The latest data released by the Canadian government revealed that the country welcomed a record number of new permanent residents (PRs) in 2022, reaching the target of 431,645 newcomers.
According to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the figure accounts for an 8% increase in total newcomers in 2021. Additionally, it was the third time in the country’s history that the number exceeded the immigration target.
Why Are People Moving to Canada?
Canada prioritizes immigration programs, offering working, business, and temporary resident-to-permanent opportunities for those eligible to move to the country.
Most people arrive in Canada through economic immigration programs, which have become a primary source of new permanent residents.
In fact, 58.5% of newcomers rely on these immigration programs to move to Canada. Here are the most common options:
- Worker programs
- Programs for temporary residents looking for permanent residency
- Business owner programs
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
Additionally, the country has attracted new permanent residents through the family class of immigration programs.
However, the number of newcomers who came to Canada through this program was below the 17.7% target set by the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan.
According to the IRCC data, only 97,165 (22.2%) new permanent residents arrived in the country by using the family class of immigration programs, which include sponsored spouses, children, and parents.
In addition, 17.2% of new Canadian permanent residents were from the third major immigration class: refugees and protected persons.
Where Do New Canadian Permanent Residents Come From?
The IRCC report also revealed where the new permanent residents are coming from. India is the leading source of immigrants to Canada, followed by China and Afghanistan.
However, the number of immigrants coming to Canada from India and China has fallen compared to 2021 reports.
Besides the first three sources, the top immigration countries to Canada also included Iran, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Syria, France, and the United States of America.
Top Immigration Countries to Canada
Here’s a list of the top immigration countries to Canada with the number of newcomers and percentage of new permanent residents who landed in the Great White North.
- India – 118,095 immigrants, totaling 27% of new PRs
- China – 31,815 immigrants, totaling 7.2% of new PRs
- Afghanistan – 23,735 immigrants, totaling 5.4% of new PRs
- Nigeria – 22,085 immigrants, totaling 5.05% of new PRs
- Philippines – 22,070 immigrants, totaling 5.04% of new PRs
- France – 14,145 immigrants, totaling 3.2% of new PRs
- Pakistan – 11,585 immigrants, totaling 2.6% of new PRs
- Iran – 11,105 immigrants, totaling 2.5% of new PRs
- United States of America – 10,400 immigrants, totaling 2.3% of new PRs
- Syria – 8,500 immigrants, totaling 1.9% of new PRs
What Are the Top Immigrant Destinations Among New Permanent Canadian Residents?
The IRCC report also showed the most popular destinations among new permanent residents in Canada: Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.
About 42.2% of people who moved to Canada in 2022 chose Ontario as their initial settlement location. However, that’s a drop of almost 7% compared to 2021 figures.
This drop in newcomers landing in Ontario may have resulted from the government’s efforts to spread immigration benefits further across Canada. Additionally, the Province Nominee Program has gained relevance over the Express Entry, which also contributes to these changes.
In 2022, Quebec attracted more new permanent residents than British Columbia, gaining the second spot on the list of immigrant destinations.
Alberta, located in Western Canada, held the fourth place, but it was the only region outside the top 3 that attracted over 10% of permanent residents last year.
Here’s a detailed list of the top immigrant destinations with the percentage of newcomers:
- Ontario – 184,725 PRs for a total of 42.2%
- Quebec – 68,685 PRs for a total of 15.7%
- British Columbia – 61,215 PRs for a total of 14%
- Alberta – 49,460 PRs for a total of 11.3%
- Manitoba – 21,645 PRs for a total of 4.9%
- Saskatchewan – 21,635 PRs for a total of 4.9%
- Nova Scotia – 12,650 PRs for a total of 2.8%
- New Brunswick – 10,205 PRs for a total of 2.3%
- Newfoundland and Labrador – 3,490 PRs for a total of 0.7%
- Prince Edward Island – 2,665 PRs for a total of 0.6%
- Yukon – 455 PRs for a total of 0.1%
- Northwest Territories – 235 PRs
- Nunavut – 45 PRs
- Province not stated – 20 PRs
Why Is Canada Encouraging People to Move to the Country?
Canada has always maintained a positive attitude towards immigrants, offering newcomers many opportunities to move to the country. However, this doesn’t only benefit new permanent residents.
Through migration programs, the Canadian government fills gaps in the labor market. Consequently, bringing more people from other countries can contribute to the national economy.
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