COVID infections and immigration landings:
An Inverse Proportion
by Michael Scott
Canada landed almost 38,000 new immigrants in August and the strong performance has continued throughout the year. The country is on target to meet the ambitious goal of 401,000 new permanent residents this year. The August numbers followed a strong year-to-date performance with more than 184,000 landings.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino had reason to be pleased with his department’s performance. “We’re ahead of where we expected to be at this point in the year and we are going to continue to accelerate the pace of landing new permanent residents,” Mendicino said in a telephone in interview recently. “We are going to deliver on that goal.” The last time Canada landed more than 400,000 people in one year goes back over 100 years ago and the government hopes to achieve 400,000 plus landings for 2021, 2022 and beyond.
In 2020 the landing numbers fell from 341,000 in 2019 to 185,000. The decline was one of the direct results to the closing of Canada’s borders because of the COVID pandemic. Canada has moved to recover from the low arrivals by making it easier for temporary residents in the country to acquire permanent residency.
“By granting them permanent status, they’re going to put down roots in their communities, “Mendicino added. “That’s exactly how we’re going to address both the short-term economic recovery, which we are accelerating through immigration, as well as the long-term demographic pressures.”
Canada moved to clear the road for holders of Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) documents, and these numbers have been included in the higher arrival rates. The Express Entry for skilled workers has been invited record numbers, such as the 27,332 invited on February 13, 2021. The Express Entry has focused largely on candidates in Canada under the Canada Experience Class along with the six temporary immigration streams.
The two-prong approach of making it easier for foreign workers, students, and visitors in Canada to obtain permanent residence and the lifting of travel restrictions for COPRs and visitors from source countries such as India, has all added to the numbers of arrivals. As a country we are recovering from COVID, and immigration is a key factor in the government’s recovery plan. The country’s ambitious Immigration Levels Plan to increase new arrivals in 2021, 2022, and 2023 to numbers above 401,000 per annum allows IRCC to show the government’s ability to adjust targets lower or higher based on policy and operational considerations. Government action does change the numbers of arrivals. Let’s hope that the numbers continue to increase and that COVID infections in the country continue to drop. If things get worse with the fourth wave the arrival numbers in Canada may take another dip. There is an inverse correlation between the pandemic and demographic growth.
Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.