Where are Canada’s immigrants coming from in 2020?

The world was brought to a standstill in mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, prior to which Canada was continuing to welcome high levels of immigration. In fact, up until the end of April, Canada has welcomed 74,000 new permanent residents this year.

Just a few days before Canada entered the lockdown, the country’s immigration minister announced plans to welcome over 1 million new permanent residents between 2020-2022.

Now that the lockdowns are being eased across the world, the country is processing all the pending immigration applications to the best of its ability. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released data that gives a glimpse into where Canada’s new immigrants were coming from in the early months of 2020.

India heads the list

India remained the leading source country of Canada’s new permanent resident (PR) visa holders, as has been the case for the past few years. 24 per cent of new PRs in the first four months of 2020 were Indians.

Many Indians speak English fluently and possess other key characteristics that help them become eligible for Canadian immigration, making India the leading source of Canada’s immigrants.

A number of Indian immigrants also arrive to Canada from the U.S., given the relative difficulty for H1-B visa holders to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. Canada is considered more immigrant friendly and is, of late, becoming a preferred destination for overseas immigrants.

Which are the top 10 source countries?

Of the 74,000 people that gained Canadian PR in the first four months of 2020, these countries were the top 10 sources:

  1. India
  2. China
  3. Philippines
  4. USA
  5. Nigeria
  6. Pakistan
  7. Syria
  8. France
  9. Iran
  10. Brazil

Chinese immigrants have increased this year, and accounted for nearly 10 per cent of newcomers compared with 9 per cent in 2019. Filipino immigration to Canada has stayed fairly consistent, at 7 per cent in 2020 compared with 8 per cent the previous year.

U.S. and Nigerian immigrants are rounding out the list of top 5 countries. All these immigrants have a major advantage in Canada’s immigration system due to their English-language proficiency.  The federal Express Entry system, Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and other programs all lay emphasis on English proficiency.

How will COVID-19 impact immigrant source countries?

As of now, it is not known how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the source countries of immigrants to Canada during the remaining part of the year. As coronavirus-related disruptions are currently limiting the ability of new permanent residents to come to Canada from abroad, this may alter the distribution of immigrant source countries from June to December.

It could also be that there may prove to be little or no impact on Canada’s immigrant source countries. Some individuals who receive PR later in 2020 may already be within Canada .Those who are abroad will also eventually be able to travel to Canada.

Whatever may be the impacts of the travel restrictions, it is still in the best interests of candidates to submit their Express Entry profiles and immigration applications during the pandemic if they are able to do so. By submitting a profile or application, you will get a chance to receive an invitation to apply, or approval for permanent residence. As soon as you are able to, you can travel to Canada.

In order to help people achieve their Canadian immigration goals, IRCC is being more lenient during this time. Good luck with your application for Canadian PR!

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