Canada immigration started off with a bang in 2022 with a record-breaking number of new permanent residents for the month of January.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) figures show 35,260 new permanent residents made Canada their home in January.
That might not seem like much compared to the 47,585 new permanent residents in the month of November last year or even the 43,905 in the last month of 2021. By comparison with December last year, the January figure is down almost 19.7 per cent.
Comparing January this year to the same months in prior years, though, shows just how much higher current immigration levels really are.
January Immigration Up Nearly 43% On Last Year
Year over year, the number of new permanent residents to Canada in January this year rose by more than 42.7 per cent from the 24,700 in January last year and by almost exactly the same percentage for the same month during the first year of the pandemic in 2020.
The strong performance in January this year is more than just a blip, a return to normal after the pandemic which initially slowed international travel to a trickle.
The number of new permanent residents in January this year was more than 89.1 per cent higher than the 18,645 new permanent residents for the comparable month in 2019, before the coronavirus was ever present and causing Covid-19 anywhere in the world.
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The first month of this year also saw 49.7 per cent more new permanent residents arrive than the 23,550 for the comparable month in 2018, almost 61.1 per cent more than the 21,890 in January 2017, and 29.2 per cent more than the 27,280 in January 2016.
During the first month of 2015, only 12,915 new permanent residents settled in Canada. That means the country welcomed almost three times as many – 2.7 times as many – new permanent residents in January this year than it did for the comparable month seven years ago.
Last year, Canada welcomed 405,330 new immigrants despite the COVID-19 global pandemic – and Ottawa plans to raise that level of immigration both for humanitarian reasons and to help businesses cope with labour shortages.
Canada’s plan is to welcome more than 1.3 million newcomers between 2022 and 2024.
Ottawa Wants To Bring In 431,645 Immigrants To Canada In 2022
“Immigration has helped shape Canada into the country it is today. From farming and fishing to manufacturing, healthcare and the transportation sector, Canada relies on immigrants,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser earlier this year.
“We are focused on economic recovery, and immigration is the key to getting there. Setting bold new immigration targets, as outlined in the 2022-2024 Levels Plan, will further help bring the immeasurable contribution of immigrants to our communities and across all sectors of the economy.”
Under the levels plan presented by the immigration minister this year, Canada plans to welcome 431,645 permanent residents this year, 447,055 next year, and 451,000 in 2024.
Under the previous immigration levels plan presented in late 2020, Canada was to welcome 411,000 new permanent residents in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.
In the past few years, Canada has embraced ever more ambitious immigration targets.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, which significantly reduced immigration in 2020, the previous plan set targets of 351,000 new permanent residents in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.
The ever-growing levels of immigration are touted by Ottawa as being the key to resolving labour shortages and building the Canadian economy, everything from agriculture and the fisheries to business management and the tech sector.
“Canada is among the world’s top destinations for talent, and immigration is a driving force behind the boom in our tech sector,” tweeted Fraser earlier this week.
“Bringing skilled workers to Canada helps businesses grow, and creates good jobs across the country.”