At the height of the pandemic, about 75% of IRCC staff were on leave, creating a severe application backlog, resulting in delayed processing times. In 2021, application processing slowly returned to a pre-pandemic pace, eventually hitting a stride never seen before in modern Canadian immigration history. By the end of the third quarter of 2021, Canada admitted over 267,000 new permanent residents for the year. To meet this year’s targets, Canada will need to continue this pace, admitting about 45,000 new permanent residents per month until the end of the year.
According to Statistics Canada, last year Canada experienced its lowest population growth rate percentage since 1916. This drop was largely attributed to the effect of COVID-19 on international migration. While immigration accounted for over 80% of Canada’s population growth in 2019, it was responsible for just 58% in 2020. Last year, just under 187,000 permanent residents were admitted, compared to 341,000 in 2019.
To make up for lost time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government increased immigration targets to historic highs with plans to welcome over 1.2 million newcomers over the next three years. In the first half of 2021, it seemed unlikely that Canada would meet these ambitious targets. However, as applications continue to be processed at an unprecedented rate, it seems IRCC is on the right track to achieve this goal.
Last week, the Canadian government appointed a new Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser. He has since dove into his new duties as Minister and has expressed his commitment to “ensuring that we continue to have the workers we need, where we need them”.
1/I am humbled to have been appointed by PM @JustinTrudeau to serve as the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Immigration will remain a key pillar of Canada’s recovery and I’m committed to ensuring that we continue to have the workers we need, where we need them. pic.twitter.com/IPzjm2cSdU
— Sean Fraser (@SeanFraserMP) October 26, 2021
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