Last Updated on December 28, 2021
Immigration to Canada from India hit a new high this year despite international border closures and waves of COVID-19 and their public health restrictions.
That makes India the only country of the three most important sources of new permanent residents to Canada to have sent more immigrants this year than it did in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic.
By the end of October, Canada had already welcomed 96,660 new permanent residents from India. That’s 53,795, or upwards of 125 per cent more, than in all of 2020, figures from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveal.
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Admittedly, last year was a tough year for immigration to Canada.
The number of new permanent residents to Canada in 2020 fell by almost 45.9 per cent, to 184,585 from 341,175 in 2019, the last full year before the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The number of new permanent residents to Canada from India in the first 10 months of this year was also already more than 12.9 per cent higher than the total number of Indians who made Canada their home in 2019.
Canada Upped Immigration Targets For 2021 and Beyond
Throughout the pandemic, the Canadian government has remained bullish on immigration.
In late October 2020, Canada boldly upped its immigration targets and announced it would be welcoming 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.
Prior to the pandemic, the previous plan set targets of 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.
“Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth,” said Marco Mendicino, who was then Canada’s minister of immigration, in the first year of the pandemic.
“Canadians have seen how newcomers are playing an outsized role in our hospitals and care homes, and helping us to keep food on the table.
“As we look to recovery, newcomers create jobs not just by giving our businesses the skills they need to thrive, but also by starting businesses themselves,” he said. “Our plan will help to address some of our most acute labour shortages and to grow our population to keep Canada competitive on the world stage.”
Immigration To Canada Hits Yearly Target
Canada hit its 2021 target of 401,000 newcomers in December. The last time it welcomed so many new immigrants was 1913.
Although Ottawa announced the total for 2021 had been reached, official monthly figures are only available up to October.
The Top 10 Biggest Sources Of New Permanent Residents To Canada in 2021 are:
|Country||Number of New Permanent Residents Up To October|
Although the top four most important sources of new permanent residents to Canada remained the same, India, China, the Philippines and Nigeria, the fifth place spot this year went to France instead of Pakistan which moved down in the rankings to number nine.
South Korea, which was in the number nine spot last year, slid to the tenth position this year but remained in the Top 10.
Not so for Syria and Eritrea.
India Delivers More Permanent Residents Than Expected, Not So China And The Philippines
The two countries lost the seventh and eighth spots they occupied last year, giving way to Brazil and Iran who made it onto the list this year.
Although the final immigration figures for this year are not yet available, projections indicate India will have contributed 15 per cent more new permanent residents to Canada by the end of this year than last year’s trends suggested it would.
The situation is almost completely reversed for China and the Philippines.
Based on the projections, China will have provided 15.6 per cent fewer new permanent residents than expected to Canada by the end of this year. The projected contribution of new permanent residents from the Philippines is down 51.1 per cent over the anticipated number.
Pakistan, too, is projected to end the year having provided 37.4 per cent fewer new permanent residents to Canada than expected.
Based on last year’s trends, Nigeria was expected to provide 14,805 new permanent residents to Canada in 2021 and is forecast to hit that level of immigration – and slightly surpass it by 195 people.
Most New Permanent Residents Arrive Through Economic Immigration Programs
South Korea and the United States, too, are now forecast to end 2021 having provided slightly more than the expected new permanent residents to Canada.
Economic immigration programs were the most popular way for foreign nationals to immigrate to Canada in 2021 with 197,865, or 63 per cent, of the 313,880 new permanent residents to the country in the first 10 months of the year making the move through these programs.
Family sponsorship programs helped 62,245 foreign nationals become permanent residents of Canada during those first 10 months of 2021. They represent another 19.8 per cent of all new permanent residents to Canada during that period.
Canada also welcomed 44,150 refugees and protected persons in the first 10 months of this year, a little less than 14.1 per cent of the total of new permanent residents to the country during that time.
Together, those three broad categories of programs accounted for 96.9 per cent of all new permanent residents to Canada in the first 10 months of 2021.