Low Immigration Numbers Put Canada’s 2021 Goal in Jeopardy

Unclear if Canada Will Bring in 401,000 Immigrants This Year, Data Suggests

Canada had previously committed to bringing 401,000 immigrants into Canada this year. However, immigration numbers from the first third of 2021 show that the goal might be out of reach.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) publishes data pertaining to immigration each month – data from April 2021 was published most recently. Canada’s plans to bring in 401,000 immigrants this year are part of the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan. The plan was announced in October 2020, and announces that the country is committed to reaching the same goal each year for the next three years.

Here’s how many immigrants the country has accepted each month (approximately):

  • 24,680 in January 2021
  • 23,395 in February 2021
  • 22,425 in March 2021
  • 21,105 in April 2021

Notably, the numbers have decreased by about 1,000 immigrants each month. Additionally, the numbers do not coordinate with Canada’s goal for the year. To bring in 401,000 immigrants by the end of 2021, Canada would have to accept an average of more than 33,000 immigrants per month – and Canada has fallen short every month.

More Information About Immigration During and After COVID-19

The goals stated in the Immigration Levels Plan reflect the highest that Canada has ever set. This can be attributed to economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada had aimed to bring in 341,000 immigrants into the country in 2020. These plans were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions that it inspired. Ultimately, only 184,000 entered the country in 2020 – just over half of what the goal encouraged.

Here’s How Canada Could Still Meet Its Goal for 2021

Despite immigration numbers slowly declining between January and April, Canada could still meet its goal of accepting 401,000 immigrants.

The shift towards summer and fall suggests one reason. These months usually see an increase in immigration numbers, especially due to the beginning of the academic year approaching.

Also, recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, including vaccine rollout, may lead to an increase in immigration.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that fully vaccinated travellers will soon be able to cross the border over a phased approach.

Also, IRCC has plenty of programs that may lead to an increased count of immigrants. Notably, this includes Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program.

As more data comes out, we will have a closer understanding of whether Canada can realistically meet its goal of bringing in 401,000 immigrants by the end of the year.