Canada Immigration Well Above 2022 Despite Drop In April

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The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals immigration to Canada fell in April, dropping 34.6 per cent, as the monthly number of new permanent residents to the country declined for the third consecutive month.

In April, only 29,330 new permanent residents settled in Canada, down 15,525 new permanent residents from the 44,855 in March.

And the immigration figures for March were themselves already down 9.7 per cent compared to February.

Since the start of this year, the monthly number of new permanent residents to Canada has dropped by 42.4 per cent from a high of 50,910 in January.

Despite the downward trend in the monthly immigration figures so far this year, Canada has still seen more new permanent residents settle here in the first four months of this year than during the comparable period last year.

In the first four months of this year, immigration was up 16.4 per cent as the country welcomed 24,575 more new permanent residents, for a total of 174,745, up from the 150,170 for the comparable period last year.

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Projecting out from the first four months of this year, Canada could expect to welcome 524,235 new permanent residents this year – but only if the higher figures seen at the start of this year return.

Ottawa is bullish on immigration and, in its 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, has set its immigration target for 2023 at 465,000 new permanent residents.

The country is to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and another 500,000 in 2025.

That’s a total of 1.45 million immigrants to Canada over the coming three years.

The strong start to immigration earlier this year indicates Canada could not only surpass this year’s record-breaking target for immigration but even exceed it and hit immigration levels the federal government is only hoping to attain by 2025, in two years’ time.

There are, however, indicators that this year’s powerful start might not continue and instead soften for the rest of this year.

Among those indicators is the softening job market in Canada.

At this time last year, Statistics Canada reported there were more than one million, exactly 1,037,900, vacant positions for the third consecutive month. The statistical and demographic service agency’s latest Labour Force Survey, though, reveals those job vacancies fell to 843,200 in the first quarter of this year, a drop of 18.7 per cent.

Job Vacancies Are Dropping In Canada And Have Fallen 18.7% In The Last Year

“Year-over-year drops in job vacancies were observed across all the educational levels sought by employers,” revealed Statistics Canada.

Fewer jobs up for grabs might mean Canadian employers could be less inclined to recruit foreign nationals to immigrate under economic immigration programs.

By far the most popular destination for newcomers to Canada in the first four months of the year was Ontario which attracted 74,940 new permanent residents during the quarter.

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Economic programs, including the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), Agri-Food Immigration Pilot (AFIP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Caregiver programs, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), Federal Skilled Trades (FST) and Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) programs, the Start-Up Visa (SUV) and Self-Employed Persons (SEP) programs, and the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway accounted for slightly more than half of all new permanent residents coming to Ontario in the first four months of this year..

Economic Programs Drawing More Than Half Of Immigrants To Ontario

Those programs helped 38,555 new permanent residents arrive in Ontario in the first four months of this year.

Another 20,650 new permanent residents arrived in Ontario through family sponsorships and 11,950 came to that province through Canada’s refugee and protected persons programs in the first four months of 2023.

The other provinces and territories attracted the following number of new permanent residents each during that period:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador – 2,290
  • Prince Edward Island – 1,410
  • Nova Scotia – 4,555
  • New Brunswick – 3,435
  • Quebec – 19,340
  • Manitoba – 10,315
  • Saskatchewan – 8,945
  • Alberta – 20,615
  • British Columbia – 28,375
  • Yukon – 365
  • Northwest Territories – 145
  • Nunavut – 20

The Atlantic Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador was by far the province with the fastest rate of immigration growth in the first four months of this year compared to the same period in 2022.

Newfoundland & Labrador Is Seeing An Immigration Boom Through The AIP And Its PNP

In the first third or this year, the Rock, as the province is affectionately called, saw a boom of 186.3 per cent in its rate of immigration compared to the same four months last year, with 2,290 new permanent residents for that period this year compared to only 800 last year.

The number of new permanent residents to that province through the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) soared by 97.7 per cent, hitting 425 this year compared to only 215 for the same period last year.

But the biggest difference on the Rock has been its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) which allowed 580.5 per cent more new permanent residents, or 1,395, to settle there in the first four months of this year compared to the 205 for the same period last year.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.