Canada welcomed just under 15,100 new immigrants in October 2020, about the same figure it welcomed in September.
The new Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data shows that October was the second strongest month for new immigrant arrivals to Canada since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Canada’s immigration levels remain significantly lower due to the pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, Canada welcomed some 25,000-35,000 new immigrants per month.
In October 2019, Canada welcomed 31,000 immigrants, meaning that immigration has more than halved on a year-over-year basis.
Canada has welcomed about 158,600 immigrants in the first 10 months of 2020 which strongly suggests it will fall short of 200,000 arrivals by the end of the year for the first time since 1999. Canada welcomed over 341,000 total last year and was aiming to welcome the same level in 2020 before the pandemic hit.
The strongest month during the pandemic came in June when Canada admitted 19,100 new permanent residents.
Lower immigration to Canada is due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, challenges in confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) holders coming to Canada, and Canada’s coronavirus travel restrictions.
Despite the pandemic, Canada plans to welcome high levels of new permanent residents over the coming years.
On October 30th, Canada announced that high levels are meant to compensate for the decline in immigration caused by the pandemic.
The new 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan will see Canada target over 400,000 new immigrant arrivals per year which is the highest targets in its history.
Express Entry is Canada’s main way to manage skilled worker immigration applications.
It remains to be seen if Canada’s 2021 immigration target is achievable due to ongoing disruptions caused by COVID-19, however help is on the way. Health Canada provided its first approval for a COVID-19 vaccine last week and Canadians are set to begin receiving inoculations today.
Canada’s coronavirus cases have increased at a concerning rate in recent months resulting in new lockdowns in cities such as Toronto. At the same time, Canada has secured the most coronavirus vaccines per capita in the world as it looks to bring this crisis to a halt by implementing the largest vaccination campaign in its history.
The widescale vaccination of people in Canada and abroad will enable the Canadian government to relax its travel restrictions and see the country’s immigration levels return to normal. In the meantime, IRCC continues to accept and process new immigration applications.
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