Despite the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic, Canada welcomed 405,330 new immigrants in 2021, according to official numbers released Friday.
Ontario was the big winner of the temporary to the permanent residency program, accepting more than half of the country’s new permanent residents as the country recorded a record-high level of immigration.
Ontario, a great attraction for immigrants, welcomed the lion’s share of those immigrants in 2021, with 198,085, or nearly 48.9% of new permanent residents, settling in the province.
The second most popular province for immigration last year was British Columbia, which welcomed 69,270 new permanent residents, accounting for nearly 17.1% of all new permanent residents to Canada in 2021. The third most popular province was Quebec, which welcomed 50,170 new permanent residents, accounting for roughly 12.4% of the total.
The temporary to permanent residency (TR to PR) program was a primary strategy for Ottawa in meeting those immigration targets last year, and the majority of those individuals also chose Ontario as their new home. Under the TR to PR track, 12,935 new permanent residents arrived in Ontario, accounting for nearly 54.1 per cent of all new entrants under that program.
British Columbia was the second most popular temporary program destination, receiving 6,085, or 25.5% of individuals arriving through that route.
Likewise, Alberta was the third most popular province for applicants under that program, accounting for 7.1%, or 1,695, of the 23,885 new permanent residents via the TR to PR track in 2021.
The TR to PR program did not include the francophone province of Quebec, which has its own immigration service.
Despite applications for the temporary TR to PR track closed last year, Canadian immigration officials still have a backlog of petitions to review. According to the IRCC’s most recent immigration levels plan, 40,000 new permanent residents to Canada will be approved using that channel this year, with another 32,000 expected in 2023.
After shattering immigration records by bringing in more immigrants than ever before last year, Ottawa is aiming for even higher levels of immigration from 2022 to 2024. Canada stated this week that it plans to welcome more than 1.3 million newcomers over the next three years, finishing in 2024.
Higher Immigration Levels Is Expected To Boost Economy
“Immigration has helped shape Canada into the country it is today. From farming and fishing to manufacturing, healthcare and the transportation sector, Canada relies on immigrants,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
“We are focused on economic recovery, and immigration is the key to getting there. Setting bold new immigration targets, as outlined in the 2022-2024 Levels Plan, will further help bring the immeasurable contribution of immigrants to our communities and across all sectors of the economy.”
According to the immigration minister’s proposal, Canada will welcome 431,645 permanent residents this year, 447,055 the following year, and 451,000 in 2024. The previous immigration plan was for Canada to accept 411,000 new permanent residents in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.
The federal government claims that ever-increasing immigration levels are required to address significant labour shortages hurting the Canadian economy. Despite having reclaimed many of the jobs lost during the pandemic, there are still hundreds of thousands of employments available in all industries.
Considering five million Canadians slated to retire by the end of this decade, the worker-to-retiree ratio will fall to just 3:1. This is a clear indication that there is a significant economic demand for additional immigration. The vast majority of immigrants will be admitted under Canada’s Economic Class, which includes the popular and effective Express Entry system.
Federal high-skilled immigrants accepted under Express Entry will number 55,900 in 2022, 75,750 in 2023, and 111,500 in 2024. Over 40,000 entrants will enter the Federal Economic Public Policies stream this year, followed by 32,000 the next year. This is the stream that contains applications from temporary residents who applied to become permanent residents last year but have yet to be evaluated.
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will also witness significant growth, with 83,500 entrants in 2022, 86,000 in 2023, and 93,000 in 2024.
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