Over 500,000 newcomers are expected to arrive in Canada this summer.
With the majority of pandemic travel restrictions gone, Canada is free to welcome a significant number of immigrants, international students, and temporary foreign employees in the coming months.
In March 2020, Canada imposed COVID travel restrictions, preventing many newcomers from entering the nation.
There were certain exceptions, such as those who had been accepted for permanent residency and study permits prior to the limitations taking effect, as well as those who had been authorized under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. These limits were gradually abolished in Canada, with all major restrictions on permanent and temporary residents lifted by June 2021. Despite the restrictions, Canada experienced a large number of newcomers in 2021. The evidence suggests that this trend will continue in 2022, with the following six months particularly promising. Since the beginning of the epidemic, this summer will be the first without substantial travel restrictions preventing newcomers from entering Canada.
In Q3 2022, 130,000 permanent residents might arrive.
The Canadian government is now pursuing the aim of attracting 432,000 new permanent residents this year, as outlined in its Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024. Canada met its objective last year by prioritizing the landings of applicants who already resided in the nation.
Recent statistics from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveal that the government is currently processing more applications from outside Canada. This year, it has prioritized Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) applications, which are mostly filed by individuals from other countries. This is due to the fact that travel limitations are no longer a barrier to new permanent residents migrating to Canada (an obstacle that existed between March 2020 and June 2021).
Canada invited more than 114,000 new permanent residents in the first three months of 2022. A landing occurs when a person already residing in Canada converts their temporary status to permanent residency, or when a person from another country moves to Canada with permanent resident status.
In comparison to the 74,000 permanent residents that arrived in Q1 2021, the figure for Q1 2022 marks a 60% rise.
Between July and September of last year, Canada's permanent resident landings grew dramatically to 123,000 persons. Three things can be attributed to this. First, IRCC was able to increase its processing capacity, which it has been able to maintain ever since. Second, the relaxation of travel limitations for all holders of a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) in late June 2021 allowed many people who were previously ineligible to enter Canada to do so in Q3 2021 and beyond. Third, Canadian immigration has a seasonal component. New immigrants prefer to come to Canada during the warmer spring and summer months rather than the chilly winter months. As a result, prior to the pandemic, Canada had a 40% rise in permanent residency arrivals in the second and third quarters of each year, before witnessing a drop in the fourth and first quarters.
This summer, all three of these variables are expected to have an impact on new permanent resident landings. In Q3 2022, we might expect another 100,000 landings as a cautious estimate. A more realistic projection is that we will witness over 120,000 landings throughout this time period, similar to the previous year. Because IRCC processes applications in line with its Immigration Levels Plan, we are unlikely to witness a 40% or more increase due to seasonality. That is, processing a large number of additional applications, which would result in a 40% or greater increase in landings this summer, would result in Canada surpassing its immigration target for the year.
Despite this, we should still notice some seasonal effects. We would have at least 130,000 additional permanent residency landings between July and September if we saw a 20% increase in landings owing to the warmer weather.
What percentage of these arrivals will come from outside the country is a huge unknown? These numbers are not available on the government of Canada's data website. In any case, since that COVID-related barriers have been removed, we anticipate seeing a higher percentage of international visitors this summer.
If the growth trend from Q1 2022 continues, up to 270,000 international students might come this summer.
Canada will welcome 207,000 overseas students between July and September 2021. This is an incredible amount, especially when you consider Canada's pandemic-related travel restrictions at the time, like the ban on direct flights from India last summer. India is by far the most common source country for international students in Canada, accounting for 35% of all international students. Because most overseas students begin their studies at the start of Canada's academic year, in late August and early September, the third quarter of each year sees the biggest number of international student arrivals.
Canada accepted approximately 90,000 international students in the first quarter of 2022. This shows a 30% increase over Q1 2021 and a more than 50% increase over Q1 2019 (Q1 2020 data is not useful for comparison because Canada's foreign student numbers were significantly impacted by the pandemic's beginning).
If the 30% rise seen by Canada in Q1 2022 continues into consecutive quarters, 270,000 foreign students might come to Canada between July and September of this year.
Over 100,000 work permits are expected to be issued in Q3 for temporary foreign employees.
Temporary foreign employees are classified into two groups in Canada. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) welcomes anybody who can help fill labor shortages (TFWP). The TFWP is a small group of people who have been granted work permits in Canada. The vast majority are accepted via the International Mobility Program (IMP), which grants work permits for a variety of economic, social, and cultural reasons.
Canada received around 28,000 persons under the TFWP in the first quarter of 2022. This is down from the 33,000 welcomed in the first quarter of 2021, but still more than 20% more than the first quarter of 2019. TFWP numbers typically peak in Q2 as agricultural workers come to begin the harvest season in Canada. We may anticipate another 28,000 or so work permit holders to come under the TFWP between July and September if levels in Q3 are comparable to those in Q1.
Unlike the TFWP, where the majority of new work permit holders enter from abroad, the IMP has a mix of work permit holders who arrive from abroad and those who obtain their work permits after having lived in Canada for some time. International students who finish their degrees in Canada and subsequently apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit are the major source of work permit holders under the IMP. The PGWP is a program offered by the Canadian government to overseas graduates as a way to get work experience and improve their prospects of obtaining permanent residency.
In the first quarter of this year, Canada issued 73,000 work permits under the IMP. This is also a decrease from the 91,000 granted in the first quarter of 2021. IMP statistics, on the other hand, tend to be highest in Q3, owing to the fact that many overseas graduates receive a PGWP after completing their degrees (typically in Q2). As a result, between 80,000 and 100,000 work permits should be awarded under the IMP this summer.
Between July and September, we might see between 110,000 and 120,000 additional work permits issued based on TFWP and IMP predictions.
Over 500,000 individuals are expected to land, as well as have their study and work visas activated.
Over the course of this summer, we might see 520,000 or more people gain permanent residency, as well as their study and employment permits take effect. This would be a significant amount in just three months, and it would be a remarkable reversal after two years of challenging immigration to Canada.
In Q3 2021, 445,000 persons received permanent residency or had their study or employment permits become effective.
It's worth noting that estimating Canada's immigrant numbers is challenging for a variety of reasons. Because it is common for arrivals to change their visa status, there is double-counting, if not triple-counting. A foreign student, for example, might start with a study permit, then move to a PGWP, and finally seek permanent residency. If all of this happens in the same year, they will be tallied three times in the IRCC statistics. In most cases, a person will change visa status twice in a year (e.g., from a study permit to a PGWP, or from a work permit to permanent residence). The IRCC's processing capacity is also a concern. Over the last year, IRCC has demonstrated its capacity to handle large numbers of applications, but it also encounters challenges on a regular basis that might slow it down. There are further factors such as new international students' willingness to come to Canada or their decision to study elsewhere, as well as Canadian firms' desire and capacity to hire foreign labor.
Despite these factors, there is a good chance that the aforementioned newcomer categories will exceed 500,000 persons this summer, thanks to factors like the lifting of pandemic travel restrictions and IRCC processing record-high quantities of applications to clear pandemic-related backlogs.