The new number of permanent residents in Canada continues to suffer as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
New data from IRCC shows the country welcomed 15,025 new immigrants in September 2020. This figure is low compared to the 35,000 immigrants welcomed to Canada in September 2019.
Overall, Canada received about 143,500 immigrants between January and September, which means that it is on track to run out 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 in total last year.
Before Canada announced the travel restrictions for travelers in March of this year, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said the country would target 341,000 additional immigrant newcomers in 2020.
Canada will not be able to achieve this goal for three major reasons. First, the COVID-19 pandemic has also disrupted the immigration system. With social distancing, immigrants are not able to take official language tests such as IELTS or CELPIP, to obtain visas from Canadian government authorities, or submit biometric data. Second, COPR holders who are exempted from Canada’s coronavirus travel restrictions remain stranded abroad because their COPRs expired during the pandemic. Third, the travel restriction does not allow people who obtained their COPR after March 18 to enter Canada unless they fall under an exemption.
At the same time, the pandemic is temporary and Canada confirmed two weeks ago that it remains committed to accommodating high levels of immigration going forward.
At the end of October, Mendicino announced that Canada would significantly increase its immigration targets to offset the decline in immigration this year.
As part of its new Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023, Canada will aim to welcome more than 400,000 immigrants per year in the future, which will be the highest level in Canadian history.
To help meet these goals, IRCC held Express Entry draws most of the time every two weeks throughout the pandemic. The two most recent Express Entry draws saw 4,500 permanent resident invitations issued in each draw, which is tied for the highest levels per draw since the launch of Express Entry in January 2015.
Express Entry is Canada’s flagship immigration program for managing skilled worker applications for Canada PR Visa.
The second big way Canada welcomes skilled workers is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
Lucky draws have also been held regularly throughout the pandemic and earlier this week Canada’s largest province, Ontario, also held a round of invitations.
In total, the Canadian provinces submitted nearly 3,000 provincial nominations in October.
Canada is expected to run out of 200,000 new permanent residents this year for the first time since 1999.
Nonetheless, the immigration system continues to function and new applicants can enter the Express Entry pool and submit applications through PNP and other economy class programs.
This is because language tests such as IELTS and CELPIP are available, as well as academic credential assessment organizations (ECA) such as World Education Services (WES) being operational. People who obtain COPRs can expect to enter Canada after travel restrictions are changed or completely lifted following the widespread distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
Reference is taken from CIC News
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