Canada welcomed more than 400,000 new permanent residents in 2021, breaking its all-time record for new permanent resident landings in a single year.
It is only the second time in its history since being founded as a country in 1867 that Canada has welcomed over 400,000 new immigrants in a year, after having previously done so in 1913.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirmed the intake of 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021 and officially announced that Canada broke its all-time record of inviting the most immigrants in a single year in its history.
Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said that welcoming the highest number of newcomers was a historic moment for Canada.
He added that Canada is built on immigration and that it would continue to welcome migrants to ensure the country succeeds.
He also welcomed Canada’s 401,000 new permanent residents, saying that he could not wait to see their incredible contributions to communities across the country.
Prior to the pandemic, Canada targeted welcoming 341,000 new permanent residents in 2020, but the outbreak of Covid-19 cut the number of new immigrants to only 184,000.
Following the pandemic, IRCC announced Canada would welcome 1.2 million new immigrants by 2023 as part of its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, and the first part of the plan would see 401,000 new permanent residents invited to Canada in 2021.
In the pre-Covid days, about 70 per cent of all new immigrants came from abroad, while only 30 per cent onshore temporary migrants transitioned into Canadian permanent residents.
Last year, however, the situation was reversed; around 70 per cent of all new immigrants were already in Canada as temporary migrants, and the remaining 30 per cent arrived from overseas due to travel restrictions imposed because of the pandemic.
Granting permanent residency to temporary migrants in Canada ensured applicants could obtain Canadian PR without being impacted by Covid-related disruptions, which allowed IRCC to meet its target of landing 401,000 new immigrants last year and achieve its newcomer goal.
Under the Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023, Canada announced it would welcome 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 new immigrants in 2022 and 421,000 new permanent residents in 2023.
IRCC is set to announce the new Immigration Levels Plan in February and hinted that the new plan could accommodate even higher immigration targets for 2022 and 2023.