It has been recorded that it marks the third month in a row that Canada has broken the record since 1980. The data also shows that Canada has now landed over 361,000 immigrants in the first eleven months of this year. Given it has landed more than 45,000 immigrants in each of the past three months; it appears very likely Canada will achieve its 401,000 immigrant target by the end of this year. The rise in the Omicron variant may complicate such efforts but given IRCC’s focus on transitioning those within Canada to permanent residence, the department should still be able to achieve its goal.
A landing occurs when an individual sees their legal status officially converted to permanent residence in Canada. Prior to the pandemic, this usually occurred when a foreign national would arrive from overseas and gain permanent residence. During the pandemic, Canada has focused on transitioning those living in the country as temporary residents to permanent residence. The rationale for this policy is those in Canada are less likely to experience COVID-related disruptions during the process of acquiring permanent residence (e.g., travel delays, delays obtaining documents).
Before the pandemic, about 30 per cent of new economic class permanent residents lived in Canada at the time of landing while some 70 per cent came from abroad. This has been reversed in 2021 with some 70 per cent landing from within Canada and about 30 per cent arriving from overseas. IRCC has made this shift to enable it to achieve its Immigration Levels Plan target of landing 401,000 new permanent residents this year.
Among the shifts IRCC has made include focusing Express Entry draws on Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates and launching six streams in May to transition as many as 90,000 international students and temporary foreign workers living in Canada to permanent residence.
Canada landed between 25,000 and 35,000 immigrants per month when there were no signs of Covid. Canada got off to a slow start this year before ramping up landings in June. The period between June and November has been particularly notable due to Canada consistently landing over 35,000 new permanent residents each month, including setting three consecutive monthly modern records since September.
Canada landed more than 340,000 immigrants in 2019 and had its eyes set on the same target in 2020 before the pandemic got in the way. It ended up landing just 184,000 last year but doubled-down on immigration by seeking to tie its annual immigration record set in 1913. The motivation behind pursuing at least 401,000 admissions each year beginning in 2021 and beyond is to support Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery. Achieving the target has been one of IRCC’s top priorities in 2021. Now that they are closing in on this goal, IRCC will broaden its priorities following the release of a new mandate letter yesterday.