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Canada has reached its target and welcomed more than 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021. Surpassing the previous record from 1913, this is the most newcomers in a year in Canadian history. This was announced by Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser in a press release on December 23.

More than 341,000 permanent residents were welcomed in 2019 and over 184,500 were landed in 2020. By 2036, immigrants will represent up to 30% of Canada’s population, compared with 20.7% in 2011.

As per the press release, Immigration accounts for almost 100% of Canada’s labour force growth. Roughly 75% of Canada’s population growth comes from immigration, mostly in the economic category.

Furthermore, it indicated that Immigration addresses labour shortages in key sectors such as health care. Immigrants make up 37% of pharmacists, 36% of physicians, 39% of dentists, 23% of registered nurses, and 35% of nurse aides and related occupations.

How Did Canada Achieve This Target:

This target is reached by converting most of the temporary residents already in Canada into permanent residents. There has not been any Federal Skilled Worker or Federal Skilled Trade draw this year.

On contrast, Canada welcomed over 90,000 immigrants were landed via TR to PR pathway. This pathway was for international students and workers already in Canada. Apart from this, a bumper draw was announced for Canadian Experience Class inviting 27,332 applicants to apply for PR in February 2021.

99,653 express entry profiles were invited under Canadian Experience Class and only 14,404 were invited who had a provincial nomination. Some of the outland FSW applicants were sent invites having provincial nomination in this 14,404 invitations.

Parents and Grandparents program also sent 3x more invitations. 30,000 invites were sent this year.

Here is What This Means For Inland and Outland Applicants:

This year IRCC was more focused on inland applicants by providing new pathways and sending more invitations in express entry. However, Canada is now facing a deficit in their labour market as inland applicants were already in Canada and were working in their respective jobs. It was more of a status change to permanent resident from temporary resident. Their skillset was already present in Canadian Labour market.

It’s the outland immigrants who enter Canada for the first time and help in filling the labour shortage by contributing with their skillsets. With Canada welcoming less than 30% of outland applicants, the gap in labour market has broadened.

Provincial governments are already reaching out to federal government for increasing their provincial nomination targets as this seems to be only way of inviting more outland applicants to fill labour market gap in the absence of FSW or FST draws.

Ontario has acknowledged this fact and has officially asked twice to double the target for provincial nomination. Inland applicants are already contributing to Canadian economy, but it’s the outland immigrants that help in filling the gap in economy.

To fill this gap, Canada needs to have a balanced approach for inland and outland applicants. Given this fact, we may see a FSW or unspecified draw in 2022. However, IRCC is full of surprises. If they announce another TR to PR pathway, then chances are again low for outland applicants.

What Should Outland Applicants Do?

Outland applicants having an express entry profile should identify the provinces according to their skillsets. They should definitely create an express of interest for potentially the most favorable provinces according to their NOC codes.

Furthermore, applicants should continue to apply for available jobs in Canada as there are chances that they may get a job offer from a Canadian employer, given the shortage in labour market.

Also they should work on increasing their CRS score as we may see high cut off score in initial draws, if unspecified draws start in 2022.

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