By Uglobal Staff
Canada is sharply increasing the number of new permanent residents in the country despite the ongoing pandemic, with June 2021 recording more than 35,000 successful applicants – the highest since the global COVID-19 crisis began, official figures show.
The rise in numbers come as the office of Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino tries to meet the target of accepting 401,000 new permanent residents by the end of this year. Among these, 232,500 permanent visas have been earmarked for economic immigrants, which includes those with high skills; 103,500 for family members, of which 80,000 have been reserved for spouses and children, while 23,500 are for grandparents; 59,500 are for refugees and protected persons, while another 5,500 are aimed for those who qualify on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Status of Canada’s new permanent residents
So far, the country has accepted around 143,000 new permanent residents within the first six months of 2021, of which 24,680 were granted in January, February (23,395), March (22,425), April (21,155), May (17,100) and June (35,700). It needs to accept around 360,000 more candidates to be on track for its 2021 goal, which is a monumental task even though the pace seems to be picking up.
Last year, Canada had failed to achieve its immigration targets as it reeled from the impact of the global pandemic. Only 184,000 candidates had received their permanent residencies in 2020 as opposed to its stated goal giving at least 341,000 new permanent residencies that year.
Canada pivoting their immigration strategy to reach goal
This year Canada did something different. As the country continues to go through its various phases of lockdowns and opening and shutting down of its borders because of threats posed by COVID variants, Canada began offering permanent residency to those who were already in the country on temporary visas, which is now benefiting many foreign students, temporary foreign workers and even refugees. In April, the Canadian government announced that some 90,000 foreign students, temporary workers and asylum seekers doing essential work such as healthcare would be granted permanent residencies this year.
Starting from this June, Canada is also allowing qualifying candidates from abroad into the country on permanent residency status, provided they are fully vaccinated and meet specified quarantine conditions.
Canada needs immigrants to keep its economic engine running, which has a real danger of losing steam in the years to come due to low population growth, slow labor force and national birth rates. The country's aim between 2021 and 2023 is to accept at least 1.2 million new immigrants from around the world, according to the Canadian government.
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