In the second quarter of 2020, Canada only accepted 34,000 new permanent residents, down 67% from 2019, according to a new report by RBC. When compared to 2019, immigration to Canada is down in all respects.
Canada was set to accept 341,000 new permanent residents in 2020. Due to the global covid-19 pandemic and the associated travel restrictions, RBC estimates that the best-case scenario is that only 70% of that total will be reached.
Immigration to Canada quick facts:
- Canada added 34,000 permanent residents in the second quarter, down 67% from the same period in 2019
- The number of temporary work permits that came into effect was down around 50% in the quarter; permits for the agriculture sector were a bright spot
- Just over 10,000 new study permits were processed, down from 107,000 a year earlier
- New visa applications were down 80%, indicating the slowdown could be lengthy
- June saw signs of recovery
Canada is still accepting immigration applications
Both federal and provincial immigration to Canada is still happening. Candidates are welcome to submit applications for work, student, and permanent visas but everyone should expect longer processing times as IRCC works to resume normal operations.
Do fewer applicants make it easier to immigrate to Canada?
It’s not clear if the reduced intake of applications will make it easier to immigrate to Canada. We haven’t seen a drastic drop in the qualifying CRS cutoff scores yet but that might be because IRCC is not operating at full capacity.
It’s possible that once IRCC resumes normal processing, they will attempt to recoup their losses and issue more invitations, and thus lower the CRS cutoff point but this is only speculation.
What are the implications of reduced immigration to Canada?
Canada needs immigrants to maintain our population and economic growth. Newcomers to Canada innovate and create jobs and wealth. Canadian cities, housing markets, and schools depend on a constant influx of newcomers for revenue. Canada is also committed to building a diverse and inclusive country. All of this is at risk if Canada does not regain its place as a choice destination for newcomers.