Canada’s new immigration plan will welcome 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, the greatest number of new Canadians in history.
The news came from an Oct. 30 announcement from Canada’s Minister of Immigration Marco Mendicino outlining the government’s plan to support economic recovery through immigration.
Canada’s three-year immigration plan
The immigration goals for the following three years are in line with previous increases in Canadian immigration targets. The amounts are generally set at 1% of the population of Canada.
What is so historic are the total amount of new Canadians that will be welcomed. Because of reduced migration to Canada due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Canada will be making up that deficit in newcomers in the years to come, resulting in levels of immigration that have not been seen before.
For the next three years Canada will accept:
- 2021: 401,000 new permanent residents
- 2022: 411,000 new permanent residents
- 2023: 421,000 new permanent residents
The previous plan devised prior to the COVID-19 pandemic called for 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.
It’s possible that the added number of permanent residents for 2021, 2022, and 2023 means that programs like the Express Entry system will be easier to apply for.
Note that due to the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec establishes its own immigration levels. Immigration Quebec released their 2021 immigration earlier this week.
Canada’s 2020 immigration shortfall
It’s estimated that Canada will only reach 70% of its 2020 immigration goal of 341,000 new permanent residents. Travel restrictions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic slowdown are to blame for the shortfall.
If the 30% reduction in immigration from the 2020 immigration goal is accurate, that means there are approximately 100,000 fewer permanent residents coming to Canada than projected. But the revised figures from IRCC indicate that 150,000 additional visas will be granted when compared to the original, pre-COVID immigration plan. This could mean that Canada expects to receive even less than 70% of the stated 2020 immigration goals.
Whatever the final numbers are for 2020, for a country like Canada that pursues an immigration-fueled growth strategy, this shortfall is of major concern.
“Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth. 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. 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.”
– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship