Following global and widespread border closures and Covid-19 outbreaks, as well as public health restrictions, Indian immigration to Canada reached a new high this year.
As a result, India is the only one of the three major providers of incoming permanent residents to Canada that has sent more immigrants this year than it did in 2019, the previous full year since the outbreak.
Canada had already welcomed 96,660 new permanent citizens from India by the end of October.
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), that is 53,795, or more than 125 per cent more than in all of 2020. Although, last year was a difficult year for Canadian immigration.
In 2020, the number of new permanent residents in Canada plummeted by about 45.9%, to 1,84,585, from 3,41,175 in 2019, the last full year before the outbreak of the Covid-19 global pandemic.
During the first ten months of this year, the number of new permanent residents from India to Canada was also more than 12.9% higher than the total number of Indians who moved to Canada in 2019.
The Canadian government has been optimistic about immigration, throughout the pandemic. Canada aggressively increased its immigration targets in late October 2020, announcing that it would welcome 4,01,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 4,11,000 in 2022, and 4,21,000 in 2023.
“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.
Before the pandemic, the original plan called for 3,51,000 immigrants in 2021 and 3,61,000 in 2022. The annual target for immigration to Canada has been met. In December, Canada met its aim of 4,01,000 arrivals by 2021. It had not received that many new immigrants since 1913. While Ottawa declared that the amount for 2021 had been met, official monthly numbers are only available through October.
The top ten largest sources of new permanent residents to Canada in 2021 are as follows:
- India: 96,660
- China: 24,995
- Philippines: 13,310
- Nigeria: 12,500
- France: 10,510
- United States: 9,525
- Brazil: 9,270
- Iran: 8,930
- Pakistan: 6,625
- South Korea: 6,590
The top four most important sources of new permanent residents to Canada stayed the same, India, China, the Philippines, and Nigeria but France took the fifth spot this year instead of Pakistan, which dropped to ninth place.
South Korea, which was ranked ninth last year, fell to tenth this year but stayed in the Top 10. The two countries dropped from seventh and eighth place last year, making room for Brazil and Iran, who entered the list this year.
The official figures of Canada Immigration are yet to be released for 2021, forecasts show that India will have contributed 15% additional new permanent residents to Canada by the end of this year than previous trends projected. For China and the Philippines, the situation is the complete opposite.
According to forecasts, China will have provided 15.6 per cent fewer new permanent residents to Canada than was predicted by the end of this year. The anticipated contribution of new permanent residents from the Philippines is 51.1% lower than expected.
Pakistan, too, is set to complete the year with 37.4% fewer new permanent residents in Canada than projected.
According to last year’s patterns, Nigeria was predicted to provide 14,805 new permanent residents to Canada in 2021, and it is expected to meet and slightly exceed that figure by 195 persons. South Korea and the United States are also predicted to provide somewhat more than the expected number of new permanent residents to Canada by the end of 2021.
Skilled migration programs were the most popular route for foreign nationals to immigrate to Canada in 2021, accounting for 197,865, or 63%, of the 313,880 new permanent residents to the country in the first ten months of the year.
During the first ten months of 2021, family sponsorship programs assisted 62,245 foreign nationals in becoming permanent residents of Canada. They account for an additional 19.8 per cent of all new permanent immigrants to Canada during that time period.
In addition, Canada received 44,150 refugees and protected persons in the first ten months of this year, accounting for just less than 14.1% of all new permanent residents to the country during that period. In the first ten months of 2021, those three major kinds of programs accounted for 96.9 per cent of all new permanent immigrants to Canada.