2021 Canadian Immigration Forecast

As 2020 draws to a close, we can confidently say that it’s been an impressive year in immigration, and things don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. 

2021’s immigration agenda is already creating buzz, as the government has pledged to increase immigration targets to welcome more than 1.2 million newcomers over the next few years. Let’s look ahead and see what’s in store for hopeful candidates in the new year.

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Multi-year levels plan sets highest immigration targets ever

In October, Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino announced a new multi-year levels plan that sees Canada welcoming 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, the greatest number of new Canadians in history. 

Immigration to Canada was limited in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting the federal government to set lofty targets for next year to aid with economic recovery and make up for the low immigration numbers.


Express Entry issuing higher number of ITAs than ever before

In spite of the travel restrictions and various challenges that this year presented, it was still a record-breaking one for Canada’s Express Entry system. In the last three draws, we have seen higher numbers of invitations to apply for Canadian residence than ever before. 

Last week, Canada invited another 5,000 Express Entry candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence, bringing the total of invitations issued by the Canadian government this year to 102,350. This is the highest number of invitations issued in one year through Canada’s Express Entry system. 

In 2021, we anticipate that this trend will continue and that more foreign nationals than ever will be able to immigrate through Canada’s Express Entry system. 


International students adapt to online learning

Before the pandemic, there were already twice as many people enrolled in university courses online compared to those attending classes in person. Since COVID, that number has risen dramatically. 1.6 billion students worldwide finished their last school year online. 

The Canadian government has been working hard to ensure that international students studying at a distance still have access to the same opportunities as those here in Canada. In normal circumstances, taking too many classes online, missing a term of school, or studying part time can disqualify an international student from obtaining a Post-Graduation Work Permit after graduation.

International students studying outside of Canada are now able to count that time towards  their application for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). This applies to all international students who begin their studies through a Canadian designated learning institution from a distance until at least Spring 2021. 

Canada invests in modernization of immigration system

Over the next five years, Canada will invest $750.3 million to modernize the Canadian immigration system. The additional funds are to support Canada’s historic immigration plan that will welcome up to 1.2 million newcomers over three years.

To achieve this goal, Canada will update the cumbersome and outdated paper-based Global Case Management System to a modern digital platform. This new platform, according to the government, will enhance client service, operational efficiency, and program integrity.  

Foreign nationals can look forward to faster processing times and a more simplified process to submit documents in the near future!

All in all, 2021 is looking to be a stellar year in Canadian immigration. With the Canadian government pledging to admit more foreign nationals than ever before, there has truly never been a better time to explore the possibility of making Canada your forever home!


If you’re interested in beginning your Canadian immigration journey in 2021, get started today by filling out our free online assessment and a member of our team will reach out to discuss the best option for you!

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