In recent years, Canada has been celebrated as one of the most immigrant-friendly nations in the world. Renowned for its stature as a destination for individuals in pursuit of a better life, and heightened job prospects, this land has etched its name as a secured haven for migrants. Nevertheless, Canada’s rate of immigration witnessed a diminishing trajectory for the third consecutive month throughout August, raising concerns.
Decline in August, Yet Record-Breaking Year Ahead
In the latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada experienced a third consecutive monthly drop in immigration in August. Despite this, the country is poised to end the year with record numbers of new permanent residents. In August, Canada extended a warm embrace to 34,925 fresh permanent residents, signifying a decrease of 14.1% or a shortfall of 5,750 compared to the last month, which had boasted an influx of 40,675 individuals.
In the first eight months of this year, Canada saw 338,905 new permanent residents arriving, setting the stage for a potential total of 508,357 newcomers by the end of 2023 if the current immigration levels persist.
Ottawa’s Ambitious Immigration Plan
Ottawa, in its 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, established an immigration target of 465,000 new permanent residents for 2023. The subsequent years are set to see 485,000 and 500,000 new permanent residents, respectively. The IRCC data indicates that Canada is well on its way to surpass not only the target for this year but also those set for the following two years.
Recent Downturn in Monthly Immigration
Over the past three months, monthly immigration levels to Canada have shown a downward trend. After a significant rebound to 45,990 new permanent residents in May, following April’s sluggish performance of 29,540, monthly immigration figures have gradually decreased. June saw 42,330 new arrivals, followed by 40,675 in July and a further decline to 34,925 in August. This translates to a reduction of just over 24% since May.
Despite a strong start to the year, with January immigration up by 43.7% compared to the same month last year, August numbers almost mirrored those from the previous year when Canada welcomed 34,145 new permanent residents.
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Ontario Leads in Attracting Immigrants
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, remains the preferred destination for newcomers, with 148,970 individuals choosing to settle there during the first eight months of the year.
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, along with the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway, brought in 75,755 of Ontario’s new permanent residents during the first seven months of the year, accounting for 50.8% of the total.
In addition to economic programs, 40,530 new permanent residents moved to Ontario through family sponsorships, while 26,005 arrived in the province through Canada’s refugee and protected people’s programs in the first eight months of the year.
|Newfoundland and Labrador||3,880|
|Prince Edward Island||2,630|
Immigration Across Other Provinces and Territories
The remaining provinces and territories also attracted their share of new permanent residents during this period:
Quebec’s Cap vs. Immigration Trends
Despite the Quebec government’s repeated statements about capping immigration at 50,000 new permanent residents this year, the province appears to be on track to welcome 57,015 new permanent residents based on the trend established in the first eight months of this year.
Canada’s August Immigration Decline: Insights and Next Steps
Canada’s third consecutive monthly decline in August’s immigration is a notable trend. This fluctuation is influenced by factors like the ongoing COVID-19 impact, economic uncertainties, processing delays, and policy changes. As the situation evolves, Canada’s government must address these challenges to continue benefiting from a diverse and dynamic immigrant population. Monitoring this trend and adapting immigration policies is key to maintaining Canada’s status as a welcoming and prosperous destination for immigrants worldwide.