Canada's immigration levels remain low due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Canada’s new permanent resident intake continues to suffer as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
New Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data shows Canada welcomed 15,025 new immigrants in September 2020.
This is low compared with the 35,000 immigrants Canada welcomed in September 2019.
Overall, Canada has welcomed about 143,500 immigrants between January and September which means it is on pace to fall short of 200,000 immigrants by the end of the year. In the first nine months of 2019, Canada welcomed 264,000 immigrants and over 341,000 total last year.
Canada will not be able to achieve this target for three major reasons. First, the pandemic has also disrupted the immigration system. Social distancing measures have affected everything from the ability to complete official
language tests such as IELTS or CELPIP, to submitting biometrics, to obtaining visas from Canadian government authorities. Secondly, thousands of confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) holders who are exempt from Canada’s coronavirus travel restrictions remain stuck abroad because their COPRs have expired during the pandemic. Third, Canada’s coronavirus travel restrictions do not allow individuals who obtained their COPR after March 18 to enter Canada unless they fall under an exemption.
To enable it to achieve these targets, IRCC has been hosting Express Entry draws mostly on a bi-weekly basis throughout the pandemic. The two most recent Express Entry draws have seen 4,500 invitations to apply for permanent residence issued in each draw which is tied for the highest levels per draw since Express Entry launched in January 2015.
The second major way Canada welcomes skilled workers is through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
PNP draws have also occurred regularly throughout the pandemic and earlier this week Canada’s largest province, Ontario, held a draw.
In all, Canada’s provinces issued nearly 3,000 provincial nominations in October.
Canada is set to fall short of 200,000 new permanent residents this year for the first time since 1999.