Canada, which is heavily reliant on migrants as a workforce, has set an ambitious plan to welcome over 1.3 million immigrants over the course of three years.
On Monday, the Justin Trudeau government announced its new immigration-level plans 2022-24 with an aim to help Canada’s economy recover from the COVID-19 onslaught.
Under the plan, Canada aims to add more than 431,000 permanent residents this year, 447,000 in 2023 and 451,000 in 2024. Figures for this year and 2023 have been revised higher from earlier targets of 411,000 and 421,000, respectively.
“Immigration has helped shape Canada into the country it is today,” Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said in a statement. “We are focused on economic recovery, and immigration is the key to getting there.”
Immigration had been one of the key drivers of Canada’s economy and accounts for almost all of the nation’s employment growth. Last year, Canada welcomed more than 405,000 newcomers, the largest single-year increase in its history.
Indians account for the biggest nationality gaining permanent residency in Canada, accounting for about 60 per cent of the total number, according to the 2021 Annual Report on Immigration that was tabled in the Canadian Parliament this week.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 had a massive effect on the country’s immigration process, but of the 184,606 permanent residents admitted that year, Indians accounted for 42,876, or 23 per cent of the total, followed by China at 16,535.
The latest announcement on immigration plans come at a time when Trudeau has been facing heat over a delay in clearing out visa applications for around 2 million people.
As of February 1, data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has shown that the country has a backlog of 1.8 million. According to media reports, the backlog includes applications from future citizens, permanent residents, international students, temporary workers, and visitors.
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