Last Updated on August 17, 2021
Canada welcomed more new permanent residents in July than during any other month in the past five and a half years and that’s fueling optimism the country will hit its immigration target this year.
“We’re ahead of where we expected to be at this point in the year, and we are going to continue to accelerate the pace of landing new permanent residents,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino reportedly told CTV. “We are going to deliver on that goal.”
That target is 401,000 new permanent residents to Canada this year.
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In July, Canada reportedly welcomed 39,500 new permanent residents, up more than 10.6 per cent over the 35,700 new permanent residents who came to the country in June.
The monthly rate of immigration to Canada in July was higher than any other month since at least the start of 2015. In July 2019, prior to the pandemic, there were 36,615 new permanent residents to Canada.
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With the high levels of immigration in June and July, Canada was able to bring its tally of new permanent residents to the country this year to 184,000.
That means Canadian immigration officials would need to bring in 217,000 more permanent residents into the country over the next five months to hit Ottawa’s immigration target, an average of 43,400 new permanent residents per month.
In 2019, the last full year before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Canada and led to border closures and public health restrictions, Canadian immigration officials were approving an average of 28,431 new permanent residents into the country every month.
Earlier this year, at least one expert openly doubted Canada could hit its stated targets.
The country’s 2021‒2023 Immigration Levels Plan has set immigration targets of about one per cent of the Canadian population for three years starting in 2021. That’s 401,000 permanent residents this year, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.
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In a Royal Bank of Canada economic report, senior economist Andrew Agopsowicz wrote that Canada was more likely to only be able to attract 275,000 immigrants this year due to the ongoing travel restrictions.
Canada could hit that number by welcoming 18,200 new permanent residents every month for the rest of the year.
In the past few months, travel restrictions have started easing. Earlier this month, Canada opened its borders to fully-vaccinated Americans coming into the country for non-essential reasons. International students no longer need to stay in quarantine hotels and fully vaccinated Americans and Canadians coming back home are also exempt.
During the pandemic, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada launched several new pathways to permanent residency and made strides to reducing processing times for applications by putting more immigration processes online.
Canada has also beefed up its immigration numbers by granting permanent residency to many temporary residents who were already in the country when the pandemic hit.
“By granting them permanent status, they’re going to put down roots in their communities,” Mendicino reportedly told CTV.
“That is exactly how we’re going to address both the short-term economic recovery, which we are accelerating through immigration, as well as the long-term demographic pressures.”