- Canada has welcomed 401,000 permanent residents in 2021.
- Canada had switched immigration strategies last year, targeting those temporary residents in the country, like international students and foreign workers, and turning them to permanent residency.
Canada has welcomed 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, achieving its goal set last year and marking the highest immigration year on record.
On Thursday, the government announced the milestone, adding that the record immigration flows were attained in the ongoing pandemic, which prompted the country to close its borders to foreigners for much of the year.
Because of the closed borders, Canada had switched immigration strategies last year, targeting those temporary residents in the country, like international students and foreign workers, and turning them to permanent residency.
“As we continue to struggle with the Covid-19 pandemic, we made the most of the talent within our borders,” Sean Fraser, immigration minister, stated in the release.
The process worked, with the country reaching its highest number of newcomers in a year and surpassing the prior record from 1913. Canada has been relying on international migration as its top driver of economic growth, with foreign-born workers accounting for all the employment gains over the past decade.
Like other different nations, Canada faces an aging native-born population and low fertility rates. Still, it has produced the fastest population growth in the Group of Seven in current years. The high influx of foreign-born employees has helped mitigate wage pressures and fill in labor gaps in recent months when inflation has been surging.
In an interview last month, Fraser stated he’s open to ramping up immigration targets if he deems it necessary to fill labor shortages. The immigration targets for the few years would need to be submitted to Parliament by mid-February.