Canada’s immigration level in June was the highest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Canada welcomed nearly 19,200 new permanent residents in June 2020. This was revealed in new Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data released today.
Canada’s June permanent resident (PR) intake was much stronger than the 11,000 newcomers welcomed by Canada in May and the 4,000 who gained PR in April. It was also Canada’s highest level of immigration in a month since the coronavirus was officially labelled a pandemic in March.
On the other hand, it is well short of the over 34,000 immigrants welcomed by Canada in June 2019. The lower level compared with last year is due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Canada has had travel restrictions in place since March 18th. Additional challenges include confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) holders being unable to travel to Canada even if they are permitted to do so, and IRCC application processing being affected by social distancing measures.
Top immigrant countries in June
The top 10 immigrant source countries in June 2020 (PR numbers in brackets) were:
- India (6,760)
- China (2,010)
- Philippines (900)
- USA (740)
- Pakistan (595)
- Brazil (560)
- United Kingdom (535)
- Nigeria (530)
- Iran (390)
- South Korea (355)
The leading immigrant source countries in June remain unchanged from recent months and years. The new immigrants in June were individuals who had applied for PR months ago, meaning that immigrant source countries have not been impacted by the pandemic so far.
What to expect for the rest of 2020
The June 2020 PR figures indicate that Canada’s immigration system is “normalizing” to the extent possible during the pandemic. More people were able to overcome COVID-19 challenges in June (e.g., travel delays) than prior months to complete their PR landing.
Canada’s PR levels tend to be higher in the summer so over the coming summer months we should expect immigration levels to remain in the same range as the June level.
Conversely, the travel restrictions and other COVID-19 disruptions will keep PR figures lower than what they were during similar periods in 2019.
Nonetheless, Canada continues to invite more successful immigration candidates to apply for PR.
Bi-weekly Express Entry draws have remained a constant fixture throughout the pandemic, with Canada issuing 3,900 or more invitations to apply (ITAs) for permanent residence every two weeks.
Last week, Canada held two Express Entry draws, including Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates in one of the draws. FSWP candidates were excluded from Express Entry draws between March and July since IRCC wanted to prioritize the invitation of candidates more likely to be in Canada right now (and hence, less likely to face COVID-19 interruptions).
The resumption of Express Entry draws which include FSWP candidates, plus ongoing Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws are among the numerous positive signs that suggest Canada remains committed to its pre-pandemic immigration policies.
This has also been emphasized by IRCC and Canada’s immigration minister. They have repeatedly stated since the start of the pandemic that welcoming high levels of immigration after COVID-19 will be key to maintaining a strong and healthy Canadian economy.