It’s not too late to achieve your dream of immigrating to Canada. Apparently, you are already welcomed there before you even begin your journey because in a single year, 2021, Canada welcomed the most immigrants.
On 23 December 2021 the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), announced that Canada had reached its target and welcomed more than 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021. Despite the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the most newcomers in a year in Canadian history, surpassing the previous record from 1913.
Although the pandemic has disrupted global migration, Canada’s immigration levels targets have increased during the pandemic and application processing continues. While the pandemic will continue to pose challenges for IRCC in 2022, IRCC maintains they remain committed to its three-fold immigration policy objectives of strengthening the economy, reuniting families, and assisting those with a humanitarian need.
Under the current plan, Canada aims to welcome 411,000 new immigrants in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023, however these figures may be adjusted when the federal government unveils their new levels plans. Due to growing labour shortages, application backlogs, and the federal government’s commitment to resettle 40,000 Afghan refugees, Minister Fraser confirms there is the possibility of even higher levels, assuming that Canadian employers and communities are receptive to the idea. The Canadian government is set to announce its Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024 this February.
“Last year, we set an ambitious goal. Today, we achieved it. This is a historic moment for our country, as we welcome the highest number of newcomers in one year in our history. I want to thank all the employees in my department, especially our Operations Sector, who made this possible. Canada is built on immigration, and we will continue to welcome the immigrants that Canada needs to succeed. I can’t wait to see the incredible contributions that our 401,000 new neighbours make in communities across the country.”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration and Immigrants, Refugees and Citizenship
In 2021, Canada welcomed over 401,000 permanent residents, the highest number of newcomers in any year in Canadian history, surpassing the previous record from 1913.
This meets the 2021 target set by the 2021–2023 Immigration Levels Plan to support the post-pandemic recovery and to chart a more prosperous future. The number is much higher than the 184,500 new permanent residents welcomed over the course of 2020, amidst the challenges resulting from the pandemic.
According to the Government, the immigration target was met by making the most of the talent already within our borders. The majority of these new permanent residents were already in Canada on a temporary status. Over 75% of new permanent residents from January to November 2021 were already in Canada at the time of landing. Prior to the pandemic, most of the new permanent residents came from overseas.
Canada needs immigration to drive the economy and support the aging population. Immigration accounts for almost 100% of Canada’s labour force growth. Roughly 75% of Canada’s population growth comes from immigration, mostly in the economic category. By 2036, immigrants will represent up to 30% of Canada’s population, compared with 20.7% in 2011.
Immigration addresses labour shortages in key sectors such as health care. Immigrants make up 37% of pharmacists, 36% of physicians, 39% of dentists, 23% of registered nurses, and 35% of nurse aides and related occupations.
According to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser: “Canada is built on immigration, and we will continue to welcome the immigrants that Canada needs to succeed. I can’t wait to see the incredible contributions that our 401,000 new neighbours make in communities across the country.”
The Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 is expected to be announced in February 2022.
News release for Immigrants
Government reaches target of 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021
December 23, 2021—Ottawa—With the significant exception of Indigenous people, all Canadians originally come from somewhere else. The story of immigration fills many chapters in the history of Canada—including the most recent one. To support Canada’s post-pandemic recovery and chart a more prosperous future, the Government of Canada set a target of welcoming 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, as part of the 2021–2023 Immigration Levels Plan.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced that Canada has reached its target and welcomed more than 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021. Surpassing the previous record from 1913, this is the most newcomers in a year in Canadian history.
This historic achievement is particularly significant in the face of the pandemic’s many challenges. From closed borders to domestic lockdowns, global migration has been upended by COVID-19. But the employees of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) rose to the occasion and processed a record half a million applications in 2021. To achieve this, IRCC added resources, embraced new technology and brought more processes online. These changes are all permanent improvements to Canada’s immigration system.
As we continue to struggle with the pandemic, we made the most of the talent already within our borders. The majority of these new permanent residents were already in Canada on temporary status. Most notably, we launched new programs to engage essential workers, health care professionals, international graduates and French-speaking newcomers. Family reunification is another pillar of our system, and we reunited spouses and children while enabling more families to sponsor parents and grandparents. Finally, with many countries closing their doors to refugees, we continued to offer the world’s most vulnerable shelter in Canada.
Canada needs immigration to drive our economy, enrich our society and support our aging population. One in 3 Canadian businesses is owned by an immigrant, and 1 in 4 health care workers is a newcomer. Business, labour market experts and economists all agree that immigration creates jobs, spurs innovation and helps address labour shortages. New Canadians contribute to communities across our country every day, and we will continue welcoming more of them as we build the Canada of tomorrow.