCC will try to transition as many people residing in Canada to permanent residence. This shall help them meet their 401,000 immigration annual goal.
Apart from Mendicino’s public comments, several serious steps by IRCC prove the one thing. The commitment of the Canadian government towards this temporary shift in strategy.
IRCC was inviting applicants from different corners of the world, including Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates. The invitation was to apply for permanent residence by the end of 2020.
However, now IRCC is aiming to invite candidates who are most likely to be in Canada. Since the beginning of 2021, EE draws have sent out invitations to candidates from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and PNP.
The largest EE draw by IRCC was on February 13, 2021. They sent out invitations to apply for permanent residence to 27,332 CEC candidates. This draw was almost six times bigger than the last record.
EE is the primary way for Canada to welcome skilled workers to immigrate to the country. Usually, more than half the invitees under the EE come under the FSWP. At the same time, CEC and PNP applicants come in the minority group.
There has been a reversal to this trend during the recent pandemic. After the February 13 draw, IRCC explained that around 90% of CEC applicants live in Canada.
Looking at the current travel restrictions, the majority of the permanent residence holders in January include those who have been in the country during the pandemic. A considerable portion of the Canadian population comprises temporary foreign workers.
This large portion also includes global students. These students get an advantage while applying to Canada’s more than 100 various skilled worker immigration programs.
These programs reward applicants with Canadian education and work experience. This is the job of Statistics Canada research that shows that Canadian experience is a great predictor. It predicts the success of an immigrant’s entry into the labor market.
Moving ahead, IRCC made a statement that it will restart welcoming skilled workers from other countries. They will do so once the pandemic situation gets better.
As of now, several skilled workers are unable to enter Canada due to travel restrictions. These workers have the approval to immigrate to Canada.
Predicting the future is somewhat tricky. However, recent progress offers a ray of light of hope that the worst of the global pandemic is behind us.
A daily number of Covid-19 cases have fallen in Canada since the beginning of this year. Many people are still working from home, and there is an increase in vaccine distribution.
The US is distributing more than two million vaccine dosages each day. The global vaccine rollout has also increased. If this carries on, Canada may soon consider relaxing the travel restrictions later this year.
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