In 2021, Canada received 406 000 new immigrants on a long-term or permanent basis (including changes of status), 120% more than in 2020. This figure comprises 41.8% labour migrants, 40.5% family members (including accompanying family) and 14.8% humanitarian migrants. Around 215 000 permits were issued to tertiary-level international students and 125 000 to temporary and seasonal labour migrants.

India, China and the Philippines were the top three nationalities of newcomers in 2021. Among the top 15 countries of origin, India registered the strongest increase (+85 000) in flows to Canada compared to the previous year.

In 2022, the number of first asylum applicants increased by 300%, to reach around 94 000. The majority of applicants came from Mexico (17 000), Haiti (11 000) and Türkiye (9 200). The largest increase since 2021 concerned nationals of Mexico (+14 000). Of the 58 000 decisions taken in 2022, 53% were positive.

Emigration of Canadian citizens to OECD countries increased by 10% in 2021, to 35 000. Approximately 44% of this group migrated to the United States, 7% to Korea and 7% to the United Kingdom.

Canada continues to welcome more newcomers (over 1% of Canada’s population annually) and to support their settlement and integration. Under the 2023-25 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada aims to admit 465 000 permanent residents in 2023, 485 000 in 2024, and 500 000 in 2025. The 2023 target is 4% higher than in the 2022-24 Immigration Levels Plan released in 2022, in particular owing to significant increases to Canada’s main regional immigration programmes, to more evenly distribute the benefits of immigration.

In June 2023, IRCC launched category-based selection, a new type of invitation round in Express Entry, to better target candidates for permanent residence that help meet identified economic goals. The categories chosen for 2023 focus on candidates with French-language proficiency and work experience in healthcare, STEM, trades, transport, or agriculture and agri-foods.

The now permanent Atlantic Immigration Program, launched in January 2022, helps provinces attract skilled newcomers and address demographic challenges in the region: the Levels Plan includes a 31% increase in target admissions for this programme. In September 2022, Canada extended the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot until August 2024 and expanded the geographic boundaries of 7 of the 11 participating communities, spreading the benefits of immigration across Canada and into smaller communities.

Initially launched in 2018, Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) provides Canadian employers opportunities to access a talent pool of skilled refugees and other displaced people from around the world, allowing Canada to not only increase its economic immigration and fill in-demand jobs, but also to complement its existing humanitarian commitments. In June 2023, Canada implemented a new Federal pathway under the EMPP which helps more displaced people to become eligible and streamlines the application process. Canada funds and works closely with partner organisations to support the growth of this initiative.

As part of its efforts to modernise the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and improve client service, Canada has transitioned to online Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications. Since April 2023, employers and third-party representatives are required to submit LMIA applications using the LMIA Online Portal.

Canada funded a Racialised Newcomer Women Pilot from 2018 to March 2023. The Pilot supported targeted employment services for racialised newcomer women through the Settlement Program. Canada recognises that racialised newcomer women continue to show a demonstrable need for support and, as such, the government is providing funding to extend ten ongoing projects until 2025.

Canada took action to address global crises through migration and protection responses. As of June 2023, 33 405 Afghans have arrived in Canada since August 2021. IRCC pledged to resettle 40 000 Afghan refugees to Canada in 2021-23. To continue supporting those affected by Russia’s war against Ukraine, Canada introduced the Canada-Ukraine authorisation for emergency travel, helping thousands of Ukrainian nationals and their family find safety in Canada. Between 17 March 2022 and 17 June 2023, 162 568 arrived in Canada. Temporary immigration measures were also introduced in response to conflict in Sudan.

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