According to fresh data issued this morning by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada’s new immigrant landings have dropped for the fourth month in a row after a strong start to the year.
Canada received 23,395 new immigrants in February, 22,425 in March, and 21,155 in April, following a total of 24,680 new immigrants in January. Through the first five months of 2021, Canada has welcomed little over 108,000 immigrants.
This is not fast enough to meet the targets set out in the Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023. In May 2021, Canada welcomed 17,100 new permanent residents.
Beginning this year, Canada expects to accept 401,000 new immigrants per year. This is Canada’s most ambitious immigration goal in its history, as the country seeks to harness newcomer arrivals to help it rebound economically following the pandemic.
As a result of the travel restrictions and other coronavirus-related difficulties that began in March 2020, Canada fell far short of its aim of 341,000 new immigrants in 2020, only accepting 184,000 newcomers.
Each month before the epidemic, Canada received between 25,000 and 35,000 new permanent citizens. As newcomers came during more favourable weather conditions and in time for the start of the academic and business calendar in September, immigration levels tended to rise during the spring and summer months.
In April 2020, immigration dropped to just 4,100 new arrivals, and remained below 20,000 monthly arrivals for the rest of the year.
Despite the slowdown, there are various reasons to believe that Canadian immigration will pick up in the second half of 2021.
Following the lifting of travel restrictions on June 21st, all holders of a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) can finally come to Canada.
According to the IRCC, about 23,000 COPR holders will now be able to take advantage of this policy. Those authorised for permanent residency outside of Canada in the following months will also be permitted to fly to Canada in 2021.
IRCC has also been concentrating on finishing the permanent residency process for persons already in Canada who applied for immigration through Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and other programmes.
Candidates in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) continue to be the focus of Express Entry drawings. This year, the IRCC has already invited 93,842 people to apply for permanent residency, nearly double the number from the same time last year.
New permanent residency streams have been established by the IRCC for up to 90,000 international student graduates and essential workers. It has stated that by the end of the year, it expects to have processed around 40,000 of these applications.
As a result, it is likely that May will be a low point for immigrant arrivals in 2021, with a recovery commencing in June, but becoming more noticeable in July as COPR holders begin to flock to Canada in greater numbers.
Given that the processing time for IRCC to assess and approve their permanent residence applications is roughly six months, the high levels of in-Canada applicants should be more prominently represented in new permanent resident landing data in the second half of this year.