Despite the challenged posed by the pandemic, Canada welcomed more than 400,000 new immigrants in 2021. This is for the first time after 1913, Canada welcoming more than 400,000 new immigrants in a single year.
International travel restrictions caused by the pandemic were a major impediment for Canada to meet its immigration target in 2021. However, Canada overcame this obstacle by transitioning a high number of temporary residents who were already residing in the country to permanent residents. The Express Entry draws invited a high number of Canadian Experience Class(CEC) candidates in the first nine months of 2021. In the remaining months, Express Entry draws exclusively targeted Provincial Nominee Program(PNP) candidates. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) also launched six immigration streams to transition 90000 international students and temporary foreign workers already living in Canada to permanent residents.
A large majority of immigrants come to Canada under economic class programs. In 2021, a total of 252975 permanent residents came to Canada under these programs. This makes up around 62 per cent of the total number of immigrants. Further, it should be noted that Canada exceeded the target in this category by welcoming 20000 more candidates. The number of family class immigrants who landed in Canada in 2021 was 80990. They constituted 20 per cent of the total new landings in 2021.
India remained to be the top source country for Canada’s new immigrants in 2021. They constituted almost one-third of the total landings in 2021, compared to 25 percent in 2019. Here, it should be noted that India is also the largest source country for international students. Many of these students eventually get permanent residence in the country through Canadian Experience Class. In total, 32 percent of the immigrants moved permanently to Canada in 2021 were Indians. Second came the Chinese who constituted eight per cent of the new immigrants, followed by Philippines, Nigeria, France, United States, Brazil, Iran, South Korea and Pakistan.