Strong performances in both January and February put Canada on track to hit another record-breaking immigration level this year – maybe even surpassing Ottawa’s already-ambitious immigration target for the year.
The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals the country welcomed a total of 72,510 for both months. That rate of immigration – if it carries through the rest of the year – would mean 435,060 new permanent residents to Canada in 2022.
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The rate of immigration to Canada this year is even higher – albeit less than three-quarters of a percentage point higher – than Ottawa’s plans. Canada wants to welcome 431,645 immigrants this year.
So far this year, January has seen the arrival of 35,330 new permanent residents and February another 37,180. IRCC has stated that more than 108,000 newcomers were welcomed in the first quarter of 2022, although the official monthly figure for March is yet to be made available.
Immigration To Canada At Higher Levels Than Before COVID-19
Immigration during the first two months of this year was up almost 50.8 per cent over the 48,095 new permanent residents in the comparable period last year and almost 43.3 per cent higher than the 50,610 new permanent residents in 2020.
Perhaps the best indicator of how strong a start to the year 2022 has been a comparison to the first two months of 2019, the last full year before the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
In January and February of 2019, Canada welcomed 38,895 new permanent residents. That was 33,615, or 46.3 per cent, fewer than during the comparable months this year.
A big contributor to the higher immigration levels in the first two months of this year compared to the same period last year has been the one-time, temporary-to-permanent resident (TR-to-PR) program which kicked off in May last year.
Although applications for the TR to PR program closed in early November last year, not all the applications have been processed and Ottawa’s latest immigration levels plan calls for 32,000 new permanent residents under that pathway this year.
Canada’s immigration plan is to welcome more than 1.3 million newcomers between 2022 and 2024.
“Immigration has helped shape Canada into the country it is today. From farming and fishing to manufacturing, healthcare and the transportation sector, Canada relies on immigrants,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser earlier this year.
Immigrants’ Contributions To Canada ‘Immeasurable’
“We are focused on economic recovery, and immigration is the key to getting there. Setting bold new immigration targets, as outlined in the 2022-2024 Levels Plan, will further help bring the immeasurable contribution of immigrants to our communities and across all sectors of the economy.”
Under the levels plan presented by the immigration minister this year, Canada plans to welcome 447,055 next year, and 451,000 in 2024.
The previous immigration levels plan presented in late 2020 called on Canada to welcome 411,000 new permanent residents in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.
The ever-growing levels of immigration are touted by Ottawa as being the key to resolving labour shortages and building the Canadian economy, everything from agriculture and the fisheries to business management and the tech sector.
“Canada is among the world’s top destinations for talent, and immigration is a driving force behind the boom in our tech sector,” tweeted Fraser earlier this year.
“Bringing skilled workers to Canada helps businesses grow, and creates good jobs across the country.”