In January 2021, Canada welcomed about 24665 new permanent residents, according to new Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data. It shows that Canada intake levels are going back to pre-pandemic rates. With this high level of intake, January has become the strongest month for Canadian immigration since February 2020.
There is also a seasonal element that became a reason for this increase. The number of newcomers arriving in Canada is higher during the spring and summer months compared to the last months of the calendar. This is mainly because warmer weather makes the settlement process easier and also because settling by the end of summer holidays is always ideal as Canada’s school year and work schedule resume their normal activity each September.
Before the pandemic, Canada used to welcome between 25000 to 35000 new immigrants every month. The outbreak of the pandemic obstructed the normal inflow of newcomers because Canada imposed border restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease. From March 18, 2020 onwards, monthly Canada intake levels remained dismally low and seldom crossed the limit of 20,000 until January this year.
The total number of immigrants who came to Canada in 2020 was 184370, way lower than the immigration target of 341000, set for the year. This was the weakest year for Canada immigration since 1998. It was to compensate these low intake levels, Canada announced to welcome more than 400,000 immigrants every year during the period between 2021 and 2023.
Canada intake levels expected rise further
The high level of intake in the beginning of this year proves that Canada is committed to meet the immigration goals it has set for the year 2021. Based on seasonal patterns, we can expect that more than 35000 persons will come to Canada every month by summer.
Further, it is expected that there would be a significant spike in the intake by the end of this year owing to the historic Express Entry draw that was held on February 13 in which a whopping 27,322 candidates received invitations. Normally, processing of their applications would take at least nine months to complete.
Canada is currently considering those who are already living in the country to award permanent resident status through Express Entry. The reason is that border restrictions implemented by Canada in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic are still in place. But by the end of this year, the situation is predicted to change and more applicants from outside Canada will be considered for permanent residence status.
The recent developments in the pandemic scenario also give hope for immigration aspirants. The number of new COVID positive cases has fallen in Canada since January. This is mainly owing to the stay-at-home orders as well as vaccine distribution. Vaccination drives are taking place in Canada as well as in other countries, which are expected to bring the pandemic under control in the near future. Based on these factors, it is expected that Canada would be able to relax travel restrictions later this year.
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