Canada is planning to welcome a record 431,000 immigrants

As of August 22, Canada has welcomed approximately 300,000 new permanent residents.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser claimed last week that Canada crossed the 300,000 mark earlier this year than any other year. Since confederation in 1867, Canada has welcomed more than 300,000 immigrants only six times throughout the year: in the years 1911 to 1913 and again in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

As pandemic-related travel restrictions led to a shortage of new people in 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) extended immigration into 2021, ending the year with a record-breaking 405,330 new people. Still, the IRCC did not cross the 300,000 mark until the fourth quarter of that year.

The publicly available data on the IRCC’s Open Data Portal has so far reported the number of new migrants as of June 2022. The results for July and August will be released in the coming months.

By the end of June, about 231,620 newcomers had immigrated to Canada. The difference between the figures from late June to August shows that Canada welcomed about 68,000 permanent residents over the course of two months.

If this rate remains in place for the remaining four months of the year, Canada could meet or exceed its target of 431,645 new migrants in 2022. If the Immigration Department reaches this target, it will break the previous record in 2021.

Available data show us which countries immigrants are migrating from and the Canadian provinces and territories where they are landing.

The IRCC rounds the data to the nearest five as part of an effort to protect personal privacy and prevent individuals from being identified. As a result, the sum of the data may not always equal the total.

Here are some key insights into Canadian immigration during the first half of 2022.

Top 10 Source Countries

India continues to be the top source of new immigrants by a large margin. In the first half of the year, 68,280 Indians received permanent Canadian residency, representing 29% of all Canadian immigrants. Indian citizens have consistently been the top source of new immigrants to Canada since 2017.

The number of permanent residents from Afghanistan increased significantly after the Taliban came to power. In 2021, Afghanistan was the ninth most popular source of newcomers, following a surge of Afghan immigration to Canada in the second half of 2021 when the federal government promised to resettle 40,000 refugees fleeing the county. So far this year, Afghanistan is coming at number four. As of August 31, 2022, about 18,075 refugees have arrived in Canada under the new Permanent Residence Program for Afghans.

Country# of new immigrants Jan – Jun, 2022

Provincial Immigration

Ontario has by far been the most popular landing province for immigrants. A total of 101,155 newcomers immigrated to Ontario in the first six months of the year, nearly triple that of second-place contender, British Columbia. BC Province is now home to 36,700 new permanent residents as of the end of June.

Quebec welcomed the third most immigrants overall, starting the first half of the year with 31,880. Alberta came in fourth with 26,920 newcomers.

Ontario is also the most welcoming of all Canada’s immigration classes: economic, familial, refugee, and others. BC welcomed the second most economic- and family-class immigrants, and came in third under the second category. Alberta accepted the second largest number of refugees and the third most family-class immigrants. Quebec had the third most economic- and refugee-class immigrants, and the second most welcomed under the second category.

Not Stated50xxxx
Prince Edward Island1,5101,3708055< 5
British Columbia36,70023,7359,1103,450405
Nova Scotia6,7455,70051051525
New Brunswick4,5453,96524532020
Newfoundland and Labrador1,3059409026510
Northwest Territories1451103550
Grand total231,620137,93051,74536,2255,675

Few more PNP immigrants admitted this year

In line with the 2022-2024 Immigration Level Plan, Canada expects to welcome more immigrants under its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) than under its Express Entry-managed programs for this year and next. This hasn’t happened since Canada introduced the Express Entry system in 2015.

So far, Canada has welcomed 40,785 immigrants through Express Entry and 40,835 via PNP. Most express entry immigrants are recruited from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) immigrants make up a small portion of Express Entry immigrants this year, and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) make up the smallest portion.

Province/territoryExpress EntryCECFSWPFSTPPNP
Newfoundland and Labrador2010100350
Prince Edward Island9585100940
Nova Scotia480375105<52675
New Brunswick3052109502055
British Columbia8,1255,6002,3351907425
Northwest Territories2520<5050
Grand total40,78524,20516,30531040,835

Canada continues to push for more immigration

Canada relies heavily on immigration to fill gaps in the labor market. The latest figures from Statistics Canada say there are more than a million vacancies and the unemployment rate is only 4.9%, a historic low. As a result, the country is facing labor shortage in many sectors. This is further accelerated as more than nine million Canadians will reach retirement age by 2030 and the birth rate at 1.4 children per woman is the lowest of all G7 countries.

To combat the labor shortage, Canada can expect to continue increasing the number of immigrants to record-breaking levels each year. For example, in 2024 Canada aims to invite more than 450,000 new people as part of its immigration leveling plan. Some provincial governments are calling on Canada to do more to attract immigrants with demanding skills, and are lobbying to have more say on immigration.

Canada is also making renewed efforts to make the application process easier and more streamlined for applicants. IRCC has recently announced a slew of measures to improve the customer experience along with clearing the current backlog of applications. Starting 23 September, immigration applications will be 100% digital and by the spring of 2023 the IRCC will launch application status trackers for seven additional permanent residency and temporary residency programs.

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