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Canada Welcomed 341,000 Newcomers in 2019, Exceeding Immigration Targets

Canada has continued to welcome more newcomers every year.  In 2019, the federal government admitted the highest number of new immigrants in Canadian history, exceeding its 2019-2021 Immigration Levels Plan immigration targets of 330,800 immigrants by more than 10,000.

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Of the 341,180 people who immigrated to Canada in 2019, 197,890 (or 58 percent) arrived through an economic program such as Express Entry, a provincial nominee program (PNP) or pilot program. Approximately 27 percent (91,245 immigrants) came through a family sponsorship, while the remaining 15 percent were welcomed as refugees.  

Ontario: Province of Choice

Home to Toronto and its growing tech sector, it came as no surprise that Ontario is once again the top destination for newcomers. The province accounted for 45 percent of the total number of immigrants in 2019. British Columbia came in second at 15 percent, while Alberta followed closely behind at 13 percent.

Quebec saw the biggest decline in its immigration numbers in 2019,  falling to fourth after having been the second choice of immigrants the year prior. Quebec reduced its permanent skilled worker intake by 25 percent last summer, which may be one of the main reasons for this drop.

India: Top Source Country

A total of 25 percent of Canada’s newcomers last year came from India. China was next at 9 percent, while the Philippines was third at 8 percent of Canadian immigrants. Rounding out the top 10 source countries included those from Nigeria, the USA, Pakistan, Syria, Eritrea, South Korea, and Iran. 

The surge in Indians immigrating to Canada remains strong, especially as the H1-B visa program continues to experience extreme cutbacks under the United States administration. Skilled workers in India accounted for 43 percent of all invitations through Express Entry in 2018, and continue to be the most successful applicants – especially in the tech field. 

What We Can Expect for 2020

Canada has continued to increase its yearly immigration targets, with plans to welcome 360,000 newcomers in 2020. The mandate letter addressed to Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino outlined plans that may allow even more immigrants to become eligible for Canadian immigration, such as the anticipated Municipal Nominee Program. 

With last year’s number of newcomers having surpassed immigration targets, we can anticipate that this trend will continue for this year, as well as in years to come. With the current government’s continued dedication to immigration, now remains the best time to take the first step towards your Canadian permanent residence!


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